Memo Random by Black and Ginger, Liverpool


The newest video from Polish knifemaker Trollskyy couldn't have come at a better time, considering Earth Day has barely passed us by. "I love to make something out of nothing," he mentions on his YouTube page—well said considering his designs feature abandoned metal scraps. Trollskyy's most recent YouTube upload follows the process of a knife he made from the leaf spring off of an old Jeep. The end result is a dangerous-looking blade that bears no resemblance to its past life. Take a look:

The Lord of the Rings-esque music just adds to the oh-so-epic transformation (Let your nerd flag fly high and feel free to imagine Trollsky standing at the edge of Mordor, knife in hand—I did.) From railroad spike to old bearings, Trollskyy spotlights rejected metal in a whole new functional way. Check out more of his video documentations:



I'm definitely among those who have been waiting for Minority Report-like gesturing to become a reality. While light beams on desks and walls seems close, it's not our hands manipulating objects in thin air. But now researchers at the University of Bristol have developed the starting point, called MisTable. And they're doing it with mist.

Words will only fail to properly describe the look of this thing, but a tabletop computer system projects images onto a thick blanket of fog. They appear as ghostly apparitions, much like R2D2's projected Princess Leia.

We can interact with the 3D images by sticking our hands into the 'objects' and moving them—maybe to the person sitting next to us. At this time it's simple stuff, but still it means moving something as if it were actually something tangible. Check out the video:


Lately, I've felt that most products, from cars to headphones, have employed the marketing tactic of releasing limited or special editions. The crazy fact of the matter is that people buy it because they like knowing they are part of a small circle who are privileged enough to own it. I am no stranger to the envy of walking into class with my new shoes, only to have my victory walk ruined my seeing someone else with the same pair. Exclusivity is a powerful tool to sell a pair of Air Yeezy 2's or evoke the urge to wait in line at your favorite meatpacking district club in the hopes of "getting on the list."

What I'm preaching is for a product that speaks to greater lengths of who you are, your favorite color, even the way you tie your shoe. The people at Hickies, who brought out the Jeff Spicoli in all of us by developing a new lacing system that turned any shoe into a slip on, have released their new Kickstarter project.


London's Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Comme des Garçons to develop their own fragrance which is, apparently, "light, yet deceivingly complex". The bottle features artwork by Tracey Emin...

According to the Serpentine, the unisex fragrance takes the galleries' location in Kensington Gardens as inspiration: so it's a crafty blend of historical parkland with a hint of the modern city.

More formally it is "composed of grass, leaves, pollen (galbanum, iris leaf), oxygene (aldehyde, ozone), asphalt (black musks, nutmeg), labdanum and smoked cedar with a little bit of pollution (benzoin, juniper wood, gaïac wood)."

We think Emin's text on the bottle reads "The grass / The trees / The lake" which does, despite the "little bit of pollution", at least make this artful fragrance sound like it might be very pleasant on the nose.

A 50ml bottle will set you back £56 and all proceeds from the sale of the fragrance go to supporting the Serpentine Galleries' programmes.

Serpentine is on sale from April 28. To buy it, visit


It was just a few years ago that Lytro released their Light Field Camera, meant to usher in an era of "computational photography." Users capture the ambient light field rather than a bunch of static pixels, and this radical technological approach allows one to re-focus shots after the fact.

But the LFC never really took off, whether because of its alien, boxy form factor or the educational hurdle the company faces in explaining this new generation of product. So now Lytro is releasing a new model, the Illum, featuring both improved internals and an entirely new form factor. What most caught our eye is that it echoes an SLR in shape, but is clearly an entirely new class of object—not an easy design line to tread.


CR's pick of exhibitions, design events and creative activities for the week ahead including Paris Photo in LA, Hyères Festival of Fashion & Photography, Introduction to Letterpress with New North Press in London, Motion Factory behind-the-scenes animation exhibition in Paris, publishing symposium Art-Information at the ICA, and Off Life's #QuickDraw Live event in London...

Paris Photo Los Angeles
Paramount Pictures Studios
25-27 Apr

The second US edition of the celebrated art fair, with exhibitions of contemporary and historical work by established and emerging artists, presented by international galleries and art book dealers, set against the backdrop of the vintage sound stages of Paramount Pictures. The main event includes new solo shows and installations, Young Gallery exhibitions, and bookseller projects on show in the New York Street Backlot, a film set replica of New York City's streets.

In addition to the main show, the Sound & Vision series includes conversations with artists and curators, plus film and video screenings of work seeking to push the boundaries between photography and moving image. There's also book signings, a tribute to Dennis Hopper and his photographic work, and a rare unveiling of the LAPD Photo Archives dating from 1920s - 1960s.


Hyères Festival of Fashion & Photography
Villa Noailles, Hyères
28 Apr - 25 May

This annual event in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur showcases the work of a shortlist of photographers and fashion designers at Villa Noailles, a modernist mansion in the hills above Hyères. Alongside the competition there are conferences, concerts, and other exhibitions from former winners and established artists and designers, including Steve Hiett, Jean-Michel Bertin, Kenzo, Oliver Sieber and Marc Turlan. Keep an eye on the CR blog for more on the festival later this week.

Introduction to Letterpress
New North Press Studio, London
26 Apr (10am - 5.30pm)

Hands-on letterpress workshop, for anyone after beginner's level practical knowledge of the craft, from composition (hand-setting, spacing and locking-up type), to printing (inking and pulling the press), using a library of over 700 wood and metal fonts.


Motion Factory: les ficelles du monde animé (tricks of the animation world)
La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris
24 Apr - 10 Aug

The digital arts centre showcases the work of 15 animation directors, with stop-motion short films and adverts, behind-the-scenes footage on storyboarding, model and figurine making, set building, collage, and other techniques and production methods from sketching to clay modelling, puppets to digital elements. A participatory stop-motion film project runs alongside, being created frame-by-frame for the duration of the exhibition, on Tuesday evenings.

Work comes from directors Kyle Bean, Kijek & Adamski, Johnny Kelly, Pic Pic André, Peter Sluszka Jamie Caliri & Alex Juhasz, Sumo Science (Will Stud & Ed Patterson), Sean Pecknold, Kangmin Kim, Joseph Mann, Andrew Thomas Huang, Hayley Morris, Elliot Dear, Emma de Swaef & Marc James Roels, Mikey Please, Conor Finnegan and Yves Geleyn.


Art-Information: Editorial Strategies, Text-based Formats, Publishing Contexts
ICA, London
26 Apr (11.30am - 6pm)

One day event exploring publishing within contemporary art and curatorial practice. Talks cover a variety of topics including formats, distribution, editorialship, art direction, publishing as practice, changing notions in authorship and reader participation, and interactive digital publishing, with some speakers drawing on archival Pop strategies and editorial engagements of 1960s conceptual artists.


Off Life: #QuickDraw Live
House of Illustration, London
24 Apr (8pm)

Previously a Twitter event, #QuickDraw from Off Life street press comic and new talent platform, moves into the new House of Illustration Gallery, for an evening of fast-paced illustration. Participants work with top comic artists to create work around set themes, with final pieces projected or hung around the gallery and tweeted out. You can still take part online, responding with artwork around themes on Twitter with #QuickDraw, and work could appear at the live event. Plus drinks and music throughout the evening as part of the gallery's housewarming season.

To submit events for consideration, please email


The Roomba has made all of our lives easier from cleaning up after us to serving up some much-needed laughs moonlighting as "DJ Roomba." Someday soon you may be seeing a similar looking robot make an appearance in the world of architecture. Designer Han Seok Nam is looking to cut down on labor costs and up efficiency with his design, Archibot. The mobile printer works with in-room sensors to print uploaded CAD files that signify different construction points and plans right onto the floor of a work area.


The recently patented Archibot has been designed to recognize where building elements such as doors and walls need to be built. The printed plans can be compared to larger print-outs, making them easy to interpret and cross-check for both architects and contractors. Check out the video to see how it all comes together:

Photographs of golf balls by James Friedman Title: Alexander Stepanov Thanks, Will. Atley


This is the last in a three-part series featuring the Mikes of Ultralight—lightweight hiking packs and the designers who love them. We previously interviewed Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Mike Pfotenhauer of Osprey Packs.

Granite Gear is an outdoor gear company started by outdooring obsessives back in 1986. Like many successful names in the outdoor game, their focus has been balanced between innovation and pragmatism. As co-founder Dan Cruikshank puts it, "If someone else is already doing a great job with a certain product, we say good for them, but if we can take it to the next level and improve, we will." As a result, Granite Gear is well known for making sturdy and attractive ultralight packs, (and plenty of other accessories) with a sharp focus on adaptability for personalized fit. I spoke with Michael Meyer, Granite Gear's Director of Design and Development, to dig into how they make their ultralight gear work right.

Core77: Tell me about your design background.

Michael Meyer: My first real job was designing backpacks and luggage for High Sierra, where I worked for four and a half years and learned a lot about backpacks and luggage. From there I went on to Under Armour where I was the senior product designer for bags—duffel bags, sport bags. They were bringing it in-house after have been licensing it, so we built the program from the ground up and lead it into what it is today. I was there a hair over three years. From there, I came to Granite Gear, where I have been as the director of design and development the last year. Granite Gear has always been a tried-and-true hardcore outdoor company, and we're looking to grow and move into new product categories. We're already deep into the outdoor hiking and climbing packs, and the company wanted to get more into the day-to-day backpack, campus bag, the back-to-school market, as well as adventure travel gear, which is essentially luggage.

What's your outdooring background like?

The outdoor industry is a great fit for me. I always loved to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I got into cross country running, I'd do day hikes and trips, kinda weekend warrior hiking trips. And did cross country all the way through highschool and college, so I'd spent a lot of time outdoors, which is what sparked me to start designing gear for the outdoors. It's what pushed me into my first real job at High Sierra.

Describe the Granite Gear design team.

A couple new faces and a couple of old faces: Dan is one of the founders of the company—which is 28 years old now—and he's not a classically trained designer; he's experience-based, and self-taught. Dan is involved in the design process as much as possible, as well as skilled design engineers Scott Anderson and Wade Niemi. The three of them have been the leads on the ultralight side of pack design for the last eight years. Our current design team consists of myself, Dan, Scott, Wade, Associate Product Designer Ben Landry, and a design intern, David. That's us in a nutshell right now. In the near future we're hoping to hire our intern as an associate product designer, and hire another senior level graphic designer, and we're always going to do the intern program every summer.

Walk me through your design process.

We've been very fortunate to work with a number of athletes who we sponsor. A key guy is Justin Lichter, whose trail name is Trauma. He's authored a number of books on it, the latest is the The Ultralight Survival Kit. He's a younger guy and he's worked with us from soup to nuts, with what to do to make things lighter.

As with all our gear, they're very, very, very function driven, even more so with ultralight packs. These guys will go out on day hikes, week hikes, sometimes even longer, and they really like to tailor their packs to do what they need them to do. So we wouldn't design a pack and say "Trauma, here's our ultralight pack and it has a maple core frame sheet"—we do have a pack with an actual maple-ply frame sheet, which is super innovative. It's lightweight but it's not ultralight. These guys are going out there with effectively no frame, or very little stability in their back. If something's going to be ultralight, we'll use the lightest fabrics, whether it be silicone, nylon, or cuben fiber. Cuben fiber is non-woven dyneema that's layered into what could be called a textile. It's super light and strong.

We always use the smallest possible width of webbing, the actual difference in the webbing doesn't make much difference in weight savings between 5mm and 10mm, but what it does do is when you use 5mm webbing you can use 5mm hardware. All the buckles or ladder locks—that's where the weight begins to accumulate. If you can use 5mm hardware instead of 10, you're going to save an ounce across the bag since you'll have six buckles and eight ladderlocks. Every little area helps to add up to the whole project.



Work for Misfit Wearables!

Misfit Wearables is looking for a designer to help define the future of Misfit software to join their team in Burlingame, California. Misfit develops the most elegant activity trackers in world and provides a unique mix of hardware and software that motivates and inspires people to be more active and live a healthier life. As a user experience designer, you would be applying Misfit design principles to a variety of user interfaces and websites, designing for a variety of formats (wearables, phones, tablets and the web), wireframing and presenting solutions to a wide variety of design problems, creating pixel-perfect mockups and generating production-ready assets for use by engineering.

If you're a Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign master; love a good crit; have no problem being a self-starter; love and understand global trends, tech and fashion; and have great interpersonal skills, then this might be the job for you—Apply Now!


Cover portrait: Caitlin Moran by Kate Peters

A new quarterly magazine for The Times' Times+ membership aims to offer an insight into the newspaper's news gathering process and is designed and art directed by Design by St...

According to the studio, the brief for the new title was that it "look and feel, bold, warm, fresh and different to the usual communication expected by members but retain a sense of Times style". The Times+ membership offers The Times and The Sunday Times' readers exclusive offers, events and Q&As with the newspapers' journalists.

Design by St decided on the format and paper for Byline first, designing the magazine around those parameters. Here, Steve Fenn explains the thinking behind this direction, and the subsequent typography and illustration choices that the the studio made.

CR: Your design started with sourcing the paper first – in terms of print projects you've worked on, is that unusual? Why was it important to settle on that aspect of the job before doing anything else?

Steve Fenn: I think that's how we would like to think about every editorial print project we do, though it's not always possible. This was a nice chance to start something from scratch so it was important to think about it from the bottom up as a product on the whole.

It was important that this felt like a quality product and not just an editorial supplement, that was part of the brief. We were keen to try and print it sheet fed rather than web offset, which we knew would help greatly with quality but be tricky due to the scale of the run (265,000).

We worked with Alan Flack at Principal Colour to get to a comfortable and different reading size that was do-able at this print spec; he helped us source a nice uncoated sheet (Antalis Cyclus Offset) that we could order the amount of paper we needed at a making size (made to order, bespoke for our mag size).

So, in short, we started with the size and the paper so we could get a feel for what we were dealing with before we moved onto the grid and type, as we were punching in the dark without the basics in place first – and the feel and print quality of the product was important so seemed the best place to start.

CR: Can you tell us about the type palette you've used here? What faces have you brought in, and how do they relate back to The Times?

SF: We had to stick to Times licensed fonts due to budgets etc. so we knew we would always retain a sense of that style. We looked at various other Time magaziness like Eureka, The Sunday Times Magazine etc. to ensure we found a way of using the set in a quite different way.

We used the Bureau Grotesque, in upper and lower case for headings as that had a nice personality and felt quite different, then we went big and bold with the Stag Sans on the leader features for some pace and variety, which again felt varied from other Times publications.

This contrasting with the more traditional Times styles for the text and the stand firsts / pull quotes worked well. Then it was just about the finer details following a system.

And for the masthead typography, we found a black weight of Bureau Grotesque that The Times didn't have. We felt it needed that difference on the cover, one that was still able to relate well to the upper and lower case Bureau Grotesque and caps Stag Sans on the inside.

CR: We know Robert Hanson's work well at CR – he created the cover of our London Underground special issue last year. Can you tell me about the icon set he was asked to create for the project?

SF: We've worked with Robert on quite a few projects, so we know he had the perfect brain for what we wanted. We realised we needed to add a bit of warmth and wit to the mag, so our brief to him was to summarise in one hit the subject of the four leading features and tie in the main aim of the mag, to give readers an exclusive insight to the news gathering process.

We then went through lots of tiny scribbles with him to distill them down to the simplest graphic forms, that would be readable at the size. Two of them ('lead interview' and 'a day in the life') will be regulars so we can continue to use them. They ended up working brilliantly, Robert is always great to work with.

CR: Is this a project which is now handed over to someone in-house, or are you taking on the design and art direction going forward?

SF: The plan is to continue with the design art direction going forward. As with all the magazines we do, we always aim to develop and improve things issue by issue so no doubt the next one will present new challenges, but we have the structure in place and the tone of voice has been established, it will be about elaborating on that and moving forward to bring any new editorial ideas to life in the same vein.

Illustration in issue 1: Robert Hanson (icons), Marcus Butt. Print: Principal Colour. More from Design by St at

The Design Museum has announced the category winners in the 2014 Designs of the Year Awards, which include the Portable Eye Examination Kit (PEEK) in the digital section, The Seaboard Grand piano keyboard in product and James Bridle's Drone Shadows project in graphics (shown above)...

The seven category winners provide the list of projects from which the overall Design of the Year is chosen – and announced on June 30 this year. As ever, there are some intriguing choices, not least because of the political charge running through the work which has topped the graphics category.

James Bridle's ongoing project via is a series of installations which consist of simple outlines of unmanned 'drone' aircraft at a 1:1 scale. Since 2012 the drawings, which make the unnervingly invisible 'visible', have been created in various locations from Turkey to the US. (More on the series at Bridle's site, here.)

As judge Frith Kerr commented, the project "demonstra[tes] the power of graphic design, the simple outline requires no caption, no text, no explanation. Like a reverse conjuror he makes the invisible visible, this project is as far reaching as it is uncompromising."

Interestingly, chair of the judges Ekow Eshun also added that, "We thought it was an important piece of work and we also thought it enabled graphics as a category to really expand, and to ask new questions in new ways."

It certainly does that – and that's no bad thing – but just what "expand" means here is a moot point. If the aim is that the graphics category should look to include less commercial projects and more art-informed personal practice, then the success Bridle's provocative work is certainly a move in that direction.

The Designs of the Year exhibition is on at the Design Museum until August 25. The overall winner will be announced on June 30. More at Our report from the opening of the show – including a look at the brilliant exhibition graphics by OK-RM – is here.

Here are the other winners for the remaining six categories in the Designs of the Year 2014:

Designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher.

"Elaborate undulations, folds and inflections modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions," say the Design Museum.

"An intoxicatingly beautiful building by the most brilliant architect at the height of her office's powers. It's swooning fluid on the outside and inside, belieing its size and complexity." Piers Gough, CZWG Architects LLP

Designed by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, Stewart Jordan, Dr Mario Giardini, Dr Iain Livingstone.

"A smartphone-based system for comprehensive eye examinations, PEEK is easy to use, affordable and portable, meaning that it can bring eye care to even the remotest of settings."

"What's great about PEEK is that being digital helps it do things that we couldn't do before. It's a portable optician – the camera can look at your eyes, the flash from the camera can hit the back of your eye and get a picture, you can use it as an eye test sight card, and you can then send the results to wherever you want in the world. It also feels like it can scale, you can get the kit to millions of people really quickly in one go – another advantage of digital. PEEK is enabling teachers in schools to test the eyes of kids without having to go to an optician and that feels like a really good use of digital technology." Ben Terrett, Government Digital Service

Designed by Miuccia Prada.

"Pop-art prints meet sporty details and structured shapes in this boldly coloured, powerful collection. Vogue said of the show ‘By next summer we'll wonder what we ever wore before.’"

"Prada's SS14 collection loudly declares the joy of being a modern woman. It mixes colours, textures, and paintings to leapfrog over the world of tasteful bland fashion. This is serious clothing that doesn't take itself seriously." Frith Kerr, Studio Frith

Designed by Konstantin Grcic.

"Featuring state-of-the-art ergonomics and pioneering design, the construction of the chair not only allows movement in all directions, but actively stimulates it thereby promoting healthier sitting."

"No one on the jury had to argue the case for this exceptional chair - we just had to sit in it. Instantly its effect on the body is tangible and the mind can be satisfied with the balance struck between its material finesse, presence and purpose. It should absolutely shake up the educational sector and give students a truly happier experience in the classroom because it is seriously comfortable and joyous without risk of becoming a cartoon." Kim Colin, Industrial Facility

Designed by Roland Lamb and Hong-Yeul Eom.

"The Seaboard is a reinvention of the piano keyboard, reimagining the keys as soft waves that enable continuous and discrete real-time, tactile control of sound through three-dimensional hand gestures. The design combines contemporary minimalism and traditional handcrafted quality."

"This intriguing new digital instrument is the first I've seen that departs from an analogue piano typology and adds something new via its surface interface and design – lending some new musical freedom within a very controlled aesthetic. As a result of its design, the player knows the instrument can do the 'something else' that digital can uniquely provide, that an analogue piano doesn't. Apparently it's very intuitive for musicians and makes experimentation easy – I think we all enjoyed having a go." Kim Colin, Industrial Facility

Designed by Volkswagen.

"The world’s the most efficient liquid-fuelled production car; it requires only 8.4 PS to sustain a constant 100kph on a level surface in still air, a speed the car can reach from rest in 12.7 seconds."

"Here is a car that seems like it's come out of a dream of the future, it's refined, it's elegant, it can go for miles and miles on a single tank of petrol and it looks beautiful, dangerous almost, in its dramatic shapes and lines. Nothing has gone to waste here - all of this is about going as far as you can on as little as possible. It succeeds as a concept for what a car could be, for almost what a car should be in the future, except it exists now.' Ekow Eshun, writer, journalist and broadcaster, Chair of the jury.

The Designs of the Year 2014 jury:

  • Ben Terrett, Government Digital Service
  • Ekow Eshun, writer, journalist and broadcaster - Chair of the jury
  • Frith Kerr, Studio Frith
  • Kim Colin, Industrial Facility
  • Piers Gough, CZWG Architects LLP
  • Tina Gaudoin, Acting Editor in Chief of Elle Decoration and independent fashion journalist

Previous Design of the Year Winners:

  • 2013 GOV.UK – UK Government website by GDS
  • 2012 London 2012 Olympic Torch, by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby
  • 2011 Plumen 001 by Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger
  • 2010 Folding Plug by Min-Kyu Choi
  • 2009 Barack Obama Poster by Shepard Fairey
  • 2008 One Laptop Per Child by Yves Béhar

Method has created a new website and customer magazine for cosmetics brand Lush, with a surprisingly minimal design...

Founded in the UK in 1994, Lush now has stores in more than 50 countries and sells environmentally friendly products made using natural ingredients.

The brand's new website features the same black-and-white scheme used on its packaging and in-store visuals, but its distinctive script font has been replaced with Helvetica. There is a greater focus on editorial content and the homepage now includes articles on fair trade, an organisation in Colombia that supplies its cocoa beans and the use of music in Lush spas.

The new website


The old

Lush's customer magazine The Lush Times has been given a similar makeover and the script font, scrapbook style visuals and colourful icons have been replaced with more Helvetica and full bleed photography.

The new Lush Times

The old

David Eveleigh-Evans, managing director at Method's London office, says the new look is designed to simplify Lush's visual language and focus on the stories behind its products, such as how ingredients are sourced.

"People who know Lush know it's an ethical business, but we needed to communicate that to a wider audience and the people who might see it as just a nice smelling soap shop," he says.


The agency has been working on the project for around a year, after Lush asked for help launching a YouTube channel. "We soon realised that it was going to be a much bigger project - clarifying what the brand is, who they are and what they are about," adds Eveleigh-Evans.

As well as placing more emphasis on articles, social feeds and customer reviews, the new site replaces shots of packaging with images of products. Product pages also provide full ingredients lists, which link to pages explaining the benefits of those ingredients and a list of other Lush products which contain them.

Eveleigh-Evans says this is designed to highlight the fact that those who shop with Lush know exactly what they are buying, and that most of its products are unisex. It also aims to capture the sensory experience of being in Lush stores, he says, where customers are invited to sample items before buying.

Another new feature is The Kitchen, which will list a new set of products each day, made in limited runs and sold exclusively online. "This came about in the prototype. We thought it was a good way to showcase Lush's USP; that it owns its supply chain and can create fresh products at speed," adds Eveleigh-Evans.

In its copywriting and in-store visuals, Lush has always exercised a strong tone of voice with a friendly, light-hearted style. Product names include Happy Hippy and Tisty Tosty and descriptions often feature puns or jokes. This was evident in the brand's packaging too, and in the colourful imagery and illustrations used in its previous magazines and the old website.

This strong personality may seem absent in the new design but Eveleigh-Evans says the aim was to give Lush a "blank canvas" which they can add to and customise. More creative will be added over the next few months, he says, and Dalton Maag is designing a digital version of the script font for use on the site.

"Lush has a strong tone of voice but there were a lot of different styles and voices on the site. We wanted to pare it back and give them a canvas on which to grow. The core brand language is still very present, but it's a little more neutral and still gives Lush flexibility to update it and experiment," he explains.

At the moment, Lush's minimal new site seems a little at odds with its in-store visuals but it will be interesting to see how this develops over time. The new site presents a better user experience and, coupled with the magazine, a sleeker image, but it does feel as if some of the brand's personality has been lost. The new design also feels a little like other beauty sites, which Lush has traditionally been keen to distance itself from.

It does, however, provide a better platform on which to showcase the interesting tales about Lush's products and ethical initiatives, and is more in keeping with the minimal signage on its shop and spa fronts, which feature a black and white logo instead of the green and yellow one used on packaging:


Fire and heavy electronic beats may not be the first things you'd associate with a children's classroom lesson. The team at science/tech blog Veritasium met with a group of "physics and chemistry demonstrators" that combined all three in an audio visualizer they tour around to help demonstrate the shape and intensity of various sound waves. Turns out it's just as cool for adults as it is for the kiddos.


By creating a pyro board of Ruben's Tubes—essentially rows of Bunsen burners (see above)—that moonlights as a sound board, it's easy to see the flames jump as the different soundwaves pass over it.

In Veritasium's video, the first half address how the entire thing works and the second half consists of music and lots of fire (if you're just in it for the flames, make sure to stick around past the first half). Check it out:



You don't think of big-name designers doing furniture for schools, but Danish furniture brand Hay scored Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to do their line for the University of Copenhagen. The resultant Copenhague line is a handsome blend of wooden desks, tables, chairs, and stools, some stackable. And in a nod to modern needs, the tables and desks featuring bent plywood provide a slot where the dual surfaces meet, intended for power cables to be routed through.




Editor: After going Hollywood in Part 5, here in Part 6 Accidental Designer finds a casual suggestion from his wife is about to change their lives. As one door closes, another door (this one on a shipping container) opens....

I was down in my basement workshop, failing.

I had been trying to produce a lightweight and affordable bamboo folding chair for Hollywood sets. After hundreds of hours and countless prototypes, this problem just had me beat—and I knew it. I mopped my brow and called up the stairs to ask my wife if we had any sandwiches left.

My wife is a mean cook and she goes through cutting boards like nobody's business. It doesn't matter what they're made of, she just plain wears them out. "I need a new cutting board, this one's through," she called down the stairs. "Can you scrape up some of that bamboo and make me one?"


I looked around at all of the bamboo scrap I had and thought, well, here's a problem I can solve. I glued up a bunch of scrap pieces, more than I needed just for the sake of doing something, and by the next day I'd made her a cutting board and a few back-ups.

Following that, to clean up my shop area, use up a bunch of scrap and exercise my brain, I threw myself into gluing up cut-offs and began experimenting with different styles of cutting boards. After failing with chair prototype after prototype, it felt good to successfully make something—anything.

I had consistently-shaped scraps in several different sizes, and so I designed the cutting boards around the shape of the scraps. By the end of my clean-up project I had several dozen good-looking cutting boards. I felt like my table saw and router respected me again.

I didn't think much of this until a few weeks later, when I was loading up my truck to hit a craft show in Arizona. I was bringing the $2,000 bamboo chair even though I knew it wouldn't sell, and also bringing some consumer-grade chairs I knew I could sell, just because I needed the cash. The extra bamboo cutting boards I'd made were sitting in the corner. I figured they'd be Christmas presents for relatives, which would save my wife and I some cash since we were getting close to broke.

Still, I grabbed a bunch of the cutting boards and threw them in the truck. I didn't think I'd sell any, but figured I'd use them to gauge interest.

Maybe you can guess what happened next.



And now for a bit of local news. Pearl Paint, NYC's famed art supply superstore and one of the original supply sources on Core77 version 1.0, has closed after more than 80 years in business.

This signifies the demise, for industrial design students at Pratt Institute in particular, of Canal Street as a destination for supplies; in the '90s we'd travel to Industrial Plastics on Canal & Greene, Space Surplus Metals around the corner on Church, and cap it off with a trip to Pearl for everything the prior two stores didn't have. Now all three outfits are gone.




Monster-making, confessing your typographic sins, illustrating for Vogue and designing record sleeves... Pick Me Up festival returns to Somerset House in London this week for a fifth year, showcasing graphic art in all its forms, alongside a series of talks, workshops and other events. Plus CR has ten different exclusive PMU t-shirts to give away.

Steve Wilson, Matt Lyon. And lead images - Edward Carvalho-Monaghan, Julia Pott

Krisjana S Williams

The festival aims to be the antithesis of a traditional art fair, and encourages people of all ages and interests to get involved. The eclectic events programme includes a variety of workshops, screenings, talks and late-night goings-on, plus digital events, social media hijacks and Pick Me Up Radio, with interviews, DJs and take-over sessions, streaming live and available remotely.

Original, affordable work will be on show from rising talent selected by an industry panel, at Somerset House's Embankment Galleries, alongside pieces from established artists, and customised studio spaces curated by design collectives and graphic art galleries, exhibiting work with a behind-the-scenes vibe.

Hvass & Hannibal

Thibaud Herem

This week, several events have a fashion focus, including Jo Ratcliffe, who drew and directed Lady Gaga's Applause video, unveiling a giant zoetrope on Thursday, for festival-goers to stand inside; and from Topshop to Vogue to Pick Me Up, Daisy de Villeneuve hosts a felt-tipped day of fashion illustration on Saturday.

On Thursday night the new musical project from the Julien Brothers, The Coward, play in the events space, led by Nico dressed as a fish alien, with graphics from his illustrator bro Jean. Check out Anthony Burrill's Cut and Paste sticker workshop, and Rob Flowers and Makerversity monster-making marathon on Friday, and join Secret 7" for a record sleeve design workshop on Saturday. Plus production company Blinkink showcase animation techniques and panel discussions across the opening weekend.

Later in the festival the Children's Choice Weekend (3-4 May) sees guest of honour, author and illustrator Judith Kerr in conversation with her art director Ian Craig, with tiger tea parties and an animal character workshop based on her bestseller The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Plus Paul Felton and friends host Confessions of a Typographer, inviting you to enter the confession booth and add your guilty font pleasures to the walls (5 May), plus a series of typographic sermons.

Carine Brancowitz

Jessica Das

Andrew Groves, Lynnie Zulu

This year, 10 artists have collaborated with DC shoes to create t-shirts exclusively designed for Pick Me Up 2014 (available at the festival for £25, with a free poster for the first 500 sales). CR have all ten designs available to give away to ten lucky people, courtesy of Pick Me Up.

To get your hands on one, all you have to do is tell us why YOU deserve to win in ten words or less. As usual, points for creativity. Leave your answer, name and email address in the comments below, and we will pick and announce the winners later this week. Deadline for entries is midnight tomorrow.

T-shirts (from top, l-r): Jean Julian, Andy Rementer, Andrew Rae, Katie Scott, Rob Flowers, Maricor Maricar, Hattie Stewart, Melvin Galapon, Anna Lomax, Rose Stallard

(Images from Pick Me Up 2013. Photos by Kevin Meredith)

Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival 2014 at Somerset House, London from 24 April - 5 May, open 10am-6pm, and until 10pm on Thu and Fri. Day tickets £10, concessions £8, or get a Festival Pass for £17.50. Majority of events are included in the ticket price, but some events require advance booking. For more details, visit Twitter @PickMeUpLondon and #PickMeUpLondon

Made Thought has designed a new visual identity, website and brand book for paper company G.F Smith, which it says aims to better reflect the brand's heritage and the people behind its products.

The identity features a new sans typeface and two brand marks. The first bears the company name above the strapline '1885 onwards' and is described by G.F Smith as a "mark of custodianship". It will replace the company's previous logo, which SEA developed from the company's original logo in 2003, depicting a sheet of paper passing through a paper machine


The old mark



The new

"We wanted to bring the focus back to the company's founder, George Frederick Smith, adding a more human element," says Made Thought co-founder Ben Parker. "It was important to do this in a progressive way, which is why [the strapline] reads '1885 onwards instead' of 'established' or 'since 1885'. It reflects the company's past but also its ... desire to look forward rather than back," he adds.

The second mark also features the company name but the full stop between Smith's initials has been replaced with an image of a hand turning a sheet of paper. Described as a "curator mark", it symbolises the hand-crafted aspect of the company's work – such as selecting new paper ranges and preparing custom orders.


Parker says the mark will be embossed and, like a watermark, used as a symbol of quality. In some cases, it will appear without the accompanying brand name. The positioning of the symbol allows the thumbnail in the hand to act in the same way as the full stop in the custodian mark, providing a symmetry and consistency between the two, explains Parker.

The new typeface is a humanist sans, which Parker says reflects the company's mix of human craft and "efficient mechanisation". "It is a combination of the machine age and the more calligraphic line," he says.



Made Thought has been working with G.F Smith since 2012 and last year, rebranded its Colorplan series with a new logo, website and promo book (see our blog post on it here). While working with the company, Parker says the agency felt more could be done to communicate its heritage, and presented a 'clarity' framework in 2013.

"There are some genuinely great stories surrounding the brand, and this was all about making people aware of that," says Parker. "Most brands would give their right arm to have such an impressive heritage, and there are some genuinely great stories of triumph over adversity in G.F Smith's past," he adds.



To co-incide with the rebrand, Made Thought designed a brand book titled Portrait of a Company, with copywriting by Patrick Baglee. The book is divided into three sections, providing a look at the company's past, its staff and its future ambitions. The publication includes letters, ephemera and sample books dating back to 1890, which has been documented by a former employee.

"A lot of G.F Smith's archive material was lost during the second world war [when its warehouses were bombed], but a retired member of staff has been documenting what exists. They have around 800 pages so far, and they keep finding new items ... if the material is appropriate, we'll definitely do something with it, or at least use it to populate the website," says Parker.



The brand book comes with 12 different covers, each featuring a portrait of an employee. Made Thought has also designed length of service badges for staff – from a nickel one for those who've served for less than five years to a 24-carat one for employees who've been there for 30 years or more. Each comes packaged in a Colorplan box and Parker says both the book and badges aim to celebrate the company's positive relationship with staff.



"G.F Smith employs around 190 people and 36 of them have been there for more than 20 years. They really look after their staff and the employees take a genuine pride in their work, which is a rare thing. The service badges are a small acknowledgement of that," explains Parker.

G.F Smith's website has also been given a makeover and provides a detailed look at the company's history, as well as new services including a 'we recommend' filter. The homepage features a video of a 'collection wall' showcasing G.F Smith's products, which was constructed in Hull using 10cm high A4 stacks.



"To some extent, the design process has been simply about ‘joining up the dots’ and exploiting what already exists.... Most importantly, we have wanted to reflect a human dimension to a remarkable brand that still proudly carries its founders name more than 130 years later," says Parker.






Given their target market, it has always been a surprise just how poor a lot of marketing communications materials for paper companies are. GF Smith has been an exception. Previous incumbent SEA helped position the company as a paper brand that knew how to talk to designers. But the old mark had begun to look a little tired. More importantly, this new identity positions the company in line with current thinking around the future of print as being about luxury, craft and tactility rather than mass communication: The medium is the message.

No doubt much of the debate about this redesign will revolve round the spacing of the G . and F on the top line of the mark and the relationship to the dot of the ‘i' in Smith. It's the obvious thing for people to pick out and may jar with some. But I find its idiosyncrasy enjoyable and endearing. How dull the world of corporate identity would be without such flourishes.

Seeing it on the pin badges suggests the ‘vernacular' British designs of the 19th century - think of the great railway companies for example - while the type choice places the work within the current ‘austerity graphics' trend that Farrow's Peyton and Byrne identity has been such an influence on. But on the book cover and business cards it feels far more contemporary: not an easy trick to pull off but very much in line with Made Thought's intentions for the project.

Overall, a beautifully crafted project that succeeds in keeping G.F Smith distinct from its rivals as one of the few real ‘brands' in the sector and one that graphic designers have a great affinity with.

Patrick Burgoyne

Anomaly in New York has created a new short film for Google Glass that shows that the product is not just for urbanites but can also be of real use as a tool for research....

The film is shot in Nepal and stars Sabita Malla, a research officer for the World Wildlife Fund. It shows Malla going about her work, which includes tracking rhinos and tigers, and talking about how the Google Glass technology can help her by allowing her to take photographs and make notes hands-free.

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Malla describes herself as a 'Glass Explorer' in the film, and the WWF is one of five non-profit organisations that are part of Google's Giving through Glass programme, which offers the charities the chance to use the technology in their work. The other organisations involved are Samasource, GiveDirectly, DoSomething! and charity: water. Google is currently looking for other non-profits to link with, and the film ends with info on how other US-based charities can apply to be part of this.

The short film features beautiful footage of Nepal, but essentially is a product demo for Google Glass. In this it does a brilliant job – showing its value in a setting that is very different to the hip, urban environment that it is most associated with, and offering a different way of understanding the product and its purpose.

Agency: Anomaly New York
CCO: Mike Byrne
ECD: Eric Segal
Creative director: Jason Musante
Creatives: Rick Jacques, Luke Sacherman
Production company: Logan East
Directors: Alan Bibby, Paul Minor
Post: MPC

Image via

After four years helping to produce some of the most visually arresting magazine design in recent years, Richard Turley is to leave Bloomberg Businessweek for MTV...

Announcing the move on his tumblr earlier today, the creative director said that he was keen to "learn something new and work with different content for a different audience.

"MTV has always created culture and ideas that define generations," he wrote. "The opportunity to work with animators, video artists, journalists, designers, musicians, artists – creating content, creating culture, for an audience as big as MTV's is really exciting."

Having worked as the art director of The Guardian's G2, Turley was brought in by Bloomberg Businesweek editor Josh Tyrangiel to oversee a radical redesign in April 2010.

Tyrangiel was only three weeks into the job himself and the pair's ability to usher an experimental attitude into an established business and politics title became a hallmark of BBW's new look.

From the ‘It's Global Warming, Stupid' coverline above an image of Hurricane Sandy flooding, to a picture of two planes having aero sex in mid-air (‘Let's Get It On'), the release of new BBW covers have since become "events" in themselves, as the designer suggested in his talk at last year's Modern Magazines Conference.

But as arresting as the cvoers are, Turley's team have continued to create interesting things within the magazine, too; from messing with the type and grids, to employing adventurous illustration and photography. In the 2013 CR Annual, the BBW in-house design team was chosen as our Design Studio of the Year.

"Bloomberg is a place where design matters, and never more so than now, as our design thinking is being integrated all over the business," Turley wrote in today's announcement (which can be read in full here). "This is a good time to be here. To take what we've done so far, push it forward, and improve it."

As Jeremy Leslie noted on his magCulture Twitter, this is the second prominent editorial designer to move from a print title to a brand in recent months; Arem Duplessis having announced his departure from the New York Times Magazine to Apple.

It will be interesting to see what affect both have in their new roles – and we certainly look forward to seeing the first of Turley's creations at MTV.

Update: According to MTV, Turley will join the network as its first-ever SVP Visual Storytelling and Deputy Editorial Director.

"Turley will oversee visual storytelling for on-air interstitial and cross platform content as part of MTV's ongoing 'always on' strategy to create a two-way conversation with its audience that is true to the brand and authentic to this generation," runs the release. "MTV has always infused interactive pop culture conversations into and around the network's programming across all platforms, which includes a massive social footprint of 188 million fans. Turley will help drive this initiative forward, injecting vibrant and captivating visuals that illuminate real-time news, events and trending topics into the network's on-air and digital platforms all day, every day."

"In making this announcement, Stephen Friedman, President of MTV, said 'Our audience speaks in a hybrid language of text and images, where the right photo or visual is as vital to communication as words. That's why we're so excited to have Richard here to guide our visual storytelling. He has a rare gift for creating an entire narrative in a single image. He will continue MTV's creative legacy of iconic brand imagery - especially as we develop new types of content that connect young people with the emerging trends taking place in culture.''

PlantingSystem-Lead.jpgAll photos by Omar Nadalini

Nurturing a houseplant isn't exactly a well-designed process for casual growers. You plant the seeds, water the sprouts once in a while and hope that something nice-looking makes an appearance after a while. Most of the time, it's hard to tell what's going on between the act of planting and the end goal of appreciating a full-grown arrangement. The Phytophiler Flower Pot System by Dossofiorito has something to say about that. The System (which was presented at this year's Salone Satellite) includes your everyday terracotta flower pots with a few add-ons—magnifying glasses, rotating bases, mirrors, etc.—to enhance the growing process.


The Phytophiler becomes a centerpiece of a different caliber once it's all set up. The add-ons can be rearranged, added and removed depending on what parts the grower wants to focus on. When assembled, it throws off an Inspector Gadget vibe—but in a homey, non-catastrophic kind of way.



April is Cancer Awareness Month in Brazil, and ad agency Ogilvy Brazil has created a campaign to help support kids with the disease that features various famous cartoon characters – including Garfield, Popeye and Hello Kitty – all with their heads shaved.

The campaign is for GRAACC, a children's cancer hospital in Brazil, and aims to reduce some of the stigma that children feel about having a bald head when receiving treatment for cancer. It is centred around a website – – where visitors can pledge their support and also download images of the cartoon characters to use on Facebook. There are also a series of print ads to download, and even clips from cartoons where the bald characters have made appearances on TV.

Here are a selection of the print ads:

And here are clips of two of the cartoons featuring the bald characters:

And a moving short documentary explaining the story behind the campaign – as this film shows, this latest iteration of the campaign follows on from its initial launch back in November.

Paintings by Johnny Abrahams Title: C. L. Moore Atley
Photographs by Luca Zanier Title: Pessoa Will 50 Watts
Typography, design and illustration by SasakiShun Title: @aqqdesign Folkert
Photographs by Sarah Schönfeld "Sarah Schönfeld squeezed drops of various legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures onto negative film which had already been exposed. Each drop altered the coating of the film. Much like the effect of some of these substances on humans, this can be a lengthy process – sometimes one that can barely be stopped. "She then enlarged these negatives including the chemical reaction of the particular drug, to sizes of up to 160 x 200 cm. All of the substances behaved very differently: the shapes and colors that appeared showed unique characteristics and revealed unique internal universes. Schönfeld explores the possibilities of photography at the frontiers of what can be visually portrayed– the interface between representation and reality." From the top: speed+magic, MDMA, ketamine, valium, opium, heroin. Will 50 Watts
Paintings by Philip Govedare via Planetary Folklore Will 50 Watts
Photographs by Jean de Pomereu Title: Tarjei Vesaas via Invisible Stories Will 50 Watts
Photographs by Kacper Kowalski Title: Pessoa Will 50 Watts
Aerial photographs of Iceland by Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris “What is it for you then, the insistent now that baffles and surrounds you in its loose-knit embrace that always seems to be falling away and yet remains behind, stubbornly drawing you, the unwilling spectator who had thought to stop only just for a moment, into the sphere of its solemn and suddenly utterly vast activities, on a new scale as it were, that you have neither the time nor the wish to unravel?” —John Ashbery, from “The Recital” Iceland on But Does It Float Will 50 Watts
Typographic works by Jessica Svendsen Title: The Julie Ruin Atley

It looks like Lydia Nichols has mastered her fine arts - and how! Check out these projects and more (thirteen total!) from her corner of the Good Measure MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Tyler School of Art Graphic and Interactive Design. Her colors and her facility with the printing process and layering make her work bright and crisp, and it all looks like wonderfully functional work as well. From her description of the projects:

Tyler’s program focuses heavily on authorship, so most of the projects include research, authorship, design, and illustration.

Personally, I don’t have the authority, but Lydia: you’re hired!

Scott Gwynn hurt his drawing hand so his left hand is picking up the slack.

Love the looseness of these drawings. Might be a good exercise to try switching hands every once and while. Forces you to think about shape and over all design rather than surfacey stuff like line and texture.

Hope your hand gets well soon, Scott!

More great work on Scott’s tumblr.



Koyama Press is putting out issue 3 of Ryan Cecil Smith’s S.F. later this year.


Ryan Cecil Smith is one of my favorite cartoonists, period, and S.F. is at the top of my must-buy list—you can still get #1 and 2, along with the excellent S.F. Supplementary File(s), at his site. Very excited to see him get the Koyaman treatment. I don’t know who designed that cover, but oo-wee!


Elliot Alfredius Ghibli Tribute. Magic Registry + 3 Colors. 

Elliot set out to create characters that would fit into an imaginary Ghibli movie. I’d say he nailed it.

More great work on his tumblr:

And here too:


It’s here! Destination X by johnmartz out now! A sci-fi parable about obsession and singlemindedness. It’s debuting at TCAF and available exclusively now from 

I’m going to take the opportunity to toot my horn, and spread the news about my new book from Nobrow. So: hey, check out my new book from Nobrow! It’s called Destination X. It has rocketships and cryo-chambers and aliens and you should buy a copy or two!

It debuts at TCAF in May, and will hit stores in June, but if you’re impatient you can order it directly from Nobrow this very instant.


“Kairos” animated trailer by La Cachette studio (for the promotion of Ulysse Malassagne’s comic book)

This is pretty cool.

Adam Rex: How I Make a Picture Book:

The ridiculously talented Adam Rex shares his hilarious process for picture book making. 

MOTYF - Moving typography festival coming:

This is being operated by a particularly active and excellent typography programme in Poland.


I have made a music video for Toh Kay, aka Tomas Kanolky. I would appreciate it if you watched it and stuff.

I wrote a bit about it here.

Preorder the album here.

Download the track here.

Coyote by JooHee Yoon