Saving Lives at Sea – A Typographic Project

One of our projects on at the minute is to design a catalogue for an exhibition celebrating the RNLI. It is part of a typography module so the emphasis is purely on the typographic detail rather than a big idea.

My booklet is A5 portrait and uses Bell MT and Calibri. I wanted a traditional British serifed typeface such as Bell MT to reflect the RNLI’s heritage and history, but I personally prefer long copy in a sans serif typeface so chose calibri for these sections. The x heights seemed to be a similar size and I thought the stroke weights complimented each other aswell.

All the photography is my own and I worked using a 9×9 grid with margins set to a 2:3 ratio working off Tschichold’s theories of page harmony as well as a number of other principles. (More on this can be found here.) With a simple 2 column grid with 3mm margins within this for the extract section of the catalogue.

Clicking on a page will open larger image:

There are a few things I still need to change as some of the pages aren’t as legible as I’d like, also the page numbers aren’t correct at the minute and the extract text needs more attention to detail. The final page of the extract has a section of the image from the first page of the extract to show that it has finished but I’m not sure if this is clear enough or just looks like a printing mistake!

I also think the cover needs to be more exciting but I like the way it translates onto the first page so I might just look into printing techniques or materials that could enhance the design. Let me know what you think!


Horniman Museum & Gardens – Brilliant Branding from Hat-Trick

A few weeks ago you might remember that I mentioned we’d spent the week looking round some design studios in London. They were all really great and it was brilliant to have some of the process work explained to us first hand. One of these studios was Hat-Trick design, I’m a huge fan of their work anyway so it was brilliant to meet some of the designers and see their studio. We were also lucky enough to have Jim Sutherland, one of Hat-Trick’s founders, come down to Falmouth to give a talk to us. This talk massively inspired the project I’m working on at the minute so I thought I’d talk about one of my favourite pieces of their work.

Hat-Trick’s job was the brand the Horniman Museum & Gardens, they decided on the concept of a ‘collection of collections’ and worked using the very simple imagery of a square bracket. This was then mirrored to create an H to act as the simplest form of their logo:


They could then use these brackets as a device to group together some of the collections within the museum:


As well as a holding device for the full logo lock up:


It could also be used around the museum creating consistency with the logo but also allowing the collections to be seen almost completely unbranded.


Square brackets were also used to create imagery for everything else the museum had to offer. From Family tours to Aquariums:
You can watch a video showing this work in different situations below:

I love branding that allows for versatility as well as remaining consistent across a number of different medium. For me this sums up brilliant branding, there’ s a clear idea behind the work but it works across all platforms of the museum and ties together in a simple but thoughtful way.


The Art of Copywriting on a Coffee Cup

I saw these cups at uni the other day and loved the copy on them, I kept meaning to look up the company responsible but luckily The Dieline did that for me! SMR Creative have designed three cups each with their own plea to be saved from the rubbish bin with reasoning from the more obvious pen pot use to the more creative one of desk speakers.

 I love good copywriting on packaging and although innocent have become famous for it I think a lot of people are catching onto the potential to give packaging personality and a more human feel, brilliantly demonstrated on these cups by SMR Creative.

It’s Officially Christmas – John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012


I am a huge christmas fan. I like to ignore the fact it’s a giant corporate, consumerist celebration and instead just appreciate food, presents and pretty lights.

This year’s John Lewis advert is to be aired tonight on Channel 4 and from then on it’s into full christmas mode!

The advert, again from Adam&EveDDB adopts the same tone that John Lewis adverts have become renowned for with a soft song, the tension of the potential for disaster and heartbreak but finishes, as always, with a happy ending.

For me it would take a lot to beat the gruffalo costume from last year’s advert and my all time favourite of their adverts is still this wonder from 2 years ago but I think this advert does a good job at continuing the legacy they’ve built up. It works well with the brand and continues to tell and sell their story – Although it has already been the victim of an Ann Summer’s Spoof!

Bureaucracy Vs. Humour – Where to draw the line.

Today’s post isn’t about graphic design. It’s about something that has really, really bugged me. A lot.

A few days ago my friend’s friend (tenuous connection) listed an item on eBay as “A piece of cardboard shaped a bit like an iPhone 5 – USED” in an attempt to raise money for charity.

She tweeted the listing to Stephen Fry and he picked up on the idea and sent it viral. Within a matter of hours a piece of cardboard become worth £200, 000. A pretty impressive bit of fundraising!

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Electoral Disfunction – How Bad Design can also Change the World

I have far too much work to be writing this but I just came across quite an interesting short video about Ballot Design and the way it may have altered the results of elections.

We get taught a lot about ways design can change the world but I’m not entirely sure this is what they want us to aim for!

The main problem seems to be a lack of standardisation across all the states of America, meaning that each state’s ballot form is designed individually by people perhaps not best suited to the job.

Just looking at the ‘Butterfly’ example from Palm Beach County in 2000 shows you the extent of the problem. There are holes that don’t align, an odd left and right system, nothing to say only to punch one hole (it may sound silly but 6600 ballot slips had punches for Al Gore as well as another candidate,) and all of this results in an extremely confusing layout:

The video then goes on to discuss this New York City Ballot which sparked a law suit due to it’s confusing design, with some categories spanning two lines, some just one and the odd decision to right align the second line of the longer categories:

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