Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

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British Design Legend dies

April 19, 2013

Sad to hear today the passing of graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, who is most widely know for his Pink Floyd album cover designs.

Like many accomplished designers he was passionate about his work and quite a character. I can still vividly recall as a young boy studying the design of Dark Side of The Moon, trying to interpret some apparently obvious yet elusive, hidden meaning. Listening to the album (on headphones!) brought me closer, but of course I was still young. It was perhaps, his most famous piece of work and possibly one of the most iconic album covers of all time.

He will be missed, but his striking, beautiful and often surreal work is indelibly stamped upon British culture.
Obituaries:
The Guardian – Storm Thorgerson dies aged 69
The Telegraph – Storm Thorgeson: Pink Floyd album cover design dies

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Information is beautiful

October 3, 2012
The secret of a good story - Plotlines by Delayed Gratification

The secret of a good story – Plotlines by Delayed Gratification

There was a time when when the illustrative representation of data was confined to simplistic visual metaphors such as the bar graph and pie chart.

Though relatively simplistic, the power of these visual devices lay in their intrinsic clarity; and thus the inherent truth they conveyed and our ability to believe in it. Then came their corruption. By using visual tricks such as foreshortening, perspective and three dimensional manipulation, it was possible to subtly change the message, with a little emphasis here or a reduction there.

Today, information graphics or info-graphics as it’s more commonly known, is a burgeoning craft. Taken to its zenith, some would call it art form, as this year’s Information is Beautiful awards suggests.

Is it art? Is it truth? Is it useful? It was Mark Twain who popularised the phrase “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics” and that was long before they’d been any where a design process! Notwithstanding, many of these pieces represent a new way of ingesting  and perceiving data. By incorporating multiple principles of design, and not just plain ‘graphics’, into statistical data, it is possible to create something that transcends its original intent.

Naturally there will always be misrepresentation. One of the most universally applied and recognised pieces of info-graphics is Harry Beck’s underground map. Diagrammatic in the extreme, it’s not very useful for pedestrians. However, it’s core function is to assist with the interpretation of complex and often abstract data, quickly and succinctly. As long as you keep this overriding principle in mind, information can indeed be beautiful.

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Decode – Digital Design Frustration

May 27, 2010

In the accompanying free book to this exhibition, Golan Levin, the digital artist responsible for Opto-Isolator II (the huge big eyeball that follows viewers around the room) says, “It’s a terrific honour to have my work included in venerable institutions like the V&A” Read the rest of this entry ?

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The need for, and appreciation of…speed

May 27, 2010

High Speed 1

Business travel is a bit of drag, but it doesn’t have to be. On a crisp and sunny early May morning, traveling at over 140mph on the UK’s fastest train service, it occurred to me that we rarely get the chance to celebrate or enjoy speed as part of our everyday life. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dieter Rams ‘Less and More’ – more required.

March 26, 2010

This exhibition was a tad disappointing. It was fascinating to have an opportunity to view such an extensive collection of the designer’s work; indeed Rams’ position as a highly influential product designer isn’t diminished by this show. Ultimately however, this meticulous, studiously laid-out collection of work felt a little too ordered, too consistent and, dare I say, repetitive. Read the rest of this entry ?

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IPad: Content will be king

January 24, 2010

With only a few days left before Apple’s unveiling of their new tablet computer, and media speculation rampant, I thought I’d Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dieter Rams – Less and more

December 8, 2009

Many years ago, as a design student at the LCP under the tutelage of Angus Hamilton and Dave Dabner, it took some time for me to understand what Angus specifically meant when he would reward my efforts with the stern mantra, “less is more, laddy!” Over the years I’ve learnt that it’s a highly valuable approach that isn’t just restricted to typographic or visual design forms. Indeed, it’s arguably a fundamentally more important ethos where any form of utilitarianism is required or evident.

The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was the first to use this term broadly in describing his minimalist approach of extreme simplicity. Later, legendary German industrial designer Dieter Rams incorporated this design ethos in the development of landmark product design for household consumer products. Rams’ influence stretches far and wide, with echoes of this design ethos clearly visible for example, in much of Jonathan Ive’s award-winning work at Apple. Dieter Rams: Less and more, at the Design Museum, runs 18 November – 07 March 2010.