We've been doing some bits and pieces recently for a great new independent publisher, Portobello, and have just got the uncorrected bound proof back for The Seven Days of Peter Crumb, for which we've done the cover and text layout.
For those of you who aren't totally up on your publishing lingo, an uncorrected bound proof is pretty much what it sounds like: it's a bound copy of the layout, (in this instance with a simple version of the cover), so that you can get a feel for how the design works as a complete book.
The novel, by newcomer Jonny Glynn, is a fantastic read, really visceral, with a dark comic wit. We'll post more about it when it's published.
We pootled over to Channel 4's building in Victoria last night for the launch of this year's D&AD Annual.
The new book continues from last year's somewhat understated theme (certainly compared to the more eccentric designs of past years, which have included one covered with suckers, one in a pencil case slipcase, and another in a dusting cloth), focusing on showcasing the work rather than the book itself, which is either very sensible or very boring depending on how you approach it.
The design is by Design Project, a Leeds based design group, and apparently it's the first time the Annual's been designed outside of London.
We were chuffed to see a double page spread for the Penguin Great Ideas series which we helped out on, and which was nominated for an award in the Typography category.
Phew, crikey, and caramba. It was a hectic weekend of design thanks to the ever larger London Design Festival. We saw a stack of interesting stuff, and here are just a few of our favourites.
The best show in town by miles was the [re]design show in the Boiler House at the Truman Brewery, set up by Sarah Johnson, Jason Allcorn and Hannah Lewis, showcasing an eclectic mix of work by over 70 designers, all united in the pursuit of great design that is 'friendly to both people and the planet'. We were particularly taken with Lost and Found's Routemaster destination lights.
Over at the elegant and atmospheric 100% Norway show, we loved Lovetann's pavillion, with a wall of living Reindeer Moss (moss supplied by the folk at Norske Moseprodukter AS we're told). It looked like an Amazonian rain forest seen from the sky - fantastic.
And along the way at the Super Design Market, we thought Alice Wang's dining set for pets was the dog's bollocks.
We totally failed to pick up a first set of the fantastic Kid Robot Gorillaz toys, so we were dead excited to hear that they're releasing a new set, in three different colour variations: basic, 2-tone, and white. The basic ones will be on sale from 26 October, and the others on 2 November (though that might be in the US rather than the UK). Yum yum yum yum.
Our friends at urban designers Softcity are showing their latest work over at 100% East as part of the London Design Festival.
They've created a rather groovy product called Footmap, a form of smart paving that creates a visual history of the movement of pedestrians over its surface. It's made of two different consistencies of concrete, which over time wear away to reveal where people have been walking. Go check it out.
We dropped by Trafalgar Square today to check out Tom Dixon's latest design, his expanded polystyrene chairs. They were scattered liberally across the square, and had transformed it into a truly social space (rather than a place where you more usually feel like saying "Is this it?").
The chairs themselves were great. There were three colours - a grey, a white, and a particularly tasty vibrant orange, though while we were there the Tom Dixon road crew were quietly removing the orange ones - perhaps for another event? The chairs were comfortable to sit on, and because they're made of expanded polystyrene, really easy to pick up and move around. The mixed crowd of bemused tourists, excited design junkies and besuited office workers all seemed to be having a grand time. Great to see that a simple idea can create such a buzz.
They were giving away 500 of the grey and white chairs at 3pm, but unfortunately we couldn't hang around that long; and the chairs might have been just a bit too cumbersome to carry on the back of a bike anyhow...
Our favourite jewellers, Brazen Studios, have just launched their latest in-house collection, Magpie, at the On|Off show at London Fashion Week:
Magpie combines the enchanment of Granny's prized finery with fresh clout. It takes inspiration from 50s junk shop jewellery, boldly recreating the forms into a monochrome collection which is both stylish and subversive.
We say: Sartorial elegance for the urban dandy, with just a hint of brooding menace.
Check it out at On|Off, at the Royal Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, SW1 - just a short skip and a jump from Victoria tube. It's on today, Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September.