Critical Thinking

January 16th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

A recent article by Michael Bierut is currently causing a bit of a stir over on Design Observer. The piece ponders various aspects of graphic design criticism and raises a number of questions about the merits and pitfalls of online commentators appointing themselves as a critics. Bierut warns this continual increase risks becoming simply a ‘spectator sport’ rather than a constructive and productive means for comment and debate.

The lengthy piece is as well written as one would expect from Bierut and the points it raises have attracted a number of comments. Design industry heavyweights such as Rick Poynor, Marian Bantjes, Armin Vit and Paula Scher have got involved to share their opinions on the matter.

Keep reading…


Write on

November 28th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Design is one industry in particular that has embraced social media like no other. The platforms that have emerged and developed in recent years are appealing to designers and other creatives for obvious reasons.

There aren’t many faster or easier ways to share new ideas, new work or new problems that need solving than Twitter. It’s a ready made focus group, eager to give feedback. At its best, it’s helpful, convenient, quick and fun. At worst it’s… well, maybe best to not go there. The attractions of Instagram are also obvious. It’s purely visual, incredibly instant and the technology can hardly fail to make your arty snapshot of your dinner, trainers or fixed gear look suitably cool. Similarly, what better way than Tumblr is there to act as curator and inspire people with your carefully selected imagery of other peoples work?

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2011 Round-up

December 22nd, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

2011. It’s been busy, it’s been stupidly quick and most importantly, it’s been good. Along with the constant stresses and pressures that go along with doing what we do, this year has been a decidedly positive one here at Dolphin Heights. We thought a good way to round off the year was to take a quick look back at what we’ve been up to in the last 12 months. What’s been keeping us busy in and out of work, where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing and who we’ve been doing it with.

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Guest Post – Bernadette Jiwa » Why Are Designers Hiding?

November 1st, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

When we meet clients for the first time they’re often quite surprised to find out how long we’ve been established and how many people actually work here. It happens all the time, and even comes from other agencies within the industry too. “Really???” is a common reaction. People’s perception of Mat Dolphin is based on a number of factors. Our creative work, the brands we’ve been fortunate to work with, the exposure we’ve had, our twitter presence, this very blog etc. all go together to paint a picture, and one that is apparently bigger and louder than we are. So why don’t we just be more open about it all? The vast majority of design agencies these days share what they want to be heard or seen. Like well oiled PR companies, they carefully control what the world finds out about them. But that’s kind of missing the point. What makes agencies unique is the people that work there. Designers constantly encourage brands to be open and honest, yet hide behind the typical designer ‘cool wall’.

We’ve been talking about this topic for a while, but the original train of thought came from Bernadette Jiwa ‘brand and business catalyst and verbal designer’ who we regularly chat with on Twitter. She questioned why we at MDHQ portray ourselves in the way we do and it got us thinking. We were going to write a blog post about it but thought who better to write a post than Bernadette herself.

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Five Things 014

July 20th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Hello World.

Our blog has been comparatively quiet over the last couple of weeks, mainly due to ridiculous amounts of client work (which we’re not complaining about), looming deadlines and a couple of well deserved holidays in the sun. Feeble excuses aside, we’re back in your face like a plate full of shaving foam with another Five Things that have caught our interest this week.

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A token of our appreciation

June 8th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Recently we were surprised and delighted to be asked to become regular contributors to Typetoken, a new blog showcasing the best typography from around the world. The site is a collaboration between graphic designers Mike Sullivan of Mister and Mark Millic of Modularlab, and web developer David Cole of Mayfield Digital. The three have joined forces and created a beautiful looking site, which will be a constant source of typo-inspiration and other design related goodness. With contributors from all over the UK as well as Paris, Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo, you can guarantee there’ll be plenty of good stuff to check out.

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Sharing is Caring – Part 2

April 6th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

A while back we told you about some of the design blogs we look to for inspiration. The sites we check out on a regular basis barely skim the tip of the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s out there and with this in mind we thought we’d share some more bloggy treats with you. The last set we looked at focused on specific design-related disciplines – this time we’re going to have a look at sites which, whilst covering a broad spectrum, are aimed squarely at the purist design geeks like us. All of these sites are quite different in what and how they blog, but all of them are a constant source of interest, inspiration and entertainment.

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Sharing is Caring

February 8th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Being the kind, sharing types we are, we thought it was only right to shine the spotlight on a few other design blogs out there. We regularly stumble across new blogs and thought it would be an idea to share some of the best ones with you. We’ve catagorised them by discipline but most of them tend to cover a wide range of topics so you’re bound to find something of interest. By no means a defintive list, the sites we’ve listed below should at the very least be a good starting point. Get bookmarking!

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