Behind the Design

May 29th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

As you may have noticed from previous blog posts, we’re quite interested in design. We like looking at it, we like talking about it and questioning it. We like learning and discovering new things about it. It’s a constantly expanding and changing subject that will never cease to throw up new and challenging concepts.

Aside from observing design from a purely visual perspective, finding out about the approach and thinking behind certain projects can be as fascinating (in some cases more so) than the work itself. For us, the age-old ‘ideas vs style’ debate is a no-brainer – it has to be a combination of both. A competent piece of design needs to look the part – this goes without saying – but the overall concept and thinking that went into the work is something that, as designers, we’re really interested in. Simply looking great isn’t enough.

It’s not always particularly easy putting creative work into words, but explaining why we’ve done what we’ve done is just another part of the the job and, like many other designers, we’ve done our fair share of explaining and justifying.

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30 minutes with Paul Rand

May 7th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Paul Rand was an American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, as well as his NeXT work for Steve Jobs. He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design and we’ve long read about his working methods and approach. He almost single-handedly convinced businesses that design was an effective tool, so when Paul Rand spoke, people listened.

We just came across this three part interview with the man, and thought we’d show you them in one place so that every one can watch the genius. Put your feet up and enjoy.

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Standing out from the Crowd

February 15th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

The ‘£25 logo‘ article we recently wrote for Creative Review seemed to cause a nice bit of debate in the comments section of their blog. Which is what we had hoped for. We did however notice their was a bit of confusion over certain wording. Although we never mentioned ‘crowd sourcing’ or ‘spec-work’ in the piece, people leaving comments were using these terms in reference to the cheap logo service we used. We thought it was worth clearing things up a bit.

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Ten Questions – 017 Michael Johnson

June 9th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Seeing the logo you designed emblazoned down the side of a 747? The commemorative stamps you designed becoming collectors items? Garnering every award going whilst picking up a host of new clients along the way? These are the kind of things most designers would eat their own MacBook to have acheived. Johnson Banks are an agency that has ticked the above, and much more, off their to-do list. Virgin Atlantic, The Royal Mail, The BFI, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Yell.com, More Th>n and countless other companies, government organisations, universities and charities have been queueing up for re-brands and design work from them. At the helm of the operation is Michael Johnson. Amazing designer, guitar obsessive, brilliant writer, regular contributor to Creative Review & Design Week and very down to earth, nice guy.

His excellent Thought For The Week Blog is also a must read for anyone with a passing interest in what happens behind the scenes in one of the UKs most respected agencies. Michael kindly agreed to take time out answer our Ten Questions.

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Five Things 012

April 15th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Once again we’re back with Five Things. Our regular selection of interesting bits and pieces we’ve come across over the course of the last week. We have another mixed bag of creative stuff for your perusal (as well as a shameless bit of self promotion…). Enjoy.

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Ten Questions 014 – Simon Manchipp

March 29th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Shoreditch based design and branding agency SomeOne are passionate about what they do. A quick nose around their brand new (pardon the pun) website is proof that they actually care deeply about their work. ‘Launching, re-launching and protecting brands’ is at the heart of their work and they’ve been doing plenty of it. Along with sterling work for Sky Sports, O2, Betfair and New Look, SomeOne have re-created the iconic crest for The Royal Opera House, designed the sports pictograms for the London 2012 Olympics and most recently, created new branding for Eurostar. A huge project which covered practilcally everything including the advertising, print work, pictograms, moving image, a new typeface, signage – even a series of 3D sculptures!

Suffice to say, they know what they’re doing. Simon Manchipp is the creative director and co-founder of SomeOne – he was generous enough to take the time out to get involved in our Ten Questions series.

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An Open Letter To…

October 7th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin


Today Gap have announced on their Facebook Page that they’re considering the idea of ‘crowd sourcing’ logo ideas as a result of the backlash their new logo design has received this week.

In a response to their move which could be pure genius or naive, we decided to write an open letter to Gap which we posted on the page as a response.

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Bridging The Gap

October 6th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

‘Google the new Gap logo’. As I walked into the studio this morning I’d barely taken my coat off before I was told about the latest wave of controversy to hit the online design world. As instructed, I searched for the new logo and… oh.
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50 Years of John Lloyd

September 15th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

When discussing ‘great’ British designers, the same handful of names tend to pop up again and again. Alan Fletcher, Peter Saville, Neville Brody… We all know these names and the canon of work they’ve produced over the years and, with good reason, we admire them.

Recently however, a less familiar face has emerged from the shadows, a designer who has been a hugely important part of the British graphic design industry for 50 years. The name John Lloyd will be one the majority of designers haven’t heard of but the body of work he has quietly been amassing over the years and can now be found in a new online archive showing the fruits of his illustrious career.

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Good Times

August 31st, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

To many Londoners the August Bank Holiday means only one thing, Notting Hill Carnival. I’ve been going for a number of years now and really like how the yearly event is a cultural mix of people, music and food.

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Time To Reflect

May 27th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

A couple of weeks back retailer Waterstone’s unveiled their new brand identity on their website and throughout all their stores. The bookseller has changed its logo and created a new strap line – “Feel every word”, which both feature on waterstones.com.

Many people, agencies and sites were quick to jump in and critique the work, which is always to be expected in ‘new’ brand development. Having had a few weeks to absorb the move though I revisited the work with an open mind to have another look.

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All Eyes On Us…

February 11th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

PCAH_Logo

As a regular reader of Michael Johnsons blog, I’m always interested to see sneak previews of upcoming Johnson Banks work. Recently he unveiled their latest project for The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and once again I was pleasantly suprised. Whilst I can’t deny liking the restrained cool of an identity consisting of a nicely kerned Helvetica or Avant Garde logotype and little else, sometimes the less is more approach can leave me a bit cold.
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