Storm Thorgerson already said it better than us…

April 19th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Computers these days are amazing. With the right software and a little bit of know-how it’s never been easier to whip up any ridiculous image you have in your head, and make it a reality for all the world to see. If it doesn’t look quite as good as you’d hoped, maybe add a load of drop shadows, lighting effects and any other number of gimmicky Photoshop filters until it does? Although, after a while you begin to realise that perhaps the reason it ain’t that great, is because of the idea in the first place. If the foundations aren’t strong enough, the house will fall down. A truly great idea can stand on it’s own without the need to be supported by effects and decoration.

Keep reading…


BUG 32

August 30th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

To the uninitiated, BUG: The Evolution Of Music Video is an ongoing series of bi-monthly events at the BFI Southbank in London, celebrating global creativity in music video. The shows are hosted by Adam Buxton — the funny, petite, bearded half of Adam and Joe — and have become an essential forum for fans of music videos and aspiring film-makers alike. If we can get tickets we try and make it along each and every time, it’s that good. It’s not just about getting away from our desks though, Adam literally has everyone in stitches, and the music videos aren’t half bad either. It’s sound and vision at it’s best.

It’s normally a packed out event, so for those that couldn’t make it along, or for those that didn’t even know it existed, we’ve compiled all the videos shown at last nights event. Watch / listen — have them on in the background. There’s dubstep, there’s throat slitting, there’s weird horse dancing and something a little perverse. So, something for everyone. Just think of it as your Mat Dolphin Friday visual playlist.

Keep reading…


BUG 31

June 15th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

To the uninitiated, BUG: The Evolution Of Music Video is an ongoing series of bi-monthly events at the BFI Southbank in London, celebrating global creativity in music video. The shows are hosted by Adam Buxton — the funny, petite, bearded half of Adam and Joe — and have become an essential forum for fans of music videos and aspiring film-makers alike. If we can get tickets we try and make it along each and every time, it’s that good. It’s not just about getting away from our desks though, Adam literally has everyone in stitches, and the music videos aren’t half bad either. It’s sound and vision at it’s best.

It’s normally a packed out event, so for those that couldn’t make it along, or for those that didn’t even know it existed, we’ve compiled all the videos shown at last nights event. Watch / listen — have them on in the background. There’s dubstep, there’s manga, there’s people jumping out of windows. Something for everyone. Just think of it as your Mat Dolphin Friday playlist.

Keep reading…


Sound & Vision 03 – Special NME Edition – Our 100th post!

October 25th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Welcome to Blog post number 100! Since July 2009 we’ve been updating this little blog on a fairly regular basis with our random musings, showcasing the work of those we admire and letting you know what we’ve been up to. We wanted to do something a bit special for the hundredth post and the perfect opportunity came up just at the right moment. Iconic UK music mag, the one and only NME, got in touch after seeing the first two posts in our Sound & Vision series, asking if we’d be interested in writing a bit of a ‘Special Edition’ post for their blog. Being long time fans, we immediately agreed and are now pleased to present Sound & Vision 03 – The NME edition.

See it live on their site here or read on below…

There are so many amazing album covers out there that choosing favourites seems like an unachievable task. Like the albums themselves, the way I feel about the artwork they’re wrapped in changes on a regular basis. That said, there are some which, for various reasons, I’ve always loved. Some of them are considered classic and some of them are barely known but all of them are, in my eyes, brilliant examples of what an album cover should be. A visual partner to the music on the record, something that can encapsulate the sounds in a way that you can’t always put your finger on but somehow just works…

Keep reading…


Sound & Vision 02

October 11th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

The second installment of our regular Sound and Vision feature has arrived! In these posts we’re going to be dissecting some classic album covers as well as offering up actual tunes to listen to – something that can often be overlooked when discussing graphic design for music.

Music is a massively important aspect of our work and working environment. Like many designers, it’s a big part of the reason we wanted to become designers in the first place. This series aims to feature some of our favourite covers and the songs which feature within the albums. All of which are on constant rotation in the Mat Dolphin daily playlist. So, without further ado, click below to read (and hear) plenty more of the same.

Keep reading…


Sound & Vision 01

July 29th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Music plays a big part in everyday life here at Mat Dolphin. We’re constantly listening to it, discussing it and plenty of our work has been inspired or related to it in some way. In fact, like many graphic designers, it was a large part of the reason we became interested in design in the first place. Pouring over the typography and layouts of our favourite album covers played a massively important part in shaping our design understanding and tastes. With the record sleeves shrinking from a 12inch gate-fold to a pixelated square on your phone, the art of record sleeve design has obviously changed and will probably continue to do so. I’m sure many of the brilliant examples of cover art we know and love wouldn’t exist today if they had to go through the approval process of any major record label. Which is a shame.

That said, we’re all about embracing change and this blog post certainly isn’t about crying about the good old days and getting nostalgic about the crackle of limited edition vinyl. Beautifully designed ways to package music releases in (physical or otherwise) is still with us and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

I’m fairly sure we’re not alone in our love of the marriage between great design and great tunes. There are countless books, websites and articles dedicated to the craft of creating the images which to go with music. One thing that often seems to get either overlooked or even completely ignored when discussing cover art is the music itself. With this in mind, we’ve come up with our pick of the design-geek-classic-covers of recent years, along with the actual songs contained within (sometimes not the most obvious choices). Sound & Vision will be a regular feature on the blog, showcasing music artwork we love alongside the tunes so you can listen while you read. Click below to have a look and, equally importantly, listen.

Keep reading…


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.

Keep reading…


Ten Questions 010 – Mario Hugo

January 13th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

The new year sees the continuation of our Ten Questions series in which we ask fellow designers, illustrators, photographers, directors and other random creative folk the same set of questions. The answers always vary and always give an insight into the thought process behind the work. You can see the others in the series here.

I’ve been a fan of Mario Hugo‘s work for a long time. I came across his original site, the now defunct loveworn.com and found the beautiful illustrations and intricate, playful typography a constant source of inspiration. Since I first became aware of his work Mario has gone on to work with clients such as Dolce & Gabbana, Wired Magazine, Microsoft, Channel 4, Interscope Records and, most recently, Stella McCartney. His talent has also caught the attention of design agencies such as Non-Format and Spin, who have called upon his distinctive style for various projects. Somehow he’s also found the time to work on numerous personal projects and exhibitions.

Keep reading…


More socks?

December 7th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to start planning that panic-stricken trawl around over-crowded shops to buy your loved ones that novelty toothbrush holder you suspect they’ve probably always wanted. Maybe.

Being the caring and sharing types we are here at Mat Dolphin, we thought we’d lend you a helping hand by giving you a few ideas for gift ideas for the ever difficult to please designer in your life. Every designer loves a beautifully produced book and we’ve scoured the bookshelves to find the best of the bunch in design literature.

Keep reading…


Five Things 009

November 12th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

As London gets colder and the overcrowding on the tubes increases, another busy week passes at Dolphin Towers.

Read on for another entry into our Five Things series to see what’s been keeping us amused recently.

Keep reading…


Five Things 008

October 21st, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

It’s been a busy week here at Mat Dolphin. In between meeting lots of nice new people and talking about lots of nice new projects we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for interesting stuff. Here are some of the highlights we’ve spotted over the last week.

Keep reading…


Five Things 007

October 1st, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

It’s that time again… Five creative and inspiring things that we’ve seen this week. Ready…steady….GO!

Keep reading…


Ten Questions 005 – Panda Yoghurt

August 26th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

Douglas Bowden is a UK based illustrator and designer working under the name of Panda Yoghurt. His work for high profile clients including MTV, Computer Arts magazine, Wired magazine, Vodafone and Ninjatune has seen him develop his style into a unque blend of fluid illustrations and typography mixed with photography and collage. He was generous enough to take some time out to get involved with our ‘Ten Questions‘ blog series. Read on for his answers and some great examples of his work – more of which can be seen here.

Keep reading…


Guest Post – Neil Ayres & The New Goodbye

June 1st, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

Mat Dolphin invited me on the blog to talk about The New Goodbye, an app that I’ve produced with Russell Quinn, the developer who created the hugely successful Small Chair app for McSweeney’s, and who recently helped bring Creative Review’s Annual to the iPhone.

Keep reading…


Five Things 001

April 22nd, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

…is the highly original and ingenious name of the new regular blog feature in which I’ll be posting… five things.

The content of posts will vary but essentially I’ll be showing a regular succession of five design-related goodies that I come across during the week. The ‘things’ might be websites, videos, events, exhibitions, books, films etc. If I see something I think is worth mentioning I’ll be sharing it here.

To kick things off, we have a mixed bag.

Keep reading…


The Vinyl Countdown pt.2 – Jony Lyle Interview

April 20th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

Following our recent blog post, we had the chance to sit down with director Jony Lyle to ask him a few questions regarding his latest project, To Have And To Hold – an in-depth look into the world of record collectors, DJs and vinyl connoisseurs.

Here’s what we spoke about and another look at the teaser.

Keep reading…


The Vinyl Countdown

April 13th, 2010 by Mat Dolphin

As well as being a great DJ and super-talented director, Jony Lyle is a good friend of ours. In his latest project he combines two of his passions; record collecting and film making in a documentary looking into the world of vinyl junkies.

[vimeo 10284225]

Keep reading…


Heaven Can Wait

December 2nd, 2009 by Mat Dolphin

Stunningly shot video for the new Charlotte Gainsbourg single Heaven Can Wait (featuring Beck). The originality of the concept has landed director Keith Schofield in some controversy. Many of the seemingly random scenes are apparently based on existing work by photographer William Hundley.

Talent borrows?

Mat Dolphin

Keep reading…


First Class?

November 23rd, 2009 by Mat Dolphin

The Royal Mail are planning a 2010 launch of a new set of 1st class stamps designed by Studio Dempsey. The set which feature the artwork for various British album covers is sure to raise the odd eyebrow in the ever hard to please design community.

blur_new_order_1 Keep reading…


More Than The Music | Part 2

September 17th, 2009 by Mat Dolphin

Not long ago (well, our first blog back in August actually) we mentioned a new music project we were starting with photographer Suzie Blake = More Than The Music®.

A quick reminder to those not in the loop: Most of us download music for free these days (naughty lot that we are) and run around town with our flash MP3 players looking too hip to hop. All well and good. But we no longer have a tangible relationship with music and gone are the days of admiring sleeve art and inserts. That’s not so good. So, we wondered if we’d ever see the likes of a music/designer relationship anything like Factory Records and Peter Saville again? We hope so, thus starting our More Than The Music project, to see what we could do.

Vinyl

Keep reading…