Altas in a can

April 15, 2008

Some time ago I bought a copy of the World Geo-Graphic Atlas. I believe they are quite rare. The atlas was designed by Herbert Bayer and published in 1953 by the Container Corporation of America. The book is amazing with tons of information graphics as well as maps. Here are just a few samples from this truly geo-graphical treat.


BBC News

April 13, 2008

I’m not sure what it is about the BBC News  website redesign but it makes me feel uncomfortable? Is there too much space around things?  Is this a mad thing to say? It definitely works and It must be the most accessible news site on the planet? I really don’t know but somehow the design doesn’t feel right?

sus sus sustainability

March 7, 2008

We do a lot of work in sustainbility reporting and I discovered this really good piece by designer Ben Terrett about the role of designers and sustainability. You can read the whole thing here . There is also something interesting  going at McDonalds sustainability blog here.

Typographic things you never knew….

January 10, 2008


I thought I knew everything until today when I discovered to my horror that the bit of space that holds the counter in a stencil alphabet didn’t have a name. Well you can rest on your typescale (what’s one of them I here some of you say?) that someone has solved the dilemma and given it the grand name of a ‘pylon’. You can find out more and discuss in detail here.

CR news from Design Week

January 3, 2008

Tesco has dropped Corporate Edge as its corporate communications consultancy after seven years, and appointed 35 Communications in its place. 35 beat three other consultancies – the incumbent, Salter Baxter and Addison – to clinch the £300 000 deal.

The 12-month contract includes the design and production of Tesco’s annual report, its corporate and social responsibility report, information on its annual general meeting, and its annual review and other important communications projects.

The pitch longlist is understood to have been whittled down from about seven consultancies. Further decisions were thought to have been made after chemistry meetings and presentation of concepts.

Creative Brief handled the pitch, while Tesco’s community and government director David North, in conjunction with social responsibility director Ruth Girardet, oversaw the process. The shift in corporate communications from print to on-line, as well as the increasing corporate social responsibility legislation are thought to have prompted Tesco to change its approach to corporate reporting.

Initiatives such as the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the UK Companies Act 2006 have made corporate reporting as routine as financial reporting. Tesco’s corporate social responsibility agenda divides into four areas – economy, environment, society and charities. The supermarket widely promotes its computers for schools scheme.

In April, it pledged to reducing packaging on branded and ownbrand products by 25 per cent before 2010

Design Week 

BP, CR, influence and fun

December 14, 2007


It seems now that the worlds larger companies are really starting to make some ground in how they deliver their responsible communications, and no more so than BP. Although this is a company that has been controversial in the way the company effects communities, nevertheless their attitude and delivery towards communicating their negative actions has lead them to the very top of the corporate responsibility communications tree. Like most these days the BP corporate message is mainly being delivered through their slick website. Their CR framework divides into two categories, activities which BP control and activities which BP influence. I love this idea of influence and how business are realising their own potential in trying to influence their stakeholders that change is possible. (Check out BT’s sphere of influence) This really comes through with BP’s quirky and cool carbon calculator. The fact that an energy company who has a mountain of challenges every year in producing and selling energy, sees and takes the opportunity to influence and challenge energy users  to use less is just fantastic. This is responsible business at its best and also pretty good fun, just don’t ask me for my results.


November 20, 2007

Trio Mediaeval

Serving as a sublime antidote to the ‘consumer Christmas binge’ (below) and the onslaught of the ubiquitous ‘Noddy Holder / Roy Wood / Shakin’ Stevens / Paul McCartney / John & Yoko’ medleys in our stores, I am currently listening to Trio Mediaeval’s ‘Folk Songs’ on my favourite label, ECM:

As an aside: interestingly, whilst perusing the shelves of my local 24-hour Tesco at the weekend, I was aware of their ambient in-house Eno-like soundtrack consisting of a single chord which ‘came and went’, overlayed with subtle bird calls. It lasted for the duration of my shopping visit and was quite acceptable – certainly more than those nauseous, repeated airings of the ‘Best Christmas Album Ever’ (which one shop assistant recently told me would “drive her crackers” by Christmas Eve!)

With this excellently-produced collection of Norwegian a cappella vocals and percussion, Trio Mediaeval definitely win my vote for the perfect way to brighten winter’s dark days. And, of course, with ECM, the music is only half the story – the other being the beautifully designed, collectible packaging.