Labour of love

September 13, 2007


Congratulations for Saatchi’s winning the Labour party’s ad account ahead of the next election. Let’s hope they don’t look back to their 1979 campaign for inspiration. Brand Republic discusses in more detail



A wry look at airports

September 10, 2007


With LF’s interest in airports and wayfinding, here is someone’s wry look at the subject! (from’s ‘h2g2’ site):


Cool camping

September 10, 2007

TravelpodFor those of us who have been at festivals in our youth and long to go back only to be put off by, toilets, camping, mud, privacy and general cleanliness, Richard Collier has come up with a revolutionary idea for the aging hippy, peter pan, or metro men. Next year could see the return of the 70’s,80s and 90’s teens heading out in their old pumps rocking it like the good old days! Steve 

Admiralty Charts

September 9, 2007

I’ve got to say I’m a sucker for maps, so some of the posts about cartography at AceJet170 are really enjoyable. I have few old maps but a favorite is a modern British Admiralty map of the North East coast. The colouring on these maps is particularly nice. There is quite an interesting diagram here that shows how the colours on British maps are used. Here are a couple of photos of my own map. John.


User Interface Design

September 7, 2007

News Map

A current project that we have been working on has got me thinking about how we use navigation on web sites, and how even though the Internet is actually quite a new medium, were are already starting to limit our options to integrate information. We strive to make our sites functional and prize clarity as our ultimate aim. However, by bending the rules, just ever-so slightly, we can sometimes achieve results which are far more powerful.

For example, this site has been around for a while but I still find it a very inspiring piece of interface design. We are now used to the idea of aggregation within websites, where lots of information from around the web is pulled together to make a hyper-relevant, hyper-digestible information source. However, what happens here is that that aggregation becomes the driver for the navigation. By using the popularity of a particular news item across the internet as a gauge, it draws out an information hierarchy for the user in a very visual way.

It’s a great example of the ‘at-a-glance’ information that the Web does so well.


On coming war stories in the middle of the road!

September 5, 2007


I caught an item on BBC1 that reminded me of something that’s been bugging me for ages – road signs. It’s hard to believe that today we are still stuck with crude graphic representations to symbolise people, objects and actions. The feature on BBC1 was a complaint about this sign that represents elderly people. There are some quite humorous definitions here. It would be interesting to know how these things come about, who designs them, who approves them etc. I found an interesting explanation from the British Medical Journal of how this particular sign came about, what it stands for and what the diagnosis is:

The traffic sign for elderly or disabled people crossing the road was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1981 after a children’s competition. It portrays a silhouette of a man with a flexed posture using a cane and leading a kyphotic (abnormality of the vertebral column) woman. The same sign is also used for frail, disabled, or blind people, even though many of these people are not old. The sign implies that osteopaenic vertebral collapse and the need for mobility aids are to be expected with physical disability as well as with advancing age.

I think it’s about time for a re-design. If anyone has other gems, we would love to see them. John.

Algue, again!

September 4, 2007

algue2The algue now resides on my lounge wall!