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.


Over the top?

November 13, 2007

Guiness ad

The latest Guinness ad campaign is taking Honda’s ‘domino effect’ to new levels.

Shot in an Argentian hill village the ad features everything from dominos and books, to cars and blazing bales of hay in a spectacular chain of events.

Remarkable? Definitely.

Excessive? Certainly.

Worthwhile? We’ll wait and see.

For the Stato’s out there, the toppling items include: 6,000 dominoes, 10,000 books, 400 tyres, 75 mirrors, 50 fridges, 45 wardrobes and 6 cars

Stephen Wiltshire

November 9, 2007


I discovered this artist in London and since then have been fascinated ever since. Although Autistic he has been drawing since a tender age and some of his work is even drawn from memory, a brilliant artist with a very interesting story. Take a look at his website.



October 19, 2007


If you are familiar with the streets of Shoreditch you will no doubt have seen the work Eine.

Eine is one of London’s most prolific and original street artists having started his career
over twenty five years ago as a common vandal he has toned and developed his unique
style into something which has been described as “the Fiona Rae of graffiti and spray

Eine specialises in producing huge letters on shop fronts across London. A “Writer”
who has close associations with Banksy, it has recently been said that “Eine is doing for
letters of the alphabet what Banksy did for rats and smiley Policeman”.

Eine is a renowned London based “Writer” who specialises in the central element of all
graffiti, the letter. From single letters to complex and wry combinations, Eine’s alphabet
can be found throughout London. Huge individual letters on shop shutters, in a style he
has made his own. Originality, a distinctive style and a clear profile that sets his or her
letters apart from all others is a key goal for any “Writer”. Eine’s letters transgress the
usual stylised image devised to depict form and emotion, and through a combination of
colour, placement and size, become fully formed and unique personalities in their own


This is TED…

October 5, 2007


Go on, introduce yourself to TED. For anyone interested in ideas or different perspectives on the world, or for anyone who ever has to deliver a presentation, this is an inspiring site. Have a look at ‘The art of creating creatures’ by Theo Jansen for a quirky and amazing start.


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.


May 25, 2007

I’ve been in Dublin for the last couple of days monitoring the installation of our wayfinding scheme at Beacon South Quarter. At the heart of the site there’s a really remarkable building called Imaginosity emerging from the surrounding dust and scaffolding. It’s called Imaginosity! Children’s Creative Space. The interior and interactive displays are being designed by Jack Rouse Associates from Cincinnati who are working on innovative projects around the world from Dubai to China. We’ve designed a sculptural feature sign to be sited within a water feature at the building’s entrance.