We've found ourselves in Köln, it's cold, wet and dark and we're trying to find shelter. Above all the buildings are these aggressive signs looming down at us like some elaborate dungeon, contrasted with a warm welcoming glow from the inside with a faint murmur of chatter. This is German drinking territory, and I'm kind of in love!
Believed to be found in 417, Porto has been producing graphic design for a long time, and basking its inhabitants and visitors in an aesthetic, visual, information-rich education. Just navigating the tiled, painted street signs is a visual treat for any typographic aficionado, or exposure to its modern city branding which brings a fresh, intentional and iconographic journey.
When you get a new brochure in your hands, you see it, touch it, flick through it, and smell the fresh ink. The texture of the paper, the shiny foil, the feel of the debossed areas; it's a physical experience. You want to see more, investigate what you're holding is all about. That's the magic of print and finishing.
As designers, we sometimes see the world as a giant canvas, which can make random, ubiquitous objects seem to have a life of their own.
We've recently been working on some great design projects which have taken us deep into the world of paper. Touch signals many things from emotional memories to the feeling of quality, and this creates another point the audience can connect with.
Early this month we were pleased to welcome Lucie to our team. Lucie came from France as part of the Erasmus programme through the ESAAT Roubaix university, where she is studying graphic design and will be with us for the next three months gaining valuable work experience.
When in Greece, no matter the location, there is always physical evidence and references of historical and mythological creations going back thousands of years.
This weekend we saw the completion of ‘Cities of Hope'; a street art convention which lasted for nine days and brought more colour and awareness into Manchester. The project was developed by 'Vestige' a not-for-profit social justice organisation, involving nine international street artists and locally based charities to express and bring attention to nine global issues.
On a recent trip to London, we've been able to fit in possibly our final visit to the current Shad Thames Design Museum before it relocates to the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington this November.
A couple of months ago, we visited once again the Greek capital and for the first time the 100% Hotelshow expo. We have much experience working with hotels, and we're always interested in anything new, so we didn't lose the opportunity for a visit.
Some inspiring characters come and go, and some last forever. Charles and Ray Eames are evidently the second. Pioneers of plastic and fibreglass moulding or exposing the benefits of shaping plywood for helping wounded soldiers avoid gangrene; the pair were a dynamic team who developed our modern perception of design and architecture and helped craft a better future for us all.
For all print collateral, the paper and print finish is essential in making the design come to life.
Last month we found ourselves in Germany at the Universum Bremen; an exhibition centre that, in their words, cover all things "Technology, Human and Nature". What took us by surprise was the lack of 'do not touch' signs, often seen in museums.
Our inspiration comes from everywhere and nature and science are most definitely one. After our visit to the Universum Bremen, we were left inspired by some real visual treats.
We've been on the lookout for a new studio for a while, and we found our new home at Hope Mill. It's one of the earliest developments in Manchester's industrial region, starting its life out as a cotton mill in the early 1820’s. It's rough around the edges, and we love it!
Lisbon's streets are full of great typography created with various techniques such as wire, tile and paint. While wandering around, we fell in love with some unusual methods of communicating and couldn't help documenting a selection of signage. Here are some of our favourites.
Back in May, we came up with many ideas from many angles to publicise the University of Salford's postgraduate offerings; the winning idea was 'head and shoulders above the rest'.