Standing desks: a view from the top

I’ve been toying with the idea of a standing desk for a while and I’ve finally taken the plunge. Why? Because sitting is slowly killing me. Chances are it’s probably killing you too. As a UI designer I sit all day. I sit at my computer, I sit eating lunch…. 

Continue Reading

I’m all about flat

Today is my birthday and looking back, the theme that overrides the past year is flat.

The design is broken –
time to stick it to the man?

I giggled at this photo of the ‘parent remote’ on Twitter. My gut reaction was to laugh at the older generation who are unable to cope with all the buttons. Luddites! Second was to stop and think. Why are all those buttons there in the first place if you can… 

Continue Reading

Web designers are people too

This week a client sent me a brief for a new project. To demonstrate the concept, he had Photoshopped my photograph into the mockups. My own face staring back at me was strangely beguiling. The document neatly specced out of job and ended with “thank you for your time Geri”…. 

Continue Reading

The quest for authenticity

Cool hunting is a waste of time, MTV and Twitter put pay to that. For the middle classes the quest for authenticity has become the new way to lord it over the neighbours. “Hey Jones’s — no-one cares about your new car” (unless it’s a low-emission-eco-hybrid that runs on biofuel derived from… 

Continue Reading

Reasons to be Creative : top 5

I’m just back from Reasons to be Creative, annual web design conference in Brighton. Leaving super-inspired after 3 days of brilliant talks. Here are my personal highlights – Glorious stay in the Art Hotel Best pancakes in Brighton. And this year I could see the West Pier from my toilet… 

Continue Reading

Poe’s Law casts a long dark shadow

Wow – I am REALLY excited about this project!” . . . said the final line of the client’s email. The website was for a dermatologist’s practice who had opted for cheesy stock photos of smiling automatons. I was young and doing it for the cash. She was a medical… 

Continue Reading

The internet is rewiring my brain

Recently, I’ve been distracted. I’m working on a design, then suddenly realise I’ve spent ten minutes reading a website about cheese that I Googled after laughing at a goat meme on Tumblr, linked from Facebook, accessed via a link from Twitter that someone has emailed me. This distraction is a… 

Continue Reading

Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

Just returned from another year of design loveliness and covetable things. My highlights here: A whole floor of beautiful lighting this year – some really innovative designs. Corner from Swedish designers Swedese. ♥ Farmiloe Building, fantastic space to showcase work. Blinded by these color-pop legs in the Platform collection by… 

Continue Reading

The flat design trend – where to from here?

I’ve always subscribed to the Swiss style of less is more, so wholeheartily embracing this era of flat interface design. Given the design excesses of the past decade, it’s interesting to see how we’ve come full circle to reach this point. But I can’t help wondering – where to from… 

Continue Reading

Pick Me Up 2013 @ Somerset House

Just returned from Pick Me Up, the contemporary graphic arts festival at Somerset House. Now in its 4th year, the festival is an 11 day celebration of graphic art, design and illustration. Despite its grand setting, the event has a refreshingly student feel to it. There is an inspiring showcase of work, from… 

Continue Reading

Branded interactions: Hey, I own that gesture!

I’ve been working on an app that has an innovative navigation. It got me thinking about how certain apps are defined by user interaction. When the interaction is unique to the product, it becomes part of the user experience and ultimately part of the brand. These “branded interactions” are fast… 

Continue Reading

The psychology of colour

…or how website colour schemes are influenced by football strips I keep being asked to base websites on football team colours. This month I have designed an interface for a trade union website (“make it red like Liverpool FC”) and for a learning charity (“make it blue and yellow, like… 

Continue Reading

A Brief History of John Baldessari

Possibly the coolest history of the coolest artist. Narrated by the person with the coolest voice (Tom Waits). By Supermarche.

Not very Flash

Thoughts on my first website* I built my first website in the year 2000. It was built in Flash, naturally. I had tried building a site in HTML, painstakingly flipping between Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG view and my copy of Netscape 4. There appeared to be little correlation between the two. It… 

Continue Reading

Jessica Hische is my typographic girl crush

From CreativeMornings/Vancouver on Vimeo.

New Year’s Resolutions are not generally sticky

According to this morning’s Metro only “1 in 11” people will stick to their news year’s resolutions. I read this to my daughter who said her new year’s resolution is to “eat more sweets”. Kind of made me wish I was 6 again. Here are mine, let’s hope they are… 

Continue Reading

Keeping it real

I regularly sift Designspiration and Behance and every so often something slaps me around the chops with originality. Interestingly though, most clients I meet don’t want a website that’s original. They want a site that looks like someone elses. When you see a site up and running, live and beautifully… 

Continue Reading

Design feedback 101

I’m glad it’s not just me who receives client feedback like this.

Have a festive geek-out over these today

Pantone Baubles:

Toasted

The first time I saw a toaster was in the early 2000s. I had a shitty job at a small advertising agency and was hungover about 98% of the time. The toaster was painted on the inside of a window between Old Street and Moorgate and it used to cheer… 

Continue Reading

Losing the will to input…the basics of good form design

I’ve been working on a site design that incorporates a lot of web forms this week and surfing the web for inspiration. It’s made me realise how much time and effort designers put into bringing users to sign-up and contact forms, only to present a poorly crafted form. Here are… 

Continue Reading

Does my skeuomorphism look realistic in this?

I was in a meeting the other day when a client started fuming about Apple’s overuse of skeuomorphism. I nodded sagely and stroked my imaginary tecchies beard, hoping I would not be called upon for an opinion. Skeuomorphism? A hasty and covert Google revealed: A skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ [skyoo-uh-mawrf], or skeuomorphism,… 

Continue Reading

School website live

The prep school website I did the initial designs for has gone live and looks lovely. Beautiful photography of the students and gives a really engaging view of the school. The school uniform did require the odd bit of virtual mothering!

Mumsnet Blogfest

I’m not much of a joiner so I almost surprised myself when I bought a ticket to Mumsnet Blogfest. I added a blog to my site a couple of years ago, mainly as an exercise in SEO to drive more traffic to my portfolio. It did markedly increase traffic and… 

Continue Reading

How to be a designer

Spoilt for font choice?

Typography really suffered in its transition to the web. For years online typography involved choosing one of the few ‘web-safe’ fonts and making the best of it. Times New Roman or Georgia for the traditional, Arial or Verdana for the contemporary. Not forgetting every designer’s favourite, Comic sans: The advent… 

Continue Reading

I’m a designer. Does my code really need to validate?

This is a timely one for me. I’ve spent the last two years with this WordPress blog badly hacked onto the back of my site and the code didn’t come close to validating. And I’ve felt terribly shabby about it. Most web developers I meet insist your code should validate…. 

Continue Reading

London Design Festival

It’s London Design Festival and after fielding the barrage of promotional emails for the past month it was finally time to get amongst it. Now in its 10th year, the festival is suffering from urban sprawl with events across London – from the V&A to the Southbank. I decided to… 

Continue Reading

New site live: Etude

I’ve put a new site live today for a firm of sustainability engineers who specialise in environmental design solutions. The brief was to keep it clean and contemporary and reflect the company’s ethos – creative, positive and sustainable design. The site is responsive and scales down to fit an iPhone or… 

Continue Reading

Still Lost

Just returned from an aquatically-themed Lost Lecture in the docksheds at Trinity Buoy Wharf. A brilliant line-up; from adventurer Alastair Humphreys to marine biologist Dr Helen Scales to my favourite – legendary photographer Dennis Morris on his years touring with Bob Marley. Aside from a sore bottom (they made us sit… 

Continue Reading

My store design is live

The childrens’s shoe store I designed has gone live, check it out: http://littlefooties.co.uk (the bright canvas shoes really pop)

Olympic vermin

Gorgeous viral from Beakus. It’s nice to see an unsanitised take on a Games so blighted by corporate sponsorship:

I’m sold(ified)

I have been working on a Shopify site this week and I’m really impressed with what it has to offer.  I have designed a number of online stores over the years and the majority of ecommerce apps I’ve skinned up have been rather clunky and cumbersome on the back-end. By… 

Continue Reading

Artsmart 2012

Caught a couple of lectures at Artsmart, an alumni event run by UAL focused on getting ahead in the creative industries. Brilliant talk by Laura North of Speaking Out on public speaking. I nearly ran away when she mentioned group activities but I’m glad I forced myself to do it. It’s useful… 

Continue Reading

New site live

I have put a new site live today for Jon Gower, a photographer and digital compositor. Jon’s brief was a website that “wasn’t really a website” – resulting in the most minimalist site I have ever designed. His images are beautiful and the star: www.jongower.com

Are you lost?

Just home from The Lost Lectures. It’s a great concept: short, punchy talks from interesting people, delivered in an unusual and secret London venue they release a couple of days before the event. Tonight was no exception. Henrik Dahle, an engaging fellow who climbed a different tree every day for a year. Max Whitby, a… 

Continue Reading

Bauhaus, at the Barbican

I’ve just seen the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I have drawn inspiration from the Bauhaus throughout my career, tubular-steel chairs and iconic, cubic buildings – I guess I was expecting to be slapped around the chops with something a bit… 

Continue Reading

New site: Applecart Live

I’ve just put a new site live for Applecart – an arts initiative in the East End who create live theatre, film, music, comedy and drama. The brief was “from the street…but er…not street” and I think it’s turned out surprisingly on-brand! I’ve really enjoyed this project, the design evolved… 

Continue Reading

Dezeened in Hackney

I have been enjoying Dezeen’s ‘Made in Hackney’ series promoting local designers. With so many websites jumping on the Olympic bandwagon it’s nice to see a nod to the event that’s both inspiring and well executed. I especially love the furniture and lighting from SCP, I was in there the other… 

Continue Reading

Sweaters

Picked this up in a charity shop in Suffolk this weekend. Given my love of Christmas jumpers it’s officially my coffee table book of the year. Can’t help wondering who the ‘top designers’ are, my money’s on Stella Mccartney…

Stencil

Just spotted on Church Walk in Stokey. Nice.

Have a butchers

Caught this on my alumni blog. It’s a design studio and gallery opened by four students in an old butchers’ shop on Portobello Rd. To introduce themselves to the local community, Butchers Hook (clever) set up a digital display in their front window. Using an old Nintendo Wii remote, custom-made… 

Continue Reading

Pick Me Up

Managed to squeak in to see Pick Me Up before it closed. If you haven’t stumbled upon it it’s a graphic art fair held at Somerset House each year. I first heard about Pick Me Up through ArtSmart, an alumni event I attended last year and I was keen to make it… 

Continue Reading

Kusama at Tate Modern

Finally caught the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern. I’ve loved seeing Kusama’s work over the years – from the polka dot trees in Singapore to Louis Vuitton handbags to the cover of last years’ tube map. The first rooms give you a background to Kusama’s journey and inspiration throughout her career. Her designs are so iconic… 

Continue Reading

In love with this light

I’ve just bought this for our new kitchen, a glorious design classic by Jørn Utzon. I love the way it echoes his design for the Sydney Opera House and the way it illuminates up through the shades as well as down. Luscious. http://www.lightyears.dk/designers/joern-utzon.aspx

New website live

I’ve put a new website live today for London Digestive Health – a partnership of Harley Street gastroenterologists. The group have developed a contemporary brand and have a fantastic stock of images from the London Clinic that really bring the site to life. The brief was to provide a current… 

Continue Reading

Hate mail

Mr Bingo, the self styled ‘master of pens’ is worried. He’s worried that people don’t get enough fun post any more, so he’s come up with an idea… “You send me a fiver (plus postage) and I’ll send you a vintage postcard with a little drawing and an offensive message… 

Continue Reading

The right colour

Just come by this brilliant tool for colour matching, finding hues, tints and tones. I usually do this by eye in Photoshop but it’s nice to find an app that’s reassuringly scientific. http://colllor.com

Mac decals

I ❤ these decals for the mac and iPhone. I’ve been toying with the idea of a Lazerwood cover for ages but ordered one of these instead. Something to make me look even less professional in client meetings! Check out their other designs here.

Making ideas happen

Just finished this – inspiring read. Far too many ideas go to waste when left in the hands of disorganised designers. Making ideas happen

Cobbled Yard Vintage

Just finished a site for the Cobbled Yard in Stoke Newington. It’s a fantastic shop and a bit of Stokey institution, some cool vintage finds. We went through a few logo designs but plumped for a beaten up, distorted font with lots of noise. The yard has a quite an… 

Continue Reading

Just my type

“Comic Sans walks into a bar and the barman says, we don’t serve your type here.” Everyone laughed when I got this book for Christmas. A good read, especially for the font-obsessed. After being walked through stories of font revolutionaries, from the money-motivated Johannes Gutenberg to the sexual deviant Eric Gill,… 

Continue Reading

Monkeys

Spotted at the V&A today ❤

This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids

this is pretty legendary: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/01/yayoi-kusama-obiliteration-room/

New site live

Just finished a site design for Suzanne Fisher Murray, a Canadian writer/editor/journalist now settled in London. Suzanne wanted visitors to explore her own “personal tube map” of the countries she has worked in. We went through a few iterations, it was a tricky one to get right! The site showcases… 

Continue Reading

Hello Southbank!

Got projected onto the wall of the NFT last night by Aviva Big Picture.

Sunflower Yoga

Just finished a new WordPress site for a local yoga teacher. Was blown away by her photos, I wish I was that flexible! I went through a few logo iterations – I think this one really encapsulates her brand. Check it out http://sunflower yoga.co.uk You might just get inspired to… 

Continue Reading