Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Tofugu, a wonky Japanese language and culture blog, is my new favourite website. Not only is the blog dedicated to Japan, which of course means I’m going to love it anyway, but each post is really well written and researched. I think my favourite post that I’ve read so far – and I haven’t looked back too far into past posts – is the My Neighbour Totoro Conspiracy Theory. It’s a really good read and very interesting, although perhaps not if you’re not familiar with Totoro.

However, this isn’t Tumblr and I’m not just going to regurgitate all the great stuff Tofugu have posted. You can check out the blog for yourself. What I really want to share here is some of a wonderful illustrations that are created specifically for some Tofugu posts. After all, I am a visually-minded person.

Maybe I didn’t look hard enough but I couldn’t seem to find any reference to who the Tofugu illustrator is on the website. Although it’s fairly clear that it is just the one illustrator, as they have a fairly distinct style. Luckily a little thing called Twitter exists, so I asked. And I can at least link to the her Twitter account – @ayapizza.

Okay, so I looked harder and found the about page.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Right Action

I don’t particularly like or dislike Franz Ferdinand. They used to be a band that I listened to a fair bit and I saw them live at the first iTunes Festival that I went to, back in 2009. I’m indifferent to this new song but my graphic designer mind really loves the video, so much so that I’m posting it here. It is very Swiss and a bit Saul Bass.

ReVox Sessions in the flesh

I received my copy of Peter Parker’s Rock n Roll Club’s ReVox Sessions a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to photograph (and actually take the record out of it’s wrapping) until today – Bank Holiday and all.

The painting on the front is by the band’s drummer, Sakura Mori.

More (full) photographs on my website: here

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Buttery biscuit base

I had completely forgotten about this until Greg said the magic words on tonight’s Master Chef. Pure genius. This is never going to get old.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Falmouth alumni careers profile

I have been asked to write a bio and answer some questions for a Falmouth alumni careers profile for new employability materials, including careers brochures for each course. I struggled a bit – writing is hard. But here is what I’ve end up with:

“I graduated from Falmouth University (although it was still University College Falmouth then!) with a degree in graphic design in 2012. When I left Falmouth, although I stuck around for as long as my landlord would allow, I went straight into a work placement at a small design studio in London. It was great to be in the big city and I, like many others, assumed that’s where I’d end up. But I didn’t, at least I haven’t yet. I found a job at a design studio, emc design, 15 miles away from my hometown and it’s really, really great.

1 What would be your top tip for graphic design students?
Obviously you have to work hard, be creative, push your ideas etc. But I think an important thing to keep in mind is not to disconnect from the world outside of design, and outside of the studio. Let it influence you and your work, especially in Falmouth. Don’t spend all your time glued to your Macbook screen. Get outside. You and your work will benefit from it, trust me.

2 What do you wish you had known when you started your career?
University and education are great but there’s so much more to learn in the real world. For example, it’s okay if you don’t know all of the Adobe applications and everything they can do. There’s no better place to learn than on the job.

3 Please describe your ideal graphic design candidate in three words
Passionate, inquisitive, determined.

4 What are the best and worst moves you made during your job hunt?
I don’t think I made any terrible moves or choices but you can always be doing more to find work. Keep your eyes peeled, talk to people, check job listings every day. Contact studios regardless of what they are offering – even if they aren’t offering anything at all. Show interest and interact with designers – Twitter is great.

The best move I made was not restricting myself to London (as I originally thought I had to) and contacting a local design studio regardless of the fact they weren’t advertising any jobs. They were impressed with my portfolio, the next day invited me for an interview and employed me within a few weeks. Turns out they just hadn’t got around to advertising for a Junior Designer position yet, so both parties won!

5 Are there any vacancy sources or industry websites that you really like?
The ‘It’s Nice That’ jobs board is great. Much better than other job sites that just list jobs through recruitment agencies. Again, Twitter. Linked In.

6 Are there any competition or awards that you would flag up to students?
Well, I entered and was short-listed for the RSA Student Design Awards so I’d have to say that! I found I was able to re-interpret the brief to a certain extent and that made my idea completely different to the other entries. Which I think was the main reason I was short-listed. The interview process was really beneficial as well, even though I didn’t win overall.

7 What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Patrick Baglee gave a great lecture at Falmouth a few years ago. I think he was quoting someone else when he said this, and now I’m passing it on myself: “It’s better to be interested than interesting.”

8 Any other tips?
I’ve said it already but don’t assume because there aren’t any jobs advertised at a certain design studio, that you can’t ask. It pays off to show that you’re keen and interested – and not only applying because it’s a job. I’m not saying it will work for every design studio but you’ll never know if you don’t try…”

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The eye of the tree

I went to visit Ruby in her new Cambridgeshire home today. She took me out to visit Anglesey Abbey and Ely Cathedral. The latter mostly because I wanted to see the famous cathedral from Pink Floyd’s Division Bell album sleeve (designed by Storm Thorgerson).

At Anglesey Abbey I discovered trees with eyes – although I have no idea why this isn’t something I’ve noticed before, given my love for trees. So, I photographed quite a few. I’d like to make this a new mini photography project. There were far more eyes than this, but here are some of the best:

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled from now on…

Friday, 16 August 2013

Lunchtime scarecrow craft

This year (tomorrow) Stevington has it’s first scarecrow festival and we at emc design thought it only right that we take part – I mean, we are creatives after all. Pretty much as soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to make Mr Turnip Head from Howl’s Moving Castle. Luckily, Jordan knew what that was (I’m not sure anyone else at work did) and we made him together today.

I think if we’d have had more time – we only really had our lunch break – and had actually planned a bit, we could have made a really good one. But hey, we did a good job in the time I think. I’m pleased with my head (real turnip/swede) and hat at least.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Friday, 9 August 2013


I’m one of those rare people that actually neither loves nor hates marmite – yes, we do exist. I could go the rest of my life without eating it but if I was hungry and there was a piece of toast with marmite on it in front of me I could happily eat it. However, I do love the new Marmite Neglect advert. It’s simply original, amusing and well-produced, so well worth sharing here.

Maybe I’ll have marmite on my toast tomorrow… but probably not, because I’m a big peanut butter fan.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Pixel nostalgia

Everyone enjoys getting nostalgic over certain things every once in a while and I know there’s a whole lot of people out there who get nostalgic over pixels, like me. Noir Lac is clearly one of those people, so he’s made these wonderful pieces of pixel art for us to feast our nostalgia on. If nostalgia is something that needs feeding?

Sunday, 4 August 2013

It’s okay to gig alone

I really love music and I like nothing more than going to see my favourite bands live. However, I listen to a lot of music that none of my friends do. Which is fine, I like that I have my own tastes and I’m not influenced by anyone else too much (although by all means, suggest something if you think I’ll like it! New music is great too.). But it’s always nice to go to a show with a buddy – and preferably one who likes the band in the first place, rather than just being dragged along.

I went to a lot of gigs with friends when I was younger and lately I’ve been to quite a lot with my dad. He’s brought me up well on good bands (R.E.M., Neil Young, Pink Floyd and more recently Arcade Fire). We both love Band of Horses and we saw them a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately dad isn’t so much of a punk rock fan like me.

So, now when my favourite punk rockers announce shows I’m buying myself a ticket regardless of whether anyone is coming with me. Which is exactly what I did for the show I went to last night…

Whenever I take a camera to a show, I always end up just using my phone…

I went to see The Menzingers who are an American punk band who I’ve been wanting to see live for ages. I was meant to be going to see them last September but had to sell my ticket when I couldn’t go. I was going to go alone to that gig and I went alone last night after giving up trying to find someone who would vaguely like them. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t drag anyone along because I stood right at the front and got crushed and sweaty, but for The Menzingers it was more than worth it.

I’d like to say I talked to strangers at the show and shared our like-minded music tastes, but I didn’t. It was enough for me just to be surrounded by people who appreciate a band as much as I do, because I really love this band. Maybe next time I’ll be brave and talk to someone new, but I was there for the music and the music alone.

They were far more electric than this, but I like this version too.

EDIT: This is even better! Billy Bragg cover.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

I bought a banjo

A banjo has been on my mental wish list since around the time I was doing my GCSEs, when I discovered that country and folk music were actually kind of awesome (although that wasn’t necessarily due to music GCSE – I’m not sure we learnt much about banjos). I’ve finally got around to buying myself one, albeit a very basic starter banjo. Now I just have to learn to play it…

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Japan Plan

I’m not quite sure exactly when I first became fascinated by Japan. Perhaps when I started reading historical (and some fantasy) fiction set in the feudal/samurai era, or maybe when I discovered Japanese art and prints, or maybe it was watching Studio Ghibli films. Although it also could have been, subconsciously, as far back as playing Zelda and Pokemon.

All I know is I’ve been wanting to visit the intriguing country for ever so many years, so it is time to start planning my [first] trip. Last night I spent some hours on Google images compiling images of things I like about Japan.