Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Global Language… for Animals

I saw this ‘Most languages agree on the sound cats make’ illustration on the Catnip Times page on Facebook, this evening. Finding the cats in the illustration adorable, (Well, I would. They’re cats, but still…) I did a nifty little ‘search Google for this image’ to find it’s source – because as is the way with the Internet and social media, the Catnip Times didn’t say where the artwork was from.

Google worked it’s magic and I found this Design Taxi article and a link to the illustrator’s blog – James Chapman. As the Design Taxi blog post is over 6 months old, it’s great to see some more recent illustrations (and animations) by James. What’s more, they’re all in the language theme!

Animal sounds:

Other sounds:

Monday, 28 July 2014

Tiny Tokyo

‘Anyone who has ever set foot in Tokyo or dreamed of seeing its kaleidoscopic wonders will fall in love with this totally unique tour of the beautiful megalopolis. Here are all the spectacular sights of the great big Japanese capital, made tiny enough to fit in a pocket! This teeny tome collects incredible bird’s-eye views of the bustling cityscape, all shot using a distinctive photographic technique known as “tilt-shift” that has the effect of seeming to shrink its subjects— making one of the vastest cities in the world look like a miniature model. Epic skyscrapers, crowded city streets, and even sumo wrestling matches resemble tiny plastic toys in this one-of-a-kind little book.’Chronicle Books, on Tiny Tokyo by photographer Ben Thomas.

Ben Thomas is an Australia-based photographer whose award-winning tilt-shift photographs of cities around the world – Cityshrinker – have been exhibited internationally.

Also see: Take a Tour of Tokyo in Miniature by Jordan G. Teicher on

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Pentalum luminarium is a sculpture people enter to be immersed in radiant light and colour.

Inspired by the beauty of natural geometry and Islamic architecture, the Architects of Air created the Pentalum with winding passages, domes and pods where you can sit down and absorb the ambience.

The Pentalum is the only bit of Milton Keynes’ International Festival that I have managed to see and be a part of. Having moved to Bedford now, and with the Bedford River Festival taking top priority last weekend, it hasn’t been practical for me to see, for myself, all of what’s been going on in MK over the last 10 days. I’m glad mum and I made it to the Pentalum, on the festival’s last day, this afternoon though, as it was pretty impressive.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Band of Themed Album Covers

I was listening to Band of Horses, one of my absolute favourite [non-punk] bands, on Spotify earlier and I happened to notice – not for the first time – the visual theme throughout all of their album covers. They use the same script font for their logo and place it over a photograph of the natural world in some shape or form. They each look great alone, but when you stick them all together…

Cease to Begin (below) is the least similar of the album covers, but it’s one I own on vinyl!
Even the Spotify Sessions artwork matches the theme!
And some single covers, as well.

I really like it when a band sticks to one visual identity for themselves from day one – if it’s a good identity anyway – even if it’s just a logo or typography choices. (I blogged about the album artwork of Hot Water Music not so long ago, most of which were created by one particular artist – and look awesome.)

Although, of course bands can do whatever they want with the artwork and it’s really down to the music to hook me. The Gaslight Anthem, for example, are one of my favourite bands, I would probably even say my most favourite, but their new album (yet to be released) artwork is just ugly.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bedford River Festival

This weekend Bedford is holding it’s bi-annual (that’s a word, right? Only happens every two years.) famous River Festival. Yesterday I spent almost the whole day there, from about 1pm until 11pm – there was a lot to do/see/eat/listen to/watch! I was there with Steve and several of my colleague/friends from work. The weather was great, despite thinking all week that it was going to be torrential rain and thunderstorms. It was actually very warm and mostly sunny all day. No rain coat needed at all.

I have similar plans for today, this time with Ruby who is coming down from Ely (Cambridgeshire) to visit my new home for the first time. In fact, she’s the first of my uni friends to visit. It should be another great day, starting with the floats parade at midday.

The festival was huge, much bigger and well-put-together than I ever imagined – having never been to the Bedford River Festival before. And it was excellent. It’s a shame that it only happens once every two years (but I can see why judging by all the litter last night) but I’m glad that it happens at all. And I’m really happy I live here too.

A couple o’ photos from Instagram, as always.

Meanwhile, Milton Keynes is having it’s International Festival this weekend as well, which also looks pretty awesome and I feel ever so slightly traitorous to my hometown. But I can always go to that next year!

EDITED to include today’s photos – mostly the parade:

So, a great weekend all-in-all!