Archived entries for nice stuff

John Carlos, and the Black Power salute

John Carlos at 'You are Here' Lance Wyman Exhibtion

John Carlos at ‘You are Here’ Lance Wyman Exhibition.  Photo (c) Finola Gaynor

John Carlos, kindly came along to see the show ‘You are here‘, here at Norwich. He was both humble and inspiring. His conversation with students at NUCA, The Gallery, was focused around the importance of the Black Power Salute and the sad consequences that he, Tommie Smith and Peter Norman faced post the 1968 Olympics.

John spoke about the way his fellow americans had ostracised him 44 years ago and now the same people clamber to have a token picture taken with him.

The Black Power salute at the Mexico 1968 Olympics was a protest made by the 200 metres American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos and Peter Norman the Australian competitor. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black gloved fists, wore open sports jackets without shoes on the winners podium. All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges after Norman, a critic of Australia’s White Australia Policy, expressed empathy with their ideals.

Eastern Daily Press

The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal
By maxvansanten | 06/21/11 | Abstract Art, graffiti, Graffiti Removal, Street Art

Lance Wyman ‘You are Here’

You are here

Works by the legendary American graphic designer Lance Wyman

1 May – 9 June 2012

Lance Wyman is often described as the ‘Rock Star’ of graphic arts brought up in Kearny, New Jersey, the son of a commercial fisherman. Wyman was destined for a career in design for he acquired an appreciation for a “no-nonsense functional aesthetic of the sea and the factories”. Wyman describes this as “an important influence in my approach to design” as he spent time out on the Atlantic with his father.

Wyman’s approach to design is ‘complexity made simple’ this is clearly illustrated through his work for the Mexico City Olympic Games 1968, ‘Mexico 68’. His design ethos is creating graphic elements that are distilled to their purist form whilst skilfully maintaining personality and recognition.

Wyman has influenced designers, design students and every Olympic games graphic design programme worldwide ever since.

Working with Lance on the exhibition was an amazing honour. What struck me early on was the quantity and quality of his work. The difficulty for me as the curator was the selection process. I thought it important to record the process of the exhibition build.

How to get here

BBC CoverageNUCA, The GalleryLance Wyman

Lance Wyman next to Mexico68 logo type

Photograph of Lance Wyman at 'You are here' Exhibition (c) F Gaynor 2012


Exhibition Build, You are Here Exhibition Lance Wyman (c) F Gaynor 2012
Mexico Alphabet Wall

Mexico Alphabet Wall, Carl Bayliss (c) F Gaynor 2012

Close-up alphabet, Carl Bayliss (c) F Gaynor 2012

Framed pieces pile (c) F Gaynor 2012

Sports icons (c) F Gaynor 2012

Sarah Beare Gallery Technician (c) F Gaynor 2012

Vitrine (c) F Gaynor 2012

Frame Hanging, Lousia Milsome, Sarah Beare, Frame Hanging (c) F Gaynor 2012

Kyobo brand manual wall (c) F Gaynor 2012

picture hanging 2 (c) FGaynor 2012

vitrine_2 (c) FGaynor 2012

untitled (c) FGaynor 2012

untitled_2 (c) FGaynor 2012

untitled-3 (c) FGaynor 2012

Lance Wyman logo (c) FGaynor 2012


Continue reading…

Character Animation by Alexander Card

Showreel 2011 from Alexander Card on Vimeo.

This work is from one of the NTU BA (Hons) Multimedia students, the piece is called ‘Ringroad Supermarkets’ and is designed and produced by Alexander Card.

Whilst the main character is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Stainboy, this character has a different personality, and originality which becomes apparent in this short clip.

2011 D&AD Yellow Pencil


tips for Better Ideas


Rethink Scholarship at Langara 2010 Call for Entries from Rory O’Sullivan and Simon Bruyn on Vimeo.

A great reminder of some essential but sometimes forgotten steps, presented in a very creative way.

Sustainable Graphic Design – Part 1 & 2

a conversation

Held at Antenna, Nottingham, UK

Part 1

Fifteen designers and industry experts attended a conversation in sustainable design held at Antenna on 15 December. The afternoon event was led by Future Factory project manager Phil Harfield and Rob Coke, Creative Director of Studio Output. Rob has been working with Finola Gaynor of Nottingham Trent University to kick start the sustainability agenda for local design studios. Finola has a passion for the subject and as principal lecturer in Visual Communication was the right person to move the initiative ahead. Unfortunately Finola was unable to attend this first event but played a big role during the design and development stage.

What followed was a lively debate about alternative resources, designing out waste, liability and consumer knowledge. Several participants shared their own ideas and actions which have resulted in significant cost and waste reductions.

Contributions regarding current printing and paper choices and their implications came from representatives from GF Smith, Plan Four Print and Howard Smith Paper Company. This included descriptions of the process of FSC certification and carbon-balanced paper. These are fairly complex systems of which commissioners, designers and members of the public should all be aware.

Although no conclusion was reached about the role of graphic designers in promoting sustainability it was recognised that they do have a unique position with the ability to inform clients in this area and pass on information to end-users.

On the whole members of the group felt that they were not sufficiently knowledgeable about the range of issues to be educating clients and account managers. There appears to be a dearth of information about the subject although some useful online resources were exchanged and these will contribute to an ongoing project to provide information to the industry in the East Midlands. The basis of the project is to develop a web-based resource which gives practical and reliable information about environmental impact and cost implications for a range of different design scenarios including paper finishes, which size paper will produce the least waste or allow for reuse. The printers present felt that they could be more active in guiding designers to make these choices and encouraged greater communication.

There is a worry however that focusing on strict environmental criteria will ultimately eliminate the element of design. This, however, is not the aim of sustainable design. As one participant pointed out sustainability needs to be thought through from the beginning of a project. Products should not be termed sustainable just because they have been printed on FSC-certified paper.

Feedback from the event has been very positive and one studio has reported that they have already taken practical steps to improve their environmental impact. These include recycling more, switching off machinery when not in use and changing from solvent inks to water-based inks which is great news.


the symposium

Held at NTU in the White Room, Nottingham Trent University

Part 2

(c) Finola Gaynor

Christine Fent presenting guidance for sustainable graphic design

Christine Fent, Beam Design

Christine Fent studied typography and design in Mainz, Germany. After
completing her diploma she headed straight to London, where she worked for
Roundel Design amongst other design companies. After a spell as freelance
designer with contracts at Landor in Hamburg and Salter Baxter in London she
set-up Composite Projects. After successful collaboration on several
projects she joined forces with Dominic Latham-Koenig to form Beam in 2008.
Beam are a multi-discipline design consultancy in London.

(c) Finola Gaynor

Lei Cox presenting 'The Dark Room'

Prof Lei Cox
Lei Cox works with video installation, video art and photography; and has shown worldwide since 1985. He is also a free-lance film and video maker and has worked with BBC Scotland , BBC 2, Channel 4, Republik Films and Sky TV. His major Solo Shows have been shown in the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Laing Gallery, Newcastle and Gallery Rene Coelho, Amsterdam. Group shows include Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tate Gallery Liverpool, European Media Art Festival, Osnabruk. His Single screen work has been shown in at least 70 international festivals and he has just completed an interactive camera obscurae public art work “ The Dark Room : Mountain to Sea – Beyond Site” which is situated on Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland. This work started in 2005 and was made in collaboration with Mel Woods (producer) Fergus Purdie (architect) and George Keen (lens designer). At present Lei is working towards his October 2011 inaugural exhibition and lecture, which will consist of past historical works as well as six new installations and projections; three are national premiers and three completely new works.


Finola Gaynor, Chair
A Graphic Designer with over 18 years experience in the creative industries of Graphic Design, Advertising, Technology nd Publishing.

Finola led the BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication for 5 years with research relating to ‘Extended Studio, learning and teaching within a virtual space.’ Finola has held the position of Committee Member of the Typocircle and has also been an advisor to the HEA, National Teaching Fellowhsip Scheme. As Principal Lecturer in Graphic Design Finola has designed and led undergraduate courses in graphic design within the UK, Malaysia  and JAPAN, culminating in seminars, lecture series and research contributions within the areas of branding, typography, usability, and information design. Finola also supervises MA and PHD students specialising in Information and User-centric design.


It seems that sustainable design, goes beyond that of the object, the printed substrate or the digital screen.

Sustainability is not only a British Standard, an ISO but a sense of self, a frame of mind an ethic and more importantly I guess a harmonious balance between offsets.

During conversations and the from the workshops it became apparent that the driver comes from the client, thedesigner the artist and the users/readers of our designs or pieces of art.

Happily there is a need to educate, not only our graduating designers, commercial designers and our clients, which as a group of people with a vested interest should foster the concept and practice of sustainability with our geographically local SMEs.

Without being too profound. This balance is a requirement and is necessary to ensure integrity to maintain and develop creativity. And of course we would all agree that creativity enables a better society. This is my hunch.

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”
— Frank Capra

Finola Gaynor, Chair, Future Factory Design Symposium

These events were made possible by the Future Factory and Megan Mcfarlene

Talk about insulin (1959) Wellcome Film Channel

Dr Liston interviews two specialists of the day; Prof. Charles H. Best of Toronto and Dr. R. D. Lawrence of London. Prof. Best discovered insulin alongside Dr. Frederick Banting, and Dr. Lawrence was one of the first diabetics to receive insulin. He went on to research diabetes and insulin in his medical career. 2 segments

Interesting statement by Dr. Lawrence everyone who had diabetes would die within 4-6weeks, during (c 1922) until Dr Banting discovered insulin.

New installation, Reflex, at the Wellcome Trust | Wellcome Trust


People walking along Euston Road will encounter an unusually arresting reflection of themselves in a new light installation, ‘Reflex’, created by rAndom International.

Go to work on an egg – Variety is egg shaped.

101 ways to ‘cook’ an egg:

E(gg)xtrapulation through diversity and unity.

What is our global relationship with the egg?

Actors: Tony Hancock and Patricia Hayes.

Remember, go to work on an egg.

Designed by Ogilvy and Mather





Paul Bennett on creativity and play on Ted Talks

Rick Poynor: Paul Stiff, the Reader’s Champion: Observers Room: Design Observer



Rick Poynor

Paul Stiff, the Reader’s Champion

This week I was reminded again of the British design educator Paul Stiff, who died in February, by the arrival of a collection of design essays that has just been published in Poland. It contains an article originally titled “Stop Sitting Around and Start Reading,” which Stiff wrote for Eye magazine in 1993. I can’t remember for certain whether he proposed this to me as editor, or whether I pressed him to write it. It was probably a bit of both, though, because I had made previous attempts to persuade him to contribute without getting anywhere, before finally cracking it.

I’ll come back to that essay in a moment, but one thing leads to another and the Polish book prompted me to go looking for an issue of Graphics World published in 1988 — the image above — that I was pretty sure I still had somewhere. The magazine contains a six-page article, said to be Stiff’s first, titled “Design for Reading.” It’s really three articles in one: a main text defending the vital importance of readability; a secondary text setting out principles derived from his own experiences of “object quality” as a reader; and a slide show of examples with opinionated captions. Here, Stiff describes the hapless designers of an architecture book as “fiddling and blipping away” at the design “just to maintain their own interest in the job.” Even this brief quotation gives a flavor of the article (and the teacher): absolutely set against any designer shenanigans that might interfere with the reading experience.

One can only imagine what Stiff must have thought of the typographic cover image by Phil Baines — then an up-and-coming experimental typographer and now a professor at Central Saint Martins. Baines takes Stiff’s first paragraph and scrambles (or should that be blips?) it to form a typographic conundrum that can be read, but only with some effort. It’s a strong cover that probably worked well to attract a younger generation of readers then becoming increasingly interested in the expressive, textural and connotative possibilities of type. It was also, in 1988, a sign of things to come, when designers would seize the typographic possibilities of digital technology and concoct new justifications for their experiments.

Five years later, “Stop Sitting Around and Start Reading” was a rigorously argued riposte to what Sharon Poggenpohl of Visible Language had called a “more responsive typography.” Lucid, argumentative and engagingly readable, Stiff insists that designers ground their ideas and theories about reading in evidence:

Sceptics might ask: of all the sources of knowledge about reading and communication (cognitive psychology, ethnology, ergonomics, discourse analysis, feminism . . .) why have typographers defaulted to those which neither offer nor require evidence. To ones which permit them to “theorise” reading as passive osmosis, to marginalise readers (mere receptacles) and at the same time to foreground the act of designing (explained as the “challenging” of empty vessels)? Whose interests do such theories serve?

I was pleased to publish what can now be seen as one of the key responses to the claims made by typographic theorists in those years. But dealing with Stiff wasn’t easy. He wanted endnotes so he could give his sources, which were critical to his argument. Even though we didn’t usually publish notes — Eye is a magazine, after all, not a journal — I agreed because I could see their necessity in this case, though I suggested we drop the page numbers. Stiff wasn’t happy with this, maintaining that it would ill serve readers; he was consistent to a fault. I thought that was overstating it. When the essay, slightly revised, was reprinted in Looking Closer 2 (1997) under a perhaps too emphatic new title, “Look at Me! Look at Me! (What Designers Want),” he put the numbers back in.

That volume is still the best place to find his essay. I would like to supply a link, but the text isn’t available online and the Eye site doesn’t list it in the contents for issue no. 11 vol. 3, where it appears. I hope that can be rectified soon, and someone should put “Design for Reading” online, too. It would also be good to see a collection of Stiff’s writings, including his work from Information Design Journal, where he was co-editor (1986-1990) and then editor (1990-2000), and Typography Papers, an occasional publication that he founded in 1996.

Stiff is an important figure. He was a man of principle with demanding standards and he had a deep influence on both colleagues and the students he taught in the world-renowned department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. But he was not well known outside academic circles, even within British design. Given the quality of his very occasional interventions, it always seemed a shame that he didn’t engage more widely with the design scene, in the way that his colleague and close friend Robin Kinross has done — see obituaries of Stiff by Kinross here and here. Stiff’s second ever contribution to Eye (according to its website index), a short piece about British road signs, appeared in a special issue about information design in winter 2010. His recent major project, a superb, book-sized eighth issue of Typography Papers, titled Modern Typography in Britain: Graphic Design, Politics, and Society, the fruit of a research initiative at Reading, shows him working, as historian, writer and editor, at the height of his powers.

via Rick Poynor: Paul Stiff, the Reader’s Champion: Observers Room: Design Observer.