TeaAndABiscuit

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design

I get to do a lot of interesting and exciting things at work, but this week has really been something! After a year of planning, we’ve had EINE in to create an artwork for our new building. I’ve spent the week watching him work, had a lesson in tagging, and hosting a Q&A with all the designers from our company and some students from Central St Martins – and as I type this, Ben’s putting the finishing touches to his work. Here are some photos from the week – thanks to Matt Kay for the excellent last photo!

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Fascinating talk at St Bride last week by MinaLima Design – Mira and Eduardo are the talented people behind all the graphic design in the Harry Potter films. If like me you are a fan of the films – and in particular the visual look of the films – then this was a dream. Draft versions of the Marauder’s Map, copy of Advanced Potion-Making, packaging from the Weasley’s shop… Heaven.

As always with good design, research was critical to the material’s success and I enjoyed seeing some of the pieces Mira and Eduardo found as inspiration. But my biggest take-away: hand-lettering is awesome. I pledge to do more.

Incidentally, this – like many of St Bride’s fantastic talks – was organised by the wonderful @alphabeckles. Do yourself a favour and follow her on Twitter. Now, I must lie down – my arm is hurting…

Daily Prophet

stripes
Almost the last of my new designs – there’s still one more I haven’t shared yet! Cards for everyday scenarios. Like ‘Thanks!’, ‘Good Luck!’, and… well… when you just want to say ‘Hello!’.

All the new designs are with the printer now, so – anyone who already ordered some (thanks!), there’s not long to wait!

A quick note to let you know I’ll be speaking on Wednesday as part of St Bride’s mini-conference, Stories From the Fold, with my publishing design hat on. You can find more info here: St Bride. Not that I’m nervous, but the other speakers just happen to be brilliant; Jon Gray, Zoe Bather, Clare Skeats , Phoenix Yard Books… I could go on!

Hope to see you there, and meanwhile I will get back to pacing the room and shaking uncontrollably.

I’ve been having fun recently working on a project for a friend, Mark (you can take a look at his site here). Mark’s the very definition of a polymath, and among the many ways he puts his creativity to work is as one (yes, one!) of his musical incarnations, Uffmoor Woods Music Club.

Mark asked me to work on artwork for his new release, Everything I Will Remember When We’re Gone and it’s been such an enjoyable project. I hope I’ve done the music justice, it’s a beautiful collection of songs.

Uffmoor

Clockwise from top: CD, Back/Tracklist, Front.

My final post on Tokyo, and I thought I’d share some of my favourite (non-stationery) sights from the trip. We stayed in Shinjuku, which was a really great area from which to explore the city. Here are just a few of my highlights…

The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Ghibli Museum

I can’t recommend this place highly enough; whether you love the Studio Ghibli films or not, this place is magical. I won’t give too much away, but the building itself is worth the price of admission. Book your ticket before you go (info on the museum website). Add in the chance to see an exclusive Ghibli film, and play with animation techniques, this is a fantastic place. Mitaka is a great area for a stroll, and the museum is in a lovely park – with a lake containing the biggest Koi Carp I’ve ever seen.

Mitaka

Sushi, sushi and more sushi

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It goes without saying that all the food was amazing. But I couldn’t get enough sushi. From the 7/11, from the food hall at Isetan in Shinjuku (a must-do!), and from various restaurants. Anyone know where I can find sushi this good in London? Please?!

We saw Mt Fuji! Just! We took the train to Hakone for an overnight stay at a traditional ryokan, and after a wash-out on day one where we couldn’t see a foot in front of us, on day two while eating our lunch (sushi, of course) by the lake… this…

Fuji-San

We did a lot of walking, which would be my top piece of advice for anyone going to Tokyo. It’s a great city for walking. Here are a few of the things I spotted:

Sake Lamp

Sake Bottle Lamp outside a bar, Shinjuku

Zoo Type

Typography at Ueno Zoo

Bamboo

Bamboo Forest, Kamakura

Park Sign

Sign in Ueno Park

Shrine

Beautiful coloured roof at shrine in Yoyogi Park

Mushrooms

Mushroom packaging

Go! Go now! It’s brilliant.

stationery

OK, it says a lot about me that I’ll start my posts on Tokyo with stationery (well, if anyone reading this – are you out there?! – knows me, perhaps it’s a slight surprise I haven’t started with food, but anyway…). I couldn’t get enough of the stationery & accessories, and having got back home, far from Tokyu Hands, I wish I had bought much, much more! But I did find some great stuff, which I thought I’d share.

1. Washi Tape. I will stick it on my bike, shelves, notebooks and anything else that stays still long enough.
2. On the tape theme, there was a huge selection of these decorative seals – I picked this camera design out from among the cupcakes, kawaii animals and other cuteness.
3. Letterpress notepaper set by a Japanese company called Orange Airlines. I can’t find any info on them online, sadly.
4. I loved this illustrated postcard by Japanese illustrator Sayaka Sugiura.
5. Cameras again – this time on a little namecard/business card by Tsutsumu.
6. Everyone in Tokyo seemed to have a bike – and great bike accessories. I found this bike bell from Charly in amongst the cloud and star-shaped bike mirrors and kawaii panniers at Loft. Oh, and ‘Charly’ apparently means ‘bike’ in Japanese!
7. Mount Fuji notepaper by Midori.

And tea? Well, I did manage two weeks without a proper cuppa, and got quite addicted to green tea. So how could I come back without a super-kawaii teapot to make it in? And Tokyu Hands had just the thing!

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There are many great blogs out there about how to shop for stationary, kawaii and craft stuff in Tokyo, and I’d recommend the excellent Asking for Trouble and Hello Sandwich, and I wish that the Tokyo Craft Guide from Sake Puppets and Miss Matatabi had been out in time for my trip.

My picks are definitely Tokyu Hands (Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukero branches were all worth a visit), Loft (Shibuya) and Itoya (Ginza). The postcard was one of a few I picked up from a lovely shop in Yanaka called Biscuit.

Next up… food. Oh, and evidence that I did at some stage leave the craft shops and saw some of Tokyo! (^_^)

Karen&John

I’ve been working on the save the date for a friend, and they finally arrived. A sneak preview here! I’ve worked with Karen before on an illustration – a wedding gift for her friend, and she’s a great client who knows exactly what she wants, but is happy to listen to my ideas. For the save the date, we designed a timeline showing the milestones in Karen and John’s lives, leading up to the date they met – and ending with a knot for their upcoming wedding day. We’ll use the ‘knot’ across all the other pieces of stationary.

Congratulations, guys!

stamps

We have had our ups and downs, but your taste in design is always impeccable. Like this set of 6 new stamps from Royal Mail showing images from the 150 years of the Underground’s history. My favourites here of the individual stamps, but I love the posters shown on the Miniature Stamp Sheets. You can find great posters like this at the London Transport Museum – worth a visit if you’re in London Town.

Images © Royal Mail, I guess – definitely not me.