Social behaviour changes

Smokers are quitting. No-smoking areas are expanding. Mobile phone sales are rising. Batteries in mobile phones are dying. All this could mean only one thing.

smoke break charging mobile

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What do Sydney and Vladivostok have in common?

Not much, apart from Sydney’s Anzac bridge built in 1995 and Russky bridge (Russian bridge), built in 2012.

anzac bridge vladivostok russky bridge


Let’s be fair though. At the same time as the Russky bridge was built, there was another one built in Vladivostok. Where are the locals deny any familiarity between the two, the second bridge, called Zolotoy bridge (Golden bridge), does look somewhat different to our Anzac. Open up, here we come!


Simple diagrams

I’m not a big fan of designing diagrams, especially the now-famous infographics (another post on this will come later). But sometimes, client do ask me to either create a new diagram based on their sketch, or re-create something that was done before, in a better, clearer way.

Here is an example of something I didn’t design, but I would love to speak to the person who did.



And if you thought that was bad, take a look at the zoomed our version.



Now, the whole task behind a diagram is to be helpful to those that it was intended for. After speaking to a few pharmacists, who’s wall I found this on — they love it. I’m glad someone out-there creates such masterpieces as above. To this day I have not seen a less complicated one, but I will definitely look out for one.


Some dessert, Mexican style

Went for lunch and decided to grab some Mexican. New restaurant, nice deco, I was looking at everything and generally was quite impressed. That was until I came across their napkins, and probably some other marketing. I took a photo of it and sent to to an infamous Russian website, where they have a section called Idioteka (which basically means, as you have guessed – idiotic things).



Always blame the printers

Was driving through Zetland last Thursday and saw a big banner, advertising new apartment developments for sale. 1-bedroom starting from $469k. This price seemed too good to be true, maybe it was just 1 or 2 units at that price and the rest are a lot more? I planned to pop into their office first thing Saturday morning.

The banner that I saw on Saturday, ie 2 days later looked more like this:


Yep — the price blacked out. When I asked the sales guys why the price was now covered, he blamed the printers for printing a 3-year old design. This banner was designed 3 years ago for stage 1 of the development. Now in stage …, prices for 1-bedroom units start from $600k+. Is it a good time to buy? It’s always a good time to buy.

As they say, if something looks too good to be true — it probably is.

Cities embracing design

Melbourne has always been considered a more cultural, arty place (by most anyway). A designer-friendly city, with it’s relaxed café-like environment. As opposed to Sydney, a fast-paced labyrinth, more geared towards the commercial, business oriented persona.

Melbourne has the agIdeas and just recently the state of Victoria launched Design Matters. What do we have in NSW? I recently received an email from the Sydney based design event, Sydney Indesign. The only issue with that email was that the organisers (PowerHouse museum as it seems) decided to launch the event by doing something that designers (their main target market) despise and look down upon the most — crowdsourcing design contest.


An instant backlash through social media, blogs and forums, wasn’t that expected? The best would be the actual entries that they have received, which were mainly posters of protest against this whole idea of exploitation. I won’t be going into details why designers shouldn’t get themselves into design contests, there is enough on that written already. $1,000 prize, even that number itself is a joke.

The good news, and I would say this is mainly due to the negative publicity they have received — the contest was pulled off the website within about 1-2 days. Good job guys, let’s just all imagine that this never happened 🙂

A couple of examples of the entries, too bad I didn’t save them all.


Catching up

I’ve always been a bit of a “late bloomer”. Recent example — ended up crowd-surfing at the Gogol Bordello concert (for the first time). Even made a video while being thrown around. I’ve never been backpacking until 2 years ago. I’ve never lived with housemates until about 1 year ago.

I first heard of the term “couch-surfing” a couple of weeks ago, when we were desperate to book a place in Dubbo (for the TripleJ ONS) and the whole place was literally booked out, with nearest campsite being a 35km drive. In fact, I’ve never been to a festival or a big party with multiple performers, until 2 weeks ago.

While researching backyards online where we can throw a tent, I came across a girl, who knew a guy, that let me and my friend crash at his place for the night. It was free. Met him for the first time when we got to his house. We had a bedroom each with a comfortable bed. The dude made us coffee in the morning, we spoke about random stuff and he even came with us to the party. In return — we got him a case of beer. We also met his friends (and that girl who got me his details) for lunch the next day. “You are staying with the biggest hippie in Dubbo!”, he exclaimed at some point. Cool guy.


That being said, I did approximately 10 years of security at all kinds of events: concerts, raves, performances, balls and races, you name it. I just never went there as a spectator.

Now — I am catching up. In about 1 week I’m off to Melbourne, by myself, for the agIdeas.  Actually I’ve never travelled alone either, so this will be interesting. All those things I’ve never done before I actually always wanted to do, it’s just that, well, it’s never too late, so why not now.

In Melbourne I’m staying at backpackers (again, experiencing this further). I’ll also be going to a bunch of seminars, talks, lunches and dinners, all with people I’ve never met before.

What’s interesting is that I’ve had numerous people crashing at my place over the years. Many I only met that day. Quite a few stayed on the couch, although I never knew the term “couch-surfing” even existed. I stayed in caravan parks with friends and woke up bitten by bed bugs. I’ve shared a 2-men tent with 4, I’ve woken up due to being rained on or because the owner of the place I was securing overnight was knocking on my car window.

But, I like new experiences. Without them, your ideas go stale, your brain has nothing new to explore. My brain needs to be fed, whether it’s a talk on trace elements and neuroscience, which I’ve recently attended (and understood almost nothing), or a conversation about fox tail lotto, which is, well, a little disturbing.

Traditional technology

Went to see Tanja at Opera Australia joint in Surry Hills the other day. Apart from seeing the backstage of where they make costumes, build stages and create props – I mainly went there to look at her new toy, a 1895 Chandler & Price letterpress.

Weighting “only” around 1 tonne, this 1x1m machine was delivered there on a crane… how else would you even move this thing?


Some of it’s mechanism. Very manual, very slow, very strong and apparently you need to watch your fingers.


Didn’t get to actually print anything this time, or take photos of any of the finished work, but when someone says they still use traditional technology – this would be a perfect example.


You don’t really realise how much we take our current 1,000s of fonts for granted, until you see this. Here you work with what you got. Each font, each size, each letter is separate.  Each needs to be set and I’m not even talking about the fact that most of these letters are second hand, have been used for years and now are not exactly the same height… which means your print won’t come out perfectly clear either. The results that come out are a little random, a little crooked and sometimes unclear, but that’s the beauty behind this machine. Every single print has it’s own personality, it was custom made and you will think twice before throwing it away (well, some would).

Wish I took some photos of the finished work to show, but it’s ok – next time!