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!

Beams Arts Festival — final presentation

The branding for the upcoming Beams Festival is done. Together with our small team of UTS Master of Design students, we have designed something people seemed to be quite happy with. Well, lots of wine could of also played a role in this, but sometimes a bit of wine (even better vodka) does help.

All the people involved in the design are named (click to view the larger version). Lawrence is the professor who runs our studio (and knows MANY people in the industry it seems). This is how we got this gig in the first place. Ian just arrived back to Australia from Germany, has years of experience under his sleeve and basically lead us in the right direction, made us think (so to say). We learned (and learning) quite a lot from him.

The rest of the people are from all over the place. Sydney City Council, Chippendale Creative Precinct, art galleries, design and marketing firms, hotels and who knows what else. They were cool.

Well, this is the logo. It’s not really meant to be shown inside a rectangular box, the background is meant to be all black — but that would mean I need to change the background of this whole post to black. Not going to happen.

There was a lot more to this, but we probably shouldn’t reveal it just yet. Just try and get to Chippendale in Sydney on the 22 September 2012. More info will eventually appear on their site.

The scent of Sydney (installation)

As part of UTS Master of Design course, we got involved with TEDxSydney. All the master students were to come up with some way to entertain the guests, get them involved or to simply make the whole TEDx experience a little TEDxy. After weeks of meetings, ideas, agreements and disagreements — we (well, Professor Lawrence) realised that the best thing for us to do was to create something on our own. He was right.

Took us a while to come up with the concept, which in the end was to create “the scent of Sydney”. Don’t even ask how we came up with the scent, but it smelled decent, people liked it and some were even excited enough to spray it around the house, when they go back to London.

Continue reading “The scent of Sydney (installation)”


ISA-RC24 is a society for whom I designed a logo. In fact, it’s their first logo since they were established back in 1971 (or there abouts). Probably something that should have been done a long time ago, but this being a NFP, it’s not like branding was ever in their budget.

Well, here it is.

The brief went something like this:

Continue reading “ISA—RC24”

back to school

A few days ago I went for a walk around UTS. In their toilets (library) they have the following sign. I liked it, but didn’t really get it.

I understand that in some Asian countries people stand on the toilet, instead of sitting on it. Of course the actual toilets there are different and lower. So, just in case an International student mixes things up — they made this sign.

But who in their right mind would hang a shit on the floor, next to the toilet? This must of been put there as a joke. Although, I do remember the public toilets back in Ukraine in the early 90s. You couldn’t actually walk inside of them, the toilets were broken and no-one ever cleaned them. You could locate the nearest toilet just by its smell, it was a heaven for local flies. People would come to the front entrance, take 1-2 steps forward, pull down their pants and do what they had to do, right there, on the floor. In that case, I do understand why that last sign is included.