// Nike Plus

1 02 2010

At the weekend, my fiancé and I made what I would class as an ‘investment’. We bought a new pair of Nike running shoes (you can see mine here), and a Nike+ sportband each. Naturally I got the white & pink one (pictured), and he went all manly and got the grey and yellow one. Technically they are grey & pink / black & yellow, and whilst mine might be very light grey instead of white, there’s no way on earth the grey is black!

For those of you who aren’t in the know, the wristband comes with a sensor which you slot into the sole of your left shoe (underneath the insole) and you sync the two pieces of kit together. The sensor in the shoe transmits details of your distance, pace and calories burnt to your wristband, which you can plug into your computer (via USB!) and upload to the Nike website to track your progress!

Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? I’ve only used it twice so far, but I’m already impressed, and plan to use it regularly for the foreseeable future!

From a design point of view, the wristband is sleek and attractive, and the incorporation of a removable USB device to share your runs is ingenious. The sensor is a design marvel in itself, from the way it slots into the sole of the shoe, to the fact it’s cleanly branded with Nike & Apple making it not only a nifty tool, but visually pleasing too (considering it’s not on show!).

Furthermore, I’m loving the infographics on the website; it shows your runs according to the date, and each individual run in graph format based on speed and distance, with icons to map how you were feeling, the terrain upon which you ran, and also a route for the run. I’m looking forward to getting some more information logged over the next few days so I can start seeing my progress!


// Numbers

26 01 2010

I get weekly emails from both Typography Served & Photography Served. This week, rather than the typography, it was actually some of the showcased photography which caught my eye – in particular the series below.

When they’re reduced to small scale as below, they aren’t instantly recognisable for what they are; the naked human form (all female), artfully arranged into numerical forms. Whilst this series of number is entirely female, there is also a set of male numbers on the creators website (featured below). I love how fluid the numbers appear, and see no reason why the sequence couldn’t be expanded in the future to also include letterforms.

I feel like this concept is the kind of thing which could work really well within a Sanex / Vaseline ad campaign; their television adverts lean heavily towards imagery of nude models, so in my opinion this would align perfectly as a headline typeface or similar. They’re eye-catching to say the least!

Sequence of numbers created by Arjan Benning | Credit to Kimberley Chan for reminding me what the naked-adverts were when I’d come up against a total mind block.

// Action Book

17 11 2009

Does anyone have a Behance Action Book? I have a bit of a soft spot for nice stationery, and I’ve had my beady eye on this since I saw an orange version on my Creative Director’s desk and felt severe pangs of jealousy.

Having been frustrated previously that notebooks never combine a range of paper for different purposes, I was blown away by the fantastic format of the Action Book; the pages are multi-function with space for notes, lists and sketches in one place.

Oh, did I mention that another Director ordered one for me (and some others for my colleagues) today? I’m getting the turquoise one (PMS 629) and am far more excited about this than I should be! Can’t wait for it to arrive ♥


// First impressions

8 09 2009

I had planned to blog about this a while ago (when I was job hunting, specifically) as whilst trawling the internet for design companies to approach, I was completed and utterly dumbfounded at the number of horrendous websites I came across who offer design for web and print.

First impressions, anyone? For me, they are vital, yet there is a vast amount of ‘design’ companies who apparently do not think so. Unsightly websites, with no consideration having been given to space, colour or layout, and just as bad – riddled with spelling errors and poor grammar. Of course I’m not saying that I’m perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and like everyone else, I make (occasional) mistakes, but I didn’t want to work for a company that doesn’t take pride in the work they produce for themselves as well as their clients.

If I were looking for a company to create me a website, the first thing I would take note of is their own website. Surely that’s the best sales tool a web design company has? If a web company has an amazing website, prospective clients will know you can make them an amazing website. If the web company have an crap website, I hope you’re going to be clicking straight onto that little cross in the corner of your browser.

You may disagree, but in my opinion, that’s exactly what a company like that deserves. If they don’t care when it comes to presenting themselves, how much will they care when it comes to presenting you…?

// My latest adventure

18 08 2009

Image courtesy of In Habitat.

I’ve been so caught up recently with various things, including freelance work, and the Sydney Challenge that I haven’t had a spare moment to blog about my good news!

After months of hearing about the recession, and the current state of the British economy, my hard work of applying to job vacancies, contacting design agencies directly and walking four miles to get my Jobseekers Allowance has paid off. I’ve been offered a job! The company itself seems brilliant, they’ve produced some awesome work for some seriously big clients, the location is great and those who I’ve met so far seem extremely friendly and welcoming. I can’t wait to start!

So why, I hear you ask am I including a stereotypical photo of London with this post? I do live in Leeds, after all. Well…the new job is in London! To date, the furthest south I’ve ever lived is Grantham where I spent my teenage years, but I’m really looking forward to a change of scenery, and what is undoubtedly a fantastic career opportunity! I know there are lots of things in London to keep me occupied, and it has to be said that I’m excited about the prospect of having so much culture on my doorstep. So….feel free to recommend ‘must see’ London things (art galleries, the London Eye, general touristy things etc) for when I move down there in September.

I’m going to be based in South West London, but with such excellent transport links the entire city really is my oyster.

// The Rejection of PDF’s

2 07 2009

As you know by now, I am currently seeking employment, having been made redundant from my last Graphic Design position. My current frustration is dedicated job sites who refuse to accept a PDF file for a CV. And I quote, Unfortunately we are unable to accept the file format you have just tried to upload. Please save your CV as either a Word Document (.doc or .docx), a Text file (.txt) or in Rich Text Format (.rtf) and try again.

A text file? Why would anybody produce a CV as a text file? This is not a personal attack on anyone producing their CV in Microsoft Word, quite the opposite in fact – if you want to produce a simple CV, then go for it! MS Word is fine as a Word Processor, in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s great as a Word Processor, but I’m a Graphic Designer, my CV has been designed. Am I really going to have a shoddy CV produced using a generic MS Word “résumé” template? No. I don’t think I am. My CV has been created using Adobe InDesign. It’s personal to me. It isn’t a template. It looks good. Need I go on?

Enough complaining for now, I need to hunt down this job vacancy on an alternate website. One that accepts PDF documents.

// Project 365

26 06 2009

For those of you who aren’t in-the-know about Project 365 (or those who would like to learn more about it), you can read about the concept here.

I initially started the project on January 1st 2008 (which would’ve made it Project 366 thanks to the leap year), though I found the British weather to be extremely bleak which drained my enthusiasm somewhat. I restarted on June 26th 2008, and thus ended yesterday – June 25th 2009. And what a year! Whilst I might’ve found the 2008/2009 Winter as equally bleak as the previous year, I was substantially underway to not cave to the internal pressure of giving up – and I’m so glad I didn’t.

Of course, some days it was extremely difficult to keep going. My life revolved around what was essentially a 9-5 job (in fact two 9-5 jobs, though I have since been made redundant – a story for a different day) and finding motivation some days was taxing, to say the least. So sure, some photos aren’t great, in fact I’d go so far as to say they’re downright dull, but apart from one monumental fuck up (pardon my French) on Day 281, I did what the brief told me, and took a photo every day for a whole year.

As for some of my favourites…? In no particular order:

Day 52: A chocolate heart Day 38: Long Distance Love Affairs Day 153: Sunset over Garforth #2 Day 175: Fifty pence Day 200: Emma Day 193: Cherries!
Day 227: Anna Day 202: Vine ripened Day 256: Origami heart Day 315: Feet & texture Day 255: Crazy Backcombing Day 245: Bed Friends
Day 205: Turquoise Day 130: Taking flight Day 25: Heart Shaped Box Day 332: Fountains Abbey Day 170: Shadow Day 358: Nana & Matty <3
Day 291: Postbox Day 98: Pantone Color Bridge Day 26: Leeds City Markets Day 133: Gunpowder, treason & plot Day 74: Hibiscus Day 12: Love Leeds!

The all important question — would I do it again? Most definitely! Not immediately, though it will be a definite adjustment to not have my camera almost surgically attached to me. Perhaps I will restart it in Summer 2010 so I can document the run up to my wedding, and my honeymoon – at least I’m guaranteed a few photos of interest that way!