Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a secret clubhouse pop up/et hemmeligt klubhus pop up

It's with great joy I can announce that a secret club have its very own popup (work)shop in Aarhus, Denmark in June. We'll be playing games, building things and telling stories and when I say "we" I mean both you and us.
Spread the word, more info on

Det er min udsøgte og håndplukkede glæde at fortælle at en hemmelig klub har sin helt egen popup (work)shop i Aarhus i juni. Vi vil lege lege, bygge ting og fortælle historier og med "vi" mener jeg både jer og os.
Spred ordet, der er flere oplysninger på

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Storm in your Hand

Things are really slow here as you may have noticed - due to a certain little fella arriving with winter, but now spring is here and it's high time I got to work. Most of the work at the moment is for a secret club as that is what I enjoy mostly at the moment for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it feels good to be part of a collective, to rid myself of "my" personallity and don the gelled personallity of a secret club. It also feels good to design in a way where I haven't got the full control, where I am not meant to have the answers, but instead we must find them together, but lastly - and probably most importantly - it pushes the work in new directions, and the method of working in new directions.

Well, enough soul searching, on to the work.
We recently designed a whirligig for the children's at and science magazine OKIDO and it ended up like this

The vigilant reader will notice some conceptual recycling from an old collage:

but it was a long way to get to that - first thoughts were on a tornado tearing up a house Wizard of Oz/Twister style, we also thought of wind gods and cloud surfers but in the end, we created our own little story of ships that are fish and the weather being considered "good" or "bad". A mostly did the illustration and I made the mechanism work and squeezed it all in to on page in the mag.

it's been a fun little project, making a a paper mechanism that actually worked. I am aware that we may have overcomplicated things - kids will need help form their parents to build this, but designing a piece of communication that takes collaboration to use is very close to what we're all about.

Now, go buy OKIDO and support their and our mission to make this place magic.

I'll be back soon with exciting news for those living in or visiting Aarhus...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

I've been teaching font design the last couple of weeks - this is a returning gig that I got back when I was really into font design, but I have rarely repeated the projects from year to year, both because that would bore me and leave me stuck with something that isn't nessecarily the best way to run the project, but also because there are some important skills I feel I need to teach these students, including the simple skill of looking - or rather seeing.

Since my own student day I have been convinced that there is inspiration to be found everywhere and that we have seen and learned so much that even the most isolated and boring place will somehow spark ideas, but that doesn't mean you should stop looking.

Here are a few of the things I've seen during my time here:

17th century wood carving graffiti inside the cathedral and a 17th century lenticular painting

Severed leg as a communication in the Cathedral, I'd love to know the meaning behind this.
Also, an old sales exhibition of tiles to frame your stove, now a place where bicycles are parked.

a fishmonger's logo - a drawing of a happy fish. There's something disturbing about animals we consider food to be absolutely fine with that. On the roads of Denmark you sometimes see pig transports with an illustration of two happy piggies playing football and the strapline "another batch of pigs on their way to the goal."

A hairdressers sign. In Forest Hill, London I once saw a handwritten sign saying "entrance next to the hairstressers" or similar, this one is showing, not telling. Also the sign of a saddlemaker. There's also a book printers here, not just a printer, a book printer.

Oh my God, it's full of stars.