FormFiftyFive

Design inspiration from around the world.

What the FFF?

Founded in 2005 by an ever growing group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across, FormFiftyFive soon became an international showcase of creative work.

We scour the world’s best creative talent to keep FormFiftyFive a foremost collection of current design from both the young upstarts and well known masters. We’re constantly on the look out for new features that dig even deeper into what’s happening in the design community, so get in touch if there’s something you’ld like to see on here.

Have a look round, if you see something you love or hate be sure to comment, and drop us a line if there’s a juicy bit of creative gold you’d like to see on here.

Keep it real, the FFF team.

The FFF team

Glenn
Glenn Garriock — 1565 posts
http://www.garriock.com
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack
Jack Daly — 1187 posts
http://twitter.com/Jack_FFF
Graphic designer & Illustrator – Glasgow,…

Lois
Lois Daly — 45 posts
http://www.twitter.com/the_loi
Lois Daly – Graphic Designer, Glasgow

Alex
Alex Nelson — 80 posts
http://twitter.com/lexnels
Designer/coder – Leeds/London/Melbourne

Guy
Guy Moorhouse — 46 posts
http://futurefabric.co.uk
Independent designer and technologist — London,…

Gil
Gil Cocker — 319 posts
http://www.sansgil.com
Designer & Maker – London, UK

staynice
Barry van Dijck — 125 posts
http://www.staynice.nl
Designer & Illustrator – Breda, The Netherlands

Gui
Gui Seiz — 135 posts
http://www.seiz.co.uk
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Chris J
Chris Jackson — 71 posts
Graphic Designer – Leeds, UK

Tom Vining
Tom Vining — 12 posts
http://moreair.co
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Tommy Borgen
Tommy Borgen — 15 posts
http://www.uppercase.no
Graphic Designer – Oslo, Norway

Clinton Duncan — 24 posts
Creative director – Sydney, Australia

amandajones
Amanda Jones — 26 posts
http://www.amandajanejonesblog.com/
Graphic Designer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gabriela
Gabriela Salinas — 19 posts
http://gabrielasalinas.com/
Graphic designer – Monterrey, México.

Felicia Aurora Eriksson
Felicia Aurora Eriksson — 6 posts
http://feliciaaurora.com/
Graphic Designer – Melbourne, Australia

Got something for us?

If there’s a juicy bit of creative gold you’d like to see on FFF, or you’d just like to get in touch, email us on the address below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

You can also check out our guide to the perfect submission here.

submissions@formfiftyfive.com

Looking for something?

Categories rowsEverything Interviews Books Events Jobs

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The Counter Press

Our friends over at The Counter Press have just released issue 2 of their beautiful ‘little letterpress newspaper’ Extra Condensed No.2.

Issue No.2 of Extra Condensed has a particularly numerical theme: from the origins of ‘spitting image’ to Stephenson Blake’s charming San Serif No.7, via a wander through the peculiar world of letter frequency and the printing of issue No.1.Every article also features its own pilcrow, each taken from a different fount in our collection.

Written, designed, typeset and printed by hand in a limited edition of just 200 (although this still involved over 2250 hand pulled prints). Each issue is individually numbered and comes in a custom printed envelope.

Available to buy in their shop. Making of film shot by Martin Power. Lovely!




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the House of Hugo Hoppmann

We last featured Hugo Hoppmann back in 2009, when he was a 21 year old student. Now working in NYC some 7 years later he has some great projects under his belt in print and digital, ranging from identities and websites to books and maga­zines. Hugo’s portfolio includes a large spectrum of colla­borative and commis­sioned work of different scales and his site is pretty smart too. You can also follow Hugo on twitter.



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Manual: Fort Point Beer Company

Manuals‘ packaging and identity design for San Francisco’s fastest growing craft brewery, Fort Point, has been slowly spreading across the internet with it’s references to traditional styles with a modern colour palette.

The Fort Point brewery is located in a former U.S. Army motor pool, near the Golden Gate Bridge and the Fort Point National Historic Site. Both provided inspiration for a modular, illustrative brand identity and the illustration incorporate elements of city’s landmarks and Bay Area culture to create a unique and authentic sense of place.



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Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

We’re giving away 2 single tickets (currently worth €549 per ticket) for this years TYPO conference in Berlin!

This years’theme is “Beyond Design”. Graphic designer, art director and multiple TYPO Alumni Johannes Erler, noted recently that we have a broad consensus on how things should look and feel these days. Everything looks good. Design is omnipresent. He goes on to say that this tends to make people lazy. Rather than creating something new, they copy to maintain this consensus, conveniently saving trouble. Digital tools and templates make this easier than ever before, which saves time and costs.

Erler provocatively asks: “If just anyone can design, what do we still need designers for?”

The 2 best answers to this question will be selected by Monday 25th January @ 09:00 CET and will win a ticket each.

You can submit your answer via Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.

Best of luck!

PS. For those of you who have never been to Typo, here’s an impression from last year…



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The worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

Roman Mars is obsessed with flags — and after you watch this talk, you might be as well. In this TED talk about vexillology (the study of flags) Roman reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.

1. Keep it simple

2. Use meaningful symbolism

3. Use 2-3 colours

4. No lettering or seals

5. Be distinctive (or be related)

If you like this talk, you’ll love Roman’s podcast 99% Invisible. Check it out!



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Colour & Lines – James O’Connell

Beware, reading on may cause you to feel very lazy.

Still here? Ok, you were warned! Around this time last year designer and illustrator James O’connell posted the first work in his Colour and Lines series. Initially starting out as an exploration of different illustrative styles, Colour and Lines was borne from a reductive process, where James stripped back detail in order to find the minimal state of recognition. Once that sweet spot was found, he got to work applying the style to varied themes.

When I say varied, that’s really an understatement, rarely if ever have I seen an illustrator generate so much work, in a single style, in such a short timescale. In less than a year, James has produced hundreds of illustrations covering all aspected of pop culture, from iconic movies and retro video games, to fashion and travel. The simplicity of the work obviously holds plenty of appeal, with one project amassing almost 4,000 ‘appreciations’ on Behance.

It’s been a mammoth undertaking, but one which has paid off for James with commissions by Wired and AnyForty so far.

To find more of James work or pick up a print, visit Colour and Lines.



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Interview – Menta

Menta is a branding & illustration studio founded by Laura Méndez in 2008. The studio delivers effective brand identities that balance classic & contemporary aesthetics, focused mainly on carefully crafted print. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, they work with small businesses and international companies. In this interview founder Laura talks about their vision and projects

Read more




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Ten Tips To Starting An Agency

As 2015 draws to a close, no doubt there will be plenty of creatives sat in agencies wondering what the future holds for their career. It’s appraisal season at many agencies, and as always the year end is a time to take stock.

I’m sure that there’s been quite a bit of hushed Christmas party chat about the possibility of ‘doing our own thing’. So, for those of you thinking about taking the plunge, the FormFiftyFive crew asked me to write a piece on my experience of doing just that almost two years ago.

Myself and my business partner set up Article in October 2013. We’d both been working in well known London branding agencies for years, and decided nine months earlier that we were going to take the leap.

As a lot of good ideas tend to, it began with a semi-drunk conversation in the pub. We both got on our soapboxes about what was wrong with the industry, what frustrated us blah blah blah. Usually nothing happens until you’re back at the pub having the same moan. But this time it didn’t and we can began to formulate a plan.

Fast forward nearly three years and there are five of us sitting in our studio in Dalston, little more than a spitting distance away from the pub where that initial pub conversation took place. We’re not about to take over the world and we’re certainly not about to retire on our profits, but we’ve made a pretty decent fist of getting an agency off the ground from a standing start.

So I just thought I’d share some practical advice gleaned on our journey so far, as there isn’t a lot of it out there.

1. Find a partner (who you like!)

Easier said than done I know, but finding the right partner is vital. There’s no way I’d have been able to get this off the ground on my own, and my co-founder and I have enjoyed a great working relationship from day one. If our experience is anything to go by you’ll spend more time with this person than your other half, so you need to be confident you’ll be able to work well together. The smaller the ego the better – things would have quickly fallen apart if we couldn’t openly challenge each other’s work and ideas.

2. Do different things

Often studios or agencies begin with two designers. We chose to have different skills sets, that way we could broaden our offer. Even we when grew, we looked for people who could do things that we couldn’t. It also means we can learn from one and other and continue to develop as individuals.

3. Network early

We wouldn’t be here today were it not for people we know who have given us work. It definitely pays to network well in advance. I often hear people say, ‘Do good work and the work will come to you’. That’s all well and good, but you need to have some work to do in the first place. You have to go out there and hustle. Tap up friends. Let potential clients know what you’ve got up your sleeve. Don’t rely on it coming to you. Relish the chase.

4. Keep overheads low

Technology means the only tools you really need to get started are a brain and a laptop. It might sound obvious but don’t get carried away and rent a fancy studio if you don’t have any work coming in. Work from home if you need to. Get a membership to a co-working space or club where you can take clients. Try to grow organically not get ahead of yourselves. Be patient. The trendy studio and box fresh macs can wait.

5. Step away from the desk

Starting up with two people, often working from home, meant a total change of working environment. No daily ritual of the commute. No water-cooler chat. No after work team drinks. Sometimes you have to force yourself to get out and about and interact with real, genuine humans. Work remotely. Go to a coffee shop. Organise meetings all over town. Disrupt your routine as much as possible. Avoid falling into the comfort zone at all costs.

6. Be nice

In the past we’ve worked with some fantastic people at some great agencies, and when we left we did so with nothing but good wishes. By being decent, ego-less people in our agency lives, we found that old colleagues really wanted to help us in the early days of our fledgling business. Their support has been invaluable.

7. Turn your size into an advantage

When we started we were unsurprisingly nervous about whether we’d be able to win business. Would clients want the security of a big agency? What if they figured out it was two blokes in their spare rooms? We blagged it a bit in the early days, but now our size is probably our biggest selling point. It means our clients know who they’ll be working with day-to-day. They know there won’t be any overcomplicated drawn out processes. And, of course, it means we cost less.

8. Make down time count

Things changed very quickly for us. We went from our spare rooms to doubling in size within six months. Yes, we got a bit of luck, but I really believe you make your own luck. But this works both ways. You can equally go from wondering how you’re going to get everything done, to having very little client work at all. Be prepared for the feast and famine. Even when things are quiet there’s always things to do when running a business, from self promotion and your web presence to the obvious new business hunt. Use the downtime wisely.

9. Money matters

Creatives are notorious for not being great at handling the financial side of businesses. We were no different. Get a good accountant. They helped us massively, but our own learning curve spiked hugely too, and we’re now at the point where we enjoy the accounts side of things.

And it might seem an obvious point but get as much cash in the bank as possible. You can’t rely on invoices being paid on time. So try and have a safety net. Businesses don’t go bust because they’re not making money, they go bust because they run out of cash.

10. Respect your freelancers

Without a team of awesome freelance talent we wouldn’t be where we are today. So we always try to treat them with the respect they deserve. Anyone who comes through our doors is treated as if they’re a full time employee. We try to put them at the heart of projects, not just cranking out our ideas like they might be freelancing at bigger agencies. It means they’re more engaged, do better work and the whole vibe of the studio is better. Culture is everything.

These are just a few of the first thoughts that came to mind, hopefully one or two of your might find it helpful. I can honestly say the past two years have been the most enjoyable and productive of my career. I’ve learned so much more than I would have as an employee. We’ve made it to two years, and things are looking up for 2016. Who knows, I might be sat in a another appraisal again in a few years’ time. But whatever happens, I’ll never regret giving it a go.

@Graeme_Cook @wearearticle



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rd-shelter

Human displacement is a very important issue, and it’s been thrust into the western media spotlight with the recent, and ongoing, high profile ‘migrant crisis’.

One person acutely aware of this issue is Paul Gray of Glasgow’s Suisse studio, who for several years has been developing a rapid deployment shelter – the rd-shelter.

Paul is now at a stage in the project where to progress, funding is required. You can find out more about his plans over on Crowdfunder.



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ShopVon

Just in time for Christmas London based artist HelloVon has launched his new shop which instantly sold out of many items. With a selection of limited edition screen prints, collector box sets, etchings and original drawings still available you better hurry before they’re all gone!

Visit ShopVon



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Festive Spirit: Ragged Edge Christmas Cocktail Giveaway

Luke at London studio Ragged Edge got in touch about their Christmas giveaway in collaboration with mixologist Mr Lyan to blend Grey Goose vodka, spiced berries, grapefruit, cloves and ‘Christmas Cake Sherry.’

“Christmas is all about sharing so we thought we’d give away a few of our delicious Christmas cocktails. It’s Christmas spirit in a bottle.”

“All you have to do is follow us on either Twitter or Instagram and ‘RT” or ‘Regram’ our post. We’ll pick a few winners at random and send them out on 18th December. #ChristmasSpirit

Cheers, and Good luck!



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StudioPlaylist 07: HeyDays

It’s that time of the month where a new studio takes over the FFF jukebox, to end the year in style are Norwegian studio Heydays who grace us with a 55 track insight into the sounds of their studio.

You can listen to it via Spotify here!

Thanks guys!

— More music? Check out our previous playlists here: Studio Playlist 06: Koto Studio Playlist 05: Saffron Studio Playlist 04: Animade Studio Playlist 03: Eight Inc Studio Playlist 02: Anagrama Studio Playlist 01: Moving Brands




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Chatter

design is as to make love, anyone can to do it, but not everyone got orgasm

mauricio fernandez on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

Why say anyone can design? A true designer can meet the expectations we didn’t think we needed.

Carmen on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

Designers don’t just design. They think about what it is they’re doing, why they’re doing it and who they are doing it for. Designers create the change, that inspires original solutions which ultimately inspires those who think they can design …

petemandotnet on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

Designers are caught up in a media stream that is very wide and fast, but not very deep. The only way to navigate in it is to go faster or slower than the stream. To go faster you must be …

Sara on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

Nobody needs designers. But it’s nice to have them.

Philip on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

If anyone can design, then designers are here to refine and re-imagine the experience.

WOO (@doubleu_doubleo) on Win 2 tickets to Typo Berlin 2016

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