Design inspiration from around the world.

What the FFF?

Founded in 2007 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 Garriock — 1582 posts
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack Daly — 1191 posts
Graphic designer & Illustrator – Glasgow,…

Lois Daly — 45 posts
Lois Daly – Graphic Designer, Glasgow

Alex Nelson — 81 posts
Designer/coder – Leeds/London/Melbourne

Guy Moorhouse — 46 posts
Independent designer and technologist — London,…

Gil Cocker — 321 posts
Designer & Maker – London, UK

Liam Crean
Liam Crean — 20 posts
Designer & Developer – Derby, UK

Barry van Dijck — 125 posts
Designer & Illustrator – Breda, The Netherlands

Gui Seiz — 135 posts
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Chris J
Chris Jackson — 72 posts
Graphic Designer – Leeds, UK

Tom Vining
Tom Vining — 12 posts
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Tommy Borgen
Tommy Borgen — 15 posts
Graphic Designer – Oslo, Norway

Clinton Duncan — 24 posts
Creative director – Sydney, Australia

Amanda Jones — 27 posts
Graphic Designer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gabriela Salinas — 21 posts
Graphic designer – Monterrey, México.

Felicia Aurora Eriksson
Felicia Aurora Eriksson — 7 posts
Graphic Designer – Melbourne, Australia

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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.

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Graeme Cook

Graphic Designer – London, UK

Posts by Cookie:


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


The Roster

Are you a freelancer in London? Or are you an agency looking for a freelancer in London? If the answer is ‘yes’ to either of these questions then have a look at this.

The Roster is a private network connecting top agencies directly to the best freelancers in London.

Founded by designers, The Roster allows agencies to search and review freelancers based on the type of project they’re working on and contact them directly without paying a commission on bookings. Freelancers have their own profile page and can decide which type of searches they show up in, based on the types of projects they are interested in working on.

The network is primarily based on recommendations and began as a group of freelancers who would often work together and refer one another, but they do also consider direct applicants.

They’re still quite new, but they’ve been getting some good feedback and they already have a nice mix of agencies using the site; from some of the most awarded independent studios to the biggest global branding agencies.

There is more info for both agencies here and freelancers here. Take a look.


FFFootball – Simon Mooney Interview

A pretty amazing World Cup is just about to draw to a close, so therefore we are coming to the end of our FFFootball posts.

But before we do, we managed to catch up with photographer Simon Mooney. Simon has shot many different subjects over the years, but football has remained at the centre of his work. He has been behind the scenes with the England squad, shot campaigns and documentary shots for Spurs and Fulham, as well as shooting for the likes of Umbro and The Sun. So we thought he was the ideal photographer to have a football based chat with. So we did, and we found it really interesting.

Hi Simon. As you might be aware, we’ve been featuring a lot of World Cup and football posts on FormFiftyFive recently. Obviously your portfolio of work isn’t just related to football and sports, but it is a subject you’ve shot a lot of. So how did you end up shooting this subject matter?

I’ve always played football and been fascinated by certain aspects of the game. In the early 90s I was an art director in a Leeds advertising agency just starting to take pictures. I love newspapers and particularly admired David Ashdown’s sports pictures in The Independent – they really inspired me but getting a Premier league license is difficult so I learned to shoot sport at my own amateur club – Overthorpe SC in West Yorkshire – on crutches as I recovered from a ruptured cruciate ligament.

“Rio Ferdinand in the hotel massage room on the morning of the quarter-final against Brazil. It was the first game I got pictures from the dressing room.”

Read more


FFFootball – James Roper interview

As part of FFFootball posts, we recently had a quick chat with James Roper who co-founded the Green Soccer Journal magazine with Adam Towle back in 2009.

The magazine is a great read and definitely puts the ‘beautiful’ into the beautiful game. But we’ll let James tell you more.

Tell us about your design background and what made you want to start the Green Soccer Journal?

Both Adam (GSJ’s co-founder) and I studied fashion at University in London where we first met, before Adam moved on to study graphic design in Leeds. Coincidentally we are both from Derby and kept in touch, meeting up at Christmas and during long mundane summers in between our studies.

When Adam moved back to London to look for work we caught up a lot and it was something he had wanted to work on for a while. We both have a passion for football and worked within creative industries and it seemed like a lightbulb moment; why wasn’t there a ‘good’ football magazine?

I was working at Burberry at the time as one of the art directors and had made a lot of contacts in photography, production and journalism and felt the itch to try something new and independent. Between the two of us we spent our free time putting together a pilot issue and it snowballed from there.

The response was incredible and before we knew it we were renting a studio on Kingsland Road and made the leap into being self-employed, working on the magazine as a full-time project.

What do you make of the relationship between football and design?

There are so many elements within football that incorporate and rely on design – some are very impressive and others extremely generic.

We work closely with brands such as Nike and Adidas, where the development and technology that goes into kit and boot design is really forward-thinking. The time and energy that goes into making their product lighter, faster, or more eco-friendly is something that evolves on a daily basis.

However, when it comes to other areas such as news, magazines, campaigns, this is where we thought there was something missing. The newsstand was full of screaming headlines, gossip and throw away content. The aim of The Green Soccer Journal was to create something timeless. We wanted to document players, stadiums, fans and the culture of football in a way that we would enjoy seeing it. Through strong photography, well-written articles and by taking a step away from the clichés associated with football.

What do you make of the current design and branding you see at football clubs and grounds? (From programmes to interiors etc.)

This is something we would love to work on as a studio project.

The new stadiums are extremely impressive, structurally and architecturally, but when it comes to the finishing touches I feel they are wasted. For example, the Club Wembley experience is overly corporate, which is a real shame as it could be given a few traditional touches and turned into something much more interesting.

It’s difficult to get the best of both worlds, though. One of the most exciting stadiums I visited was Goodison Park – it still has that nostalgic feel and feels like a family club. The commentary box was hanging in the rafters and looked like it could fall down at any moment, but it had a real sense of community. It’s hard to keep that history when you build a new stadium, and some of the modern clubs do put some effort in with their branding.

A case in point is Manchester City, where all of the advertising hoardings around the pitch are sky blue, which keeps everything nice and clean. Arsenal always have a great display of history as you enter the ground, with their various statues and memorials.

As for programmes, they serve a purpose. We know how difficult it is putting a magazine together 4 times a year, so one every fortnight must be tricky. There’s no doubt that the design could be improved, but all the information is in there and I’m not sure how much the fans worry about the aesthetics.

We’ve seen the likes of David James and Dimitar Berbatov showcase their drawing skills, but have you met any footballers that harbour design ambitions?

Would love to say yes. But have yet to meet any. Lukas Podolski was really excited by the magazine, which was great. He’s kept in touch and always mentions us on social media. If more of the players took a similar interest in the project I’m sure our following would be much bigger.

What is your favourite example of design in the world of football?

The World Cup posters from ’70,’74 and ’78 always come to mind, especially the West Germany one. I suppose it’s the same as any tour or film poster from that era. They just looked better than they do now.

Footballers have a certain public perception, how have you found art directing/interviewing them?

It’s pretty straightforward once you have them in front of the camera – it’s getting them there that is the problem. They are extremely protected individuals and arranging appearances is quite a drawn-out process. Their schedule is fairly unpredictable, for example; if they have a bad game the night before, there is a chance they will be called into practice, and a shoot you’ve had arranged for months can be cancelled just like that.

Most other magazines – fashion and music titles, for example – all work with talent that have something to promote, whether it’s an album or a new collection. These guys don’t need any promoting. They do that on the pitch, so it’s hard to get them to give up their time and, when they do, it’s a matter of cramming as much as possible into anything between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

If you could design one teams kit, who would it be?

As a Birmingham fan, I designed hundreds of kits for them as a kid. I’m sure Adam would love to get his hands on the Derby kit. They’ve just signed with Umbro again so it will be interesting to see next season’s offering.

There’s must be some great potential copywriters in football crowds. What’s the best chant you’ve heard (keep it clean!)?

Last year, we hosted an exhibition of football chants from illustrator Mark Long. There are some great ones in there. (See below a few examples. You can see them all here.)

If money was irrelevant would you rather be a designer or a footballer?

At the top level, I would say footballer. We have been privileged enough to attend training grounds around the world and there is no denying that they have a pretty special life. There’s no doubt that the pressure is high, and they might be sheltered from certain aspects of reality, but the pros seem to outweigh the cons.

And finally James, who’s your money on to win the World Cup?

Chile. (I drew them in our office sweepstake, so I’m sticking with them). It’s been a very unpredictable one so far so you can’t rule them out.

A big thanks to James for his time.

Follow the GSJ on Twitter and Facebook


FFFootball – First Eleven

Well, today is the day and the World Cup is finally upon us.

As well as tonight’s game, today sees the launch of the First Eleven exhibition at KK Outlet.

11 contributors have been gathered to create football shirts that will be exhibited in the gallery. Contributors include HORT, Kessels Kramer and Craig and Karl amongst others.

They’re also screening games, selling prints and all manner of things, so get yourself down there.


FFFootball – Art of Sport

As you might be aware, the small matter of the World Cup begins in a weeks time. And here at FFF Towers we’re all getting pretty excited by it.

Football and design have enjoyed a healthy relationship over the years, so we thought in the lead up and over the course of the tournament we’d post a few World Cup related bits and pieces that we like.

First up are a lovely set of prints from the Art of Sport which are inspired by each competing team. Lovely.


The Art of Ping Pong

I’m sure there’s many a design studio that has a ping pong table, so thought this was worth a post.

Fresh from their UEFA film which was posted a week or so ago, FiveFootSix have collaborated with some great illustrators to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

The results can be seen here.

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yes… loving this

ed baptist on Studio Feixen

Nice article – its good to hear the experience of other designers who have started up. Myself and partner have just made it through our first year, i can see some parallels so comforting to get a solid view point

jess codrington on Ten Tips To Starting An Agency

Really nice work. Love the Nike campaign.

Peter Scott on Studio Feixen

Absolutely stunning work!

– Natalie

Natalie on Studio Feixen

A few highlights from a colleague here if you need any reminders:

Matt on ModMag16

Thanks for sharing this post about the Jan font. I love the typography of how the letters are formed. Also, it makes me happy to hear that numerous versions were created. As a designer, it is irritating when you want …

Design Cache on F37 Jan