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 — 1549 posts
http://www.garriock.com
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack
Jack Daly — 1185 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 — 79 posts
http://twitter.com/lexnels
Designer/coder – Leeds/London/Melbourne

Guy
Guy Moorhouse — 45 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 — 25 posts
http://www.amandajanejonesblog.com/
Graphic Designer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gabriela
Gabriela Salinas — 18 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

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Categories rowsEverything Interviews Books Events Jobs

Books

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Alphabet Logo

Our pals at Counterprint have done it again. Their latest book Alphabet Logo is a compendium of logos designed, you guessed it, from letters of the alphabet. Containing over 500 logos from some of the world, this latest release showcases the work of leading design companies like; Bond Creative, Bruce Mau Design, Hype Type Studio, Pentagram, Stockholm Design Lab, Wolff Olins and even a couple of FFF contributors!

Make sure you add a copy to your bookshelf.



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SPIN 360º

Spin: 360º is a portrait of one of London’s leading design studios. It’s a lovingly designed and beautifully produced 520pp monograph that looks in detail at every aspect of Spin’s work in identity, print, moving image, retail, digital and environmental graphics, as well as the studio’s self-directed activities in publishing, curating and collecting.

On the release of this latest Unit Editions title we caught up with Tony Brook, unique in his position as subject of much of this title (along with SPIN co-founder Patricia Finegan) and creative force behind its design and production.

A book like this is clearly a mammoth undertaking – can you just explain a bit about how you came to the decision to make this book now?

We started to discuss a possible Spin book for our 20th birthday (2012) but then the call came from the Alliance Graphique Internationale and organising AGI London came along and, unsurprisingly, it was put on the back burner. Adrian and I had been talking about the possibility of making contemporary monographs for a good while, books on practising designers seem to be something conventional publishers aren’t interested in. We both like the idea of creating a fuller 3-Dimensional portrait that allows for greater insights than the work alone. There are so many other stories and perspectives that inform the work that are really interesting and well worth expanding on. When we started think about potential candidates again (after the AGI Congress was put to bed) we realised that we would need a guinea pig to work with and, after much discussion, we agreed that a Spin monograph was a good choice. It would offer us the opportunity to explore this idea fully and try out some things.

Did it all go roughly according to plan?

The course of true love never runs completely smoothly! We pretty much designed it twice, the first attempt was smaller and more compact, but one of my great bugbears with other designers books is not being able to see the work at a reasonable size. I realised that I had made a similar mistake! Not a good moment.

Honesty is something that has been mentioned in regards to this project – your willingness to be transparent – So honestly, knowing what you know now, would you do it all again? would you approach it differently? any lingering frustrations?

The devil on my left shoulder is shouting in my ear ‘are you crazy’ as I write this but I would. I can’t deny it has been a lot of pain, but I can’t help feeling if it isn’t hurting we are doing something wrong. We ended up shooting 99% of the work specifically for the book, why did we do that? because we felt we had to. The writing took forever, the interviews were a huge task. Would we do anything differently? Not really, it’s been a buzz doing it, sounds perverse but although there’s a huge sense of relief I miss it! The biggest frustration was dealing with the vast amount of work that the studio has created over the course of 20 odd years was quite a job. The mis-labelling of files has to be seen to be believed (and I’m as guilty as anyone), for example. the Haunch of Venison files were also named HOV, HofV, HV, Haunch or simply 01.JPG, 02.TIFF etc. multiply that by the million. My left eye starts to twitch nervously when I think about it. The main frustration was finding low res files but not being able to find hi-res versions. This drove me to distraction.

Like most big jobs I imagine this was a team effort – how many people touched the job, and who did what?

Everyone in the studio worked on the book at one stage or another, it was a real team effort that pushed all of us to the limit! We are still talking which is good. Claudia Klat and I were the main creative driving force behind the book, but Linne Jenkin and Rachel Dalton sweated blood over it and really added so much to the book. Callin Mackintosh and Jack Grafton helped out when they could but were mainly occupied with paying work! Sam Stevenson looked after the production of the book, and the printing is exceptional, Adrian and Isabel Andrews did sterling work on the editorial side of things and Anna Souter helped hugely keeping everyone informed on social media, an increasingly important aspect of what we do, and with proof reading.

I loved what you said about your intention to make more as a snapshot of a living breathing studio than a tombstone – and inevitably SPIN will continue to produce great work in the coming years – so can you imagine ever wanting to do a volume 2?

I’d really like to think so, perhaps in another 5 or 10 years…

You feature 80 projects from your 20 years, so that hit-rate of 4 book-worthy pieces per year is enviable – what was the criteria for deciding what should make the cut?

This was very, very tough. A lot of good work didn’t make it for no reason other than the book was full!

You said SPIN 360 is template for what a contemporary monograph could be, with yourselves as the first subject. Obviously you’ve created some stunning monographs to date, so do you think this revised ‘template’ is successful and will be used for future UE monographs?

The thinking behind SPIN 360 is already feeding it way into the forthcoming books, my hope is that the people who buy the book will enjoy this approach.

Our hope is we breathe new life into the contemporary monograph as a format.

_

The first 1000 copies of Spin: 360° come with a limited edition pack of six silk-screened A5 cards (Colorplan Ebony 350gsm) in a matching envelope, and a set of six button badges all designed by Spin. Some technical specs… Hardback with dust jacket. Cover foil blocked (front, spine and back). Printed CMYK + two Pantone colours (2028U and 2334U). Stock: 120gsm Munken Lynx. 203mm x 258mm. 520 pages. Price: £85 (RRP).

Order here  




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WIN 1 of 5 signed copies of ‘Logo’

Laurence King have reissued of compact version of Michael Evamy’s ‘Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes‘. The smaller logo collection (7¾ x 6″) still packs 352 pages filled with 1300 symbols & logotypes from around the globe.

“The next time you are tempted to design a logo, take a look at this book. Chances are, it has already been done. By raising the bar, this wonderful resource will make better designers of all of us.” – Michael Bierut

Together with Laurence King with are giving away 5 copies of this complete guide to the history, development and style of identity design, signed by the author Michael Evamy. All you have to do is take a photo of your favourite logo, tell us why you love it and tag it on Twitter or Instagram with #FFFLogo. Easy!

We’ll select the winners by next Monday 9th March. So get snapping and good luck!



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The 100/100 Beer Project

“There’s something about a beer label: a simple canvas attached to a uniquely appealing product.”

With that thought in mind SB Studio have brought together 100 high-profile designers and illustrators (such as Build, Pentagram, Spin, Manual, Hyperkit, StudioThomson, Jean Jullien, Paul Davis, Hey & Lance Wyman) to decorate the humble beverage, starting with a name for each beginning with SB.

As Nick Asbury explains: “…the game starts: on one level, a purely playful exercise in creative expression; on another level, a distillation of the purpose of design and branding — to give life and personality to the products around us.”

The project in aid of a great cause – the ArtFund, supporting museums and galleries by helping them to buy and display great works of work for everyone to enjoy.

Get yourself a copy



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Brosmind: Why How What

Just in time to mark the relaunch of the new Brosmind Website, the Mingarro brother sent us a copy of their new book Why How What. The 304 page monograph showcases the brothers work from their younger years all the way through to their latest projects for big brands. The ‘How’ section was the most interesting to me, as it exaiplns in great detail how the brothers work together from idea to artwork.

The A4 book is written and designed with as much fun as is characteristic of the duo. Within the double-sided slipcase you will also find a comic, some stickers and page markers that you can add to your favourite sections.

You can buy a copy direct from the Brosmind Website.

Rating: 5/5



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Counter-Print: Human Logo

Counter-Print books have released their latest book ‘Human Logo‘. Making the series a trilogy of logo showcase books alongside ‘Monogram Logo’ and ‘Animal Logo’

The latest volume contains over 300 logos in sections such as bodies, hands, hearts, eyes and faces. As usual some of the world’s leading design companies such as; Wolff Olins, Pushpin Group, Hey, Chermayeff & Geismar, Berger & Föhr and many more have contributed their work.

Just in time for Christmas Counter-Print are offering the opportunity to buy all three of our logo books for a special price of £21 (including delivery to the UK).

Get them bought!



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Hello I am Erik

We probably don’t have to tell you that Erik Spiekermann is one of the best-known graphic designers in the world. He not only represents German typeface and corporate design like no other, but his work and the companies he has founded have had an huge influence on contemporary graphic design and probably most of our readers as designers. The visual biography Hello, I am Erik is the first comprehensive exploration of Erik’s career, his body of work, and his mindset.

The book includes an impressive list of contributions by Michael Bierut, Neville Brody, Mirko Borsche, Wally Olins, Stefan Sagmeister, Christian Schwartz, Erik van Blokland, and many others.

“The ability to reduce complex ideas to unforgettably simple forms is a remarkable gift. Erik can do it with typefaces, or images, or words and – seemingly – in any language. That is the mark of a great designer, and that is what Erik Spiekermann is.”

Michael Beirut

The book is available directly from Gestalten Books and comes highly recommended by the FFF team!



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Rapper’s Delight: The Hip Hop Cookbook

Introducing your new favourite cookbook; Rapper’s Delight: The Hip Hop Cookbook

Jointly created by Joseph Inniss, Peter Stadden and Ralph Miller, The Hip Hop Cookbook features 30 recipes inspired by your all time favourite Hip Hop artists of today and yesteryear.

Each of the recipes is then accompanied by a bespoke piece of artwork, created by a selection of the UK’s best upcoming illustrators.

Read more




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Counter-Print: Monogram Logo

After last years success of Counter-Print’s Animal Logo book, we were please to receive a press release of their the launch of their latest book ‘Monogram Logo’.

The new book comes in a bigger format with even more examples and an extra 36 pages of excellent monograms and ciphers from around the world.

Designed by Leterme Dowling the collection contains 452 logos from some great studios such as: Bruce Mau Design, Louise Fili, FITCH, BankerWessel, Stefan Kanchev and many, many more.

Monogram Logo is available to purchase from the Counter-Print Shop.




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You Are The Friction

Over Christmas I had the chance to read through You Are The Friction, a collection of short fiction & illustration. This is designer Jez Burrows and illustrator Lizzy Stewart’s fourth publication under the moniker of Sing Statistics.

In their words it’s “a small, bright red record of what happens when you introduce twelve writers to twelve illustrators, light a match, and run in the opposite direction.” The final outcome are 12 short stories inspired by illustrations, twelve illustrations inspired by short stories, all collected in a rather good-looking paperback.

Get yourself a copy!



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Unit Editions: FHK Henrion

You might have seen, like I did, the sound bites publicising Unit Editions recent tome FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer and wondered if they’d got the right chap –

“The designer FHK Henrion has no equal in British graphic design history. No UK designer – then or now – can match his sheer depth of accomplishments and range of abilities.”

– Quite a claim, but one you learn is totally justified as you slowly soak in the wealth of information provided by Adrian Shaughnessy in the substantial front section of this monograph. Henrion surely is the most underrated graphic designer of the latter part of the 20th century! If you don’t believe me, read the book – it is only through reading it I realise just how little I knew about FHK and his incredible life. Not only are Unit Editions putting out some incredible books, they’re offering an education few other publishers or even educational courses can match. Thanks to titles such as this, unsung masters like Henrion and Schrofer might now rightly feature in ‘all-time-greats’ roll-calls alongside the more familiar names of Rand, Bass, Vignelli, Aicher, Olins, Lubalin, Dorfsman, Crouwel, Brownjohn, Fletcher etc..

Steven Heller describes the book as “a tour de force of design, writing and editing, representing the designer as entrepreneur principle at its best” and in the same interview on Printmag.com Shaughnessy explains that it took about 14 months of solid work to complete – and it shows (Check out that interview). The effort that goes into researching and cataloguing a body of work such as Henrion’s is huge, but it makes for a book you will want to return to again and again. Much of the content feels very contemporary / modern, a reflection of the quality and timelessness of FHK’s output. Just as the UE Herb Lubalin title of last summer was my pick of the year (previewed here) this edges it for me in 2013. The production values are of course predictably extravagant – the 544 page hardback housed in a foiled slipcase, complete with protected corners – feels as good in your hands as it looks on the shelf.

If the FHK title is beyond your budget however there’s still more good news from Unit Editions… The huge Lubalin monograph proved so popular it totally sold out in a matter of months, but it has just been reissued in a new compact format, at less than half the price of the original! If there is a designer in your life who wasn’t fortunate enough to get the oversized version (or a space on your bookshelf), this is not a book to miss out on. All book orders made on the Unit Editions website before Friday 20 December will include a Christmas gift: a free copy of Projekt: The Polish journal for art and design. With at least 6 new titles on the cards for 2014, including one I know you’re all going to go crazy for, it looks like things (thankfully) show no signs of slowing down at UE.



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The Modern Magazine

‘The Modern Magazine’ is the name of both the recent book by magCulture’s Jeremy Leslie, and the one-day conference that took place at Central Saint Martin’s Platform Theatre, London. There’s a great comprehensive overview of the event here on the magCulture blog. I had the pleasure of attending, and found it absolutely lived up to its aspirations to be “a celebration of the best of current editorial creativity”.

As Leslie puts it: “The magazine industry has continually been written off in recent years, yet magazines continue to be published and read. Despite fewer big launches and smaller budgets, magazine makers have risen to the challenging times and we are witnessing one of the most exciting creative eras in editorial thinking and innovation. A golden age of creativity.”

The line up of contemporary magazine makers was indeed impressive, such as Bloomberg Businessweek’s Richard Turley and Monocle’s Tyler Brule, who are redefining magazines for our age (not to mention; Omar Sosa, (Apartamento), Rosa Park, (Cereal), Simon Esterson, (Eye), Justine Picardie, (Harper’s Bazaar),  Liz Ann Bennett (Oh Comely), Debbi Evans (Libertine), Penny Martin (The Gentlewoman), Davey Spens, (Boat), Patrick Waterhouse, (Colors), Cathy Olmedillas, (Anorak), Paul Barnes, (Commercial Type), David Jacobs, (29th Street), Scott King, (Sink Vogue). There was also a series of panel discussions, one about independent publishing and one about ‘women’s magazines’. The indie-publishing panel was chaired by all round good-guy Steve Watson from the brilliant STACK, his comprehensive write-up of the day can be found here.

The book is also a huge success. It carries a byline ‘Visual Journalism in the Digital Era’ and across its 240 pages it presents an overview of current editorial design trends, drawing on publications from the past ten years (since the first MagCulture book was released) to show how printed magazines have responded to the new digital channels.

Leslie explains the structure of the book: The book works on three levels. First, it’s a visual record of the graphic trends and visual quirks that have marked the past ten years. Most of its 750 images were photographed as real objects and have been carefully juxtaposed to provide a page-by-page guide to design trends and themes (handwritten text, illustration, lists, infographics etc). A four-chapter structure sits over this, each opening with an essay (Rethinking the Magazine, Reinventing Genres, Design x Content and Print x Digital). And each of these chapters have case studies based on interviews with key creative figures chosen to emphasise the need for a shared vision between content and design in contemporary magazines.

With enthusiastic folk like Jeremy championing the medium of magazines, communities and events springing up (not to mention other great online resources such as Magpile) it does indeed feel like we’re experiencing a new golden age of magazines. A great addition to the conference-calendar, let’s hope it becomes an annual event…

Treat yourself to a copy for the discounted price of £25. 750 illustrations | 240 pages | 280 x 216 mm



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Chatter

Thanks for the post, it’s really helpful.

Tom on NASA Graphics Standards Manual

To my mind you should keep it, because they are not 100% similar. In this case all other brands, which have similar logos, for example circles, or brands like Airbnb, should stop using their brands. You have wrote about your …

Anatolijs Vjalihs on Logogate

A troublesome conundrum Jack. Having been through a similar exercise many moons ago with LongLunch, trying to get a logo for your not-for-profit venture with another bunch of creatives is a long road. Maybe consider how you might tackle this …

Brian Copeland on Logogate

A logo is not art*, it’s a signifier of a service or thing (person, place company etc). In current identity fashion simpler is better, increasing the probability that multiple designers will settle on similar images. If you want exclusive ownership, …

Tim Burley (@timburley) on Logogate

ayayay – the tricky world of building simple things

roonio on Logogate

Another one for the mixer – http://www.tv5monde.com/cms/userdata/c_bloc/232/232085/231290_vignette_fft.jpg

Miiiiiiiiiiike on Logogate

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