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 Garriock — 1565 posts
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack Daly — 1188 posts
Graphic designer & Illustrator – Glasgow,…

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

Alex Nelson — 80 posts
Designer/coder – Leeds/London/Melbourne

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

Gil Cocker — 319 posts
Designer & Maker – London, UK

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

Gui Seiz — 135 posts
Graphic Designer – London, UK

Chris J
Chris Jackson — 71 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 — 26 posts
Graphic Designer – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gabriela Salinas — 19 posts
Graphic designer – Monterrey, México.

Felicia Aurora Eriksson
Felicia Aurora Eriksson — 6 posts
Graphic Designer – Melbourne, Australia

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Categories rowsEverything Interviews Books Events Jobs



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


Semi-Permanent Conference

For those of you who missed it. Semi-Permanent came to Melbourne last week bringing with them a plethora of interesting and awesome speakers including:

Jessica Hishce, Nicholas Felton, Seb Lester, Julian Frost, Moffitt&Moffitt, Studio Hunt&Co, Ant Keogh, Glendyn Ivyn, Lilli Waters  Nicole Reed, Magdalena Wosinska, Ben Briand, and Miso – Stanislava Pinchuk

The conference took place over two days at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre, a good venue to facilitate a big audience but unfortunately located in one of the least inspiring areas of the Melbourne CBD. With a set of 7 speakers per day presenting for 45 minutes each the schedule was quite tight and unfortunately left little to no time of Q&A’s at the end of each talk. The speakers came from a range of backgrounds from designers, art directors, illustrators to film makers and photographers. As there was no particular theme set for the conference, the talks were focused on giving deeper insight into the speakers work, methods and journeys.


Here are some of our highlights from the two days


Kicking off day one was creative twins Andrew&Mark from Moffitt&Moffitt (Sydney) who are also responsible for the rebrand of Semi-Permanent. Starting off with photos of the brothers as kids in their Mickey Mouse outfits, they took us on a journey through the ups and downs of their life and work together.  The twins captivated the audience with cocky silliness and insights into their highly polished work, which ranged from photographing 6 metre flames in someones questionable garage for an album cover  to pushing the boundaries of briefs with clients such as global company GE (see project here). The part that most resonated with us was their “Success of Failure” story. It started out as a story about a fashion magazine with the generic name Girls&Boys targeted at “trendsetters” using big 3D letters “because it was cool” until they realised how, as they put it, “self indulgent and shit” it was. They threw the giant 3D letters off their balcony the same night and started from scratch. Their solution became highly acclaimed music magazine Demo which grew from the idea of capturing a a video clip on paper covering emerging Australian artists. The key thing they took away from this experience was that the best type of self promotion is to promote someone else, and to always start with the question: how can we help?

Demo Issue 01 by Moffitt&Moffitt

The Verses Album Seasons by Moffitt&Moffitt

Julian Frost

Definitely the highlight of day one (if not the whole conference) was Julian Frost: animator, illustrator and director behind the hugely successful Dumb Ways To Die animation for Metro Trains Melbourne. Julian enjoys drawing silly characters and if his illustrations result in a chuckle he is very happy. His black humour and wit comes through in his work, as well as in his presentation, giving the audience a giggle more than a few times throughout his speech. He gave us a crash course in how to make an animation funny and how he uses Tom Hanks’  “what’s fun about that?” line from the film Big to test this. He also took us through the process of creating the Dumb Ways to Die animation from sketching characters through to creating the smartphone game. Frost gives credit to the client for taking “a giant leap of faith” and almost completely staying out of the project for most of the time – their only feedback in the end was to make the deaths of the characters hit by trains more violent.

He also told us that when Dumb Ways to Die took off on YouTube his brain overloaded and he promptly got a cold. Dumb Ways to Die picked up more awards than anyone ever at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year and has, according to Frost, been viewed for over 273 years on YouTube (I’m sure you’ve seen it by now but here’s the link anyway). Some examples of Frost’s other work are below.

DumbWaysToDie game

Kid on diving board by Julian Frost

Pooploop by Julian Frost

Nicholas Felton

San Franciscan Nicholas Felton (one of the lead designers of the Facebook timeline and creator of wrapped up day one telling us about the process of creating his hugely popular personal Annual Reports. The man is a genius, and the amount of effort and detail he goes into to create these explicit infographics of his life is mind boggling – almost too much to take in on a Friday afternoon. Felton describes the Annual Reports as stories expressed in numbers, and he says that numbers play a big role in how we communicate today, and should be considered as tool to use along side typography and imagery.

Nicholas Felton


Thomas Williams from Hunt&Co (Melbourne) kicks off day two of the conference. Thomas is the man behind internationally loved publication Process Journal and Made. He told us about growing up on a vineyard and failing art class. He revealed some of his early work as a designer and how back then he thought he was pretty awesome… but later realised he wasn’t. As he was challenged with working within the boundaries of normal office hours he eventually decided to start his own studio. The very humble beginnings of Hunt&Co seemed to have been a mixture of playing XBox in his underpants and working really fucking hard as he puts it. Engaging throughout his presentation, Williams was well considered and well structured, and probably involved the most amount of swear words – something he told us he almost regretted having included since another acclaimed speaker had said the night prior that this was un professional. We thought it was absolutely appropriate. He also gave us some well written and spoken words to take with us and share including “Leonardo DiCaprio does not make bad movies. Ever”  and “Don’t do a lot and achieve nothing” and eventually parting with the words…

Thomas Williams

Jessica Hische

Who better to wrap up a conference the Jessica Hische? Seriously. She was everything we thought she would be… and more. Master of improvisation and a seasoned speaker she engaged us with little anecdotes and even cross referenced the presentations of the previous speakers as she went. Amongst other things she spoke about her wedding invite and website and how it had been bagged out on a news site as the most hipster invite anyone’s ever made. She didn’t deny it wasn’t (we think it’s stunning, check it out here.) She also gave insight to the process and research that went into designing the Penguin book series. By the end of her presentation she had won everyone over with her charm and probably made sure everyone was coming to the after party. As a finishing touch to the talk she surprised everyone by showing a polished version of photographer Magdalena Wosinska’s logotype (who spoke previous day) that she had whipped up overnight! This was in no way meant as a slight, she was only offering her professional help and I think Magdalena and Jessica will for sure become great ladybro’s as a result. For anyone who is interested in lettering she also an excellent class up on skillshare!

Lettering Jessica Hische


Out The Box 6: Willem Stratmann

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Edelstall Team we are pleased to announce that Out The Box #6 will be hosted by Willem Stratmann, founder of Berlin based StudioAnti.

On the 18th October we’ll be asking our speaker to improvise his talk based upon unknown items he takes out of a large box. In the past Eike König, Deutsche & Japaner, Mario Lombardo, Andreas Uebele und Peter Zizka have braved the unpredictable format and hope to invite international speakers to come to Germany soon.

Tickets 15 Euro / Early Birds 10 Euro 18th October 2013 – 7.00 pm Edelstall in Hanover, Germany


Out The Box #5 with Peter Zizka

We’re excited to announce that Peter Zizka of one of Germany’s top design agencies Heine/Lenz/Zizka, will be hosting the 5th Out The Box talk in Hannover, Germany.

For those of you who have never heard of Out The Box, it’s a talk format where we ask talented speakers to come and chat about objects we place in a box infront of them. The speaker doesn’t have a clue as to what will be in the box providing the audience with a completely unpredictable, unscripted and unrehearsed impression of the speaker.

So far we’ve had Eike König, Deutsche & Japaner, Mario Lombardo and Andreas Uebele visit us in Hannover.

Details Friday 26th July 2013 @ 7pm Edelstall, Hannover, Germany 15 Euros / Early bird ticket 10 Euros Tickets:


POINT Conference – Review

David Hieatt talks about his new company Hiut Denim. Photograph ©Davy Jones 2013.

At the beginning of May we attended London’s latest design conference POINT. Boasting some big names from the design world including, Erik SpiekermannMorag MyerscoughJonathan Barnbrook and video interviews from Alan Fletcher and Milton Glaser the bar was already being set pretty high. POINT took place over two days at Royal Institute of British Architects in London’s west end, the choice of venue (with it’s wooden panelled theatre walls, grand entrance stair cases and architectural-orientated bookshops) and list of speakers set an intellectual and academic tone to the conference.

With just one theatre for all the speakers there was a lot of speakers to get through in both days. For the most part this meant short 30 minute talks in order to stick to a tight formal schedule which kept talks concise and focused. Unfortunately this didn’t leave much time for questions both from the live audience or via Twitter. As both days progressed speakers towards the end of the day were given hour long slots which, for the like of Morag Myerscough and Matt Webb gave the audience a much deeper insight into their work.

Read more


Design Ah!

For anyone who’s in Tokyo before 2nd June we recommend checking out 21_21 Design’s audio-visual exhibition Design Ah!. Run by the same people behind NHK’s educational program of the same name, Design Ah! is curated by the super-talented Taku Satoh, Yugo Nakamura and Keigo ‘Cornelius’ Oyamada.

The exhibition aims to encourage us all to think about design in our everyday life and to foster young design minds that can make sense of the data overload around us. Visitors can experience design through all sorts of cool audio-visual exhibits.

One of our favourites “Ah! in motion” by tha ltd gets you to dance around and watch how the ‘ah’ phonetic symbol that’s projected on to the wall in front of you changes shape to follow your movement.

It’s a fun exhibition put together with lots of creativity.


Malika Favre: Kama Sutra

Last week FFFavourite Malika Favre treated us to an exclusive teaser of her latest saucy project Kama Sutra and today the website went live revealing the full scale of the project.

The Kama Sutra website will act as an archive for the project but also as a shop where you are able to purchase the whole alphabet as individual screenprints. Each Letter is a very limited edition of 25 high end screenprints in 4 colours, all printed with love by George Hurst.

You better be quick though if you want to grab a print as there will only be a limited amount of 10 prints of each letter online as the rest will be on show at Pick Me Up London from thursday 18th until the 28th of April.

We also had the chance to ask Malika a couple of questions about the project…

Hi Malika, can you tell us a little more about the new site for the Kama Sutra project?

What started with the Pick Me Up exhibition in mind soon became much more as I started thinking about how to archive the project online and possibly have the letters available to people outside the UK who couldn’t make it down to the exhibition.

My ex-Airside buddy [and FFF contributor], Guy Moorhouse of Futurefabric and the very talented guys from Present Perfect were up for the challenge so we decided to all collaborate in order to bring the project to life.

Read more


Offset 2013 — Review

We hopped over to Dublin last weekend for Offset 2013; three days of talks and debates from a line-up of inspiring creatives. Even at first glance Offset feels a bit different from other design festivals. Its bold identity smacks you in the face challenging you to get stuck in, enthusiastically flouting the usually restrained style used for design events.

Based on this design aesthetic one could be forgiven for expecting a slightly chaotic event, but Offset is one of the best-organised events of its kind we’ve been to. On top of the seamless organisation and euphoric lack of queuing, it was fun, laid back and friendly. But above all, it felt tangibly creative. It’s easy to indulge in a bit of middle class navel gazing at these events, but this one didn’t allow any of that. It had a young, interesting buzz. It felt exciting. And the venue of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, sitting on the Grand Canal Dock, is an architectural feast that looks different from every angle. Gorgeous inside and out, the venue itself added to the inspirational atmosphere.

There were two things about Offset that really stood out for me and enhanced my enjoyment of the overall event. The first was that the second room — rather than being used for the less well known speakers, was a discussion room. This created a great breathing space from the main stage, and added pace to the day.

The second thing was the variety of styles, disciplines and personalities of the speakers butting up against each other, creating great juxtapositions. As the content and style of each presentation was quite different, it brought fresh perspectives on familiar themes.

There weren’t as many big names on the bill as in previous years, but there were some serious heavyweights, including Bob Gill, Ben Boss, Vaughan Oliver, Oliviero Toscani and Louise Fili. Our highlights from this year are as follows:

Ireland’s Laureate for children’s literature Niamh Sharkey talked passionately about the fight to get to a place worth going, gave fascinating insight into character development from a simple hand drawn line through to a 3D TV character and inspired the importance of respecting, and working for, your audience. Read more


Pick me up

Pick me up is back at Somerset House next week, for an 11-day feast of graphic art, design and illustration. The festival of contemporary graphic arts features loads of great artists, illustrators and designers, across a broad range of styles, processes and materials. As well as the chance to peruse and purchase original and limited edition prints, there’s a schedule bursting with cool ways to get involved too, such as live printing, talks and workshops.

Studio Aardman will be hosting a Shaun the Sheep model-making workshop, Alan Kitching a letterpress workshop, and Print Club London will be taking up residency in the studio, inviting a jaw dropping list of collaborators to create original pieces and co-create on a handmade wallpaper design. Bob Gill, Genevieve Gauckler, Pure Evil, James Joyce, Margot Bowman, Serge Seidlitz, Fred Butler,  Rose Stallard, Maggie Li & Hattie Stewart will be joining them, so keep you eyes peeled to see them live at work or even better, get stuck in.

Pick Me Up runs at Somerset House from 18 – 28 April 2013. It’s Open daily 10.00-18.00 with late nights on Thursdays and entry is £8 (concessions £6) or a festival pass sets you back £15, if you’re planning on seeing lots of talks. For full info see here or for the event listings click here or list of contributors here


Interview — StudioMakgill

To wet our whistle ahead of his upcoming LongLunch talk at The Design Museum, we caught up with Hamish, Creative Director of Brighton based Studio Makgill.

Could you sum up in a few words what you do?

We are a graphic design agency that makes beautifully simple work.

Can you tell us a little about the team behind StudioMakgill?

We are currently four permanent staff with a rolling roster of freelancers and interns to help with the workload.

What spurred you on to start your own studio, and how did you make the leap?

This is actually the second agency I have run. I founded Red Design with a friend back in 1996. So the process of setting up StudioMakgill wasn’t scary to me. In between Red Design and StudioMakgill I spent four years working with some great agencies in London and this had really helped shape the kind of agency I wanted to run.

You’re based in Brighton, what influence do you think location has on a studio’s output?

The decision to be in Brighton is because I live down here and I want to have a decent quality of life with my family. StudioMakgill was very nearly based in London, but the thought of being a lifelong commuter was too depressing.

It presents some challenges, but I feel that you really don’t need to be London based to be recognised as a serious agency. I hope that we are proving that to be true.

How do you approach creating ‘beautifully simple work’?

I think firstly it isn’t a completely conscious process. It comes from a desire for and appreciation of simplicity. But there is a process which in itself is actually quite simple. We constantly ask ourselves what is important in a design. What can we get rid of before we compromise the meaning or integrity of that piece.

Do clients ever come to you with something specific in mind?

Of course.

We don’t take on every project that comes to us. But a client with something in mind can either be a great thing or it can be potentially toxic.

It really depends on so many factors. It requires learning a lot about people and becoming a good judge of character. Experience has really helped here, though taking on the wrong client is a mistake that can still happen. Read more


25 for 25

London-based design studio Two Times Elliott (featured earlier this week) also run a Riso printing service.

Ever so often they host a night called 25 for 25. We had a chance to ask James at Two Times Elliott a few questions about the event…

Hi James, can you could tell us a little more about 25 for 25?

It’s a night where people come down with their designs and get to print 25 copies of their artwork for £25, so basically a pound a print. Its about raising awareness of the technique, aswell as being a platform to market our service as a risograph printer.

Its a great social evening too, where people exchange their prints as well as making some valuable new contacts. A fun evening all round.

Read more


LongLunch StudioMakgill

LongLunch has teamed up once again with The Design Museum in London to host a talk with the brilliant StudioMakgill. Taking place on Tuesday 16 April 2013 the talk will presented by founder and creative director Hamish Makgill talking about his work.

Like always LongLunch have worked with their speaker to produce a limited run of screenprinted posters (hand screened by long-term collaborator and talented designer Dan Mather and paper provided by GF Smith) which are then given away on the night, first come first serve. So remember to get there early and bring a poster tube. There’ll also be a Q&A at the end of the talk with prizes up for grabs for questions so get thinking now.

Tickets are on sale via The Design Museum website £17 adults / £12 NUS / £8.50 Museum Members. Doors open at 7.30pm / 8.00pm start.

It’s also a great opportunity to announce and congratulate FormFiftyFive’s Emma Laura Jones and Sean Rees who have taken on the reigns of LongLunch and have help made this talk possible. In addition FFF’s Ryan R Thompson is helping to host LongLunch’s programme of Scottish talks with the next one scheduled for April 25 2013 at The Lighthouse, Glasgow with Ken Garland which should be amazing! Unfortunately the Ken Garland talk has now completely sold out.

We wish them all the best of luck and keep your eyes peeled for other talks coming in the coming months.


POINT Design Conference London

London’s latest design conference POINT, taking place in 2-3 May 2013, aims to explore the power and value of great design within communities and the power it has to change the rules.

Boasting an impressive list of speakers for it’s inaugural year including Erik Spiekermann, Morag Myerscough, Jonathan Barnbrook and film interviews from Milton Glaser and the late Alan Fletcher and will be chaired by inspiring practitioners including Patrick Baglee, Henrietta Thompson and Patrick Burgoyne. With a list of names offering such a wealth of experience we expect POINT will deliver on their aim.

POINT has also set itself the ambitious goal of being the sibling to Frieze and TED in an effort to increased awareness and credibility of design in the wider community. With that in mind the theme of the first POINT conference will be “Authenticity” presented over 25 lectures, screenings and performances and supported by curated online resource open to all at the POINT website.

POINT will be taking place over 2 days at RIBA in London’s West End and tickets are on sale through the POINT website.


Out The Box: Andreas Uebele

Together with Edelstall we launched Out The Box last year, an experimental event format where we invite inspiring designers to talk about random object we place in a box before them. The speaker has no way of preparing themselves for the talk which means they have to think fast. In the past Eike König (HORT), Deutsche & Japaner and Mario Lombardo have all come to Hannover to have a shot. Each speaker reacted differently to the format, it amplified their personality & humor and lead to strange stories and hilarious discussions!

The 4th instalment sees Andreas Uebele of büro uebele take the stage. An agency active in all areas of visual communications, with the focus on visual identity, signage and wayfinding systems, corporate communications and exhibitions.

For more information und past und future events check out the Out The Box Page.

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