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 — 1540 posts
http://www.garriock.com
Graphic designer – Uetze, Germany

Jack
Jack Daly — 1184 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

Interviews

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Craig Oldham: In Loving Memory Of Work, Pt2.

In Loving Memory Of Work by Craig Oldham presents a visual record of Britain’s longest ever industrial dispute: the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike. The book, published by Oldham’s own imprint (Unified Theory of Everything) marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ return to work. Bringing together political graphics and cultural ephemera alongside first-hand testimonies, it’s a celebration of the creativity of the working class, as well as a re-appraisal of the collective aesthetic of one of most important social & political events in recent history. Moving, witty and at times shocking, In Loving Memory of Work explores the immediate effects of the strike, while vividly demonstrating its continuing cultural (and political) relevance.

Earlier in the week we took a close look at some of the arresting images featured in the book. For this second post we had a proper chat with mastermind Craig Oldham, to get answers to some of our questions…

FFF: Looking back on any historical work can feel a bit removed or diluted, like sifting through collections of punk flyers from the comfort of your sofa in 2015. You talk about the book as a reappraisal, and even a celebration, of the ’84-’85 For UK miners’ strike work thats been wilfully ignored since – how do you think the work in the book has been received this time around by new audiences in a context so removed to that of the mid 80’s when it was produced? 

CO: It’s difficult to say, as the book itself is still new. Books need time to settle and find their place; their success isn’t that it gets picked-up off the shelf and bought, it’s that it continues to be picked up by the person who owns it, passed around, shared and such, sometimes years afterwards. But the immediate feedback I’ve had about the book has been overwhelming, and to an extent this definition of success has been happening (I’ve had emails from people all over the country who’ve been bought a copy, or have been passed one, and felt compelled to get in touch). In that respect it’s been a success, and for me personally, I’m proud to have made it—which for me is a success.

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Craig Oldham: In Loving Memory Of Work, Pt1.

Politics and design have sometimes been uncomfortable bedfellows, but there are exceptions – and few more successful than protest graphics borne of political struggle. With all that is currently happening in the UK (where many of the FFF team are based) we decided it was high-time we take a proper look at ‘In Loving Memory Of Work‘, a book lovingly designed and published by Craig Oldham, Creative Director (and Founder, obviously) of ‘Office of Craig‘.

‘In Loving Memory Of Work’ focuses on the visual output from the minors strike of 1984-1985, a subject Craig is hugely passionate about. Today we bring you his unique insight into some of the most arresting and powerful images contained within the book. Later this week we’ll share Pt2, a comprehensive interview about the book and its design.

Craig explains…

Due to my strong personal convictions I wish to state that although we have hereafter singled-out a selection of images from this particular struggle for the purposes of examination from a design perspective, these images are ultimately born of their struggle and are an inseparable part of it.

It would be wrong to treat them as commodities; yet another addition to the graphic sweetie shop from bygone days. This struggle, from not only my personal point of view but also the opinion of many more, still continues, and the purpose of this article, and indeed the book, is to induce new levels of interest and action, culturally, socially, and politically.

The aim is to communicate however much as possible of the miners’ struggle in the hope that the power of their work will introduce the topic to those who may not be familiar, or refresh the minds those who are aware but have maybe relapsed, in order to continue the fight and to continue to raise awareness.

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SuperHi School

A year ago Rik Lomas left Steer as co-founder to start SuperHi, an online coding platform that teaches beginners how to easily create professional websites.

But before this platform launches SuperHi is running a series of six free (yes, free!) coding lessons in central London. To tell us a little bit more about the SuperHi School we had a chat with Rik himself.

FFF: Tell us a bit about SuperHi

Rik Lomas: SuperHi is an online coding platform that teaches how to create websites. We’re not launched yet but we’re still working hard on the underlying code, making sure that everything is ready for when we go live. A lot of thought has gone into how to make it incredibly simple to learn to code and to create beautiful sites.

Why are you giving away free coding lessons?

I’d love to say it was because I’m a really generous guy but the real reason is that I want to test out SuperHi itself plus the material that we’ve made for SuperHi. We were going to beta test with our friends but we thought why not open it up to people who really want to learn instead.

What will people learn to do on the course?

We’ll be teaching HTML and CSS, the building blocks of design on the web. The material is looking great, we’ve got the amazing designers at Koto and Socket Studios working with us so we’ll be teaching how to build really beautiful websites. You don’t need any experience of coding, total beginners welcome!

There’s an on-going conversation in the design industry about the importance of coding. How do you convince the non-believers?

Coding has a bad reputation, especially in the design industry. Too many designers have worked with awful coders who don’t build things as designed. It’s important to remember that HTML and CSS are really design tools and that they’re easier to pick up than most people think. Understanding the medium you’re designing for is essential and the more you know about it, the more control you have.

SuperHi itself is an online code course but you’ve previously said on FFF that there’s inherent problems with learning online. How will SuperHi solve those problems?

Yes I still agree that there’s problems in how most online courses teach. Most tackle it from the wrong direction and come across like an academic textbook.

We’re not just making lessons to learn from but we’re also making incredibly powerful tools to make it easier to create websites. Personally, I can’t wait to show it off!

SuperHi School will start Wednesday evenings, 7–9pm, from the 12th of August to the 16th of September. Spaces will be very limited so make sure you sign up ASAP. Big thanks to Rik Lomas for chatting to us and we can’t wait to try out SuperHi!



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Exploring Product Focused Design with Dom Goodrum at Percolate

Going ‘in-house’ is sometimes seen as heading to the dark side. No more pitching, no more ‘new clients’, no more ‘exciting, one off briefs’ – just one product, one brand and one style.

Is that actually the case?

After spending a year escaping the agency band myself, it’s something I now regard as an incredibly valuable move. As a designer it can teach you to execute with a different thinking cap on whilst gaining more in depth experience into how business and design must co-operate and work together.

In this new series of interviews I wanted to get away from talking to designers within ad agencies and graphic design studios and focus on designers within technology focused comapanies. People making real things, better. From how they got there, to their companies process, to how they value their work whilst constantly innovating.

Oh, and their favourite coffee.

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Interview: Jürgen Siebert

With Monotype’s recent acquisition of FontShop we thought it would be the perfect time to chat to Jürgen Siebert about his plans for 2015. We met him at the FontShop offices in Berlin to ask him about the yellow bible, font-hosting and the upcoming TYPO Berlin Conference.

Image: Fontbook stack by Grant Hutchinson

For the very few, who have never heard of FontShop, could you briefly explain your relationship with FontShop and TYPO Talks.

Jürgen Siebert: FontShop was founded at the beginning of the desktop publishing era, with Adobe (PostScript language), Apple (Hardware: Mac & LaserWriter) & Linotype (digital fonts) paving the way to make more typefaces accessible and easier to implement. Democratisation of prepress process.

Up until then you had to use Letraset or a typewriter and a photocopier if you wanted to create any type of printed material at home. I’d say it’s a technological advance comparable with Gutenbergs’ movable type.

“Everyone can be a little Gutenberg” roughly translated that was the title of Page Magazin, which I co-founded in 1986 and led the editorial staff for 5 years.

I met Erik Spiekermann at a couple of conferences before he convinced me to move to Berlin to start at FontShop International which he was launching together with Neville Brody. FontShop (founded by Erik and Joan Spiekermann) and Fontshop International were the first font mail order service. Initially the catalogue included typefaces from established foundries (such as Emigre, Font Bureau, Monotype and our own FontFont collection) and independent typographers.

At this stage was this catalogue already similar to the infamous FontBook?

JS: Not yet, it started much smaller. The first version was a binder format with alphabetical dividers so that you could update the catalogue as the FontShop Library grew. Over the years our catalogue developed into a bound book and in 2006 we published our final edition. The library simply grew to be too large to publish. Larger font families like Meta had to be squeezed into inappropriately small spaces. With the introduction of OpenType we could include more glyphs and languages and reached the boundaries of what was possible in print.

Luckily as the iPad arrived in 2010 the FontBook app allowed us to offer more ways of finding the perfect font. We even increased our categories five-fold and added subcategories.

This year we launched the new FontShop website, which allows us to make use of all the advantages that Webfonts offer. We can finally show the original font, not an impression or an image. It’s almost reminiscent of holding the printed FontBook in your hands again, but we can now let you play around with the typeface before you buy it.

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Studio Series #2 – The Bakery

Roll up, roll up, it’s time for the second of our new Studio Series insights! This week we’re travelling to the capital of Russia, Moscow! for an insight into one of the countries most exciting up and coming studios, The Bakery!

We got on our imaginary EasyJet flight (also known as GMail) to chat to Ivan from the studio about why they do what they do, and what’s going on in Russia these days…

– – – – – –

How did the Bakery come together?

I was about to find a job in Moscow, but was feeling uninspired by the interviews I was going through. I didn’t feel any relation to their creative output and thought they were lagging behind.

Anna (my partner & wife) suggested we’d try to go on our own and establish a practice with different attitude towards work and studio culture. We wanted to do contemporary stuff, try new things, work with materials and print — things that are still not that popular in Russia.

Did you both have a bit of business knowledge before setting thing up?

We thought we did :) From what we’ve experienced at previous jobs we had some basic knowledge of how a studio operates, but when we started we had to sort lots of legal stuff, find a space, set up accounts and all of this was completely new to us. We also had to manage clients ourselves, take care of billing and payments, etc. There are lots of things I’d have done differently if I had the knowledge I have now.

How do you two split the business side against the creative side?

Luckily there are two of us, so Anna manages the business side, while I manage things related to design and we also contribute to each other’s duties. But still there are routine tasks I have to carry out on my own and they take a lot of time, so I try to work from home, either at breakfast or before I go to bed.

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Studio Series #1 – Well Made Studio

Welcome to the first in a new series of features in which we delve deeper into the business side of running a design studio.

Over the course of the series we’ll be hearing from a range of our favourite studios, some with years of history to others with six months. Why were they formed in the first place and how have they saved the ship from almost sinking. How do they gain their clients, and what happens when they lose them?

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Interview: Kate Moross

Kicking off our series of interviews from this years OFFF in Barcelona is none other than London’s Kate Moross. The ‘jack of all trades’ with the ever-changing hair color and one hell of a list of clients was incredibly fun to talk to. We covered everything from work, happiness, her dislike for ‘inspiration’, writing her first book, pizza and her plans for her first action movie. After our interview we all had an even greater admiration for her work ethic and output. Make sure you set aside 15min to check out the video.

FYI: You still have a little time to reserve your early-bird ticket to next years OFFFest in Barcelona. We’ll see you there!



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Welcome to the world of Omnisense

This week I came across a website that offered one of the most immersive interactive experiences I have witnessed online this far. The Omnisense website markets an imaginary product called O+ and will guide you through the calibration process and initial test of the product. It makes use of your smartphone as a second screen and controller to guide you through a slightly gruesome scenario in the not to distant future.

I thought it might be a hoax site for a big budget movie but it turned out to be a final year student project. Intrigued I spoke to Florian Morel about Omnisense to find out more…

Hi Florian, would you mind telling us a little more about the Omnisense project?

Sure, Omnisense emerged from a general theme; The perception of our world and the enhancement of our senses.

We use our senses to gather informations from our world, but little by little we contribute to the birth of a new world. A digital world, containing information about everything: locations (like google maps), what you like (pinterest), who your friends are (facebook), where you work (linkedin), what you know (wikipedia), what you don’t know (wikileaks). It is becoming more and more a duplicate of our world. This digital environment grows more and more each day but we’re not equipped to interact with it.

However we use some devices such as smartphones which become kind of a body extension, allowing us to access this digital world.

What if you could access these data without the need for such a device ? What if we could get a new sense suited for this digital world? With this background in mind, how would all this personal data affect our life and our judgement?

In the end, it’s all about current problems (personal data on the web) and how to talk about a serious topic in a engaging and immersive way.

Some references that inspired us were: Google Glass, Trask and Weyland Industries, Black Mirror, The Wolf Among Us, transhumanism & body hacking (“L’Humanité augmentée” – Augmented humanity, by Eric Sadin, and “L’être et l’écran” – The being and the screen, by Stéphane Vial).

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Interview: Frank Chimero on Another Studio

Until June this year, designer Frank Chimero worked under his own name. A lot of us designers do this and just as many will find a suitable moniker to work under. It is a question that I struggled with over the past year. In the end decided to ditch my company name in favour of my own.

When I read that Frank was starting a studio called Another I thought it would be a great opportunity to get his thoughts on the topic.

Hi Frank, first of all can you tell us a little more about Another Studio?

Another is my one-man design studio focused on taking the knowledge and conventions of digital and bringing them back to print (and vice versa). Projects come in one of two forms: I handle everything and work closely with the client like a traditional studio, or I plug into the client’s internal design and dev team to help shepherd along a project. It’s a lifestyle business—meaning it’s primary reason for existence is to act as a little Frank-powered machine to contribute good things to culture and help me have the life I want to live.

So you’ll continue with your personal work under your own name?

Yes! Working under a studio name leaves my personal name free for my books, writing, and other artistic pursuits.

Do you feel that a company name will open other doors than working as Frank Chimero?

Of course, otherwise there’d be no reason to do it. I suppose the day-to-day looks a lot like my work days from the past few years, but I decided to formalize the endeavor to leave some room for collaborations and to not have to stick to the aesthetic people have come to expect from me. Read more



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Registration Summer School is now open!

Roll up! Roll up! South London’s Registration Summer School is now open!

Three days of design lead workshops, lectures, performances and social activities from a selection of design professionals including Sebastian Zimmerhackl and Anthony Burrill alongside the brilliant Hato Press Studio.

Set in a disused primary school, in the Borough of Lewisham Registration is out to deliver experiential education methods that seek to give insight and inspire students. I chatted to Ross Bennett, one of the brains behind the programme to find a little bit more about what’s going on;

How did you come around to putting together Registration?

A friend and recent graduate (Callum Copley) approached myself (Ross Bennett) and Andrew Thorpe, designers who live in South London – with an idea for a summer school. Callum had been to a few different programmes over seas, like ‘After School Club’ in Offenbach, Germany.

Eike König From the studio ‘Hort’ and students from the Offenbach University ran the event in together as a joint project. Callum had a great time and found the collaboration between students and practitioners on such a non-hierarchical level really inspiring. Being surrounded by so many talented students in such short period of time (3 days) and being asked to produce work is an amazing experience.

There wasn’t really anything offering the same kind of fun, free educational structure that we thought there should be over here. So we’re making it happen.

Who should be looking to apply?

You should be interested in approaching subjects from all angles, researching and be open to creative briefs. We don’t want to limit it to Art and design students. But it will probably be past, present or future students that look to get involved in a fun project to challenge their notions of practice.

We want to cultivate a group of multi-practice individuals. We’ll try to make the selected group of students as diverse as possible so that they get the most from each other as well as from the guests that will be delivering workshops, and lectures.

Why the subject of Fear?

After a lot of discussion around whether or not there should be a theme and what it should be we thought it would help the practitioners we were inviting to work from a topic.

As Callum was a recent graduate and as myself and Andrew know only too well University is riddled with fear, just about every human being out there has their share of fears. Be they daily and trivial, or a severe disorder. We feel that fear as a topic isn’t that widely discussed within art and design, especially within education and practice.

We want to open up the theme discuss it without being afraid and maybe think about ways that we can suffer less from it and create work out of it. Across the 3 days and with such a breadth of guests we hope that the theme will be approached from many different perspectives.

What’s in the pipeline for future Registrations?

It’s very easy to start thinking too far into future before things have happened but it would be nice to keep ourselves open to the possibilities of a developed and new programme hopefully with the new network of people we form from this first registration.

It would be great to take on residencies in unused schools during their summer breaks. And definitely to keep working on projects that open up alternative education methods and maintain an element of fun and remain social at their core.

– – –

Registration Summer School – Open from the 19th to the 21st of August

Find more on Registration at: www.registrationschool.co.uk




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Interview: Shepard Fairy

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Frank Shepard Fairey one of today’s most infamous and perhaps most influential american street artists. You’ll likely know him for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” or OBEY sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from a supermarket tabloid. If not then you will have definitely have come across his poster for the Obama election campaign which caused a mixed reaction in the press for it’s message as well as for the it’s legal issues.

Film maker Brett Novak recently shot this short interview with Shepard Fairey in which he discusses the themes and messages around his work as well as explaining the Obey story, giving us fascinating insight into his life.



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Getting to know; Bread Collective

East London design collective Bread have been working together since 2011. Creating a wide variety of projects that range from adorning artwork across London’s most iconic architecture to collaborating on their own Lacoste boot.

Oh and for our Hackney based readers, some of you might recognise their very special ‘The Walls Have Ears” mural that spread for 100 metre’s around Hackney Wick, the leading walk to the Olympic Park in East London.

I caught up with Luke from Bread to find out a little bit more about the past and the future…

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Getting to know; Elana Schlenker

It’s no easy job finding someone who publishes great work under the description of ‘typographic smut’. But lucky for us, we managed to find someone who does – introducing, graphic design extraordinaire; Elana Schlenker.

Aside from the smut, entitled ‘Gratuitous Type‘ Schlenker owns an outstanding book of work ranging from print to identity with pieces for digital also. As if that wasn’t enough already, way back when in 2013 Elana was added to Print magazine’s New Visual Artist list, a prestigious annual distinction that recognizes the industry’s top 20 creative talents under the age of 30.

We sat down, over the internet mind to find out a little more on where it all began, and what’s coming up next.

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Chatter

Really like this. Nice and clean visual identity with dynamic typeface.

petemandotnet on Alphabetical: UK/Mexico 2015

I’m a wolves fan and this has always bugged me. The hexagon gets in the way of the attitude the ‘wolf’ could have if it didn’t have to compete with such a strong shape and thick outer line… pedantic maybe …

Roberto D'Andria on Grafiky

Wonderful!

Jared G on Nick Deakin: Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Looks nice. Reminds me of the Church of London’s one-off ‘Good Times’ newspaper project.

Matt on The Five to Nine

Good. But not as good as the first.

Michael Thomason on Axis Animation – Gab Talk

Its eerly similar to the simbol on the artifact in quartermass and the pit

André Cascais on The International Flag of Planet Earth

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