Blog - page 25

Design in Words

Throughout our creative lives we have sifted through everything to select what we thought best. We sifted through materials to find those for which we have the closest affinity. We sifted through colors, textures, typefaces, images, and gradually we built a vocabulary of materials and experiences that enable us to express our solutions to given problems – our interpretations of reality. It is imperative to develop your own vocabulary of your own language – a language that attempts to be as objective as possible, knowing very well that even objectivity is subjective.
I love systems and despise happenstance. I love ambiguity because, for me, ambiguity means plurality of meanings. I love contradiction because it keeps things moving, preventing them from assuming a frozen meaning, or becoming a monument to immobility. As much as I love things in flux, I love them within a frame of reference – a consistent reassurance that at least and at last I am the one responsible for every detail.
And that is why I love Design.
Beautiful thoughts by Massimo Vignelli from The Vignelli Canon

On the ball



I have developed an interest recently in fonts with ‘ball terminals’, having used script font ‘Bellevue’ recently in some body cream packaging for One Seed organic fragrances. It led me to the discovery of Jessica Hische’s font, ‘Buttermilk’ – a bold and feminine script typeface which can be purchased from myfonts.com.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews out there about font designer Jessica Hische, where people seem to have found themselves in an expected state of delighted euphoria, having explored this particular young woman’s portfolio. Her work is inspiring in every way: it makes me want to own it, see more, be better and somehow one day make her my best friend. She produces a constantly rich and quirky stream of new ideas – daily, in fact, at her blog (dailydropcap.com) where she offers the world a new drop cap every day to enjoy.

Jessica’s portfolio is online at jessicahische.com.

Off the wall


Anke Klevjer, a good friend and talented artist, is currently living in Varanasi, India, where she is running art workshops, helping out in the local community and dedicating her time and creativity to decorating the walls of this ashram. Incredible attention to detail… something we miss sometimes when we’re on our Macs, churning through projects to meet deadlines!

Allen Consulting Interior Graphics

We recently completed this office mural graphic for client Allen Consulting. Mei was responsible for design; she hand-drew the illustration, scanned it and then applied the gorgeous textures and colours which are perfect for this interior.

Pretty picture

I took this picture in Tasmania when I was there for a visit a month or so ago. Applied a Photoshop action set to give it a vintage film effect. I have a thing for carousel and playground horses.

From the ‘burbs…

For lovers of their particular corner of Sydney, check out these typographic, topographic prints designed by our dear friend Greg Miller of Burbia. He’s had these in the pipeline for a while, and has just launched his website. Now we can hop online and order these neat posters with a few easy clicks of the ol’ mouse. More at: www.burbia.bigcartel.com

UnitingWorld Annual Report

We recently completed and delivered UnitingWorld’s 2009 Annual Report, and had so much positive feedback I thought I’d show it off here. Mei and Chantel both worked on this one, and it’s come together as a beautiful piece we’ll be proud to have in our portfolio. I particularly like the scanned stitching and the world map created with fabric.

Lovely Letterpress


Printing will not die. Not for as long as lovely pieces like this are being made. I found these guys today and immediately knew I had to share the links with the rest of the studio, and the rest of the world. Here they are: www.beastpieces.com (blog) www.studioonfire.com (website… with a ‘shop’ page too!).

Reflection on design

My parents are proud. So very proud. But whenever I take a finished piece back to my old family home to show my mum and dad what we’ve been up to, I usually get a series of questions which, as they are dealt to me blow by blow, slowly undo me. Upon handing my mother a brochure/book/invitation/90 x 50mm card with someone’s address on it, she is guaranteed to make thrilled, breathless noises and tell me how clever she thinks I am. Clever Claire. I’m usually just beginning to really let the moment envelope me, beaming and smiling and doing silent little internal cheers, when the questions begin:


Did I take the photographs?

– No, I just watched someone else take them.

Did I retouch the pictures, making them clean and bright?

– Nope.

Did I write the words?

– Not that either.

Create the font the words were written with?

– Um, not exactly.

What about the illustrations? Did I draw those?

– No to that too I’m afraid.

Oh, the colours! Did you pick the colours?

– Actually – that was part of the branding – they were in the Style Guide…


And on it goes. As I leave Gumnut Road, Cherrybrook with my head just a little lower than when I arrived, I have to ask myself, “What exactly do I do?”


Mum, if you’re reading this, thank you first of all – with all my heart – for believing in me. But just in case you’ve found yourself wondering what exactly you supported me through for 4 years of University, and what on earth I’ve been doing since, let me try to nut it out for you.


I (and when I say I, I mean we – the graphic design community as a happy whole) – make things happen. Think of me if you will as a chef. What I’m aiming to do is create a beautiful, sophisticated meal – with a delightfully surprising and subtle harmony of flavours and a seemingly effortless but elegant presentation. Don’t get me wrong, I spend a lot of time making hamburgers with fries (gotta pay the bills somehow)… but even those meals I want to make special.


I don’t grow the vegetables. I don’t milk the cow or breed the chickens. I don’t collect the eggs and I don’t farm the wheat, or the sugar, or anything else. I’m there in the end stages, just before you sit down for your moment of pleasure. I find the perfect ingredients and bring them together to make something which I hope will make your insides sing.


I aim present to you visual beauty in an organised, creative, intuitive and intelligent fashion. And I call it design.

A new Boheemian!

Last month following (or overlapping with) Jane’s departure, we were joined by Bec Plummer, our new studio manager. Bec has a background in marketing and brand management, and has also a little experience with web development. We’re already enjoying having Bec around, and now that the studio manager’s role has grown to be a full-time one, we know that Boheem’s design team as well as suppliers and clients will be glad to have someone on hand to ensure projects are completed well and on time. And now with Chantel back from her adventures in Morocco (etc) we’re a full house again… the studio’s buzzing and we love it!
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