My journal

How to undermine carefully crafted party political narratives

This came out of nowhere, and grabbed people’s attention.

A simple, cheap and direct guerrilla campaign that undermined the mainstream media narrative our politicians so carefully try to control. Well,some more than others…

Posters bearing the words “strong and stable my arse” which were spotted across London over the weekend are the work of the artist Jeremy Deller.

Passersby began tweeting pictures of the posters from Peckham to Soho to Kentish Town on Friday, but the question was: who was behind them?

Deller confirmed to the Guardian on Monday that he was responsible. He said he hoped the posters were self-explanatory, particularly after “this U-turn this morning” from Theresa May on Conservative party social care policies.

Not all heroes wear capes.




Fascinating Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017

Data, analysis and visualization on the 17 SDGs

The Atlas is built around World Development Indicators 2017  — the World Bank’s compilation of statistics from over 200 economies about global development and the quality of people’s lives. For each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, selected indicators have been identified and visualized to analyze trends and challenges, and to stimulate discussion on measurement issues. You can browse the Atlas online here, or download it as a PDF. It is accompanied by interactive dashboards of SDG data and all the underlying data is available in the World Development Indicators database.

50 of the best blogs for graphic design inspiration

Need some graphic design inspiration? Here are some of the best blogs around, for a burst of informed and intelligent ideas.

1. Mirador

Mirador is brought to you by Say What Studio, a graphic design duo based in Paris. They curate the most inspirational works out there and share them through this collection of projects.

2. FormFiftyFive

FormFiftyFive was founded in 2007 by a group of designers, illustrators, coders and makers eager to collect and share the best design work they came across. Now an established international showcase of creative work, it’s a must-read for any designer wishing to keep up with trends or just get inspired by great design.

3. Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo is a collective of individual writers sharing articles about architecture, design, photography and UX. Founded by Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso in 2006, it’s particularly strong on 3D work, which is something that doesn’t get much attention from most design blogs.

4. Design Week

Founded in 1986, Design Week was the UK’s leading design magazine until 2011, when it became online-only. It continues to bring you high quality, well written news and inspiration across graphics, branding, interiors, digital, product, furniture and more.

5. Format Magazine

Brought to you by the portfolio platform Format, Format Magazine is dedicated to sharing the work and experiences of photographers, designers, illustrators and artists around the world. It explores the creative mind through artist profiles, industry resources and documentary videos.

6. Creative Review

Founded in 1980, Creative Review is the world’s leading monthly magazine for advertising, design and visual culture. And the same high-quality journalism that informs it carries through to its website, which features a range of news, reviews and features from the creative world.

7. The Die Line

For all those packaging design lovers out there, The Die Line has it all wrapped up. Its recently undergone a website refresh, and is crammed full of brand inspiration with satisfyingly large imagery throughout.

8. Dezeen

Dezeen is a popular and influential online magazine covering architecture, design and interiors. Its website includes a recruitment section, opinion articles and inspiring projects from around the world.

9. Eye Magazine

Eye Magazine, the international review of graphic design, is a quarterly print magazine on graphic design and visual culture. It, and its associated blog, features a range of critical, informed writing about design and visual culture.

10. Digital Arts

Digital Arts is a UK-focused online magazine for professional designers, with a focus on techniques, best practices and useful resources.

11. InvisionApp Blog

Invision, one of the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration and workflow platforms, has a rather inspiring blog of its own, sharing thoughts on users, experience and design. Give this a whirl if you need advice on better design processes or you love the odd free icon set.

12. Shillington Design Blog

Shillington is a network of colleges offering an innovative approach to design education based on short, intensive courses and practical, industry focused learning. And it has its own blog, too, featuring a range of inspiring design work and insightful articles.

13. Under Consideration: Brand New

Under Consideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives and content, while taking on a limited amount of client work. Its Brand New blog is well-known for chronicling, and providing opinions on, corporate and brand identity work. It’s edited and written by Armin Vit.

14. Art of the Menu

Another great blog from Under Consideration, Art of the Menu catalogues the underrated creativity of menus from around the world. They welcome and encourage suggestions and submissions, and readers are free to comment on both the menu and the restaurant itself, if they’ve visited it.


The brainchild of Parisian art director Martin Joubert, provides a daily burst of inspiration for lovers of editorial print design, mainly based around arty-looking books and magazines.

16. For Print Only

One more blog from Under Consideration that’s well worth a mention. For Print Only celebrates the reality that print is not dead, by showcasing the latest and greatest printed projects. Not only is the work superlative, but the writers get deep into the weeds, revealing lots of lovely detail about the design and print production methods.

17. The Dsgn Blog

The Design Blog is all about visual inspiration. Founded, designed and curated by Ena Baćanović, a designer based in Zagreb, Croatia, it features the work of designers and design studios from all over the world, putting the main focus on young designers and students

18. The Book Design Blog

Run by Manchester-based graphic designer Paul Murray, The Book Design Blog aims to find and showcase inspirational publications from around the world. From self-published ‘zines to commercially produced books, and everything in between, anything vaguely book-like is considered for a feature.

19. BP&O

BP&O stands for Branding, Packaging and Opinion, and it delivers on all of these things, with a combination of inspiring imagery and in-depth analysis. It’s the brain child of Richard Baird, a British freelance designer and writer who specialises in brand identities and packaging.

20. Design Clever

Design Clever is a collaboration started by Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker, two aspiring graphic designers with a passion for everything design-related. This blog was created to showcase talented designers all over the world, and they encourage creatives everywhere to submit their work to it.

21. Grain Edit

Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s to the 1970s, as well as contemporary designers who draw inspiration from that era. It features interviews, articles, designers’ libraries, rare design annuals, type specimens, Ephemera, posters and vintage kids books. Based in California, it’s run by Dave Cuzner, Ethan Davis and Grace Danico.

22. Fonts In Use Blog

Fonts In Use is a public archive of typography indexed by typeface, format, and industry. An independent project led by Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman, it documents and examines graphic design with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation.

23. Readdd

Readdd is a reading list for designers, updated daily with informative pieces relating to design, curated by Australian designer Julian Hutton. If you like, you can subscribe to the “weekly readdding list” to get the links by newsletter.

24. AisleOne

AilsleOne is an inspirational resource focused on design, typography, minimalism and modernism. It’s the work of Antonio Carusone, director of product design at MakeSpace.

25. GoodDesignMakesMeHappy

Good Design Makes Me Happy began life in 2009 as an inspiration journal for graphic designer Hannah Dollery. As the name suggests, it’s a blog that’s full of passion for its subject, and the carefully curated work is always of high quality.

26. Yellowtrace

Set up by Dana Tomic Hughes, Yellowtrace is an online design publication that offers “design inspiration and resource for creative and curious minds”. Launched in 2010 as her passion project (much like Creative Boom) the site is updated daily and offers carefully curated content on interior design, architecture, art, photography, travel, and – yep, you guessed it, design.

27. Van Schneider Blog

This is the blog you’ll visit again and again. Brought to you by German award-winning designer Tobias van Schneider. Expect to discover his inspirations, his secrets to success and various career tips, along with plenty of industry insights.

28. Gurafiku

Gurafiku is a blog dedicated to the history of graphic design in Japan. Brought to you by designer, Ryan Hageman, it seeks to “lift the barrier of language, and present the graphic design of Japan to an international audience”.

29. Design Made In Japan

Whilst we’re on the subject of the Land of the Rising Sun, you simply must add Design Made In Japan to your list of essential blogs. You will never grow tired of the wealth of editorial, product and packaging design to be featured. There’s even a design jobs board for those wanting to work in Japan.

30. Mindsparkle

Mindsparkle magazine promotes the “most beautiful and inspiring projects” in the fields of graphic design, web design and video. With a clean and satisfying design of its own, it’ll become a daily inspiration, and you can rely on the founders to only share the very best.

31. Designcloud

Designcloud shares the best art, design and innovation from around the globe. With a graphic design category, content is organised in a nice grid format, so you can quickly browse and save anything that catches your eye.

32. It’s Nice That

Beautifully designed, industry-led and one of the best resources for keeping abreast of graphic design everywhere, It’s Nice That continues to be one of our favourite publications.

33. The Fox is Black

With a recent refresh under its belt, The Fox is Black is a “place for design, art, lifestyle, and inspiration”, courtesy of Bobby Solomon.

34. Typeroom

Typeroom calls itself “an online platform for the Typophile Generation”. Showcasing outstanding typographic works, featuring inspiring stories about the letterforms that matter and interviewing type designers from around the globe.

35. Httpster

Just want to browse delicious web design? Httpster is exactly what you need. It’s an inspiration resource showcasing “totally rocking websites” made by designers everywhere.

36. The Design Files

The Design Files, named as one of the world’s top design blogs by The Times, covers Australian design in all its forms – from architecture and interiors to gardens, food, fine art and craft. And graphic design too, naturally.

37. Lovely Stationery

Lovely Stationery shares the very best stationery design, and follows a similar format to its sister blog, Lovely Package.

38. The Inspiration Grid

Launched in 2011, The Inspiration Grid is an online magazine celebrating creative talent from around the world, providing a daily fix of art, illustration, typography, photography and… of course, graphic design. It has a clean, appealing design and everything is easy to find. One of our favourites.

39. Visuelle

David Bennett curates inspiring projects from graphic designers worldwide. Add this to your bookmarks for reliable content daily.

40. Creative Bloq

Creative Bloq is a blog launched by the makers of print magazines Computer Arts, net magazine and ImagineFX, and features a mixture of repurposed magazine articles and original content. It aims to bring the very best creative work to its audience, as well as keeping them up to date with trends and news.

41. AIGA: Eye on Design

The AIGA, otherwise known as The Professional Association for Design, has a wonderful blog called Eye on Design which is bursting with design inspiration. With contributors from around the world, you’ll never be bored with its varied content.

42. David Airey

Renowned graphic designer David Airey has his own blog where he shares a wealth of design inspiration, recommended resources and industry advice. An essential to follow.

43. Women of Graphic Design

Women of Graphic Design literally celebrates and champions women in graphic design. Focusing on posters and editorial designs, it’s curated by Tori Hinn and Kathleen Sleboda, along with a team of contributors.

44. Ambalaj

Founded by Swedish designer Kristina de Verdier in 2008, Ambalaj is predominantly a packaging design blog, but it also tends to share the latest design innovations.

45. 8Faces

The official blog of 8 Faces magazine, this blog features inspirational typography, beautiful lettering, reviews, interviews with leading designers and much more. Curated by Jamie Clarke and Elliot Jay Stocks.

46. Swissmiss

Swissmiss is the work of Tina Roth Eisenberg, a Swiss designer in New York who also founded and runs Tattly, CreativeMornings and TeuxDeux. It’s packed with visual inspiration, some of which can be quite offbeat, but never boring.

47. Wrap magazine

Primarily a print magazine, Wrap is published bi-annually and champions contemporary illustration. It also happens to have an excellent blog on tumblr where it shares colourful and quirky work from illustrators and graphic designers everywhere.

48. n v s b l t y

n v s b l t y is an inspiring blog by UK graphic designer Ross Berens that curates some of the latest design projects worldwide. One to bookmark.

49. Lovely Package

Lovely Package curates the very best in packaging design. Organised into handy categories such as alcohol, books and electronics, this has been an essential resource for designers since its launch in 2008.

50. TypeToken

Expect a perfectly organised blog with categorised sections and plenty of inspirational typography to wet your design appetite. Brought to you by designers Mike Sullivan, Marc Millic and David Cole.

Test your site for free with Google

Mobile web searches have overtaken desktop. The world’s gone mobile, with smartphones and tablets become king as the share of desktop web browsing traffic shrinks to 48.7%, according to data.

Mobile devices are used more than traditional computers for web browsing, as smartphone and tablet use overtook desktop for the first time, October figures show.

Mobile web browsing has been steadily growing since 2009, while the desktop’s share of web traffic has steadily decreased. In October, the two crossed over, with global mobile and tablet browsing accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%, according to the latest data from web analytics firm StatCounter.

Aodhan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter, said: “This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not.

“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile-friendly websites for its mobile search results.”

And I suspect that’s why Google is now offering you a free report on how mobile friendly your site is. All you have to do is enter your URL and submit your email address.

And, as you can see below, even this site will need some more improvements to get a top score.

Needless to say, if you do need some help with your website, do get in touch!

How progressive campaigns are won in the 21st Century

This is an interesting site innovating social strategy for non-profit campaign organisations. Download their latest free report from


Social change is hard, and harder still if our institutions haven’t adapted to the cultural changes of our networked society and the complexity of the world’s wicked problems.

The Networked Change Report maps out the strategies and practices that made 47 of today’s most successful advocacy campaigns work while so many others failed to create lasting change.

These campaigns achieved success, we found, because of their ability to open up to the new cultural forces which favor open-ness and grassroots power, but also because they framed and strategically directed this power towards concrete policy outcomes. In short, these “directed network campaigns” married old power with new.

With a special focus on directed-network campaigns, the report isolates the strategic and operational approaches that were common to all high performing examples in our case studies.

Simply put, our intention is to accelerate innovations that work. Understanding and implementing these principles and approaches will allow organizers to apply a model that is consistently achieving high impact and force amplification in today’s challenging advocacy landscape.

“The conventional rules of organizing and the practice of building institutions to create change is being replaced by the demand to innovate and spark new connections and a mandate to build platforms that allow for participation and self determination. This report examines and connects the dots between emergent strategies and provides concrete mechanisms to adapt and improve social change efforts.” 

Marisa Franco, Director of the Not1More Deportation Campaign 

The report is available for free download.


Automated twitter messages – or not?

Often when I start following someone on twitter I receive an automated ‘thank you for the follow‘ message. This seems a good way to introduce your business a little more, and so has set me off on a little bit of research on this subject.

First stop was the twitter community itself. And where I also found the first hurdle: that automation is frowned upon by twitter. and actively discouraged. See thier automation rules at:

But then again, the argument for at least an initial automated response seems persuasive: those that follow you receive and instant pay-off in terms of more detailed information, and a way to connect deeper to you and your twitter stream.

And not only that, this deeper engagement using automated DM’s let’s you do some other cool stuff. You could use it for retweets too. Once someone tweets your article you can do this:

  1. Ask to share your article via other social networks: “Hey @username Thanks a lot for the tweet! I would really appreciate if you could give the post a G+ and “like” as well :)”;
  2. Offer more content: “Thanks for the tweet! Did you also see this article of mine about the same topic? http://link_to_article”;
  3. Offer a product: “Thanks for the tweet! Maybe you’d be interested in taking my free email course at http://link_to_course?”.

Though, as mentioned, twitter automation is a very controversial topic and many people hate it. But you can do really cool things if you get it right.

Here’s an awesome guide to Twitter Automation: Power Guide to Twitter Automation: Tools, Strategies, Ethics

But… as a final note, consider this response by people on the subject of automated DM:

“….please, don’t use an Auto DM.  It’s considered highly douchbaggy.  Twitter is best when you are a person — an authentic one.  Auto DMs is the best way to dispel the idea that you are someone worth engaging with.  I’d unfollow you in a second if you Auto DM-ed me.”

This kind of comment tells you to step back a little and consider all the pros and cons.

My final conclusion to this? I think I will be trying out some automated DM for initial contact – but will be honest about it, and point out that I am human, and will engage directly after fist linking up.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong to do so. What do you think?