31 Jan 2013


I've missed out on the winter sales this year, but I picked up this neat little backpack from Muji for a bargain £15 the other day. In a washed white heavy canvas and just the right amount of leather detailing, it's the perfect bag I'd been looking for as I looked to provide more permanent alternatives to my regularly used open tote bags. Good purchase wouldn't you say?

30 Jan 2013


I've been reading Issue 60 of Monocle, the magazine I choose to purchase quasi-religiously every month. As always, there are some great topics covered and fascinating features throughout, but there's an essay at the very end under Expo that really caught my attention. Design editor Hugo Macdonald discusses the need for creative education and while he tackles the recent government choices, it also focuses on Central Saint Martins' way of working, including an interview with the new head of the university, Professor Jeremy Till. It's really interesting and, accompanied by fine glossy pages of photography by Benjamin Quinton, it is most definitely worth more than a glance.

Oh, the issue also mentions that the new Monocle Café in London will be opening in mid-February. I tell you this because that initial entry for it has been my most popular post to date! It's coming very soon folks.


Ellie Goulding's next single, the third from sophomore album "Halcyon", will be "Explosions" and its video has been revealed today made up of footage from her recent tour, which I know I've said before but am absolutely gutted not to have gotten to see. I don't mind a live in-concert montage but this one sure hasn't been put together with much thought - a black and white cliché, awkwardly cut and out of sync, it's a bit rubbish. But nonetheless the track is so beautifully written, a quite haunting mid-ballad (which incidentally has been used in ITV's latest advertisement campaign). Do have a watch. Or not.

29 Jan 2013


From: Ronnie Fieg

In Ronnie Fieg's first collaboration with English shoemakers Grenson, three models make up the capsule collection in two Fred brogue boots and the Spike silhouette. The Fred edits are the ones that do it for me, the brogue detailing so beautiful and so standout in a burnished grey tone on Vibram soles and an all black version with Commando soles. The entire collection uses premium leather never before used by the rich in heritage Grenson brand, as it sees its selected footwear take an understated yet bold reform with plenty of character. Each have a red heel spike to denote the specialty and, limited in numbers, they have all been produced here in the UK and are available to purchase now. I myself have a pair of both Grenson brogues and Ronnie Fieg boots, and I can assure you they don't come in higher quality. I know I feel pretty good when I'm out in either of them.


From: She & Him

She & Him have announced a brand new studio album, their third original LP, to be released on May 13 over here, a week after the US. With 11 tracks written and performed by Zooey Deschanel (probably during her commitments with New Girl, which FYI is absolutely my favourite TV show right now) plus 3 covers, all produced by M. Ward as usual, it promises to be another groovy record. I love the quirk and style that Deschanel brings, so cool and confident, and this album is said to feature "some of the most dynamic, complex songs she has ever written". Exciting.


From: David Beckham

Looks like David Beckham is training with Arsenal as his family settles back in London and he mulls over the options for his next (and sadly perhaps his final) playing venture. My respect for Becks is sky high so I wish good luck to him.

28 Jan 2013


London-based folk rock trio Daughter are most definitely a must watch act for 2013. Working with people behind the likes of The xx, Adele, Sigur Rós and M83, you can instantly imagine what to expect if you haven't heard them already. I've been listening to their 2011 EPs "His Young Heart" and "The Wild Youth", tracks beautifully intricate in instrumental material and rhythm. It's often quite dark but the words show maturity and real emotional depth.

So I'm very pleased to see today that there will be a new single released tomorrow, called "Still", with its video (below) unveiled a couple of hours ago. It's off the upcoming debut album "If You Leave" which arrives on March 18, available for preorder now. The group really have a superb sound and I am in love with their honestly moving music, you must have a listen.

27 Jan 2013


I picked up this new-in item at Magma this weekend, "Type Compass" published by SHS. Edited by Emilio Macchia and Michael Brenner, it's not the average typography book and there's a couple of reasons why, reasons also why I chose to purchase. Firstly it focuses on the evolution of type design and therefore its future, featuring influential designers, foundries and of course fonts that are "charting new routes" of much innovation and potential. Also the book itself is neatly formatted and laid out, encouraging users to scribble and interact within, with queues including blank pages and tips. It looks fascinating and I look forward to delve in. The following pictures show some of the inside works, provided by SHS Publishing.

From: SHS Publishing

26 Jan 2013


I had a productive few days in another week of technical studies, indulging in what's booming throughout the design world at the moment that is 3D printing. Tipped to be more than just a boom however, it's sure been useful to learn the tools and actually get to use some of the beastly kit. Working in Rhinoceros and printing with plaster-based machines, CNC routers, homemade printers and some £100,000 Objet apparatus too, it's great to now be in the game. And I hear the possibilities are limitless and just very exciting.


The long-awaited jeans arrived last week and we've been finalising them for release very shortly. It's all rather exciting.

24 Jan 2013


Out today is the official video for Of Monsters and Men's lovely track "King And Lionheart". A tale written by Nanna of her and her brother's relationship, the video is beautiful not only in its story-telling but through this wonderfully intricate, intelligent and skilfully crafted style that we've seen before in their video for "Little Talks". Actually I think that the band have got their entire artist branding so right, from their logo and CD jackets to these stunning art videos and their personalities themselves. A really great band that I'm absolutely loving; I am most definitely a 'monster'.

23 Jan 2013


From: Slamxhype

Japanese eyewear label tana-gokoro make traditional glasses, specialising in its careful craft to make some beautiful optical frames. For Spring/Summer 2013, they've teamed up with fellow Japanese brand, hobo, who starting with bags have made their name in equally sweet accessories. The joint venture has led to this quite beautiful pair of round glasses, constructed with celluloid fibre in a subtle brown tortoiseshell, finished with silver detailing on the bridge and corners. I'm always on the hunt for new spectacles and this is very attractive indeed.

22 Jan 2013


From: Rolling Stone

Paramore are finally back with new music after a little break, releasing the new single "NOW" just today and their self-titled album in April, their first in four years. It seems like they've gotten over all the drama with the Farro brothers as the trio have found their sound and direction to get straight back into the scene. And I'd say it's been well done having heard and enjoyed this new track.

For sure, it's different to what Paramore used to be, clearly bringing in heavier modern influences from electronica to hip hop. Main lyricist Taylor York on guitar spent much time listening to alt-J (who hasn't?!) and I'm reminded of the likes of Metric or Sky Ferreira. That's not at all to say that they've lost their rock roots, quite the contrary in fact and I reckon they're onto a winner, with a sound that's mature and current. Perhaps it's true that some fans are missing the old stuff, but while that was brilliant, I'm really excited to hear the full LP and to welcome the new Paramore.


From: ICDC Instagram

ICDC is my former university's all new Design Collective, opening their first year with talks and lectures by some great British designers, professionally led workshops and most recently creative studio office visits. I've been lucky to participate and last week we got to check out the studio floor of globally renowned firm IDEO.

A company that prioritises the user experience and human nature in all their work, we were given a lovely talk by some of the guys there and I gained a real insight and moreover a convincing pitch as to why they're so successful. People first, and I don't disagree one bit. We design for people foremost so logic dictates that the design follows. There was an aura of cosiness, really open and welcoming, as you'd expect from such a pro-social company sporting Gotham as their own font identity.

For sure it's a place I'd love to work in some day (sooner rather than later) and one in which I would fit right into, if I may say so myself. It was great to be able to hear from the team and have a look around.

20 Jan 2013


I just came across this bizarre video in which a gentleman finds one of his chickens to have laid a 6 oz. egg. You should watch it before I discuss the spoiler after this line break.

Apparently it's not uncommon to find multiple yolks in some bigger eggs, similar to humans having twins or triplets, right. To be honest, I would have hesitated to crack it at all in fear of finding a fucking chick inside. But he goes ahead and opens it to find another entire egg, something I'm finding so funny this Sunday morning that I'm still laughing away. (That may come across as sarcasm to some but it's not.) Just the cute little thud that it makes on the frying pan is great. And I love the guy's quintessentially British reaction, collected and posh. Brilliant isn't it? Nice to see some keen viewers also commenting on the egg inside an egg as 'Eggception'...

19 Jan 2013


As I continue my not at all intended life assignment that is to purchase every Muji item available, this week I finally purchased myself a fragrant candle. I'd been wanting one for ages and the workload over the past couple of weeks has convinced me to go for it (not like it's a big deal). I chose the soft note of the Nashi tin candle and it's honestly doing wonders. Perfectly sweet and refreshingly relaxing, I can't put it out.


Got to catch up with some friends last night, and catch up we did over some gorgeous Hawaiian-meets-Japanese burgers. Pictured is my order of teriyaki grilled chicken fillet sandwich with avocado and homemade coleslaw. Killer combination. Washed down with a pitcher of Asahi from tap, my mouth is watering once more. It's one of the brilliant options in food around Carnaby and you must try it if you haven't already.


So this week in Britain, iconic record store His Majesty's Voice (or more familiarly abbreviated to HMV) sadly went into administration, with its future very much in an uncertain jeopardy. Because apparently people don't buy CDs anymore - clearly a battle I couldn't take on my own...


From: Highsnobiety

I still want a staple pair of Nike Air Max and this is part of the January release, in summit white and black, it makes for a cool sneaker. I like it. Becomes available this weekend I hear.

14 Jan 2013


From: Justin Timberlake

It's finally here, Justin Timberlake is ready to return as a recording artist. The new single featuring Jay-Z "Suit & Tie" was unveiled today and is already #1 on iTunes. It's unsurprising though, with new material being something on everyone's wishlist for an all-too-long 6 years now. The news gets better as he has since confirmed that a new album will follow later in the year, to be entitled "The 20/20 Experience". And it's an album I absolutely cannot wait for, this teaser song is an ok start, but it's very difficult to feel his new sound without hearing the whole lot. Having said that, you can already hear that swagger in his voice and a beat that can only be described as cool. I want more, and it's extremely satisfying to know that there will be.


So it was snowing today, quite heavily by the evening too. Lovely weather to go supermarket shopping in, oh yes...

12 Jan 2013


From: Tom Odell

22-year-old singer-songwriter, Tom Odell is enjoying a tremendous build-up to a year in which he is set to make a big mark. I first saw him perform on Later... with Jools Holland, on that episode with Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd, when I remember thinking he looked like a douche with silly hair. But I've heard his EP "Songs From Another Love" and it's very good. There's a raw maturity in his piano-meets-vocal sound. Talented, to say the least.

"Another Love" is the track that's shot him to critical acclaim, having been acknowledged by BBC Sound of 2013 amongst others, and now of course the coveted Critics' Choice Award for this year's Brits. In my eyes it's certainly the award that is of most interest as it highlights talents for the future, with past winners including Adele, Emeli Sandé and my love Ellie Goulding. So he's definitely one to watch out for, with the debut album expected on June 17, I certainly look forward to it. For now, watch the video for the afore mentioned "Another Love".


2011 documentary film "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", directed by David Gelb, is finally hitting UK cinemas this week. It's enjoyed prestigious selection from the Tribeca Film Festival as the story follows the life of perhaps the world's greatest sushi chef, Jiro Ono, a man who has dedicated his life to mastering the art and craft to perfection. Aged 85, he owns a 10-seater restaurant in a Tokyo subway, accredited with three Michelin stars, where customers have a unique underground experience with the best in Japanese delicacy. I've not watched it yet but it looks truly fascinating.

11 Jan 2013


From her UK leg of her Halcyon tour, these are official clips of Ellie Goulding performing in London at the O2 Brixton Academy. Of course, being a Wednesday, I couldn't go that night and that was very lame. Next time, I keep telling myself... Anyway, here she sings "Figure 8", "Anything Could Happen" and "Only You".


This month's Creative Review issue looked interesting (and admittedly important) as it focuses on the pay, rates and statistics for designers, featuring an array of numbers, infographics and interviews. I'm enjoying my studies and work at the moment, while I'm also eager to get out there and get on with my career too. But the very real prospects of the business side of things, and consequently of my entire lifestyle, are all rather daunting. I haven't read the magazine yet, but I'm not sure I'm going to particularly like what's inside. Remember I left a career medicine for this haha...

10 Jan 2013


From: Visuelle
From: Teenage Engineering

This is handsome bit of kit is called OD-11, apparently the world's first 'cloud speaker' by Teenage Engineering, set to arrive this summer and currently available on pre-order. I'm not sure what this exactly means or how exactly it works, but the speaker is specifically made for listening to cloud music. Combining an amplifier, wi-fi and sound processor in its 10-litre volume, this is supposed to be the first of its kind. I don't know how many people actually use cloud storage for their music, nor do I know what's wrong with the speakers already out there, but if we just take a moment to look at the design aesthetics, this is one beautiful machine! Sleek, sharp and simple, I would kill to have this chilling in my room. Like a boss, there I said it.

9 Jan 2013


As magazines like Apartamento or Monocle look to capitalise on what's almost becoming a niche in print publications, the good journal sector is introduced to a new quarterly called Kindling. And it looks fascinating. With its theme an exploration of parenting, and fatherhood in particular, it certainly strikes a unique proposition, yet one that for sure resonates with many. Kindling Quarterly Issue one, Winter 2012/2013, is available for pre-order right now as they await the arrival of its first batch from the printers and I'm definitely getting my hands on one. (Not that I'm a father, but I do really want to be...)

"Kindling Quarterly is an exploration of fatherhood. Through essays, editorials, art and photography, we highlight creative individuals whose work and lives are inseparable from their role as a parent. There is no shortage of familiar portrayals of dads in media yet we aim to present a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from our cultural landscape..."


Isn't this the most incredible thing you've ever seen? Or at least this year if not ever. Bryan Smith shoots this unreal video of free climber Dean Potter (actually very real) at Yosemite National Park, in front of one of the most magnificent backdrops nature has to offer. It's recorded using a Canon 800mm super telephoto lens from a ridiculous one mile away to capture this extraordinary shot, and to such stunning results.

8 Jan 2013


From: OEN

Product design firm Sempli, a Italian-Swedish hybrid brand by Daniele Semeraro, have this lovely series of handblown glassware called Cuppa. Reminiscent perhaps of those spinning Heatherwick chairs, this is slightly more meaningful in its functional design.

Each individually produced by experienced hands with the purest available glass, the vessel construction is stemless, resulting in a central tip at the bottom around which the glass is free to rotate. For starters it sits beautiful on the tabletop with the fluid inside, but its angle also makes it easier to handle and here's the clever part. The natural swivel motion stirs the aroma into the atmosphere, while also oxidising the fine wine and spirit as you drink it.

Available in three sizes and reasonably priced, I'm putting this on my shopping wishlist as I eagerly (and optimistically) prepare my future possessions for my future home. They even have neat trays and coasters for them!

7 Jan 2013


As you may or may not recall, I was at SBTRKT's gig at London's Shepherds Bush Empire in October and having confirmed then that the show was being recorded for a forthcoming live album, it's here today. Simply titled "LIVE", it holds 10 tracks off their incredible set - and I really mean it when I say incredible. I got to see a lot of artists live last year and SBTRKT were definitely amongst the most enjoyable. Together with Sampha, they conducted every musical sound on that stage themselves to a really buzzing crowd and I believe it's all well-captured in this new album. Additionally to the audio, there are two videos included as well, one of which is for "Hold On", a visually slick edit that takes footage from 12 different cameras that night. You can watch that below.


Three weeks off from university have passed by, the last seven days of which I've been locked away in a mad rush to complete the work set. It was an assignment due this morning and I'm rather pleased it's over. Also, might I add, I am rather pleased with its finish too. We'll see how that goes.

Moreover, tomorrow is therefore day one of term and I suppose I'm looking forward to getting back into things. As long as I get to catch up on my sleep beforehand, that is. It's almost 9pm now, and having carried forward hours of rest lost on that piece of work, I desperately need it asap. Actually, I have one more blog entry I want to write (regarding SBTRKT's new EP) but immediately after I do that, bedtime beckons.

4 Jan 2013


From: Consequence of Sound

Rather out of the blue comes a new 3-track EP "Leaving" from Skrillex. It's a spontaneous release with the tracks produced in recent days, "a reflection of how I'm feeling right now", he says. Also this week, the guys of online magazine Pilerats made a video for my personal favourite "Summit", which of course features ex-girlfriend Ellie Goulding's vocals. I even used this myself just last month for a uni project. Anyway, made with homemade clips (but no Ellie to be seen) it's a fun compilation, smartly cut to the beat, and you can watch it below.


As a sort of continuation from my brief new year's Diary, I needed to post this epic finale to 2012 and the wonderful start to a bright 2013 that was the Mayor Of London's fireworks show. Valuing and prioritising things like this and executing so remarkably is absolutely priceless in raising the UK's soft power game, and particularly this year, serves as a timely reminder of what a successful 12 months Britain made. Shame the clip's not in HD but definitely worth watching over. As Lord Coe says, "we did it fucking right". (No, he didn't actually swear.)

3 Jan 2013


An interesting wall-mounted bookshelf designed by Sehoon Lee, this system is built of nine individual boxes hinged together to move fluidly between different shapes. I don't know when exactly this would be most practical or useful, but let's not question the functionality and instead appreciate the simplicity behind this beautiful form.

From: Designmilk


Having fully enjoyed the first two weeks of my winter holiday, I've now moved on to the stage of getting ready for term to resume at university. By which I mean, of course, panicking with the amount of work that I didn't realise was due and how quickly joy turns to stress. So, I've been working hard since the turn of the year on projects and essays, my iCal week view has never been so empty.

But amidst the last minute rush, I've had time to reflect on what a wonderful year 2012 was, not just for me but for Great Britain. So great we were, I'm convinced that this is the year I will be telling future generations about when I'm old. Inevitably dominated by the huge success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Britain quashed what people thought of the nation and carved its ambitious, bright, hard-working, witty and friendly character as we opened up to welcome the world. And never have I felt so proud. 2012 was a year to be British (and a Chelsea fan), I loved every minute.

This year though, I hope to step up my personal game. Halfway through my Design degree and turning 21, I'm raring to go.

2 Jan 2013


Tipped for success in 2013, with a debut album looming on the horizon, is American blonde girl Sky Ferreira. Just one month older than I, aged 20, she released her second EP "Ghost" in October and its new wave, synth-stylised indie sound was fresh and what's to come is exciting. Today, she and Capitol Records unveiled the official music video for "Lost In My Bedroom", a 4:3 aspect video of flashing chaos, fitting the electro-pop track aptly. Have a watch, and stay tuned for the release of her highly anticipated LP.

1 Jan 2013


From: Pentagram

New in at Pentagram is a Pantone 2013 calendar, joyfully designed to enlighten the wall through beautifully printed colour. With an appropriately seasonal image and a selected colour featured each month, it's a simple idea that has been executed really smartly. The font used is New Rail, I like it.