Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Process: Go Play

I mentioned earlier that i'd be posting some process from our Go Play illustration or ESPN agazine, sorry it is a bit delayed!

For this type of embroidery, loosely grouped within the Sweater Letter series which is heavily patterned block type - our process differs slightly from our other typographic pieces like Macho Distrust. Because the patterns and stitch work are quite intricate the design process is usually less organic. We plan out the patterns with as much detail as we can right from the start and set the colours for each element before putting needle to fabric.

With works like Macho Distrust we'll set a rough colour guide by going through a watercolour step but we still freestyle a fair bit. But for Sweater Letters after choosing a rough colourway from our thread library we'll then take our preliminary sketch into Illustrator to vector, enabling us to tweak the colours easily as we need. There's usually a lot of umming and ahhing over what colour should be dominant or should this colour be next to that one if it re-appears here... etc so being able to quickly undo on the computer is a godsend, the alternative being potentially unpicking a whole day's work and we'd rather not do that!

Monday, June 20, 2011

London Fields and Turner skies

Hello I thought i'd write a post about where we live here in London and share some photos. We live in a small flat in a high rise right next to the park (and also right on top of the train line). It has its quirks, one side of the flat is curved with small windows cut into the side so it feels like we're in a floating boat perched high on the 10th floor. Being so high is great, we hardly notice the trains. And also the views are wow. I've never really wanted to live in a high rise before, I used to roll my eyes whenever Michael talked about wanting a place with a view of the city. I much preferred the idea of a garden and being part of the comings and goings of your street.. but I think i've been converted.

We have an almost clear 180 degree view of London because there are no other high rises near us. When the weather is good the sunsets are amazing, fiery and dramatic. And when the weather is bad it's just as amazing. You can see whole storms wash over the city, enveloping the skyline in a shroud of fog that just as suddenly lifts. We had one day when it was crazily alternating between grey cloud and rain to blue sky and sunshine.

I'm going to miss this view. Now if only our balcony faced the west, when I want to look at the sunset I have to jump onto a chair or the kitchen counter :)

1. The view from our balcony facing central London. 
2. Some spools of vintage silk thread we picked up at a Vintage fair in Bethnal Green.
3. This was taken at around 9pm, the summer days are getting long. Sunrise is at about 4am and it doesn't get fully dark until past 10pm. The day sneaks up on you though, I think I have the whole day left to finish off work and then I check the clock and it's already 5 and time to think about dinner.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

London. Perfect summer one day, rainy winter the next..

Hello, sorry it's been a while between posts. We had some alarming news last week concerning the flat we just rented that had us distracted and anxious for the whole of last week, but I think (and i'm trying not to relax too much in case I jinx us) that everything is going to be ok now. It was a fairly black week and I'm so glad we had some friends to talk to here and back home otherwise I don't know how we would have coped. When the dust settles we'll be able to shed more on this as I think it will be very helpful information for anyone planning to move to London and are looking to rent a place here.

Ok so with that yuck news aside, Maricor and I are very happy to be able to share some of the new work that has kept us busy since landing here. We were commissioned by ESPN Magazine to create an embroidered piece of typography. Each issue they commission an illustrator or designer to a unique GoPlay graphic. For ours we extended our family of Sweater Letters, in the next few days i'll be able to post up some of the process work behind this project. And hopefully soon we can share more information about the other commissions we've been working on. There's another music lyric that's currently en-route to the framers back in Sydney as well as another set of Sweater Letters that are almost complete.

We're also been heaps excited to be featured in a few magazines lately, Freehugs Magazine from Russia and Nice Magazine an online magazine created by Nicework studio in South Africa.

In this issue of Freehugs Magazine we were asked along with Bratislav Milencović, Alex Trochut and Teagan White to discuss hand crafted typography and its relevance today. Although each of our styles and approach to design is quite different, it was interesting to see that our motivations seemed quite similar. We all like to develop details in our work that draw the viewer in, desiring to create type that communicates something more than letters and words.

The third issue of Nice Magazine features our work alongside a bunch of amazing creatives including Coralie Bickford-Smith and Serial Cut. You can download all three issues here for free.

Bottom image: Freehugs Magazine spread, image on right hand page by Bratislav Milencović.