Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘graphic design

Professional Fresh blogs and websites in 2015

You’ve clearly enjoyed our popular 70 of the best blogs for creative inspiration.

Is it time to offer you some further essential reading with the 100 fresh blogs for creative professionals to follow in 2015?

That’s whether you’re looking for insights and inspiration in the world of graphic design, illustration, photography, art, user experience design, web design, interior design or architecture – we’ve painstakingly crawled the web to dig out the latest must-read blogs.

100 fresh blogs and websites for creative professionals to follow in 2015

So rather than wasting time trying to find recommended online resources, simply bookmark this page and share with your friends and associates.

We’ve even included some recommended sites for learning, plus there’s a top 10 list of fun, time-wasting websites that you can browse when you’re not feeling particularly productive.

If we’ve missed anything, feel free to tweet us and make your own suggestions via @Creative_Boom and we’ll consider adding them to the list. Enjoy!

Graphic Design

1. Good Design Makes Me Happy: Good Design Makes Me Happy started in 2009 as an inspiration journal for graphic designer Hannah Dollery. The blog now has a growing readership and has become a daily read for many people. Make sure you add to your daily reading list.
2. Identity Designed: Curated by designer and author David Airey, Identity Designed is a brilliant showcase of all things related to brand identity and has a definite slant towards contemporary, cutting edge design.
3. The Fox is Black: The personal yet wonderful blog of American designer Bobby Solomon, featuring art, design, brand identity… even music, food, culture, illustration and photography.
4. ManyStuff: Paris-based Charlotte Cheetham is the person behind Manystuff. It’s a random feed of beautiful, cutting-edge design inspiration and a must for any designer looking to break boundaries and challenge the conventional norm.
5. Brand New: Brand New is a division of UnderConsideration. Its sole purpose is to chronicle and provide opinions on corporate and brand identity work. We cover redesigns and new designs of well-known products, companies, and organizations. Brand New is edited and 99% written by Armin Vit.
6. LogoEd: Logoed offers logo inspiration for graphic designers. It’s a place where you’ll discover great logo designs, which will hopefully inspire you to create even better designs.
7. We and The Colour: A blog about creative inspiration in art, graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, fashion, product, interior, video and motion design. But designers will love this as it’s mainly aimed at them.
8. Design Clever: A collaboration started by Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker, two aspiring graphic designers with a passion for everything design related.
9. Design Everywhere: Design Everywhere is an online design blog that showcases carefully selected graphic design works and beyond around the world. As the name suggest, we featured works beyond still stationery shots. Daily dose of visual inspirations collected by Preston Tham.
10. The Inspiration Grid: Inspiration Grid is a daily-updated blog celebrating creative talent from around the world. Your daily fix of design, illustration and typography.


1. Illustrators Lounge: A simple little blog that shares inspirational work by illustrators across the globe.
2. No Barcode: No Barcode is a blog about vintage modern design & illustration plus other design related things curated by Javier García — a graphic designer & illustrator working in the San Francisco Bay area.
3. Inspiration Hut: Another great online magazine that shares inspirational work from all creative fields, including a great illustration section.
4. Directory of Illustration: Directory of Illustration is a great resource for finding the work of highly regarded illustrators. It’s also an amazing community of illustrators sharing their work to offer inspiration to others.
5. I Love Illustration: Starting out as a fashion illustration blog, this site has since grown to cover all areas of the creative discipline. Carefully curated and containing some of the best and brightest illustrators out there.
6. Illustration Served: A curated Bechance site, Illustration Served is a solid place to discover the latest work from illustrations all over the world.
7. From Up North: From up North is a design blog focusing on promoting and inspiring creatives all over the world. Delivering inspiration within graphic design, advertising, photography and – you guessed it – illustration. Founded by Daniel Nelson in September 2009.
8. Signature: Known as the world’s finest illustration and art place, Signature offers some seriously good illustration inspiration. And there’s a nice growing community on Facebook too.
9. Scamp: Known as the Irish Illustration Blog, this is a site that not only brings together Ireland’s illustrator community but also offers some decent inspiration for those looking to seek ideas from others.
10. Tiny Showcase: Developed in 2004, this site is devoted to putting small illustrators in the spotlight.

Photography, Film & Animation

1. Daily Overview: Love aerial photography? You’ll love this wonderful blog, sharing regular shots from above. As Plato said: “Man must rise above the Earth – to the top of the atmosphere and beyond – for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”
2. 70 Degrees West: Love nature and travel photography? Follow this gorgeous blog for daily inspiration.
3. Conscientious Photo Magazine: Conscientious Photography Magazine is a website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography. It offers profiles of photographers, in-depth interviews, photo book reviews, and general articles about photography and related issues.
4. Vimeo Staff Picks: The cool gang at Vimeo share their favourite uploaded films, music videos and animations via this ever popular channel.
5. Trend Land: This online magazine, which is beautifully designed by the way, shares inspiration art, design and visual communication. Its photography section is especially wonderful.
6. The Inspiration Room: The Inspiration Room™ is a creative archive and community site first established in 2006. It’s a collaborative effort, providing you with the latest and classic creative inspirations from television, print, ambient and interactive advertising, music videos, photography and design.
7. On Animation: Inspiring animators everywhere, this lovely blog is aimed at those who are seeking inspiration for their own animation projects.
8. Indie Wire: The leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, Indiewire originally launched on July 15, 1996 and today, it’s still going strong.
9. Still Searching: Smart, intelligent blog that aims to be a continually developing, growing and decidedly interactive Internet discourse on the medium of photography that features a multitude of participants; it is conceived as an online debate on forms of photographic production, techniques, applications, distribution strategies, contexts, theoretical foundations, ontology and perspectives on the medium. It explores photography’s role as a seminal visual medium of our time—as art, as a communication and information tool in the context of social media or photojournalism, and as a form of scientific or legal evidence.
10. Wandering Bears: Wandering Bears is a community of emerging creatives. A centre for new work, ideas and collaborative projects – its main focus is on photography. Check it out!


1. Art Log: Literally keep on top of everything that’s happening in the art world, thanks to this regularly updated blog.
2. Frieze Blog: Still a major player in the art world, Frieze brings you quirky updates within your favourite creative field.
3. The Fine Art Nude: It does exactly what it says on the tin – fine art focusing on nudity.
4. Aesthetica: A leading international art and culture magazine founded in 2002 and explores the best in contemporary art, design, photography, film, music and performance.
5. Creative Roots: Representing nations through art and design, Creative Roots is an ever growing art and design blog based on countries of the world, with each post being influenced by its countries, culture and history. With 160,000 page views each month, CR is inspiring readers from all around the world.
6. Voicer: Voicer is an online magazine covering the aesthetics of everyday Life. Founded in 2007 and curated by its team in Shanghai, China.
7. criticismism: criticismism is a journal of art and ideas inspired by work in Brighton, UK, and beyond. It is by Mark Sheerin, a regular contributor to Culture24, Hyperallergic, and Bad at Sports.
8. ARTnews: ARTnews is the oldest and most widely-circulated art magazine in the world. It is read by collectors, dealers, historians, artists, museum directors and curators everywhere.
9. Art Review: ArtReview is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines. Founded in 1949, it is dedicated to expanding contemporary art’s audience and reach.
10. Digital Arts Online: Inspiration for digital creatives, Digital Arts offers comprehensive coverage of the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design.

UX Design

1. A List Apart: Insightful articles exploring web design, development, most cutting-edge techniques, and technologies with a special emphasis on web standards and best practices.
2. Smashing Magazine: Check out the much-loved and respected Smashing Magazine for its UX Design section, featuring articles on usability, information architecture, interaction design and other user experience related topics.
3. UXmatters: Founded by Pabini Gabriel-Petit in 2005, UXmatters provides insights and inspiration to both professionals working in all aspects of user experience (UX)—at every stage in their career—and students who are just beginning their journey in user experience.
4. UXPin: From the people who bring you some seriously nice prototyping software, UXPin also has a decent blog, featuring articles related to documentation, UX, product management and design. They even produce and publish their own free e-books.
5. UX Booth: The UX Booth is a publication by and for the user experience community. Its readership consists mostly of beginning-to-intermediate user experience and interaction designers, but anyone interested in making the web a better place to be is welcome.
6. UX Myths: UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take their word for it, they’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.
7. Boxes and Arrows: Boxes and Arrows is devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design; including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture and the design of business. Since 2001, it’s been a peer-written journal promoting contributors who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.
8. UX Magazine: UX Magazine is a free community resource exploring all facets of experience design.
9. Information Architects: Follow this international agency’s ‘know-how’ blog to get intelligent insights, advice and tips from the world of information architecture.
10. eCommerce UX Design: Get useful pointers on eCommerce user experience, tablet interfaces, mobile UX, responsive design, holiday banners, email design and more.

Web Design

1. Designmodo: Designmodo is a great resource of informative material for designers and web developers. There are several categories you can browse through, depending on your interests like Web Design and Web Development, Tips and Tutorials, WordPress, Inspiration and much more.
2. Web Design Ledger: The Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of this site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in-between.
3. Designerfix: Designerfix is a blog dedicated to graphic and web design. With primary topics including inspiration, tutorials, freebies, and resources. Nice.
4. Creative Overflow: As old as Creative Boom, Creative Overflow has been going since 2009. Sharing their design experience through delivering professionally written articles, tutorials, resources.
5. Patrick McNeil: Patrick is a UX designer, professor and creator of Design Meltdown, plus the author of six web design books. Definitely one to follow to keep your finger on the web design pulse.
6. The Next Web Design/Dev Channel: The Next Web is a huge blog that covers an immense amount of topics, and it even has its own Design & Dev Channel – dedicated to sharing everything from the world of web design. It’s definitely one to follow.
7. Site Inspire: siteInspire is a showcase of the finest web and interactive design. It’s somewhere you can submit your own web designs for consideration. Great for inspiration and when you’ve hit a brick wall.
8. Web Design Depot: Web Designer Depot was founded in 2010 by Canadian-based web designer Walter Apai. Since then, the blog has gained a large and loyal audience and it now covers a wide range of topics surrounding web design, including inspiration, CSS, HTML5, jQuery, Web Dev, Design Tutorials, news, and so much more.
9. Web Design Tuts+: If you need to brush up on your web design skills, then Web Design Tuts+ is the online resource for you. Covering HTML and CSS, Photoshop, Workflow and site elements. A superb resource.
10. Jason Santa Maria: Jason is a graphic designer from Brooklyn. Design director at Vox Media, author of On Web Typography, co-founder of A Book Apart and founder of Typedia – his blog should absolutely be on your reading list.

Architecture & Interior Design

1. Dezeen: Started in 2006 by the former founding editor of icon magazine, Marcus Fairs, Dezeen is one of the most popular and influential architecture and interior design blogs on the internet, with over two million visits a month.
2. Yatzer: Yatzer is your global online destination for fine and applied arts. An explosion of exclusive and unique contemporary resources for those searching for inspiration. Its Interiors and Architecture sections are particularly wonderful.
3. Confessions of a Design Geek: Confessions of a Design Geek is an award-winning blog established in 2010 by Katie Treggiden to support new designers. It has been named as a top design blog by Dwell US, Elle Decor Italia and The Sunday Times. Katie also writes for Dezeen, Design Milk, Telegraph and Ideal Home.
4. Design Milk: An online magazine dedicated to modern design, Design Milk offers what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology. Always fresh + never sour, Design Milk fills your thirsty cup to the brim with design finds from around the world. Drink up!
5. Freshmen: Micle Mihai-Cristian only founded Freshome in 2007 but now has over 5 million pages viewed every month – it’s pretty much the best source for home design and interiors out there.
6. MoCo Loco: Canadian blog MoCo Loco is another great design blog with a focus on residential design, product design and architecture.
7. Pop-Up City: A blog that explores the latest designs, trends and ideas that shape the city of the future. They strongly focus on new concepts, strategies and methods for a dynamic and flexible interpretation of contemporary urban life. The Pop-Up City was founded by Amsterdam-based space marketing agency Golfstromen in April, 2008.
8. Wallpaper: The magazine that showcases the ‘stuff that refines you’. It’s a well respected and established publication with a deliciously designed website and lots of beautiful inspiring content.
9. A Daily Dose of Architecture: Well, it’s almost a daily architectural dose of musings and imagery from New York City.
10. I Like Architecture: I Like Architecture is the architecture blog that showcases unique contemporary designs, projects and concepts to those searching for architecture and design inspiration.

Learn something new

1. Creative Live: Log on to this online beauty to take part in live creative classes from the world’s top experts. Learn and be inspired without leaving your desk. Highly recommended.
2. DIY: Learn anything and be anyone. DIY is the best place to level up your skills, meet friends, find an audience, and just be awesome.
3. Curious: It’s all about lifelong learning at Curious. Sign up to take advantage of all kinds of online tutorials and creative lessons. Topics range from crafts and DIY to tech and business.
4. Instructables: A wonderful online resource that shares loads of tips and tricks to help you make all kinds of quirky homemade things. Plus it has its own creative community.
5. Know More: Know More (a Wonkblog joint) is a site for people who like learning stuff. Not sitting-in-front-of-a-textbook-for-hours learning, but getting-sucked-into-a-Wikipedia-hole-for-hours learning. The kind where you just can’t stop tunneling deeper and deeper until you know the name of every Brigadier General in the Union army and what campaigns they participated in, or can list every item in Grace Jones’s discography, or exactly who was going to get what job in the cabinet of a hypothetical Reagan-Ford co-presidency.
6. Tuts+: Learn creative skills and shape your future. That’s the message from the people behind Tuts+, which has over five million users and shares lessons about code, illustration, photography, web design, and more.
7. Skillfeed: With over 67,000 video tutorials and more than 8,000 hours of learning, Skillfeed is fast becoming one of the world’s largest online learning websites. They even offer a free trial.
8. udemy: A place to learn real world skills online. Courses include everything from yoga and guitar to web development and design.
9. Treehouse: One for the aspiring web designers and developers, Treehouse allows you to learn HTML, CSS, iPhone app development and much more.
10. One of the best known online tutorial websites, but still one of the best – has recently enjoyed a refresh and covers a huge range of topics, including web, design, development, animation, video, audio, photography, business and even education.

Just for a laugh

1. The Oatmeal: The Oatmeal’s real name is Matthew and he lives in Seattle, Washington. He subsists on a steady diet of crickets and whiskey. He enjoys long walks on the beach, gravity, and breathing heavily through his mouth. His dislikes include scurvy, typhoons, and tapeworm medication. Probably one of the best and most loved comical blogs on the web.
2. Clients from Hell: Oh, we’ve all had them. Those crazy clients who come out with the weirdest things. This blog will satisfy a need to feel as though you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with your own strange customers.
3. Geek & Poke: Web designers and developers will ‘get’ this fun blog. Sharing lots of simple yet elegantly funny cartoons that only those who work in this field will truly understand.
4. Sanger: Put simply, it’s a pug licking your computer screen. That’s it. Happy days.
5. Attack of the Cute: On compiling this particular list and to choose the very best, all we had to do was test them out on our Assistant Editor Laura Collinson. Her reaction to this ‘cute’ blog of very cute animals was enough to add it!
6. Honest Slogans: What people really think of brands with refreshed and ‘honest’ slogans. Beautifully comical.
7. Savage Chickens: Love cartoons? Love chickens? Love sticky notes? These are cartoons of chickens on sticky notes. ‘Nuff said.
8. Not Always Right: We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “The customer is always right,” but is it true? Can the customer always be right? Not Always Right is a website that tells the other side of the story by collecting memorable and often hilarious tales from employees that prove, “The customer is not always right.”
9. Indexed: Very simple yet funny graphs of complete and utter random nonsense. Amusing and will definitely put a smile on your face.
10. Passive Aggressive Notes: Focusing on the crazy little notes people leave each other, Passive Aggressive Notes includes gems from work and home alike. Worth a chuckle.

Some cool lifestyle sites

1. The Burning House: If your home was on fire, what items would you rescue? A wonderful little blog sharing what others would save if they faced the ultimate dilemma.
2. Coffitivity: Recreate some lovely ambient sounds of a coffee shop to boost your creativity and help you work better. Choose from a morning murmur to get your day started, or opt for a Parisian, energising buzz. Definitely weird, but you’ll be hooked.
3. Kinfolk: With jaw-dropping and mouth watering photography, Kinfolk is a popular choice for many creatives worldwide. Its website features content that’s available to everyone (new web stories, City Guides, Galleries and films) but they also offer access to content from their back-issue archive to full subscribers. Join the cool club to get everything Kinfolk has to offer.
4. Poppy Loves: A fresh and very appealing London lifestyle blog that covers the city’s events, cafes, restaurants, fashion, music, art and design. With lush photography to boot.
5. Zergnet: A constantly updated collection of viral content from all over the web. See what’s trending at any given time.
6. Everyday Carry: Peek inside the pockets and lives of interesting creative people. Very simple idea but so fascinating.
7. The Selby: Take a peek at interesting creative people in their own studios, homes or workplaces. With funky little interviews and great photography, this is a must-read for creatives everywhere.
8. Adventure Journal: An online magazine for adventure loves and outdoor types. Which pretty much sums up most creative people I know.
9. The Daily What: Another ‘trending’ website where you can easily discover popular content from around the world. Expect things like ’10 Dogs That Think They Can Speak English’ and you’ll happily waste many hours browsing through the site.
10. The Big Roundtable: The Big Roundtable is a home, both online and offline, for writers with true stories they need to tell and readers looking for compelling tales. Submit your own story and get involved.

Top Art Design Bookstores? 

For lovers of art and design, a travel itinerary should always include a good bookstore among its listings of local museums and art galleries. After all, a great bookstore is often a destination unto itself. Here are of ten of the most sensational bookstores around the world where the selection of books on contemporary art, design, architecture, fashion and photography is unsurpassed.

1. Daikanyama Tsutaya Books T-Site, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese glossies and international art titles stack up on tables and fill wall racks in a long row known as “Magazine Avenue” at this enormous bookstore. Branching off to the right, an excellent assortment of design and architecture books offers an afternoon’s worth of browsing, while the art section on the other side is filled with fabulous rare finds. Brimming with style, the architecturally stunning three-building complex also houses two cafes.

2. Do You Read Me?!, Berlin, Germany

In a chic corner of Mitte, the cultural heart of the former East Berlin, a wonderfully curated collection of books, journals, and magazines is carefully arranged in a shoebox of a shop. The main wall is covered in an ever-changing tableaux of esteemed international titles like L’Officiel, Numero, and Apartemento as well as independent, freshly launched editions, while the back table features a hand-selected cache of contemporary art, architecture, photography, and design books.

3. Artazart, Paris, France

Beyond the dynamic orange facade of this vibrant bookshop on Paris’ Canal St. Martin, a smorgasbord of colorful tomes invites a lengthy browse. Dedicated to art and design, the spectacular selection ranges from books about fashion and photography, to graphic design and landscape architecture, to graffiti and urban art.

4. Printed Matter, New York, NY

Founded 38 years ago by Sol Lewitt and Lucy Lippard, this revered New York non-profit features over 37,000 titles by artists and small presses. In the midst of the Chelsea gallery district, the street level storefront houses a precious stock of limited edition publications, out-of-print materials, and rare books by celebrated artists and emerging creatives.

5. Arcana, Culver City, CA

With a loyal customer base of industry insiders and discerning bibliophiles always on the lookout for a new gem to add to their burgeoning book collections, this esteemed store stocks a massive trove of new and used books on art, fashion, photography, film, design, and architecture. Its new location in the Helms Bakery complex provides a bright, airy space for perusing rows of metal shelves full of exquisite books.

6. Lia Wolf, Vienna, Austria

Beyond a magical secret courtyard, arched windows offer a glimpse into a book lover’s paradise in central Vienna. Run by former literature student Lia Wolf, the enchanting bookstore is chock full of beautifully bound hard-cover art classics as well as newly pressed volumes from an international array of photography, advertising design, graphic design, typography, and fashion book publishers.

7. Artland Book Company, Taipei, Taiwan

Sifting through Artland Book Company’s massive trove reveals titles like “World Shopfront Design,” “New Brazilian Gardens,” and “One Hundred Seashells.”

The art book importer has been offering the most comprehensive collection of art and design books in Taiwan since 1985, and it’s all arranged in a sleek, luxurious, den-like space.

8. Art Metropole, Toronto, CA

A groundbreaking initiative with roots that go back to Canada’s 1960s conceptual art scene, Art Metropole is hallowed ground for media art devotees.

Initially established to archive and document “pictures,” the venerable non-profit has evolved into an eclectic venue where art events and exhibitions take place among an exclusive stock of artist-created books, publications, videos, and audio recordings.

9. Freebook, Sao Paulo, Brazil

From Kenzo to Brancusi, this long-standing, family-run livraria features a wide range of books on art and design icons.

Publishing heavyweights like Assouline, Rizzoli, Taschen and other international presses line the shelves of the industrial-chic space accessible by a ring of the doorbell.

Past Freebook’s edgy facade, a private library stocked with Sao Paulo’s most amazing selection of art and design books awaits.

10. Papercup, Beirut, Lebanon

Owner Rania Naufal opened her elegant and inviting bookstore in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood five years ago.

Eye-catching children’s books, graphic novels, and travel guides compliment her excellent collection of art and design titles, which fill the floor to ceiling shelves on one wall, while across the room, two hundred magazines sweep down the length of the shop. She also serves coffee, tea, and homemade cake.

Explore more of ARTPHAIRE’s Top 10 lists here.

Celeste Sunderland has lived in New York, Berlin, Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area.

A graduate of The University of Rhode Island’s Journalism School, she spent nearly a decade working in digital media production, and has been writing professionally for print and online publications for over fifteen years.

In addition to writing for ARTPHAIRE, Celeste has her own blog, Inspired by a photograph by the German photographer Olaf Otto Becker.

Evolution of Paternity: Pattern Power and Superstripe Festival

Every now and then, a few of my nieces and nephews post a link related to the general discipline of Graphic Design. This field has expanded into many branches nibbling and even swallowing established professions such as psychology, sociology, social development, scientific research…

Worse, they are happy using the term Design, left and right, and never deigning to take any courses in Design of Experiments, how to conducted experiments, and how to statistically analyze the data and how to interpret the results…

I am not that enthused or hot on graphic design, but others are, and that is a good enough reason to repost links in these topics.

In any case, how would I learn of this new coined word “Patternity”, and discovering that the term evolution was attached to it?

Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham comprise Patternity, the two-person powerhouse consulting on pattern-inspired projects of various scale all around the world.

After meeting through mutual friends they quickly realized that despite their seemingly disparate specialties—Murray’s in photography and art direction and Winteringham’s as a textile and product designer—they shared a strong aesthetic viewpoint.

In 2009 they launched a website as a public-facing, highly-curated archive of patterned wonders, helping them become the go-to pattern specialists they are today.

Sabine Zetteler contributed, along with CH Contributor in Style, this April 8, 2013:

Stripes can mean so many different things; they signal, divide, align, mark the beginning and the end and so many things in-between.

“The duo aren’t simply concerned with the visual appeal of pattern.

Last year, they held a day-long event with a group of autistic teenagers, which challenged them to create t-shirt designs inspired by images of different patterns found throughout the borough of Hackney. Their latest project, a festival called Pattern Power: Super Stripe, is organized in conjunction with the World Health Day talks that kicked off in London last weekend.

Running through 21 April, the packed schedule of events aims to reflect Patternity’s elements of research, design and education. “By choosing just one pattern—in this case, stripes—we have been able to structure our own pattern research and delve even further with our exploration of the positive power of pattern to connect and inspire,” says Murray.

“Stripes can mean so many different things; they signal, divide, align, mark the beginning and the end and so many things in-between. We’ve covered most stripes at the show whether that’s in the subject of a talk, a workshop, something showcased at the Superstripe exhibition or even something to buy in our pop up shop and café!”

Their hands-on workshops with future legends like Bompas & Parr, Robert Storey, David David, Fred Butler, Margot Bowman and The Flower Appreciation Society will collectively transform the Londonnewcastle Project Space on Redchurch Street into a kind of modern day community center with a celebration of pattern as the unifying force.


Murray says: “Patterns are something you come across every day. You wear them, you walk over them, you even eat, drink and think them and we believe that patterns are something that bind us together at a very fundamental level.”

It’s through the practice of paying attention and noticing more of what’s around us that perhaps the Patternity way of seeing can start to emerge. “Being more aware of life’s pattern, we believe can become more mindful of the bigger picture and feel more connected to the greater whole.”

The festival lineup is divided into an extremely diverse array of “Patternitalks” with scientists, musicians and journalists; interactive workshops wherein visitors can make their own patterns, as well as jelly or headdresses.

Sunday Sessions” demos highlighting pattern in the world; short film and documentary screenings in “Stripes on Screen; as well as a late-night live performance by Reallife on 18 April.


Murray tells us the festival highlights the incredible variety in their work: “One day I might pick up the phone and speak to a neuroscientist about the patterns in the brain, on another listen to a musician demonstrate patterns in sound. Everyone has been very receptive to this project, as pattern really does seem to be a universal language. We explore all these subjects in greater depth at our range of Patternitalks that we’re hosting at Pattern Power where we have asked specialists across many fields to share their experiences about “patterns in practice” and how pattern unifies and shapes their individual specialties—from art and design through to health and mathematics.”

Asked if they’d been obsessed by pattern since infancy, and Murray says, “I can clearly remember being encouraged to pay close attention to all the tiny details of plants and flowers as a child. My mum was a keen gardener and we had so much beautiful fauna around but we also lived in Hong Kong, wedged between towering skyscrapers, so there were so many contrasts within my immediate surroundings. I’ve always been obsessed with opposites—the micro and the macro, the mundane and the magnificent, the natural and the manmade. This has been a fundamental part of our Patternity working practice.”


Patternity emphasizes the importance of not only simply seeing patterns around us but understanding how they’re disseminated in the world to inspire us by creating these in-depth, analytical events like the Superstripe festival. “The more I’ve learned about patterns the more fascinated by life I am, our research has gone far deeper, looking to formations in nature and science that delve far beneath the surface of life,” says Murray. “The most incredible patterns exist when you examine things up close or very far away to see how and why forms actually function the way they do. Nature is really the ultimate engineer.”


Pattern Power: Superstripe runs through 21 April 2013 and tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Master of Type, Graffiti, public expression, Beirut

On a wall close to the American University of Beirut, a stencil has been crudely blacked out with a layer of thick paint.

Beirut’s walls were once considered acceptable forums for public expression, but the city is changing.

The critics disagree not simply with the presence of the graffiti, but its message too.

Pascal Zoghbi, an Arabic typographer, was one of the first commentators to pick up on this trend.

Paul McLoughlin in BrownBook posted on Feb. 14, 2013:

Pascal Zoghbi’s interest in street art began in Europe, when he studied his Master’s in typography at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Netherlands.

Pascal said: ‘During my stay I travelled all over Europe and graffiti was very prominent there. ‘When I went back to Beirut, I noticed the scene was beginning to look stronger. So I spent time taking pictures of all the graffiti I found and wrote some pieces about it on my blog. I saw that the graffiti scene in the Arab world is much more in touch with the social and political status of the people. This is highlighted by the witty slogans on the walls of the region’s capitals rather just than the names of the artists like in other parts of the world.’

After 3 years of documenting the regional graffiti trends, Zoghbi was contacted by a European street artist Don Karl, to assist him on a series of workshops on Arabic style graffiti in Lebanon.  Zoghbi (32 of age) has considerable experience in teaching, from the typography classes he leads at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University.

The graffiti workshops, however, put him in touch with the Lebanese street artists involved in the graffiti scene. After researching more, Zoghbi began to take a particular interest in the socio-political connections of graffiti in his home country from as far back as the 1970s and he also concentrated on different trends in Palestine, Bahrain and Syria.

These observations resulted in a book published last year entitled Arabic Graffiti. It presents Zoghbi’s studies of graffiti across the region and connects the dots between the slogans and coinciding social events that inspired the artists.

In the book, Pascal focuses on Arab and non-Arab graffiti artists and  he illustrates the typographic and calligraphic elements behind their work. After printing the book in English and French, Zoghbi says he is looking forward to working on a second edition of the book in the coming years, as well as an Arabic translation.

Zoghbi presents graffiti as an intellectual trend rather than a reckless act of vandalism by frustrated youth. He argues, that it speaks of social and political life in the Arab world. ‘We selected artists who experiment in Arabic graffiti with thoughts that connect with events in the region.’

There is also an aesthetic element to this regional style that has attracted non-Arabic speakers such as the UK’s Mohammed Ali. These are artists catalogued by Zoghbi in his work but it is the actual art that draws him back to this part of the world.

‘Now we are seeing some artists who are developing their own Arabic styles. It is still a young trend but it is growing to be very strong. For me, I think it is even more interesting than what is happening in the West. A lot of street art in Palestine is in Arabic but in Lebanon we are more used to using English and French, as that is what is taught in schools. However, in recent years we are beginning to see Arabic being used more and more.’

Following recent events in the region, he also argues that it has never been a more dangerous time to be a graffiti artist owing to the powerful messages of their often gallows-humour slogans. This includes a study in the book of the colourful and ironic murals daubed on the West Bank’s separation wall as well as the idioms that led to change in Egypt.

‘It’s all part of the message so we tried to make a link. For me it’s very important to make this link because I don’t see the need for graffiti unless it has a different message to say,’ Pascal adds.

Zoghbi has highlighted the dangers graffiti artists are under in some parts of the Arab world through articles, but he also points out that some work included is simply for its artistic merit. He says the artists themselves are from a variety of backgrounds, but are most common amongst the graphic design community.

Many designers are using this type of calligraphy in their design work and vice versa. What we are seeing is that styles of Arabic calligraphy are becoming more urban-inspired due to street art.’

It might not be a surprise then, that Zoghbi sees Arabic typography as going through a similar renaissance, which can be seen in his contributions to the Khatt Foundation project, Typographic Matchmaking in the City.

29 Arabic Letters is Zoghbi’s Arabic typeface response to these new dynamics. Its main mission is in creating new Arabic fonts and corporate identities in the Arab world. His work includes producing the Droid Arabic fonts for Google and the Corporate Mathaf type face for Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.

‘On my list for the future is to work on other books and continue my work with the Khatt Foundation. ‘Personally, based on my academic experience, I feel there is a lack of books that deal with Arabic typographic guidelines from an educational perspective. I therefore think something like this will be of huge use to both students and professionals.’

Zoghbi’s broad experience in typography through his academic and commercial work, has put him in a good position to pick up on trends in lettering and he hopes that contemporary street art could be a way of strengthening Arabic typography.

‘It is not just about the people who are writing on the walls but my own hope and willingness that the Arab graffiti artists will be inspired by Arabic calligraphy in their work and not just to imitate Western styles.’

As Zoghbi highlights in his work, this is something which is already playing out in countries such as Syria, Palestine and Lebanon and looks set to move away from the peripheral and contribute more directly to the dialogue and changes in mainstream culture in the Middle East.

Pascal Zoghbi, Interviewed for BrownBook Magazine by Paul McLoughlin.

CNNWire-Al Jazeera collaboration: A proposal (January 20, 2009)

            The Associated Press (AP) is a “non lucrative” cooperative managed by 1,400 dailies with the business of acquiring and disseminating news to the affiliated dailies; it hires over 3,000 journalists spread in over 100 States and sells news at a price; it has lately reduced its price rate for two major reasons.  First, the written news business is suffering from a constant reduction in readers; many major dailies have folded (like the Christian Science Monitor) and a few are resuming publishing via internet websites.  The second reason is the coming competition from CNNWire services.

            CNNWire is contemplating to diversify in this line of business and selling news to dailies; it did not renew its contract with Reuters as a first step in reducing its dependence on external medias.  CNN has been making profit over 10% for the last 5 years and has money to invest.  CNN has started as a television chain and then acquired many radio groups and internet sites and spreading its tentacles; CNN is already negotiating with several dailies desirous to cover major events.  CNN and has hired 3,000 journalists around the world and is focusing to expand greatly its Abu Dhabi bureau.

            Al Jazeera is the CNN counterpart for the Arab and Moslem World. It has covered the horrors in Gaza far better than CNN could around the clock.  Israel has denied access to Gaza for journalists and cable operators and reporters.

            My general proposal is that CNN and Al Jazeera link up to offer wire services to dailies and videos to cables.  There are thousands of graduates in audio-visual, graphic designer, typesetting, computer display and pagination, and internet navigators that can satisfy the requisite of wire service business after attending seminars and focused special classes.

            To be more specific, I contemplate teams of three employees combining the needed specialties in every small district to covering world news in the written and audio-visual mediums.  These teams of three or four can work at their homes and coordinate their efforts by meeting at locations with more sophisticated equipments.  A professional writer can head the team and be the secretary for coordinating the incoming and outgoing tasks, and thus saving headquarters hundreds of micro managers and secretaries with higher quality in precision and news display.




January 2023

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