All posts in the Creative inspiration category

Snapshots from D&AD Writing for Design 2018

It was a sign. On the street leading up to the Truman Brewery in East London, there was an empty Argos microwave box bearing the slogan ‘Heat. Ding. Done.’ This clever packaging project won a D&AD Writing for Design award two years ago, the last time I was on the panel. I kept an eye […]

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Iris. Daffodil. Iris. Daffodil. Stilling the mind with walking meditation

If you’re nervous about a presentation, an important meeting or an upcoming performance, walking meditation might help. When your brain’s gone into overdrive, the simple act of walking slowly can help still your mind and bring your body back to earth. Walking meditation in New Mexico How do you learn how to do walking meditation? […]

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A first look at Hull, 2017 City of Culture

Before my first visit to Hull, I knew very little about the city. I was aware it has white telephone boxes because it has its own telephone system, that it should be underwater because most of the land is significantly below sea level, and that Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt from Everything But The Girl […]

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Storytelling techniques for bold and curious minds

Creative fuel from The Story I came away from The Story 2017 with my head full of stories – about hay fights on Southwark Bridge, a pickled pig foetus in a jar, robots that draw faces, banana phones and survivalist bunkers in Texas. This annual festival of stories and storytelling is always a joy, providing […]

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Visit to the Design Museum, Copenhagen

On a recent visit to Copenhagen, I made a pilgrimage to the Danish Museum of Art & Design. My mission was to get a fix of Hans Wegner chairs, breathe in some Verner Panton hypercolours and drool over a bit of vintage Bang & Olufsen. It delivered on every count, with a few surprises. First […]

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7 Things I Learned at The Story 2016

The Story, a one day conference about stories and storytelling, is something special. I’ve been going for the last few years and now I don’t even check out who’s going to be speaking. I just book. It’s always a day that fizzes and crackles with inspiring people telling extraordinary stories. This year was no exception. […]

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Nick Drake in Northumberland

A pint of fruit cider and a dish of cockles It’s mid-afternoon on a Wednesday in February and I’m sitting in a village pub by a station a few miles outside Newcastle. A man wearing black jeans and a smart jacket walks in, looks around the silent, almost empty bar, and asks: “Who died?” Then […]

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7 things I learned at The Story

Every year, Matt Locke and his crew bring together extraordinary speakers for The Story, an exploration of storytelling at Conway Hall in Holborn. The ideas fizzle and crackle all day, colliding and coalescing, firing up synapses and sparking a host of connections, leaving the audience buzzing. This year’s edition, on 20 February 2015, was my […]

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Why it pays to be professionally nosy

What skills do you need to become a successful graphic designer? According to Lydia Thornley, nosiness is up there as a core skill, along with design sense, visual awareness and lateral thinking. Nosiness generally gets a bad press, but maybe it’s time to rehabilitate the word. According to Lydia, who runs a design practice in East […]

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Julie Pickard: drawing the music

If you go to a jazz or free improv gig and see a woman up on stage in amongst the musicians, not playing but drawing, it’s probably Julie Pickard. Julie’s an artist and writer who produces extraordinary expressionist drawings that are a response to her experience of live music. Details of instruments and musicians emerge from the […]

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Tom Dixon: a designer’s view of Finland

About a year ago, Nokia asked me to interview some people for a new book that Gestalten were publishing on Finnish Design. I talked to Finns in Brighton about their love of Iitala glassware and gin in a tin, and interviewed designers Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano about a chair they were making for Finnish furniture company […]

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Ten things I learned at The Story 2014

You never know quite what will happen at The Story, except that it will illuminate distant areas of your brain with unpredictable copper sparks for some time to come. Here are a few of the things I learned from this year’s gathering of storytellers of all stripes – from film makers, writers and artists to […]

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