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    Sarah is co-director of Malvolio. She brings her creative skills to the business, and loves concept development in commercial projects, illustration, and working on various self-initiated paper craft projects in her spare time.

  • Category: Fun and Humour

    Pantone Box of Colour: For Kids!

    This set of books was gifted to my son for his first birthday – from a very special fellow graphic designer friend of ours.

    How could I not post about this?! Pantone are trying to start them early, hey!

    In all seriousness: I actually adore this set of books. They are chunky board books with cut-out shapes, giving them a bit of dimension (and easy to grasp). Each book is themed to a colour, with heaps of simple images for small kids to recognise. And of course, each page has the Pantone number on it – I giggle so much at this, you will always be able to find a Pantone colour, even in a kids book!

    These books sit in our studio for our kids to play with while they’re visiting. They love the books, I get asked for them most times they come in. They don’t know what Pantone means to design yet, but they will learn soon enough!


    The Logo Board Game

    I stumble across this game from time to time, and now I’ve got kids, I’m thinking I should add it to the presents list soon enough.

    It’s the ultimate designer’s game. We personally should be banned from playing it as we live and breathe brands, but it’s a great memory game. It’s a simple trivia concept: answer questions, go around the board, get to the end first. But it’s just brand questions!

    My favourite part of this game being worldwide, is that there are different versions for different regions. For instance, we have our own Australian version available at Big W and other local stores! So for the die-hard branding gurus out there can take up a challenge and play the overseas versions.

    Sorry, kids – we’re going to be teaching you everything about brands, and it will likely start with this game! Then again our 2-year-old already knows what a “logo” is and points them out. So it’s definitely begun here…


    Communication design – choose your words!

    We had a good giggle in the studio when this photo popped up on Facebook:

    dog-poo-signage

    But all jokes aside, there is a serious point about this sign – and it’s in the wording. Sometimes proof-reading and checking gets put to the wayside, and the focus ends up on wholly on the design. The reality is that the content is just as important as any layout, font or colour that will ever be chosen – if not more important.

    Signage is a perfect example of this – you just need to go to a website like www.engrish.com to see what can happen with words and their sequence if they aren’t checked. While it can be funny, it can be a complete disaster too – it’s not a cheap exercise to get professional signage produced (let alone reproduced).

    So check how you word something before it is produced or published, run it past a few people if you can…and make sure you don’t end up with a dog in the bin and a poo on the ground.


    Colour requests: time to have a giggle

    I came across this one on clientsfromhell.net this morning, and we had a good laugh in the office.

    tumblr_n3l4g5mJ1U1qzwya5o1_500

    But the above photo wasn’t where the funny ended. The guy who responded with “So basically, Super Target” and the below photo wins. We were in stitches!

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Thanks for the laughs!


    Crate Man

    Street art in Melbourne is one of our favourite things.

    Crate Man used to hang around the city, always giving us a giggle wherever we spotted him next. We haven’t been to the city for ages, so I don’t know if he is still hanging around on buildings.

    crateart4


    Design challenges: Method of Action

    These games from Method of Action got us testing our skills in the studio.


    Kern Type checks your skills on letter spacing. Might look simple but you may be surprised where some letters actually sit in line with each other. They leave the hardest letters to kern until the end – the last word even caught us out, and we do typesetting almost every day.


    Shape Type provides you with a number of letters whose curves have been set incorrectly, and it’s your role to move the curves into their right position. Easy if you know the fonts the letters come from – a bit of a guessing game if you don’t.


    Color is the only timed challenge, and it can get stressful when you’re looking for the colour match, you know you’re close but you’re watching the clock too much! It’s good training for your eyes, but it’s a bit quick if you’re trying to learn what really makes up a tetrad other than just four colours (it was so quick I can’t even tell you what the last colour combination in the test was, and I consider myself a colour nut).


    And these aren’t just being developed as games to pass the time – they’re actually being implemented into a training course for programmers to learn and understand design. Try them for yourself (designer or not!) and see how you score!


    The anatomy of an agency

    This is just for a bit of fun today, from the very clever Grip Limited 🙂


    Mac users: the spinning beachball of death

    This is a very amusing video of a TED presentation being hijacked by the ever-frustrating “spinning wheel of death” on a Mac…the video just gets weirder and weirder – enjoy!