Aug 22, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Sangam: Mixing & Jamming in Gujarat

Sangam, which means confluence in Sanskrit, was launched by the the Australia-India Design Platform at the NID (National Institute of Design) campus in Ahmedabad. The Platform is a catalyst for a creative partnership between the two countries. New Delhi-based design firm Ishan Khosla Design was charged with the identity and branding of this initiative.

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Aug 19, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD Interviews… Karin Fong, Imaginary Forces

Karin shares details with XCD about influences and inspiration, and how developing a unique perspective on story-telling has informed her work.

A founding member of production and design company Imaginary Forces, Karin Fong directs and designs for film, television and environments. She has designed title sequences for numerous feature films, including: Ray, The Truman Show, Charlotte’s Web and Terminator Salvation. Fong directs TV commercials, counting Target, Chevrolet, Herman Miller and Honda among her clients. She recently created a series of cinematics for the Sony PlayStation game, God of War III.

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Aug 19, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD interviews… Michael Wolff Part 2: Design + Empathy

Earlier in the year, XCD caught up with Designer Michael Wolff, the founding partner of Wolff Olins along with advertising executive Wally Olins. Visit our previous post for a viewing of the XCD interview with Michael Wolff.

“I think empathy is a crucial quality for a successful designer. It’s the most effective quality with which to conquer the ego. Ego is the designer’s enemy because it diminishes our ability to be in other’s shoes – to surrender. I’m surprised how little time designers spend in other’s shoes and how scant their understanding of the nature of ‘liking’ is. We know we like and what those we admire like, but we know little of why most people like what they like.”

“Thinking we’re right or that we have supreme aesthetic judgement isn’t helpful. Often what we call good design defaults into what we agree is good. But it’s often a good that we’ve invented as a design community – a kind of private world, or agreement system, about what is good. It means we become elitists who know a great deal about very little and very little about a great deal. Empathy is another word for being willing to be warm and open to others , and to listen and respect their points of view about what they like. That doesn’t mean suppressing our own judgement or creativity, it just means opening ourselves up and being enriched by a more eclectic view of the richness and diversity of what’s possible.”

XCD thanks Design Indaba for making this interview possible.

 

Aug 8, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD Interviews… Michael Wolff Part 1: Strategy made Visible

Earlier in the year, XCD caught up with Designer Michael Wolff, the founding partner of Wolff Olins along with advertising executive Wally Olins.

Wolff Olins is easily recognised as a preeminent authority on Branding amd Corporate Identity, which Wally Olins defined as “strategy made visible”. Wolff Olins published their design philosophy in The Corporate Personality (1978) and Corporate Identity (1989). In its decades long history, Wolff Olins has had offices in Hamburg, Paris, San Francisco, Madrid, Lisbon, as well as New York and Dubai.

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Jul 17, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Communicating Visually

Founded in a coffee shop in Covent Garden in 1754, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), seeks to develop and promote new ways of thinking about human fulfillment and social progress. Small wonder they would enlist Visual Thinkers to communicate their thoughts and aspirations in an increasingly complex world.

Visit this link for a sample presentation and join the conversation

Or check out more discussions in the RSA Animate Series

May 9, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Sebastian Guerrini: The Brands of Life

Our esteemed Argentinian Branding Guru shares some thoughts from his studio in Barcelona. Enjoy his lovely illustrations of ink and watercolour.

A psychological and philosophical approach of the relationship between stories, identities, images and brands, looking for the understanding its mechanism, since this affects the work of identity designers.

If we try to answer what or who we are, we would possibly tell a story about us. This would be a story that has a title, our name and may be our image. This story will probably tell everyone about our origin and develop, but leaving an open ending because we are still alive. At the beginning, the story will place our origin, our birth, in a scenario and context: the social group and place that gave us life. This origin also involves to the people who bred us.

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May 9, 2011
Zelda Harrison

FridaLarios: out of History and onto our Clothes

Fashion and Design Entrepreneur Frida Larios shares how her Mayan-inspired designs are taking new shapes and forms

New Maya Language


The Maya was a civilisation of indigenous natives that populated Central America from around 1500 BC. They are credited with inventing the concept of the number zero and their calendar measurements are the most accurate in the history of the civilised world. They created and used one of the most beautiful and intelligent logographic languages, still quite unknown to western hemispheres. The Maya scribes had a very privileged position in the socio-political system and were multi-talented – they were artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, and were also believed to be astronomers, mathematicians, historians and royal book keepers.

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Apr 25, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 5

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 5


Plato once observed that “although craftsmen are all poets … they are not called poets, they have other names.” This centuries old statement is very telling about the design industry today – a semantic notion that allows people to classify and assume, which skips process.
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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD interviews… Christopher Scott

Christopher talks about being Irish, celebrating cross-culture and poster design

XCD: Please introduce yourself, ie., Where were you born and what neighbourhood did you grow up in? Could you tell us more about your family and how you became a designer? Who are your favourite clients/collaborators?

My name is Christopher Scott a graphic designer from Northern Ireland. I have had my posters exhibited all over the world including the Louvre France, Italy, Peru, Spain, USA, Bolivia, Korea and many more. I was brought up in a village called Donaghmore of which I do not remember much about. The three things which are clear in my mind: the house number was 18, all the kids played football after dinner until we could not see the ball because of the darkness and finally I drew pictures of my favourite characters ‘Super Mario’ and ‘Teenage mutant hero turtles’. I would then sign them, go around the houses in my neighbourhood and sell them for 50p so I could buy sweets in the local shop.

As long as I can remember I was always drawing and painting. Which continued until the year 2003; I was 17 years old. I became very bored with the drawing and painting process because I felt that I was not creating anything unique. I started to search for other methods to use my creativity and I randomly turned on the computer one day in school and opened up the program Microsoft Paint. I just started experimenting and within 3 hours everyone had surrounded me and saying the work is amazing.

I have collaborated with many graphic designers all over the world including Yossi Lemel, Reza Abedini, Woody Pirtle, Hervé Matine, Utpal Pande and many more. I also really enjoy working with Ryan O’Neill and Mark Douglas who are local photographers in Northern Ireland.

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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 4

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 4


How are the terms art and craft perceived today, when the lines between traditional silos are becoming more and more indistinguishable ? These perpetual questions can perhaps be understood if we discover the essence of autonomy in the human psyche – the drive from within that compels us to work creatively, by ourselves. Continue reading »