7th Aug '11

The Stockholm based designer Albin Holmqvist was commissioned by EF International Language Centers to create typographic logotypes for their 40 destinations, worldwide. Some of them can be seen here, on his portfolio.

29th Nov '08

Espen and I made a deal this summer that I would design and build his website in exchange for 4 of his drawings. Also part of the deal was a promise from his part to do all he could to become a famous artist. So that I in the not too distance future I would be able exchange one of those drawings for a red sports car made in Italy, keep the other two drawings for future maintenance of this red car and the last drawing to decoration the wall next to the car.

I still have some work left to do on the website, but since I’m flying to New Zealand in 10 days, and not coming back until midd of January, we decided to launch it as it is. So guess this is a bit of a unpredicted soft launch.

It’s a very straight forward website. The idea was to keep it simple, nice, appropriate and easy to manage and update. I like it. Espen likes it. Hope you like it, too.

View the website and the work of Espen Dietrichson on:

23rd Jul '08

One of my last projects at POKE was to design and build a tiny page for Motorola. The website ended up being quite a bit smaller, quite a bit different and took quite a bit longer to finish than initially planned. This is the kind of thing that might happen when dealing with large bureaucratic companies across the atlantic. However, the most important ingredient in this creative execution wasn’t the website though.

from the POKE website:

To demonstrate the features of the new Motorola E8, Poke enlisted the help of legendary mover David Elsewhere (to call him a dancer doesn’t really describe the half of it). We worked with Motorola to find a way that could combine content and product demo in a fresh way. Maybe even making it interesting enough that people might talk about (and distribute) a product demo…

And yes (before you ask); David Elsewhere has been used/seen in advertising before. Most famously the VW Golf remake on Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain dance. But browse youtube and you will find quite a few more.

To have a look at the website and the other four new videos of David Elsewhere visit:

12th Jul '08

I’m a bit surprised over the fact that I have maintained this blog since May 2006 and have hardly mentioned the fashion brand Social Suicide. Guess it’s one of those constantly ongoing things that you just don’t think to talk about.

Social Suicide is a fashion brand founded by two very good friends — Simon Waterfall and Matthew Grey. They started up the brand about the same time that I joined POKE back in 2003.

My final project at Hyper Island was to develop the brand online, build a website and develop the graphic profile. It was a well-received project and was even recognised and featured in Creative Review.

Photograph of the Creative Review piece featuring my final project on Social Suicide.

Photograph of the book that was part of the documentation of the project.

Since then i’ve been helping the boys out with everything from business cards, websites, online shop, suits, delivery etc and so on.

The best way to get an idea of what the brand is about is to visit socialsucide.co.uk and have a look at this video presentation.

Thw below photograph is one of many great stories surrounding Social Suicide. Simon Waterfall was invited to meet the Queen. For the occasion we designed a special suite.

The Pearly Kings and Queens are an East London tradition as old as the bricks and mortar of Bow Bells. They are the aristocracy of the working classes.

We used the tailoring traditions of the working class to make a suit for the monarch. 400 hand sewn mother of pearl buttons form an image of HRH as seen on British coinage and postage stamps. Simon was invited to the Palace and he went in the suit: “We were very kind your Majesty – we used a postage stamp from the 1970s”.

Since 2003 the brand and it’s products have matured a lot. The bold statements have become more subtle and have been fine tuned with a more sophisticated edge. The cut of the suite and material have been refined. Matthew, who’s working on Social Suicide full time, has built contacts with sellers as well as manufactures and prepared the whole concept with great success.

27th Apr '08

Through POKE I was given the lovely opportunity to work with the great people at Ottolenghi and help them to design and build their new website. When working for a medium-sized company such as POKE (approx. 50ppl), where larger clients take up the majority of studio time, these kind of smaller/independent clients and projects come as a long awaited breeze of fresh air on a hot summers day.

A few words on the design:

Working with the Ottolenghi brand was difficult — or maybe ‘challenging’ is the correct phrase. They are very minimalistic but still carry a personality. So the difficulty / challenge was to keep it very slimmed-down but still engaging.

The above screen is of the current homepage.

The design is based around a simple 8 column grid (show / hide grid). I decided to left align the page to give use of the browser edge for a “full bleed” photographic treatment. Another repeating photographic treatment is the overlaying and slightly anti-top-aligned treatment that can be seen on all top level pages (except the blog) and on recipes where images are in portrait instead of horizontal format.

A few words on the build:

I also did the front end build of the site, while the back-end was delivered by Nilesh Ashra. It was my first project using the jQuery javascript library and the first project i’ve been involved with that uses the “Death Star”, which is a Model-View-Controller approached PHP framework developed by Igor Clark and Nilesh.

If I knew what I know now, I would probably have used the MooTools 1.2 (currently in beta) javascript framework instead of jQuery 1.2.3. Not because jQuery didn’t get the job done or was hard to work with; at the time I hadn’t tried either of them, or given jQuery a chance. Since then I have worked on another project and given MooTools a chance and it turns out that MooTool suits me a bit better.

Working with Nilesh and the “Death Star” framework worked out great. It made me hungry for more Model-View-Controller approached PHP and I am now looking into what codeigniter can do to please that part of my brain.

So, wrapping up,

I’m pleased with the result and the project was a real pleasure to work on. No other client has offered me such good meeting snacks and lunches as Ottolenghi.

One of the few downsides about working on this project was that it kept me constantly hungry. I thought that working on the GoodFood website last year had made me immune to fooling my body that the glycogen level of the liver has fallen and activating the hunger feeling by looking at food photos on screen.

Thankfully, in a few weeks, their new cookbook will be out (which I have flipped through and can confirm looks amazing) so that Willow and I can cook all the dishes I have been drooling at for the last couple of months.

16th Feb '07

The last of the three monster projects I was involved in during 2006, has been launched, so I thought I would present all three under the same post.

So in chronological order:

  1. topshop.com A huge e-commerce website. POKE designed and built the html templates that then was incorporated into a huge system build by IBM that goes under the name ‘webasphere’. The difficulties were to get the web page to feel fresh and still keep within all the heavy restrictions the system came with.
    Read more about the website at Tom Hostler’s blog

  2. bbcgoodfood.com A website for an already existing magazine. This was a very intense project with almost no speed bumps along the road. All wireframes had been done. All content existed.
    Read more about the website at Tom Hostler’s blog

  3. travel.dk.com Last but not least. A web site for the travel books published by Dorling Kindersley (DK).
    Aside from the normal travel website stuff – browsing your chosen destination and viewing/reading about attractions – you can create your own attractions, print, download and share your own compilation or personalised travel guide.

    This website is massive and includes a lot of good features. So, visit it, sign up and explore.
    Read more about the website at Tom Hostler’s blog