These fabulously detailed and beautifully lit horror paper models use famous buildings from horror films and are kirigami works by Marc Hagan-Guirey, also known as Paper Dandy.

These are from his debut exhibition Horrorgami…appropriately enough for All Hallow’s Eve.

Can you spot which films they’re from?

Halloween…He came home

In my opinion, the best Halloween film ever made is John Carpenter‘s original Halloween. It heralded a  genre of slasher horror films that gradually deteriorated over the years but Carpenter’s original made-on-a-shoestring film still is the benchmark for this genre.
Subsequent Halloween sequels never really hit the mark, although Rob Zombie’s 2007 ‘re-imagining’ was pretty brutal and visceral it doesn’t come close to matching the sheer atmosphere and tension built up in the original 1979 version. This was the first ‘x rated’ film I ever saw at the Odeon in Leeds and I’ll never forget the screams and tension in the theatre as a teenager. We’d not seen anything like it – perhaps that’s why it still works for me.
After countless viewings, Halloween has never lost its power to draw you in and it’s arguably Carpenter’s finest hour. It’s aged pretty well too and the surprisingly contemporary score (written by Carpenter) never fails to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Carpenter employs all manner of movie tricks that have since become standard practice. The opening shot is masterful using a handheld camera – a technique that was groundbreaking at the time.
Jamie Lee Curtis created the template for the geeky small town teenage babysitter who is relentlessly stalked by the killer – who in this instance is ‘the shape’ aka Michael Myers, who happens to be her brother.  Myers is unforgettably portrayed as a chilling, rubber masked automaton hell bent on death and seemingly unkillable.
The brilliant Donald Pleasance plays the killer’s doctor, Loomis – full of portents of doom. He is predictably not taken seriously by the local police until it’s too late. He gets all the best lines of course:
I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply…evil.
I’ll give Halloween a spin on the Blue Ray tonight and see if it can still generate the chills…

My perfect Cornwall day

Standing on the beach together,
Sand between our toes,
Watching the Cornish sun slip below the horizon,
Glass of champagne in hand,



As part of a work project we were asked to think about where we’ve had the most perfect time ever, anywhere in the UK.

We had to select the perfect place, hotel and restaurant. I chose Cornwall as we’ve enjoyed so many amazing experiences there.

What would be your favourite place, hotel and restaurant?


The Place: Porthtowan Beach at sunset

The Hotel: The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth

The Restaurant: Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

Popular lies about Graphic Design


In an attempt to dispel the various myths, misconceptions and outright lies that permeate the industry of design, New York-based British designer and art director Craig Ward has written a book called ‘Popular Lies About Graphic Design’.

The author 10 years of experience tackles everything from design fetishists, Helvetica’s neutrality and ‘urgent’ briefs to more worthy topics such as design education, the supposed death of print, client relationships and the perfect pitch.

Sounds like the kind of book that would be good for both designers and clients alike to read. It looks great too.




Do you buy books in a shop or online?

I love the smell of books.

The paper, the ink, the print finish on the dust jacket, the dust jacket itself even the glue that binds it all together all have a unique aroma that is part and parcel of the book reading experience. So I delight in the sensory experience of buying a physical book in an actual bookshop.

But it’s a hard thing to do these days.

Even in a big city like Leeds there’s only one bookshop of note – Waterstones. The low cost and convenience of Amazon has meant that the book buying experience has been transformed into a remote, transactional act that is all about cost and nothing to do with value. I’ll be honest – I’m partly to blame too. It’s hard to see a book half the price online and not buy it. But I do try where possible to buy my books from Waterstones in Leeds, if they don’t have a book in stock then their ordering service is excellent. Also when I’m in a bookshop, I always buy more than I intended to buy…I can’t resist a well designed cover or an unusual format or a tactile cover.

But Waterstones aren’t going down without a fight.  They’re running a superb awareness campaign right now that’s really caught my eye – it’s an interesting and engaging angle focusing on selling the bookshop and not the contents of the bookshop. Will it make more of us buys books from a shop and not a website?

Take a look and let me know what you think…

Anish Kapoor Annual Report

A work colleague excitedly presented this unusual annual report to me the other day and I have to say in the printed flesh, it really is a thing of great loveliness.

It’s not everyday that an annual report uses a world class artist to tell its shareholders the good (or bad) news. But I have to admire its scale of ambition which, unusually in our world, is completely matched by the output.

The exceptional quality of the large format print is a joy to behold, it really showcases the stunning abstract imagery. It’s a kind of design / fine art crossover hybrid and it’s a delight. And it smells good too.


Mirrors in the desert

I loved these images and the back story to them when I read them in Fast Co Design. Here’s the full story behind the striking photographs:

New York-based photographer Daniel Kukla has traveled the world for his work, but earlier this year he had the opportunity to explore the wilds of a locale that was entirely new to him–southern California. In March, he took to the terrain of Joshua Tree for the first time to complete an artist’s residency awarded by the United States National Park Service, and captured the unique contrast of two perspectives for The Edge Effect

In order to familiarise himself with the surroundings, he set out solo, taking time to explore the craggy earth and consider what his as-yet-unplanned project would become. “Being in a completely foreign environment made me incredibly curious, and I spent hours each day hiking and poking around” he said. Inspiration was everywhere, but it was surprisingly tough becoming accustomed to the solitude. “The isolation was quite a challenge at first. Adapting from a life where I am constantly around people to an existence where I was on my own took some time.”

Sussing out how to translate his findings into photographs was another matter. “I knew I wanted to work with the landscape and alter it in some fashion, but the idea of mirrors didn’t occur to me until I was driving in the park as sunset one night and the rearview mirror captured the sun and the coming night lay ahead of me,” he says. From there, it was a matter of figuring the logistics of the concept on a completely different scale. “I experimented with a set of small mirrors at first but moved on to a large mirror so that I could fully expose the contrasting landscape, and truly insert an image within an image.”


Seriously battered Pantone swatch

This swatch has seen some action.

From the looks of it, it’s been the property of a busy litho printer and not a fastidious OCD obsessed graphic designer. We’ve always kept our swatches in a darkened room.

This swatch looks like it’s earned its retirement.

Highgrove House, Julian Lloyd Weber and Harold Lloyd

Thursday night this week was a swanky dinner in aid of the Princes Trust at Prince Charles’ private residence in the Cotswolds, Highgrove House. It was a real treat to be invited to this event and although it was a bit of a trial getting there from London (where I’d had various meetings), I donned my black tie and entered the fray.

Security was, as you’d expect, tight with all mobile phones banned from the estate and photo identification required to enter Highgrove. I have to say not being able to tweet and take pics was a shock to the system, one that my wife found highly amusing, who was gutted not to be invited.

Highgrove is as perfect as you’d imagine and the event was held in the formal events part of the house. The champagne reception room walls were covered in Prince Charles’ watercolours – he’s no slouch either, they were very good –  whilst the ballroom walls were adorned with no doubt very valuable oils of Charles and other royals. Although Charles wasn’t there in person, he could well have been as we dined beneath a rather familiar looking portrait of a rakish looking Prince of Wales resplendent in a kilt and smirk.

World famous cellist and brother to the theatre impresario Julian Lloyd Webber performed an exquisite recital on the cello to a captivated audience. It struck me it was like a performance that could have been happening over a hundred years ago, this kind of classical music is so enduring. Some of the music he played reminded me of the musical accompaniment to silent movie classics, in particular Harold Lloyd’s Just in Time or Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. Praise indeed.

Later on we were treated to a recital by the highly acclaimed violinist Julia Hwang which was another captivating, transformational performance. It really is fantastic to hear this level of musical talent and quality up close and personal.

The event was in aid of The Prince’s Trust who are a brilliant charity helping disadvantaged young people get back on their feet and out into the workplace. It was moving to hear Prince’s Trust ambassador ‘G’ talk eloquently and sparingly about his life of addiction to alcohol and drugs and how the charity had helped turn his life around. He’s just bought a new van for his plumbing business in Bristol and although it’s not all plain sailing, he’s in a better place than he was before. It was a powerful testimony to the work of The Prince’s Trust.

Dinner and drinks were all of the highest order and having attending these kind of dinners before, the food usually ranges from bad to awful. Given the head chef is Prince Charles’ own chef at Highgrove then we were clearly in good hands. The kitchen didn’t put a foot wrong and special mention has to go to the cheese plate and port accompaniment, which rounded off a wonderful dinner.