Archive for November, 2005

Please be kind to the mushrooms

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Click on the image for a bigger version

Stupid, stupid, stupid design!

Friday, November 11th, 2005

According to The Campaign for Plain English, complaints are flooding in from people after they have been fined for displaying their disabled parking cards the wrong way round in the windscreens.
Take a look and see if you can guess why… (answer at the bottom of this post)

Despite the (rather obvious) problem, nothing seems to be being done about it.

(answer: the front is not the side with the driver’s photograph on it, but people are apparently assuming otherwise. You see, contrary to popular myth, being disabled does not lead to the development of a sixth sense.)

Book details changed!

Friday, November 11th, 2005


It seems the ISBN of my book ‘Visual Communication: From Theory to Practice’ has changed (to 2940373094), along with the cover. It happened yesterday or today, so I’m not sure what that means for people ordering it through Amazon, as the old version is still there but with a message ‘try ordering it used’…

Anyway, here’s the UK Amazon link.
The publishers have changed US distributor, which is why it isn’t appearing on so if you’re in the US you might have to use the link to order it. I’m told it will be solved soon, though.

First good review came in last week. A former student, who doesn’t hold back on the criticism so can be trusted as objective, said the first chapter had made the concept of semiotics become clear after she’d looked at just about every other book on the subject. Considering the book is aimed at students and not fellow academics, that’s good to know. She said that now she can read the other books and they make sense – which was the aim of the book: a quick introduction to complex ideas that can then be pursued in more detail.

Dumbing up, not dumbing down!

Carry on up the charts!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

I’ve just finished with the digital proofs of my book, ‘Visual Communication: From Theory to Practice’. No major changes, just a rethink on the biography for the inside flap – I don’t know what I was on when I wrote the first one but it’s bizarre!
So they should be winging their way back to some Far East printer today for quick amendments then the all-important press of the button.

I just checked out the book on and I’ve moved over a million places up the charts from a lowly 1,600,000 to 181,634. I can see this becoming obsessive.

Mind you, I reckon you could do that if you only sell three books (I know of at least one sale so far) – how many other titles are also at 181,634 I wonder?
Still, considering it’s not even out yet it’s not bad I suppose. I bet Dan Brown is quaking in his boots…

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift?

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

If you’re wondering what to buy people for Christmas, could I suggest visiting Heifer International and buying livestock for a family in a developing country? The idea’s a marvellous one and you can even stick to your vegetarian principles by buying Honey Bees and the hive to put them in (just $30 – that’s £16 to us Brits, and the cost of about eight jars of decent honey).

In fact, at that price you could still buy your loved ones that expensive and short-lived luxury item and do something that makes a difference as well!

Why has no one thought of this before?

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

One of those ideas you think we should be forever cursed for not thinking of before:



More details from

Speak Up

Friday, November 4th, 2005

I was recently invited to become a contributor to the ‘Speak Up’ design site – quite an honour for me personally.
Of course the moment I was asked I froze up, wondering what the hell I could write…
In the past few weeks I’ve started articles, finished quite a few, discarded others and lost notes that I was sure at the time were going to revolutionise the field of graphic design criticism.

Well today I finally submitted my first article: Pizza Flyers: The Height of Good Graphic Design?, which resulted partly from the New Views conference last week and partly from a series of discussions I had with my students yesterday.

It’s not a masterpiece by any standards, but it sort of sets out my stall and – I hope – provokes a reaction! I think I might follow it up soon with further ‘evidence’ that we really should be taking everyday graphic design more seriously.