Things I've Been Working On Recently


It's been six months since my last post on this blog, so here's a quick post to remind myself that it's good to do this kind of thing more often than not. A lot has happened since, probably too much to write about in full, interesting detail so we'll start with my latest piece of work.

A typographic kindness manifesto in response to 'Gentletude' - a competition brief that aims to promote gentle-ness and kindness using typography. A never ending gif that can be easily shared via e-mail, facebook, twitter, ffffound and any other website/social media you care to name.

Super simple, super colourful.


It's a pretty rare event that I have time to blog about anything at the moment, (so unbelievably busy with college it's pretty unreal) so when this book appeared on my desk a few weeks ago it was put to the bottom of the list of stuff to do. However after a few quick photos here is something pretty cool.

The lovely people at Victionary publishing have included mine and Hunter's Anamorphic Typography project in their most recent book named Typoholic. Not only that but they also asked me (of all people) to write a 300 word foreword about what I thought experimental typographic design should encompass which took quite a while from the boy who is awful with words. Needless to say it got done though and somehow everything made it into the book which was released a few weeks ago. I'm happy that people are still enjoying our project and very proud that someone thought it was worth including in their book. Another life box ticked there I think...

Typoholic celebrates modern typography at it's most playful. Featuring 288 colourful pages of custom types, from digital to real life installations, it offers a thorough review of modern type-making. Separated in to two parts, the first Typoholic Font to Form, focuses on type-related projects, while the second Typoholic A to Z, is a collection of contemporary illustrated typefaces. The book examines a diverse range of sculptural, illustrated and photographically created letterforms and alphabets as they in appear in graphic identities, art projects, advertising and much more. Available now from all good book sellers! (or amazon)

A Sense of Perspective

About a week ago I was sitting at home on my laptop surfing the internet trying to do work as per usual whilst fighting the urge to go on Facebook too much when I received this message on Facebook.

"Hey Joseph!
I don't know if you remember me, but I was in your book binding class. ( I did this french fold for my portfoilo and I remember you liked it) I know you might think this is so random that I added you but what I discovered yesterday was too interesting that I had to tell you. 

So last summer, while I was surfing this Korean site (kinda like Yahoo!), I stumbled upon your project. Back then I didn't know who you are and I absolutely had no clue that you were going to FIT as an exchange student. I remember loving your project and thought you were not aware that your work was on a Korean site, so I twitted this news to you. But you didn't reply so I was like.. well whatever and forgot about it.

Then yesterday, I just found out that this project was actually your work.

How weird is that?
What are the chances?
I thought you are just a design student who lives in England and I twitted you without thinking that I'm actually going to meet you somehow.

this event totally changed my perspective."

This message was from Ja Young Kim, a girl who I'd met in my Bookbinding class whilst I was at FIT and who I had talked to quite a bit over the semester and who's final project was an amazing japanese stab bound, french folded portfolio of her work. My mind is still a little blown a week later and now I am starting to realise the real potential power of Twitter as a medium for recognising and connecting people.


A couple of months ago me and my housemate Katrin went along to the Roxy bar and grill (where we had our film premiers last year) in London Bridge to watch 'Melancholia', a film by Lars Von Trier. I have always meant to post about it since but it has been at the back of my mind till the other week when I was talking to a friend about incredible movies to watch.

One of the most beautifully shot movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching it was also one of the most thought provoking and after it finished me and Katrin were talking about it's meaning and aesthetic until well after we got home. Odd, but then most of the best things are quite odd in themselves. Having watched the film and watching the trailer back now it's hard to work out but I cannot recommend watching this film enough. There are some many little amazing details that add up to make this film one of the best I've seen in a long time. Kirsten Dunst plays an amazing role, I feel like I could write an essay about the content and context of this film.

The Love Competition

Once again, as always it has been far too long since my last entry on this blog and once again for the usual reason of me being busier than ever with college work,internships and outside projects. Now however I am on my Easter break and am back in Norwich for a week of hanging out with family and friends whilst eating as much food as I humanly can.

So over the next week I'm aiming to blog a little bit more about what I've been up to lately inspired by this film I stumbled upon last night which is rather wonderful. I won't explain the premise of the film (it should be obvious from the title) but have a watch and maybe it'll inspire you to reflect on love as you have experienced it in whatever form and from whatever source.


So tonight is the launch of our publications at the Eightfold exhibition at the Russian Club in Dalston, Kingsland Road. It is the official launch of Timbuktu magazine which I am happy to say is being collected from the printers this afternoon with some serious hype behind it. I have spent the last 2 weeks frantically sorting everything out for the first issue and am immensely proud of what we have achieved with this publication. It'll be great to see the final product, printed and bound, with our very special front covers as well which should make it even more awesome. ANYWAY. If you happen to read this before this evening and you didn't already know about it then please come down for an evening of beers and freshly printed publications. The exhibition is from 6-9pm only so get down early! Pictures of our finished publication will be up soon.


Location Location Publication

This is a bit of a nothing post really, just a bit of an update on everything that's been going on I guess over the past few weeks. 

The deadline has passed for submissions to Timbuktu and we ended up with over 40 pieces of writing which was a little unexpected and very overwhelming. We've read through all of them now and have whittled them down to 14/15 pieces we really like and think work well as a group. Getting started now on the layout and design of the actual book which I'll be taking control of mainly and letting everyone else get on with the image making process for the inside images.

Above is a photo of me standing in Wendover woods, the location for one of our photo shoots which we will be using for the publication. We were there for a whole day this week scouting locations and walking around in the mist. Won't give too much away right now but it's an amazing place and one I'd like to go back to in my free time and not for work. 

Production wise have lined up some super exciting finishes for our cover and inside pages which I can't wait to get all together into the final printed book. Our deadline is the 15th of this month. Ah. 

Timbuktu Magazine

Above is the mission statement myself and Mia came up with as part of the brief for one of our second term projects titled 'Territories'. We had to use the title as a starting point for the concept of a publication that we had to then present to the rest of our year group and persuade them that ours was the best. In short we were one of the eight successful groups chosen and are now going on to work on our publication along with four of our classmates who voted for us.

Really genuinely excited about this project and what it could entail for us within the next month or so and indeed the future. At the moment there's a lot of emails flying about trying to get this whole process started and trying to get submissions in. If you have any interest in creative writing at all, or know of anyone who does please click on the image above to download a printable PDF version of the brief with everything you need to know about what we're asking for.

Alternatively click HERE to get a PDF of the mission statement and brief.

Alternatively contact me via email (button above) to get a copy of the brief or just to ask any questions you may have about what we're doing. Below are the alternate media we'll be using to get in contact with people and get our brief out into the world.


Multi-Layered Zoetrope

So here is a project I completed a little over a year ago and is something that I am immensely proud of. Have been looking forward to sharing it since I got it done and have only just got the permission to do so here goes.

This video shows a multi-layered zoetrope, custom designed and built by myself as part of a first year college project titled "New Technologies" where we were given the task of either inventing or using an existing technology and taking it somewhere new. I mentioned this project a little in my blog last year. Always hinting about showing the final product which hasn't been possible until now.

I custom designed a tiered, slotted base from corrugated cardboard allowing up to three layers of materials to be used within the zoetrope. The outer layer is laser-cut card whilst the inner layers can be printed media or in the case of my first test, manipulated light layers created using semi-opaque plastic, coloured acetate and fluorescent lighting (see photos below). 

The video itself reflects the song I chose to work with, very hypnotic, keeping your interest but in the simplest way possible. It was produced as both a college project and as part of a project I was working on as an intern with the brief of providing song with an interesting backdrop to be played on youtube that wasn't a still image but at the same time was not a full blown music video. Hopefully I may get to revisit this project at some point in the near future and take it further than I have here. So many possibilities of what to do with it in my head it'd be great to be given the chance to take it further with materials etc and see where it could go.

Video was shot using a Canon 550D fitted with Pentax 50mm Lens and was edited in Final Cut Pro. Other than some slight colour correction this video was shot entirely in camera, there are NO additional effects in the video. Below are some stills from said video (linked above).

29/2 - The Leap Year Book

Here are pictures of a book I have been working on for a few weeks now for our project ' Cataloguing Collections' which we were given on our first day back at Chelsea. For this project we were required to produce a book using traditional bookbinding techniques to catalog a personal collection.

For my collection I took inspiration from a book I received from my mum on my 11th birthday which had all these amazing illustrated facts about everything that happened in history on February 2nd. I decided it would be cool to replicate this idea but instead focus on a more abstract period of time which led me to look into leap years and the 29th of February. A day lost in time, rightly so to allow for the rotation of the earth and the length of a real year to catch up and align every four years resulting in an extra day.

This year is a leap year and so I decided that it would be appropriate to base my collection on events, births and deaths that have happened every 29th of Feb. since they began in 45 B.C. Using pictures and a special reference method I have created my own index system for representing each leap year's events, ones that aren't celebrated and often forgotten but to some people were huge milestone's in their lives.

Some pictures of the finished book, thanks to my housemate Katrin for helping photograph it. Presenting it on Thursday at the crit. for the project.

It's Been a While

It's been a while since my last post. Since then I have returned from my four months in New York, have moved back to my house in London and am now back on my course at Chelsea. I'm super excited about some of the work we've been doing already but won't have much to show for it until next week when hopefully I can post a bit more about what's happening with pictures.

Above are pictures of this awesome postcard I bought in N.Y. which changes its message depending on the angle you look at it. Positioned it so that when I'm sat at my (new and most amazing ever) desk on my laptop it says YES but anywhere else in the room it says NO. 

Good, forceful inspiration I think you'll agree.

Breuckelen Gin

It's weird the little connections that happen to you every single day. I watched this short film three or so days ago all about the Breuckelen Distilling company which is the first in Brooklyn since prohibition. It ia the first part in a series called 'Made by Hand' directed by Keef Erlich which aims to promote that which is made locally, sustainably, and with a love for craft. Based in Brooklyn, the project takes it influence from the handmade movement there and elsewhere.

Yesterday I found myself in a bar and noticed the wonderfully designed label of Breuckelen Gin poking out amongst the liquors behind the bar. I knew that if I didn't try it there and then that I would probably never get to try it. One gin and tonic later and I was an ever so slightly drunker man, a fantastic Gin with one hell of a lot of flavour. Definitely worth the $6.

I actually stumbled across 'Made by Hand' by watching the second part in it's series about Cut Brooklyn, a handmade knife shop which makes some amazing blades. I would highly recommend checking out the series, if not for the great products featured then for the wonderfully filmed and edited footage.

Redesign The Bible

A quick post about a new brief we have just been given in advanced typography. Essentially our end of semester project we have been given the task of designing at least two book jackets for the world's all time best seller, The Bible.

We can split the text itself into as many books as we want with the obvious choice being the New and Old Testament as separate books which is the option I am leaning towards at the moment. However I still need to have a good sit down and think about this project. We've been given free reign with format sizing, imagery and typography so I really want to go as far as I can with this.

Above is Chip Kidd's front cover design for The New Testament, translated by Richmond Lattimore and commissioned by Farrar, Straus and Giroux publishing house. Here's what he has to say about it...

“If I am remembered for one jacket I would pick this one. I really have to hand it to the publisher for having the balls to go with it, and thus getting screwed by the major chains who refused to carry it. I’d also like to thank the photographer for allowing me to use this image in this context.” — Chip Kidd 

The image used is a photograph by artist Andres Serrano, of the face of a man, eyes half closed who had just been involved in a fatal car accident. It's use is a fantastic example of how simple imagery and type can be combined to create amazing pieces. Obviously eluding to the crucifixion, the climax of the New Testament it is full of bare emotion and meaning. I especially like the elongated cross used as a divider between the title and translators name.

However we have the opportunity to work with both old and new testaments, or each gospel as their own. We have the chance to create something really special which I what I am to try and do and hopefully not fall into the pit of literality whilst doing it. Updates soon.

A Year in New York

Firstly let me say that the video above is not mine in any way shape or form. I wish it was.

Just stumbled across this gem on a website somewhere and felt like I needed to share it. Made my filmaker Adam Clancy it's just footage of his day to day life in New York edited into a roughly five minute film with some music and uploaded to Vimeo. Ticks all the boxes of what makes a good film and for most people is great to watch and get an idea of what it's like to live in New York day to day as opposed to a five day holiday.

For me this video will be somewhat relevant in a year, I watch it now and recognise so many of the places that I've been to over the past three and a bit months and realise how quickly the time has gone. In a year I will be back in London and this video I'm sure will bring back memories of my time here, more so than photographs (although they are also amazing), postcards or receipts. The music is also weirdly relevant as I first heard this song in New York and fell in love with it instantly. Everyone should listen to James Vincent McMorrow - We Don't Eat, it will forever remind me of New York, the people I've met, friends I've made and the places I've been.

On another New York note I recently stumbled upon the work of E. B. White, a very talented writer who wrote a short essay called 'Here is New York' in the summer of 1948 which is as accurate today in capturing the spirit of the city as it was back then. A short quote from it below which I hope to include in some work I will be doing in the near future...

"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbours, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company..."

Beyonce Knowles

This is my 100th post on this blog, one I've become very attached to and in the future hope to keep up a lot more regularly than I have been at any point during it's relatively short life.

Above is something silly in honour of this post, if you recognise the song then good for you and if (as a graphic designer) you know what I'm talking about then even better. Came up with this whilst in a lesson with Eli and have been wanting to make something of it ever since so I'm glad I finally found a use for it.

Zoo York

So if anyone who reads this blog of mine hasn't heard already, I am three quarters of the way through a four month semester studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. To document my stay I have a photo blog which can be accessed by clicking HERE just finished a mass upload basically covering the last few weeks including thanksgiving which I spent at my awesome friend Liz's (pictured above) in Long Island. Much more to come in the last few weeks of my stay, so sad to think about leaving right now but sort of excited to be going back to Norwich for Christmas and then London in the new year.

Hopefully going to get the chance to blog some more work in the coming week once I get my stuff together.

The Laughing Heart

Above are a selection of pictures/pages from one of my earlier screen printing projects. 

A one-off edition of two screen printed and hand-bound books based around the poem 'The Laughing Heart' by Charles Bukowski. The larger format book is a black and white photocopied version of the smaller, full colour version. Bound using Japanese stab binding with french folded pages allowing each spread to be visually connected to the next whilst not letting the text be read in it's normal orientation or natural flow.

I chose this poem because of it's feature in a short video animation my friend and fellow student at Chelsea Bradley Bell made as part of our after effects project last year. To me it is near perfect, I will never forget watching it for the first time and the effect it has had on me since.  I've realised pretty recently that you should post about other people's work just as much as your own and that recognising/praising great design is not quite practiced enough. Below is said video, watch it and appreciate every single goddamn thing about it.  

Type Truck

A few weeks ago Me, Miriam, Jules and Alice took the Subway to Brooklyn to go to Fort Greene Flea Market where, outside the market was parked a van with a whole letterpress inside. The van and letterpress are part of the Type Truck project and are the brainchild of Kyle Durrie, a letterpress printer from Portland, Oregon. Using the  Kickstarter website to raise almost $18,000 towards the project she bought a 1982 Chevy step van and converted it into a fully functional letterpress print shop and is now traveling around the US teaching printing and selling her work. We each had a go printing as she told us about her travels. This is such a fantastic idea, I am beginning to wonder if it would be possible to do the same thing in the U.K. bringing letterpress to the masses. Pictures to come of the poster as soon as I retrieve it from Jule's room. Last picture of the Type Truck courtesy of Julia Salotti herself. Please take a few seconds to check out the link below and follow Kyle's amazing journey through the U.S!

Acetone for the Painfully Alone

Pictured above is the book that I made for my Bookbinding class midterm titled

 'Lost in Translation'.

The only guidelines we were given by our tutor Nancy was that the content of the book had to be autobiographical, we had to use a binding we had covered in the first half of the semester and that we were not allowed to use any text whatsoever (for fear of writing our life story from birth). 

I however ignored one of these instructions and instead decided to use text and only text in recording some of the problems I've had with using more than a few words since arriving in America just over two and a half months ago. On the left of each spread is an English word whilst on the right is the American word for the same object/thing/action. Some are well known to everyone (especially in the U.K.) however some you can only find out about whilst actually living here so I decided to document them in this book.

The book is a soft cover, multi-signature book constructed using 150gm Canford stock and hand printed using Acetone and photocopies. 

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