Archive for the 'Resources' Category

Getting things Made

Make Works is an excellent directory of fabricators, factories, manufacturers and makers. Set up by GSA Product Design Graduate Fi Scott, Make Works is a fantastic resource if you need to get ‘stuff’ ‘done’.

Why design cannot remain exclusive

The Open Design Now website is well designed. I have the book (available for loan, as are other books), but hadn’t seen the site before. A useful and interesting resource.

It’s sunny in Dundee mostly


Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:


Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:


One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

Print Resource

Good Press have updated and expanded their already super-useful Print Resource. Includes a number of tips and endorsements from viscomdes people. While you’re there, you could also check out the Paper, a monthly-ish podcast come radio show. Edition 10 has a particularly good guest contribution.

Entropy! Entropy! They’ve all got it, Entropy!

Having enjoyed the last disjointed and dissociative blog-post so much, we thought we’d embark on another post rounding up links that might be of use in the current crop of graphics projects:

We start with this Beyond Entropy Publication. I’ve a copy, which I’ll bring in on Friday. The reason I have a copy is that it has ‘beyond’ in the title, and I buy any books that are about being beyond something. From there we move to entropy and communication, and the thought that the following films might be interesting:

Subsequently, we jump, via ambiguous symbols, to the typography topography project. The following film by Jonathan Meades asks many pertinent questions about the issues involved in this project – about money, class, ‘regeneration’, the languages of design – and it is all delivered in such a delicious style.

The clip above mentions the Islington Square development in Manchester, by FAT. From a ‘visual-language’ point of view, this is fascinating. In a style that is self-proclaimed as ‘radical post-modernism‘, questions of a dominant style, pluralistic narrative, the vernacular, the local and global are all mixed up*, with intriguing results.

Taste is indeed an interesting issue.

And to make one final leap, an interview with Morton Feldman:

*Clumsy description of post-modernism, radical or otherwise.

For Sad people who like pens

Incase you have not come across it already. A great site for sad people, like myself, that like pens. Who can ooh and ahh , (and if they are small and cute even awwwhh) for hours at CULT OF PENS here.

TBTB* (or Hyper/Links)

*TBTB or ‘Too Busy To Blog’ is a symptom of modern life whereby sufferers experience a chronic build-up of hyperlinks that can only be dealt with by a long, disjointed and dissociative blog-post. The following are all reference points and links that have come up through, or as a result of, studio discussions over the last term or so. The approach borrows a little from the excellent things.

We begin with objects that are ‘alive‘. Pipilotti Rist. The Form of the Book, Book. Facebook’s social graph and the exploitation of ‘weak-links‘, (and an amazing resource of freely available critical writing on the subject). Danah Boyds early, but influential essay on myspace, facebook and class divisions. If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product“, which echoes something Serra said. Unlike Us?

Elsewhere in the world, a dataset speaks a thousand words, and we can (thanks to Paula Scher) track the deterioration of a blog comment thread.

To architecture, the power of the manifesto, and the politics (to be viewed with the utmost criticality) of ‘progress’. Ant Farms, ‘fake’ villages (and more); Clip/Stamp/Fold, and the Fountainhead in 5 seconds.

Live surfaces, media surfaces. Augmented reality (think ‘clinic brief‘). Reality reality (think ‘everything else‘). Razzle Dazzle, and the New Aesthetic. Pixel Sorting for Dummies.

No-brow culture (E4?) and cutting through the clutter. A brand is nothing, wanting to be everything. Unexpected Creativity.

A long way from heterotopia? The anti-library, and Benjamin, unpacking. Perspectives on reading. Information Landscapes (of 1994). The Library of Babel. Unreliable narrators. Authentic translation.

Meanwhile, ballet meets synchronised swimming, or fashion? And movement, underwater. (‘Gorgeous’ say CraveOnline, Sally worked on this’ say

Laika, Neutral, UniversTypeface as programme (my machines). Printing as process, (and just-in-the-nick-of-time). The computational and generative, meets InDesign. Calligraphic lettering. And this article by Robin Kinross offers some interesting insights about the work of Wim Crouwel.

An Open School might look a bit like this.

Workshops at MAKLAB

Roy is running the following workshops at MAKLAB. Well interesting.

Thurs 15th Nov 6pm-8pm
Preparing vector artwork for lasercutting (using Illustrator/Inkscape)
£5/£3 members – bring your own laptop with Illustrator or Inkscape on if you wish

Thurs 22nd Nov 7pm-10pm
Glasgow Open Source Hardware Group presents: Using conductive inks – with Mike Shorter and Tom Metcalfe of Dundee University
price TBC – probably £7/£5 members – includes materials

Thurs 29th Nov 6pm-8pm
An introduction to Arduino
£5/£3 members – bring an Arduino and laptop if you have one.

Email roy at to book a place.

Slide Shows

Slide Shows is an interesting idea, and delightfully quiet. I’m interested in the thing that Stuart Bailey touched on in his talk earlier this year, about the relationship between performance and practise, and think there’s something interesting happening in terms of how we present work/ourselves, and our design personas (and our ideas of ‘activity’ and ‘productiveness’). These slideshows certainly seem to me to embody some ideas of ‘hybrid’ forms, and what technology might allow/provoke.

Dundee Illustration Forum

Dundee Illustration Forum has been set up by Vis Com Des person and former tutor David Kerr. It contains some useful links to competitions and journals etc for illustrators or anyone illustrating, depending on how you prefer to define yourself.

Printer Resources for Independent Art Publishers

Thanks to Keith for sending in a link to Printer Resources for Independent Art Publishers, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Beyond Interesting

I can’t remember if I’ve previously flagged up the brilliant things magazine. It is beyond the usual internet interesting.


Thanks to Matt and Jess at Goodpress for this handy print resource guide. In their own words; “The resource itself is available online here as well as in real life print version in-store, where we’d be happy to take you around the shop and point out which books were printed using which printer and help out with any printing queries. It is also available as a downloadable PDF for you to print out for yourself, your friends, your school or your local art space!”

“The necessary departure from context has been carefully affected to minimise any detriment to the original communication”

From; International Design Conference in Aspen: The First Decade, via Internet Archive.

I came across this after seeing (i think) something about a film on the 1970s period of the Aspen Design Conference. But as seems to be happening increasingly regularly, I can’t remember where I saw it. I’m interested in whether ‘search’ is stretching our expectation of memory, but on a more practical level, if anyone knows about this (possibly real, possibly imagined) film, do let me know.

The Power of Networks

In this RSA Animate talk, Manuel Lima, author of ‘Visual Complexity‘, talks about a shift, over the last century, from trees to networks as a way of understanding the world. This is significant if we’re starting to talk about ourselves as a ‘distributed academy’ (for which we could read, or at least reflect on, the ‘distributed network’).

Little Libraries

Little Libraries and Tactical Urbanism on Design Observer is a really interesting article mulling over the recent past of small independent ‘library’ initiatives, the library as institution, and the varying roles these play in ‘information culture’.

“Libraries are about much more, of course; they exist not simply to store and provide access to information. Advocates argue that libraries continue to serve crucial civic and social functions, and their tenacious faith is reinforced by a flurry of recent street-level library activity. The last few years have seen the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerilla and ad-hoc libraries, which are part of the phenomenon that Mimi Zeiger, in her Interventionist’s Toolkit series for this journal, calls “provisional, opportunistic, ubiquitous, and odd tactics in guerilla and DIY practice and urbanism” — to which I might add, librarianship.”

Image: Reanimation Library, Brooklyn.

Student Week*

It was Student Week over on Newspaper Club last week. Loads of useful advice, articles and links that will be of interest to all Vis Commers (Com Desers), especially those about to graduate. Nice little guest appearance from 2010 GSA graduate Michael Bow in there too.

*Nothing to do with Fresher’s Week

The Serving Library Media Archive

“You are sat in a pitch-black room. Your head is gently buzzed with whisky. Out of the darkness you hear a recording of my voice.”

Some interesting podcasts, via The Serving Library.

Cover Looks (Strangely Familiar)

The latest print incarnation of the Serving Library is out.