Long before The Devil Wears Prada there was another film documenting the cut throat world of women’s magazines and it’s one of my favourite films of all time. Funny Face was released in 1957 staring the wonderful Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson. A 1950’s musical set in a magazine that goes to Paris for a fashion shoot, what’s not to love? The opening song to the film Think Pink pretty much sums up everything that I love about magazine design. Not only did it give me my love of strong typography (just look at those massive numbers), it also gave me a brilliant mantra to design magazines by … A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute, it just can’t lie around. A magazine must have blood and brains and pizzazz. The way the song is directed and filmed is perfect. Strong, dynamic and beautiful; just how all magazines should be. Click the below picture to watch the video. you’ll be glad you did. go watch the vidoe If I ever get a little stuck for ideas I give it a watch. One of the things I love most is how though the Editor is dictating that every woman in America must wear pink, she stays in classic black. Some things never change!

Now I know we’ve only just started enjoying the summer but may I turn your attention to the season of beautiful coats and crazy fur, massive hats and embellished bags as today the new issue of Marie Claire Runway is out. Showcasing the latest trends hot from the catwalks of New York, Milan, London and Paris, we’re showing you what you (and the highstreet) will be inspired by when the days turn chilly (hopefully not next week). Giving you all the backstage news and gossip and interviewing design greats including Frida Giannini, Alber Elbaz and we also snuck backstage at Vuitton …

Hung out with some Fraggles …

Got a new font …

Did some more patterns that make your eyes go bonkers …

Found a new illustrator. The amazing Nina Cosford who drew my favourite thing in the whole magazine …

Got slightly freaked out by some of the beauty looks

And also got a cover that not only had a beautiful foil title but also a super shiny bit and a matter than matt black bit.. you really need to buy it to appreciate it, it’s soooooo strokable (and smells good too)

For inspiration when designing the magazine I created this strange story about a eccentric Victorian who traveled the world collecting and cataloging the peculiar people he met, curiosities he found and experiences he encountered. I visited the great Horniman Museum in South London for inspiration and trawled car boot sales for odd artifacts (the camera used in our photo diaries is one such car boot booty). Lots of the Victoriana references were left out of the final design as it was tricky to stop it turning into a bad pastiche or something you’d buy from ‘Ye Olde Victorian Tourist Shoppe’ (est.2010). The final design is much slicker but still has little nods to my crazy Victorian anthropologist.

This was my Pinterest inspiration board. Click the image to see more …

All in all it was a joy to work on and you should probably go Buy. It. Now.

We all know I like a bit of typography and last night whilst watching telly, surfing the net and cutting one million and one felt circles for a new project I visited my friends Master E’s excellent blog social nesting.com and spotted these paper plates


magpie designs paper plates £10

I’d seen these plates before and though I love them I wasn’t sure what I could use them for… I knew I would never be able to eat off them as they were Just Too Pretty. But the wonderful Master E has come up with a cunning plan. His blog is full of crafty makes, junk shop finds and renovation projects which make him (in my eyes) the UK’s Grace Bonney (though he may or may not be actually Canadian, (apologies E if you are or aren’t and I’ve offended you one way or the other!)) and by simply sticking the plates up on the wall of a nursery he has created a thing of genius. Clever boy.

from socialnesting.com

Fortunately the designers of these plates have also created notebooks

magpie notebooks £6

and mugs

magpie mugs £8

so Im sure I’ll be purchasing something from them very soon… Visit Socialnesting.com here and Magpie Designs here

Today’s post is bought to you by the letter A

1. This letter A is only 7cm high
2. It’s made of metal painted red which is really chipped off.
3. I found it in the street by a bin (classy). I looked around for the rest of the word but couldn’t find it … maybe it was actually in the bin. (I have limits you know)
4. I wish it didn’t have the annoying metal bar sticking out the back, although it has helped it stand up for this photograph.
5. It could be Qurillian or Kerater font, whatever it is I like its pointy top, it feels a bit 1920’s to me.
6. Good words that begin with A are: aquaduct, antidote and archipelago.