From examples of my work, to analysis of trends and developments, a collection of features and articles on all aspects of graphic design, product design and industrial design.

Orange toy Suzuki Hustler kei car in front of the allow wheel of a real car of the same make

Japan’s BIG small cars

May 27, 2021

Emerging at the end of the Second World War, Kei cars were designed to be cheap to produce and own. With limited engine sizes and dimensions, they started as an alternative delivery method to motorbikes and evolved into practical family cars.

The first Kei cars were basic, with a 150cc engine and little in the way of safety equipment or comforts. Over the years they became more sophisticated, powerful and safe. 

Photograph of a tortoise crawling across grass

Mobile Broadband: lessons from the slow lane of the internet

May 24, 2021

Mobile broadband seemed like a good idea at the time. We were moving away, so a long-term contract wasn't viable. A rolling monthly contract would give us freedom to end it when we needed to. With promises of 10Mbps downloads and unlimited access to Netflix, it seemed like a perfect way to get the "high speeds" needed in the digital age and stay flexible.

If only it had worked out that way.

Mid-century modern style illustration of a man sending hearts from a mobile phone to a woman in a black dress

Affinity Designer: from iPad to Windows 2-in-1 laptop

May 12, 2021

Whenever I get new software or kit, I’ll play around with it for a week or two on a throwaway project. After a couple of years using Affinity Designer on an iPad Pro, I've moved over to a Windows 10 2-in-1 laptop with a Wacom Bamboo stylus. It's been an interesting few days.

They are quite different apps and used in different ways. Overall I've found the fully featured, laptop version far superior to the iPad one. For context, I used an 11 inch iPad Pro, and am using a Fujitsu Lifebook with a 13 inch, 1960 x 1080 resolution touch screen.

A woman holds her mobile phone while her friend looks at her screen. They are both laughing.

Mobile product pages in fashion retail: a review

April 19, 2021

There’s no doubt 2020 had a profound impact on online shopping. As stores and high streets closed, many shoppers flocked to the websites of their favourite fashion retailer. Overall sales were down, yet online’s volume and share increased.

It is inevitable online shopping won’t go away. More than a third of fashion retail is online, and some have reported over half their sales happen on a mobile phone. This picture of consumers using their phone to shop makes a mobile friendly website as important to a small fashion retailer as having a phone or a way to take payment by card.