Thursday, 12 August 2010

Design: Infographic on Infographics - Neville Brody vs David McCandless on Newsnight

This great infographic by Toby Bradbury from has encapsulated Monday (09 Aug 2010) Newsnight's much heated debate on infographics shown on BBC2. The show featured journalist and designer, David McCandless (who also blogs about infographics), and infamous graphic designer of our times, Neville Brody. Watch all the design fuss from Newsnight infographics debate, visit the BBC iPlayer here (segment starts from about 26 mins in).

General consent is that this debate is pointless (see Creative Review Blog), I think both are too extreme from the spectrum. I am a graphic designer and I love infographics, having said that. I both agree and disagree with Brody and McCandless. There's absolutely nothing wrong with McCandless' finding from India, the bus maps which in this case to simplify complicated bus routes for people (if they have access to these maps).

I agree with Brody that when something is too overly designed to the point of losing the message, that defeats the origin and purpose of Graphic Design/Visual Communication. After all, in my opinion (see click on "Manifesto"), Graphic Design is about marrying function and aesthetic, creating a system of design through thoughts, integrating design with technology, and utilizing technology to communicate. We are often too mesmerised by the new technology and let it overshadow the initial message we wanted to communicate, which is in the case with McCandless triangle diagram. Brody was right, it did not provoke any feelings. It was just "pretty" information presentation. McCandless might have presented his findings clearly but it wasn't communicating the "message".

I think Toby Bradbury has clearly mocked this Newsnight debate, read his tiny by line beneath the little colour cubes: "Just ignore this bit, it's just pretty colours. Everyone loves that s***. I can say that each colour represents a type of word. Would that be enough reason? Okay, that's it. In fact, no. The colours denote "trends" in the conversation, read by some system I'll never explain to anyone."

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Design & Gardening: Design Museum's Designs of the Year 2010 & Window Farms

I was at the Design Museum this past weekend for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2010 exhibition. This exhibition was worth a see, there are lots of inspiring ideas from architecture,  fashion, furniture, graphic, interactive, product and transport designs including this year's winner Min-Kyu Choi with his Folding Plug.

The museum was also showing Sustainable Futures that showcases the changing role of the designer and reveals how design can make a difference. There were a few good ideas but I didn't feel this exhibition was very comprehensive as it focused mostly on environmental design. The food/ecology section was interesting but wasn't ground breaking.

Recently, my very good friend Heather from Backyard Farms Toronto has send me this post from Design*Sponge and I thought New York's Window Farms was much smarter, accessible and easier to build one yourself. Window Farms are vertical hydroponic vegetable gardens growing from recycled materials (such as water bottles), clay pellets, and equipment that can easily be purchased inexpensively from any local hardware store. There are kits available from the Window Farms website but unfortunately not for sale internationally. Good news is there are tutorials on how to build one from scratch in their Community section of their website.

Last year, I've turned my bathroom into a greenhouse (unfortunately there was an aphids plague and killed all my plants). This year I've started a mini window still garden – basil, thyme, chilli, sage, lemon, parsley and tomatoes. I'm inspired and intrigued to build a Window Farm. It is a great alternative to curtains or to block that ugly view from your window and also grow your own fresh herbs and vegetables.

Monday, 9 August 2010

eFolio: Staying stylish with Elsie at

At last, my online portfolio is now ready. Please check out

I'm an experienced graphic designer based in London, UK looking for a permanent full-time position with a creative firm. I am an Associate of Ontario College of Art & Design with over 10 years industry experience in the UK and Canada, specialising in graphic design, branding, print, packaging, advertising and web design.

If you know anyone who may be interested or is looking for someone with passion for creative designs, please pass this along. I will be happy to send my CV and portfolio upon request.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Random: What Have I been Up to?

I've decided to start a new blog about beauty and nails – Lacquer Boudoir. As you already know, I'm a make-up junkie. So thought to have somewhere to share my finds and my little contribution to fashion. Lacquer Boudoir just celebrated Chanel Week – all post and nail art inspired by Chanel. Have a look, feedback are welcome!

Surprisingly,  this year Great Britain is blessed with hot and sunny weather. I even have a slight tan!! Now, that's a first! This year's gardening is more successful than last year's horrible pest plague that killed ALL my plants. Have basil, thyme, chilli peppers, lemon, sage, parsley and a tomato plant going. The blackberries in the garden should be ready any day now. 

I haven't been posting much about food recipes lately, in the next few days, I hope to post my superfood salad. Bye for now! x

Friday, 18 June 2010

Fashion: Kirk Originals Spring/Summer 2010

Hair: Tracey Cahoon @ clmuk.  Makeup: Sharma @ clmuk.
Styling & Art Direction: Georgina Hodson. Photographer: Dominic Cooper.
Casting & Production: Laura Kay. ©2010 Kirk Originals.

Had a fabulous photoshoot with Kirk Originals for their Spring/Summer Collection 2010 earlier in April. The studio was just off Hackney Road – a stone throw away from me. After choosing the frames and the wallpaper with Georgina and Dominic, Tracey cleaned up my fringe, iron straight my hair and Georgina put me in the new Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater from this season. Sharma decided to leave my skin sheer because Georgina and Sharma were loving my freckles (my nightmare!!) but to have dramatic eyes. Here is the final photo:

This is the look book for their Spring/Summer collection (I'M THE CENTREFOLD!!):

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Fashion: Hermès store photo shoot

Photos from the Hermes shoot:

Clothing: model's own. All accessories: Hermès. Hair & Makeup: model's own.
Stylist: Laura Kay. Photographer: Andrew Meredith. ©2010

It was a relative mild day in late February when we went for this photoshoot in Mayfair. I first arrived at Hermes headquarters, stylist Laura had a look at my outfit choices we went for the jumpsuit – one of my favourite outfits and best bargain. After styling in headquarters, we headed off to South Moulton Lane for the shoot. Whoa, these boots are 2 sizes bigger than my tiny 37, and they were so high but surprisingly comfortable to walk in. It was slightly overcast at times. We reckon we got the "one" 10 minutes into the shoot but we played around some more ideas. It was a great experience and was lovely to work with Andrew and Laura again.

Store window photos (photos by me):

They went with the photo without the leather jacket, blown up to life size for the Hermès Sloane Street store window display. Yes, it is really life size!

Hermès, Sloane Street, London.

Hermès, Sloane Street, London.

If you happen to be around Knightsbridge, pop by and check out the window display of the Hermès store at 179 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9QP.

See other photo of me by Andrew Meredith from previous a Hermes shoot here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Nightlife: Orphanage Valentine Dance

Date: Saturday, 13th February, 2010
Event: Orphange Valentine Dance
Promoter: The Last Tuesday Society
Venue: Stone Horse Paper Cow (128-140 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4HX. 020 7377 9555) 

Who: Angela, Elsie, Hamish, Zara

Hamish and I were photographed by

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