Communist classics: celebrating the design of the Soviet Union

Posted on 12 December 2018 at 13:04 by Anthony Teasdale, editor, Umbrella magazine in Design

Few things tell the tale of a country better than its design. And that was as true in communist countries of the 1970s and ’80s as it was in the Space Invaders/Sergio Tacchini tracksuit/BMX paradise of the West. Admittedly, the evil capitalists did do some things better ... Read more


The Casio F-91W: the story of the world’s most popular watch

Posted on 29 June 2018 at 13:00 by Matthew Reynolds, creative director, Umbrella in Design

Some design classics get all the love. The Eames chair, Philippe Starck’s silver juicer, the Leica Rangefinder camera. Of course they’re all great, but how many of them do you actually own? Exactly. Step forward the Casio F-91W. Epitomising the phrase &... Read more


Govbins: discover the Instagram account about the UK’s wheelie bins

Posted on 19 April 2018 at 07:57 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Instagram can get pretty niche, but nothing can beat the #Govbins account, whose purpose is to record the designs of the UK's wheelie bins. Here, we talk to its founder, Harry Trimble about bin design, council crests and why Liverpool’s bins are purple. Hi Harry! How did ... Read more


Dark Side: the story of Hipgnosis, the kings of album cover design

Posted on 06 April 2018 at 07:43 by By Anthony Teasdale, Editor, Umbrella magazine in Design

It’s March 1, 1973. You’re walking from back from the record shop with a copy of Pink Floyd’s new album Dark Side Of The Moon in a plastic bag. After a little too long waiting at the bus stop – this is the ’70s after all – your double-... Read more


How Dieter Rams designed the modern world

Posted on 29 November 2017 at 14:28 by By Matt Reynolds, Creative Director, Umbrella magazine in Design

There are few modern designers as influential as Dieter Rams. Even if the name isn’t instantly familiar, you’ll be well-acquainted with the German's ‘less but better’ ethos, which influences everything from smartphones to Scandinavian flat-pack furniture. ... Read more


CB radio: celebrating the art of 'eyeball' cards

Posted on 01 September 2017 at 10:38 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Today, instant communication with anyone anywhere is just the swipe of smartphone screen away. But in the late ’70s and early ’80s it was a different story. Sure, you could ring someone up, but every telephone was attached to the wall. If you wanted to speak to a ... Read more


The surprisingly weird world of Wetherspoons' carpets

Posted on 19 May 2017 at 07:58 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

This article appears in Issue 16 of Umbrella Beauty can exist in the most unlikely of places – and your local JD Wetherspoon is no exception. Turns out the famously-affordable pub chain pays particular attention to its floor coverings. Far from simp... Read more


Seven things you’ll learn from Issue 16 of Umbrella

Posted on 24 March 2017 at 09:29 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

1) British Rail employed a design agency to transform its graphic identity 2) The North Face began in 1966 3) Every Wetherspoon pub has its own bespoke carpet 4) Underworld’s Karl Hyde nearly threw all his guitars away 5) Ben... Read more


Aaron Draplin: quotes from a modern design genius

Posted on 10 June 2016 at 09:46 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

This piece was originally in Umbrella Issue 14.Words: Elliott Lewis-George Owners of the Field Notes pocket books will already be acquainted with the design work of Aaron James Draplin, the larger-than-life graphic designer from the Midwest. Those unfamiliar wi... Read more


From (Greater) Manchester with love: Proper magazine and Pica-Post are back

Posted on 30 July 2015 at 20:35 by The north-west's most stylish mags have dropped – and they're both crackers in Design

The north-west has always been the creative hub of this country. While London, the city in which this magazine is published, attracts artists, comedians, musicians, writers, advertsers and marketeers, an unusual amount of these people originate in the southern bit of the north-west.: Liverpoo... Read more


The Island: Stephen Walter's hand-drawn map of London

Posted on 10 July 2015 at 10:05 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

This article appears in Issue 12 of Umbrella London is a city defined by its maps. From Braun and Hogenberg’s work of 1572 to Google’s very modern Maps, what unites them is that they become – in some part at least – obsolete the moment they’re published. ... Read more


Life behind the Berlin Wall: the art and design of East Germany

Posted on 14 November 2014 at 12:22 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

It’s 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. While we can be thankful we didn’t have to grow up with the STASI monitoring every visit we made to the chippy, there’s no doubt that the graphic design of East Germany (GDR) did produce some striking images. F... Read more


Cool posters for legendary gigs you didn't go to

Posted on 28 August 2014 at 21:24 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Brighton graphic designer Alex Borg AKA the Stereo Typist has a familiar problem. He's read about iconic gigs, you know the one's you simply had to be at, but sadly due to age and geographical diificulties, he's found himself unable to attend. We've all been there, or not, as ... Read more


The Brompton folding bike: gimmick or British design classic?

Posted on 23 May 2014 at 08:06 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

For commuters with little time and cramped apartments, one bike has become both an indispensable mode of transport and an icon of British design 

It seems fitting that one of the TV programmes of the last year featured prominently one of the defining objects of our time, too. The show ... Read more


The Autodromo Prototipo: a retro watch for modern times

Posted on 28 February 2014 at 10:36 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

There's no doubt that a watch – the right watch – can round a man's look off perfectly. Chaps over the age of 30 don't tend to wear jewellery (apart from a 'GPS' aka wedding ring), so your timepiece really has to be right. As lovers of Steve McQueen/Le Ma... Read more


Max Roberts: the master of the circular metro map

Posted on 14 February 2014 at 09:44 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

It's no secret that Umbrella loves everything about metro systems – especially the maps that document them. Psychologist and cartographer Max Roberts feels the same way, and uses his skills to improve the design of metro diagrams, arranging them in circular forms to ease legibility. Ove... Read more


"Histagrams": Historical miliestones as captured by Instagram

Posted on 29 November 2013 at 10:35 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Instagram is one of the things that really defines our age. More creative (and certainly more self indugent) than Facebook or Twitter, it feeds our need for constant diversion and affirmation. Imagine if historical figures had had the photo sharing network at their disposal — would they... Read more


The Paris Metro: visual puns make for great photographs

Posted on 01 November 2013 at 09:19 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

The Paris Metro may not have the oomph of its larger London counterpart, but we never fail to be wowed by its immaculate tiling, near-silent trains and art-nouveau entrances, particularly on the earliest stations. Photographer Janol Alpin obviously feels the same way, though his tribute to th... Read more


Umbrella Issue Nine Out Now

Posted on 01 September 2013 at 20:58 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

The new issue of Umbrella is out now. It includes a fantastic photo feature on the Abandoned Places of photographer, Henk van Rensbergen; a profile of Adidas' Handball Spezial trainers and a fascinating account of London at the birth of what would one day be called mod. Oh, and something that... Read more


Loake: new store, new collection

Posted on 15 August 2013 at 21:18 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Loake is a name synonymous with quality shoemaking, especially since its Royal brogue become one of the staples of skinhead fashion in the late 1960s. In the past, the company has let other outlets sell its products, but the opening of a second shop, this time in the City of London, shows that it... Read more


A new map for Merseyside? The Liverpool subway in beautiful, circular form

Posted on 02 August 2013 at 08:28 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

In the next issue of Umbrella (out soon) we've got an interview with Max Roberts, metro map obsessive and the designer circular maps for the likes of the London, Paris and New York metros. After our chat, we talked about how underground railways combine all of Umbrella's passions: travel,... Read more


Redsigning Big Brands' Logos To Tell A Very Different Story

Posted on 25 July 2013 at 20:12 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

The world's biggest brands think a lot about their logos, tweaking them every few years in order to make them more relevant – as well as enabling advertising creatives to become more wealthy in the process. Parisian art collective Maentisis all too aware of this, as can ... Read more


Win Nicholas Deakins summer shoes

Posted on 27 June 2013 at 18:09 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

In the summer months, there's nothing better than a simple pair of pumps to give an outfit some seasonal class. It's the sort of not-trying-too-hard styling we like. Leeds shoemakers Nicholas Deakins obviously feel the same way, which is why its summer collection of canvas wheels suits us... Read more


Bremont watches: beating the Swiss at their own game

Posted on 20 June 2013 at 13:53 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

This is a guest post by Leo Parker (@LSWatchesUK) If you know anything about horology, you’ll be aware that the vast majority of the world’s leading watchmakers likeTAG Heuer, Breitling and IWCherald from Switzerland. However, once in a while, a brand comes along from ... Read more


Velo 2: celebrating bicycle design and culture

Posted on 07 June 2013 at 08:23 by Anthony Teasdale in Design

Cycling is an increasingly significant part of the transport experience in our cities, whether you're a rider or not. While we get a little tired of the red light-ignoring smugness so many of our co-riders display, we can't deny we're absolutely in love with both the actual concept of... Read more


Penguin’s Great Ideas series

Posted on 06 January 2013 at 20:05 by Matt in Design

A good idea costs nothing. Well, in the case of Penguin’s Great Ideas series, each one will set you back £4.99, but as an intellectual investment, these beautifully presented works of philosophy should put you well into the black. Over the last five years, Penguin has p... Read more

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