The little boy / girl who lost their name

lostmyname2

Some friends of mine have been busy making a Kids book, The Little Boy / Girl Who Lost Their Name is personalised print on demand storybook based on your child’s name. I gave them a little bit of help on the recent site update, now you can preview your custom book before you buy. Just head over, add a name, select whether it’s for a boy or girl and flick through your book!

Christmas Desktop

It’s been many-a-month since I last posted a desktop, so just in time for Christmas I’ve drawn this reindeer to bring your screen some extra festive feeling :) It’s actually re-purposed from the site I’m currently working on, hopefully should launch in the new year, will be good to get some fresh work up on the internets after my long sabbatical.

Download the dimensions that suits you: 2560×1440, 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1280×800.

For those interested in such things, the Phyllotactic Spiral used in the background was created with a Scriptographer script, their Illustrator plugin is my new favourite thing. And their Paper.js HTML 5 vector graphics scripting examples are blowing my mind.

Te Araroa Trail Maps

Te Araroa Trail Maps

May not be of much interest to most, but if you’re planning on doing the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, or just fancy having a closer look at what me and Nicky are going to be doing for the next 6 months, then here’s all the maps (268.4MB).

I can’t guarantee the route I’ve drawn on is accurate, the route itself is constantly changing, but also expect a fair amount of human error! If you use these maps follow your judgement and common sense, over the orange line. I didn’t get around to making all the map notes I’d of liked too.. but I’ve run out of time now and need to get on with other stuff. My plan is to check for the latest route descriptions and read people’s journals to find out info about the next section as we go and then doodle these notes onto my printed out maps. I’ve left a space on every page to be used for this purpose.

Info about the maps:

  • I made them A4 size for printing (ink-jet or laser)
  • They are all .gif format (small file size, no artifacting)
  • The route drawn on has little white dots every mile (can’t get my head round distances in KMs)
  • There’s 103 maps in total, so you’ll need 52 pieces of paper to print them all out (both sides)
  • Split into North Island and South Island folders, all numbered consecutively from north to south
  • I’ve also done a total of 57 sheets of alternate routes, more on that later..

I always enjoy the pre-walk planning and mapping stage, although I’ve never bitten off anything even remotely as complex or long as this before (CDT maps were already done by Jonathan Ley). Got to say a big thank you to Land Information New Zealand who made all the 1:50,000 scale topographic maps and hats off to you for making them all freely downloadable :) The Te Araroa Trust for building the trail in the first place and providing all the route descriptions on their site. And most importantly to Geoff Chapple who founded the trust 16 years ago and who has been spearheading it’s development ever since.

When you’re following a pre-defined route, there’s always the temptation to work out a few variations that suit you’re own preference of terrain etc. While mapping the trail I managed to rack up more than I was expecting, 57 maps worth in total! I’ve got no idea how many, if any of these we’ll do, those sort of decisions usually make themselves at the time. But if you’re interested, these can be downloaded too (164.9MB).

Word of warning though – I’ve never been to New Zealand, so have absolutely no personal experience whether these are any good or not. I think they are all probably longer and more difficult than the official route.. But they do follow the same numbering as the official route maps (just with a ‘b’ after the number) so you can see where they fit into the trail.

If anyone other than me & Nicky end up using the maps, let me know how you get on!

Olympic mascots become self-ware and go on a killing spree around London!

Wenlock - Olympic mascot

Ha ha, only kidding they do look like they were sent back from the future by Skynet though ;)

So finally the London 2012 Olympic Mascots by have been revealed. As you would expect from the 2012 committee, they are not really what we expected! Far from cute & cuddly they are cold & hard, more like a Henry Moore sculpture than a kids toy.

Designed by London agency iris, I read that they only cost “a few thousand pounds”, I think they probably cost a bit more than that! Probably just trying to play it down after the £400,000 logo fiasco.

Mandeville - Olympic mascot

I feel for it’s designer though, whatever you create you’re going to get people ripping the shit out of it (myself included, sorry..) It’s an impossible brief, design by committee jobs always are.. I actually like it quite a lot, everything from the neck down looks awesome, great proportions, clean lines, sweet as in my book. Problem is though, why oh why that eye Olympic Committee?

You can tell by the descriptions on iris’ design boards, that the eye was supposed to be a camera lens, but at some point they decided to stick a cartoon eye on there which looks totally at odds to the rest of the angular design. Pixar have already shown with characters like WALL•E, or even their original anglepoise lamp short, that with the limitations of something ‘less human’, you can get a lot more unique character out of it. Feels like it was almost good, but they fucked it up at the last hurdle..

I actually took part in the original pitch too!

My olympic mascot pitch

Only fair to put my own work up for comparison/criticism. My idea was unsurprisingly the sock monster route. Rather than selling preformed shiny toys to the kiddies, I wanted to make ‘kits’ which were essentially a pair of long sport socks with instructions of how to make your own mascot from scratch! Thought it would be nice thing to do in school as a crafty lesson, give them chance to be creative and add a bit personal flair to their own mascot. The agency I was working for poo poo’d it because it wasn’t ‘commercially viable’, said the committee would never go for it as they needed to pay for the Olympics through some mass-produced piece of Chinese plastic..

Me 4 You, Threadless submission

Me 4 You, Threadless T-Shirt submission, by Cookie

It’s been a while since I’ve done any bloggin I know.. My excuse? Well I’m in Amsterdam and computerless in the evenings, I need to get a laptop but don’t want to buy one until they bring out the new MacBooks..

Anyhow, I haven’t been completely idle, I’ve also been working on a wedding invite for my brother who is getting married later this year. Which among other things led to this new t-shirt submission for Threadless, if you’d like them to print it, please head over and vote » Sadly it didn’t make the grade, voting has ended early..

My Kickstarter project is live!

Film about walking 1800 miles across New Zealand

It constantly amazes me how far reaching my blog is, merely hours after asking if anyone had a Kickstarter invite on the blog, Lisa Yao came through with one :) Then a couple of days later the founder & Art Director of Kickstarter Charles Adler, dropped me line saying “DO IT. I absolutely loved your CDT project”.

Well I’ve done it, my project – Film about walking 1800 miles across New Zealand has just launched. We’re trying to raise $5000 and to be honest it feels a bit weird/cheeky raising money for something that I’m clearly going to enjoy doing.. But there is a lot of effort going into what I’m offering as ‘rewards’ i.e. maps & finished DVD, so I’m trying to stay optimistically hopeful that other people will want to get involved.

It isn’t all cash in hand of course, the cost of producing all the rewards and mailing everything out is going to take out a huge chunk. But I’ve got a few fun things in there like drawing peoples names along the way and styling my beard which should be a bit more profitable :)

Ideally I’d like to raise an extra $3500 (you can go over your target) which would pay for a mountain guide to take me to the top of Mt. Cook/Aoraki. It’s definetly beyond what I have the experience to do on my own, but is the highest mountain in New Zealand, has the same name is me and would make a pretty spectacular addition to the film!

IN TRANSIT presents: 16mm

You don’t have to back my project, there’s plenty of other great one’s on there. I’m backing IN TRANSIT presents: 16mm, pictured above. A film by Jonathan Dueck, who’s been busy scratching & painting over old 16mm films. Also James Taylor who wants to make an ‘absurd game of logic’ – The Gentlemen of the South Sandwiche Islands.

Invites
If anyone wants one? I have five, none left sorry.

The letter K

The letter K

Keep calm, I’m not going to start ripping off Jessica Hische’s ever expanding and amazing Daily Drop Cap. This ‘K’ was a rejected logo concept which I was quite fond of, so I thought I’d make a one-off drop cap to give the poor fella some purpose in life.

If you’d like to use it, paste this code at the begining of your post (in HTML mode):

<img src=”http://www.made-in-england.org/images/K-cap.png” align=”left” alt=”K”/>

Tachetags

Tachetags

Movember + Twitter & Hashtags = Tachetags! This was the brainchild of a mate at Blast radius, who got me in as the ‘moustache expert’ to make it happen.

Basically the idea is you upload daily photos of your folical folly to twitter (using twitpic, yfrog or img.ly) and add #tachetag in the text. We’ll pull them all into tachetag.com where you and anyone else can see your progress and, if they like the look of your hirsute heroics, add a donation in your name.

There a few more features in the wings, like being able to post images directly on the site, personal pages with all your photos and hopefully an animated gif of it growing.

Tachetags Website

Weekly Desktop Part 45

Different moustache styles illustration

Well we’re 3 days into Movember, so here’s a summary of possible moustache styles in desktop picture format to inspire all those taking part this year. If this is the first you’ve heard of Movember then you should sign up and help change the face of men’s health.

The illustrations are actually taken from a fun Movember related site I’ve been working on, more details when it goes live… soon!

Here a close up of the Zorro tache:

Zorro moustache vector illustration