Wow, this thing looks set to be massive – Square is this tiny little dongle that fits into any device with an audio input jack, and turns your iPod (for example) into a credit card money taking machine. They are giving out the dongles for free, there’s no transaction charges, only a $1 fee to install the application on your device! It’s the brainchild of Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, currently in beta and will roll out to everyone next year.

Where’s the Catch? Well I’m not sure if you can use you Visa or Mastercard on it, you might need to get a some sort of Square credit, debit or pre-paid card, suppose they’ve got to make there money somewhere? Sorry got the wrong end of the stick, just noticed the image above has a Mastercard logo in it… These days when everyone hates bankers and loves Twitter, I think there could be a lot of people happy to make the switch.

What I like about it, well as a freelancer who once a year has to try and find some receipts to offset against my tax, this is a dream come true, everything stored digitally online where I can’t lose it and I can access easily from anywhere. Also this is going to be a massive help to small independent businesses which is always going to be a good thing.

Via: Matthew Buchanan.


Kickstarter. A new way to fund ideas & endeavors.

While I’m on the subject of adventure film making, I’ve been meaning to blog about this site Kickstarter for a while now. It’s not about film making, but it is about raising money to do stuff.

I’ve seen this sort thing before, but the interesting angle about Kickstarter is you have to supply tiered ‘rewards’ for the people giving you cash. People get quite creative not only with their ideas they want to get off the ground, but also with these rewards that they give back. Brilliantly it’s working, check out and see how many projects have already been funded and how much money they’ve raised.

Problem is you need an invite to post a project and I don’t have one :( So if you have a spare invite to Kickstarter please sent it my way, Cheers for the invite Lisa Yao, you are a legend :) Ok so here’s my pitch:

Te Araroa Route map

I’m planning to walk 1900 miles across New Zealand from the Northern most point to the southern tip next year, the trail is called Te Araroa and it officially opens next year. Problem is I’m spending too much time these days planning/mapping, rather than earning money for it.. So the concept of Kickstarter instantly appealed to me :) But I think my work could be worth while rewards for would be pledgers.

Pledge $5 or more and you’ll be able to download all the route maps I’ve been making and use them for your own hike.

Pledge $25 or more and I’ll mail you the finished DVD once we return and edit it. Here’s an example of last years video of my hike across America. Plus all the maps on a separate disc, and hey shit I’ll stick your name in the credits!

Pledge $50 or more you’ll get all the above plus beautifully screen printed A2 poster of the route, maybe some sort of date planner thing like this.

Pledge $100 or more and I’ll leave your name (obviously nothing permanent) along the route somewhere, write it out in rocks, draw it in sand on a beach, piss into snow, chips on my plate, whatever! Promise to do something interesting and send you the hi-res photo.

Pledge $1000 or more Ha ha, this is the big one and it was Nicky’s idea so unsurprisingly involves me making an arse of myself.. but It could be pretty funny so – donate $1000 or more then at the end of each month you decide what I have to do with my facial hair.. It’s a bit of a tradition that you grow your beard on a long walk, but I’m giving you the chance to style it for me – Big Lamb chop side burns, down to the moustache, shave half off vertically… (Only six available, 1 each month).



Finally I got my Typekit invite yesterday :) It’s ridiculous really when you think about how long the web has built on only a handfull of fonts.. well no longer!

All the major browsers are now starting to support this embeded font thing if you provide a URL in your CSS to the font file, great news. Problem is there’s not that many fonts that you can ‘legally’ use in this way. That’s where Typekit comes in, it’s essentially web only font licencing service, with some clever stuff behind the scenes that smoothes out differences in how browsers handle type.

You can sign up and use the free fonts (for free), or drop a bit of cash (up to $50 a year subscription) to get access to hundreds more.

“For designers and developers, this is a significant step forward. No longer will you need to trap your content in images or Flash just to express yourself visually. Pages will be more usable, accessible, and indexable.”

Buendia by César Puertas

I’ve been having a little play around with it, and am currently using Buendia by César Puertas for the titles. I think it might be time for a full re-design soon though.

Christmas Vital Stats 2009

Christmas Vital Stats 2009

For the past few years I’ve making these ‘fill out your Vital Stats, hand it over to your partner’ Christmas cheat sheets. My attempt to solve the age old problem of buying clothes for your better half at Christmas time. It’s generally been my most popular post of the year, for the simple reason I suppose, we need them!

So basically you fill out one and give it to your partner (or whoever you’re expecting a present off), or get them to fill out one for you so you don’t blow a surprise by asking for a particular.

Here are the printable forms:

Surprise surprise each year the girls form is downloaded much than the boys, this is the sort of thing girls just remember, us blokes need a handy reminder I suppose ;)

Daily Drop Cap

Daily Drop Cap - Jessica Hische

Great new pet project Daily Drop Cap, from illustrator/typographer Jessica Hische. Each day she’s uploading a new one, best of all they’re free to use on your own blog and come supplied with the code to paste into your post. Looking forward to getting the whole set.

The problem is you have to write a fair bit of text so that the word wrapping doesn’t look too weird.

More awesome wedding invites

More awesome wedding invites

Stumbled onto Studio On Fire’s blog Beast Pieces. Plenty of gorgeous letterpress work, but particularly taken by the collection of wedding invites they’ve printed. Loving the ligatures on the invite above by (the groom) Jefferson Perky.

It’s interesting that they print a whole set of cards, invites, RSVP’s, thankyou cards etc all in one go – “One of the things that we do to make printing them affordable is run all of the pieces on the same press sheet. Our presses are big enough to run several different cards on the same press sheet, then trim them down to size. This represents a huge cost savings over printing individual cards, setting up the press for each form on each card”.

Lovemix Boombox:

Lovemix Boombox

Great old school boombox with the love dial set to max, designed by Adam Ramerth. This design is even available for customisation if you’re interested.

Lovely set:

Wedding invite

Loving all the colour combos and mix of paper stock & printing techniques. Great all together set with nice envelope labels, perforated RSVP’s and even tiny little envelope to send it back in. Designed by Erin Jang.

I love New Zealand

Mt. Cook Map

Haven’t actually been there, but I am planning to go next year, only fair since they’ve named a mountain after me ;). Linz (Land Information New Zealand) just released a new series of 1:50k today, so I headed over expecting it part with a fair amount of cash to buy all the maps I needed to walk the 1800 mile Te Araroa. Much to my delight you can download them all for free!

Good work New Zealand, I only wish more countries would make their maps available for free :)

Invoice Template


I made a new invoice template today, my Dad told me I should be putting invoice numbers on them.. so it needed updating. Anyhow if you google invoice template you get a load of garbage, thought I’d upload mine, might be of use to someone.

Basically it’s a Photoshop file, which you can download here. All the coloured shapes are just masked off flat colours so it should be pretty simple to change the colour scheme, stick a you’re own logo in etc. All the text is editable, although if you don’t want to change the fonts, you’ll need Knockout, Phaeton & Numbers Indicia.

I’ve changed a few things on my own invoice over the last few years so I thought I would update this template as it still seems to receive quite a bit of traffic. Now includes net total, a larger area for name’s and address, various other tweaks.