6 September 2023
“Usually, we shrink images to fit on a postage stamp. In this case, we have enlarged the images to postage-stamp size—that doesn’t happen often,” said Luke Grossmann, senior vice president of finance and strategy for the Postal Service.
These stamps are gorgeous! But they are not works of art per se; they were created for science. But by incorporating aesthetic appeal into the ways they present their research, the scientists behind these stamps have created images equally suited for a gallery wall as for a scientific journal.
The images taken of parts of the natural world that is so small that we cannot perceive it with our eyes alone. Microscopes and specialised photographic techniques are used to capture details of red blood cells, the feather of a macaw, a knotted strand of human hair, moss leaves, diatom shells, freshwater protozoans, an acorn barnacle, a moth’s antenna, the front foot of a diving beetle, neurons from a mouse’s brain, bone tissue from a starling, scales on the wing of a Madagascan sunset moth, a juvenile zebrafish, mushroom gills, the tongue of a freshwater snail, a blue button (similar to a jellyfish), mould spores, the legs of a barnacle, flame lily pollen, and the surface of a southern live oak leaf.
These "The Life Magnified" stamps are issued in panes of 20. Learn more at the USPS site.
I’ve managed to find them on eBay where the seller can ship to the UK for a reasonable price, though I must wait a month to receive them here in London!
Posted in: science
14 June 2023
Exciting news that our client and friend, Brigitte Reiffenstuel won the prize for Best Costume Design of a Play for Leopoldstadt at the Tony Awards this week. It is an amazing production and her prize is so well deserved! ✨ ✨ ✨Posted in: awards
9 June 2023
Wilton's is a very special and unique Grade II listed building here in East London. It is one of the few surviving music halls left in the world, with many beautiful original features—anyone who has been there will speak of its atmosphere. It is incredible that after 160 years, this music hall has somehow managed to survive.
In 1877, a fire ripped through the grand hall. In the 1960’s it was scheduled for demolition by the London City Council (LCC). It took four decades hard work and campaigning, but the building was ultimately saved. Today, it is a grand performance venue once again!
MOTHandRUST designed and built the Wilton’s Music Hall site about nine years ago now. Wilton’s is still very happy with it—which has proven great value for the non-profit. Here at MOTHandRUST we are proud that many of our robust sites have served a longer lifespan than average and that we have long-term relationships with many of our clients. However, one must remember that no matter how much you love your site, a redesign will be needed at some point.
I’ll be leaving work shortly to see Sasha Regan’s all-male the Mikado at Wilton’s, with a drink and pizza there beforehand. Really recommended to anyone here in London.
Posted in: MandR work
12 April 2023
Sometimes, when so much energy is focused on the event, it can be easy to forget events are a great opportunity to showcase your organisation as well.
MOTHandRUST find these three questions are useful to ask of any event design project:
What event design work do you need exactly?
Of course this seems obvious. However, we are often surprised at how often this is not as thought through well as it could be! Consider all the places the event visuals may exist at the beginning of the project when everyone is still fresh: site, emails, signage, name tags, podium, social, registration page, program, invitations, PowerPoint presentations, to name a few. Of course, it is often not possible to know exactly what will be required and things change. However, your future-self will be thankful that a comprehensive—and editable—list was at least made.
Are your designs flexible?
Event visuals need to extend across a variety of media while still being having a consistent look-and-feel. It must also exist in many shapes and sizes. A flexible format is one that can be scaled up to a large size or down to a small size. A design that works well on an invitation may not always work well across the event as a whole, particularly if it relies on imagery that can not be increased in size or seen properly from a distance.
Are your designs on-brand?
Some think their event must strictly follow their branding—no exceptions. Others think their branding is not necessary at all. We usually suggest the answer lies somewhere in between. You are showcasing your organisation, and as such its brand should be easily recognisable. However, if you follow the brand very strictly, there is a risk that all events will end up looking the same. Some flexibility is often necessary. Use the brand as a base and expand it out, with the help of a designer or your design team.
The photo above is a recent event designed for the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research.
Photo credit: Erik Jacobs, Anthem Multimedia
5 April 2023
Isn't it disappointing when you've got a really great project, but those you share it with don't seem to think it's that great? Isn't it even more disappointing to discover that they don't think it's that great because you didn't communicate it very well?
What is the point of calling out the key part of your project—if no one will take the time to read it all in order to understand it? This key part may as well not exist, right?
Have you thought about the people you are sharing your project with? What are the top three things they are looking for? Are you giving this to them? How long will they realistically need to read through everything?
These are some questions I bring up in a portfolio workshop I've been teaching to architecture students at Central St Martin's here in London for a few years now. It's popular and I really enjoy it! I would like to open this up to other universities in London, so if anyone out there is interested, please contact me to discuss.
Design students all have the software and skills to put together a portfolio of their work. However, because they haven’t studied graphic design, they often don’t know how to communicate what they need to in a really effective way. And if they are not showing their work in its best light, they may not be getting that job. Or they may not be selling that idea to a client.
Posted in: MandR news