Design inspiration from Fjord London

Fjord Family

We have design inspiration meetings in London, everyone has 30 seconds to present something that is fascinating or inspiring or simply made him think or smile. It’s fast paced, non stop and really energising.

We’d like to start sharing the content. What do you think of this round? Post your inspiration here too!

Museums and exhibtions

Abbie highly recommends the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Tate Modern which just opened last weekend. Kusama is one of the most successful living Japanese artists, famous for the polka dots and repetitive patterns she uses in her paintings, collages and installations.

Find an example of her artwork on the current tube map cover.

James visited the Kinetica Art Fair that is dedicated to kinetic, electronic and new media art and brings together galleries, art organisations and curational groups from all over the world.

In the Sir John Soane Museum Louise spotted a clever way to prevent visitors from sitting on the exhibited seating furniture, using thistles! She especially liked the way natural material is used as a design object. It’s also much better than a boring “Please don’t sit here” sign, but something which naturally evokes the feeling of something uncomfortable in – we don’t want to sit there.

Websites and Apps

Stocktown is a video magazine dedicated to world wide street culture. Besides being visually appealing through a simple grid layout with a lot of imagery, the page has some nice features. These include an option where you can filter the content by different countries, areas of street cultures and curators. Found by Malin.

Chris just discovered Scoutzie, a page that describes itself as a “curated community for the best mobile designers in the world”.

Sam has recently been using Wunderlist, a helpful task managing tool that works on most devices. Because it is translated into English, it comes up with a message when deleting a task that makes you apologize to the app for deleting something…

Well-designed and innovative apps that make something more out of a boring topic are a lot more fun to use. See two examples below:

Ben the Bodyguard helps you protecting your passwords, notes and contacts. It builds up a whole story about the issue of security and looks like a spy game. Found by Luke.

The website makes great use of scrolling and animations, definitely worth a look.

While normal weather apps display weather with temperature and plain symbols, Swackett shows you your current local conditions as well as the forecast with cartoons of people wearing suitable clothing for each condition and even comes along with some fun facts about weather.

Swackett. Found by Charlotte.


Santtu Mustonen creates vibrant illustrations and animations which mix analogue techniques with Photoshop and 3D programmes. Possibly inspired by him, similarly colourful patterns can be found on the new Topshop SS12 collection by Greek designer Mary Katrantzou. Found by Kostja.

The interesting fact about Euan Uglow’s work is that it takes him years to complete each of his pieces due to a special measuring process. Using a device he created himself, he measured his subjects over and over again until he was able to recreate them exactly how the eyes sees. He did not attempt to hide the process of construction which results in an image full of measuring marks, making the final piece even more authentic. Presented by Steve. 

Books and Games

Rob recently read Simon Garfield’s “Just my Type”, a book of stories about fonts. It explores the history of fonts, the people who brought them into being and our attitudes towards the fonts we use every day.

Again something about type: Dan presented this nice card deck called Type Trumps. The idea is to compare the attributes like legibility, cost of ownership and even special powers of various famous fonts. Each card is written and styled in the relevant type, making it visually very appealing.

In order to refresh her drawing skills, Damaris started doing exercises in the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. It is all about drawing WHAT you see – Not what you think you see. One of the main techniques is drawing things upside down which prevents you from recognizing the object your drawing and stops your left side of the brain to tell you how the object SHOULD look like.


Dom found a picture of a colourful subway station in Munich. Picture found on:

It’s amazing how colours can change the way we feel about our environment.

Noemi wanted to show with this poster she found on Designforfun.

“There is a point in every project where you have to be realistic about what you need to achieve in the time you have.”

How electricity powers well-being: This diagram found by John in the Happiness Issue of the Harvard Business Review plots electricity consumption against the Human Development Index and reveals an interesting fact: Just a little bit of electricity makes a huge difference!

Just a little bit of electricity makes a huge difference!

Helen found great way to keep herself warm during the cold season by making her own scarf. With a pattern downloaded from ravelry, knit and crochet community, you can make an individual fashion accessory yourself.

Blog post written by Charlotte Anlauff who is an intern for Fjord at the moment.

Fjord Family

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