Archive for the 'Something I did' Category

This blog is moving!

Hello there loyal readers, and confused googlers, it’s been a while coming but I’m pleased/saddened/angry (please delete as appropriate) to announce that I will no longer be adding fresh nonsense to this blog.

I’ve finally got round to (sort of) updating my personal site and from now on I’ll be posting my ramblings over on alanofford.co.uk. Please update/delete your bookmarks as appropriate.

I’ll be leaving this blog here, for the time being at least, just so you can relive some of it’s memorable highlights.

First up my all-time, most read blog-post (which I guess would be people accidentally finding it on search engines), New Banksy spotted in Norwich.

There was the post I wrote in response to InternAware’s campaign, The design industry’s secret shame.

I’m particularly proud of my chronicling of my whirlwind tour of India and Nepal, and this post especially: Beggars and Snake Charmers.

And who could forget my in-depth analysis of political party campaign flyers in the run-up to the 2009 European elections?

I could go on, but it’s far more fun for you (and less work for me) to flick through the many, many high-quality posts. See you on my new site!

Spring round-up

(image by pirate057 on flickr licensed under Creative Commons Attribution)

With the ancient British ceremony of the forgetting-to-turn-the-clocks-back properly observed and Spring almost upon us, which will presumably herald a change in the weather from dark and miserable to just plain miserable, it’s time for a quick catch-up on what I’ve been up to over the past month or so.

I attended my first wedding of the year, which also happened to be the first wedding of friends of mine from university (congratulations Chloe and Mike), a joyful and also slightly terrifying occasion as it represents another milestone along the bumpy road towards becoming an adult. Of course it was a fantastic booze-up with much dancing and posh nibbles. I do love a good wedding. I’ve also been back on the internet getting addicted to another game from those talented Aussies at Iron Helmet, Blight of the Immortals, a considerably more friendly and less all consuming experience than the equally excellent Neptune’s Pride. I’ve also been pondering on the internet and notions of privacy and openness, but more on that in another blogpost.

Away from the computer screen I’ve been getting my hands all inky doing some screen-printing for an up-coming exhibition at the Stew Gallery, scratching an itch to do some more pure typography, but you’ll have to wait to see the finished piece when it’s exhibited next month. Finally I pottered along to the brilliantly eccentric and eclectic Shop Art Live, a celebration that culminates a month or so of art works being put up in empty shop windows around Norwich city centre. The exhibition included a man discussing a robot he built to play the part of Juliet in a play without actors, children’s face painting, and a paper machee tunnel which you had to crawl through, made by Guy Jarrett and Liam Clark.

Well, dear reader, what have you been up to?

They should call it Neptune’s Time Sink

If you have the misfortune to follow me on one of the social media outlets I frequent you may have been wondering why I’ve been so quiet of late. I can almost imagine you sitting there at your computer scratching your head, pondering why I haven’t replied to your poke, @reply or email. Possibly you haven’t noticed my absence. No matter, because I’ve been very unproductively engaged in a spot of inter-galactic warfare courtesy of Neptune’s Pride, a free online 4X strategy game (whatever that means) which one blogger called “the most dangerous game ever made”

He’s not far wrong. I’ve dabbled in online games before, you might remember my foray into Urban Dead, but generally I resist these kind of games as I’ve always found them exciting at first but ultimately unrewarding and unable to satisfy my goldfish like attention span. Neptune’s Pride is different because it’s continuous and very, very ponderous. Sending a fleet of spaceships to another planet takes hours, even days and it happens in real time so there’s a limited amount you can do at any one time, then you have to wait for things to very slowly happen.

The real intrigue and interest in the game comes through the chat and messaging systems where you can talk to the other players, and use to plot and scheme against each other. I like to think I’m normally a nice person (doesn’t everybody though?) but whilst playing Neptune’s Pride I had an uncontrollable urge to stab the only other player who was decent to me in the back as soon as I was able. And it felt great. The simplicity of the graphics coupled with some gorgeous avatar illustrations all add to the incredibly immersive experience.

(Artwork copyright of Iron Helmet, I only put it here because they are so lovely)

I’ve only completed two games so far and I’ve decided to stop, for a while at least. It’s the kind of game that gets into your head, I feel a compulsive need to check back on it every couple of hours, just in case the purple player has broken our truce. It consumes far too much of my mental energy and gives my girlfriend way too much ammunition for taking the piss out of me.

Oh hang about, I see the developers of Neptune’s Pride, Iron Helmet, have got another online strategy game you can play called Blight of the Immortals. Maybe I’ll just start one little game to see what it’s all about…

Making Christmas (cards)

When it comes to design the computer is an unrivaled tool but staring at a screen all day, even doing something as creative as designing takes it’s tole so it’s always fantastic to take a break from it and get my hands dirty with some traditional mark-making techniques. That’s right dear reader, I’ve been screen-printing my own Christmas cards.
Continue reading ‘Making Christmas (cards)’

Screenprinting with my own hands!

You might remember last week I was getting very excited about discovering a place to do a bit of screenprinting, and the other night I was able to get my fingers all inky. The results can be seen on my Flickr stream, far from perfect, but really good fun to get away from the computer and get creatively dirty, so to speak.
Continue reading ‘Screenprinting with my own hands!’

Something’s cooking at the Stew Print Rooms

I’ve just got in from the first of a two night screen-printing refresher course at the new Stew Print Rooms just a few streets away in the centre of Norwich. I say new, the Stew has been a gallery space for a while now (since 2008), but more than that it’s a co-operative not-for-profit organization, and the print rooms is their latest endeavor. Two artist-types, Jo and Nicki, are now running an open-access print studio, you just need to become a member. I’m pretty flipping excited about the opportunities for getting my hands dirty again, for the first time in ages. Next week there’s the opportunity to print my own designs so watch out for a bit of inky goodness coming this way soon!

Cider and culture in Bristol

Last weekend I journeyed across the breadth of England to the city of Bristol, partly to sample some fine West Country cider, but mostly to see my friend Jasmine perform her first solo piece Five Fat Fish as part of the Mayfest arts festival. It also gave me the chance to verify my claim that Norwich will be “the new Bristol”. I’m man enough to admit when I’m tragically mistaken; Norwich has a way to go to reach the level of Bristol’s ‘awesomeness’. There is no other word for it.
Continue reading ‘Cider and culture in Bristol’