Saltwater, sushi and broken necks (or, seven steps to a stellar fishing trip)

05.09.18

The O Street way—besides ‘tea at 3’ and ‘put that scalpel down before you hurt yourself’—can perhaps best be summarised by our insistency on piling into a fishing boat to slay a handful of helpless Scottish mackerel every year. This year’s fishing trip on Loch Fyne was a belter. Here’s seven steps to a successful fishing trip.

Step one is piling into your Soviet tank. Don’t forget to gas it up.

Step two is the reel work. Get on the water and bring in some fish.

Step three is soaking in some landscapes—when you’re right in the middle of the best Scotland has to offer, you’ll want to look around. This year we saw castles, rugged hills, and the seaside abode where George Orwell wrote 1984.

Step four is getting your hands dirty by cleaning your fish. If you want that tasty meat, you’ve got to break some necks and rip out some guts. Is it worth it? Yeah. That’s the circle of sushi life.

Step five is remembering that you’re really dang cute and smiling for the camera.

Step six is finding adventure in everything you do (and seeing who can strike the best Lord of the Rings pose). We’re only here for a short while. Try to enjoy it.

Step seven? Drink too much saki and flail your way through Flaming Lips covers (accordion required).

See ya next year, fish.

NTS all engines go

17.03.17

ostreet-nts-blog3

credit: Hoskins Architects

O Street was invited down to the new digs of one of our favourite collaborators, National Theatre of Scotland . We loved the company (although stiff gin pours and BrewDog beers didn’t hurt). The building, designed by Hoskins Architects, embodies the NTS brand of being a ‘Theatre Without Walls’. It was a thrill to see this new engine of Scottish theatre at work.

ostreet-nts-blog4

credit: Hoskins Architects

ostreet-nts-blog5

We started in the bar, er, playroom, for some banter, and quickly moved on to explore the building.

The new NTS rehearsal room is one of the biggest in Scotland, and inspires cartwheels and bellowing vocals upon entry.

ostreet-nts-blog2

credit: Hoskins Architects

ostreet-nts-blog

It was all eyes on the stunning costume department, which no longer operates from a small room and a parking lot.

IMG_8667 IMG_8672

It was particularly exciting to get the low-down on how technicians set the mood and ‘paint’ with light.

IMG_8675

The props department was much more exciting than this, but leave it to a graphic designer to only take a photo of old oven dials.

IMG_8673

O Street was reunited with a leftover from our NTS collaboration Granite—always nice to see an old friend.

All told, NTS Rockvilla is a stunning display of creativity and production. Get down and see for yourself.

Kenema — Portrait of a School

13.03.17

Our long time pal and talented photographer Pete Dibdin recently held an exhibition down in London in aid of Swawou School Foundation.

ostreet-kenema-9-v2

The foundation supports Swawou Layout Community Primary School for Girls and is based in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Set up in 2009 the foundation offers a free primary education to girls from disadvantaged homes. Pete has spent the last two years visiting Kenema and working on the project, documenting the community involved in the build in a series of truly arresting portraits.

The sitters include a wide variety of characters from the community in Kenema; from hands-on-hips students striking a pose to sweaty construction workers, shovels in hand.

The school has made a huge difference to the community and we were delighted to help Pete create fundraising items for the exhibition. We took a selection of his lovely prints and created sets of postcards available for sale on the evening of the event—miniature versions of the large-scale, limited edition work that was displayed on the walls.

The exhibition itself was a huge success, with three cases of red wine and two cases of white wine consumed and twelve boxes of mince pies mysteriously missing.

ostreet-kenema-g9

More importantly than the alcohol consumption was the result of 9 large prints being sold, alongside 1 A2 print, 5 A4 prints and many a postcard sold, priced at £12 each. This means a fantastic total of £7,855 has been raised, which will go directly to the running of the school.

ostreet-kenema-1-3-v2

You can get involved with the foundation by clicking here, where you can contribute towards sponsoring education for the young girls of Sierra Leone.

A massive thanks also goes to everyone at Law Business Research for sponsoring the school, the exhibition and providing a venue to showcase Pete’s work. The prints will remain up at Law Business Research to celebrate their continuous funding of the school.

– Tessa

Advertising Wasteland — photography by Adam Frint

04.01.17

Chicago-based photographer and designer Adam Frint has an amazing eye for geometry in urban spaces. We’re particularly drawn to his photographs of empty billboards; a not-so-subtle visual allegory for our times.

7_11_Chicago_North+Ave+Near+Central_White+Square+&+Shadow_Neg_4_edit6_10_Chicago_IL_Grand+&+North+Ave_Billboard+Series_Neg_3_edit2_12_Chicago_IL_Elston+&+Chicago_White+Double+Billboard_Neg_3_edit

We asked Adam about his series. “For me, these images represent a moment in time that have now become an ongoing obsession. In Chicago, like most big cities, billboards have always been a big part of visual “white noise”. And as a designer, I have also contributed to that white noise throughout my career.

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, I saw more of these blank billboards appear overnight, changing up the morning commute; bold geometric shapes captured my attention. Stark white, black and sometimes grey voids beautifully contrasted the busy, ornate and sometimes dirty facades or sides of buildings. I noticed the correlation between less advertising spending at work, and through conversations with friends in the advertising industry.

As a photographer, I was compelled to explore the Chicagoland area and venture further out into different neighborhoods. The Billboard Series started in 2008 and grew between 2009–2010 when advertising budgets started to fall. Only time will tell how the series will evolve as social media and digital advertising change the way companies advertise.”

5_12_Chicago_IL_Webster+Place_Vacant+Billboard_R1_Neg_1_edit 5_10_Chicago_IL_Grand+Halsted+&+Milwaukee_Billboard+Series_Neg_1_edit

If you ask us, white rectangles beat out ugly ads for dogfood and toothpaste. See the full project here.

Go Fish

26.08.16

O Street’s annual fishing trip has yet again been pulled off without any human casualties. Please enjoy this visual report from the weekend.

ofishin2 ofishin15 ofishin3

The location was lovely Loch Fyne.

ofishin12 ofishin19 ofishin16

Avengers assemble!

ofishin8 ofishin14 ofishin5

Tessa leaves a bucket of bodies in her wake.

ofishin13 ofishin17 ofishin18

We even made pals with a gaggle of water dogs.

ofishin10 ofishin6 ofishin7

Ashore, the weather was lovely.

ofishin1 ofishin9 ofishin11

There were curiosities to be found. As well as hangovers.

All-in-all it was a wonderful weekend of food, drink, games and good old-fashioned camaraderie. Until next year!

Taking Stock: Paper, Book Design and a Place Called Kenema

06.07.16

Choosing the right paper for a print project can be tricky. The tactile nature of paper conveys tone, quality and character before a single word is read, and especially applies to designing a book (which we happen to be doing).

O Street Kenema

As you may have seen flying around our various social media channels, we are currently working on a stunning portrait photography book by British photographer Peter Dibdin. He has been working to capture community life in Kenema, Sierra Leone. This book will seek to capture the powerful photographs taken by Pete during his visit to the newly built girls school, run by Swawou School Foundation.

O Street Kenema

To represent Pete’s journey and experiences of this vibrant culture, we have worked with him to develop a design that allows the photography to do the talking. We chose a minimal colour palette inspired by the earthy brick used in the development project itself. Handwritten text—Pete lent his own hand—is used to note the subjects of each portrait. Alongside these design choices sits the ever important selection of paper stocks and finishes.

O Street Kenema

In some ways, its a designer’s dream to be sitting surrounded by piles of paper samples, stacks of photography books and heaps of beautiful inspiring pieces of print. In other ways it presents a challenging process. With Kenema, we want to bring the warmth of the people into the tactile aspect of this book as much as possible—think ivory, cotton rich, textured pages. On the other hand, we need to allow the photography to sit on crisp clean white spreads to really express the colours and lighting by Pete.

O street Kenema

All in all, this has lead me on what can only be described as a paper trail *ahem* to end all paper trails. I’ve gone from Mohawk and Crane’s Crest to Tatami and Woodstock; from Shiro and Biancoflash to Conqueror CX22 and recycled Keay Kolour. In a very short space of time I’ve gone from a samples novice to the new studio paper guru…okay, not quite. But if Ed is Yoda then I’m definitely Luke. And in this analogy our huge studio bookcase is Dagobah. I’m getting side-tracked. Either way, I’m feeling a lot more knowledgable and excited for how this lovely piece of print will turn out. And that’s not even taking into account all the foiling, finishing and bindings I’ve got in mind…

If you would like to get your hands on your very own copy of the Kenema Book then simply follow this link and pledge some money to help us produce this stunning photography book. If you can’t pledge all that much, even a small amount would be appreciated to support its production and make it possible. Once published, all profits from the book will be going to the Swawou School for Girls to help them carry on the amazing work they do.

We’re super proud to be part of such a great project and we hope you’ll join us to continue the story.