The Two Jonnys


AAI—Adopt An Intern / All About Incentives


Jonny N: Hello again, it’s nice to be with you, isn’t it Jonny?

Jonny J: Yes, it is, and in a packed programme tonight, we shall be talking to two graphic designers and asking ‘do your fonts really come from Monaco and Geneva?’

Jonny N: And ‘can the use of bad kerning ever be justified?’ So Jonny, you first came to see us almost a year ago, and I said to you ‘I really like the cut of your jib and I’d like to bring you in to work on a project with us.’

Jonny J: That’s right Jonny, but you were a bit rushed off your feet with one thing and another and because money is always tight in a small agency, you were unable to organise anything with me.

Jonny N: Indeed… and I also have a memory like a sieve.

Jonny J: Mmm–hmm, a bit rubbish, then?

Jonny N: Well… I, er…

Jonny J: So you must’ve been pleasantly surprised when the nice man from ‘Adopt An Intern’ got in touch to say that they would fund somebody for six weeks, giving you the chance to run the rule over them with a possible view to a full-time position?

Jonny N: I was delighted, Jonny, to say the very least. The signup and acceptance process was really straightforward and in the time it took to say ‘can’t you just turn him the other way round in Photoshop?’, we had everything done and dusted and you were in the studio, working on the old iMac next to the toilet!

Jonny J: (forces weak laugh) Ha-ha, yes. It was great…

Jonny N: Did you think it might lead to a full-time job or were you put off by the amount of foul language you heard in the studio.

Jonny J: No, I kinda hoped there would be an opening if I knuckled down and produced the goods, plus I wore earplugs most of the time, so the swearing wasn’t really an issue.

Jonny N: Ah, I couldn’t fathom why my constant requests for you to put the kettle on were met with complete inaction.

Jonny J: Oh yeah, I did wonder what it was you were saying to me!

Jonny N: Anyway, here we are… It’s all worked out jolly well, hasn’t it?

Jonny J: Yes, it has.

Jonny N: And you are now a much-valued member of the family. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of a cup of tea then?

Jonny J: Um…

Jonny N: Well that’s all we have time for this week. Next week we’ll talk to a typographer who suffered an Arial attack and can’t ‘face’ it anymore.

Jonny J: And we’ve just been told the police are desperately seeking an art director who steals the end of design blog posts. He is described as tall and balding with a very big…

Jonny N: That’s all we’ve got time for this evening, so it’s goodnight from me…

Jonny J: And it’s goodnight from him.

Both: Goodnight!

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Thanks, of course to The Two Ronnies and thanks to Tim Street at AAI. Below is some of the work that Jonny has produced with O Street in the last couple of months.

wHY & O Street: Concept for Ross Pavilion and Princes St Gardens Unveiled



We’re excited to share our team’s concept for Edinburgh’s £25m Ross Pavilion and Princes St Gardens competition, which has been made public today >

O Street are part of a multi-disciplinary team led by eminent US firm wHY. Alongside Stuco and Creative Concern our role is to consult on the project narrative & presentation, audience engagement, wayfinding concepts and place branding.

It’s a hugely collaborative project—part of the strategy set out by wHY founder Kulapat Yantrasast to deliver not only a showcase piece of architecture and landscaping, but a design that really works for all.

Our core team is comprised of wHY with GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth. The wider team includes actor Alan Cumming, writer Beatrice Colin and other influencers and voices; Aaron Hicklin, Peter Ross, Alison Watson and Adrian Turpin.


The vision is to make the site a vibrant, engaging and welcoming place that can be celebrated locally and internationally. With that in mind we’ve already been engaging with both the public and leading voices alike to ensure this is a design for everyone, with people and community at it’s heart.

This nationally-important space, perfectly positioned below Edinburgh Castle in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage site and adjoining the city’s most famous shopping street, is definitely ‘a place for people’. For much of the year a tranquil space in the lively city, it then needs to transform to become the seasonal focus for some of Scotland’s most high-profile events and celebrations like Hogmanay and the Edinburgh International Festival’s closing fireworks concert.


There are seven finalist teams who have submitted detailed concepts for the new landmark Pavilion, visitor centre with café, and updates to the listed West Princes Street Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh.

Naturally, with such a high profile location, there will be a lot of opinions and ideas. It’s our aim to ensure we listen and find the common threads and views. Edinburgh’s civic realm has always been one of its strengths, but as competition between world cities intensifies and city residents increasingly value public green spaces, so it has become a priority for both the public and private sectors.


Accordingly, the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition focuses on regenerating and renewing an emblematic site at the heart of the city.

The designs were submitted in early June and will now be followed by a public exhibition with the winner announced in early August.


The Ross Pavilion Exhibition will be held at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre
(2 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE) between Wednesday 21 June and
Sunday 30 July 2017.

Opening Hours:
Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday noon – 5pm. Attendance is free. Each design will be displayed in an identical manner, featuring the design boards and the physical model.

Online Exhibition:
Basic outline of all seven design concepts are online here >

The project is being managed by the Ross Development Trust —a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

Real to Reel Craft Film Festival



Ours and Pretend Lover’s film Roadliners is opening the Real to Reel Craft Film Festival next week at London’s Picturehouse Central Cinema.

Real to Reel is produced by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine. It runs from May 2–4 and takes place during London Craft Week. It then moves north to Blackburn’s The Bureau: Centre for the Arts for May 5–7.


After an open call the final programme has been edited down to 44 films and includes documentaries, animation and profiles of makers such as Kate Malone, Simone ten Hompel and letterpress artist Martin Clark. We’re chuffed to see some hard work pay off and enjoy such quality company.

Tickets and the full programme available here >

Still-from-The-Wilds-of-5-Lely-Court-©-Katie-Spragg-2016Still from The Wilds of 5 Lely Court ©Katie Spragg 2016


Still from Undercurrents © Nicola Stephanie 2016


Still from The Craft of Carnival ©Benjamin Wechanje 2016


Still from Martin Clark Letterpress Printmaker ©Moss Davis 2016


Still-from-Film-Makers-©-Simon-and-Lorna-Mills-2016Still from Film Makers ©Simon and Lorna Mills 2016



Alexandre Farto


Love the work by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto. He explores the aesthetics of vandalism, making some incredible art with everything from pyrotechnic explosions to 3D modelling and more.

last of the cut ’n’ pasters…


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We were out of space in the studio plans chest yet again. Right, some of this shit has to go. And go it does, piece by piece to reveal… eh, what’s this at the back of the drawer?

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Man almighty, I’d forgotten all about that. A black oversize A4 plastic display book with the word ‘LaForet’ tucked into the clear spine pocket. But it’s all coming back. This remnant from the glory days of cut ’n’ paste. A handmade campaign snapshot presented to Japanese ‘depaato’ (department store) LaForet back in 1990 (a fine example of why it’s a good idea to put the date on things).

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‘What’s that?’ says the voice of a person in their 20s, over my shoulder. ‘That,’ I reply, ‘…is 1990’. When I was a person in my 20s. And right there, I saw myself clutching it with sweaty paws as a room-full of perplexed Japanese media execs closed in.

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Back then, I was working for Sony Music in Tokyo. A certain Mr K, one of the many sellers and fixers who flitted in and out of our office, had decided that I was his go-to-guy for ‘all things unusual’. It’s odd how far a pair of white brothel creepers will take you in this world. It all seemed highly suspect, but with the tacit approval of the big boss and occasional bribery, Mr K brokered my services to other agencies—in this case the somewhat straight-laced, poker-faced account handlers at McCann Eriksson Hakuhodo.

Hence LaForet, a sprawling and vaguely trendy store in the Harajuku shopping district, tapping me up. In retrospect, I only remember their brief stipulating ‘something different’ for an autumn/winter campaign. That was lucky, as my response was to stick a black magic hand over the face of a small boy in his underwear and attempt to sell it in as the lead poster image. Ambitious and dumb in equal measure—friends, I must’ve been on drugs.

Suffice to say, it was a step beyond the step beyond they had imagined (fair enough really) and yours truly didn’t get the gig.

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Happily, it did lead the ever resourceful Mr K and I to some sublimely random commissions elsewhere. Note to a younger me: ridicule and lack of remuneration are no barriers to creative expression. Let’s hear it for small children with voodoo heads, everyone!

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Anyhow, mise en scène apart, the original point of this tale and the thing that person in their 20s was so taken with, was all this visual calamity had been done analogue oldskool. Indeed folks, I am talking magic markers, scalpels and UHU (anyone born after 1985 can use Google or ask an old person to expand on these terms). And yes, all those flowers on the Botticelli above were cut out by hand. The only inkling of design technology to come that played any part was the clunking workhorse Canon photocopier. Once you’d cleared the paper jammed shots of other people’s bottoms, that is.

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I suppose it’s pretty quaint now. Back then, working in confined spaces, high on pen, glue and petrol fumes, the risk of brain damage and self immolation never really crossed our minds. After all, we were just doing what we loved, the only way we knew how.

Was the work any better because it was harder to pull off—I doubt it. But it does make me smile and just a wee bit nostalgic for those days of chemical and physical endeavour.

So come on kids, park that mouse and flip your switch for the solvents.


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LOTCNP is, conveniently for these purposes, a track by moo-wave popsters Joaquina, from the album ‘The Foam and the Mesh’. If you like that kinda thang—and really, you should—you can check it out here or just go straight and blow 99¢ at that Amazon.

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