In the manner of The Sound of Music’s “whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up with string”, here are a few of my favourite things*…
* A new one added to the list each time I blog.
1) Fish Eye lens (and anything else Lomography-related)
2) Ma’amite – an ingenious and fun limited release of Britain’s favourite (or most hated) spread for the Diamond Jubilee.
3) Richard Branson shaped ice cubes, after Virgin Atlantic decides to offer its first class passengers the chance of a “drink with Richard” with some uncannily life-like ice cubes.
4) The Southwold Pier water clock. Well worth a trip to this lovely Suffolk seaside town to just to watch the clock hand strike 12; and it makes me laugh.
5) London’s Broadway Market – for making me feel on holiday in my own city.
6) Tonight’s Secret Millionaire, where the millionaire got carjacked – only in Britain would someone steal a car, with someone in it, on a TV show. The millionaire handled it excellently, “no money for him…”.
7) Aruliden Fishscape – probably the world’s most aesthetically pleasing fishbowl and so cool that I want to domesticate the fish in my pond.
8) AlunaGeorge – the only band that I have been to see live in a long time (that makes them cool) and I am also friends with George’s girlfriend (for once making me cool). I love their song “You know you like it”.
9) Great Expectations: Page 1 – a book that explores explores the relationship between layout, typography and how both affect the way we read. Essentially a masterwork in graphic design, a cast of 70 designers and typographers were invited to produce their own typographic first page of the famous text.
10) Ultimate Faves Lexicon – an intriguing and ambitious design endeavor by Darren Pasemko that attempts to plot out the intrinsic relationship between our personal all-time favorite things, even if their similarities seem minimal…
11) Somtam – a unostentatious and scrumptious Thai restaurant in West London where the owner shakes your hand when you leave. Juicy and flavoursome food with impressive carrot roses and not too much spice. Result? Smiles and food babies.
12) Drinking with a positive mindset. I love this glass that all remains half full. Even just looking at it makes me feel thirsty with an upbeat and summery craving for Sangria.
13) Ordering Evian directly from your fridge. No longer is it enough to have ice-cold water spewing from your fridge, but now BETC Digital has created a special internet-enabled fridge magnet called the Evian Smart project that lets you order a new batch of Evian as soon as you run out. It goes on my page of loving just out of lifestyle envy.
14) Getting one up on the haters with an infectious song (even better – it goes viral). Aside from spam I have been fortunate enough to avoid the internet’s nasty side, but in the event of some ‘trolling’, the song ‘Thank you hater’ would be my comeback.
15) Fairshare music – a social enteprise that combines downloading music with charitable giving. Fairsharemusic makes the process of donating simple by engraining it into the routine of downloading music – for every track you download, it donates half the profit to your chosen charity.
16) Olympian graffiti. Gold medals to this Wenlock-inspired piece of street art by Teddy Baden that appeared in Whitecross Street, East London in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics featuring that scary one-eyed mascot (now traumatising a cat).
17) Drinkify. A nifty website that matches your tunes to an alcoholic beverage so Beethoven gives you a glass of red wine and Lady Gaga – pure vodka. I envisage a very lethal drinking game.
18) The rolled up poster. A really clever outdoor piece by the Brazilian agency Blackninja, I think this campaign tells an anti-smoking important message in a fun and novel way – unroll away and stubb out that ciggie.
19) Cinimod’s Ice Angel. This interactive installation was on show at the V&A for the London Design Festival and it is both amusing and bewitching to behold. A digital snow angel, or more realistically fairy, but without getting icy wet.
20) Custo Prothetik – a company that offer custom designed prosthetic limbs that are unique to every individual. The company enables individuals to collaborate with illustrators, tattoo artists, and graphic designers to bring their imagination to life and emblazon it proudly on their body. More than just a challenger brand, they encourage disability to be seen differently – an easy no.20 for the list.
21) This is sand – a website that lets you create your own online sand shaker (you know that toy/ornament when you were a kid…). Truly addictive and oddly transfixing. In the words of Blue Peter, below “is one I made earlier” –
22) The flower appreciation society – flower giving with a difference and the biggest hint on this blog to date (office delivery appreciated). The British wild child to Interflora.
23) These clever and wall-worthy prints by graphic designer Gary Nicholson with “typographically focused puns to lift the spirits of fellow designers” (and me). The one below is my favourite –
24) Floppy disk post-it notes. They make the list because I miss floppy disks, and I survive on post-it notes. I only wish that I had only initiated with this delightful partnership.
25) Pez dispensers with your own 3D-Printed face – Pez, 3D-printing and obviously moi, how much more excited can one person get? These cool sweet dispensers were created using scans of 32 people’s heads on Xbox Kinect. Then they were 3D printed, and popped on the top of regular old Pez dispensers instead of the normal cartoon or comic book characters – so old school.
27) Boo – possibly the only pup to beat my dog Frank to the title of the world’s cutest dog and still not look smug about it. I also love how he (somewhat effeminately) seems to smile. With eyes like that, no wonder…
28) If you liked #21, then a treat to behold – this time in the form of the website Koalas to the Max dot Com, where you can keep on adding circles (it makes more sense if you have a go). Sweetly “made with love”, its stylish simplicity makes it onto my list of loving.
29) I am not sure what got me thinking of Alice and Wonderland on a Sunday evening, but at least listening to this Pogo remix of the Disney classic suggests a vague sense of normality/musical prowess. I love how it very much is the rhythmic equivalent to falling down a rabbit hole.
31) St. Pancras spa. Admittedly I love most spas, but this one was pretty special – my love at first sight with towelling robes and slippers on arrival and jacuzzi seats in the pool (minimal exertion). Oh and I fancy their logo – two peacocks eyeing each other up.