Friday Roundup – 19th December 2014

18th December 2014

As a graphic design studio in Newcastle we always take note of what’s happening in the wider design world. Lots can happen in just one short week so here’s a quick roundup of some of the bigger stories we’ve followed from the past seven days.

Use our quick links to read about:

Enjoy Life! / Football War Memorial / Obligatory Christmas Item No.4

Enjoy Life!

This week, Beagle Street – an online life insurance company – revealed their latest bid to stop their customers from losing life insurance documents. They commissioned several artists to create illustrations for the front side of the documents so that customers would want to frame them and hang them on the wall.

As managing director Matthew Gledhill says: “By turning our policies into works of art to hang on a wall, we’re making it really easy for people to find their life insurance policy if needed.” The illustrations, from artists including Rose Blake and Supermundane, are beautifully created and the whole project is a fantastic idea.

Football War Memorial

As 2014 draws to a close, so does a year of remembrance, reflection and commemoration on the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. There have been a number of monuments and installations unveiled throughout the year (including this one we covered in Friday Roundup – 17th October).

The latest such memorial to be revealed (and presumably the last for this year) is another commemoration of the Christmas Armistice. The rusted steel sculpture, commissioned by UEFA and created by Designwerk, depicts an enlarged replica of an exploded 8″ shell supporting a vintage football. But the project involves more than just the sculpture itself, with replicas of the Flanders trenches constructed on the site, engraved paving stones and a pair of black ‘cracks’ set into the ground connecting the sculpture to the trenches. It is an evocative and effective monument and a fitting tribute to a singularly human moment in history. For more details on the project with some interesting behind-the-scenes photos check out the Designwerk website.

Obligatory Christmas Item No. 4

It’s the last Friday Roundup before Christmas and let’s be honest, most of us are already in holiday mode. In a final push to celebrate the season of parties and overeating (and because there was so much to choose from), we’ve put together a small collection of Christmas pieces for the final Obligatory Christmas Item of the year:

Designed by – and featuring the amazing illustrations of – Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn, this website is a love letter to Christmas featuring everyone’s favourite goes-on-far-too-long festive song, the Twelve Days Of Christmas. It makes fantastic use of parallax scrolling to showcase a pattern illustration for each of the song’s verses. Take a look at the site now but set aside a good five minutes to really enjoy a cheery festive sing-along.


 Some festive typographic fun on the 8 Faces Magazine blog this month. As a countdown to Christmas, they have invited 25 typographers and lettering designers to each create a single, custom-designed number to be part of an online advent calendar. Contributors have so far included Victoria Rushton, Joseph Alessio and The Counter Press. Each day until 25th December a new number design is unveiled on the blog along with a short biography of the artist. The mix of styles is fantastically diverse and it’s a great way to mix an appreciation for lettering design with a childish anticipation for Christmas.


 We’ve already featured (and waxed lyrical about) the beautiful illustrations gracing the Royal Mail Christmas Stamps this year, designed by Andrew Bannecker. Rivalling them for beauty and vibrant festive-ness are these fantastic designs by Irish illustrator Steve Simpson. Created for the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin, the project features a single main composition for cards, posters and advertising that can be taken apart and the elements used individually for editorials and alternative advertising. Another great recent example of illustration being used effectively in a promotional campaign.