Five things that got me gingered up this January 2021

So here we find ourselves yet again, early January 2021 and back in lockdown 3.0!

Blimey, just two weeks into the new year and we’ve had Brexit (whatever that was), a near civil war in the US and infections and deaths in the UK, due to Covid-19 are going through the roof! 

Thinking positively, nothing lasts forever, not even global pandemics. We have a vaccine being rolled out, we’re heading into spring (although it doesn’t look or feel like that at the moment, just look out the window), it will get lighter by about two minutes every day and it’ll get warmer… …at some point. 

If you have a look at the five examples below, you’ll surely agree, creativity is still alive and doing well.

Stay safe, stay well, keep your distance and keep on creating! 

No.1 / Annie Atkins –
A book about designing graphic props for filmmaking

Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps: Designing Graphic Props for Filmmaking. This book is a behind-the-scenes look at the ‘extraordinary and meticulous design of graphic objects for film sets’. This book was on my carefully curated Christmas present list, that thankfully came true this year. 

The book not only looks great, it feels great (I love the use of uncoated paper and the tactile, extra printing finishes incorporated onto the dust jacket). I also love the smell of the ink on the uncoated paper!

Although graphic props are seldom seen close-up by a cinema audience, they are designed in painstaking detail. Annie shares her creative process behind her elaborately designed, painstakingly researched, and visually remarkable props.

When I’m reincarnated I want to come back as graphic designer creating props for filmmaking!

No.2 / Glaswegin –
Gin branding and packaging

Photo: ©The Gin Cooperative

I received a bottle of Glaswegin gin from my sister as a Christmas present. Being Scottish and being born in Glasgow, I know all about being Glaswegian. It was the first time I’d seen the brand and thought it was absolutely fandabidozi (as the Krankies would say)! I thought the play on words, typography and the layout was brilliant. The bottle is completely different from every other gin out there. 

Kudos to the brave Glaswegin Distilling Co for doing something so different and for choosing Paul Gray from Suisse Design, Glasgow, for creating such a compelling design and bottle. 

Now it’s time to test the gin and to make sure it tastes just as good as it looks!

No.3 / One Way –

One Way, is a free typeface designed by Intercity. The team got it’s inspiration for the typeface from noticing all the urgently crafted, make-shift and improvised tape signage that seemed to be popping up everywhere at the beginning of the pandemic. The hastily rough and ready signage was part of an effort to help maintain social distancing and a preventative measure to Covid-19. 

I don’t think there’s many people that haven’t stood on or beside one of these early, hastily made wayfinding signs. They appeared on floors, walls, doors, pavements and roads. Now, you too, can recreate that rushed, hand crafted, analogue look with the touch of a button with this free digital pandemic signage tape font!

The free One Way font can be downloaded at:

No.4 / Do the F*cking Work –
A book on Lowbrow Advice for High-Level Creativity

Another item from my Santa’s wish-list that came true, is this rather sweary little book by Jason Bacher and Brian Buirge of Good F*cking Design Advice (GFDA)

Over the years, GFDA have come to inspire creatives from all walks of life and fields of expertise with their products, witty and thoughtful weekly e-mails, and most important, their unorthodox advice about work ethics and the creative process.

This book is a collection of 100 pieces that showcase their fresh advice and guidance that will help unstick even the most dedicated procrastinators. 

With personal insights, actionable advice and lots of colourful language, this book will leave you feeling in a much better place for 2021.

Now, with the greatest of respect, f*ck off and get some f*cking creative work done!

No.5 / Mango Street Lab, Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta –
Three for the price of one!

Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta are the husband and wife team who make up the sum of the parts of the creative agency, Mango Street Lab. These two make some great, informative and easy to consume photography tutorials. You’ll find many useful tutorials on their highly successful YouTube channel, ‘Photography tutorials that don’t waste your time’.

Daniel Inskeep –
Videos about making money online

So Daniel, one half of Mango Street Lab also has a separate YouTube channel about making money online. Talk about a multi-talented individual who likes diversification and finding different revenue streams! He’s the self-proclaimed human guinea pig for discovering what online money-making methods actually work and which ones don’t.

Daniel’s been king of the side hustle since his teens and he’s created a channel about making money online without all of the BS. In simplistic terms, he goes into a topic, breaking it down into an easy step by step process. He uses his own money to test out various side hustles and you get to see how he does over a period of time. Some work, some don’t, but he keeps on moving forward onto the next venture which I think is great.

Rachel Gulotta Fitness –
The most aesthetically pleasing workout on the internet

Rachel, the other fifty percent of the dynamic duo that make up Mango Street Lab has also diversified her skills into a YouTube fitness channel. Not only is she a talented photographer it seems that she’s also very good at creating easy to follow fitness videos. From time to time Chesterfield and Carlton also make impromptu guest appearances (if you watch the video’s you’ll find out who these two cute fella’s are)!

Iv’e been following along with the videos for the past five months now (well let’s face it, not much else is going on in Lockdown, and if ever there was a time to be fit and healthy, I guess now is a pretty good time) and really enjoy them. They range in length from 10-60 minutes, there’s no commentary, you just follow the prompts on screen which let you know what exercise is up next and when to take a break. The music accompanying the excercises is pretty soothing and the pace, I think, is just right. 

Stay fit, stay healthy, stay safe and workout with Rachel in the comfort of your own home. 

  1. Thanks for all the insights and recommendations!
    That typeface is right up my strasse. It immediately put a smile on my face.
    The gin bottle is too good to be hidden in my bar and I will check out the work out. Was thinking I need to change my routine up a bit.


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