Welcome to the latest Studio Spark, where the CWA design studio shares whatever has been sparking our creative imaginations over the past 7 days – whether that be Art or Design, Film or Theatre, Music or Dance, Technology or Nature…

Here’s this week’s roundup.

The art of the physical audio format

Written by Martin Lovegrove

Trevor Jackson FORMAT media

Call me a dinosaur or considering a recent resurgence maybe even call me a hipster (no scrap that, dinosaur is fine)… but I love buying vinyl records.

Of course when I first started buying them (in the early 80’s) there was no other way to get music except for cassette (and when I eventually got my first Walkman it was cassettes only for a while!), but even with today’s download culture, vinyl records still have an appeal for me. They’re more expensive, pressed in limited quantities so harder to attain, and easily damaged if handled wrongly… but it’s the physicality of them that appeals to me. I guess partly it is nostalgia, but more importantly I feel I don’t truly own an item unless it has a physical form. Plus there is always the ritual of analysing the sleeve artwork to death whilst listening to the music, something which I think played a part in my career path somewhat.

So bearing this in mind, the upcoming release by Trevor Jackson (his first in 14 years) has really caught my eye.

F O R M A T will have an initial limited edition release consisting of 12 different musical formats each containing a separate track. The formats used are: 12-inch, 10-inch and 7-inch vinyl, CD, mini CD, cassette, USB, VHS, MiniDisc, DAT, 8-track and reel-to-reel.

Creative Director, Jackson stated: “Every copy of a physical recording is different, a real object that has its own little story, a one of a kind, personalised by the effort you put in to purchase it, each time you touch it, and the unique ritual that goes along with playing it. I want the people who purchase these items to feel special; they will be the only ones who possess these tracks in any form at that time. The fact culturally everything’s become so convenient and easily accessible whilst in the process totally disposable is an important subject I needed to address with this project.”

An exhibition will take place at The Vinyl Factory, allowing people a chance to listen to the album and the opportunity buy the limited edition format version. A standard vinyl and download version will be available some time after the initial release.

Listen to a teaser here

More information on Trevor Jackson


Without all the bells and whistles

Written by Richard Todd

Blink and you’ll miss it. The works of Swedish artist Patrik Svensson are a beautifully simple flurry of brilliance. The subtle icons added into these signatures add a lovely twist that brings each illustration to life.

It goes to show that you don’t need all those bells and whistles to catch the eye. You just need a good idea.

See them all here


One beautiful shopping list

Written by Karen Hall

Seb Lester type

“Within four years he has become one of the highest profile calligraphers in the world with over 350,000 accounts following his daily calligraphic updates on social media sites like Instagram.”

I’m one of them. Seb Lester is a designer/artist specialising in typography, based in East Sussex.

Seb works on a range of media within typography, varying from creating typefaces, designing logos and illustrations. In particular, I’m a big fan of his calligraphy as he cleverly crafts beautiful, traditional calligraphy with a fresh stylised approach. As an amateur calligrapher myself, emphasis on amateur (okay, maybe beginner is a better word), I admire his discipline and technique he applies to achieving perfectly formed type. The twist is he doesn’t just create calligraphic poetry or thought-provoking proverbs posters. Seb takes the ordinary and sprinkles his quirky humour. It is not often you see ‘Arse’ stone-engraved in Roman capital letters. Seb has definitely motivated me to pick up my calligraphy pens again.

Check out his work here  (His shopping list is a personal favourite!)


Litter pickin’ good

Written by David Neville

Anti-litter x3

These ads, featured in a campaign by The City of Toronto Livegreen organization, make use of rearranged bits of litter to spell out their anti-litterbug message. Clever.

See them here


The best laid plans…

Written by Robert Millichip

Otaki plan 1

A few years ago I bought an old Japanese model kit (dating from the sixties) at a local charity shop. As with most plastic model kits it had an instruction sheet for you to follow to help you build it correctly.

I was instantly impressed with the quality and style of the artwork, which folds out to an A1 double-sided sheet full of fantastic diagrams.

Because of the age of the model (and me!) I was obviously aware of the massive amount of hand-drawn work that must have gone into producing something that in the end was meant to be thrown away once the model was finished.

I like it so much I have been tempted to frame it and put it on the wall but this would mean I would only ever be able to see the one side!

Otaki plan 2

Making waves

Written by Chris Nobbs



Chaim Machlev is a rising star in the tattoo world, seeing increasing demand for his innovative style comprising geometric patterns and fluid, organic lines which are reminiscent of sound waves or flowing fabrics, weaving their way along limbs and sometimes crossing over onto other body parts or even onto somebody else. Previously an IT project manager, he only became a tattoo artist in 2012 after moving to Berlin from his home country of Israel.

“I started to see it in my dreams… how interesting it could be to actually be a tattooist that decides which lines flow better for an individual body, and dedicate your life to the experience of changing people’s body as a routine,” he says.

Whilst tattoos have become increasingly commonplace over the past decade, the quality of Machlev’s distinctive work sets him apart; he has been described as a master of dot and line.

See more of his work here


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