Battery powered flower headdress

17 October
Battery powered flower headdress

Battery powered flower headdress

Battery powered flower headdress - lights

Battery powered flower headdress – lights

This is a Battery powered flower headdress I made for a festival. It is made from a shell base with jewels, feathers, fake flowers and fairy lights. The battery pack is really small and not heavy as it’s designed for a watch so it’s quite comfortable to wear. The heaviest thing is the shells. The lights make you really easy to spot and I managed to keep the group together at Houghton Festival, with the aid of my inflatable monkey lights too of course. Which was pretty handy as there was no phone reception. Trying to herd 20 or 30 cats at a festival at night without lights is a challenge.

So if any of you want me to make one of these for you, I’d be happy. Send me your head measurements and material and colour requests and I can make one bespoke for you. Prices start at £180 – £300. The battery lasts 4 days being on constantly and you can change them easily. It should see you through many festivals as this one is not very delicate and can handle being repeatedly swished into a ruck sack.


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Birthday Card Design

22 September

Birthday Card Design

Birthday Card Design

Birthday Card Design

This is the Birthday Card Design I created for my grandmother in law. She turns 90 this year so it’s gotta be worth a bespoke card design. I used some pressed flowers from the garden as well as the laser cut flowers I created for the fine watch show in the Satcchi gallery. I also used the marble paper I made on one of my craft workshops. The Gs are from my vintage lettering collection, probably orginally from a Dover books shop book. There also some jewels in there too. You gotta have some bling on your 90th at the very least.

 

 


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Party goat collage illustration

1 September
Party goat collage illustration

Party goat collage illustration

So thanks to a great recommendation from my friend Claudia Wilde (yes I know she has an excellent name too), I’ve been maximising on the British Libraries new FREE online image resource. It’s amazing. I spent hours looking through, travelling through a world history from the past few hundred years by way of illustrations. The range is incredible and really I don’t imagine where else you could find some of these images. I’m going to work on another design based on some of the exotic costume design illustrations. They’re making me want to get in the studio and make some fancy outfit and festival season is basically over! I saw this goat and he had such a nice expression, I thought he or she needed some pimping party style quick smart. This is the fabulous result.

Anyway…. thank you British Library for sharing.


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Flower Headdress Workshop

17 August
headdress workshop

headdress workshop

Flower Headdress Workshop

I was asked by Adam & Eve DDB Advertising agency to run a flower and feather headdress workshop at their summer party festival. The event was held on farm land just north of London. The mini day festival had other chocolate making workshops, glitter stalls and dance tents. I was given a £400 budget for 50 – 100 people. I brought with me lots of fake flowers,  meters feather trim in 4 colours, elasticated sequin strips in 4 colours, assorted jewels and scrap material for head bands. There were 3 options for the base to mount the decoration on; alice bands, elastic bands and wire bases. The workshop was full at all times and there were some lovely headdresses created. A few accidents were had with drink spillage’s but nothing that couldn’t be undone. They were a lovely bunch and I had a great day…. which also happened to be my birthday! :)


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Crest Tattoo Design for Friend

27 June

 

Tattoo Design for a Friend

Crest Tattoo Design for Friend

I sketched this Crest Tattoo Design for 2 Friends of mine, Rob and Fairy. They are husband and wife and are planning on getting this same tattoo.  Rob asked for a different take on the traditional family crest. There are over 10 personalised elements in there that mean something to them, from references of their wedding, their playful sense of humour, their friends and things they love.

I’ll update you with some finished photos when they get round to tattooing this design.


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Me at work – Creative workspace

20 June
me-at-work-creative workspace

me-at-work-creative workspace

Me at work –  Creative workspace

This is where I get most of my work done. I also have a studio next door with all the material, trimmings, tools, paints, drills, sewing machines and space to make a great creative mess. I’ll post the photo of that space another time my lovely blog readers. #wheredesignmeets.  #workspace


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Headdress Design Festival Fashion

13 June

Headdress Design Festival Fashion

Headdress Design Festival Fashion

Headdress Design Festival Fashion

These are some of the headdresses and festival fashion pieces I have made over the past few years. They have been sold at events and commissioned by individuals. There’s many more that I have made but I simply haven’t had the time to photograph them. Please get in touch if you’d like one made for you or to buy one from the collection. Prices available on request.

 


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Personalised Wallpaper Design

8 May
designers_london_personalised bespoke wallpaper_illustration_pet.

designers_london_personalised bespoke wallpaper_illustration_pet.

Personalised Wallpaper Design

I created this personalised wallpaper design for an interior design client I had last year. They asked me to decorate their flat and buy homeware and some furniture. I enjoyed going to markets and art galleries to pick out the right items for them. The flat started as a white box with no personality so I came up with some mood boards for designs on the apartment in London Bridge that added muted natural colours, textures and some in built practical features like radiator covers that worked as shelves and a wardrobe built into an alcove.

One of the rooms had a grey and light pink colour scheme. I had commissioned an artist, Claudia Van Oosterom, to create a geometric 3D sculpture piece for the wall in white called Tesselate. I felt that style could be reflected in other areas of the room and so I designed a bespoke personalised wallpaper in the same geometric style as the sculpture but incorporating the owners pets into it. I wanted the animals to be difficult to see from a distance, so you ha to go looking for them a bit. The client loved it.

I’ll put up some photos of the interior design once I get the shots from the photographer.


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Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article

30 March
My Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article

My Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article

I’ve been asked to do several of these top tips for various publications over the years. This one is for Advanced photoshop Magazine. I do remember using these when I was learning. It is handy to expand your digital skills, it saves time and helps you get more creative. I liked the step by step instructions, they were so useful to me when I was at university studying Graphics. Our tutors didn’t teach us the programs, we had to learn them ourselves or do a workshop. That was over 10 years ago now and I’m pretty fluid with the main 3 Adobe programs, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I don’t realise how fast I am until someone sits near me and points out it takes them hours to do what I can in minutes. Which is alway nice to hear as I take it for granted.

 

Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article


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Australian botanical illustration design

20 March

Australian botanical illustration design

freelance-graphic-designer-london-botanical-illustration-Australia-foliage

freelance-graphic-designer-london-botanical-illustration-Australia-foliage

This is a sketch I did last night from some photos I took of some interesting looking foliage I saw on my last trip to Australia to visit my best mate. The plants and animals were so fascinating to me as they were so very foreign and different. The exotic flora and fauna lay in a strange juxtaposition with the culture which wasn’t too far from home. I wasn’t expecting to ear these really strange exotic bird calls on a residential street that looked vaguely similar to our own.

I used some geometrical shapes and colour to bring the elements together into a nice composition.


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Mountain Tigre Collage

9 March
freelance-graphic-designer-london-collage-ink-splatter

freelance-graphic-designer-london-collage-ink-splatter

Mountain Tigre Collage

This is a collage design I made one Sunday, to keep myself entertained. I’ve got a collection of books with fabulous images, I buy from second hand shops just to cut up for collages, for birthday cards for friends and designs like these.

My collage has a little image of Michael Palin coming out of a helicopter on the Himalaya, a tiger and a teen with a tape player just like the one my granny used to own. I did have other random elements but you can go too far on the weird scale.

I used some marbled paper I made from a few weeks ago and some ink splats done by hand as I like to make a mess where possible. Marbling is such fun. Here’s a great video of someone marbling. It’s an enjoyable watch. So the great thing about being a freelance graphic designer is you can stop work and make a collage whenever you want. Fact is, I don’t tend to do this sort of thing during the week as I find it helps to establish some sort of routine to my day.

 


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Art Direction Styling and Advert Design

28 February
freelance-graphic-designer-london-art-direction-food-styling-advert-design.jpg

freelance-graphic-designer-london-art-direction-food-styling-advert-design.jpg

Garbanzo, an established healthy snack food brand selling in Holland & Barrett amongst other retailers, approached me with a brief for an advert for Vegan Life magazine. After research and some mood board discussions I came up with an advert format that needed some good product photography, making a pattern from their flavour ingredients.

I thought getting the fresh ingredients would make the product more appetising, fresh and healthy. The pattern style made the image more flexible so it could sit behind the text box on this odd shaped 1/3 page magazine advert without any key part being obscured. We used Blend Studios, a great product photographers in London. Their studio was in Kensal Rise and we had a very productive day with the client, me art direction/ styling and the photographer Barrie from Blend. We made the most of the day, Barrie was excellent and took some great shots for social media and the future packaging design too. We also created an animated gif, stop-frame animation style, of the chickpeas running out of the packet in the shape of the heart logo and back in again. I’ll post that when it’s been sent by Barrie. I’d highly recommend Blend Studios.

Here’s a link to their blog post on the shoot.

 

Art Direction Styling and Advert Design


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Wedding Stationary Design & Accessories

20 February
freelance-designer-wedding-accessory-table-stationary-design-

freelance designer wedding accessory table stationary design

This is the wedding stationary I designed and made for my wedding. I used vintage etchings, botanical illustrations and disco balls for the imagery. I made a freshwater pearl, glass flower bead and cut glass and mother of pearl brow chain for the wedding day, pearl and glass bead hair clips for the 7 brides maids to match and a real living succulent ring for all the bridesmaids and myself. The wedding which was on a private island on the east coast had a theme that was based around animals, wild foliage, moss and shells and wild flowers.

The stationary list:

Wedding invite

Menu

Order of service

Island Accomodation Map

Name Tags

Table Animal Signage for the foyet

Table Animal Signage for the tables

Entrance Signage

Thank you card

 

Accessories by Polly Playford Design:

Succulent rings

Cut glass and mother of pearl brow chains

Freshwater pearl and glass bead chair chains

Glass sphere vial with moss

 

If you want anything designed for your wedding, just get in touch.

 

Wedding photography by Sachin Khona

 

 

Wedding Stationary Design & Accessories


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Freelance Designer London

16 February

Glitter Necklace by Polly Playford Design

freelance graphic  designer london

freelance graphic london

This is a necklace I designed, made and photographed. I photographed it on a mirror I had etched with acid to give it a mottled effect for an interior design project I was working on. The crystals in blue and pink come from one of those crystal trees you can grown from a kit. I got that one from my brother for Christmas, on the same year I bought him one. Great minds.

The necklace is ideal for festivals, especially when you come across a festival goer with not enough glitter on… you can sort their face right out. They’re sure to be very grateful and might in exchange give you something exciting. There’s also the glitter slap. It’s an alternative way of applying glitter to the face. You start by licking their face (which is always fun at a festival), then put some glitter in your hand and give them a good slap around the face. It wakes them up and makes them sparkle whilst simultaneously entertaining those around you. Win Win Win.

I’d be happy to make one of these for you, dear reader, you can request the colour of glitter and the charms attached. The options are HUGE and the price, is small. Starting at £28 for a necklace. E-mail me with your necklace design request.

Freelance Designer London  –


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Bespoke wallpaper design

1 February

Freelance-wallpaper-Designer-london-uk-illustrator-birds

bespoke wallpaper design

bespoke wallpaper design

Bespoke wallpaper design

So I created this design from some ink textures I painted on watercolour paper for another branding project. I also used some old botanical prints of hydrangeas and leaves and scanned in graph paper for some detail. There’s also a bird wing with a photo of feather textures inside it. I used the white geometric shapes to pull it all together compositionally. Creating patterns in Illustrator is great as it works in real time, so when you change an aspect to the central design, it automatically changes the repeat pattern around it so you can get a very immediate results. This works as a one off single illustration design and as a large repeat pattern for the design for wallpaper, framed or for the inside of a hand bag (I say this as I’ve been designing patterns for women’s bags recently). I’m going to print this out and frame it somewhere. I love it.


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50 Design Tips eBook

1 February

50 Design Tips eBook

50 Design Tips eBook

50 Design Tips eBook

Route Print asked me to send them some design tips for their e-book. As always I’m happy to say what I think.

Read the e-book here.

These are my top tips:

24. Always Be On The Lookout For Interesting Textures & Imagery.

A good brick wall or some recycled paper, photograph or scan them. File them all to your design image library on your computer. Then browse through your design image library when stuck or looking for inspiration. I use the textures I’ve found almost daily.

25. When Discussing A Brief, Use Imagery & Words To Illustrate Your Discussion.

26. Show Your Design’s In Context.

If it’s a logo, show it on a business card or embossed on a letterhead, if it is web design, show it inside an image of a computer screen and an iPad. First impressions are important and any help you can give them imagining what you are imagining, the better.

 


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Wedding decoration, table & stationary design

18 January

freelance designer wedding flower accessory table stationary design

Wedding decoration, table & stationary design

This is where I sell my design work I created for our wedding. Chris and I got married last summer on Osea Island. Being a designer, I wanted to have creative input on as much of the event as I could. This entailed making; wedding dress design, wedding accesorries, bridesmaid dress design and accessories – including living succulent jewellery and a pearl beaded hair clip, all the flowers and bouquets, table decorations, alter, dinner, after party and wooded den venue decoration, after party outfit- including making a mohican headdress, feather cape, silver leather bumbag and pearl and shell necklace, all the wedding stationary and signs oh and the wedding planning. Needless to say I was fairly busy. It all went swimmingly and it was the best weekend of our lives. The effort was well worth it. Thanks mainly to our incredible group of friends and family that helped make it all work. We had 3 friends who were professional hair and make up artists Fairy Scones, Becky Doney and Bianca Bonjour who did me and my bridesmaids. My friend also made my wedding dress Olivia Deur, she is super talented. My 5 friends were also DJ-ing. My experiential event planner friend helped with a lot of the planning. My mum and sister helped with the flowers and decoration. Another friends made the amazing wedding video Max Thurlow. Oh and I mustn’t forget our incredible wedding photographer Sachin Khona who was well worth the money.

Osea island is an amazing venue, it’s a private island and we had the whole thing for the weekend. Once the guests drove over the island tidal road at low tide, they were all stuck there until the next low tide, so it makes it feel even more private and special. Some guests arrived by speed boat, some sailed over and stayed on their yacht moored off the island. All the 177 guests stayed in the 20 cottages for the 2 nights on the island and enjoyed the facilities and events we put on; Friday night barbecue swimming pool, tennis court, fishing, cycling, games room, sauna, gym.

After the ceremony that was held by the beach on the lawn under the gazebo, we all walked to the old bomb factory for the dinner and speeches. After which we had the band followed by the party in the Shack that went on till sunrise. We encouraged everyone to dress as animals from midnight onwards which went down spectacularly. I was a white bird, Chris was a panda and the animal collective  rinsed every last ounce of fun from that island over the weekend. We were to be found on the Sunday riding on the tops of cars, driving around the island at 5mph with the music on full volume collecting friends from various venues to move the party to the pool. It was very hard to leave the island on Monday and we vowed to go back next year to ease our departure.

Our wedding was featured in Dune Bug Weddings, which according to the photographer, is a big deal. 😉


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Art for Interior design

16 January

interior design wall art

Art for Interior design

I’ve been straying off the computer and creating large abstract textured art work designed specifically for interior spaces I have been desinging. It’s been very enjoyable and has led to various jobs for event design, including my paper sculptures in the Saatchi Gallery for the Salon QP exhibition.

The navy cock feathers are hand sewn onto material and then stretched over a wooden frame. This was designed and made by Polly Playford Design for a residential house in Surrey, for which I was creating the interior design. The colours are rich and dense with flecks of brown. It beautifully absorbs the light with the rich texture. It’s somewhere in between art and surface design. The resident kittens enjoy this piece of art too, having attacked it on several occasions assuming it’s a giant bird.

The silver tissue and tinsel piece was hand cut and applied to a board. It’s a little less serious and moves beautifully in the breeze. We took this piece out for an event and had a fan blowing on it and a tube light hung over it. It looked great.

If you have a space that needs original decoration, get in touch for prices on bespoke commissions.


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Festival Clothing & Accessories Collection

10 January

Festival Clothing & Accessories Collection

My Festival Clothing & Accessories Collection

Get thinking about summer now, it helps pass the grey days!

Theses are just a few of the clothes and accessories I have designed and made. They’re perfect for parties and festivals. I’m hoping to sell them at Secret Emporium at festivals this summer.

Get in contact if you’d like to buy any of them or commission me to make something fabulous for you.

Sparkle hard people!


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Festival Number 6 Headdress Workshop

10 January

freelance artist and designer at festival number 6 running a headdress workshop

Festival Number 6 Headdress Workshop.

My headdress workshops are really taking off now… the latest workshop was at Festival Number 6  in August. Each day we had over 50 people come to the town hall at Port Merion, where this festival is held, to make flower festival headdresses as a part of the many activities put on by the festival. I was employed by the festival to run 2 workshops and they were great fun and popular with the kids. We had people queuing in the rain for over an hour to get in! I provided the materials and tools and gave a step by step process on how to make the flower garland. The flower garland in the bottom photo is the example I made for the workshop. They were free to create what they want but I find people often want guidance as they want to walk away with something they’ll love and wear. I guess they come to learn too.

In the photo I’m wearing mostly my creations; my Carmen Miranda headdress, the white feather and lace rope necklace, the pink plastic and gold bead necklace and the top half of my wedding dress with tule sleeves I designed and had made and beaded for me by Olivia Deur  oh and my silver leather bum bag I made. I love designing and making things for festivals… I’d wear them every day if I didn’t too many strange looks.

It was a really great festival on an amazing site, that is really like no other festival I have been to. We brought with us about 30 friends and had a fabulous time. I’m hoping to go back this year, if they’ll have me! :)


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HAPPY NEW YEAR SPARKLY ILLUSTRATION

6 January

 

happy new year illustration diamonds and glitterHAPPY NEW YEAR SPARKLY ILLUSTRATION for my lovely blog readers and clients.

I wish you all a prosperous and creative 2017.

:)


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christmas card design paper cut out angel snowflake sequins

6 January
christmas angel paper cut out illustration with snow flakes freelance illustrator london

christmas card design paper cut out angel snowflake sequins

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

christmas card design paper cut out angel snowflake sequins 

I created this paper cut out with plain card and some shinny plastic snowflake sequins and then photographed it. This was one of the designs for a client, Bragard UK, that didn’t get used so I turned into a card for all you lovely blog readers! The client went for the watercolour illustration of a christmas pudding as they were a catering supplier and needed something food related. I prefer the angel myself.

:)

 


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Latest Polly Playford fascinator design

31 October
fascinator design 80s style

fascinator design 80s style

I created this fascinator using tulle, netting, chain, studs and gold lamé. It has a hair clip on the back for easy fastening and looks bloody fabulous on pretty much every head, especially one with great volume to their hair. I wear mine as much as I can, down the pub, out dancing in a club or at a wedding….  I don’t want it sitting at home getting bored. I have made so many designs in the past but this one remains my fav.

They are retailing for £30 if you want one for your collection. Just e-mail me with the request. I can adjust the colours to fit your outfit if requited.

x

Latest Polly Playford fascinator design


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Feather accessories for fashion shoot

31 October

hand made feather accessories  fashion shoothand made feather accessories  fashion shoot

 

I was asked by the Vintage Showroom of Notting Hill to design and make some feather headdresses for a fashion shoot to help promote a denim manufacturer at Barcelona Denim Premier vision show on the 18th-19th of May. Doug at the Vintage Showrooms was the creative director and did an absolutely stunning job with this shoot. I’ve never seen my feather head accessories looking so good.

Feather accessories for fashion shoot.


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Vintage Kids Book Illustrations

11 July

Vintage Kids Book Illustrations

Vintage Kids Book Illustrations

I was helping my mum sort out her books when she moved house and we found a load of old books that belonged to my granny from when she was a child. I really love the illustrations and have used them in graphics. I used one of these in a record cover illustration I created for a house music label ISM. They have a lot of charm and personality these illustrations. Some of them are a little weird but most are certainly cute. I like how you get a window into life as it was in the 20s when my granny was little. It does make me miss my granny.

Sometimes they can be sickly sweet and just too romantic for my liking. I was given an old tin with colouring pencils from my uncle, who is a landscape artist. The image on the front was of a very romantic looking lady in a huge Georgian dress with a bird cage, releasing the bird while standing under a tree. I photoshopped the image so it looked like the bird was being released and then shot by the woman. It made me laugh anyway. I think I used it for something although I can’t find it now I’ve looked.

I like using them in contrast with more modern, clean graphics. I’ve got one vintage image of a lady standing with a deer. It’s pretty cheesy so I used it in a collage for another record cover. It’s in my portfolio. This is a link to it.

As a freelance graphic designer, I like to make work thats personal to me in my own time, in order to exorcise all my desires to create something in my style. Then when a corporate job comes along I can create something that will fit the brief without feeling like my soul has been eroded slightly.


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Foraging

27 May

foraging

When I was growing up my mum took us on foraging trips where we’d pick Chanterelle mushrooms and edible leaves like wild garlic, Samphire seaweed. We picked muscles oysters and caught crabs. We’d often make dens (like the amazing one we made in the picture above) and build fires and sit around eating our foraged food cooked up by mum into a beautiful plate of delicisouness. These are very fond memories to me as I love messing about outside, climbing trees and collecting goodies AND I love eating great food. It makes a lot of sense. So I have decided  to expand my knowledge on foraging.

Foraging means taking your place in the landscape in a way that has been only recently forgotten as a normal human way of life. For most of our time on earth, we humans, like most other species, spent our days foraging, becoming intimately acquainted with the land and the life forms it supports. Such intimacy has been disrupted by our modern culture of consumption and convenience and we haven’t learned to read the landscape for signs of the presence of edible plants. Compared to most western lifestyles, foraging is a bit out of the ordinary. In terms of our genetic make-up and our history, though, it is as normal as breathing.

Reading the landscape involves most of your senses which in time, becomes an automatic survey of your surroundings as you move through them. You are looking for signs, cues and the definite marks of various species. For example the perception of dampness in the air on your cheek as you move from one part of a woodland to another that indicates increased humidity and a greater likelihood of finding mushrooms.

Foraging is essentially tied to the seasons. By early summer, the edible leaves and stems of many plants harvested in spring are past the point of greatest usefulness as the plants reach their flowering and fruiting stages. On the other hand, summer is also a peak time for flowers and many of the strongest flavours develop during this season.

So what’s on offer during these months? You can check out the hedgerows for blackberries, cherry plums and wild damsons. Along with hedgerows, the edges of fields and woodland are great for elderberries, rosehips and crab apples as well as blackberries. It is also a pleasure to hunt for seaweed along the coast on a hot day, when you don’t even mind slipping on the rocks and falling into the water.


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Colour, Pattern, Texture and Shine

25 May

Blog-image-template_mackerel

I love the shine of Mackerel scales and the rainbow of colours of petrol on water. It’s interesting to think that nature often uses these features to camouflage. Unlike my husband photographed at Burning Man, he takes shine seriously and wants to stand out, which of course he does. That’s why he made that fabulous cape for himself.

Take Mackerel, Mackerel is a streamlined fish, basically designed for fast swimming in large shoals. Its fins are short and positioned well back on the body in order to be able to swim with greater straight line speed. Mackerel has a deeply forked tail, which again helps with good acceleration and manoeuvrability. As an open water species, the mackerel has a white belly with a mottled blue-black back broken up into horizontal bars. These colours and patterns make the mackerel less visible when viewed from below (against a light coloured sky) and the stripes resemble the pattern of light created by waves on the water surface.


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Money Tree

5 February

money-tree

I made this tree for my sister’s 30th Birthday. They’ve just bought a house and need cash to develop it so I thought I’d help out financially. It’s not clear if any more money has grown on the tree since I made it but I remain hopeful.

My friend Kirsty Obbard who I met working on some Graphics at Hemsley Fraser, made some incredible puppets (Frugal on the right) and she inspired me to get model making. I took a trip to 4D model shop in Algate East . It’s a great shop. You can buy all manor of small things and materials I didn’t know existed like metal mesh tubing by the meter and they also do laser cutting. It’s certainly worth a visit if you’re into model making.

This is a definition of the money tree as described by my Intern: Eniko Toth

Money tree (Quida kerchinga)

Habitat: The money tree is predominantly found in the Amazon make-it-rainforest. The tree grows best in non-flooding areas and is often found around enthusiastic, hard working, and driven plants.

Botany: The plant is unfortunately deciduous, shedding all of its leaves during the dry season – this usually happens around holidays. The fruits of the money tree weights more than they are worth as they consist of 97,5% zinc and 2,5% copper and are not for human consumption as it can cause severe blindness and loss of common sense.

Threats: Money trees are sensitive to high prices, 2 for 1 sales, heavy taxation and they only seem to produce fruit in undisturbed and locked wardrobes miles away from shopping malls or ebay. They are high maintenance and depend on regular income and considerate expenditure for their continued survival.

Significance to Humans: The fruit of the plant is one of the the most valuable product and has high demand worldwide. They are usually harvested from the wild by each and every human that lives and breathes.


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Iridescence

29 January

 Blog-image-template_iridescence

A picture I took of a giant bubble engulfing my dad on the beach in Abersoch, Wales. It’s down the steps from the house we stay in called Rock End. My dad has been going every summer since he was a kid and the same for me. I learnt to swim in the sea there.

We found the perfect formula for giant bubbles. The trick is to use glycerine and J lube. It’s a powdered lube used in obstetrics! Yup. Anyway they hang around much longer and have a more dramatic pop. They are heavy but you can also blow bubbles into bubbles and you make smoke bubbles that rise up if you blow underneath them. Plus they make a good photo as the iridescent multi coloured rainbow aspect always look good, in any light.

Next task… get dad inside the bubble. He likes adventure, I’m sure he’s be up for the ride.

Watching these floating rainbows made me wonder what the science could be behind this beautiful phenomena so I looked it up. By definition iridescence is a lustrous rainbow like play of colour caused by differential refraction of light waves which tends to change with the angle of observation and the angle of illumination. In the case of bubbles or oil films it happens due to thin-film interference. It’s hard to re-create this kind of colour gradients on a computer and make them look as good as they do in real life. Cameras are better at portraying this rainbow of colour. Another natural beautiful colour effect I’ve been wondering about is peacock feathers and butterfly wings. They seem to sparkle. I’ve heard L’oreal are developing an eye shadow that uses chemistry and light rather than oils and creams to create this iridescence. Nature achieves this colour effect by layering uniform-sized troughs of air between a clear, protein-packed material — often referred to as cuticle — which makes up things like an insect’s wings. When white light waves hit the various parts of the cuticle, they interfere with each other as they pass through it at various angles. The result can be a variety of brilliant colours that may change depending on your point of view. The makeup will appear white in the packaging. Once applied and exposed to light, vibrant colour will show and change depending on the angle from which it’s viewed. Sounds ideal for festival make up!! :)


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Organic Architecture

27 November

Guest Blog Post  – 26th November 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright’s so-called Fallingwater House rephrased the expression ‘organic’ in the history of architecture. His creation does not only borrow shapes and materials from nature, but actually becomes one with it. Forest, stream, rock, concrete and wood combined so organically that you become unable to tell the difference between man-made and natural. Wright’s goal was to stress the importance of the relationship between man and nature and so wherever one is within the building, the glory of the natural surrounding is accentuated, brought in, and made a component part of daily life.

falling-water2

The main floor has terraces leading out which afford views in three directions. One of them opens upstream, while the other projects over the cascades and rocks. All of the bedrooms on the level above have access to their own outdoor terraces and so does the study and gallery-bedroom on the third level.

All vertical elements are constructed of native stone, with slightly projected stones in order to give a more sculptural impression to the stone masses. The horizontal elements of the house are made of poured concrete. The floors and the walls are paved in stone, and the woodwork is grain walnut, executed at an extremely fine level of craftsmanship.

Considering all of the above, it’s safe to say that the Fallingwater House is an embodiment of Wright’s philosophy about cherishing the deep connection between man and nature even after building houses for ourselves. One couldn’t be closer to the glen, the trees, the foliage and flowers while being indoors.

If you are interested in contemporary architecture with a similar style, definitely check out the Barbican exhibition with the link below:

Charles and Ray Eames Exhibition at the Barbican

Organic Architecture


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Stock Imagery

23 November
Graphic design Moonpig greeting cards

Graphic design Moonpig greeting cards

Stock Imagery is often rubbish. 99% the images on istock and shutterstock is cheesy or cliche, especially when it comes to images of people.  Moonpig have a range of cards that allow you to upload your own images into the design. When I was creating them a range of photo upload cards I needed to find place holder images of people to have in place so you could see where the images should go. I struggled to find filler images of people that were at all genuine, so I used my own photos of me and my friends (I had to ask their permission first and they were all fine with it) as well as vintage family photos I found in markets in Berlin (and the odd boring stock imagery to keep the general public happy). I like the idea these photos that have been sitting in boxes in attics for generations, have finally been given a new lease of life. I’m sure the people are long gone but I am certainly enjoying snippets of their lives and imagining what they were like. I think y favorite is the 3 kids being photographed next to a lion. I’d like to know the story behind that one. Unlike the fake happy couple, of which I know there is no story behind.  Or the unusually young and good looking granny in the fake family portrait, who clearly must have been about 7 when she had her daughter who looks nothing like her.

If anyone finds another photo library with good people shots (and no Getty is too pricey for most clients), then please do let me know. For my latest client Hemley Fraser (they create management training courses and ebooks), I’m using old fashioned photos that are very much staged and fake but at least they have irony and don’t make you want to throw up.

Vintage image woman


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Architecture and free creation

9 November

Architecture free creation

Architecture and free creation

This Week’s Guest Blog Post – By Eniko Toth (Architecture Graduate)

I wish. I wish gravity and rainwater didn’t make it so hard to create freely. Experimenting with masses, materials, textures and surfaces without having to think about heat insulation or load bearing beams sounds like a dream come true. And then there is electricity top consider, heating and God forbid plumbing with all the wires, pipes and those fairly unattractive chimneys and bathroom windows that end the facade fairytale. These things are quite handy on an everyday basis when you are a human being, not a cow.

With all this information in the back of our mind, let’s forget it all for a sec shall we? Let form do whatever it wants and function will follow – if it can keep up with it at all.

Ensamble  – Architecture Studio doesn’t really seem to struggle when it comes to creating freely. They thought, why not dig a hole in the ground, fill it with bails of hay and pour concrete around it? What is it going to be? Not sure yet, but I like the idea of raw and simple design. Their next step was to remove the earth around the mass then cut a whole into the stone and let Paulina the cow inside to eat the hay. Are you joking? No, this is serious. Seriously genius. There you have your 25m2 interior with a view over the Atlantic Ocean. One single space that has room for a bed, shower, tap, toilet and a fireplace. No overcomplicated regulations to follow, nor a single care given about it’s general looks. It seems like there are no rules just imagination and creation play. Like naughty children doing what their told not to.

 


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Lake Tahoe Teleidoscope Photograph

22 October

Teleidoscope photography experiment

 

This is a photograph I took of my boyfriend Chris in Lake Tahoe, 2 days after Burning Man festival. I took an photograph of him that I’d taken through my Teleidoscope (like a kaleidoscope but it’s reflections with internal mirrors rather than looking through coloured shapes) and superimposed it on Chris’s silhouette. I think it works well because of his shadow. It gives it more grounding in reality. I’m hoping to do a series of these and blow them up large and frame them.

Lake Tahoe Teleidoscope Photograph


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More Beautiful Photography

12 October

Photography

More Beautiful Photography. I love the way these images look like paintings or illustrations. I also like the colour pallet and how they are all quite similar. These I found ffffound.com


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Tissue Fringe Picture I created

5 October

Tassel picture I designed and produced

This is a Tissue Fringe Picture I created for a party. My boyfriend added the lights and the fan underneath to make the whole thing more of an installation that a wall decoration. The sound is great too.


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Striking Monocrome Photography

5 October

sea striking images

I’ve been collecting amazing images for my internal visual library and I thought I’d share these with you. They’re mostly from fffound and other places. Beautiful. They make me want to go to the sea for a brisk windy coastal walk.

Striking Monocrome Photography


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Beautiful Images

5 October

Beautiful images

Here’s some beautiful images… to keep your heads full of lovely visuals for your future creativity. Feed the internal visual library!


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Typography Treatment

5 October

typography

Here’s some Typography treatment I’ve been enjoying. It’s simple and elegant.


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Art Direction & Styling

28 September

art_direction_yarn_jewellery_fashion_berry_

art_direction_yarn_jewellery_fashion_fruit_

I was asked by a woman who makes hand spun yarn to create her some branding. I thought she needed more than just a logo, she needed a new angle on yarn that was further from grannies knitting and closer to sexy fashion images. So as well as creating her a logo and website I styled and art directed a shoot for her and created these blackberry and beetroot necklaces to enrich the image and give it visual interest, texture and context. I had various concept ideas including plastic disco balls and sculls, etc but these 2 were my favourites.

 

art_direction_yarn_jewellery_fashion_fruit_


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My Berlin sketch book

28 September

my sketch book

When I moved to Berlin, I started a sketch book that I filled with things I’d found, photos, sketches and quotes. I filled the book in about 2 years and it’s now one of my most precious things I own as it reminds me of everything that happened there, better than anything else could. I smile every time I look through it. I planned to continue this exercise and start another book for London but of course it hasn’t happens as London swallows your time like no other place. Those years in Berlin are forever captured in the book and I though it would be just me that sees it. Then I had the opurtunity to use some of the pages for a series of cards, mugs and t-shirts I designed for Moonpig. Now the vintage photos I found in Treptow flor markt and the photo booth images from Bar 25 are being used as place holder images for photo upload cards and mugs for Moonpig (where you upload your own photos to the design). It’s nice to know they’re getting an airing.

Graphic design Moonpig greeting cards

Graphic design Moonpig greeting cards

 


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Tahoe Teleidoscope

21 September

Teleidoscope photography experiment

I created this image by cutting out my boyfriend Chris and replacing him with the view of him through my teleidoscope. I played around with the colours a little.


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Fiend Festival Headdress Workshop

20 August

I was invited by Shoreditch House to run a festival headdress workshop. I brought along my Fiend designs for inspiration and all the materials and tools needed and let them loose on it. I was there to help advise. Some were reluctant to sew and preferred the glue gun whilst others made a more thorough job of it and created beautiful headdresses that will survive a good few dance offs. Don’t get me wrong, I love a glue gun. They’re quick and easy but the finished result hasn’t as much wear and tear/ tree climbing potential. It was lovely to see what other people did with the materials and the rate of production which varied hugely. Thanks to Jade who runs the events at Shoreditch House for bringing me in. I had a really lovely afternoon as did the crafters, who now have amazing headdresses for Burning Man. Whhooop.

If you want to host a workshop or attend one, just e-mail me at polly@fienddesigns.com.

Polly Playford's Shoreditch House Festival Headdress Workshop

Polly Playford’s Shoreditch House Fiend Festival Headdress Workshop


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Colour study Brazil architecture and design

20 August

I recently took a trip to Brazil and was so impressed with the use of colour everywhere I thought I’d try and bring some back. I’ve decided to paint the house bright colours and generally wear colour as much as possible. Of course they’re simply reflecting their environment. With bananas, humming birds and bright blue skys around you, you’re going to choose vibrant colours. In UK we’re famous for our muted colours in our clothes and Farrow and Ball’s multiple shades of muted brown, green and grey that reflect our less colourful but still beautiful environment.

 

colour study brazil architecture design and fashion

colour study brazil architecture design and fashion

Colour study Pink

Colour study Brazil architecture and design


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Headdress workshop I am running at Shoreditch House

20 July

On the 16th August at 11am I am running a headdress making workshop at Shoreditch House. It’s open to members and their guests. The materials will be provided for free. Come down and make something you’ll be proud to sport at a festival, a wedding or just down the pub. The image shows the materials and a head band and fascinator I made.

Headdress workshop I and running at Shoreditch House

Headdress workshop I and running at Shoreditch House


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Curly hand drawn typography

20 March

Some fancy hand drawn typography I found

 

Beautifully executed hand drawn typography. I like the fact that you can see the workings behind it.

This reminds me that I need to create more hand drawn fonts. I did one recently and it worked out pretty well.

More sketching!

 

Curly hand drawn typography


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Rio Sugar Loaf Mountain Typography

20 March

Rio Sugar Loaf Mountain Typography

This is a picture I took in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil this week on the iPhone. Such a great camera for a phone. There are some great effects on offer.  The font is from 10 dollar fonts  I love this site.

Now that I’ve created this graphic I realise it looks like the same format as a Darper mix, an excellent DJ/ graphic designer, you should have a listen to. My fav mix is the one he did for burning man 2013. I must have had it somewhere at the back of my head. Creative influences are not often conscious but certainly come from somewhere. Go Andy!

Rio Sugar Loaf Mountain Typography


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Art Museums and Galleries in Vienna

12 February

In Vienna last week I visited an art gallery called the Art Supermarket that sells affordable art at 3 set prices under £500. It’s a great model I thought. The owner, who is a friend of a friend, has asked me to send him some of my work to potentially sell there. This is exciting. I’ve got such a huge variation in the ‘art’ I create it’s going to be hard to nail it down to one direction. My preferred direction is my collage and mixed media 3D framed pieces. One of these, with the bird scull, is in an earlier blog post.

We also visited the museums quater to the Velazquez in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History) as well as the modern art history museum book shop which I could have spent all day in.

Thought I’d post a picture of the apartment stairs we stayed in, with Tina, my Austrian friend and what looks like my moon landing.

Vienna


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Excellent Gestalten Book on Collage Design

12 February

I Love Gestalten, they are my favourite publisher of anything creative. I picked up this excellent book on my visit to a modern art museum in Vienna, which by the way is a extremely beautiful city.

You can buy it here I think http://shop.gestalten.com/books/age-of-collage.html

Some of the collages inside remind me of some of the early Fabric nighclub flyers from 10/ 12 years ago. That was my dream job back then, graphic designer for Fabric. I was actually offered that job in 2009 but couldn’t take it as I was living in Berlin and liking it too much to leave. Still, nice to be asked.

Gestalten book Age of Collage

 

Excellent Gestalten Book on Collage Design

Page from Gestalten The Age of Collage

Page from Gestalten The Age of Collage


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sketch work

30 January

Sketch work graphic design.

Last summer I did a lot of sitting in parks and sketching and reading. This was actually in Hackney Marshes. One of the places closest to my heart. Nobody goes there! It’s so lovely and massive. It’s the only part of london that has never changed. It’s just as it was before London was ever here (well except for the railway lines and cricket pitches).

 

sketch work graphic design


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Mixed media framed art I designed

28 January

Mixed media framed art I designed

Mixed media framed art.

As well as graphic design, I also make all sorts of things, headdresses, fascinators, festival capes and hoods, pictures, greeting cards, christmas wreaths. I love making things. I find it therapeutic and enjoy complete creative freedom. Going to burning man festival was great for my crafting. I started by making a headdress out of a rams scull I found on a long Scotish walk. That was 2 years ago and since then I have made 100s of things since then. I’ve sold many of them and made a lot for friends. It’s so much fun to use my hands making things after mainly doing most of my design on the computer, apart from sketching.


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Neon Typography experiment

22 January

YES to interior design

I’ve always wanted a neon sign. Originally I wanted it to say DISCOVERY. Then I changed my mind. YES is the vibe I want to share. It looks fabulous sitting over the old polish barn window framing Johny Dawson-Ellis’s Zebra painting.

YES sign on old window frame


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A tissue fringe picture I designed

12 January

I saw some tissue fringe somewhere and thought it would look good if there were more of it and layered, so I tried it. My boyfriend added the lights and a fan underneath and it really works! It’s not going to last forever. Great party decoration.

Tassel picture I designed and produced


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I love Instagram

7 January

Instagram for my other design meanderings

I only recently joined Instagram, which is silly really as it’s totally my kind of format. My mind works in images and I love collecting and sharing things. It’s also the sort of medium that welcomes more arty left-field photography without anyone accusing you of being too trendy. My favourite autumn past time has been making still life set ups and putting a lovely instagram filter over the top.

I helped my dad one weekend before christmas by climbing his hazel tree to cut down some branches. I cut one down with a little empty birds nest in. I used the branches to make a wreath for Christmas. I couldn’t resist making a little moss and hazel nests around it with a fig and flower from the garden to finish it off.

Moss and hazel birds nest I made

I quite my photoshoot fiddling and added ivy and some berries to the wreath, put the nest in there and hung it on the front door. Pretty good for garden waste.

christmas wreath with birds nest

christmas wreath with birds nest

Moss and hazel birds nest I made

Follow me on Instagram by clicking the link in the footer for more weird little things I’ve made.

 


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Creative Arts Magazine Article on Spotting Trends

1 December

freelance_graphic_designer_london_blog_computer_arts_magazine

freelance_graphic_designer_london_blog_computer_arts_magazine_polly_playford_article

Creative Arts Magazine Article on Working with creative trends April 19th 2011:

Anne Wollenberg gathers 40 tips for finding new trends, including how – or how not – to incorporate fashionable ideas into your work.

It’s nigh-on impossible to ignore creative trends, however you choose to interpret and act on them. Living in a visual society means constantly being surrounded by influences. So how do you sift through new aesthetics, styles and technologies? And just how important, and useful, are they?

To find out, we’ve spoken to 20 creatives with a broad range of views on finding and following trends. Unsurprisingly, many are contradictory – some advocate soaking them up and cherry-picking the elements that best fit your style, while others actively shun fashionable concepts. We’ve also collected plenty of practical tips, from implementing new colour palettes to seeking out other creative fields that are driving developments in the design world.

Whatever your take on the purpose and value of creative trends, turn over for everything you need to know about identifying and reacting to them yourself.

This is my bit:

Polly Playford
Graphic designer and illustrator
www.pollyplayford.com

Do Absorb your surroundings
I’m constantly aware of everything visual around me, and can sometimes spot trends subconsciously without analysing. It helps to be involved in all things cultural. Trends in graphic design often match fashion, especially print textile designs. Keep up-to-date with new music, check out related blogs and keep an eye on what major players are doing.

Don’t Expect a comeback
Trends are styles that gradually become more widespread until they’re overdone, unoriginal and often boring. Graphic trends come in cycles, like fashion, but tend to take longer to come back and do so in different ways. For example, an aspect of the 1980s colour scheme is back, but some trends from the 1980s will never return.


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My Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article

29 October

freelance_graphic_designer_london_blog_50_professional_photoshop_tips_and_tricks_cover freelance_graphic_designer_london_blog_50_professional_photoshop_tips_and_tricks_polly_playford_article

My Advanced Photoshop Magazine Article was published in May 2014. I was asked to write up my top tips on web design for the 50 Professional Tips and Tricks section of Advanced Photoshop magazine. That’s free advice right there. The image is from a shoot I art directed for a client. I also created her branding, including logo, typography and colour pallet and the web design.

 

 


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