Designers’ collections

Designers – we’re an odd bunch with our obsessive and sometimes ridiculous tendencies. One of our more common traits is the desire to collect stuff in the name of inspiration or just because it will be useful… one day! So we thought we’d share some of the mark-makers’ personal collections and see what this reveals about our wonderful team.

Russ – Vintage Ladybird Book Collection

It all started in 2015. Ladybird’s centenary year. There were documentaries on TV, and exhibitions throughout the country displaying original artwork. The detail in these illustrations is mind-blowing. On average 24 illustrations in a book. The artist had 4 months to complete them which is quick. So I started collecting the books. I look for books that certain illustrators have worked on. They attracted such famous artists as Charles Tunnicliffe and Allen W Seaby. My favourite is John Berry, Official War artist who also came up with the Esso slogan ‘Tiger in your Tank’. The detail he put into each illustration is outstanding.

I pick up most of them from Charity Shops. Prices range from 50p to £4. I’ve got 145 books. Each has its own story. They were given as gifts, birthday presents or even school prizes. They all have that distinct old book smell.

Chloe – Fans

I have gatecrashed this design post, because I accidentally collect fans. It started with my grandparents bringing one back for me from a holiday in Spain, and it’s very gradually grown from there. A fan is a simple bit of kit that’s useful many places all over the world, and I sort of love that. People now bring them back for me when they go anywhere with a hot summer. I have fans from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Thailand… and some I’m not sure about because they’ve been around so long!

Emily – Owls

When I was a little girl I was fascinated with my grandmother’s collection of owls that lived in her home. I can’t remember exactly how many knick-knack creatures she had, but they were all different shapes, sizes and styles and one thing was for sure – they seemed to take over every nook, shelf, corner and were lovely to look at every time I would visit. Living in Chile, she was always far away as I grew up around the world. Because of this, I think my memories of visiting her were quite visually intense and that I picked up on details perhaps more than in other places because I knew it might be a long time before I saw her again. So really, as far back as I can remember, I was taken with owls.

I have only recently started collecting little owls for my home, so my collection as it stands isn’t very big. None of them are collectables as such, but they hold memories and stories of different places and people, which make them just as valuable, if not more. I never intended on collecting owls, let alone anything, but now I’m reflecting on it, it feels nice that through doing so, I am nearer to my grandmother on a daily basis even when we are miles apart.

As I’ve moved house recently and have yet to unpack every box, at the moment these little fellas are the only two that have been set free into my home. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Tom – Trainers

During a trip to New York in 2015 I found myself captivated by how obsessed and competitive the Americans were towards getting hold of the latest drop. Listening to people’s stories of what the trainers meant or what they went without in order to afford them was fascinating. So much so that I’d bought into the culture, leaving the States I‘d borrowed space in three friends’ suitcases to get my haul home.

The very first pair of Air Max 1 Premiums remain my favourite. What I admire most is how it’s been designed, capturing the idea of making the invisible visible, guess you could call it the Pompidou Centre of the sneaker world. At its peak I’ve owned roughly 50 pairs, sadly something had to give to get on the property ladder! Today it stands at 25. Despite it being less frequent, nothing beats the buzz of getting a highly sought after pair of kicks or lacing up for the first time.

David – Print’s not dead. Because nothing beats a physical copy…

I love buying and receiving prints…
The ‘POP’ the tube makes when you first take off the lid.
The ultra tense moment when you start to pull the print out.
The tissue paper which has been delicately wrapped around.
The unravel and of course that all important flattening process.
The admiration of casting your eye over to see all those little lumps, bumps and finer details.
And of course that little pencil signature in the corner (if you’re lucky enough)

As you can see the tricky part is picking a frame and of course a home.

Andy – DVDs

I’m the film version of the guy that used to spend hours sifting through album covers at the local record store. I’m a sucker for any limited edition artwork, exclusive extras or a steelbook. I mean there’s no real use for the metal briefcase from inception, but it does look very cool.

I find one of the most relaxing things is looking through films on the shelf, remembering great scenes and performances and wanting to rewatch it. It’s something that I think is lost with all the digital streaming platforms now.

Shannon – URLs (no joke)

I have over 4500 URL’s saved in my pocket (not literally). I am probably the antithesis of a ‘collector’ as I hate owning physical copies of things, CD cases, DVD Boxes, Software boxes etc, nah. Who even wants to own a Windows Vista box anyway? It’s like the worst trophy. True fact: I once ‘bought’ a limited edition box on ebay, just to receive the code for some useless digital pixels in a game. I told the ebayer to keep the box but send me the code.

The big bookmark crash. Back when before ‘bookmarking syncing’ was a thing and saving a URL was essentially bookmarking it and binding it to your browser of choice. It was a nightmare. I remember losing a ton of them once :cryface:

URLs are a funny collection, they can expire as time goes by, and this happened to probably one of the most historical URLs in existence, the first ever webpage which was created at CERN.

Along the way I have accrued some ‘rare’ finds. The original intention of the internet was to share documents, here are some of them.

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