Oooh, look over there. It’s a cliché.

look-over-there-driving-the-saab-its-a-bally-cliche--abb6cI’m painfully aware that I’m something of a cliché. I’m such a cliché that I work in advertising/design and insist, against all common sense and financial prudence, on driving a Saab. I’m such a cliché that I want rather desperately to believe that my ear can identify the differences between The National’s Fake Empire in 128kbps or 320kbps MP3 format. I’m such a cliché that I recently explained to someone, in an appropriately condescending way, that the word ‘cliché’ has its origins in typesetting, describing a commonly-used phrase that was kept in a ready-made block to be used repeatedly. That’s meta-cliché.

And for my latest act of cliché I’m reviving my blog on New Year’s Day.

My blog has lain fallow for coming on three years. It was never a deliberate decision to stop, just a pause that became an interlude that became a break that became a hiatus that became ‘I used to have a blog’.

The reason for this was something I wrote about when I summarised some lessons from my first year’s blogging (to be found here, in the Best Of section, should you be so inclined).

When I started, I thought blogging was a choice of priority – that I could prioritise blogging or I could prioritise doing other things.  And while that’s obviously true, over time I started to realise that that wasn’t the real choice I was making. It was really a choice of conviction. Did I have enough conviction in what I was writing that I believed it justified someone’s time and effort in reading it? That conviction would come and go. And then it went.

I’m not entirely confident it’s back. But there’s only one way to find out.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2015 be nothing but agreeable.

Oooh, look over there. It’s a cliché.

A see-through toaster, Infographics, 48 hours and the year’s best album (clue: The National)

A few interesting things I’ve found or, more accurately, that have found me this week.

The see-through toaster

I want one of these.  For no reason other than I really like toast and this feels like it accords toast the respect it deserves.  We should all marvel at toast’s creation.  For the transformation of bread to toast, like the transformation of grass to fairway or couch to bed, brings us joy.


Lots of discussion of the increasing use of infographics at the moment. I’d guess a lot of the interest has been driven by the UK election and some really useful graphical interpretations of events (below’s a widely circulated example highlighting the imbalance of votes to seats).  It’s from the very clever David McCandless of Information is Beautiful who I’ve written about before.

Then I found this Brazilian site that builds an infographic profile of all who have visited the site. Very sweet. (Click on the image for a better view.)

48 Hours

I love this idea for a magazine.  As the name suggests, it’s a magazine written, designed, edited and printed within 48 hours. It’s all based around one subject, with all contributions a different interpretation thereof. It’s like a magazine produced by digital working-bee, so feels wonderfully modern and quaint at the same time.

The National

Buy High Violet, the new album from The National.

The single, Bloodbuzz Ohio is brilliant.

So is Runaway (performed here live).

A see-through toaster, Infographics, 48 hours and the year’s best album (clue: The National)