Friday 26 February 2010

These tea towels are making us hungry!

We've added a few new tea towels to ToDryFor recently, and we suddenly realised that a lot of the designs we stock feature food and drink. Obviously this shouldn't be too surprising, as tea towels are normally found in kitchens, but at least now we've worked out why we're always hungry! Here are just a few of the new foodie designs:

Tunnock's (designed by Gillian Kyle) - £7.50

Strawberry (designed by Thornback & Peel) - £11.50

Coffee and Cake (designed by Mr.PS) - £8.50

Tasty tasty tasty!!!

Monday 1 February 2010

Introducing... Stuart Gardiner

Stuart Gardiner is a graphic design genius. His previous work includes everything from 18th century inspired skateboards(!), numerous album covers, witty Northern tote bags and even an Iron Maiden 757 tour jet!

Here he is (pictured below) with the largest, most amazing dog we've ever seen (more on this later)...

Not content with his awesome Metal graphic designer status, Stuart has gone on to design and produce his own range of fantastic seasonal guide tea towels (as below)!

We wanted to know a bit more about Mr Gardiner and what fuels his magnificent designs. Below is a quick interview with the man himself...

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you approach design; do concrete ideas come in a flash or do you spend hours musing over things?
My work is quite varied so I don’t really have a definitive approach, it all depends on the project really. They usually start with a good think, then scribbles in a sketchbook until an idea is formed. Good ideas are a fickle beast, and can be instantaneous, or have to be sweated out painfully. Sometimes it’s an enjoyable process, other times I tear my hair out, but a deadline usually helps things along.

What’s been your favourite design project to date, and why?
It’d have to be my seasonal fruit & veg tea towel, because it was my first product as an independent designer and not something for a client. I’d only just gone freelance, so for my first consumer product to be so well received and sell well has been really encouraging.

What other projects are you currently involved with?
I’m designing a new look flyer range for Big Chill bars in London and Bristol, and also doing a logo for Ben Fogle who approached me after seeing my website. I’ve got some new products in the pipeline to get finished off too when I get chance.

Do you have any pets? (that makes it sound like a French practical exam, but we really honestly are interested)
At the moment, yes! I’m looking after a friend’s dog for 3 weeks. Ridley Bo Diddley (below) is a one year old golden doodle (a retriever crossed with a poodle) and is a very cute fellow indeed. Quite distracting while I work though (in a good way).

Tea or coffee to get you through the day?
Coffee, then tea, followed by coffee then tea. Lunch in the middle.

If you weren’t a graphic designer, what would you be?
I’d like to have been a musician, or working in music somehow. I play the piano and used to play the drums, but they’re too noisy for a terraced London house unfortunately.

Who’s your favourite superhero, and why?
Superman. I was about 5 and my mum said she was going to take me to the pictures to see Superman. I couldn’t wait even though I was expecting just to see still pictures of Superman. I was properly blown away when I sat through moving images with sound and everything. After that I learned how to draw his logo, which may have been the catalyst that got me into graphic design. Thanks Superman...

What was the last song/piece of music you listened to?
Fuse by Hudson Mohawke.

Your seasonal fruit and vegetables tea towel is a massive hit; how did you come up with the idea (and do you have an allotment yourself)?
I’ve got a degree in information design, so every now then and I have vaguely functional ideas for graphic projects. The whole seasonal eating ethos was getting a lot of press, so I thought it would make sense to do some kind of info-graphic about it, as people these days don’t really know what’s in season and when. At first I thought I’d just do it as a print to hang in kitchens, but then had the idea of printing it on a tea towel, so it would also have a practical purpose too. I don’t have an allotment, but I do grow tomatoes, herbs and various chillis in my back garden.

And finally, who does the washing up in your household (and do they dry the dishes with your tea towels)?
Our dishwasher does most of it, but non-dishwasherable stuff gets dried by me and my wife equally. Yes I do use my tea towels. It’s a good way of testing their durability, which of course is excellent!

For more information why not visit Stuart's website: