2015 Love Australia desktop calendar

2015 Love Australia desktop calendars have arrived!  For 2015, we have illustrated twelve Australian native species. Australia has the most amazing variety of flora, from the delicate Hardenbergia (Purple coral pea) to the powerful Waratah and Banksia. We have included the floral emblem for each state, so there there is something for everyone, regardless of where you reside in this fabulous country. They make great gifts for friends overseas too!

Email enquiries welcome. davey8trafalgar@gmail.com

 'Love Australia' 2015 Desktop calendar. All images copyright johndaveydesign 2014

'Love Australia' 2015 Desktop calendar. All images copyright johndaveydesign 2014

Mid Century Modern

Love it or loathe it, mid-century-modern is the buzz word of the moment! It's distinctive style has become an art movement while most of us weren't looking. From the highly popular 'Mid Century Modern' exhibition currently on at NGV Fed Square, to your local neighbourhood hard rubbish collection, MCM is everywhere.

Whilst owning a Featherstone original may be beyond many of us, we can all marvel at the exuberance of this period, it's optimism and spirit. Such is the popularity of this period of design, that people from all walks of life are clamouring to have their own piece of this very special movement.

Serious aficionados choose to live in MCM houses, drive MCM cars, and relax in MCM furniture, such is the magnetic appeal of this movement. Whilst that is perhaps beyond the reach of many of us, excellent examples of mid century design can still be found for a minimum of cost, if you know what to look for. Do some homework, research the designers, hone your style. These items are the antiques of the future. Happy collecting!


 Mid Century Modern decorative arts. All images Copyright John Davey Design.

Mid Century Modern decorative arts. All images Copyright John Davey Design.



Art and Industry

Very pleased to have found a copy of Art and Industry by Herbert Read, first published 1934.

Sir Herbert Read (1895-1968) poet, writer, critic, was a champion of modern British artists such as Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth

Amongst Read’s most important texts promoting Modernism in Britain is Read's Art & Industry: The Principles of Industrial Design (1934), the layout of which was designed by former Bauhaus tutor Herbert Bayer. In this seminal text, the designer was portrayed as an abstract artist working in industry, reconciling elements of design such as materials, form, colour, and proportion with modern mass-production technology. Read felt that the designer should play a central role in modern manufacture, rather than the low-paid, subservient role that generally prevailed at the time. 

This book resonates well, even today. It reminds me of the contemporary of work of Alain de Botton, especially The Architecture of Happiness – Well worth the $5 investment.

Glasgow School of Art fire

It was with great shock and sadness that I learnt the fate of the Glasgow School of Art last week.

The fire broke out on Friday 23 May around lunchtime, and swept through the building from basement level to the rooftop, engulfing the entire West wing. Fire destroyed the famous Mackintosh library, furniture gallery and lecture rooms, as well as extensive damage throughout the historic complex.

Designed in 1908, by the then 28 year old Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the first stage of the building was completed by 1909. It was his signature work as an architect, designer and craftsman. Whilst the devastation paints a sombre picture of the building and fittings, thankfully a fire proof bunker safeguarded the school's archive and furniture collection by up to 70%.  

Current graduate folios were also destroyed in the blaze, which is a devastating blow to students. In time, I hope that the school can be rebuilt and restored to it's former glory. 

 Images: Great Buildings.com and Scottish Fire Service

Images: Great Buildings.com and Scottish Fire Service

Vintage design

Whilst on a walk recently, I discovered these vintage signs on a building site in High Street Armadale. These forgotten beauties had been revealed after more than 80 years.  Days later they had been enshrined behind a 200mm thick concrete slab, never to be seen or appreciated again. Such an opportunity, I'm glad I took the time to record them.

 Photography, John Davey Design

Photography, John Davey Design

Letterpress in a digital age

Letterpress in a digital age

So thankful to have discovered the work of Brad Vetter, bradvetterdesign.com

This is some of the most honest design work I have seen recently.  Brad is a suburb typographer and letterpress printmaker working in the USA. His beautifully crafted posters are a visual delight. The revival of letterpress printing is certainly in good hands with this craftsman. In this digital age it’s good to see that antique technology and 19th century presses can produce work with true feeling and relevance. 

Read More