A lot of my work involves creating pamphlets, booklets and reports – combining useful words with apt images in a clear and enticing design. Text-rich pages are not the prettiest of images to show on-screen, so in some places I show cover spreads with back-pages alongside on the left. Or sometimes I show ‘page spreads’ to show a typical pair of pages from inside the publication.
Here are some of my favourite publications (designed by me) from the last 15 years:
An 80-page report on “Climate Geoengineering” for the ETC Group. The report was co-written by BioFuelWatch (UK) and Heinrich Boell Foundation (Germany). The report clearly explains the main technologies, the key players and the many powerful reasons to resist such ‘global experimentation’. You can download the PDF of the whole report for free from the ETC group website, here.
As a rapidly warming world manifests heat waves, floods, droughts and hurricanes, geoengineering – large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s natural systems – is being presented as a strategy to counteract, dilute or delay climate change without disrupting energy- and resource-intensive economies. Alarmingly, current debates about this big techno-fix are limited to a small group of self-proclaimed experts reproducing undemocratic worldviews and technocratic, reductionist perspectives. Developing countries, indigenous peoples, and local communities are excluded and left voiceless.
As this report details, each of the proposed geoengineering technologies threatens people and ecosystems. Holistic assessments of the technologies also show that if deployed they are highly likely to worsen rather than mitigate the impacts of global warming.
The irreversibility, risk of weaponization, and implications for global power dynamics inherent in large-scale climate geoengineering also make it an unacceptable option.
The revised (2nd edition) of the most useful ‘Food Directory for Oxford’ focusing on local, ethical and non-corporate food producers and retailers near Oxford UK. Thanks to the dedicated Martha W for meticulously updating the content, and to the decisive Hannah F for the editing, email-reading and proof-reading. If you live in (or near) Oxford UK, I thoroughly recommend you buy one (for only £1) as soon as you can. [Or you may just want the PDF of the whole booklet for free]. Entries are listed in order of their proximity to the centre of Oxford, to encourage people to walk or cycle for their food shopping. Get in touch with Good Food Oxford for more information, including bulk discounts.
A new 44-page report for Culture Unstained that exposes the human-rights abuses of BP (British Petroleum). The report questions the ethics of accepting BP sponsorship by several leading cultural institutions in London – The British Museum, The Royal Opera House, The National Portrait Gallery and The science Museum. All these respected institutions have ‘ethical policies’ which the report finds are in serious conflict with the business practices of BP in many countries around the world. Download the full report from the Culture Unstained website as a 1.6Mb PDF.
My favourite page in this report shows a beautiful hand-made tapestry from Mexico, which features an old Mexican saying: “They wanted to bury us but they did not know that we are seeds.”
This hefty 40-page 2016 report by Art-not-Oil exposes the corrupting influence that BP gets when it gives (relatively small amounts of) money to many of the UK’s most famous cultural institutions including the British Museum, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Download the report for free from the Art-not-Oil website. We were fortunate enough to have use of some amazing photographs for this report, and were helped with activists from groups resisting BP in Mexico, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and Egypt.
Women vs Local Cuts Toolkit
Challenging Gender Equality Impact Assessments & Local Government Budgets: A Toolkit for Women’s Groups. A 2013 A4 toolkit for the Women’s Budget Group, explaining how women’s’ groups can intervene in how Local Council cuts are unfairly affecting women. Here is a PDF of the 24-A4-page toolkit. See the WBG website for more about their work and other briefings and resources.
Ground the Drones
This 4-page briefing was first done in 2011 and is updated each year. Click on the image for a larger view, or download this A4 PDF. Drones are being used more and more by the US, but also by the UK, Israel and a few other countries. Even police forces are using them. In 2012 at a press launch event a Texan police drone crashed into a police armoured vehicle! Drones make assassination very easy, unaccountable and very hard to monitor. Drones appear to be very inaccurate. The Drone ‘pilots’ in the ‘ChAir Force’ are often poorly trained and come from a video-gaming background, which is the antithesis of ‘fighting with honour’. Many drone pilots are now suffering from mental health problems – killing people is not good for your soul – seeing the effects of their strikes on-screen and close-up can be quite harrowing. But the real victims are the innocent families in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq who are being killed or injured, or who live in fear as drones hover over their homes. Several senior US officials have said that “we are making terrorists faster than we are killing them”. There is a rising global movement against drones. To find out more please visit Drone Wars UK, and the Drone Campaign Network, and lend your support. A US campaigner against Drones, Brian Terrell, recently spoke in Oxford – it was a fascinating evening. His recent article is a very good introduction to the world of drone warfare.
Working with Conflict
A very useful handbook by Seeds for Change, published with EYFA in early 2013. Download the 40-page A5 booklet as a PDF and learn how to understand, and deal with inter-personal conflict. It’s got heaps of useful examples and thought-provoking exercises, and even a few jokes, like: “Avoiding conflict is like ignoring a small child who needs the toilet. It’ll just get messy…”
Tar sands coming to town
…Exposing Valero’s plans to bring tar sands oil to the UK” (and Europe), is a short report written and researched by folks from Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth, the UK Tar Sands Network and Corporate Watch UK. The wonderfully dribbley cover art was done by Ally, and Dan did the sharp graphics. Two inside pages are shown above. Download the A4 12-page PDF.
Buckingham Palace of Climate Sanctuary
Two short photo-essays, researched, written and designed by me for the exciting “Museum from the Future” art exhibition in 2012. Please download PDfs of each from these links: The Buckingham Palace of Climate Sanctuary was a spoof newspaper insert from 20 years in the future celebrating the re-opening of Buckingham Palace as a special ‘Welcome Centre’ for climate refugees. Let’s Re-Tyre is a spoof goverment briefing, slo from 20 years into the future, discussing the challenges and opportunities of dealing with Britain’s vast mountain of old car tyres – how can they be re-used safely?
Biomassters Battle to control the green economy
A report for the ETC Group for the Rio+20 meeting in June 2012. The world’s largest agribusinesses are fighting to dominate the emerging biomass sector, to make fuel, drugs and plastics from plantations of fast-growing plants. While a move away from petroleum is a good thing, many other aspects of this new sector is alarming. Read the 18-page PDF to find out more.
How to set up a Worker’s Coop
This 2012 in-depth guide was written (over the last 6 years) by the wonderful folks at Seeds for Change. Learn how to plan, form and organise a workers cooperative, where the workers control the business. This excellent 160-page A5 guide covers all aspects including the legalities, finances and social interactions. Here is a free B&W PDF. The book can be ordered from Seeds (Lancaster) or from Footprinters (Leeds) for about £6.
This was a spoof newspaper written and researched in 2012 by the dedicated campaigners at Stop Hinkley who are trying to stop EDF and the UK government building another nuclear reactor at Hinkley, on the north Somerset Coast. Above is the centre-fold spread. Click on the image above to see it larger, or download all 4 pages as a PDF.
Who will control the Green Economy?
A 2011 report from the ETC Group exposing the world’s largest corporations who dominate the emerging “green economy” – biomass sector, to make fuel, drugs and plastics from plants. Below are a pair of pages from the report. Read the 60-page PDF or visit the ETC website for more recent news on this issue.
Boost well-being – Bust stress
A short booklet on dealing with stress, this is a positive and uplifting publication (a rare treat for me). It was written by Maitrisara and includes some very sound advice, short exercises and further sources of help and information. Download the 20-pafe A5 booklet as a PDF.
Camp for climate Action – 10-page Photo-Essay exhibition
Back in 2010 I helped some of the young activist from Climate Camp to make a 10-page exhibition display that toured the UK in the build up to the 2010 Climate Camp in Scotland. Above are two pages from this exhibition. The display summarises the story of Climate camp so far and ends with a cutting analysis of the economics from 2008-2010. See the full exhibition as a 10-page PDF. Climate Camp UK is mostly fizzled, though similar initiatives are now happening regionally and in other countries.
Annual review for Refugee Resource
For a few years I have been asked to design the annual report of Refugee Resource, a small NGO in Oxford that helps refugees with housing, employment, mentoring and counselling. Above is the opening spread from their 2010 report. You can learn more from their website.
A Climate activist’s guide to the Law
The 4th edition of a useful legal handbook, published in 2010 by the hard-working folks of the Activists Legal Project. It’s 24 A5 pages long and includes a photocopy-able A6 “bust card”. Here is the B&W PDF for downloading and reading. I am reminded of Anne Feeney’s amazing song “Been to jail for justice” that includes many incredible lines including:
You law-abiding citizens, come listen to this song,
Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong.
Once unions were against the law, but slavery was fine,
Women were denied the vote and children worked the mine.
The more you study history the less you can deny it,
A rotten law stays on the books til folks like us defy it.
Geopiracy – The case against Geoengineering
A 2010 report by the ETC group that summarises the many forms of geoengineering being investigated, exposing their many flaws, and explaining the dangers of unregulated and unaccountable planet-sized experimentation. “If stupidity got us in this mess, why can’t it get us out?” – Will Rogers
Indra’s Net – Journal of the Network of Engaged Buddhists
For a few years I designed the Journal of the Network of Engaged Buddhists (NED) UK which was published 3 times a year. Above is one of the covers. While I am not a buddhist, I appreciate many aspects of their approach and often found great ideas in their articles. In 2011 they decided to stop printing a designed version. The UK NEB website seems to be gone now, but they are still on faceb@@k.
One Million Climate Jobs
An A5 booklet written by a host of folks from Climate NGOs and Unions. The idea is quite simple: fix the economy and the climate in one move – by investing in a million new ‘green’ jobs. Download the full 56 A5-page booklet. which is the 2010 version. The original was written in 2009 and was quite similar. More information is on their website.
CO2AL: Issue No.1
An 8-page newspaper for the 2009 Coal Caravan – a mass cycle-ride and education / discussion tour that visited several communities between Nottingham and Newcastle. The centre-spread features a very helpful poster: “A-Z of Real Solutions to Climate Chaos“, as shown above. Click on the image to see a larger version, or download the poster as a PDF or download the whole newspaper as an 8-page PDF. The caravan has a good blog with stories and photos from their many stops.
This was a large project in 2008 / 2009 by COIN to help several large UK unions get their members to seriously tackle climate change. Above is a postcard design for the project, one of several materials I designed for Climate Solidarity that also included posters, banners and leaflets. We also made a large set of Activity Sheets for participants to work through to learn about climate change and adjust their individual and group behaviour, at home and at work.
Oceans of Work: Arms conversion revisited
A 2007 report by Dr. Steven Schofield, published by BASIC, to explore one of the most useful ideas of the Century: moving investment and jobs from Nuclear Weapons to Climate-saving technology. This is one of the most ‘useful’ projects I’ve ever been involved in. Visit the BASIC website for more recent information on this, and other nuclear-related issues, or download a PDF of this 44 A4-Page report.
This Poem is Sponsored by…
A 2007 book of poetry to celebrate the 10th birthday of Corporate Watch UK. It comes with an audio CD of 19 live performances. You can still buy it for £7 (plus shipping) from the shop at the Corporate Watch website, probably. Corporate Watch are one of my favourite groups and I strongly recommend you keep an eye on their website, subscribe to their newsletter and buy their incisive reports.
What’s Wrong With Supermarkets
This was one of the most popular publications from Corporate Watch (UK). You can still order printed copies from the Corporate Watch Shop, I think. It explains in detail how supermarkets are bad for consumers, producers, society and the natural environment. This small handbook was updated and reprinted over 6 times. It was last updated in 2006, so some of the examples and figures are a bit dated, but the arguments are still very true. Here is a B&W A5 PDF. The clever graphic on the front cover, and the zombie-shoppers queuing in every page’s footer, and many of the cartoons inside were drawn by an artist called “V”.
A short but powerfully well written booklet on the ‘curse of oil’, this A5 booklet was researched by Corporate Watch, Platform and Rising Tide (the bit that morphed into COIN) back in 2005. The inside 32 pages are here as a B&W PDF.
War Prevention Works
An inspiring book of 50 case studies from around the world, researched and written by Dylan Matthews and published by the Oxford Research Group in 2001. This was the first proper book I ever designed, and I was thrilled. Dr. Scilla Elworthy oversaw the project. Each story is given two pages (with a rough map and cute graphic) and tells the story of a succesful case of some form of conflict prevention or conflict resolution. The book’s cover features artwork by Gabrielle Rifkind. The whole book can be downloaded as a colour PDF. We also made a large A2 poster that attempted to summaries, in a vast table, the key facts from each story including the contact details of the group involved and the estimated cost of the intervention. Below are a pair of pages from one of the stories: