This looks ace – British Aviation poster book – The Golden Age of Flight. Lots of art deco images


This looks like a must-have. Well it would were it not £35… British Aviation Posters: Art, Design and Flight by Scott Anthony and Oliver is published by Lund Humphries and rounds up some glorious images from the pioneering days of air travel.

It is a bit cheaper on Amazon…

I’d love to fly to Le Touquet one day…

It looks at the influence of futurism, modernism, art deco and surrealism on posters which try to capture that early flying experience.

Is Time Out right? Is London really the World’s Greatest City


Mmm. This week Time Out London has gone on record as declaring London as the greatest city on the planet. Time Out NY does this on a regular basis, as does Time Out Paris, and I suspect that if it existed Time Out Riga would make the same claim too.

Personally, in spite of being a massive Londonphile, I don’t like all this bragging. It is something that New Yorkers have been doing for decades and it comes across as little more than a sales job born of misplaced arrogance. Kind of like Wolves fans singing about being the ‘greatest team the world has ever seen..’

I think London and Londoners know better. Surely it is British trait to be a little on the modest side. Also London hasn’t always been so great. Certainly you would have looked stupid making the case for London as the world capital in the late 80s and early 90s.

That said the Time Out article does make a pretty compelling case. The star witness is Bonkers Boris, who declares

‘I hope I won’t be accused of chauvinism if I say that London is the greatest city on earth – the commercial, cultural and artistic capital of the world. We have twice as many bookshops as New York, more theatres, a larger financial services sector – and a quarter of that city’s murder rate. We have more museums and more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris. We have more parks and green space than any other European city.

Now I don’t care a hoot about Michelin starred restaurants (can’t afford to eat in them and besides wouldn’t ‘world’s best collection of ethnic restaurants would be a much better claim’) but he is bang on about his other points. Sure there is a lot wrong with London – the transport system creaks largely because it has been around so long and the city wasn’t designed to work in this way and don’t get me started on cycling. There are also nowhere near enough swimming pools and yes the weather isn’t great.


We have The Thames – surely the greatest city river in the world. If you have never taken a Clipper you really haven’t lived.

We have embraced multi-culturalism in a way that other cities can only dream of – London truly is a World city with people from across the globe. The London food scene is so much richer and diverse than pretty much anywhere on the planet.

We have that perfect mix of old and new – Look one way and you see a medieval tower, the other and you see the tallest building in Europe.

We have some wonderful villages – You could spend a week in London and have a wonderful time and see amazing things without going anywhere near the centre of town.

I think the key to London’s success is that it is able to constantly evolve. We are the Facebook of World Capitals, not always first with the innovation, but able to absorb new things in a way that keeps us addictive.

The irony is that we will probably be eclipsed by Shanghai, Mumbai or Rio sometime soon. But for now Time Out might just be right. Let’s not brag about it though.

The Word magazine lives on online as The Afterword – in a kind of legit way

Here’s an interesting one. It appears that The Word magazine isn’t so dead after all. Its vibrant online community has been replaced by something called The Afterword, which also seems pretty vibrant and popular too.

So is this Development Hell – The Word’s publishers – sneaky way of keeping the brand alive? Now according to the FAQ on the site which says…

Is this site officially connected with Word Magazine or their publisher Development Hell?
In a word, No.

What has happened to the old website? Can I access my old blog posts from there?

The Word Magazine website closed down on 17/7/2012. We hope to be able to give you access to some of the old website content soon. Watch this space.

So it isn’t connected to DH, but then they might have some of its content and there’s also a link to the site from the mag’s original site.

Anyway, I have said many times that there is an alternative biz model for the brand and maybe it is something that the community can take a lead in. It all depends on how generous DH are feeling about their old brand.

Kickstarter heading to the UK : Good or bad? I can’t decide


Some interesting news today is that Kickstarter, the crowd-funding model for arts, media and gaming projects is coming to the UK. Up Until now you could fund UK projects, but only if you had a US address. From Autumn it will be open for anyone with a UK based project.

I have very mixed feelings about KickStarter. On the one hand I welcome the way it enables projects that might not have ever got off the ground to be funded.

But on the other I can’t really get my head round the idea of effectively begging for funding.

Personally I prefer the Blizzard magazine approach of pay what you want for a magazine. It works for them (probably because the content is amazing).

Anyway I will be watching it with interest.

London – A City Through Time for iPad review – the app book gets reinvented


There’s a lot of London publishing going on at the moment (coughs, but in terms of digital publishing nothing quite as ambitious or an innovative as this.

London – A City Through Time is an iPad app that is an extraordinary in its scope, vision and technical implementation. There really is nothing like it. Its executed by a company called Heuristic Media who have worked with among others Macmillan Publishing and The Museum of London to deliver a history of the capital using images, video, maps and a load more. There is some text there too – more on that in a moment.

At first glance it looks mind blowing. There are a number of ways of working your way though it. You can access information via a Timeline or find things via interactive maps. Alternatively you can just browse through videos, maps or individual subjects.

There is some fantastic stuff in here. The images, everything from portraits of medieval queens through to harrowing images of WW2 London are really superb. There are also a few very striking skyline images that enable you to get a 360 view on either via using your finger or by using the iPad’s gyroscopic facilities.

I also love the maps, mainly from the Victorian era, which show how the city began to sprawl during that century. You also get a few celebrity quotes on London, some cute Pathe videos featuring a cast that includes Oswald Mosley and John Lennon and a trio of audio tours you can take.

Ironically, for what can still be loosely termed a book, is that while the app is brilliant on images and interactivity it isn’t great on words. I was promised several thousand articles – what I got was school essay type stuff and load of links to Wikipedia. I am guessing that most of the content is curated from another source, but it is dull, textbook like, and quite often not especially relevant. It really undermines what could be a promising section on tube trains, and adds little to the overall package.

To be fair, the vast majority of people who buy this won’t care anyhow. What this app does brilliantly is curate cool stuff about London. In five years time individuals will be able to do something similar in that they will curate content that has been stored online and package it up as content on an iPad.

The other sticking point might be the price. Personally I feel a tenner is fine for the app, but a friend who was also blown away by it, has reservations about the price.

However, don ‘t let minor quibbles about words put you off. If you want words go here (coughs).

This is a fantastic app that both tourists and Londoners will cherish. Go buy it!