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Tag Archives: design

Sideburns Returns

  • Posted by alex
  • 11 December 2012

Sideburns of Glory T-shirt available again - but only until Thursday.

It's a hive of activity in the Printshop today as we're reprinting our sell-out Tee, Sideburns of Glory.

We launched this design in the summer and sold a record-breaking number of tees in only 7 days. We donated £5 from every tee we sold to the Dave Rayner Fund and raised a little over £5500.

Now it's back ('til Thursday anyway) and we're donating £5 from every tee to the fund again.

So, if you missed out, here's your chance to get your hands on one and help us raise some money to help up-and-coming cyclists racing in Europe.

But don't wait too long, they're already selling fast.

Mens T-shirt >
Womens T-shirt >
Kids T-shirt >

Beginnings of a new t-shirt design

  • Posted by aron
  • 12 January 2012

After a lovely fortnight off over Christmas and New Year we're back in the office and hard at it with new t-shirt designs for the spring range. Trying to come up with ideas got me thinking about my life and how I live it, and the things in it that I love or hate (sometimes both).

One of the things that I noticed was that I find myself glued to my iPhone. All that information right at your fingertips is an amazing thing to have, but at the same time it kinda works the opposite way. You end up consuming more information than you create, almost becoming a bit of a 'slave to the machine, man'. So I thought about how I could reflect this in an illustration for a t-shirt.

Here are a few sketches of what I've been working on. It was nice getting away from the mac and get drawing again, although, as you can tell, it's been a while since I've picked up the pencil and drawn some human forms so they're a little bit rusty. But I do like the Matisse-esque style they have.

As long as it makes the cut, the final design will be included in the spring range. We'll keep you posted on new tees via our twitter and facebook.

Thanks for reading.


P.s. I understand there's great irony in posting these on Instagram from my iPhone.

K O M A design

  • Posted by aron
  • 11 May 2011

One of my favourite illustrators (and regular howies t-shirt contributor) Andy J Miller is a kind of  wizard when it comes to drawing.

To add to his talents, he's showed a flare for writing too. He keeps a blog that contains his views and attitudes towards design, along with a collection of character illustrations, as part of his 'Day-After-Day in Nod' series.

You can see everything on his tumblr here > http://designkoma.tumblr.com/ - it's well worth a read through.

Here's one of my favourite entries:

Personal Work: Motive

I have always done bits and pieces of personal work, but in the past couple years I have started to dedicate a bigger portion of my time and energy to developing my personal work. Something that has become more and more abundantly clear is that there are certain artsy cliches that actually have a lot of meat to them.

The one I have been thinking about the most however is working for yourself. I don’t just mean doing personal work, I mean motive, doing it for you. When you sit down to do personal work, what’s you motive?

Here is the rule I have found to be true time and time again, If your motive is anything but a personal desire to create, your work will suffer.

If you sit down to work out of a sense of jealousy, your work will suffer. If you sit down to work out of a sense of competition, your work will suffer. If you sit down to work out of a desire to make money or fill a gap in a market, your work will suffer.

When motives fog your desire to create, you will be filled with the wrong types of critics, your work will not flow freely and you will end up stifling your creativity all together.

How do you get your motives right?

Determine what type of work you want to create.

For me this started by taking an account of the most intense experiences I have had in my life experiencing film, music, or illustration, finding the similarities and then asking questions like “What about this moves me?”, “Why does this move me?” “What in my past effected what moves me?”. Then I filtered these things through my current values, dreams, thoughts and passions. All of these things put together give you a sense of what you want to accomplish in your own work.

Another thought that has always been helpful for getting this desire, is trying to create what art you want to look at and experience.

I can’t describe the feeling of going to the drawing board with that type of intention, coupled with a feeling  of success when it was over. Looking at an image you have created in which you feel accomplishes a true outpouring of you is one of my the most satisfying feelings in the world.

Articulating my most moving experiences in life through my work is exhilarating, and a feeling I have never had prior to these discoveries.

P.S. When I talk about what moves you most I am not necessarily talking about the stuff you are currently into. I am talking about throughout your life what where the things that you remember being really effected by? For me it’s stuff like certain episodes of specific kid’s tv shows, and certain pages in specific kid’s books, a certain moment in a song even. I believe determining how these things made you feel and why is huge in this discover.

Take The Ins With The Outs

  • Posted by aron
  • 19 November 2010



I arrived at work today to find an early christmas present for the Creative team.

It's a poster by Chris. Unfortunately that's all the info we have on the designer so whoever you are Chris, we'd like to say thankyou, it's very much appreciated.

We like presents here at howies.

(hint hint...)

10 Things I Learnt from Nick Hand

  • Posted by pete
  • 29 April 2010

My 'design dad' Nick Hand is coming down from Bristol today. I love having him around.
He brings knowledge and experience (and croissants).

I could probably write a top 100 things I've learned from working with him...
But, for now, here's my top 10:

1. No coffee, no workee (same goes for cake).
2. Never rush. Take time to consider everything.
3. Just because you did something yesterday, doesn't mean you should do it today.
4. You can do anything, even single-handedly.
5. A deadline is a deadline is a deadline.
6. But keep calm and carry on, no matter what.
7. And listen to nice music along the way.
8. You are neither superior or inferior to anyone else.
9. Be nice and nice things will happen to you.
10. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, just spin it a bit.

howies wouldn't be howies without him.

catalogue design

  • Posted by pete
  • 22 February 2010

We thought it would be cool if we in the Creative Department talked a little about the design of the
new catalogue (it should be on your doorstep anyday now).

It was a tough one, our first full catalogue without David's input. But hopefully you won't see any
difference in terms of the quality of writing, or see a sudden decline in our design sensibilities..!

It's all about Cardigan's twin town of Trevelin – a small town in the foothills of the Andes in
Patagonia and the Welsh colonies that settled there in the 1800s.

Last November four people from howies went out to Patagonia to follow in the footsteps of those settlers and find out more about Trevelin, while a group of us stayed here in Wales and learned more about our home town, Cardigan. From those stories we've made both a regular-sized catalogue and a larger newsprint version.

Nick Hand got back on board helping design this one with us aswell. He missed the last two Sweden Super Nice catalogues, as he was out on his Slowcoast bike ride. Was good to have his experienced mind and calming influence back in the building.

So, probably the first thing you'll notice the regular-sized Twin Towns catalogue is that we've changed paper stock. We've gone from using an uncoated paper to a mix of both coated and gloss instead. We did this so that the colours would pop and you could see more detail in our products.

It really does make this one feel a bit special... more like a book. We love the look and feel of uncoated paper, but even with retouching we still found the flatshots did lose quite a bit of colour and detail. So it made sense to change.

The next thing you'll notice is that great gatefold cover. It kicks the catalogue off with a nice soulful photo of Jack skating. The inside cover has a sweet panoramic shot of the Preseli mountains, then straight into the story.

You may also notice that we've switched typefaces, discarding trusty old Helvetica Neue in favour of Sentinel for the headlines – a hefty slab serif from font designers Hoefler & Frere-Jones. And for body copy we used Akkurat, which is easy on the eye and not too much of a giant leap from Helvetica... baby steps.

And finally, we introduced a new triangular colour key for our different trouser fits. This matches up with what our product design team have done on the waistbands of the products themselves, so now you can tell your loose from your regular a bit quicker.

Well like i said, a copy of the full catalogue or a copy of the newsprint version should be with you anyday now, hope you like it. Let us know what you think.

summer dreams

  • Posted by howies
  • 18 February 2010


So you have had a look at our new spring collection on-line and you will be receiving your new catalogue through the post any day now and at the same time I'm at howies HQ designing next spring and summer womens range.

So is there anything that isn't in the range for spring which you would absolutely love us to make?

What would you be buying now if we had it and what are you buying from other people this season because they have something we don't? It can be a bit of kit  for your sport, or something you would wear everyday or maybe something we used to make but don't anymore.

Send me your top 3 ideas for spring summer to [email protected] or comment on this blog.

Thanks for your time and think of warm weather and sunshine.

Top 5 design studios

  • Posted by aron
  • 9 July 2009

Here's a list of the top 5 design studios that have recently blown my mind. Ya know, the kind of design that's so good it makes you want to cry. Make a cuppa and check them out.

Non-Format - two guys that know type inside out.

The Church of London Design - editorial gurus (LWLies & Huck)

Universal Everything - impressive audio/visual-fest by Matt Pyke and friends

Studio 8 - some of the best layouts I have seen in ages

History Shots - masters of Information Design

Let me know below which design studios make you cry.

Or smile.


  • Posted by ruben
  • 23 January 2009

Objectified is an upcoming documentary about industrial design, directed by Gary Hustwit (who also did the Helvetica film).

It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the people who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. It’s about our relationship to mass-produced objects and, by extension, the people who design them.


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