NEWS AND VIEWS

… musings  
& much, much more

So here’s what’s been happening in and around Looking Glass Press. Enjoy!

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Stepping into the CSR space

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important for how our world should be. Companies should have a positive impact on our society as a whole while still being able to operate as a functioning business in the current paradigm. But as a micro business CSR, always felt a bit aspirational...

And to be honest, a cause I felt I could give back to did not really surface until I enrolled in life-changing and life-affirming studies in sustainability in 2014–15.

My first tranche of pro-bono work was for 350.org Australia, designing memes from the comfort of my own desk to support action on climate change, and for me probably a less confronting option to ‘locking on’ at a protest! Funny thing was, back in 2014 I really was not across what a meme was, and specifically how I was to set it up… but this old dog was up for new tricks. An added bonus was I got to work with some of the most passionate, committed and intelligent people you could ever meet!

My CSR response has evolved and so these days I just go with the flow. I am ALWAYS up for doing good work for people and organisations that are on the front lines of communicating about the environment and climate change, to a budget they can afford. And sometimes that is zero dollars. And that’s OK.

Over the last few years I have been blessed to have produced materials for some amazing organisations including Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia, the Green Institute, Farmers for Climate Action, the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Tipping Point, Groundswell Gloucester, The Next Economy, Doctors for the Environment and Climate and Health Alliance.

Blessed and proud to be part of, and support, this movement.
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Stepping into the CSR space

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important for how our world should be. Companies should have a positive impact on our society as a whole while still being able to operate as a functioning business in the current paradigm. But as a micro business CSR, always felt a bit aspirational...

And to be honest, a cause I felt I could give back to did not really surface until I enrolled in life-changing and life-affirming studies in sustainability in 2014–15. 

My first tranche of pro-bono work was for 350.org Australia, designing memes from the comfort of my own desk to support action on climate change, and for me probably a less confronting option to ‘locking on’ at a protest! Funny thing was, back in 2014 I really was not across what a meme was, and specifically how I was to set it up… but this old dog was up for new tricks. An added bonus was I got to work with some of the most passionate, committed and intelligent people you could ever meet!

My CSR response has evolved and so these days I just go with the flow. I am ALWAYS up for doing good work for people and organisations that are on the front lines of communicating about the environment and climate change, to a budget they can afford. And sometimes that is zero dollars. And that’s OK.

Over the last few years I have been blessed to have produced materials for some amazing organisations including Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia, the Green Institute, Farmers for Climate Action, the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Tipping Point, Groundswell Gloucester, The Next Economy, Doctors for the Environment and Climate and Health Alliance.  

Blessed and proud to be part of, and support, this movement.
The graphic design industry standard system for specifying print colours – Pantone – decided on two Colors of the Year for 2021. With my philosopher’s hat on I kinda get the selection, but as a designer I find grey and yellow problematic. Granted it’s a rather nice grey (Cool Gray 7 – note the American spelling) and a very sun-shiny yellow (AKA ‘Illuminating’ but otherwise known to people like me as PMS 106C) but matching and working with these colours can be a challenge. Because both lack tonal depth, it is hard to set readable text in either colour, and let’s just forget creating contrast or interest in a design by using tints.

Leaving my misgivings aside for now (and also the grey…) yellow is pretty inspiring is it not? Look up any search engine and you will straight-up find yellow associated with sunshine, hope, and happiness, but it can have conflicting associations. On one hand yellow stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honour, loyalty, and joy, but on the other, it also is used in reference to cowardice and deceit. Ouch.

When my brain plays with words, it often drifts to songs and lyrics and so it was no surprise that musings on yellow took me straight to ‘Mellow Yellow’, a song released by Donovan in 1966. Mellow Yellow has some intriguing facts associated with it (see Songfacts for more details: www.songfacts.com/facts/donovan/mellow-yellow). I discovered that Donovan and the Beatles were close collaborators (which I never knew), but what made me laugh out loud was Mellow Yellow was rumoured to be about getting high on banana skins. The suggestion was that scraped banana fibres cooked over a low fire released some sort of hallucinogen. Of course, it was never true!

Bananas happen to be one of my favourite yellow things. What’s yours? (...feel free to pop your comments below)
... See MoreSee Less
The graphic design industry standard system for specifying print colours – Pantone –  decided on two Colors of the Year for 2021. With my philosopher’s hat on I kinda get the selection, but as a designer I find grey and yellow problematic. Granted it’s a rather nice grey (Cool Gray 7 – note the American spelling) and a very sun-shiny yellow (AKA ‘Illuminating’ but otherwise known to people like me as PMS 106C) but matching and working with these colours can be a challenge. Because both lack tonal depth, it is hard to set readable text in either colour, and let’s just forget creating contrast or interest in a design by using tints.

Leaving my misgivings aside for now (and also the grey…) yellow is pretty inspiring is it not? Look up any search engine and you will straight-up find yellow associated with sunshine, hope, and happiness, but it can have conflicting associations. On one hand yellow stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honour, loyalty, and joy, but on the other, it also is used in reference to cowardice and deceit. Ouch.

When my brain plays with words, it often drifts to songs and lyrics and so it was no surprise that musings on yellow took me straight to ‘Mellow Yellow’, a song released by Donovan in 1966. Mellow Yellow has some intriguing facts associated with it (see Songfacts for more details: https://www.songfacts.com/facts/donovan/mellow-yellow). I discovered that Donovan and the Beatles were close collaborators (which I never knew), but what made me laugh out loud was Mellow Yellow was rumoured to be about getting high on banana skins. The suggestion was that scraped banana fibres cooked over a low fire released some sort of hallucinogen. Of course, it was never true! 

Bananas happen to be one of my favourite yellow things. What’s yours? (...feel free to pop your comments below)
So look what arrived in the post this week! Beyond Capitalist Realism: The Politics, Energetics, and Aesthetics of Degrowth is a publication design project I completed towards the end of 2020, and now freshly printed!

I think I have designed 11 books in total for academic and degrowth scholar Samuel Alexander, the first being Art Against Empire in 2017, which, in Sam's words, 'was by far the most complicated in terms of design and layout'.

Sam recently wrote a testimonial for me, an excerpt of which I share here:

'Art Against Empire included approximately 170 art images, as well as an opening essay plus other text, and given the ‘aesthetic’ lens the book was focusing on, it was obviously important for this book to look slick, polished, well balanced, and creative. Sharon’s work realizing this vision exceeded even my high and ambitious expectations. She was prompt and meticulous in her work and always creative and imaginative in her approach. She ‘got inside’ the project and worked with me to take it to new levels of design.

I cannot recommend Sharon highly enough. I have since worked with Sharon on more ‘traditional’ academic books and she continues to exceed my expectations as a publication designer – she is patient, meticulous and precise.'

Beyond Capitalist Realism is one such traditional academic book. You can find this book and some of the others I have designed for Sam via this link: www.bookdepository.com/Beyond-Capitalist-Realism-Samuel-Alexander/9780648840534
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So look what arrived in the post this week! Beyond Capitalist Realism: The Politics, Energetics, and Aesthetics of Degrowth is a publication design project  I completed towards the end of 2020, and now freshly printed!

I think I have designed 11 books in total for academic and degrowth scholar Samuel Alexander, the first being Art Against Empire in 2017, which, in Sams words, was by far the most complicated in terms of design and layout. 

Sam recently wrote a testimonial for me, an excerpt of which I share here: 

Art Against Empire included approximately 170 art images, as well as an opening essay plus other text, and given the ‘aesthetic’ lens the book was focusing on, it was obviously important for this book to look slick, polished, well balanced, and creative. Sharon’s work realizing this vision exceeded even my high and ambitious expectations. She was prompt and meticulous in her work and always creative and imaginative in her approach. She ‘got inside’ the project and worked with me to take it to new levels of design. 

I cannot recommend Sharon highly enough. I have since worked with Sharon on more ‘traditional’ academic books and she continues to exceed my expectations as a publication designer – she is patient, meticulous and precise. 

Beyond Capitalist Realism is one such traditional academic book. You can find this book and some of the others I have designed for Sam via this link: https://www.bookdepository.com/Beyond-Capitalist-Realism-Samuel-Alexander/9780648840534

Comment on Facebook

Well done Sharon my exceptional cousin and one whom is very talented ❤❤❤

Congrats! Looking forward to your treatise.

Brilliant work!

🥰🥰

Congrats. Yoohoo. Legend

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Perfect pics are priceless!

A picture paints a thousand words, and with publication design this often comes in the form of actual photographs but also figures, graphs and infographics. The joy is in finding or creating the right visual that cleverly and succinctly conveys a message, or beautifully compliments the words it sits beside. Some images are essential and others are just for window dressing, but either way they have to work.

Creating graphs and infographics is a separate story, but what is the best approach with finding the ‘perfect’ picture? Some projects come with pics supplied, and sadly sometimes these are ‘happy snaps’. The worst example I have worked with was a profile pic that had a wall-mounted fire extinguisher looking like it was growing out of the subject’s head! But with some judicious photo editing that was all fixed. The issue of GIGO (garbage in garbage out) is of course a great argument for having professional photos taken, but time, opportunity and budget often don’t allow this.

Given the task of finding images to augment a report, meme or post, I have a bunch of websites that are my go-tos. Beautiful free images and photos can be found at any one of the following sites: Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels but my ultimate go-to has to be iStock. While each image from this treasure trove comes with a small(ish) fee, the portfolio is extensive and includes vector-based illustrations which have come in handy over the years.

And as for the beautiful, albeit stern bunny in the cool shades? He/she is the creation of Anna Shvets via Pexels 😁
... See MoreSee Less
Perfect pics are priceless!

A picture paints a thousand words, and with publication design this often comes in the form of actual photographs but also figures, graphs and infographics. The joy is in finding or creating the right visual that cleverly and succinctly conveys a message, or beautifully compliments the words it sits beside. Some images are essential and others are just for window dressing, but either way they have to work.

Creating graphs and infographics is a separate story, but what is the best approach with finding the ‘perfect’ picture? Some projects come with pics supplied, and sadly sometimes these are ‘happy snaps’. The worst example I have worked with was a profile pic that had a wall-mounted fire extinguisher looking like it was growing out of the subject’s head! But with some judicious photo editing that was all fixed. The issue of GIGO (garbage in garbage out) is of course a great argument for having professional photos taken, but time, opportunity and budget often don’t allow this.

Given the task of finding images to augment a report, meme or post, I have a bunch of websites that are my go-tos. Beautiful free images and photos can be found at any one of the following sites: Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels but my ultimate go-to has to be iStock. While each image from this treasure trove comes with a small(ish) fee, the portfolio is extensive and includes vector-based illustrations which have come in handy over the years.

And as for the beautiful, albeit stern bunny in the cool shades? He/she is the creation of Anna Shvets via Pexels 😁
Sunshine on a rainy day!

So w..a..a..a..y back in 2019 I was enthralled by the Pantone Color of the Year. A vibrant orangey-pink hue it was referred to as ‘Living Coral’ and among other reasons, it was most certainly chosen to highlight the plight of dying reefs and the need for us all to focus on the environment.

Inspired by 'Living Coral' (PMS 2345 to print designer types like me), I decided to change LGP's corporate colour and inject some new life into the website while also showing solidarity with our beautiful, fragile reefs.

Similarly, I started 2020 with a commitment to change things up, but the adoption of the Pantone’s 2020s pick – Classic Blue – never happened. This was almost entirely down to my focus being redirected to the catastrophe unfolding in the south-east corner of Australia, where many of my friends and family live, which was literally on fire. And then Covid-19 arrived…

But this year I have stoked up the creative juices, embraced the update challenge and have taken on Pantone's 2021's colour pick. And surprise, surprise – it’s not one colour, but two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (AKA a bright sun-shiny yellow)… the duo being a bit of a colour comment on this past year and a projection for a brighter upcoming 12 months.

According to the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eisman: ‘this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.’ (see more here: (www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2021).

In a strange twist, reading the Pantone 2021 colour rationale reminds me of the way Looking Glass Press just is… in all that we do, in all the projects that we undertake but especially in the way we work with clients. To paraphrase – ‘we are always bright and cheerful, sparkling with vivacity, while remaining solid and dependable…’ even if I do say so myself.

So if your next publication design project needs a little ray of sunshine, underwritten with big lump of dependability, why not give me a hoy?

Image credit: Jose Antonio Alba pixabay.com/users/josealbafotos-1624766
... See MoreSee Less
Sunshine on a rainy day!

So w..a..a..a..y back in 2019 I was enthralled by the Pantone Color of the Year. A vibrant orangey-pink hue it was referred to as ‘Living Coral’ and among other reasons, it was most certainly chosen to highlight the plight of dying reefs and the need for us all to focus on the environment.

Inspired by Living Coral (PMS 2345 to print designer types like me), I decided to change LGPs corporate colour and inject some new life into the website while also showing solidarity with our beautiful, fragile reefs.

Similarly, I started 2020 with a commitment to change things up, but the adoption of the Pantone’s 2020s pick – Classic Blue – never happened. This was almost entirely down to my focus being redirected to the catastrophe unfolding in the south-east corner of Australia, where many of my friends and family live, which was literally on fire. And then Covid-19 arrived… 

But this year I have stoked up the creative juices, embraced the update challenge and have taken on Pantones 2021s colour pick. And surprise, surprise – it’s not one colour, but two:  Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (AKA a bright sun-shiny yellow)… the duo being a bit of a colour comment on this past year and a projection for a brighter upcoming 12 months.

According to the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eisman: ‘this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.’ (see more here: (https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2021).

In a strange twist, reading the Pantone 2021 colour rationale reminds me of the way Looking Glass Press just is… in all that we do, in all the projects that we undertake but especially in the way we work with clients. To paraphrase – ‘we are always bright and cheerful, sparkling with vivacity, while remaining solid and dependable…’ even if I do say so myself.

So if your next publication design project needs a little ray of sunshine, underwritten with big lump of dependability, why not give me a hoy?

Image credit: Jose Antonio Alba pixabay.com/users/josealbafotos-1624766
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We would be delighted to help you with your next project no matter how big or small!

GET IN TOUCH:  Phone: 0411 748183  •  Email: sharon@lgp.com.au