The best ideas hang in mid-air

You won’t be able to move this month in Bristol without seeing at least one computer-generated image by Adrian van de Plas. The ambitious graphic designer and illustrator has an exhibition at Internet café NetGates until 18 March and another at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery from 31 March to 23 April. This image was designed for the Big Jeans shop in Bristol. ‘The background is a champagne cork popping like an explosion. I wanted the jeans to look arty and exciting,’ says van de Plas, whose work aims to ‘excite the brain and delight the senses’. But the jeans are ‘just ordinary’.

Designers in the early Eighties used to be struck by brainwaves while soaking in the bath. Their late-Eighties counterparts had their ideas time restricted to five minutes under the shower.

The Nineties designer, however, is paying the post-recession price, and the osteopath’s table may be the next fount of inspiration for concepts.

Graphic designer Michael Abrahams is a newcomer to multidisciplinary co-operative Amalgam, and was landed with the job of finding a marketing tool.

The group’s code name for this project was, for some reason, The Squirrel. They didn’t want a brochure, they didn’t want a mission statement, they didn’t know what they wanted.

“I was under such intense pressure I had to visit the osteopath,” says Abrahams. Staring at the ceiling, his boredom was relieved by – yes, you’ve guessed it – a mobile.

“It reminded me of Amalgam. One thing we are is mobile. We go in different directions but we are all loosely joined together.”

The group backed him up and the mobile will become Amalgam’s “signature”. Perfect for snowflakes at Christmas.

Latest articles