Desert Island Designs

Sedley Place’s Jeremy Roots picks his five essential Desert Island Designs.


Source: Alden Jewell

The Volvo P1800

Volvo is perhaps one of the most misunderstood automotive brands of our time, with one particular model personifying this dichotomy perfectly. Developed in 1957 by father-son team Helmer and Pelle Petterson, the P1800 gave a shot of glamour and excitement to the emerging Scandinavian brand. Its sleek new shape underpinned by modern yet reliable mechanics was greatly applauded. And as Roger Moore himself remarked “it’s simply one of the best cars that I ever drove, on and off film”. Volvo is synonymous with quality and longevity, and the P1800 is no different. Irv Gordon currently holds the Guinness world record for highest mileage in a car, traversing over 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S to date.

Bean bag

Source: Esther17

The Bean Bag

Being a child of the ’70s, there were many must-have items; Raleigh bikes, Spacehoppers and Slinkys to name but a few. But the one item that I still cherish to this day is the bean bag. Relaxed, slouchy and very swap shop, I adored mine to the point that I had to purchase one for my own children. The simplicity of the design and the way in which it moulds to each person makes the humble bean bag a staple within my Desert Island Designs.


Source: James Morley

The Empire C Class Flying Boat

The personification of luxury travel and the conduit for global communications through the birth of airmail, this unique form of travel rose and vanished within 40 years, never to be seen again. The aircraft epitomised a nation’s self-belief and came to represent a symbol of communication. Combining two forms of travel with remarkable design, the Empire C Class was truly innovative for its time and certainly warranted its tagline as “the only way to travel”. Even to this day it is a significant design; how many aircrafts now house a viewing deck?


Source: SmittenKittenOrig

The Stock Scarf

An essential item of a gentlemen’s dress that seems to have been forgotten until recently, the beauty of a scarf is in its versatility; no matter the season, there is a colour, material and knot style to match every occasion. All I can say is thank God for the resurgence of British tailoring. And remember; it is not a cravat!


Source: Aaron Harmon

The HB Pencil

Whether you are a digitally focused or prefer the more tactile pleasures of traditional designing, no designer can resist a pot of bright yellow, perfectly sharpened HB pencils. I, like many, find it hard to speak or express ideas without this essential tool to help illustrate my thoughts and ideas. Indeed it is perhaps the most essential item a designer can have, besides intellect, wonder, passion and a little irony.

Jeremy Roots is head of graphics at Sedley Place.

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