Category Archives: Design

The Christmas Card

Wikipedia: “A Christmas card is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to Christmastide and the holiday season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day by many people (including some non-Christians) in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year“. 
The first commercially available card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and designed by John Callcott Horsley in London 1843. 

Heard that after 180 years of history, this year (2023) might be the last year people send Christmas cards by “snail mail”, since the postage is going to be very expensive in 2024, due to the decrease in letter correspondence and increase in costs.

Back in the 1980’s I designed and printed Christmas post cards and sent to family, friends and customers. Made by airbrush on paper (except one that is with ink) 

In 2011 I started designing digital season greeting cards, playing with Adobe Photoshop:

And Happy New Year cards:


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Images – Project 2014

The 2014 project is to work with images in different medias:

  • photography
  • sort, scan and digitizing old and new photos
  • play and learn more Photoshop
  • take up drawing and painting again…


Demon Builder
Street art – London by Nathan Bowen

Pen on paper designs

Another trip down memory lane. During the 80’s I had a small screen printing and graphic art studio. It was in the age before the computer. Frequent use of Letraset, repro camera and Xerox copy machine… 

Here is a gallery of some of the designs, a mix of T-shirt painting , posters, screen print designs etc:

Everyday design

One of my interests is “everyday design”, usability and functionality of ordinary things. The book by Donald A. Norman (co founder of the Nielsen Norman group), The Design of Everyday Thingsprinted 1988,  is dealing with design challenges. It’s fun and interesting to read and to learn how and why everyday, simple things was designed and why some products works and others don’t and is just frustrating to use.


The tumble dryer challenge
We have a Siemens tumble dryer that is approx. 6 years old. Around a year ago it stopped working properly. After a few minutes of tumbling it just stopped and a lamp on front started to blink. (1)

It means that you should empty the water container (2). But it WAS empty! Tried again…and again…and again….same result  🙁

Look in the manual: “When the indication lamp blink, empty the water container.”  

Called a service agent – “Empty the water container. Clean condenser/lint filter. Unplug and re plug the machine (?) and try again”. Done that, didn’t help. “We can come and have a look but it cost about SEK 700-1000 to analyse the problem”. I’ll be back…

I asked Google. Didn’t find a solution but information that others have had the same problem. Good to know.

Since we are about to sell the house, I thought it would be a good idea to make a final try to fix it. Some weeks ago, just before calling a service agent, I asked Google again. Success!!! There were still several others that experienced the same problem but this time I also found a suggestion on a solution to the problem (maybe I used the wrong search string the first time).

I think this case is in the department of frustrating department of usability and design of everyday things and this is not from 1988 but a machine from 2006. Don’t know how the person who put this on the net found out how to solve it but here it is:
Remove the condenser/lint filter (3).

In the very far end of the “tunnel” on there is a lid (4).

The lid is “a bit” difficult to open. Under the lid you find a lot of water and lint, quite “gooey”.
I thought it was difficult to reach the “secret department” this way and tried to open the side of the machine. I removed the top of the dryer, no problem. Removed all the screws that hold the side, no problem. But couldn’t remove the side since it was mounted with plastic splints and not screws to the front cover. Put everything back again :-(.
With help of a mirror, torchlight, cloth and paper it managed to remove the “goo” . It helped, the dryer works again 🙂
There is also a “float” in this “secret compartment” where lint also could get stuck and make the “float” to stop in top position and then the machine thinks the water tank is full and stop the dryer due to security reasons.
I admit, I am not a professional tumble dryer repair man but this is construction is designed so you HAVE to call the service agent to clean up the lint and empty water to make it work! And it’s not mentioned in the user manual.

Color Scheme Designer

Wednesdays I attend a class, Interface design and Digital Estetics, where I learn about different aspects on web design. Thought it was about time to get a proper education in this area 😉

At one of this classes we were introduced to Color Scheme Designer. It’s a cool and useful tool that helps you find a matching color scheme for your web site. Very easy to use and lots of adjustments, try it…

Color Scheme Designer

The reason we take the class:

To the blind all is sudden

Sunday 1 of advent Swedish cities have “skyltsöndag“. This is to get the Christmas feeling starting. The shops are open and display Christmas decorations in the windows. Some serve “glögg och pepparkakor” (mould wine and ginger bread).  According to wikipedia the first skyltsöndag was in Stockholm 1953. had together with Shiva Tea House also opened and I served glögg and “æbleskiver” from 12.00-18.00. Æbleskiver is a Danish tradition/delicates and are mostly enjoyed at Christmas time served with icing sugar and jam.  Translated to English æbleskiver is apple slices but these days there is no sign of apples in it. It’s a small ball made of a sort of pancake dough. In the old days (1700) it was slices of apples fried in flour and butter.

Among all of the visitor there was a very nice, happy and friendly blind couple. They were born blind and could only distinguish between light and dark. I served them æbleskiver and glögg and tried to explain what it was. The challenge was when they asked what kind of shop is – what kind of interior decoration is it? It was really a big challenge because how to describe a pink drawer, grand-pa watches, silver glossy tin cans, multi coloured patch work blankets etc. to someone  who always been blind?

We also had a talk about the internet. Even if they were blind they surfed the internet. Some blind people use “read back” that read the content on the page. This couple used a Braille pad where they read the content on the page with their fingertips, incredible. This made me think about the importance of web accessibility. Just think about a small detail as a phone number written 12345678 which is twelve million three-hundred and forty-five thousand six-hundred and seventy-eight instead of 12 34 56 78  – twelve thirty-four fifty-six seventy-eight…

Header images

This theme Panorama make it possible to change the images in the top of the page in an easy way.

I found a number of photos in our photo library and after some Photoshop treatment I uploaded them.  They are  displayed in a random order.

Theme III

The today’s theme is called Panorama. I like this one and I think I stick to it for a while. It has a clean design, it’s quite easy to edit, the plugins work and Panorama is a good name 😉
What do you think?

To change font style, size, color etc. you do that in a stylesheet in the wordpress editor. Here you also can edit other parts/pages of the site. It’s a good thing to know a little about html and/or php if you like to start editing:
Edit Theme
I have removed a search box, changed headings, link color and some other small things…

Next step is to change the panorama images at the top to some of our own images.

Theme Panorama

Themes II

It is not easy to find a Theme that fullfill my different criterias. I like it to be “clean” and simple – “k.i.s.s.” There is even a theme with the name k.i.s but I can’t make it work properly with some of the plugins I’ve installed and I couldn’t adjust the design the way I like. Impatient -> next theme…

The theme of today is called Grey Matter and looks ok with some nice features. Just find it a little bit difficult to change the design. Maybe I just have to try harder 😉

A theme I like is Flashy. It’s not so “clean” and simple but I think it’s fun. I had problems with the images on this one…

Getting late so I keep looking later on. Let me know what you like from your side of the screen

Grey Matter