A road, a paper size, a notebook

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Today we launch a new project called A6 Notebook – an A6-sized notebook about the A6 road in England. It’s the first in a series of notebooks inspired by the coincidental overlap between standard paper sizes and British road numbering.

The hardback 156-pp notebook is an invitation to explore your own creative meanderings while notionally following the route of the A6, which runs for 300 miles across England from Luton in the south to Carlisle in the north.

A6 Notebook is available for £11 plus p&p from our shop.

We’re delighted that Joe Moran agreed to write a Foreword. He’s the author of On Roads: A Hidden History, a brilliant examination of the social and cultural history of Britain’s roads. A historian with a focus on the recent past, Joe combines meticulous research with a poet’s ear for language – it’s worth following his blog and seeking out his other writing (including the recent Armchair Nation: an intimate history of Britain in front of the TV). 

The Foreword is followed by an introductory essay on the A6, with further information sections at the back. The main body of the notebook is blank for your own notes and doodles, with footnotes marking destinations and points of interest along the way.

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A6 Notebook is the first in a series – we plan to tackle the A5 next. We first had the idea about eight years ago and have been photographing the various A-roads while on trips away (we’ve blogged about it a few times). At first, the project was going to be an A0-sized poster, but we realised notebooks would be the natural medium for the idea, not least because of the rich symbolic connections between travel and the creative process. As Joe Moran writes, “Roads have long been a source of creative inspiration and narrative drive, from the Canterbury Tales onwards. But they are also a metaphor for the creative process itself. They are drawn like lines on the landscape, and they transport you from one place to another while often making the journey as interesting as the destination.”

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The project is intended as a celebration of British A-roads, which were long ago relegated in importance by the arrival of motorways, and have never enjoyed the same mythological status as American highways, but nevertheless play a significant role in the psychogeography of the British Isles. Joe Moran writes that “A-roads serve as the road system’s unconscious, often stretching for miles without being signposted or acknowledged, disappearing into street names and getting caught up in one-way systems but still always there, connecting up different areas of our lives serendipitously.”

The A6 has played a serendipitous role in our lives too – I grew up near the Wellington Road stretch in Davenport, and Sue studied design at Stockport College, about halfway along its route. A6 is also a good size for a notebook, so it feels like the right place to start. But this is just the beginning of a journey for us – we have several more notebooks to produce over the next few years before the set is complete. 

We’re hoping there’s at least a small market for notebooks about A-roads. You can order yours for £11 plus p&p from asburyandasbury.tictail.com

Hail Jodie

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By popular demand*, we have created a variation of The Nation’s Prayer in honour of the England women’s squad who have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Canada (they will play Japan on Wednesday night).

Rather than rewriting the Lord’s Prayer as with previous versions, this one takes the Hail Mary as its starting point. Jodie Taylor takes the lead thanks to her crucial goal in the quarter final, while captain Steph Houghton plays the holding role at the end.

Please feel free to download, print out and share in advance of the match, not that it’s done any good in the past. We may have to produce the full rosary set at some point, with footballs for beads. Or maybe not. (By the way, we are aware some Christians may not like the prayers being used this way – we appreciate your tolerance of what is intended as a good-humoured project.)

See previous posts for more on the back story to The Nation’s Prayer.


* one person mentioned it on Twitter (thanks @garham)

Luxury and logos

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I have written a prestigious article about luxury branding for Creative Review. It’s in the May issue of the magazine and also available to read on their blog (with some good comments – the Stella story is interesting).

Politics

In other writing-for-the-design-press news, I have contributed some views to this Design Week piece on political branding, where I’ve focused mainly on the words the parties use.