Could you be the next European Design Awards winner?


The EDA (European Design Awards), which has been running for 10 years, has begun to attract entries from over 34 countries now. The awards ceremony annually awards European designers for outstanding work in the design and communications space.

Last year saw Porto, a city which has had a flourishing graphic design culture for many years, and has survived a lot of political and economic upheaval since 2008. The city contains outstanding design schools like Esad, which also seen high calibre lecturers like Joost Grootens make appearance there. Along with this, Porto also has several medium-sized practices, including R2 a studio specialising in ‘graphic identity, editorial and environmental design’ and also Studio Andrew Howard another graphic design studio, all of which work across a variety of sectors.

From a design point of view, Porto contains many beautiful buildings making it the perfect venue for the EDA. Examples of this are the Porto cathedral, which dates back to 1146, the Edificio Vodafone and even the city hall, among many other classic and modern buildings that populate the city.

Back to the EDA, the gold award winners included a fish paste packaging designed by ‘Bedow’, a Swedish studio, ‘Creature of Habit’ by Netherlands based, ‘Ambassadors’ and the ‘Wales Nation Brand: Cymru Wales Sans’ by UK based ‘Smorgasbord’.

Attendees also saw the first sight of a new exhibition named ‘Design by Porto, Porto by Design’ which officially opened later in May 2017.

The exhibit featured 40 projects by 28 different students made for the City council in Porto over a span of four years. Collaborators on the project included R2, White Studio and Esad, along with many other graphic design studios.

To read more about the exhibition and the European design awards, check out:

10 ways to help Aleppo, Syria

Wright-Syria3Nearly every day we have seen the horrific pictures that come out of Aleppo, the besieged second city of war-torn Syria. Life has been tough for the inhabitants of the city, with the threat of shelling and atrocities committed by all sides of the civil war.

Below are 10 different charities, who are all doing amazing work to help alleviate some of the suffering that the people of Aleppo have been suffering. They all help to provide clothing, medicine food and shelter to the displaced in the city.

1)    British Red Cross: Teams are providing medical care and emergency services to help transport emergency cases to specialised facilities to get treatment.

2)    The White Helmets: This is a civil defence force that are known due to their distinctive white hats. They are a volunteer group who rescue people from destroyed buildings. Money donated to them will help pay for medical care for injured volunteers as well as supporting families of members who were KIA.

3)    Medecins sans Frontiers: MSF are helping to support 8 hospitals in the city, and are supporting more than 150 health centres across Syria, many in active war zone areas. While MSF can no longer access Aleppo they are still helping to support people.

4)    Preemptive Love Coalition: This a non-profit that tries to address the needs of displaced people, by giving them medical share, food and shelter etc. They’re already helping to feed more than 20,000 people just outside of Aleppo.

5)    Syria Relief: Here is another charity that is providing medical aid and mental health care to treat people who have been living in the war zone and have seen both physical and mental trauma.

6)    International Rescue Committee: IRC has been providing emergency relief and aid to the people of Aleppo since 2012. They support mobile clinics and give children education, amongst other things.

7)    Hand in Hand for Syria: This charity rakes aid to the people living under threat, and they also provide food, clothing along with medical aid too.

8)    Karam Foundation: This is a non-profit organisation that runs development projects and distributes aid within the city. They are currently providing emergency relief for schools inside Syria and supporting refugees who leave.

9)    Islamic Relief: IF has been working on the ground since the conflict began, and have helped more than 3 million people. They provide winter kits which help families survive the cold months.

10)    The Syrian American Med
ical Society: SAMS has already treated over 2.5 million people and are providing medical treatments for people in Syria and refugees in surrounding countries.

For more on how you can help and links to any of these great organisation, click here.

Trump Tech meeting

161214150919-trump-tech-summit-meeting-group-780x439When Trump was on his way to his inauguration, he decided to make have audience with some of the biggest tech firms in the world. At the table was Trump, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Tim Cook (Apple) and Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity) amongst many other leviathans.

And for many this was actually a good thing, having more stable entrepreneurs and innovators looking to influence him; because anything that moves him away from his normal behaviour and ‘Trump-isms’ would be seen as a great thing.

Secondly having leaders interested in ways to improve the country and seeking answers to solve problems, can only help the situation and with the fact that Trump is seemingly influenced by everyone in close proximity, having these tech CEO’s would be a great way to influence policy for the better.

However, today’s article pointed out just one small problem that Trumps meeting with these leaders had…..20% of the attendees in that meeting were Trumps! Most countries in the world have problems with nepotism though Trump who is unlike most sound leaders, decided that having his family in the meeting was the way forward.

For a man who defied all expectations and even what is regarded as proper presidential behaviour, he still hasn’t found a way to separate himself from his business interests, and with his children in the meeting, it only goes to prove that Trump is about as fit to run the country as his to be trusted with a mobile phone.

Along with this, the new president, who can’t resist tweeting, decided to bully companies like Boeing and Carrier, once again helping everyone see how presidential he was and sadly still is.

The remaining 3 years are going to be fun!

If you still want more on Trump and the meeting, you can read more here

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Humbly Accepts Razzie Award

therockWith all the hype surrounding the Awards season, it’s easy to forget that there has been a slew of awful films that were released over 2017. One that got a lot of the critic’s hate was the Baywatch film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  The summer movie which also co-starred Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra, was seen as a pointless reboot of the late 90’s franchise; as mentioned critics completely panned the film, which led Dwayne Johnson to rant about how critics had got Baywatch wrong, and that fans, in fact, loved the film!

It turns out that he may have been onto something when he said that. Baywatch recently was awarded a Razzie in its own, new category called “So Rotten You Loved It,” and the film beat out the likes of the Mummy, The Emoji Movie, and Fifty Shades Darker to the top spot.

Graciously ‘The Rock’ accepted the award, thanking both the fans and critics in his “acceptance speech” which he posted on Instagram. He even went so far as to describe the category of his film as “the shit sandwich you have been eating is so bad that you eventually started to like it.

Other winners on the night included The Emoji Movie (Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst screen combo and Worst screenplay), The Mummy (worst actor), Daddy’s Home 2 (worst supporting actor) and Fifty Shades Darker (Worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel).

For more on the awards and Dwayne Johnson’s acceptance speech, check out: 


Adidas in Savile Row

adidas-x-size-x-Henry-Poole-NMD-R2-02-1Adidas is a brand synonymous with sport, Stormzy and tracksuits. Henry Poole is a brand synonymous with Savile Row, military tunics and the smoking jacket. Not exactly a combination that comes to mind immediately, however, the two recently collaborated over a new trainer.

Henry Poole is a tailors which was founded in 1806, and was one of the first tailors on the now world famous Savile Row. Their tailors have created suits for everyone from Napoleon III, Charles Dickens and even Winston Churchill.

Adidas, who took inspiration from the long, illustrious history of Henry Poole, produced a shoe that fuses street wear with tailoring. While at first seeming a bit odd, it’s become a new trend, with many a red carpet being graced with the combination of tuxedo and trainer. The trainer is now seen as an alternative to the more classic Oxford or Brogue shoe. This meant that a trainer was the most suitable way to form a collaboration between the two clothing brands.

The Adidas-Henry Poole shoe, which is a variation on the Adidas NMD, has 2 colours, a navy blue and a charcoal grey variation, both of which come in a purple mesh bag, and for that added touch of class and sophistication – a wooden shoebox.

We think Adidas is always edging it with innovative new pieces and we love it.

Read more on this collaboration here.

Banksy at the Barbican

banksy-basquiat-barbican-01-720x456Illusive artist Banksy has recently graced London with another 2 pieces of his famous stencil work, and both pieces appearing in Barbican, in central London. The first piece was called ‘Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump’ which shows a character and his dog, standing by two police officers.

This piece also coincided, and was inspired by the Jean-Michel Basquiat show ‘Boom For Real’ which opened a few days later in Barbican Centre. The character or ‘Boy’ was a representation of Basquiat. Later in an Instagram post accompanied with a picture of the artwork, Banksy wrote, ‘Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.’

The second artwork which is smaller can be seen on the opposite side of the road. This one featured a stencilled queue of people waiting at a ticket booth, next to a Ferris wheel, with crowns (drawn in chalk), replacing the carriage seats on the fairground ride.

We think the secret identity of Banksy does more the half of the marketing to be honest… The artwork is borderline mediocre and almost repetitive. Let us know what you think about his latest piece. Comment below…

Chelsea duo tested for drugs post UCL match

the-ball-stadion-football-the-pitch-47730.jpegRecently Chelsea produced a ‘superhuman’ display to beat Atletico Madrid at their new stadium in the UEFA Champions League, to help them become the first away team to win at the new Atletico stadium.

The win put Chelsea in control of their group and also put them above rivals Roma and 5 points clear of Atletico Madrid in the group, however this isn’t the most interesting part of the story.

It turns out that having such a wonderful night of football against strong opposition, may give rise to the idea that the Chelsea team may have had some help in the form of performance enhancing drugs.

UEFA asked the defenders Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta to take the pee in a pot test, to make sure they didn’t have any extra help from illegal substances. Normally players have taken offence to this accusation, but the two blues defenders seemed to take it in their stride!

Posting up a picture while in the doping control room, Cesar Azpilicueta also added this caption, “With my friend @marcosalonso28 in the doping control after this HUGE WIN!!! Come on Blues!!!”

Read more on this coverage here.

10 Quick fixes to improve productivity when working remotely

working-remotelyWorking remotely is amazing. Flexibility is a great thing, but working from home, or from venues can lead to procrastination…

However, if done correctly, working remotely can be a great way to be even more productive than working in a boring office, and here are 10 tools you can use to improve your productivity:

  1. Dropbox: Dropbox can keep all your files organised and in sync with colleagues and access all them anywhere and at any time.
  2. Trello: This is a great project management tool, which can help prioritise and streamline your work. And best of all, the basic version is free.
  3. Hootsuite: If social media is something you work with, Hootsuite will make your life easier by syncing your profiles and helping you schedule content.
  4. RescueTime: An app that tracks the time you spend on different apps and sites, and will make sure you stop your procrastination.
  5. Hemingway App: Tells you whether the text you’re writing is too complicated to read, it provides helpful suggestions and makes your writing short and concise.
  6. Workplace by Facebook: This is a new tool, to help teams share files through different communication channels.
  7. Slack: Our personal favourite here at Ellyot. Fantastic team communications platform where we use daily to text, call and file share with our teammates.
  8. Pocket: Helps you to save links, pictures and videos into one place, allowing you to keep things in one easy to access ‘pocket’.
  9. F.lux: This is a screen protection app to reduce blue light from your device, which actually hurts your eyes and can decrease your efficiency and productivity.
  10. Stayfocused: Web app that helps you to block different websites (like Facebook) to keep you focused.

These 10 tools are brilliant at keeping your focus on the task at hand. Working remotely is revolutionising the way we see the traditional office and our workplace. It’s a rewarding way to work, and apps like Ellyot give you the ability to work in loads of different, cool and amazing spaces to enrich your working experiences.

You can read more on these 10 tools here.

The Golden Trio: Potatoes, Bacon and Cheese

tartifletteIt’s cold, cloudy and raining (it is London after all), and out of the oven comes a tartiflette, golden on top and cheesy in the middle… A perfect dish to beat away those winter blues. A traditional tartiflette, made with a combination of reblochon cheese, bacon lardons, potatoes and onions. Originally hailing from the French region of Savoy, close to the Alps, it’s a hearty dish first seen in 1705.

The basic combination of cheese, potatoes and bacon makes it a timeless classic and a dish that not only offers a wow factor, but hits the spot in these cold days. You can customise whichever way you want (from vegetarian to even using sweet potatoes), it’s a dish to try.

While you may not be able to take a quick flight down to Savoy, you can bring a taste of the Alpine region home. Try the recipe today 😉

6 Productivity Hacks to Remote Working

Businessman Floating Outdoors in Tropical Sea Working on Laptop

Remote working is on the rise! In-fact Microsoft had partnered with 85 Broads a few years ago, to help them kick off their “Your office, your terms,” campaign. It was primarily focused on women, but saw some great findings such as participants preferring a regular remote working schedule. It also saw that the women who worked remotely saw “their personal productivity improve.” (

According to the TUC, the UK has seen an increase of 19% “over the past decade,” from the years 2005-2015. The analysis from the report also showed that just over 1.5 million people regularly worked remotely from their office, with 241,000 more people working remotely in 2015, than 2005.
4 million workers were found to want to work remotely, but were unable to work from home or remotely because their employers don’t give them the chance (which is a real shame as the benefits are amazing).

Benefits of Remote working:

At Ellyot, we love the idea of more freedom and choice. With our app, you can choose to work in any of our amazing co-working spaces and interesting venues, like art galleries and museums. These places all provide a great worker with amazing inspiration and the chance to break the monotony of office life.

It isn’t just inspiration that makes remote working such a great thing with less commuting, you can spend tons of time on the important things, be that work or family. In-fact, cutting out the long commutes is beneficial to you.

According to an ONS report, for each additional minute of commuting time would make “you feel slightly worse.” Not only that, but it found that those who used things like busses to commute would experience “lower levels of life satisfaction,” and those who used trains experienced “higher anxiety levels.” (
Cutting out the commute also helps reduce your carbon footprint, leading to a better environment and with the stress of commuting cut out, it also leads to a healthier and better you.

So working remotely is a great way to reduce your commute, but there other great benefits such as
reducing your overall costs (less money spent on travelling, coffee etc.) and perhaps most importantly, it can lead to greater productivity (with less interruptions from colleagues, you can work uninterrupted for longer periods of time).

Negatives of remote working:

However with this increased freedom, it can be easy to get distracted and become unproductive- the complete antithesis of remote working.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the isolation of working remotely which is a real problem as it can lead to you being out of the loop with work, less creativity and ideas and also being alienated from the group- all of which are really bad outcomes for your work.

It’s also easy to overwork and underwork. When you don’t have any separation (such as a home office), you could be at risk of being completely immersed and risking other important aspects of your work and life. The other problem is underworking; self-discipline is key here and without it, you may revert to procrastinating or distracting yourself.

However, in order to stave off these problems and to benefit from remote working, read on for our 6 hacks to help you be a remote working success.

 6 productivity hacks to remote working success are:

1) Set yourself daily goals with deadlines and tick them off as you complete them.

Have a tangible goal for your day which could be in the form of a to-do list which will help you stay on track. Keeping yourself on track with an end goal and a realistic deadline for your tasks will help you stave off procrastination and focus.

Having a goal with a deadline to work towards gives you a sense of momentum as well, ticking of your to-do list gives you a tangible way to know where you are in your working day. If it’s getting close to the end of the day and you’ve procrastinated too much, without completing your work, you now have a tangible way of measuring this and improving.
Now you can start to build a log and work towards getting better each day by increasing your focus and staying on track.

Goals and deadlines need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) so you can actually complete your to-do list; without a SMART goal and deadline, you will set yourself up to fail as trying to do much (or to little) will undermine you.

Procrastination is a difficult thing to conquer and when remote working you can either end up getting away from distractions or walking into more of them however, using goals/ a to-do list gives you some way to control the urge to procrastinate and work effectively.
TED has a great talk on procrastination and the thought-process behind it- be sure to check it out as it can provide some great advice on how to combat this enemy of remote working success. (

2) Set your priorities correctly

It’s all well and good having goals/deadlines and trying to complete all of them, but the world is dynamic and this means that some work is more important than others.
Working away from the office can mean that you never run out of things to do, especially if you work from home; set your to-do list up in a way that completes important work first and urgent work later.

This may sound counter-intuitive to many people however important tasks are ones that will contribute to the long term goals for your company or yourself. These could be things like planning the presentation you need to make for your promotion, or starting on your business proposal. These important tasks help propel you forward and are the number 1 priority when working remotely.
Urgent tasks on the other hand, are tasks which need to be dealt with immediately- these include answering phone calls, responding to emails etc. These tend to be menial activities which can waste time.

The problem that most of us have is that we will place urgent tasks above important tasks which is a mistake; there is a finite amount of time and concentration one has and in order to be effective when working remotely you need to work on the important stuff first.

A great tool you can use is the Eisenhower matrix to help you distinguish between the urgent and important, the non-urgent and non-important tasks- all of which help you succeed in remote working.

3) Use the short sprint rule (the 25 on/ 5 off rule)

What exactly is the 25 on/ 5 off rule? When working, most people work best in short sprints with a break in between, simply put you work for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break to do whatever you want (get a coffee, check social media etc.).

We work best when we have the option of a reward to work for and with a short sprint, it means that our prescribed time never feels too long or too short. Working in this way is very effective as you can refresh your mind quite a bit in 5 minutes. Having this short break acts as the carrot on the stick, releasing dopamine as you hit your 25 minutes of uninterrupted work.

In fact, with some training and carefully placed breaks, you can adapt this rule to fit your tasks, giving you the ability to complete a task fully and feel an even greater rush of dopamine as you complete your important tasks and feel more motivation to stay on track.

Take it from us, this little hack is a gem.

4) Disable your email and social network alerts and if you can, go offline.

As we all know, social media is huge distraction to workers and working remotely means no boss watching you, making sure you’re working. However social media use can lead to efficiency and wellbeing, being negatively affected.

A study conducted by Middle Tennessee state university found that people who tried to multitask by using social media when they working, performed worse off than those who could focus on their task. They found that the interruptions from changing tasks (work to social and back) led to inefficiencies and a mental challenge.  (

Being connected all the time isn’t a helpful thing to do, so tuning out of social media during work hours can really improve efficiency and keep you on track to remote working success. And besides, it’s good to disconnect from all the clutter on social media and a digital detox is always a great way to improve your mental wellbeing.

5) Find out when you work productively and work then

This hack ties into scheduling, but simply put, people are either night owls or early birds. If you work with your natural body clock and don’t try to fight it, you can achieve a huge amount productivity with your work.
Turning this natural body clock schedule into a productivity hack is the easiest thing you can do to naturally become more productive when working remotely. Having a schedule that can fit you is a great benefit of working away from the office and the ordinary corporate structure of things. Work in your own time and when you feel most productive, repeat this and you’ll end up with huge amounts of work done.

6) Make remote working less remote

Let’s face it, working alone can be very boring. Isolation is a dangerous thing, especially for creative types- the lack of inspiration and intermingling of ideas and people leads to less enjoyment in your work. For that reason, it can pay to make remote working, less remote.
Finding a community of people you can work with (like those on Ellyot) can help you find the motivation, accountability and inspiration to break through plateaus and ruts.

While sometimes you will need to lock yourself away in order to complete some work, there will be just as many times that’ll you need to find yourself working with people in order to obtain the best results. Each type of work you do will differ in the approach you should take, but figuring out which approach (solo or group work) works best, will exponentially increase your productivity.

Meeting new people leads to different ideas and opportunities’ being created, while helping you solve problems in new ways opens us up to inspiration to use in our work. This symbiotic relationship gives any remote worker the chance to look objectively something and incorporate new views and techniques into their work, adding to your tool belt of expertise and skills- which aids productivity in future problem solving.

So there you have it, 6 easy hacks to be more productive when you work remotely

But there’s one more tip we can provide to anyone looking into this new mode of working: Try out Ellyot for your next foray into remote working; working from home leads to many distractions, be that the TV or your phone. Cutting out the distractions, limits your temptation to indulge in them and lose precious time and productivity.
Ellyot also offers you the chance to join their community of workers all looking to push the boundaries of what can be done and bring to life brilliant ideas. This is a great way to help you use hack number 6.
We have a great number of co-working spaces, from more traditional offices to innovation driven tech hubs (Like Work Hub Made Simple, a great co-working space near Old Street, the tech hub centre in London). Ellyot also lists interesting venues (Like The Archivist, an art gallery in Haggerston in East London) that you can work from, gain some inspiration and most importantly succeed from.

We have even got locations listed in Los Angeles and New York, so there’s no excuse not to try Ellyot when you’re next looking for a work space.
So whether you’re working in LA, London or New York, Ellyot has you covered.

Check Ellyot out for yourself 😉