Where next?
Three questions for Yo Hosoyamada, a Japanese illustrator based in London with an eye for architecture, places and spaces.

1 — When you’re travelling, what’s your go-to medium for recording observations and ideas?
My go-to is definitely photography! I love snapping spontaneous shots everywhere I go, which gives me inspiration on composition and different spaces to translate into an illustration later on. If I have time, I will sometimes whip out a small sketchbook and do some scenic studies.

2 — You’ve worked on a number of illustrations for travel clients – what’s your process behind creating scenes and spaces?
Based on the themes and subject matter within the brief, I usually look at reference images online and try to get a good idea of what they look like first. I then try to compose the different elements into a dynamic spatial scene! It’s always exciting when I see a scene that I imagined in my head come to life on paper.

3 — Finally, what are your travel plans for the months ahead?
I am currently travelling in the Puglia region of Italy. It’s very exciting as I have never been in this particular area of Italy. I’m also planning to travel to the US later in the year, so I’m definitely looking forward to that as well.

Illustration from Yo’s Business and Traveller commission.

After backing Allday Good’s Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year, look what arrived in the post today.

Produced in the UK (Sheffield & Hackney), this version of the Allday knife has had both its blade and handle produced from scrap material – a savvy way to reuse items destined for landfill. Previous releases of Allday knives had the blade production in Sakai, Japan along with scrap plastic for their handle. I particularly like the look of this knife — the contrast of the blade with the marbled look to the handle. Looking forward to using this!

More about the campaign here.

Where next?
Three questions for Maria Oliva, an interior designer for hospitality projects and fellow Walthamstow-based creative. A feature we’re doing as part of our newsletter content.

1 — With your specialism in restaurant design – what places are next on your list to visit in London?
I have a ‘eating out’ list that I keep updating — I’m sure it will never end. But that’s the beauty of the restaurant scene in London. At the top of my list I have: Ikoyi Restaurant St. James’s (which recently got in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), The Princess of Shoreditch and Jeru. The list goes on and on...

2 — Your Instagram highlights interior details found on your travels – what’s been your most memorable experience?
It’s very hard to pick one. Every trip is a source of inspiration. But perhaps Milan is where I can collect most of my design treasures. I love to visit the city again and again because, like London, the design scene is in a constant state of change.

3 — Finally, what are your travel plans this summer?
Somewhere in the British countryside with my motorbike. I like to have the freedom to make very loose plans without worrying much about the destination. I know that I’ll stop when I feel it’s time to do so. This gives me the opportunity to enjoy the journey, keeps me open to new discoveries and focused on the present.

Photo from Maria’s Portobello Road Restaurant project.

Where next?
Three questions for Tian Khee Siong, London-based photographer, cyclist and Covers collaborator. A feature we’re doing as part of our newsletter content.

1 — There’s a lot of people away at the moment! What places have caught your eye recently?
I have a long list of places I want to visit. Currently it’s: Paris for some Le Corbusier and Palace of Versailles, Helsinki for architectural sightseeing and also the Amalfi Coast.

2 — You’re always cycling around London, what’s your favourite part of exploring by bike?
I enjoy exploring most parts of London but to choose a favourite I think it’s south-east London. I like seeing the changes from one area to another with surprisingly a lot of greenery in between. I’m also keen to explore Egham and Windsor.

3 — Finally, what are your travel/holiday plans this summer?
There’s no overseas travel plans just yet, but for a short local break, a walk up a munro is on the cards.

Photo taken by Tian outside Eindhoven Centraal.

Starting next month is the Covers newsletter. Going out each month on the 3rd – it’s a combo of ideas, insights, studio updates and places we’ve been.

Join the mailing list! Sign up here.

A great day for a site visit for a new project underway with architects and placemakers, We Made That.

Distance of a shadow has been featured as part of The Brand Identity’s The Edit article: “Five projects including Manual’s curious identity system for the iconic Eames Institute”.

Read the article here

We’re back from a great holiday in the Dordogne (and a first overseas break since the start of Covid).

Our trip started with the Eurostar to Paris. A quick change across to Montparnasse (but enough time to stop at the Poilâne bakery for supplies en route) then onto the TGV to Bordeaux. We hired a car through Virtuo from Bordeaux station before the drive inland to Biron (around 2 hours).

The gîte we stayed in was excellent – discovered through Sawdays with its renovation throughout, extensive garden and salt water pool. The village of Biron is compact and centres around Chateau de Biron. The Chateau is grand with a beauty to it’s architecture, stonework and windows.

Locally there’s three of France’s most beautiful villages – Monpazier, Monflanquin and Villeréal. Each has a market day worth going too – our favourite was Monpazier on a Thursday morning. We were pleasantly surprised by the greenery of the area too: fields, forests and woodland.

We booked a table at O’ Plaisir des Sens for dinner on the Saturday (more above this in a dedicated post). But we also squeezed five BBQs into the week at our gîte, amongst the countless croissants and baguettes pickups.

Activities wise did as much as we could squeeze into the week. E-bikes were a highlight (covering a 60km route over three hours one afternoon). It felt amazing cycling through car-free roads around the area starting from Villeréal. Caneoing was another highlight – a 16km route along the Dordogne with spots to stop along the route for a rest and picnic. There’s a couple of gardens to see there too: The Marqueyssac gardens elevated 200m above the river Dordogne and a forest of bamboo in La Roque-Gageac.

We return to London eager to explore more of the south of France.

Leaving this one here. Crème Brûlée at Le Pallisy – a small bistro in a village south of Biron.

A highlight of our trip to the Dordogne was dinner for two at O’ Plaisir de Sens in La Roque-Gageac on the Saturday of our trip. Delicious food (starter of white asparagus, main of pigeon and also a main of lamb shoulder, desert of rice milk ice cream and a desert of nutty praline & chocolate pudding) was paired with impeccable service. There was a moment in the evening when it felt so good to be sitting outside in the courtyard with the ambience and relaxed feel they’ve created there. A very enjoyable evening.

Distance of a shadow selected as a Staff Pick by the team at Fonts In Use.

Back from the printers is one of our photographs taken in Tentsmuir Forest (a forest by the sea in the north-east corner of Fife) on our trip earlier this month. Produced by The Print Space – an A1, C-Type print onto Fuji Matt paper.

We spent the weekend in Scotland exploring Fife and Scottish Borders. Highlights included: a wander around Lomond Hills, Peebles, Tentsmuir Forest and Kinneuchar Inn. At Kinneuchar Inn we had a delightful lunch: a braised beef shin and Guinness pie (a sharer for two), along with mash and seasonal greens. Highly recommended.

An evening at Landrace Upstairs in Bath. A cosy space for around 20 covers in the room above their bakery.

Thanks to Colophon Foundry for featuring our Distance of a shadow project on Instagram. We utilised Benjamin Critton & Colophon’s typeface Mabry for the project, selected for its personality and tabular figures – ideal for the vertical type across each post. More on our project here.

See Colophon’s post here

A fun evening spent outside with a wood-fired pizza oven. We sourced all of the ingredients, including sourdough pizza dough, from Ooni Groceries. It just left us with the fun part starting the fire, throwing the dough and adding the toppings!

We went to Niwaki on Chiltern Street store to purchase a new kitchen knife — a beautiful carbon Santoku.

Covers is on the move to Switchboard Studios to join a community of designers, photographers and creatives next to Walthamstow Wetlands.

Happy New Year! Seeing off the end of the year with a (big) round of tacos.

An afternoon spent following Modernist Estate’s No6 Perambulations: Barbican to Bloomsbury. The route starts from The Brunswick Centre, arcs north to Camden and back down to the Barbican.

Photo taken at Maiden Lane Estate, designed by Benson and Forsyth.

Thank you to wonderful clients, collaborators and friends for this year.

Our card is produced from surplus G.F Smith Colorplan — and made without printing (or foiling) too. The card is simply a series of carefully designed cuts through the material, produced on a Zünd digital cutting machine. The magic happens when light shines through giving a silver, foil-like appearance.

Merry Christmas from Covers.

Shoot day with photographer Tian Khee Siong to capture the posts and components that make up our Distance of a shadow installation. We used the Circuit Room at Switchboard Studios for this one.

Delighted to be a part of East End Trade Guild Waltham Forest map. The map for the borough showcases local small businesses that are a part of the wider 400-strong community of businesses based in East London.

Headed to North Wales for the night to celebrate the private view and opening of The Winter Art Garden at the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop.

Created by Charlie Gladstone, the garden featured 12 artists and designers and their responses to the theme of ‘Light & Change’.

More on our installation here

We’ve just launched an updated version of Harlosh’s site to showcase The Winter Experience – a focus on the feel of both houses during the winter months. More to see on the project page, or visit their site for more.

Photography by Richard Gaston.

A site visit to Hawarden Estate Farm Shop ahead of our installation for the Winter Art Garden. Autumnal tones in full show throughout the estate.

En route into town, a quick detour to enjoy a delightful Pain aux raisin from Pavillion Bakery on Broadway Market.

We mapped out a day of cycling for the London Design Festival 2021. Highlights included: Blast Studio’s Urban Stomach, Design Exhibition Scotland, Sonic Bloom by Yuri Suzuki and Peter Saville for Kvadrat.

Pictured here is the K-Briq by Kenoteq discovered at Design Exhibition Scotland, further reading on their project here.

Submitted photograph as part of dn&co’s open call for their London Design Festival exhibition – It’s a Sign. The exhibition celebrates the vernacular of the humble sign. It's on for the duration of LDF and entry is free.

Photo taken in Les Houches, France, 2017.

We spent the weekend in Edinburgh and took the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective: on a boat tour to see the three bridges (along with countless seals).

Our boat trip was followed with dinner at The Fishmarket Newhaven.

We tested out some packaging prototypes with the help of our studio neighbour, Supahulk.

Utilising the precision cutting of their Zünd machine, we were able quickly prototype a number of ideas.

Popped into New London Architecture’s space in Coal Drops Yard to see their extensive model of central London. Worth stopping by when in the area.

Excited to share that Hour directory has been featured on The Spaces.

“London studio Covers’ new travel platform, Hour directory, puts a stylish and eco-friendly spin on staycation travel.”

Read the article here

We’ve been growing potatoes on our balcony with some mixed success!

Discover what makes Hour directory project special in this feature by Creative Boom:

Looking for a well-designed getaway? Look no further than Covers’ new directory

Hour directory, our latest project, is now live.

The directory brings together architect-designed places to stay outside the city, and beyond. Discover places to stay in easy reach of the city with highlights in the area to explore. The first six locations include Harlosh and Glen Dye in Scotland, and Breac.House in Ireland.

Find out more about Hour directory

Walthamstow is home to a fantastic sausage shop, the East London Sausage Co. The weather was too good not to try out a few on the BBQ over the weekend.

We took some time off to head to North Wales with family. Highlights in the area include: Y Garreg cafe and community store, Celtic Cabin in Barmouth and the National Cycle Route 8 Bryncir to Caernarfon.

Photo taken on the road into Harlech.

Covers were a part of this year’s Fedrigoni calendar.

Our entry was for the theme ‘Place’ and marked the 8th of the month. Our concept was to combine the number 8 with a block formation that could be found in brick, block or pattern form in a building.

Over the weekend, we visited Turner Works latest project, Hackney Bridge.

Situated on the edge of the Olympic Park, there are a number of spaces for small businesses: hospitality, retail, creative and event space. There’s a clever use of materials throughout: from wood stains to off-the-shelf sheet materials.

One to save for revisiting next year: the blossom in Aldgate Square.

Happy New Year from Covers!

Produced by digital print with a series of hand-debossed lines.

Cycled to Jolene in Stoke Newington and picked up this delicious pizza slice with prosciutto and potato.

On our way back from a week in North Wales, we stopped at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop.

There was a harvest of apples in progress for their juice and we stopped for a bite to eat before continuing back to London.

Based in north-east London, our studio is next to Walthamstow Wetlands – Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve offering fresh air and green space on the doorstep.

Looking forward to taking part in the next instalment of the Forge programme. The workshops held over the next 12 weeks provide independent creative businesses with time for coaching and development.

Read more about Forge here

Adam sat down with Kate at Creative Works to talk about Covers, the studio and projects we’ve been working on.

Read the article here

In recent weeks, we’ve been learning the craft of bookbinding. Here's a work in progress before adding the case of the book.

Places to eat in Walthamstow. We stopped by favourite local-spot Lighthaus (in the Argall industrial estate) to pick up some lunch.

We’ve launched Open Near Me — a community page for local places to eat, drink and visit in Walthamstow, E17.

The page is in response to the uncertainty around Covid-19, and provides a central, open resource that can be duplicated beyond our neighbourhood for other communities.

Night skiing at Oslo Vinterpark. It’s a 40-minute metro ride from the centre of Oslo with views across the city and the neighbouring forests. On Weekdays it’s open until 10pm.

A visit to neighbours Square Mile Coffee for a tour and tasters. Based in the Uplands Business Park, they roast, pack and test here.

A look into the kitchen of Marcus after a delightful lunch for a special occasion. Mains of Galloway beef fillet and Scottish halibut. Desserts of Cox apple caramel and Salted milk chocolate aero.

We spent the weekend in Stockholm and spotted these (brave!) winter swimmers on a walk from Aspudden to Konditori Lyran.

A case of the Favorit typeface at the Rimowa store in London. The type is used as part of the embossing process of a luggage tag.

Happy Xmas from Covers! 

The postcard is a silver and black litho print onto Gmund Cotton stock.

Covers aim is to bring together thoughtful design in the world of hospitality by creating a studio for places to stay, eat and explore. We'll do this by working and considering the guest’s entire experience.

Our name alludes to covers in the restaurant sense, in relation to covers in hotels and holiday architecture, and more broadly in relation to the purpose of a brand identity.

Idea No.2