Despite what we all know about bidding sites, Fiverr has outdone itself in building an unethical platform that punishes designers and customers.

In 2019, it was estimated that Fiverr is worth almost $1 billion dollars. Impressive for a gig platform ostensibly offering services for as little as five dollars, no? But look just beneath the surface and one finds that Fiverr, like most multi-million dollar enterprises, is a platform built upon the exploitation of those it claims to serve — low-quality output, high fees (Fiverr take 20% of a seller’s revenue), and a lack of oversight combine to create a platform guilty of every misdemeanour found on other bidding sites. …


The women of the United States Radium Corporation were misled and left to die by a system that viewed them as unimportant — but these women fought back.

Discovered in 1898 by Marie and Pierre Curie, radium is an element that is extracted in trace amounts from uranium ore that, despite being radioactive, quickly became a sensation. America in particular adopted radium as a premium product of its day — a single gram could cost as much as $120,000 — and it became a plaything for the rich and powerful, selling in health-promoting tonics, make-up, and cleaning products. There were radium spas, radium milk, even radium underwear. …


Clients often avoid revealing their budget to freelancers, but there are good reasons why we ask.

Is there any exchange between freelancer and client more ingrained than the dance around the subject of budget? A creative has asked how much you can spend on a project, what do you do? You don’t tell them, of course. Instead, you request their rates. Once they tell you, you disappear. No discussion. Stony silence.


Clients are changing the ways they try to make creatives work for free.

We’ve all done it. Desperate, naive, or insecure — we’ve all worked for free. On occasion it’s a charitable endeavour; a positive experience. Others it’s a mistake. But at some point in our careers, all of us have waived our fees for some reason.

It’s almost a rite of passage. Take on free work and come out the other side with greater respect for one’s own worth. But, with the gig economy continuing to make a mockery of professional practice, the demand for free or low-budget work is becoming overwhelming. With so many young artists entering the industry, desperate for…


Kindle’s new service, Vella, aims to capture the mobile market with serialised stories, but is it sustainable, and does Amazon actually care?

A few days ago, Amazon debuted its new service, Kindle Vella. A program by which users post 500–6000 word stories in “episodes.” It’s heralded in the community as a way to capitalise on serialised stories and short fiction in real time, rather than as complete releases. On the face of things, it appears a multi-faceted attempt to break into the mobile market and into Apple’s share of self-publishing (the app is currently only available on IOS). …


Phantom Thief Joker Persona 5
Phantom Thief Joker Persona 5

Persona 5, Noise, and the accessibility of beauty

In 2016, Persona 5 exploded onto the PlayStation 4 in such a way that you might think the colour red hadn’t existed before. In its insatiable visual language and its defiance of the quotidian standards of Japanese role-playing games, there was hope the era of flicking through boring menus was over. If nothing else, it certainly fired a shot across the bow of its competitors.

A spin-off of the popular Megami Tensei series, Persona isn’t completely distinct from most JRPGs. Its turn-based combat between teams of characters, supplemented by magic, monsters, and items places it firmly within the genre…


We look at pre-made book covers and how they’ve shaped self-publishing, becoming an avatar for the seedier parts of a rapidly growing industry.

Self-publishing is bigger than ever. Every year, it only grows and, with it, the services that operate within. In 2019, Bowker suggested the industry is expanding at an alarming rate. With “[the] combined total of self-published print book and ebooks with registered ISBNs [growing] from almost 1.2 million in 2017 to more than 1.6 million in 2018… [showing] no signs of slowing down.

With most of us kept at home throughout 2020, the number of authors seeking to self-publish only grew more. In recent years, romance has been experiencing a “steady decline” but Kirsten McLean notes the pandemic “helped to…


Since Graeme Swann’s retirement, England has used twelve spinners. Seven made their debut, three have only played one test match, two were batsmen, and one was Samit Patel.

Summer 2019. Everything’s coming up Jack Leach. At the beginning of the season, he dug England out of a hole against Ireland with the bat. He does it again against Australia at Headingley — albeit with a little help from Ben Stokes. Leach’s teammates laugh as they film him reliving his lone single. He scampers between the wickets in the gloom, the clink of beer bottles echoing around the empty ground. In a series dominated by pace, Leach takes twelve wickets at 25.83. He feels invincible.

Heading to New Zealand, Leach has supplanted Moeen Ali as England’s first-choice spinner. It’s…


Tōkyō Thrift: Japonisme and the Japanese Bauhaus

In modern vernacular, the concept of East and West can speak of a major contradiction. Ask someone to sum up this opposition (especially in the racially-charged politics of today) and they would relate a major philosophical rift between the two — that “East and West… are not merely geographical terms; they are also modes of thinking and feeling — modes so different as to be virtually irreconcilable.”(1) …


COVID-19 is an opportunity to shelve the ableism and develop some empathy towards the people who have lived like this for years.

You’re finding this difficult, aren’t you? You’re not used to being alone for so long. You miss your friends. Maybe there’s a partner you’ve not seen for months. As time goes on you begin to long for the simple things like nipping out for bread, hanging out at the gym before work, going for a drink on Friday night. You realise just how important those ostensibly meaningless interactions were to you now that you can’t engage in them anymore.

Outside the sun is beaming but your single unit of exercise is done for the day. You might go out anyway…

Geoffrey Bunting

Designer, writer, and historian. Founder of Geoffrey Bunting Graphic Design (geoffreybunting.co.uk).

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