Talk about deathly hallows… October and November are very dark months indeed.

Apart from haunting skies and the gloriously rich colours that autumn brings, the yearly ritual of putting the clocks back brings focus to all things dark and sombre. From the carved pumpkins of Hallowe’en to the sugar skulls of  Dia de Muertos, the autumn months bring both inspiration and challenges to the designer in equal measures.

How kitsch is too kitsch and how many variations of orange can there be?


Take a look at this fine kitsch and orange combo, courtesy of

Every year Hallowe’en (with its origin in the Celtic festival of Samhain) captures the imagination of us all. The ancients believed that on 31 October, the boundaries between the lands of the living and the deceased overlapped and the dead would walk the earth causing sickness and destroying crops and livestock.

Although our celebrations focus on this one day, the full holiday runs across 1 & 2 November (All Saints Day and All Souls Day). We note that London Underground was running rife with monsters in makeup this week. Could they have been playing Asylum: 2.8 hours later, the city-wide live action version of 28 Days Later?


The colourful Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. Far from being just about spooky fun, the holiday focuses on gathering to celebrate and pray for friends and family members who have died. This holiday is also celebrated on 31 October, 1 & 2 November.

And let’s not forget the intrigue of gunpowder plots and treason. Since 5 November 1605, we have marked Guy Fawkes Night, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. It has been the inspiration for an explosion of usurper art and films across the years. V for Vendetta, anyone?

On that note we’re off to see Warner Bros’  – we’ll let you know how that went.

So, what are your favourite dark and deadly designs? Comment here.




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