work blog about search

A night of fire

I’ve just returned from a trip to France and Spain, and while there I caught the fantastic Nit de Foc, or Night of Fire, in Sitges, a town just along the coast from Barcelona.

The night is the warm-up (if you’ll pardon the pun) for the Santa Tecla festival which happens the following weekend. It’s a bonkers evening which features teams of locals from Sitges and neighbouring towns, dressed as devils and fire-beasts, wielding drums and catherine wheels mounted on spikes and pitchforks.

The parade winds through the town, with the drummers setting up a thumping tribal beat which echos off the walls of the narrow white-washed lanes. Ribbons of bangers and fireworks, strung just above head height, are set off at the same time – they create a cacophony of bangs and booms, as well as stunning cascades of sparks, which the braver revellers dance in and out of. At the same time the paraders set off multiple catherine wheels, covering the revellers in whistling showers of yet more sparks.

It’s a joyously anarchic spectacle, evidently taking a lot of organisation, but with the feeling of something wildly organic and spontaneous. There’s not the remotest chance of something like this happening in the UK, with our obsession with health and safety – and it feels like we’re missing out on something elemental as a result…

Here are my pictures from the night.

(You can see larger versions of all those over on my photographic site at

posted: 17 September 2018
categories: Events | Photography
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as I have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Design Declares
A growing group of designers, design studios, agencies and institutions who have declared a climate and ecological emergency. As part of the global declaration movement, we commit to harnessing the tools of our industry to reimagine, rebuild and heal our world.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.