Insider: Chanced Arm

by Grace Wang in September 2016

They say limitations breed creativity, and that seems to be exactly what Chanced Arm wants to experiment with. Designed under 24 hours, with self-imposed colour restrictions and crowdsourced content, the scrappy results are fast, frenetic and engaging.

Birthed out of design studio Small Fury, it will have you tilting your head 90 degrees, curiously following a trail of copy, until you find yourself face-to-face with a nude cut out or a detailed periodic table of toilet signs. We talk to Creative Director Oswin Tickler about pulling all-nighters, resisting internet worm holes, and finding the right amount of eclecticism.


In the making of this issue we…

Worked from
Smallfury HQ in Hackney Downs Studios


Listened to

10pm: Hotdogs from the pub round the corner (Hand of Glory).
7am: misery pizza (Cold homemade pizza, looks awful, tastes good).
Plus intermittent snacking on a pack of biscuits I had previously hidden from myself.


Was surprised that
All-nighters are a lot less easy than they were 10 years ago!

The support and interest we’ve had from established creatives, and also those less established, hobbyist or secretly creative types that have got in touch or submitted — there have been some really amazing pieces.

Oh and my collection of toilet signs seems to have gone down quite well in this issue, which I wasn’t expecting, because…well it’s a bit odd by anyone’s standards!


Argued about
Certain inclusions – we all constantly want to push it further, making it stranger and more eclectic. There were a few things I felt were too safe, or too populist – with so many submissions it’s sometimes hard to find a balance between what we all want.

Was inspired by
Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Tickle! (well for the colour combination at least).

The submissions sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole of interesting and bizarre websites, and the British Library’s Flickr stream of images is incredible… I have to be careful I don’t spend too long getting inspired and not actually designing anything.


Lost sleep over
All of it — whether or not we would actually have any submissions by the start of the countdown. Then once the magazine got underway — with only 24 hours to go through content, design it and go to print — there wasn’t any time for sleep. Although I did nod off at my desk, to wake with some unintelligible notes stuck to my face at 5am.

Was most pleased by
The number and breadth of submissions and those keen to submit in the future. By all accounts the copies for this issue are disappearing far quicker than the last.


And everyone should buy a copy because
Because it’s bloody great!?! No, grab a copy because we hope it’s something different – it’s meant to be something you can pick up and browse while waiting for your friend to finish on Tinder or get back from the bar. But also something you can take home, spend a bit more time with the longer pieces, or to use as a starting point for checking out the artist’s other work. Plus they’ll look pretty sexy on your wall!

Chanced Arm is distributed for free across London, Manchester and Bristol although copies seems to be disappearing fast, so if you can’t find one, you can buy them for cost in the small fury shop.

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