Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Around the Blogosphere


My column from last month for Marketing magazine has just been uploaded to my dedicated Around The Blogosphere blog.

It's my thoughts on the danger of writing off the big agencies too soon.

Click here to take a look and be sure to join the conversation via the comments.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Make the logo bigger


I've seen a few of these rather dull Just Jeans posters around Melbourne town.

Age snapped this particular one.

It brings to mind this classic adland tale:

A client and a suit were on a junket together at the Cannes Lions festival.

As they wandered the Croisset the suit pointed out the client's huge logo suspended up high on a promotional billboard.

At that very moment the brakes failed on a truck and it careered into the pole supporting the billboard.

The client and the suit looked on in horror as the billboard bearing the huge logo plummeted to the ground killing an innocent passer by.

Aghast the client turned to the suit and exclaimed;

"If you'd made the logo bigger like I asked you, that poor soul would have been able to see it coming, and this terrible situation could have easily been avoided."

Friday, November 26, 2010

RIP Peter Christopherson


I learned today of the passing of one of my creative heroes.

Peter Christopherson.

I wouldn't call him a household name but his design work as part of Hipgnosis is sure to be found in many households.

These classic album covers for Pink Floyd and the early solo albums of Peter Gabriel are some of his best know works as a graphic designer.


Christopherson was also a key member of the highly influential Throbbing Gristle.

Again not every body's cup of tea.

But without TG there would be no Nine Inch Nails or Depeche Mode for a start.


Peter also made his mark as a director.

He directed several commercials and music videos for the likes of Silverchair, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney, Van Halen and more.

A true creative renaissance man. He will be sorely missed.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Life lesson


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beatles For Sale


There has been much hype around The Beatles allowing their music to be sold through iTunes.

Much ado about nothing if you ask me.

This fab remake of one of the Fab Four's album covers sums up the whole situation quite nicely.

It's by my man Jetpacks.

Of course it's very easy for us all to knock the whole Beatles/iTunes thing but within 24 hours of going on sale Beatles songs occupied 15% of iTunes UK's top 200.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wax pixels


My previous post about traffic light design was inspired by the coming together of old and new.

Here's another great example of this.

Photorealistic artworks created from wax crayons.

How is this old and new you're probably wondering.

Well the crayons are in essence used as pixels to create a picture from dots.

Here's a close up to see what I mean.


Artworks by Christain Faur. More info here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ready Set Go


If there's one thing I love it's an idea that makes me wish I'd thought of it.

This lateral idea for a traffic light is definitely one of those.

It's by Thanva Tivawong.


The hour glass has been around pretty much since the beginning of time.

Yet it makes a very 21st century addition to the traffic light.

Pretty clever don't you think?

A good read


Very cute (and helpful) little booklet that will help you get your head around the internet.

Not that you really need to get your head around the internet.

But a good book none the less.

From those clever people at Google.

Click here to go take a look.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ford Times


How beautiful are these covers of old editions of Ford Times magazine?

You could create covers like this today and they'd still look as stylish as they did all those years ago.

Kinda makes me think we don't use enough illustration in our printed media.

Which is a shame.

Not sure that illustrated covers are the secret to lifting the dwindling magazine circulation numbers.

But they'd sure look good on the stands at the newsagent.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mad Men in print


If you only buy one advertising book this year then is surely has to be Jerry Della Femina's legendary From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbour.

Freshly reissued after many years out of print it is my favourite adland book.

It's also the source of the idea for Roger Sterling's dislike of working with the Japanese in series four of Mad Men.

And speaking of Roger Sterling he has a book out too.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

I should warn you though it isn't the memoir he's seen working on in Mad Men.

But it's sure to be a good read none the less.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Arial vs Helvetica


Arial is widely derided as a font.

Art directors avoid it.

Hipsters turn their noses up at it.

And as for graphic designers....

Most of the derision stems from the thought that Arial is a poor cousin of Helvetica.

But is it?

Click here to take the Arial vs Helvetica test and see just how well you can (or can't) tell the difference between them.

Be sure and pop back and leave your score in the comments.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A life on Facebook


Monday, November 15, 2010

Charming citroen


How cute is this old Citroen brochure?

I can't imagine any auto maker doing a job like this today.

It's cute and charming. Much like the vehicle itself.

Whereas today's auto brochures are mostly variations on a rather dull theme.

Lovely die cutting too!



Say it ain't so


I know there are plenty of dubious old ads out there in the agency archives but I don't think this is one of them.

It has a strong scent of scam about it.

Of course i could be wrong.

But I'm usually pretty right about this sort of thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The infuencers



I have to say I'm a little sceptical of just how influential so called influencers actually are but this is an interesting little film none the less.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Under the tree


With Christmas on its way I'm sure this necklace would make an ideal gift for the art director in your life.

To To!


Luckily for Jim beam hardly anyone takes any notice of banner ads.

So the likelihood of someone noticing the unintended stutter in the headline is probably quite low.

Didn't stop eagle eyed copywriter Brian Thompson from spotting it though!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love the length


The longest headline I've seen in a long time and I have to say I like it. Great stuff from Mother in New York.



Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hipsta Dali


I don't know about you but I'm a bit over people posting Hipstamatic photos to Facebook.

Sure I've posted plenty myself. But enough already!

Of course I am happy to make an exception for all photos taken with the soon the be released Salvador Dali pack.

Although I haven't seen any pics taken with it I reckon they're gonna be pretty damn weird.

In a good way obviously.

Best of all money from the Dali pack goes to the Salvador Dali Museum in Florida.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Stay grounded


Friday, November 05, 2010

Design in business



Inspirational talk about the importance of design and ideas in business by Peter Lawrence from Corporate Design Foundation. Well worth three miniutes or so of your time.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Brands beat celebrities



One of the things I've noticed at work this year is the number of brands getting involved with Facebook.

Now Facebook may seem like a no brainer to you but believe me it's not.

Up until quite recently many clients have been reluctant to set up a presence there.

I suspect even more clients will say yes to Facebook when they read the latest report on social media by IAB UK.

According to the report around one in five people (20.3%) follow brands on Facebook.

That figure is a lot higher than I thought it would be.

And way higher than the 13.4% of people who follow celebrities on Facebook.

That means there's more people following brands than celebrities.

Pretty interesting don't you think?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The original iTunes


When I was a kid you used to see K-Tel ads on TV all the time.

They brought the US style infomercial to the UK I think.

Anyway I always wanted a Record Selector.

No idea why. They looked kinda cool I guess.

Having just watched the TV ad I can't help thinking the Record Selector was a big influence on the album cover selector in iTunes.

Take a look and you'll see what I mean.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Mad Men meets Mr Men


Where's my phone!?


Is it just me or do we take mobile phones for granted?

I think we do.

Probably because they have become so ubiquitous.

First thing I see when I wake up in the morning is my phone as it is also my alarm clock.

As a Creative Director I need to stay abreast of what’s happening at work.

So I check my emails before I go to the office.

Not with a computer but with my phone.

I also get an up to the minute weather forecast on my phone.

So I know whether or not it’s safe to wear suede shoes that day.

I use my phone to check the time of the next train whilst walking to the station.

At which time I am usually listening to my music collection. On my phone.

And of course I catch up with friends via Facebook and Twitter using my phone when I’m on the train.

At least until the signal disappears between the Windsor and South Yarra stations.

Like I said. The mobile phone is ubiquitous.

But it wasn’t always this way.

I watched an episode of Mad Men Last night where one of the suits heard about the impending loss of an account.

If this happened today he would have instantly rung Don Draper on his mobile.

But back then it took almost an entire day to track down then meet up with Draper.

Can you imagine kids of today putting up with that?

I can’t.

In fact I can’t imagine myself putting up with it either.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Around the Blogosphere


I just posted my November column for Marketing magazine to my dedicated Around The Blogosphere blog.

This month I did a bit of digging around a terrific piece written by Alex Bogusky following the Cannes festival.

Click here to take a look and feel free to join the conversation via the comments.