Thursday, 28 June 2007

Interesting 2007

I'm actually gutted I couldn't make it to Russel's Interesting 2007, so this isn't intended to take the piss, but I can't help thinking of this Monty Python sketch.

New Blood

I went to the D&AD New Blood exhibition on Monday and I have to say I was massively impressed with a lot of the work on show. Pretty much every corner of the globe was represented by some seriously talented individuals. It will hopefully turn out to be a successful scouting trip for us, but we certainly expanded our little black book of freelance illustrators and designers. One of which has a fantastic blog. Well done Anton, hire him. At the very least it is a great opportunity to see what the next generation of creatives are thinking about.

The usual suspects such as Central Saint Martins and Miami Ad School continued to wow, but it was encouraging to see Institutions from all over the UK demonstrating a diverse range of work. The only disappointment I had was the lack of digital work exhibited, although my beloved BU put in a good show on that front. Good effort.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Ground up thinking # 4

“It's better to be known by six people for something you're proud of than to be known by sixty million for something you're not.”

Albert Brook

What do people do with their lottery winnings?

What do people do with their lottery winnings? I don't mean the big life changing amounts. Just the £10 here or the £20 there. I've tried to find out how much prize money this equates to every week but no luck as of yet. I'm thinking about this because I was on the train the other day and I overheard a lady telling a friend she voted 5 times for the winner of that irritating Joseph programme after winning a tenner on the lottery. I imagine there are loads of little micro-economies that benefit from these winnings. Things like takeaways and off licenses are the obvious ones, but I thought this example of lottery winnings funding reality TV voting interesting.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Isle of Wight Festival - Let the children play

I haven't blogged for a few days as 1) I was at the Isle of Wight Festival and 2) I needed time to recover and catch up with work. I had an awesome time. Highlights for me were obviously the Stones, but Kasabian rocked. Snow Patrol, Keane, Groove Armada and The Thirst also put in great performances. The Isle of Wight Festival has such a different atmosphere to the likes of Reading and Glastonbury. It's definitely more family orientated and generally more laid back. However there were still plenty of people passed out around me through out the entire Stones set. You could smell weed pretty much everywhere you went and there is absolutely no chance of getting more than a couple of hours sleep and a clean toilet, so it certainly isn't a picnic in the park.

On top of being jealous of the children who probably don't realise how lucky they are yet, after all these are about as far as I got for a weekend during term time. It was great to see families doing something different together. Something that many parents probably consider to be unsafe or unacceptable to take young children to.

In The Telegraph last week, David Willetts the Conservative Shadow Education Secretary suggested that the reason Children in the UK have such poor basic skills in Mathematics and English isn't necessarily due to an inadequate education system, but because our culture is too protective of our children. Willets stated that: "Children are so cocooned by their parents that they rarely venture far from home and have little concept of space, volume and how the world actually works". Coining the term 'nature deficit disorder' the article cites research that alarmingly says the area in which children are allowed to play in by their parents is a ninth of what it was a generation ago.

Willets continued: "It is very hard to make sense of geometry if you haven't thrown a ball around or make sense of volume if you haven't messed about with water and sand or do arithmetic if you haven't collected things and arranged them." I don't often agree with much of what the Conservatives have to say, but on this I do. You can read the full article here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Ground up thinking # 3

“Partial culture runs to the ornate; extreme culture to simplicity”

Cristian Nevell Bovee

Monday, 4 June 2007

London launch 2012 brand

I'm not quite sure what to make of this effort by Wolff Ollins. When I first saw it I thought it was a bit 'down with the kids' and perhaps they've tried too hard to relate with the yoof.

According to London 2012: "the new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible reflecting a brand savvy world where people, especially young people, no longer relate to static logos but respond to a dynamic brand that works with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.

The design brief was for an emblem that represented the four key 'brand pillars' of access, participation, stimulation and inspiration, culminating in the brand vision of 'Everyone’s Games'". Nice to see the usual brand jargon in there in order to justify the £400K fee. When I first saw it I said to myself, wow, you can really feel those 'brand pillars' jumping out at you. You can read the full release here.

After seeing the promotional video it does get a touch better, but I'm convinced there are some young designers out there that could have done a much better job. In the true spirit of London 2012 I would rather have seen the best young talent competing with each other to come up with something that was truly reflective of that generation. At the moment it's a bit twee and too top down. The promo video feels a bit like a kids TV programme and is likely to be even more out of date in 5 years time. Despite all this I do hope it grows on me and they manage to use it imaginatively. Fingers crossed it doesn't make us look like the numpties of the world.

I'm sure the £400k involved more than just designing the logo (at least I hope so). I would love to find out the rationale and how they got there before I make a judgement, but people are already caning it online in less than 24 hours of it being lanuched.

Re-creating the logo in under 8mins

London 2012 logo as Maggie from the Simpsons