Pentagram at Forty

May 31, 2012

The Forty Story. The story of a boy born on the day Pentagram opened and how his life has been tracked (and kerned) by forty years of Pentagram design.

Wonderfully written by Naresh Ramchandani and Tom Edmonds, it’s a great little film to watch. It’s got the drama of the ups and downs, the struggle, the passion, the drive, the fight against adversity and also the success – all in 03:28 of little flipping cards.

Ultimately it really is a tale of great modern graphic design. Happy 40th Pentagram.

Copenhagen Art Festival

May 30, 2012

I’m liking the new Copenhagen Art Festival site, simply for it’s simplicity. With the site (created by Hello Monday) they’ve managed to craft a standards based site into something that looks very much like it was created in the good old days of Flash.

But what’s so good about that? Well, for me, what’s great about it is that it shows a viable alternative to all those big scrolling pages we see so much of at the moment. It’s always interesting to see the speed at which ‘creative styling’ flows through the web, and it’s certainly seemed faster then ever with HTML5/CSS3 design ‘influences’. So it’s just nice to see something a little different!

I love the fact that lots of its elements just shouldn’t work (or that’s some would preach), but they just do! The central navigation should hamper the flow of the content, but it really doesn’t. The multi-directional scrolling should feel pain weird, but it really doesn’t. The page transitions should confuse the unfamiliar user as to their place within the structure, but it really doesn’t.

I guess some might say “it’s a step backwards”, but for me it a great lesson in how to craft a clean and functional presentational site that’s both attractive and a little different no matter what the technology.

tags: Art,Online

Keep your Tweeter active with TweetFuel

May 29, 2012

I love this idea from the guys at Stinkdigital. TweetFuel.

So, the problem: How do you know if you’re Twitter account is really that healthy? Solution: TweetFuel. What you do is go buy a Nike FuelBand, whip out the soldering iron, do a little jiggery pokery and hey presto, you have a active little device that wiggles and giggles every time someone follows, mentions or retweets them. Then use Nike+ to track the hopefully healthy results.

Excellent. Keep ’em active at @stinkdigital.

More than just an effect: Ken Burns on storytelling

May 23, 2012

Sometimes, as creatives, it’s all to easy to forget what it is that we actually do.

Maybe you’re on a deadline to come up with the most stunning ad visual out there, maybe you’re trying to come up with the perfect identity that will transform the perception of that dull old client, or maybe you’re coding some CSS3 that will energise the web pages of the latest mobile offering from your dream client, don’t get too carried away with your own genius to forget what it is that you’re really doing…

…Telling a story.

Because in every ad, in every logo and in every mobile friendly, HTML5/CSS3 fuelled, parallax scrolling web page there’s a story. Even if you’re writing a couple of lines for a Google ad you’re writing a micro story that aims to grab the attention and emotions of its audience. Emotions that will drive an action. And and action that will get a result.

If you don’t know how to tell a good story, then I’d suggest you learn. And why not learn from one of the best – Ken Burns. After all you’ll never stop listening to stories and, as a creative, you’ll never stop telling them – in whatever medium you work, so you’d best be as skilled in the art as you are in your chosen profession.

So find out how to empower your creative ideas with Ken’s powerful storytelling formula 1+1=3.

For me that means – tell a relevant true story and you’ll sell a truly meaningful experience.  That might sound a little manipulative – but isn’t that the point!

Retail Therapy…

May 22, 2012
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…Prada Style. Beautifully shot by Roman Polanski.

tags: Motion

I’m talking web pages – Stella’s Chalice Factory

May 21, 2012

I don’t know if it’s the booze, but I seem to have recently taken to talking to web pages. Well, it is a step on from shouting at the TV I guess!

Suddenly all those movement control interfaces, that were so ‘in-vogue’ last year, seem just pointless waving of arms. Why go to all that calorie burning effort when you can simply shout your commands and they shall be done.

Mother New York have come up with an interesting site – Stella Artois Chalice Factory adding to their highly interesting work for the drinks brand. It uses Google’s Voice Search API as a navigational aid, allowing you to control the flow and direction of the digital narrative being played out by simply saying the right words when asked.

Is this new ‘talking web’ the future? or is it simply as retro as Stella’s styling. If it is the future, what happen if I loose my voice, of sit next to someone who’s obnoxiously loud?

Still it’s an interesting experience.

“I’ll have a pint please.” errr “Hello.” hmm “A pint” … “Is anyone listening” oh no “I don’t think it’s working now!”…

Google are cool

May 18, 2012
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You have to admire Google, you really do. They’re just so cool. Everything they do is cool. So what if they’re now just ‘another big corporate’ and the hold a gazillion bites of data on me and only push me the stuff they think I want to see – they’re cool, come on admit it.

I read somewhere once a statement about how to get to the essence of a problem: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. For me that’s simplifying the problem down to it’s essence!

And it’s the simplification of things that, I think, Google does so well, and what makes them so cool. Think – it’s simple, it’s cool. Their ads – they’re simple, they’re cool. The Google+ interface (although I just can’t keep populating my social sites, so I really don’t spend any time there, sorry big G) it looks simple and is simple, it’s cool.

I love the simplicity of all the Chrome marketing stuff they do – I’ve talked about it before. But those aren’t simple to create I hear you say – Okay, I’m sure they were pretty complicated to put together, but they just look simple. And as we know simple = cool.

Take the Cube, a WebGL game on Chrome Experiments about Google Maps (created by B-Reel) for example, it’s an interactive 8-level labyrinth game that tests your navigation skills through different cities using features of Google Maps. As well as being a simply good play, you can challenge your friends to beat your best scores. It’s simple, it’s cool.

And the best thing about Cube is, if you missed it, it was inspired by the very wonderfully cool Explore Your World video (Watch it here).

And they just can’t help themselves. Their offices look cool. Their products look cool. I’m sure their profit margins look cool (well in comparison to the EU’s!). Google are simply cool.

In a world that’s crowded, hassled, intense and highly technical, I do admire Google for remaining simple. And that’s pretty cool.

Ray Ban – Bright light – app case study

May 8, 2012

I love this case study from the Berghs School of communication students Rickard Beskow, Eva Wallmark and Michal Sitkiewicz. Ok, yes, it might be a little OTT to create an app simply to avoid the shadows (redundant on cloudy days I guess!), but the presentation looks great and there’s some smart thinking in there to boot.

Ray Ban Bright Light is a funny mobile app that will help you finding the sunny spots in your city, the places where you can enjoy the sun without the visual noise of the buildings. No more shade on your way! This app helps people to get the most out of the sun and their sunglasses.

Berghs School of communication, Stockholm Sweden
Art Director: Eva Wallmark, Michal Sitkiewicz
Copywriter: Rickard Beskow

via Adverblog

tags: Apps

Perfect film by the fools

May 7, 2012
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I’m not sure if it’s the hours spent watching The Killing, or my current activity of subtitle reading The Bridge, but I just can’t help thinking Scandinavia is just so cool.

If you take out the fact that a lot of Scandinavians seem to get killed (submerged car boots, chopped in half on bridges – that sort of thing), the places seem to be permanently clouded with semi darkness, and their political establishments are constantly preoccupied in political backstabbing, Scandinavia looks really cool – have you looked past the subtitles into their apartments? the interior decor is always amazing.

Even before the last crop of quality Scandinavian crime dramas I’ve been an avid fan of the work of Perfect Fools – no crime in that!

With their latest project, together with Mulu film and photographer Ulf Brantås, they present the third video in a series of portraits where professional tool maker Bahco is capturing extraordinary mechanics around the globe. The piece features Magnus Strömhäll, a dedicated climber both on and off duty, and a living example of a passion turned into a profession.

The short film has the kind of Scandinavian feel to it that I’ve come to expect from the regions creative community, it’s got drama, passion and simple looks stunning – all the requirement a cool brand needs. And all this for a tools manufacturer!

So I guess the point of this post is that if you’re a creative wanting to produce exceptionally cool work, don’t sit back and wait for an exceptionally cool brand, learn form the fools – just do it!

IKEA’s smallest store

May 4, 2012
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I love this idea – Making the most of ANY space, Ikea create a full store and squeeze it inside a banner ad. Good to see there is still some innovation left in the old banner ad creation space.

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by____ Gavin Johnson