The Production Manual - a graphic design handbook

this is a great design reference book. it does have a selection of great work to drool over, but the focus is on practical information about print techniques, formats, bindings, finishes, colour set ups and every other production method a designer needs to know.

it's bloody handy. i don't ever feel like i've learnt it all and i don't need to bother learning more. even the things i think i know well can always benefit from being tested and improved. if your working in design for print, i recommend you wrap your eye goggles round this one.

wklondon / guardian - horrible rip off

i've been a big fan of wk london's work for the guardian. i loved the simplistic approach to the art direction. the copy, strategy and design all seemed very seamless. however when i stumbled on this photo from ben's blog...

it's from a book called Graphic Designers Europe vol.2. when i saw the image on the left side of the spread i couldn't help but notice how much it looks like one of the executions from the guardian campaign, as seen here...

is it me or does that look like they have 'borrowed' a bit too heavily?
i know it's only one execution in a very good campaign, but it makes me wonder how much more of it has 'borrowed' from this book (or elsewhere). it seems even worse when wk then accuse people of ripping them off

in the past three years the amount of advertising work that steals from obscure sources seems to be on a steady increase. is the web giving rise to lazy advertising?


how to be more creative

i really love this image.

if you can't read the text it says
1. Keep your eyes and ears open. Observe. Notice your surroundings; there is always inspiration around you.
2. Keep thinking time to yourself. Dedicate some time every day to do your thing.
3. Be open to new ideas and be flexible.
4. Realise that you are unique. Your colours, your ideas and your thoughts are all unique to your personality and individuality.
5. Read widely.
6. Keep your senses open to new experiences. Travel.
7. Welcome learning. Have a want and desire to learn. Ask questions.

i think points 1, 3, 5 and six are part of the same sentiment. i value the process of intaking visceral stimulation. the more you see, read, hear, smell and feel, the more experience you have to draw from with your work. being open to as many experiences as possible increases your mental store from which you draw ideas.

i like points 4 and 2. both are not things i've given a lot of thought or time to. so i've decided to make a concerted effort to do both.

found via monster munch

D&AD annual by neville brody

ooooooooooooh it's on its way. d&ad annouced neville brody's appointment to the task of designing the latest annual a while back and it seems that the finished book is soon to arrive on our desks.

if your not a member i strongly suggest you sign up asap so you can get your hands on this monolith. the content of each years annual is generally worth the membership fee, but the fact that a design legend has been enlisted for this one makes it very special in my opinion.


August Progress Report

I've been up to my rs in deadlines lately, so no time or energy for much blogging. Things i've been up to so far include

- hosting a brand workshop for a product naming and launch campaign
- writing a brief and campaign plan for a new preview project
- following up a lead in to one of my big5
- production work for a travel brochure
- ironing out the new ia plan for preview's website updates
- finding out we didn't get the pitch we did last week, waiting for feedback
- designing logos for a business consultant
- creating exhibition panels for a client
- interviewing planners for upcoming campaign work
- meeting pr agencies regarding a brand launch

and most importantly i've been writing my birthday list. woo hoo.

brighton & hove family homes

i like their stuff, it's got a nice, friendly tone of voice, without being sappy. obviously utilising a small budget, with great results. not sure who does this work. i think it's james at trunk.


dyson school hits another roadblock

horrible news from design week. the dyson school is being further held up by bureaucratic fumblings. it's depressing to see how much trouble he has had getting this project off the ground, i can't imagine who wouldn't want to back it, whole heartedly.

From design week...

James Dyson is considering backing out of plans to build a design school in Bath, following the beleaguered project’s latest setback.

The Government Office of the South West opted last week to launch an inquiry into plans for the Dyson School of Design Innovation, which the Environment Agency judges is at too high a risk of flooding.

The designer insists that the building, by architect Wilkinson Eyre, is safe, and is accusing the Environment Agency of stonewalling the £60m project, which aims to provide 2500 children and adults with design, technology and engineering training every week.

Dyson is clearly a man used to pushing innovative concepts through to commercial realisation. I particularly like this part...

"This isn’t a third runway at Heathrow, it is a school on a derelict piece of land in Bath. It is mind-boggling that MPs can be so scared of making a decision"


bbh - ad agency in good site shocker

ad agencies are not renowned for creating great websites for themselves. if anything they can be a bit on the stinky side. you know you are and you, oh yes and you. it's a oddity. some of these agencies have the best creative minds in the country on their side and yet the quality of website's produced is generally shocking.

however bbh is the exception that proves the rule. the new global site is perfect. it has fluid and seemlessly integrated motion work, good information architecture and relevant content. all served with a simple navigation. but most importantly they have avoided the trap of trying too hard to be different and 'quirky'. instead they have served up a useful digital resource.

very nice.


Pitch Stack

got a pitch on monday. check out my stack.

not a usual brief, but one that i'm very keen to get. this is round two and we've been shortlisted to present ideas and possible directions for branding and digital work for a multi-national. wish me luck.


Coke Summer Campaign

Coke's summer campaign is a change of pace for them. It seems to be a bid to move past the unhealthy image it has, by focussing on the ingredients. The art direction is surprisingly restrained.

I haven't seen any tv spots to go with the web, press and outdoor output, but i'm sure it's coming. the web aspect is very well done. coke has drafted in grand union to put the site together which has a really nice live feel to it. a good use of tags to help you ask questions and interact. if you dig in to the q&a section the responses from the coke team are well written and refreshingly sincere. the video work involved is also worth taking note of. very tasty.

Crappy photo, but this outdoor ad is (again) surprisingly subtle. the frosted 'ahh' was hardly visible from a distance. it would seem as though coke are trying to move the brand on from a junk food brand in to something more acceptable.


My BBC misson - Update

my bbc mission has hit a roadblock.

we've been working on our application for the approved suppliers list, but a minor detail in one of our insurance policies doesn't reach the bbc's requirements. we've not had the chance to show our work or credentials yet, still working through the application process. boo

we are working to see if we can amend that particular aspect of our insurance policy.

work in progress

something i'm tinkering with. should be finished soon. not sure i'm happy with the model, she looks a bit cheesey.