30/03/2009

Magloud

Oooooooooooh look at Magcloud.

Now my head is full of ideas. I want to use this. I want a design another magazine (I want, I want). I'm tempted to get a test print going soon. I've been hammering Lulu since i discovered the joys of self publishing. It's great for producing pitch books, research docs and brand guidelines.

25/03/2009

Justin Harder on Flickr


UFC_StyleFrames_11, originally uploaded by Harder Studio.

Check out this collection of some of the surreal and beautiful images gathered in one place.

20/03/2009

Ten things I want to brand

Design Observer's article on things that need to be redesigned got me thinking about some of the projects i'd really love to work on and so i've compiled a list here of ten things i want to brand, in no particular order.

1. Airline
Every designers wet dream and i'm no exception. I unique challenge that branding an airline presents is in the vast application of the brand. What ever you design has to work on everything from the plane tail to the head rests. From the staff uniforms to luggage tags. It's an epic design journey that i'd love to take. An airline account has always been the crown jewels in any portfolio.


2. College/University
There are some beautiful pieces of work coming out from colleges and universities lately. It seems every time i pick up grafik a new uni has drafted in a poo hot design agency to overhaul their brand. Capturing student life and laying out an identity that influences student's educational experience poses a fantastic challenge. I've been making in-roads with a couple of places, but i'm still on the hunt.



3. Museum/Gallery
Not sure where this one came from, but it's always been lurking about in my mind. I guess i've spent a lot of time in galleries and museums and i'd like to combine my interests. These spaces are special and branding work need to be very well considered, as its role is to be omnipresent and yet not intrusive on the exhibitions. Branding an artistically sensitive space would be a great experience in volume control.




4. City (Ideally Brighton)
Brighton is my home and i often thought it's a city that deserves a better class of identity. The city is full of unique character and has a rich history. Every year millions of visitors come to Brighton and the city council has never fulled addressed the access or wayfinding issues in the various popular areas. Read my post on how i'd rebrand Brighton.




5. F1 team
I love designing brand identities. I love F1. Surely the perfect brief is to combine those two passions. Broadly speaking branding work in F1 is not the best you'll ever see. In fact most teams follow a fairly derivative formula to creating an identity. The F1 paddock largely consists of well established teams, so the chance to brand a new team doesn't come along very often. The most recent and high profile being BrawnF1 who have launched with a truelly dodging leaning 'awn' logo. Opportunity missed.



6. Coca-Cola campaign
i've made it no secret that i have a deep, scarey obsession with working for Coke. They run all kinds of campaigns across the world and i would bite off limbs to create an identity for one of their projects.


7. TV Channel
Partly inspired by DixonBaxi's (they are getting lot's of mentions recently) recent work on the Sci Fi Channel and by Red Bee's work on Dave and BBC One. I'm really missing work on broadcast design. I have not had the chance to animate or story board for a while and i'm looking at the amount of new channels cropping up everyday and thinking my chance is coming soon.



8. A Dyson product
I love the Dyson brand. Possibly it's the knowledge that design is at the heart of the whole organisation or perhaps it's the fact they are an international success without being in London. Last year we produced a book called '101 reasons we'd really like to work with Dyson', as a conversation starter. It's one of my best pieces of work and i'm still working to make it bring results back.



9. Series of Penguin books
Ok so this is not really a brand project, more of a design task, but ever since i read a recent article in Design Week on the design of their Modern Classics series, i've been itching to get my hands on a series of Penguin covers. I've worked with Penguin in the past on a digital project and loved. Penguin has a rich history of good design and it would be an honour to


10. Above the line anti litter campaign
Before you jump on my back with the 'there are more important things to worry about' emails, i realise that this topic is not given much attention at the moment. With knife crime, wars in the middle east, melting ice caps fighting for the public's attention, the littering problems across the uk get left out. So i'd like to bring this on and brand a campaign that gives it some attention. And besides i spend 99% of my life creating work that makes other people money, so i'd like to work on something that has an objective that is routed in social good.

17/03/2009

Sci Fi Channel rebrands as SyFy

This is a really odd one. It seems the cable channel dedicated to Science Fiction feels that the name Sci Fi is too restricting and has decided to change it to SyFy.
Read the Press Release here.

I understand the want to own their name outright, but this article in the New York Times seems to try and justify the change by saying the name Sci Fi doesn't capture the "the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes." The change seems an awkward attempt at ownership and trademarking rather than signifying any significant change in the scheduling.

I'm not clear if this change is restricted to the US channel or if it means it will change over here to. If so it's a real shame to see the end of DixonBaxi's relatively new onscreen identity work.

Which ever way it goes it seems that agencies are lining up to work on the name change. So far Landor, 4creative and Proud have all been drafted in to help out. Too many cooks?

16/03/2009

Wolff Olins & UEA create MSC in brand leadership


This is the kind of news that makes me want to go back and spend a year studying.

The mighty brand giants Wolff Olins have hooked up with the University of East Anglia to create the world's first Msc in Brand Leadership. The course covers all aspects of planning, building and developing brands. It's aimed at people in marketing who want to become brand managers, which is a genius move by WO, as they are ultimately helping to create better clients and staff for themselves.

Take a look at the course details, it looks amazing. I'm giving serious consideration to signing up for this in the future.

I've recently been writing recommendations for Northbrook's new design foundation degree and i'm beginning to fall in love with the idea of consultation for education bodies. The opportunity to help create better design courses seems like a dream.

I'm now wondering if i'll spend the twilight of my career in academia? perhaps. i'm not ready to give up this glamorous rock n' roll lifestyle just yet though.

10/03/2009

Coke's Brand Campaign on the Brandgym blog



Brandgym has a good post on Coke's stripped back brand campaign (which i wrote about in Aug). It includes their broadcast/cinema spots and a gives a pretty good view on the strategy behind the campaign.

09/03/2009

Brand guidelines

I read this article on Vgroup's lovely blog last week and it got me thinking about some of the brand guideline projects i've been involved with recently.

I've found that the delivery of a set of guidelines can sometimes be as important (if not more) than the content. As the article says 'How many times have your guidelines ended up on a dusty shelf' never to be referred to or remembered? - i've certainly seen it happen in marketing departments with a high turnover of managers.

Occassionally i come across a brand doc that is designed to be unique in its format and does a great job selling the key messages. But more often than not, they get filled with the same vague or over prescriptive shit about type and colour. We really try to make any guidelines we produce as 'fit for purpose' as possible, rather than an after thought to a logo design and so our guidelines take on all kinds of formats and shapes.

I've recently saw this piece of work from the increasingly prolific DixonBaxi studio.

No doubt the design work is beautiful. I couldn't find a bad word to say about DB, but i was surprised to find even Neighbours has a set of style guides. Seems like a bizarre concept. I expected to see guides on using Harold Bishop Extra Bold or templates for the Ramsay Street grid layouts.

It's becoming hard to write and design any guidelines after Christopher Doyles ingenious identity guides. It's great when something like this comes along and highlights all the rubbish habits we have developed. It helps us avoid the cliches and goes towards changing views on creating these docs.

06/03/2009

Are you working with Brawn F1?

If you are give me a ring.

If you've seen the news this morning, you'll have seen the fantastic news that Ross Brawn has confirmed his buyout of the HondaF1 team.

I've been looking for an opportunity to work with HondaF1 for a while and now they are undergoing a shift in branding, I'd like to create a chance to make it happen.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, then drop me a mail at the usual address.

02/03/2009

Skittles - the new nonwebsite

Last year i posted a story on the Modernista website and it's progressive approach to utilising web services.

Now the first blue chip to have taken the plunge is none other than Skittles. Amazingly almost the whole site refers to other services. Their news is simply a feed of people mentioning Skittles on Twitter. Which means that you can indirectly interact with their site - as shown here....

Check me out in the comments

By adopting this approach Skittles are making a bold statement on their brand. It would seem that they happily expect consumers will interact positively or negatively. By leaving the content in other people's hands they are opening a dialogue and allowing consumers to feed back comments in to their operation.

Bloody genius in my opinion and i hope it was Modernista behind it.