A brand for London - the blog

Amazing piece of work here from the gang at Moving Brands.

They have decided to pitch for the London brand tender and they've have set about their pitch the manner which they intend to approach the project. Fully inclusively, online and inviting comment and conversation.

This is modern branding at it's best (aside from the not so subtle Wolff Olins bashing).
I'm gripped watching the project unfold.


Redesigning Craiglist

I love this.

Craiglist is a cacky classified site from the states, that for some reason or other is very popular. The writers at Wired magazine are intelligent enough to recongnise the need for good design and they approach a small selection of designers and asked them how they would redesign it.

The results are fantastic, each one has interesting ideas and although i'm not in love with each one, i certainly have my favourites.

Hate something, change something.

Learn Graphic Design Fast!

Saw this ad in the Metro this morning and i took me by surprise. Usually you see ads like this for journalism or creative writing, but graphic design? has it become a glamorous profession without me noticing? Since when has graphic design had a 'get rich quick' appeal to it?

I'm not against the idea of graphic design being accessible to everyone . In fact i'm all for demystifying the process.

The strangest thing about the ad is that is promises that after 3 months you'll have a full set of software skills. no mention of understanding the principles of design, no mention of learning grid systems, colour combinations or basic print techniques - just the ability to use software.


Rebranding London (or not)

At the end of last week it was quietly announced that the office of Boris Johnson was 'inviting' agencies to tender for the design for a 'brand for London'. (brandrepublic article here).

The project sounds really exciting and if handled properly, could make for a stunning case study in effective destination branding. The 'invitation' uses great phrases like "Set the vision for London" and "Special effort will be made to engage with the public" - All good so far.

Now comes the REALLY exciting part of the 'invitation' - as a government organisation it has to open the 'invitation' up to everyone and consider all comers....

"The GLA is committed to maximising diversity and welcomes applications from all sectors of the business community including small and medium sized enterprises."

So this means that everyone has a chance to tender and all entries will be considered equally, no favours, no preffered suppliers, no big name policiies right? right?


A tender this big, a project this high profile and they release the information 1 day before deadline for entries. If they are seriously welcoming applications from all size of agencies, then why would the application process be so ridiculously tight? Why? Well let me hazard a guess; it's because they have to write that in the 'invitation' to tender (yes the clue to my feelings are in the use of inverted commas on the word 'invitation'). Clearly there is no intention to allow agencies to compete equally. I'm sure notice of the project was carefully circulated to a few key agencies a long time ago.

Now please don't think i'm naive, i'm more than aware that this is a not a logo design competition and that a project of this scale is as much about the ability and experience to deliver (and defend) the work, beyond the design and testing stage. It's clearly a project for a well resourced, well experienced agency. But i thought the point of Government organisations abiding by standards is that they could allow opportunities to all and avoid this kind of insular dealings.

Running the project is ex Saatchi man Dan Ritterband, so we can all expect the usual suspects to be involved. Probably Wolff Olins, Landor, perhaps Johnson Banks then maybe a supposed wildcard like Fallon. Nothing to write home about, i'm sure each one could do a supberb job, but perhaps without really going outside of the usual suspects they never create the inclusive brand that they have set out to make!


DBA event in Brighton

The DBA and the SCDF are hosting an event in Brighton on Sept 3rd. The theme of the event is 'Communicating with and managing your clients'.

Tickets and full details are available on this (pdf) link

See you there.


My Experiments on Behance

I've started loading a collection of sketches, experiments, explorations, colour studies and other kids of 'odds and ends' on to the Behance network.

I've always made a point of including experimentation in my creative process, but i've never really collated any of them and i've certainly never published them anywhere, for fear of being locked up.

At the time each piece was created for a specific purpose. those intentions have all been lost in time and what remains are just scattered ideas and tests.

It's just an opener. Plenty more to come.
Take a look and give it some feedback, if you like.


Designing the Obama Campaign

Typographic Detailing Book examples

Typographic Detailing Book examples
Originally uploaded by Sarah Ferrari

Introducing the very talented Sarah Ferrari (no she's not related and no she doesn't own one).

I saw this some years ago at a some graduate show, still really love it.


Schoolblock typeface

Schoolblock is a beautiful typeface that can be seen developing on it's own Flickr stream. I love the idea of a project having a life(or at least a Flickr account) of it's own. The designers are using their contacts as sample text as the forms develop.

The typeface is the work of Armchair Media whose work deserves your time to enjoy.

(found via www.whatkatiedoes.net)


The David Ogilvy Layout - tried and tested

This is a great article on how the legendary David Ogilvy's theories on ad layouts is still highly effective and stands up to scientific testing.

This guy is one of my all time hereos. His approach to work and the things he managed to achieve as a creative director and an agency owner is the stuff of legends.

"We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost - for support, but not for illumination."