Stanley Kubrick Archives

I have been fascinated with the working methods of Stanley Kubrick, for a long time now. I first became aware of his unique philosophies in a Guardian article and since then I've sought out any information I can get my hands on, that reveals more of his highly detailed research and creative development techniques.

My thirst for Kubrick information has finally been quenched by this wonderful book. The Stanley Kubrick Archives by Alison Castle is a publishing wonder. Putting the subject matter to one side for the moment, I have never come across a book so well put together in my life. From the Hardcase, embossed cover through to the beautifully crafted typography and lush photographic reproduction. Even if you have no interest in Kubrick or his films, you will be able to appreciate the design and production that has gone in to this.

The first half of the book is simply stills from each of his films. The second half is made of extensive production notes and interviews with Kubrick. The production notes even cover films that never made it to film.

End to end a fantastic piece of work that now takes pride of place in my book collection.


BBC Digital's new global visual language

BBC have unveiled an insight to their current design project

Another fantastic example of a design studio sharing their experience of creative projects. Much like the recent Guardian post this steps you through the reasons the project came in to existence and how it developed. A thorough system has come out of this work that allows the BBC design to be build from a solid structure, whilst maintaining enough flexibility for designers be as creative as possible. They have successfully brought together traditional graphic design thinking with modern technical solutions.

For me, this absolutely hits the right note. I'm working towards a similar set of goals at More Th>n and I'm even more convinced we are on the right tracks having read this.

Skype Outside

Skype Outside is a beautifully executed piece brand communications. They have set up 5 artists around the world with Skype on thier mobiles. You can send any of the artists a message (via Skype, of course) and they will incorporate it in to their art work. Bloody genius idea, plus a beautifully designed and built microsite to support it. A perfect example of a brand using the web to connect with users. Plus an excellent campaign to align the Skype brand with creativity and interaction.



Inside Nokia's London Design Studio

I love to see inside design studios. I guess that makes me a nosey bugger. I find that understanding how and where people work, can be just as insightful as the work itself. Is it possible to make a connection between the physical environment and the success of the team and its work?
Does asking myself rhetorical questions make me sound like I'm in Sex and the bloody City?

I've always liked hearing how groups of designers collaborate and interact with each other. In fact I'm going to start a blog label dedicated to views inside design teams.

Here is the first entry: Nokia Conversations.


Bruno Maag & Richard Rutter at Brighttype

Last night I went to Brighton Uni to attend SCDF's Brighttype event. Having been involved in organising the event and booking the speakers, I felt really proud to see the turn out and how well the event went.

As expected the two speakers gave fundamentally different views on the future of typography and the business behind creating, selling, sharing and learning good typography. Both speakers clearly loved the finer details of their craft and gave great presentations on their work. Richard lead us through the trials and tribulations of bringing good type to digital design and how he sees the route of font distribution, as a web service on offerings such as Fontdeck. A very different view was offered in Bruno's presentation, which took us through his classic Swiss training and in to best practices for digital type design, with his personal view of the world.

Although i missed the Q&A session (i was tempted away by a late night GBK visit) I felt the two speakers represented a change in business, that bore a striking resemblance to the change happening in the music industry. Bruno took a similar stance to major record labels and their inability to adapt business models to an open digital, sharing culture and Richard represented a new approach (much like Spotify or Last.fm) that shows how streaming solutions can encourage purchasing and a new opportunity for foundries.

A lovely night all together. Certainly one for the type nerds amongst us. Hopefully the momentum will carry it on to become an annual event.

Guardian uses trending to create interface

The Guardian has released an interface experiment called 'zeitgeist'. It creates an overview of articles and news that are growing and declining in popularity. The design team has posted a blog article on how it was developed.

There are three aspects to this work that i really enjoy
1. they are releasing 'experimental' interactions, which aligns the Guardian brand with forward thinking and new technology - very important for newspapers
2. the design team are exploring crowd sourcing and user behaviour to determine how they serve news - letting the users decide and influence
3. they are openly exposing their process and documenting the design stages - transparency in brand communications

excellent work. very jealous of this.


glug brighton

Last night i went to my first Glug meeting. The artwork was quite interesting, the presentations were amusing, but the really great part of the evening was the amount of people creative gathered in one space. Lot's of old friends from Epic, Liquid Light, Generation Press and new aquantancies from Vgroup and Cogapp.

Short post. Ends.


The Importance of Simplicity in Problem Solving

At the height of the space race in the 1960s, NASA scientists were perplexed by a problem their astronauts faced in the recording of data and experience while in orbit. The problem was that they were unable to write anything down, because they could not get a pen to work at zero gravity. To crack this difficult nut, NASA embarked on an expensive research and development program. Some time and a million dollars later (a lot of money at that time), they proudly presented their "astronaut pen", which immediately went into service. Happy astronauts were able to record data to their hearts' content. This astronaut pen also achieved some success as a novelty item, sold at great expense to earthlings as a genuine NASA souvenir.

Meanwhile, the Soviet space agency had solved its own pens-not-working-at-zero-gravity problem. They used pencils.

Taken from Truth, Lies & Advertising by Jon Steel


Did you know 4.0

I was sent this is a really nice clip which brings together all the really potent stats on web usage. Great for wowing clients. I particularly like the obama campaign stats:

In February 2008 John McCain raised $11 million for his US presidential bid.
That same month, Barack Obama attended no campaign fundraisers.
Instead Obama leveraged online social networks to raise $55 million in those 29 days.