Monday, 31 December 2007

S4C Idents

Last message of the year (ho ho).
Watched endless crap telly, classic films, & reading glossy magazines has left me craving some knowledge to awaken my senses. So I've caught up on the pile of Creative Review's that I never get round to. My favourite piece was about some mind blowing idents made for Welsh channel S4C by Proud Creative. They involve live action scenes and landscapes of wales that change and respond to the voiceover's tones and sounds - how technically amazing is that? So depending ton the volume, intonation, any pauses or stutter's, the live action that has been filmed reacts and changes accordingly. Therefore no one ident is ever the same. The clever coding skills were that of directors at Minivegas.

Signage in the car park moves in response to the voiceover

Read more of this on Cr blog.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Friday, 14 December 2007

Need the time?

Following on from Human clock, there's also Handwritten clock- cheers Paul.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Similar but still good:

Another set of illustrators I like are Tom Gauld and Simone Lia who create works for comics and books. See more of their work here.

And with that I'm off to some illustration exhibitions tomorrow for more inspiration! {yes it is quite difficult to think of easter when it's Christmas}

Seasons e-greetings

Ahh, festivity is setting in now. I'm very excited but have the usual to-do lists running around my head bumping into each other and falling over, and so getting nowhere.. multiplied by ten. But I have a new venture to to dig my teeth into - card illustration. I've always loved making cards for friends and family, and last year even designed my own collections with the insane idea of launching them. But now my thought doesn't seem too far off. An online greeting's company setting up in the New year has asked me to design a collection. So i'm indulging in my passion for all things silly and doodling to my heart's content. I've also been researching the market to see what I'm up against. I have to share with you my favourites:

I've always been a fan of Vimrod and the childish Pea Tree productions. I'd also encourage any of you to send their e-cards - They're fun, free and environmentally friendly!

On the theme of environments, that leads nicely to another great not-for-profit idea set up by an old guru of mine Naresh Ramchandani,
The site invites you to do one thing each month that is easy that can make a small but very worthwhile contribution to the planet in the reduction of CO2. You can also sign up for their weekly videos and be part of a whole community - some members competitivly trying to be the greenest. So I'm doing my bit and making a lot of my christmas presents this year. (sorry family- Hope you appreciate the love, care and time's a bit tight this year!)
Incidentally, if you haven't got round to writing your cards this year, send an amusing e-card from them too, and save our trees! (sounds good doesn't it?)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Eurostar - More like Eurotrash

me, and it's been sitting on my scanner since

Forgive me, for this post is not exactly up to the minute, since this ad for the new Eurostar was of course released when King's cross unveiled it's new platform two weeks ago. But I ripped this out because I didn't like it at the time, and it's been sitting on my scanner since. In my sorting out, I almost chucked it but I thought no - I'm in the mood for a good rant. I've looked at it again, and I still don't like it. Yes it's edgy and daring, but without sounding too much like a Daily mail journalist, I think it does a lot to damage an already loutish image across the European border. The poster shows a skin head peeing into a teacup, alluding to the Belgian fountain, ' Mannequin pis', along with the headline which translates to 'Attention! London is around the Corner'.
Eurostar has said that although Belgians love the royalty, they also like the edginess London street life has - it is a celebration of all things British. I'm sorry but have the Creatives at Hurrell and Dawson been out on the streets of London in the past twenty years? It's like looking at a tourist book that still tells you to visit Carnaby Street for the crazy punks and anti- establishment fashion. if they are trying to promote tourism they should try and be more realistic and not hold onto dated stereotypes that many cause many of the cosmopolitan Europeans to avoid visiting. As for his shaved head and painted back - Have we not got enough problem with football hooligans being 'around the corner'? I just feel it doesn't relate to the very modern image that the architects and designers of King's Cross were aspiring to and have achieved.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Human Clock

It's an old idea I know, but still fascinating and lovely to see - how imaginative people can be when showing the time. Photos are submitted to the site from all over the world and a different image is displayed each minute. I'd love to have it live on my site if anyone knows how to do this?
post complete at:
and 48 seconds. pip, pip. derrrr................

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Not so innocent

Most of you will have heard of the fantastic and very worthy idea by Innocent Smoothies to raise money for Age Concern . Every winter, they invite eager knitters to knit little woolly hats that are then adorned to bottles during Novemeber. For every bottle sold 50p goes to the charity. Novel idea and very in-keeping with the brand. But as with all good ideas, people are soon jump on the bandwagon. Now Origins beauty and Skincare have done the same thing with their perfume bottles. Except it's not as imaginative, and doesn't have the same community feel that innocent create by inviting their fanbase to join in. I suppose it's still all in a good cause, but points lost for lack of marketing originality.

Creative Futures


Tuesday was the Creative Futures event by Creative Review, at the 3Rooms (which by the way was a very cool space designed by Tom Dixon). But the main point of the evening was two talks by up and coming creative types. First was a presentation by a Danish photographer, Popel Coumou. Her work consists of dramatically lit empty interiors, often with one piece of furniture and an opening of some sort - a window or doorway. But what was different in her work was the process by which she achieves such images. To look at the images at first, they have a somewhat illustrative or painted feel. Yet the lighting and sharp edges suggests it is actually a three dimensional form that has been photographed. But, during the big reveal in her presentations, (a few has floated around the room) She showed us that in fact she created all of her interiors on 2D collages on a sheet of A4 paper. by cutting out various types of paper, sometimes including squashed clay forms eg. to make a mattress, she then lights from behind, and the side to enhance the shadows and forms. the result is quite mysterious, almost solemn spaces, that Popel says, contain stories that can be interpreted by the viewer.
For me it was intriguing and nice to see original artwork, what with all this talk of copying going on.
The second talk was by Samuel Akesson and Tomas Mankovsky of Fallon, the two creatives behind the beautiful Orange 'Magic Numbers' campaign and the recent Sony Walkman ads.
They shared with us their sources of inspiration and some of the pictures that they collect that later end up being used in some of their briefs for Fallon. they also told of some amusing stunts they did in Sweden while still at college, one involving changing all of the signs on the underground, in order to bring Venice to the city, resulting in a lot of confused commuters. They are obviously talented young guys, with lots of energy still to give.

Fancy some soup?

Winter is officially upon us, our fingers are frozen and bellies constantly hungry (well mine is anyway!). It is officially soup season too. Earlier this year I was asked to design and illustrate a Soup Recipe book for a beautiful health retreat at Buckland Hall, Wales. As well as taking in the fresh views of the wintery landscapes I got to savour the very yummy and warming soups. The book was sold to visitors of the hall and those on the retreat.I still have a number of the small booklets left if anyone is interested in purchasing one, for the bargain price of £5.50 (postage inc). they are beautifully illustrated by yours truly, and they are a good waty to save money on those lunches at this time of year. Just email me at with your details, and I'll pop one in the post!

A special pack designed for one client who had a very messy daughter!

Monday, 26 November 2007

We all need a bit of stimulation

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The idea that we all need to keep our brains active is nothing new. With the craze of Suduko, brainteaser books and now Nintendo's Brain Academy game all in the media, we are reminded that we need stay stimulated to improve our memory and not develop other degenerative diseases. But when reading 'A User's Guide to the Brain', the author John Ratey explains in detail how and why this occurs. It fascinated me and with this knowledge, things all started to slot into place.
Brain development begins as soon as conception has occurred. and during the first weeks 250, 000 nerve cells are created every minute. These nerve cells (or neurons) then travel to various points in the brain to differentiate and form their purpose. From the beginning, the brain is a social brain, with cells all interacting with each other, talking to each other, and it is these messages that allow many functions in the body to occur. The cells develop in sophistication over time, branching out, and developing more cells in the areas that are frequently used. Likewise, those that are unused become couch potatoes and die off. Think of it like a big social party. If no one is talking to you and you end up in a corner alone, you soon choose to go home. Those having fun chatting and dancing often end up going on somewhere else.
So this all got me thinking about how our brains develop from an early age, and how the simplest actions are taught to babies and toddlers in order for them to grow and learn. Sorry if I am being obvious here but I haven't really thought about it before.
As science has got more sophisticated, and they know how the brain works, it has helped to inform the ways we teach, and communicate. That is why for instance if you go into schools now, books and things on the wall look so much more interesting than when we were at school. I'm sure some of you were taught from plain books with no pictures or diagrams. Now we know that since babies first use their eyes to understand, before the more complex process of speech and hearing is developed, visual stimulation is the way to teach from a very young age. That is why picture books are so effective, with words being gradually introduced. So for all those traditionalists that moan that copy is a dying art in advertising, I think it has changed out of an understanding of what generations respond to more effectively. We find pictures easy on the eye, process them quicker, and for some don't feel the struggle learning that can be associated with unhappy school days. Don't get me wrong, copy has it's place. Especially for more intellectually aimed brands, but in this fast paced world, we do have to move with the times and interact with people in the way they are comfortable with and used to. That is why digital media is fast becoming the media of choice. For that is what the next generation is familiar with.
On that note, here's some pretty pictures to keep you visually interested:

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The whole "Art 'inspires' Advertising" fine line.

The 'Hot' copies:

  • Lowe's John Lewis ad vs Noble and Webster (See other replicas here)

Generally I think all creatives agree that they are inspired by, and interested in Art and Design (just look at all the links to my blog!). Especially if you are an art director, visually you have to have an artistic eye. As a creative team, your originality should be in the idea. That is, solving the problem of the brief, and thinking of a unique way to sell the product. If in the next stage you reference an artistic style in history I don't think that it's a problem. But if your ad is either influenced by or remotely resembles another piece of art that has gone before I think it is time to admit defeat and go back to the drawing board. We are supposed to be creative and so our ideas should be disposable. I know in some cases creatives may be unaware of work that has gone before them, as it is impossible to keep track of art everywhere and ads worldwide. But I think we have a responsibilty to our profession to try and keep things fresh, and not forget that if your gut feeling is 'it feels done before', then it probably has been. Replicating work means artists lose out, and the brand/ ad agency gets credit for great work that the public may not have seen anywhere else before.
Advertising may be a business, but the creative dept is the exciting bit, so lets keep it that way.
Read more of this debate on CR blog here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Peepshow Collective

I haven't had a look at these guys for a while, but while going through my favourite links to put up, I took a little tour. They have some great design, illustration and general creativity. For instance the origami Evisu shoe. Inspiring stuff.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Facebook now dominating online advertising

cartoon from
Cartoon by Dave Walker

I know this isn't the latest hot topic, but I'd still like to get my spoke in - after reading a bit more into it and discussing it with my new blogging friends of the breakfast club.
For those not in the know, Facebook has launched its new initiative - facebook ads and business pages where brands/ companies can now target customers more directly, based on what interests they post in their profile. to the marketers these sounds like a dream, especially with online advertising being more quantifiable.
however as a user of facebook, I am some what sceptical and put off by the whole idea. I mean I am used to flashing ads and banners on sites and if you respond to these then you are more likely to respond to the FB ads. However, it is the invasion of my interests that I dislike. For me facebook began as a nice way of communicating with friends old and new, and setting up nights out with the odd poke here & there. Now it is overloaded with games (at least it is all for fun) but when the ads start to appear inviting you to this page and that it will get in the way of what I essentially use it for which is to chat to my friends, NOT inform them of the latest gadget out or top to buy. What if my friend isn't interested?

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the site assures, "The ads are going to feel like content to a lot of people." I can't help but feel used for being a marketeer for the brand instead of a consumer - can I get a percentage of their income from the link to their ad?
I do admit it is a clever system. The amount of data on the site that everyone has very openly volunteered must save thousands in focus groups. Plus as Zuckerberg puts it,
"Social actions are powerful because they act as trusted referrals and reinforce the fact that people influence people."

So the new system replaces the cold feeling of advertising messages broadcast by large companies to warmth from that of a recommendation from a friend. Advertisers will also be able to tailor messages to users via information they have received about that person from a friend. This is all getting a bit big brother isn't it - except it feels like your friends are snitching on you without them even realising.
I don't know, I see the potential for tailored advertising, but I don't believe it will ever take off as consumers are ALWAYS in charge of their choices, no matter what you put in front of them.

Quotes from full article on

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Fire Kills Children!

Discovered this box of matches at home and love the original shout-about-the-product packaging. It's re-created everywhere these days in spoofs so it's nice to find a real piece. I especially love the very direct warning & illustration on the back.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


This is game a created spurred on by my increasing frustration with Mr Livingstone and his irritating rules affecting the way Londoners can move around the town. Obviously it is a take on the seventies classic, Pac Man with Ken Livingstoone as the ghosts that chase you around as you try to escape out of the congestion zone.
Con Man must collect as many £1 coins as possible before being set free.
Ghost Ken's eye's bulge as you feed Con Man. For every £8 (current congestion charge) you collect, a wall will open up, allowing you more access to be set free from the lingering ghosts set on keeping you in.
Ideas for other levels involve encouraging you to go to expensive tourist attractions, and the congestion zone expanding on harder levels.

My second related game still to be developed is based on the bloody oyster card that is also another one of Ken's flawed systems. Watch this space.

Monday, 12 November 2007

What the blog's it all about?

I am starting to feel like a computer geek who is permanently attached to the internet all day and night - for that is what I have been doing for the past twelve hours. Reading, researching, joining file sharing sites, registering for this blog, and that site - just to be in the blogging know! I feel like a teenager who has developed late, while everyone is else is getting off at the party. I think I'm bloggerfordummies most frequent visitor, as well as testing bloggerbeta and blogger tips and tricks and that's just been to set the whole thing up - before I start mingling in the blogging community, and adding my snippets to everyones else's sites in the hope that they visit mine. God it really is like a party that you've invited yourself to, and you have to make an entrance, and be full of interesting gossip! Except it's all virtual. I think I prefer to meet people face to face. I can see exactly why Russell Davis set up his coffee mornings now - and look at him - he must be the most famous serial blogger of the creative community. Now that I've spent all of today within the confines of four walls I owe it to myself to get out there and experience life so that I have comments of my own to post and don't become a blogger who is just excellent at trawling other sites and referencing them. (it's very easy to slip into). Plus I do actually have to get on with some real work, so that I can post more recent stuff on here. In the meantime, to show for my past twelve hours of 'research' I have a very full delicious page if anyone wants some links!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Make my logo look bigger

Here's an amusing vid I spotted on creative social blog if any of you don't already go there. Clients will get their way in the end!

Easy Living

Here's the TV campaign for Easy Living Magazine, a pitch we won while at WCRS. As ever it's not quite the idea we started with due to 'housewives' in research, but it does the job.

There is also a 20sec and 10sec cut. We had a glamorous style arranged for the photography of the print however the client panicked and ended up requesting more informative 'Out Now' posters.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Paul Rand

If you are into your graphic design here's a great animation put together by Imaginary forces to promote an exhibition of the late Paul Rand. It's a clever collage of the seminal fu=igure who, along with his work for the big Bernbach, also created the very reconisable logos of the 60's.
I just personally love the scrap book feel & jazzy symbols that accompanying this that remind me of cartoons when I was growing up. Take a look:

This smoking ban is really getting out of hand!

Sunday, 4 November 2007


..if i do say so myself. Well the client and team at OpenAd seemed to think so. This was the winning campaign back in November last year. The Integrated work consists of print, posters, DM, banners and tube panels to promote, an online entertainment guide created alongside The Evening Standard. As the winner, I not only received a very nice sum of money but also the clients at A.N.Media can further pay me for the licence to publish the work. Incidentally I haven't heard much since, so it just remains as a nice piece in my portfolio. You can read the press write up about it here below the picture of my lovely face.

The idea did get used however when I first came up with it whilst doing a stint at W & K London when they had ANM as a client. I developed these small space ads to promote

Friday, 2 November 2007


For those of you interested in advertising, I went to a talk last night organised by the lovely Ale and her friend Emma of Shesays; a project set up to encourage more women into digital advertising. Since I'm having trouble finding work in ABL and Integrated where my experience lies, I'm trying to venture into digital and adjust my portfolio as so. It's actually a lot of fun (maybe because it's new & the novelty is still there! ) and I feel a lot more up to date with what audiences are doing and bothering to interact with, advertising wise. It's about being a bit more clever with your way in and not annoying - I for one can't stand the endless emails I get from brands that have got my details from something else I signed up for.
Anyway, Wednesday's talk was all about how to work better with clients and productively achieve what you both want. The general consensus was that there needs to be more development of the briefing at an early stage and collaboration with the other aagencies involved, so that the digital arm doesn't end up having to just create an extension of someone else's idea - I tell you - if you were from an ABL agency you would have got trampled on by all the digital girls with their broomsticks! All in all it was a good evening , I met some lovely people and look forward to the party !!!

Incidentally - here's an article I saw in Thursday's Evening Standard promoting the very point that Shesays is all for:


I'm loving this blog - it's like an online sketch book - If I think my ideas are decent I'll share them, do the 'overnight' test, then delete them if I think they are shit. So here's my latest thought:
While on my bike the other day, it struck my how much body power I was using to get from A to B. Those mad people in gyms, cycling away don't get anywhere. Why don't they use their energy to solar power the building? In fact, we could take it one step further - address the current problem of child obesity and hook up all the school kids to the national grid. Hey, while we're at it (since the govt is SO green all of a sudden) why not use the energy to break down all the rubbish that we're dumping. Brings a whole new meaning to RE-Cycling...

Jo calling web, come in..

I'm still waiting for the technology to come along that will allow you to transmit your thoughts from your mind to the internet. We have mobile phone to web, tv to web and camera to web- how long before human to web? I tell you- it'll be a lot easier to keep up with this blog, as I always seem to have thoughts, even conversations in my head, usually when I'm not on my computor so it'd be really handy if I could just teleport my ideas over. I've even started keeping a notebook next to my bed when insomnia strikes - this really is getting obsessive! Well at least the ideas keep flowing - even if the majority of them aren't any good. Maybe the micro chip thing for humans will cipher out all the crap and only publish the witty good thoughts? Here's hoping.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


This was a small booklet my partner and I made to change people's views of Nike as a capitalist, globally-hated brand. The tone of voice set was akin to their Run London campaign . We came up with the thought 'Share Your Air', based on the fact that when we run more, we are helping trees by breathing out more CO2, which they like to breathe in...and so helping the environment. It also highlights the fact that if you run in a park or near trees you are inhaling better quality air.