Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Monstrosity of a project

"Howl if you want to come in" says the sign by the doorbell of the new Hoxton Street Monster supplies everyone is talking about. The shop on the back streets of East London is now home to a vast collection of products such as tinned fears, fanged floss, Human not and zombie mints  - essential items for any monster.

But behind the bizarre facade lies an important and worthwhile project. The Ministry of Stories has been set up by Andrew Hinton, Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne along with the design skills of We Made This as part of the 826 literacy project, which now has eight centres around the world. The oraganisation aims to help young people from 6 - 18 unleash their creativity through writing and storytelling. At the back of the shop is a beautifully designed space where kids take part in short workshops, and are mentored by volunteers to create their own Monster inspired stories.

The project has so far been supported by the likes of Nick Hornby and Zadie smith, as well as numerous volunteers offering their time in many ways. I for one am hoping to jump on board and offer my monster claws.

Tweet it! iphone vs ipad

This is genius!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Golden Stiletto 2010

Delayed report back from last week's Golden Stiletto Awards: An evening dedicated to recognising top female talent in the digital communications industry, organised by Shesays. Entries had been submitted by various individuals who work in agencies across the globe, showcasing their proudest and best work. The winner of the now coveted Golden Stiletto was a team at VML London who created a complete digital experience of A History of the World, in conjunction with the BBC and The British Museum's extensive collection of found objects spanning 2 million years: A complex yet vital project. Another runner up was the Chrome Fastball game created by BBH which allows users to to play whilst crossing the various platforms of google such as You tube, google maps, twitter - inviting the player to interact and learn about each service as they go along.

Yet for pure entertainment a brilliant expose of human behaviour, my favourite had to be Dare Digital's campaign for  Sony Xperia handsets. "The Product Institute" gathers together focus groups consisting of Glamrockers, Senior citizens to surfers and Models performing simple tasks on the phones. The actor conduting the groups is superb, with his non-plussed reactions and dry wit. I can't decide which is my favourite so here are the toddlers & Senior Citizens, but visit the mini site to see the whole lot.

Friday, 12 November 2010

I can draw the internet

If you don't know what this is all about, read more here. But it's all over the industry sites: Saint's competition pitching creatives against 10 year old's and their interpretation of what the internet is. Here's mine:

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

I've bought Nothing

In these harsh times, and my female desire to continually purchase something for my own sense of self in the world, this was a particularly good purchase to make. Yes I bought Nothing. Nothing is a recent campaign by thegreenthing to highlight the fact that surplus consumption results in surplus production, and therefore results in a society of wasteful beings - we should "Stick with what we've got and be Happy". Playing along, I clicked on the amazon mock page and made my purchase, to be shortly followed by two amusing and well written emails:

Dear jodmd,
Your Nothing is now being hand-crafted by a dedicated team of Nobodies in our 
factory in Nada-nadaland.
 - 1 x Nothing
 - Cost: £0.00
 - Delivery estimate: 08 November 2010 (Monday)
 - Dispatch estimate: 04 November 2010 (Thursday)
 - Sold by: Nothing Ventures, Nothing Gains Ltd.
Thank you for shopping with us. 
Dear jodmd,
I regret to inform you there has been a problem with your order (Reference: TH1NA1R-N4DA).
A disgruntled former employee of Nothing Ventures, Nothing Gains Ltd snuck into our Nada-nadaland
factory last week and tampered with the seals on all our Nothings.
We take non-product safety extremely seriously, and so have issued a worldwide product recall of
Nothing effective immediately.
We're afraid nobody will be getting Nothing for the immediate future.
Please bear with us at this difficult time - we will send Nothing to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your understanding.
Yours sincerely,
Jack Schitt
Junior Deputy Vice-manager-in-chief, Non-Product Safety Division, Nothing Ventures, Nothing Gains Ltd 
This was then followed up by my delivery of nothing ensuring me that "Nothing's gonna change your world".
I was relieved. 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


A few things worth a mention at last week's Glug. The whole evening was presented by Airside who gathered together a mixture of designers, philosophers, illustrators and publishers to do quick talks about inspiring things.

Sean Griffiths from FAT architecture showcased some unusual projects, including my favourite: The celebrity couple bathroom suite. Pure kitsch.

Then the girls from Visual Editions talked about the interesting books they publish. They believe the visuals are as integral to the storytelling of a book, and so work on projects that are intellectually and visually interesting. Their latest collaboration is as much a work of art as it is a book. You can imagine the printer's nightmare at all those die cuts!

Lastly was Richard Hogg. An illustrator/designer who is a better speaker than he realises. He intrigued us all with his description of himself as a 'Contraryian'; (someone who always seems to hate everything that everyone likes), and the plus side to this: On the flipside, he usually finds he likes everything others hate, in an upside down kind of way and ultimately he reaches  his own contrarian utopia. Geddit? Interesting guy.