This blog is now rarely updated, but remains as an archive of bits and pieces I've collected from around the internet. To see what's caught my eye more recently, find me on twitter.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Ac; A Nice Tool

In a mad rush today, so just a quick link to this. Really interesting little thing, worth spending a minute with

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Ab; Rory Sutherland

I really like the basic idea here (except for his small point about online banking, which I disagree with), not only when applied to marketing, but to almost every field. Don't overcomplicate:

Monday 26 July 2010

Aa; lots of stuff

Quick note about my numbering system: I've been labelling posts about things I've actually made or created with numbers, and posts that are just links to other stuff or wordy opinions etc have been labelled with a letter. It turns out that this was either short-sighted, or that my expectations were too low. I have now got through the alphabet... 
This post is therefore Aa, in a pathetic attempt to persevere with my flawed, useless numbering system.

Lots that I've found over the weekend:
First, totally irrelevant to the usual theme of the blog, so I'm just mentioning it very quickly. The Voice Project has some very nice songs, apparently for a good cause. Nice music.

Second is this. I want it:
Funny, clever, interesting, great.

Two nice animations. One very simple, but very entertaining:
Elvis Presley- King Creole from BillCanoni on Vimeo.

and two a bit of "3d graffiti". Some people complain that this sort of thing defeats the point of graffiti and the culture that created this sort of image, but I think this is just an interesting way of expressing a great style of art:
3d graffiti - 'After from Graffiti Technica on Vimeo.

And now something actually thought provoking. A talk from Starbucks about their hugely successful social strategy. For me, the most significant thing from this is the importance of interaction to communication in a digital world. It's not just about sending a message out, but about incorporating your consumers, involving them and listening to the things they are saying. The variety of the strategies employed, combined with the consistency of the underlying philosophies has built a fantastic communication history and network:

That's all folks (sorry it's so long today...)

Friday 23 July 2010

z; youtube & posters

Not a lot from me for today. Certainly nothing of major interest, just 2 "quite nice" things.

One - quite nice very short homey animation about youtube:

and Two: more quite nice minimalist film posters. There have been lots of this sort of thing about in the last few months, but I love all the well done ones, and these are most certainly well done. Here's my fave:

Thursday 22 July 2010

y; Snacks and Satellites

A couple of links today - perhaps even more irrelevant than usual
First one: just funny. Snacks and Shit compiles some ridiculous lyrics from rap songs. When taken in isolation, they are very funny.

"Baby, you the whole package, plus you pay your taxes."
"Your cheese is average."

Next up: Nice animations about satellites here. mmmmm informative science plus nice animation. love it.

Finally, continuing yesterday's alternative trailer theme, watch this:

TakePart: Participant Media - Waiting For 'Superman' - Infographic from Jr.canest on Vimeo.

From what I can tell, this is much less unofficial than the Expendables trailer. It's also fantastically animated and sequenced. I know very little about the film or the issue, but I know I like this.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

x; The Expendables

Watch this advert:

Please excuse my generalisations... it's all just for argument's sake:

This is a fan-made trailer, but is interesting enough to be worth considering. Were this an official trailer, what would the reaction be? Most likely not positive, but now that it's out there, let's think about its effects. Imagine this was an official trailer:

Is this great advertising, or a big mistake? I think it's good. The women that are isolated by this ad are predominantly girls who would not have wanted to see it in the first place. This ad targets the marketing unsubtly and boldly at a specific audience, and why not? The film is clearly not likely to pretend to be anything other than what it is, with Stallone producing it, and the likes of Schwarzenegger and Willis starring.

There are a lot of girls who do like this sort of film, and they may claim that they resent being excluded from the joke here, but here's the catch: those girls that enjoy this sort of film and who will want to see it already appreciate that it's a "guy's film", and by making it even more of a "guy's film", the advertisers are in fact appealing to those girls even more. They will be all the keener to prove their love of this sort of film now that it has marketed itself as the ultimate "guy film".

Then, does it really appeal to all blokes? I definitely wouldn't particularly class myself as particularly susceptible to this sort of approach to my masculinity. I am proud that my film tastes reach a long way out from the basic love of Rambo. However, I can't pretend that this ad didn't draw me to the film. It reaches at part of what is inside almost every guy, and makes them feel shamed if they aren't excited about it. I can't help but feel obligated to see it now, and to actively enjoy it.

This advert is not an official trailer, and it couldn't be. Internet fan-made trailers for almost everything are almost always utter crap. I just think that this one has a surprisingly effective message. It's not genius or anything incredible, but it does have a bit more ability to influence people than the majority of fan-made trailers of montages of film scenes. Makes me want to blow some stuff up, too.

w; films

Just a quick recommendation of two films I've seen this week.

First, go and see Inception (then read this fairly interesting related article from the New Scientist). It's great to see a large scale big budget blockbuster with this much originality, complexity, sophistication and boldness. It shows what can be gained from letting a proven and successful director off the leash. Great entertainment, and maybe leads the way for more like this.

Then, go see Toy Story 3, just because it's brilliant. Incredible that 3 films in you care more than ever for the characters, when in 99% of sequels (and 99.9% of threequels) you can't help but lose interest and love. Rarely have I been made so genuinely happy by a film. With emotion, humour, and action-film worthy adventure scenes, this is top-notch story telling.

That is all.

Monday 19 July 2010

20; Lily In Progress

Busy day today, so here's a preview of an illustration for an article about Lily Allen and Philosophy. Still very much in the planning stages, but you can see where it might be going...

Sunday 18 July 2010

v; Stop Motion & idea sex

Thinking of playing around with some plasticine and a camera and have a go at some time-wasting stop motion, in the interests of keeping learning new stuff. With that in mind, on a linked note, this video is great. I love both the perfect execution and the originality and inventiveness of the sequence of images.

Another well worthwhile way to spend time is obviously working through the videos on the TED site. The conference at Oxford is nicely reviewed here, too.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

u; Happyness

A while ago, this poster started floating around the internet:
A simple, but fairly thoughtful message, displayed well. But, really, I thought it was all a bit too simple, and although it had a nice idea, I was glad to see this crop up:

Perhaps a slightly more practical approach to the problem...

Tuesday 13 July 2010

t; Dulux Ad

I love this advert:

Mostly just for its enjoyability, watchability, and niceness (not sure if any of those are real words). But also, I don't think the fact that it is great because it looks great should be underestimated. Dulux are selling paint to make places look good. Their ad's strongest point is that it is visually delightful. That is no accident.

Great ad.

19; Elephants

Why don't you ever see elephants hiding in trees?

Because they're so good at it.

Monday 12 July 2010

s; Pictures

Second link in a day, but I missed a few days so this is just making up for it.

I think this post is great. I would rephrase it and steal his idea, but I think that Jack Shedd gets it so right that I'll just paste his post here (sorry if its bad etiquette to copy & paste, but I think this is good):
I guess other people have photo albums.
Lined up on shelves, there are sections of everyone’s life clearly documented, maybe labeled. There are reservoirs of memories just waiting to be have their damns burst. Turn open the spigot and drown in the past.
My generation is living online. Our lives being documented in ever more disparate venues; our devices capturing every inane moment, sharing it, pushing it out and notifying everyone of what just happened, who was there, where it was. When romantic comedies are written about the next decade, endearing scenes of a hero’s family sharing his misadventures with the romantic interest will soon take place huddled around the mother’s Facebook account.
I’ve never had the stomach for it.
I don’t think we capture the right moments. The camera flashes and we pose. Wepose. We create moments as artificial as the memory we want of them. We stare into lenses and lie, if only a little, so that the record shows we were there, enjoying or not enjoying ourselves, in precisely the way we’d prefer it.
But the perfect moments always allude us. The moments when we get the joke; when we decide; when we falter; the moments right before we succeed, right before we fail, before we’re sure. You can’t capture what you don’t expect, and so many of the things we should cherish are precisely the things we wouldn’t want a camera to see.
There is value to photography. Historical, candid, and artistic, they are evidence of what we’ve done, who we’ve known, where we’ve been. They are fragments we can stitch back together to form a narrative of our lives, however shallow and partial.
But I want no part in them. I don’t want to stare at some photo of me at 21 when I’m 50 and contemplate everything I was, or could have been. I don’t want to have to drown in partial truths, grasping at a falling memory to paint in details. I’d rather either remember, or not. Rather know, or forget. I’d rather be able to molt my life as it goes, letting the useless bits drop away as the important becomes more dear.
When I reach backwards into my life, I want to know what I find to have been defining. To have been something I couldn’t shake, couldn’t let go of. I want to forget the pointless birthday parties, and the group shots at the bars where so-and-so is making that face she makes, and I’m half-drunk, and look that’s what’s his face that guy who dated whoever that is. I want to reach and find the things I couldn’t photograph: the moments I knew, the moments we forgot; the street sign all lit up with sun as our car drove towards home; the view of the skyline when I left; the dodge balls as they barreled towards me; the way it felt to run in the rain, drunk and mad, screeching towards the bar like a five-year old on a sugar high.
I’d rather be able to forget, so that I can remember.

I completely agree. I personally have found myself posing for one too many photos with friends while I would much rather be enjoying myself doing the thing I'm trying to remember by taking the photo. I think good photography is great, and I also do think that this sort of photo has a place. Lots of people love a nice graduation photo, or a photo just before a ball, when everyone's all dressed nice. These mementos mean a lot to people, but please, if you're just going to another of Oxford's sticky-floored, bad-music riddled nightclubs, leave the camera at home and actually enjoy the night.

If it's great, you'll remember it. If it's not, seeing a staged, blurry or dull photo on facebook the next morning isn't going to mean that it was great.

r; Hit Print

Been a few days since I got on here. Shameful, I know. Here's a great little youtube video:

Thursday 8 July 2010

q; Cycle Illustration

Just a quick link today, to a gallery of the entries to the London Transport Museum's call for illustrations about cycling in London:
Loads of great images there. Check it out.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

18; Global Smoking

Illustration I did for an article about global warming and the problem of people who deny its existence. Click on the image for a larger version.

17; My Little Sony

For the last couple of days I've been playing with various toys and a friend's digital camera. This is the result:

My Little Sony from Anthony Lewis on Vimeo.

If it's not obvious, it's a parody of a series of adverts. Everything is better in miniature:
Cadbury: Gorilla, Eyebrows, Airport Race.
French Connection: The Man
Skoda: Car Cake
Innocent Smoothies: Rabbit 
And the running theme: Sony Bravia: Bouncy Balls

I've chosen these ads purely because they are all very recognisable, memorable and parody-able, and made by Fallon. As I mentioned the other day, I went to a talk by a couple of guys from fallon the other day, and that's when I thought of making this video. It was mostly an easy way of helping to choose which ads to reference, and it really does show how high profile, entertaining & varied one agency's work can be.

Probably more on this tomorrow, and I'll hopefully add a higher quality version at some point (although it was all taken on a fairly ordinary digital still camera, so the quality will never be great).

Also, thankyou Rachel for baking, giving me the camera and collecting up the balls.

Monday 5 July 2010

p; Blu

Found this new video from Blu. I love the originality and inventiveness of lots of his work. This is great:

BIG BAG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

And one quick thing to think about, following a tweet from eye magazine. Nike's fantastic pre-world cup epic got everyone excited, and was just another example of Nike projecting an air of high standards and wide-reaching cool, but look at it now and consider this: as we reach the climax of the competition how many of the "stars" are still there (not to mention The Ronaldinho(/Walcott)s who never got to the world cup at all)? The Spain squad are still there, but other than that, the big names from the ad pretty much failed to Write The Future that they wanted.
Does this show that marketing based on individuals is too fallible? Did the demise of Tiger Woods also show that placing an entire brand's image in the hands of a few stars is a bit too risky?
I don't particularly think so - the Nike ad avoided this problem by the timing of its release. It was timed perfectly to hit the excitement, and now its stars' current absence is not a major issue. The ad caught the mood of the target audience perfectly at that moment at the start of the competition (when expectations hadn't been lowered by an appalling set of group stage matches), and the effect it had on the viewers will not be now tainted by those stars underperforming. If for no other reason, just because most people won't connect the idea that those players flopped with Nike, but they will retain the sense of awe and excitement from that ad, and their opinion and perception of the brand has already been enforced by the marketing. The timing of the release of the ad meant that how well they actually did wasn't too much of an issue. The work was done for Nike before anyone kicked a single Jabulani (except for those pesky Germans, who've been playing with it for months now)...

Sunday 4 July 2010

#16,o; Monkey + Car + Lighting = Sunday evening


At the moment I'm spending most of my time (when I'm not working) wrestling with making a little video just for funsies and to learn the very basics of video editing. It's not ready yet, but here's a still from it, just as a sort of teaser:

Beads, monkey, balls. Any guesses? Anyway, it's bags of fun so far, and I like learning new stuff, so it's great.

What have I found out and about on the internet that I like? Try this photo. Just including it here 'cos its fuckin' awesome:

Also, check out the DoodleCar. Again, no meaning or substance to me mentioning it. I don't have any groundbreaking opinion on it, or criticism. I just like it. It's fun, and that's enough for me.

Friday 2 July 2010

#n; Astronauts

When people go to incredible places and see incredible things and have a good camera can barely help but get great photos. That's why I really like inventive or funny or clever photos. Sometimes people can just see the funny or unique in very everyday situations. This is not really an example of that, to be honest, but is an example of a clever idea, executed well. Basically, these made me smile, so I thought I'd share them:

This blog was originally imagined as a way of making sure I keep creating things every day. I realise that at the moment it's mostly links to cool stuff/things I have an opinion on. The reason there's not a lot of that being posted is that I'm working on one or two more-than-one-a-day creative things (illustrations and trying to make a little movie, which involves learning a tiny bit of basic video editing), so feel my creative juices are flowing a-plenty. More on those soon, but therefore, for now it's just stuff I like on the internet. 

Thursday 1 July 2010

#m; Text ads - what is most effective?

This post is interesting:

"Do you think you're more likely to look at an online ad if it contains 1) a picture, 2) an animation or 3) just text? The answer: just text. "
A study shows that people are, for whatever reason, more inclined to pay attention to a text-only ad. There are loads of possible reasons, but I think it's because we respond to simple and obvious messages. I'm a huge fan of inventive and original advertising as a means of separating a brand from the rest, and in order to grab the attention and convey a message in an exciting and penetrative way (as I said the other day), but I think that there is a time and a place. I know I ignore the vast majority of bright and colourful banner ads. When making ads for the sides of pages, a common approach is "make something bright, colourful, exciting and attention-grabbing."

But maybe that's not the way forward. On web pages, we're bombarded with the bright and attention-grabbing - so much so, in fact, that that sort of ad gets ignored. I personally find that I will often just register that there is a bright blue flashing ad, realise that its just another ad, and not bother to see through the blue and leave the page with no idea what the banner was advertising. Maybe if it was just simple bold text, I would recognise what the ad was for, and if it was something I was interested in, I'd click it. If the message is clear enough, I will be forced to at least acknowledge what it is that's being offered. Rely on the product being advertised; make the advert as clear as possible. If you know that your advert is only going to be seen out of the corner of someone's eye, how do you want it to be perceived? A cool graphic isn't always best. Sometimes, the bare message gets the message across in a much less avoidable sense.

Sorry for the lack of interesting images or visual excitement today. Maybe you'll have to read this entry, rather than just scanning the images, though...