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.

Monday 30 August 2010

#67: quickie

Also, I just stumbled upon this. I don't know how to embed it, so just CLICK HERE. lol.

#66; Information Is Beautiful

I'm sure I've mentioned Information Is Beautiful before (and was pleased to see it in Time's top blogs of 2010), and recently a nice talk by David McCandless popped up on the TED site. He may not be the greatest speaker in the world, but he's no fool, and I really really like what he produces. He's all about the value and worth of clever infographics as ways of representing data in digestible and attractive ways (to the extent that he was apparently on Newsnight the other week discussing their pros and cons). Worth a watch:

Sunday 29 August 2010

#66; Two Good Things

Two good things that I thought were worth mentioning today.

First, Longshot Mag has just finished Issue 1. This was formerly the 48hr magazine, which I may have mentioned last time around. Basically, in exactly 48 hours a theme is released, people from around the world submit content in the form of photography, written articles, infographics and illustrations, and it is edited, designed, and published. It is done with such a brilliant well-spirited attitude, and produces such great material that I am a huge fan. This time round the them was Comeback (perhaps a not-so-subtle reference to the troubles they had after the first issue as 48hr mag), and will be available soon. I advise getting on their mailing list and being ready and raring to go to submit something for their next issue. I know I will be.

The other Good Thing I wanted to point you in the direction of is Coudal's Layer Tennis. On Friday afternoons, two talented creatives pass back and forth a photoshop (or similar) file, and take turns working into what their opponent did next. This is all published live, so every 15 minutes a new image gets posted up, along with a bit of commentary. The file goes back and forth, and the ideas grow and develop as the two players battle it out for the votes of the viewing public.
Again, the reason I love this is that it's great, light-hearted fun. Genuine, innocent enjoyment of today's technology in a creative and exciting way. Well worth tuning in this Friday.

Saturday 28 August 2010

#65; More Science and Advertising

First, a quick note: I've abandoned my old numbering system (if you look at older posts, they are mostly numbered with a letter or two letters. Even I was confused by this.) Now it's all just numbers. This is post number 65.

The deeper I get into the world of advertising and business, the clearer it becomes to me that science is of huge relevance to business and advertising, and vice-versa (as is design - but I'll save design and science for another day). For now, How Big Brands Can Save Biodiversity:

Wednesday 25 August 2010

As; Science & advertising

As someone studying biology but with a real interest in advertising, this article is right up my street.

How could science benefit from a bit of PR attention? As is so often the case with online articles, some of the most interesting stuff is in the impassioned comments at the bottom. They range from hugely idiotic to quite insightful. The comments are based on two main discussions: One argument is based around the existence/importance of human-driven climate change, but the other is about whether advertising would corrupt the whole point of science. The idea suggested by some is that "spinning" scientific findings and ideas would defeat the point of the "here are the facts, do with them what you will" approach many scientists have.

There seems to be a large voice of people damning the author for suggesting that science could benefit from some PR. My opinion is that if the scientific community doesn't take responsibility for this itself, then it predominantly falls to the media to pass judgement on the work. Since the vast majority of people won't look to the empirical evidence or source papers, if scientific work wants to be presented in the right light then it has to consider the way it is presented. I agree that the danger of polluting scientific work with spin and misleading implications is very real, but isn't it the case that it's so important that science be presented in the right way and to a wide audience that we cannot afford to ignore the importance of marketing and advertising.

I know I would rather the scientists involved in carrying out work took more care in the way it reaches a wide audience of newcomers to the subject than have it be interpreted by other people in any biased way. Is there a danger of corrupting the scientific work? Yes. But the need to make science more accessible, and improve the communications between scientists and the public is far too great to ignore the potential benefits of careful PR and advertising.

Monday 23 August 2010

Ar; Typographic music videos

At least 3 blogs and feeds I read have already linked to this, and I can see why - lots of fun, catchy tune, nice video:

Then this link turned up. So many nice type-based music videos. Here's my favourite:

Sunday 22 August 2010

Aq; Animated Adverts

Two nicely animated short ads.

Innocent Orange Juice - A very nice little concept, executed brilliantly.

Innocent Orange Juice from Sumo Science on Vimeo.

and a Weetos ad. It just made me laugh:

Weetos 'Boxing' from Sumo Science on Vimeo.

Lots more good stuff on from Sumo Science here

Saturday 21 August 2010

Ap; Beer

I like this. Not entirely sure about its merits as an advert - beer spilling mostly - but it's great to watch.

Friday 20 August 2010

Ao; Marcel and Danny & Annie

This is great, and made me laugh:

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Also, there's this animation:

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Looks like a radio station recorded interviews with people, and they've now been animated. I'm not sure the animation adds anything much - I'm fairly sure these two interviews would be equally affecting without the visuals, but regardless, this is very very sad and good.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

An; Words


WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.

Monday 16 August 2010

Am; Animation

As seems to be the general trend these days, no real time to comment, but watch this, is nicely animated:

"The Owl" by I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

Saturday 14 August 2010

Al; Your Lucky Day

Very good short film on Vimeo about a winning lottery ticket.

Your Lucky Day from Dan on Vimeo.

Playing with a new camera; working on something for a new project. Just thought this photo might make you smile...

Friday 13 August 2010

Ak; Music & words


First, remember when I half-heartedly made this one morning? well, I had vague intentions to expand on that idea, but it seems someone already has... and much better than I ever would have. Check it:
Your favourite books, as a text poster but, illustrated with white space. Brilliant.

Then take a peak at the Levi Pioneer Sessions. Some really nice tunes, and another example of brands recognising the cultural power of music. Red bull are very well known for this, and who could ignore O2. At the agency I'm interning at at the moment this is something that recent pitches to "cool" brands almost always seem to include. Cultural groups are so often defined by the music they listen to. When I was younger, the "Grunge" (Skater-ish) kids listened to certain music, while "Indie kids" are a force unto themselves these days, with the core unifying source that groups them together being the music they listen to. Getting at potential consumers via music is all over the place, and on the up, regardless of any fears of a suffering music industry (a fear which, for different reasons, I believe to be entirely unfounded).

Thursday 12 August 2010

Aj; Japanese subway posters

Mad busy, not a lot of time to post clever ideas and musings, so for now you get this link. Some of these old subway etiquette posters from Tokyo are just brilliant:
What not to do on the subway - rude monsters.

proper posts when I can find the time!

Monday 9 August 2010

Sunday 8 August 2010

Ah; Nice animation

Insert usual apology for not being true to "ant every day".

This Vimeo user has a really nice little collection of his animations. This is my favourite. Only 52 seconds, but I think it's really very sweet:

coExist from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.

Trying to teach myself how to make a proper website at the moment, and struggling for free time, so that's all for now.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Ag; National Geographic & Graboids

There's a really nice look at the design of National Geographic here. I think that magazine shows how incredible longevity and consistency can lead to an international acceptance of a certain character. However, for me, the main reason the brand has been able to be maintained so well over time is it's consistency in quality. I was a subscriber of National Geographic for a few years, and looking at recent or the very old issues on the web, you can see the standard of presentation and photography has been maintained unwaveringly.

Consistency builds trust, and when that is coupled with a clear visual identity maintained over time, great things happen.

I like educational but inventive videos. As a semi-scientist, I love it when people can find a creative way to teach. I'd like to see more of this (although is this great only because it's about Graboids, instead of something real...):

Monstrous Wildlife from Frank Robnik on Vimeo.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Af; Bad Handle, nice logo

First, a complaint. I saw this on one of those "interesting design" sites, with the title "creative toolbox handle design":
I usually really like the things that follow titles like "creative handles, chairs, lamps, coathangers" etc, because they show a fresh and exciting or useful new approach to something. This initially seems the same, but for me the fact that as soon as you remove the hammer you lose the handle makes this totally ridiculous. I love a good toolbox, but it seems to me that very often you might not have the hammer inside the box while you move it. This layout doesn't particularly save space, and is a gimmick that will ultimately make the box less practical. As soon as you try to move it without the hammer in it, it becomes harder to carry than a normal box. Rubbish.

On a totally separate note: Interesting debate going on over at Brand New about this logo:

I personally really like it. I agree with some of the comments that the circle hasn't been formed in the most careful or considered way, and may have benefited if the bubbles made the circle naturally, rather than being cut off at the edges, but I think it is in general powerful, nicely executed and attractive. I'm a fan. What I'm not a fan of is "Year of Youth". That seems to shout to me "Events organised by adults, for other adults to make their "youths" go to". One of the commenters makes the point that no young people call themselves youths. I think that's true. I get the feeling that as soon as the organisers spotted a bit of potential alliteration they got all excited and didn't consider that if they want to appeal to young people, Youths isn't the best word. 

Maybe that's just me. I've never liked that word - maybe it's just personal. I still like the logo. 

(actually, a look at the associated website changes my opinion of the whole campaign... It may be that the whole thing isn't aimed at kids at all, but is really for the decision makers and grown-ups, judging by the tone of the website design. That would mean my complaint about the "Year of Youth" title is a little less valid. Either way, relatively nice main image, but the rest of it -website, typography etc - lets it down).

My uneducated ramblings for the day are done. To make up for all of that twaddle, check this out for more of this:

'Till tomorrow (or the next day... I concede that "Ant Every day" is a slight exaggeration)

Monday 2 August 2010

Ae; Sweetheart

Long, tiring day means a short, unexplained music video:

The Wave Pictures - Sweetheart from Ben Reed on Vimeo.

Also, in sad news, Lindsay Lohan is out of jail, so gets no more letters.

Sunday 1 August 2010

Ad; Toilet Magic

Apologies for lack of posts.

Great creativity (stolen from BrainPickings, where there is much more info):

My laziness and lack-of-posting will be fixed soon. Honest.