Thursday, 8 October 2009


I'm a real fan of Vic Reeves, so when I heard he had written and illustrated his own book I got a little bit excited. I knew that it would be full of inane witterings about silly stuff but also a great deal of comedy. I went into Waterstones to find it and stood a good few minutes flicking through the pages, and laughing to myself. I felt he comes across in a far more intelligent way in his illustrations than he does in person (or in character should I say because his real name is James Rod Moir). The book itself is useless as an encyclopedia because it doesn't contain any real fact, just weird and stupid reasonings for things. However, I feel there is alot of strength in his artwork, in that it is surreal but incredibly detailed. Visually the book works as there is a powerful style of illustration and you tend to admire the artwork over the comedic notations in most cases. I really like his approach in bookwriting, it is an interesting read and has fantastic visual result. I would definitely recommend.

"Fins on fishes assist them in their underwater shenanigans"

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

rubber on tarmac

new and innovative ways to create typography :)

This kind of work inspires me to consider where else typography can be created from. If I were to design my own version I could look at all sorts of forms and structures to take influence from, the possibilities are endless. Where I don't think that I would necessarily use the IQ typeface, as it is not a particualry nice looking typeface, I think it serves to show us what can be achieved from everyday things.

Monday, 5 October 2009

curly wurly

I came across the work of Sarah J Coleman in the June 09 issue of Creative Review. Her work is beautiful and fun, there's a joyful component thats bright and colourful. I can take alot from her work in that she combines her own typography, copy and illustrations in complete design finishes.

Her work includes advertising, package design, book cover designs and cd artwork, alongisde print work publication ... she truly is a diverse graphic designer. I like that you have to work at deciphering what some of her work is, working out what the typography says is part of discovering the design. The smooth curves and flowing nature of her pieces reminds me of a natural environment, similar to the intertwining branches of a tree and embellished flowers in the small details. Coleman tends to use solid colour rather than texture although I feel this is integral to her playful style.

A Series....

Of Unfortunate Events are a series of 12 children's books written by Lemony Snickett. They centre around the ' unfortunate events' that occur for the Baudelaire siblings in an incredibly dreary and dull world.

I feel here that Lemony Snickett has got it 100% right in every element of his work; literature, film, web design, illustration and overall representation of his own character as the writer. There is fantasy in the way he writes and also as the writer where he has developed his own character to be intertwined amongst the stories. As sad as it sounds, I frequently find myself on the website, to see what's new and to take in any additional material posted there. Snickett has adopted a fearful, nervous concept where he warns his readers that his stories will not make you happy but rather sad instead. I find it interesting that such negative literature can entice children so well, there is a great deal of sorrow in the stories where the characters try to overcome the terrible situations they are in.

The books are illustrated by Brett Helquist, who has a distinct pencilled illustrative style. I love his beautifully intricate work which seems to work entirely in sync with the concept.. the website has a whole section on Helquist.

This series was recently made into a film, where all twelve were condensed into one movie featuring Jim Carrey. Directed by Brad Silberling, the movie captures the style perfectly with its own eccentric influence. I like that you can't tell what time it is set in as there are many contradictions in place to throw you off a bit, for example the characters are dressed in victorian dress yet there are many mod-cons used in the set design etc. - this makes it truly imaginative. an AMAZING website displaying the character Count Olaf; fully interactive and engaging. captures the whole concept, every detail considered.

three dimensional

this will drastically change how we record whats around us and the way in which we do it.. however is this form of technology required? I'm so excited to experience how this camera works and get to grips with what I could use it for.. this will make way for a whole new form of media where the viewer can become immersed in the image, in effect a new layer in imaging has been developed.

inside on the outside

During the summer holidays I worked in the centre of London's financial district, I walked past this building everyday going to and from work - it was here that I saw the Lloyds of London building. Designed by architect Richard Rogers and completed in the late 1980's, it is an incredible piece of architecture, the principle concept being that the inside is on the outside. This is achieved in the utilities that you would normally design on the inside are placed on the outside structures to enable greater capacity inside. Visually, this piece is modern and highly industrial which suits the urban setting and the buildings use as an global insurance marketplace. I find this structure to be incredibly fascinating in its multi-angled viewings, it seems that there are hundreds of interesting nooks and crannies created by the metallic structures covering the framework. There's something quite futuristic about it, which considering this building is over twenty years old, is quite a feat.

Unfortunately Lloyds of London do not allow visitors into the building.

naughty Robert.

This short story is another example of how quirky macabre writing and stylised illustration can work exceptionally well. I got this book for my birthday, my boyfriend saw it in a book shop and thought it would be something I'd appreciate, its something of a 'cult classic' according to the abstract. The illustration remind me of the work Quentin Blakes did for Roald Dahl, a sketchy and freakish style of drawing.

It's a thoroughly captivating story with a weird theme, perhaps even a bit sick at times! Its definitely not suitable for children, especially as the story features torture and pain - I feel this is an interesting concept as the adult readers are reading something scary in a child's setting where you wouldn't expect such a thing, much like displaced normality. This genre does bring out of the child in some readers, particularly the idea of fantasy worlds where anything is possible. I think that because the story is so far-fetched, it doesnt matter how frightening or strange the subject matter gets, it works because the adults reading it are enjoying it with a large pinch of salt and appreciating the break from the norm.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

a cup of tea with the social

I was quite intrigued by this ad, I like the concept that it gets the voices heard to a wider audience through well-known personas. There's quite an emotive feel to it and a sense of call to action, the dialogue and acting hit hard because you know that these situations really do happen across many homes. This kind of advertising is excellent at getting the audience to put themselves in the shoes of those people and it moves you to reflect on it.

It seems at the moment there is much media attention on the failings of Social Workers across the UK, so you will have noticed a number of sensitive ads calling for more people to enter into social care employment.

Recently there have been a series of new ads promoting careers in social work, these focus more on emotive audio and a one shot image of a kettle boiling for example.. they push you to understand how a social worker works rather than what they have to deal with, they ask you consider what tools are required for the job and how you might make a difference to someone's life.. all with the help of a cup of tea. These are successful in capturing your attention not by visual stimulation, but by powerful copy spoken out loud.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Big Fish

Based on the 1998 first novel by Daniel Wallace II, Big Fish is a magnificent tale told through bizarre scenarios and peculiar characters. I first saw this film at the cinema a few years ago where it made a real impression on me, so much so that I rewatch it frequently and recommend it to friends.. perhaps it was this work that cemented my Tim Burton fixation?!

I really value the fantasy/mysterious components in film, as the viewer you are transported to that world and it becomes believable. In this genre of film, there are no restrictions on creativity and anything goes.

"The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son ends up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings."

Beevering : We ONLY care about hair

Beever is a new brand of hair styling products.

Where their website treatment is really effective, I feel the concept for their print work isn't so.

The website is interactive, interesting and eclectic with lots of details in non-linking objects in the visuals. I really like the room setting featured on the homepage, however when you move around the site it can become quite annoying having to wait for each page to load. I also quite like the personable tone of voice used across the brand campaign, it speaks to you as a mate offering advice - its cheeky and honest, its 'jack the lad' talking to you.

Whilst I like the visual element of the ads, especially the mixed media cut out graphics, I think the statements made in the copy are a bit weak. Their tag line, 'we only care about hair' is reiterated in the copy in that the moral aspect concerning animal testing is joked about.. I just don't find them funny or humorous because they are a bit near the mark on an extremely touchy subject. Yet I can see that the target audience, namely young(ish) males who take pride in their hair, would appreciate this form of humour.

itv think bright

tweedledee and ...

an alternative treatment on a concept at its best.
cannot wait.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

design museum

let them eat cake : with pink icing

a highly inspiring, opulent adaptation of the story of Marie Antoinette during the French Renaissance. excellent production, set design and attention to detail in enabling the viewer to become immersed in this world of magnificent grandeur.


tinkling the ivories

"Sing London is a non profit organisation whose purpose is to use collective singing to connect people; to each other and to the spaces around them."

Walking home from an evening out in Soho, we came across a piano right in the middle of Carnaby Street. There's something about being able to play whatever you like on the streets of London, in the middle of the night that I loved. I played a bit of Fur Elise, Allegro in G Major and the old favourite Chopsticks (I couldn't resist!!).

Artist Luke Jerram, installed 30 Street Pianos in London’s streets, squares, markets and train stations. Marked Play Me, I’m Yours, they were placed for all to play, sing and enjoy. This concept not only increased media coverage for Sing London 2009 but it also created an interesting word of mouth phenomena around London where people would actively search out where the other pianos were situated.


Vincenzo De Cotiis : CeccottiCollezioni

De Cotiis's style is both elegant and modern, incorporating lined structure into his furniture. I like this work due to the seemingly fragile appearance of the some of the pieces, yet rigid construction. His use of wood and the way in which he structures the elements of the design, make for unconventional form. In other pieces, he has achieved a fluid impression in the clean sweeping lines forming joins in the structure, especially those featured in the 'modern sense '09' collection.

Paper Doll : Complex, a little cut up, but always composed, our mystery blonde is a woman of many parts

This item was published in September's issue of Wallpaper*

These are fashion images incorporating photography, illustration and collage, forming the Autumn 09 collection by stylist Arabella Mills. This collage technique is effective in that it is clearly showcasing the garments in an creative but surreal context. It brings an interesting element to what can be standard photography, adding depth and layer.


Trof : a collection of independent bars and restaurants in Manchester

In terms of quirky illustrative design, Trof has developed a representative tone-of-voice for which to use in their webdesign, interior design of their premises and menu/product design. It creates an impression of the kind of people who run Trof, who go to Trof and also invites a certain target market of like-minded people who appreciate the style implemented across all aspects of the business. Trof has commissioned several freelance illustrators across several projects in each of the three venues which allows diversity of original design.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Key West, Florida Keys

Further down the East coast in Key West, the architectural style goes back in time somewhat with Art Deco influences alongside typical Southern American elegance. Stilted, wooden slatted structures are common in this area due to the hurricane risk, which enables the buildings to shift in harsh weather. They are beautifully constructed and display great detail in the decorative wood trimming which cover the fascias of all structures, putting Key West on the map for charming and stylised American architecture. I get a real sense of American building design in Key West, the quintessential white picket fence and porch are standard and a fresh, pastel palette of colours are evident - you get a distinct Southern feel where you know this place is like no other.