CR Blog http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog News and views on visual communications from the writers of Creative Review Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:22:42 +0000 http://www.creativereview.co.uk/ en http://www.creativereview.co.uk/layout/img/crlogo_small.gifCR Blog     http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog1616 British Pathé uploads 85,000 films to YouTube http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/british-pathe-youtube http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/british-pathe-youtube#feedback Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:14:00 +0000 Mark Sinclair http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75506

British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 vintage news reports and 'cinemagazines' to its YouTube channel in order to bring its newsreel archive to an international audience...

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Still from a PanAm New Horizons: New Zealand film from 1970

British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 vintage news reports and 'cinemagazines' to its YouTube channel in order to bring its newsreel archive to an international audience...

With its roots in 1890s Paris, British Pathé became known for its informative filmmaking style and its archive now forms one of the most extensive collections of newsreel footage in existence.

French Pathé started its newsreel service in 1908, opening a London office in 1910, and the Associated British Pathé company was established in 1933. In its heydey the service brought stories of major events – global sports, travel and cultural news – including numerous dispatches from both world wars.

Its 85,000 newsreels (3,500 hours of footage) are now searchable and viewable on youtube.com/user/britishpathe. The archive was originally digitised in 2002 and the current project (managed by German company Mediakraft), will see new content created from British Pathé material, in English and in foreign languages.

The range of subjects covered stretches the course of twentieth-century: there is a lot of footage of troops during wartime; and many reels relating to the royal family, for example. But there is also plenty of wonderful footage which has long since been forgotten – and is now relatively easy to dip into.

The archive has also been catagorised to make searching even easier – so users can go straight to the Weird Newsreels if they wish. But the following examples are all uploads from the last few days.

In colour, here's the first part of Ageless Iraq, a 1950 film made for the Iraq Petroleum Co. by Graham Wallace:

A history of Lloyds insurer from 1961, This Is Lloyd's is part re-enactment, part corporate film that tells the story of the company's emergence from a seventeenth-century coffee shop:

And opening with "Exclusive! Special Release! The First Newsreel Subject Ever Presented in Color (sic)" this film covers the 1940 parade of the The Pasadena Tournament of Roses:

"Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them," says Alastair White, general manager of British Pathé.

"This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.

"Whether you're looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it'll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours."

British Pathé's YouTube channel is here while more on the organisation is at britishpathe.com.

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Typography is a practice http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/typekit-practice http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/typekit-practice#feedback Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Mark Sinclair http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75501

Adobe's Typekit has just launched a new site dedicated to honing typographic skills, via a series of lessons and resources, under the name Typekit Practice...

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Adobe's Typekit has just launched a new site dedicated to honing typographic skills, via a series of lessons and resources, under the name Typekit Practice...

"Typekit Practice is a collection of resources and a place to try things, hone your skills, and stay sharp," runs the site's introduction. "Everyone can practice typography."

On offer are featured lessons, including one on using shades for "eye-catching emphasis", a list of useful online references (blogs, articles, talks etc), and a reading list of books on typography. Of course, there are also links to Typekit's own fonts and its accompanying blog.

The Practice site is designed and maintainted by Elliot Jay Stocks, Tim Brown, Bram Stein and the Typekit team.

Aimed at both the type novice and expert, Typekit Practice is certainly informative – the lesson on shades offers some good pointers as to the various shading techniques available – from 'drop' and 'close' shades to 'offset' and 'printer's' iterations – while the site itself is clearly laid out and nicely written.

As Brown writes on the TK blog, " Lessons stand on a foundation of references to articles, blog posts, books, websites, talks, and other solid resources."

"For example, John Downer explains why sign painters shade letters to the lower left, Nick Cox reviews Typofonderie's Ambroise, and Typekit's own David Demaree ruminates on Hi-DPI typography. We're working hard to accurately cite the sources of references, so that readers have a starting point for further research."

It looks like Typekit Practice could evolve into a useful collection of hints and tips for those starting to play with typographic technique, and for others looking for some well-researched information on the discipline.

"We have lots of ideas for Typekit Practice," writes Brown, "plus an extraordinary group of authors and teachers helping us think up valuable lessons and make good references. Come practice with us."

See practice.typekit.com.

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Ad of the Week: Ikea, Wonderful Everyday http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/ad-of-the-week-ikea-wonderful-everyday http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/ad-of-the-week-ikea-wonderful-everyday#feedback Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:40:00 +0000 Eliza Williams http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75500

Our Ad of the Week is this simple yet captivating spot from Mother for Ikea, which sends a kitchen into a spin...

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Our Ad of the Week is this simple yet captivating spot from Mother for Ikea, which sends a kitchen into a spin...

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The spot advertises Ikea's Metod kitchen system, which has been developed to allow flexibility for the various needs of families. To suggest that, the ad shows a busy family kitchen that is on a constantly moving carousel but where everything is nonetheless happening smoothly.

Credits:
Agency: Mother
Director: Keith Schofield
Production company: Caviar

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Harvey Nichols' new website http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/harvey-nicks-new-website http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/harvey-nicks-new-website#feedback Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:38:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75497

Harvey Nichols has launched a new magazine-style website optimised for use on smartphones and tablets. It's an interesting approach to content marketing, but the site's design seems to have divided opinion...

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Harvey Nichols has launched a new magazine-style website optimised for use on smartphones and tablets. It's an interesting approach to content marketing, but the site's design seems to have divided opinion...

The new website was designed in-house and built by agency Ampersand Commerce. It aims to offer a better and simpler user experience and new features include a 'MyHN' section where users can create a profile and shopping shortlists; a 'fashion emergency' button which takes them to a live chat with a stylist and a 'click and try' service, which orders products to store for a one-on-one appointment with an adviser.

The most noticeable change, however, is the emphasis placed on content. Users can still use drop down menus to browse products by department and category but the homepage is now a mix of editorial features and social content. Articles are grouped into six categories, including trends, editor's picks, inspiration and brand focus.

Features are identified by icons and hashtags and include a mix of full-screen photoshoots, scrapbook-style grids and more traditional product lists and written content. Colour coding and symbols are also used to group products, sections and services.

The site took around a year to build and five months was spent planning design and user experience. Harvey Nichols' multichannel director Sandrine Deveaux says designers were given a fairly open brief, but asked to "make products look stunning, ensure people find what they are looking for as quickly as possible and fuse content with product as seamlessly as possible."

The new site is the brand's first designed with smartphone and tablet users in mind, and Deveaux says the re-design was driven by a change in consumer behaviour. "We have heavy usage on tablet and mobile, and the move away from desktop looks inexorable,” she says.

"[This] creates its own unique challenges, especially given that the vast majority of our customers are iPhone users, where the screen size is significantly smaller than most android devices," she says. "One of the most striking changes is the shift from traditional left hand category navigation to persistent top level. We've been heavily influenced by tablet usage where long scrolls are the norm, and felt that left hand navigation isn't fit for purpose anymore," she adds.

Harvey Nichols isn't the first brand to adopt this kind of content marketing approach - Net-a-Porter, ASOS, Topshop and Urban Outfitters' websites all feature style guides and editorial features - but these are usually confined to a particular section of the site. Harvey Nichols' takes the idea a step further, putting equal emphasis on content and product.

This does encourage longer browsing and may lead to customers stumbling on new collections, but it won't be to everyone's tastes. While the magazine format has proved successful for high street brands, there's a careful balance to be struck by upmarket shops who want to offer more content and interaction while retaining a sense of luxury.

The response to Harvey Nichols' new site was largely positive on Twitter but on retail and marketing blogs, it has divided opinion. Some likened the layout to low-cost templates, while others felt the focus on content was distracting.

But perhaps some of this criticism is a little unfair. There is still a widespread expectation that luxury brand sites should focus on white space and full-screen photos, but Harvey Nichols aim is to do more than showcase products. As Deveaux points out, Harvey Nichols is a brand that's known for its cheeky sense of humour, and the new website clearly reflects this.

“Harvey Nichols positions itself as...being exclusive but accessible. One of the joys of the brand is that it differentiates itself with humour and wit. Our challenge is to ensure that the core values are communicated to the existing customer base at the same time as offering an online customer experience that appeals to the next generation of customers," she explains.

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Bridgeman Studio Award: Tips from the experts http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/bridgeman-tips http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/bridgeman-tips#feedback Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:30:00 +0000 Creative Review http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75470

CR has partnered with Bridgeman Studio, a new online platform representing contemporary artists, to launch the Bridgeman Studio Award 2014. To help you with your submission, Bridgeman asked creative professionals to give their insights into what's important when selecting licensed artwork...

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CR has partnered with Bridgeman Studio, a new online platform representing contemporary artists, to launch the Bridgeman Studio Award 2014. To help you with your submission, Bridgeman asked creative professionals to give their insights into what's important when selecting licensed artwork...

Entrants will be assessed on their ability to translate up to five images on the theme of ‘joy' to an album cover, a book cover and fine art print, ensuring they reflect the demands within the global image-licensing industry. You could win £500 and a year's subscription to Bridgeman Studio offering professional representation for your work. 

CD/Album Cover

"When choosing the perfect image for your CD cover, don't forget to consider the physical and practical confines as well as the purely aesthetic impression that it creates."

Cass Cassidy, designer/director of Cassidy Rayne Creative

Book Cover

"Book covers need to lead a reader to want to pick the book up in the first place, so a bold image with strong composition is essential."

Lily Richards is Picture Researcher for Vintage, at Penguin Random House

Fine Art Print

"Images depicting gardens, flowers and seascapes and British wildlife are enduringly popular and suit many rooms. I have also recently noticed more demand for graphic art and illustration."

Georgina Angless, Bridgeman Account Manager, London office

Advice from Bridgeman Marketing

"With book cover design, album artwork and a stand-alone piece of art you are looking at very different formats. My advice would be to craft your idea into its simplest form and be true to yourself rather than trying to create something you think people will like. An emotional response is what you are trying to gain from the audience, and in the case of the Studio competition, it is the very specific emotion of ‘joy.'

I remember a quote by Fairfax Cone (a legend in the advertising world) who was once quoted as saying, "Speak to millions and you reach no one. Speak to one individual and you reach millions.""

Alan Firmin, Bridgeman Digital Marketing Director, London office

Advice from Bridgeman Studio Team

1. Look at what is trending in the licensing world. For top tips visit our monthly Studio wish list of subjects/areas that our sales team have identified as being 'in demand'.
2. Consider anniversaries and annual celebrations. There will always be a licensing demand around celebrations like Easter, Christmas and sporting events etc.
3. Clear use of colour and medium. A clear, bold image has more chance of working across multiple types of licensing deals.
4. A good number and range of works within your portfolio. You never know, a client may be struck by an image they see of yours, and then on visiting your artist page, decide to license multiple images or 'book mark' you for future use. We therefore encourage our artists to submit work with a good range.

 

To enter, submit up to five single pieces of original artwork on the theme of joy, which will be assessed on their ability to be licensed on all three of the following products: Book Cover, CD/Album artwork, standalone piece of art. Deadline: May 20. Send entries to competition@bridgemanstudio.com

Licensing example of Bridgeman Studio artist for calendar: The directors of multinational food and shopping corporation Lotte Co. chose Rebecca Campbell's artwork as the face of their 2014 calendars for clients.

 


Prizes and judges

Judging will take place on 21 May. The winner will receive £500 and one year's free subscription to the Bridgeman Studio portal, offering professional representation for your work. Five runners-up will each be given a free one-year subscription on Bridgeman Studio or £100 (at Bridgeman discretion to decide which). Results will be announced in the CR's July Issue and across all Bridgeman social channels, website and newsletter.

Victoria Bridgeman - CEO (Bridgeman)
Lucy Innes Williams - Bridgeman Studio Manager
Patrick Burgoyne - Creative Review editor
Pixie Andrew - Curator at Will's Art Warehouse
Jenny Wen - Director of Merchandising at Art.com

Details
• Maximum of 5 entries per artist.
• All artwork entered into the competition remains 100% copyright of the artist.
• All artwork can be used in marketing and advertising the competition from Bridgeman and third parties (Creative Review) .
• Entrants must give permission for their names and photographs to be used for publicity.
• The entry can be photography, illustration, digital art or fine art.
• All artwork must be 100% original copyright owned by the artist and not use any third party copyright material.
• Entries must be supplied as two files, one high resolution .jpeg sized between 3MB and 5MB, and one low resolution version, sized between 250KB and 500KB.
• By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to these terms and conditions.

Further details here

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The shirt on your back: Guardian interactive explores Bangladesh's clothing industry http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/the-shirt-on-your-back http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/the-shirt-on-your-back#feedback Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:46:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75468

It's almost a year since Bangladesh's Rana Plaza clothing factory collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. To mark the event, the Guardian has released a powerful interactive exploring life in Dhaka's factories and the journeys our clothes make from factories to shop floors.

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It's almost a year since Bangladesh's Rana Plaza clothing factory collapsed, killing more than 1,000 people. To mark the event, the Guardian has released a powerful interactive exploring life in Dhaka's factories and the journeys our clothes make from factories to shop floors.

The shirt on your back: the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry combines compelling video footage with photography, infographics and written editorial. It's a thought-provoking look at both the impact of the fast fashion industry, and the tragic events that took place on April 24 last year.

The interactive is divided into six sections: it opens with a video showing the frantic pace of daily life in Dhaka and goes on to introduce three factory workers who survived the collapse. Editorial and infographics also explain the growing demand for cheap labour that has led to hundreds of factories being built illegally or without planning permission and the daily pressures factory workers face.

Full-screen video footage of the collapse includes some harrowing scenes of bodies being pulled from the wreckage, interspersed with survivors' accounts of searching for their friends and family. At each stage of the feature, viewers are reminded how little a factory worker has earned, and how much retailers have made, in the time they have been reading.

The piece ends with a look at the aftermath of the collapse and international reactions to it, as well as how survivors' lives have changed since. Readers are also invited to comment on issues raised on the Guardian's website, or share photos of their clothes and details of where they were made on its user generated content platform, Witness.

Thirteen staff have been working on the interactive since October. Footage was shot by director Lindsay Poulton and director of photography David Levene, who travelled to Dhaka in November.

Francesca Panetta, executive producer and special projects editor at the Guardian, says: "As well as being a major news event, this story seemed to fit the interactive treatment very well - it's complex and there's a lot of detail, but it's also very visual.

"Covering it in this way allowed us to add some historical context and a look at where we are now, as well as some more nuanced details. Of course, there are a lot of challenges with this format...as you need a large team with very different skills and it uses new technology that has to be tested and refined," she adds.

The responsive platform is the same one used by the Guardian to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech last August, and the interactive was designed by Daan Louter. The muted colours and simple graphics reflect the feature's sombre tone, without distracting from Levene and Poulton's photography.

Panetta says it was also important to ensure the design is intuitive and that viewers are aware of their progress throughout. "It had to be clear so people didn't feel lost and knew where they were in the story and how long [it] was going to take," she says.

At 20 minutes, it's a long piece and one that demands undivided attention, but the mix of content and varied narrative structure ensures it doesn't lose pace. "With any kind of narrative, you need to think about the momentum of the piece and whether you should be using writing, film or sound," explains Panetta.

"It's important not to lose that linear continuity or tension, so you have to really think about where to switch from text to video. We also used cinematic techniques with sound and music to provide some added continuity," she says. Music composed for the piece is based on location recordings made in Dhaka, and Poulton says it is designed to grow from the sounds of the city.

It's a moving interactive, and one of the Guardian's best to date. The mix of audio, video and written copy is much more immersive than any of these mediums could be alone, and the layered narrative provides a look at the clothing industry and its impact on Bangladesh's economy, as well as an insight into factory life.

See the full piece for yourself here.

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Aesop's identity for Toastits toasties http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/aesop-toastits http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/aesop-toastits#feedback Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:03:00 +0000 Creative Review http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75462

Aesop has created a playful pastel identity system for new Camden street food outlet, Toastits.

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Aesop has created a playful pastel identity system for new Camden street food outlet, Toastits.

Toastits opens on Monday at Camden Lock Market and will serve a range of gourmet toasties, including the intriguingly named Bloody Mary. Owner Phillie Kenyon Shutes asked Aesop to create an identity that would convey an artisanal feel, but with a little added personality.

The brand logo features a 'T' in a slice of bread marked with grill lines. As Aesop designer Danii Maltman explains, it had to be simple, versatile and instantly recognisable.

The marque has so far been applied to coffee cups, napkins, wrapping paper, stationery and loyalty cards, which also feature a series of graphic patterns. Napkins and stationery play on the brand's name, with phrases such as 'nice raclette' and 'you're drooling', while cups are marked 'D cup' and 'C cup'.

"The brief was very open – there were no limitations – which was great as we managed to put in a few discoverables that play on the Toastits name…[to] keep it playful and cheeky whilst still looking contemporary," explains Maltman.

The pastel palette may seem an unusual choice for a sandwich stall, but Maltman says the aim was to stand out from the brightly coloured, hand written signs found around Camden Lock.

"The colour palette was [also] inspired by chalk colours from market chalk boards, but is ultimately young and fresh, which reflects the personality of the owner," Maltman adds.

It's a simple scheme but a distinctive one, and Maltman says the idea was to create "a scalable design that could start a bit more lo-fi and easily expand and grow as the business grows."

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Penguin to unveil new covers on WeTransfer http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/penguin-covers-wetransfer http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/penguin-covers-wetransfer#feedback Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:43:00 +0000 Mark Sinclair http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75460

Penguin Books has launched a partnership with WeTransfer where selected book covers for new titles will be showcased via the full screen backgrounds to the file transfer website...

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Iain Sinclair, American Smoke. Cover by Nathan Burton

Penguin Books has launched a partnership with WeTransfer where selected book covers for new titles will be showcased via the full screen backgrounds to the file transfer website...

The first series to be shown via the website is for the publisher's Street Art Series of novels which feature covers by artists: ROA, gray318, Nathan Burton, Sickboy and 45rpm. The series actually launched last year – details on the ten participating artists are here – but today's launch will pilot what looks to be an ongoing collaboration between the publisher and WeTransfer.

Zadie Smith, Embassy of Cambodia. Cover by gray318

For the Street Art series the covers are photographed as still lives, surrounded by objects which reflect the subject of the books. If users click on the image they are taken to Penguin's online store.

While the project isn't launching with an entire set of brand new cover designs (three from this series were released in June last year), the tie-up is an interesting way of promoting forthcoming editions. WeTransfer has 20m monthly users so the cover artwork – and the book, of course – has the potential to reach a wide audience. The next series of covers will be premiered on WeTransfer later this summer.

Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel. Cover by ROA

Zoë Heller, The Believers. Cover by Sickboy

Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End. Cover by 45RPM

WeTransfer have also recently collaborated with the British Fashion Council, designer Nelly Ben and Where's Wally.

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The art of bank note design http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/bank-of-england-museum http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/bank-of-england-museum#feedback Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:35:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75400

The Bank of England Museum's latest exhibition offers a look at some fascinating items from its archives, including bank note test prints and sketches by designer Harry Ecclestone.

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The Bank of England Museum's latest exhibition offers a look at some fascinating items from its archives, including bank note test prints and sketches by designer Harry Ecclestone.

Curiosities from the Vaults: A Bank Miscellany is open until July 11 and features items collected by the bank since it was founded in 1694. Alongside paintings, rare ceramics and an 18th century sculpture of its emblem are a series of illustrations and tests for notes created by Ecclestone, who was the bank's first in-house designer.

Top and above: Paste-up of Ecclestone's Series D £10 note; the complete note (front and reverse)

Ecclestone worked for the bank for 25 years and was responsible for designing the 'D' series of notes, issued in 1970. A president of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, he was awarded an OBE for his services in 1979, and he died in 2010.

Designing and printing notes is a complex process: to make counterfeiting as difficult as possible, specialised inks are produced on site and some images are engraved by hand onto metal plates, while others are created digitally and laser etched on to film. Watermarks are engraved using wax and, like the metal foil in bank notes, are embedded during the paper manufacturing process.

Intaglio and obverse litho test prints of the £10 note

Tests on display at the museum demonstrate the various stages of the printing process, which uses a mix of intaglio, letterpress and litho printing, while Ecclestone's character sketches offer a rare glimpse at the early stages of bank note design.

Original sketch of Nightingale and a master drawing of the Scutari Barracks

Other items in the collection include high value notes signed by Nelson Mandela and George Eliot, a ballot box designed by architect John Soane and a leather trunk used for 'carrying gold across deserts', which is thought to have belonged to army officer TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Lawrence was offered a job by the bank in 1934, a record of which is also on display.

Curiosities from the Vaults: A Bank Miscellany is open at the Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH until July 11. For details see bankofengland.co.uk

Maclise Britannia £5 note

A thousand pound note signed by the Chosu Five, a group of Japanese nobility who studied at UCL in the 1800s after illegally leaving their home country.

Thousand pound bank note signed by author George Eliot

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Wally Olins, a tribute http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/wally-olins http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/april/wally-olins#feedback Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:27:00 +0000 Patrick Burgoyne http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=75384

Wally Olins, co-founder of Wolff Olins and chairman of Saffron Brand Consultants, has died aged 83. CR editor Patrick Burgoyne pays tribute

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Wally Olins, co-founder of Wolff Olins and chairman of Saffron Brand Consultants, has died aged 83. CR editor Patrick Burgoyne pays tribute

The Financial Times once described Wally Olins as "the world's leading practitioner of branding and identity" and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. Certainly Wally didn't as, in typical style, he placed it in a prominent position on his website.

Under the What I'm Like heading, he described himself thus: "I try to be direct and clear. I simply tell my clients the truth as I see it, without too much gloss or varnish because that's what I'm there for. Of course it's nice to be nice. But it's also nice to be straight. I can't stand people who don't return phone calls and are generally sloppy, but apart from that I'm told I'm reasonable to work with. And I like having a bit of a laugh."

Direct, intelligent and with a wickedly mischievous sense of humour, I'd say that sums Wally up to a T. He was one of those people with whom spending time was an absolute joy. He always had an opinion and would always let you know it. But he would do so with huge charm.

 

 

Wally began his working life in advertising. In the early 60s, he ran Ogilvy & Mather in what was then Bombay, living there for five years. It was the start of a life-long attachment to India, a country he loved and where he worked and taught extensively. In fact, the first I heard of his passing was from Rajesh Kejriwal, the founder of the design conference Design Yatra, who was his great friend and business partner.

In 1965, Wally co-founded Wolff Olins with Michael Wolff. The two of them would change not just the design industry but industry itself. Wolff Olins was perhaps the first design consultancy in Britain, in the sense that we now understand that term. It introduced the idea to UK corporate life that this thing called ‘brand' was vitally important and that it influenced everything that organisations did and said about themselves.

Wolff and Olins' relationship was likened to a marriage and like many marriages it would eventually break down with Wolff leaving the consultancy in 1983. In 2001, Wally also left and set up Saffron with a former Wolff Olins colleague, Jacob Benbunan. There, he continued to work with many of the world's largest companies on branding and identity.

He also began to explore an interest in place branding, a field in which he was a pioneer and which he expounded on in his many books. Indeed, he became a prolific author on branding: his latest book, Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come, launched last week.

Not everyone agreed with Wally on the positive contribution of brands to our world - Eye magazine, for example, ran a famously withering review of On Brand by academic Terry Eagleton. On our part, the March issue of CR featured a review of the new book by Nick Asbury which took issue with several of his key arguments. But Wally relished an argument and he was more than happy to engage with his critics. And he was not afraid to criticise the design industry either, referring to the larger design consultancies as "machines devised to produce mediocre rubbish" and calling some of their actions "despicable" in an interview in 2009 (see Design Yatra videos below)

I suspect that, for most of our readers, it is as co-founder of Wolff Olins that Wally will mostly be remembered, and rightly so. Anyone who currently earns a living advising or designing for brands owes Wally a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work in establishing the credibility and value of brand identity design.

From a personal point of view, I will always treasure the conversations I enjoyed with this brilliant and charming man. And I can thank both Wally and Michael for one of the highlights of my time at CR. In 2009, the pair were reunited for the first time since their split on stage at Design Yatra in Mumbai. I was fortunate enough to be asked to compere. Here's what happened.

 

 

 

 

 

Olins in CR

Wally Olins, the Grand Old Man of Brand, by Nick Asbury, from CR April 2014

Wally Olins debates the branding 'turf war' between ad agencies and design consultancies with CHI+Partners' Dan Beckett from our December 2011 issue

 

Statement from Saffron

"With immense sadness we announce the passing of our Chairman Wally Olins, who died on the 14th April after a short illness.

Anyone who ever met Wally will remember him well and those of us who knew him well will remember him forever. A man who lived four lifetimes in one, he was insatiably curious, infectiously charming and occasionally infuriatingly impatient!

A genuine pioneer, Wally was one of the leading individuals that helped carve out the business of branding - he would always say he did it ‘with colleagues' but those of us that were lucky enough to have been his colleagues know that this is only partly true.

Oddly for a man who was so defined by his prolific talent, he will perhaps be remembered most for his incredible generosity and optimism. Whether advising a young student looking for advice on getting ahead in branding or advising presidents on ways to enhance their nation's brand, Wally was always willing to give more than he expected to receive.

Incredibly, at 83 Wally was still able to manage to go out on a high with the release of his latest book ‘Brand New, published by Thames & Hudson' only last week. Full of his characteristic wit, insight and humanity it's arguably his best yet.

We miss him tremendously. And will continue to be inspired by him every day."

 

 

We'd like to encourage CR readers to use the comment space below to share their memories of Wally Olins

 

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