CR Blog http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog News and views on visual communications from the writers of Creative Review Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:20:04 +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 Ads of the Week http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/ads-of-the-week3 http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/ads-of-the-week3#feedback Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:45:00 +0000 Eliza Williams http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87734

We have some great work to share with you this week, for Orbis Access, Desperados, Moyee coffee, Specsavers, Think! and Kids Company. First up though is this Cold War-inspired short film from Taco Bell...

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We have some great work to share with you this week, for Orbis Access, Desperados, Moyee coffee, Specsavers, Think! and Kids Company. First up though is this Cold War-inspired short film from Taco Bell...

 

The film continues Taco Bell's campaign to overthrow McDonald's as the fast food breakfast of choice, with this film portraying a bleak, dystopian world where everyone eats the same thing every day. Two teenagers break free from the tyranny of the clown though, to escape through the city walls to the bright future of, um, Taco Bell. Okay, so a message of 'freedom' that consists of swapping one fast food chain for another is a little flawed, and the use of communist-era imagery might be in politically poor taste, but the attention to detail is nonetheless impressive. Examples of the print work are shown below.

Agency: Deutsch Los Angeles; CCO: Pete Favat; ECD: Brett Craig; Group CD: Tom Pettus; Creative directors: Scott Clark, Pat Almaguer; Director: Michael Spiccia; Production company: Arts & Sciences; Illustrators: Paul Rogers, Erin Burrell.

 

Our next spot, for investment company Orbis Access, sports a similar Groundhog Day message, though this time we are encouraged to snap out of our regular banking routines and try something new. The TV spot and two of the print ads are shown above. Agency: The Corner; Director: Henry Alex Rubin; Production company: Smuggler; Photographer: David Sykes (Vue).

 

The latest ad for Specsavers marks a shift away from the optician brand's focus on the bald comedy that can come from bad eyesight and instead is a charming meditation on lost glasses, directed by Simon Ratigan. Agency: Specsavers Creative; Creative director: Graham Daldry; Creatives: Aaron Scoones, Mike Hutchinson; Production company: HLA.

 

Last year we had a trippy TV spot for coffee brand Taylors of Harrogate, but now Dutch coffee brand Moyee has made an even more explicit connection between drinking a brew and getting high, with this film which depicts a group of people having a smoke and then describing the smell of their drink. The tenuous link is that smoking weed enhances the senses but really the humour comes from the outlandish responses that the participants come out with. Agency: 180 Amsterdam; CCO: Al Moseley; Creative director: Martin Beswick; Creatives: Stephane Lecoq, Ben Langeveld, Ingmar Larsen; Director: Tobias Pekelharing.

 

Two striking print campaigns from AMV BBDO for you now. The first, above, is for the UK's Department for Transport Think! campaign, and emphasises the dangers of driving while using your movile phone. Creative directors: Steve Jones, Martin Loraine; Creatives: Antony Nelson, Mike Sutherland; Photographer: Adam Hinton.

 

The second AMV BBDO campaign, for charity Kids Company, is reminiscent of some of Amnesty International's recent ad work, in its emphasis on how signatures on petitions can save lives. This is explicitly shown here, with the pens forming a protective barrier for the children in the ads. Creative directors: Alex Grieve, Adrian Rossi; Creatives: RIchard McGrann, Andy Clough; Photographer: Todd Antony.

 

We close with a series (two shown above) of short, lively spots from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam for booze brand Desperados. The ads emulate a mix of punk and early 80s New York grafitti style, and are clearly aimed squarely at a youth audience. ECDs: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy; Creative directors: Joseph Burrin, Sean Condon; Creatives: Ignasi Tudela, Sebastien Partika, Ebba Hult, Edouard Olhagaray; Director: Helmi; Production company: Division Paris.

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Nick Cave's Sick Bag Song http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/the-sick-bag-song http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/the-sick-bag-song#feedback Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:12:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87678

Artist and musician Nick Cave’s latest book offers a visual document of a 22-city tour of North America, scrawled on the back of airline sick bags. Designed by Pentagram’s Angus Hyland and published by Canongate, it’s a fascinating collection of doodles, lyrics, thoughts and verse...

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Artist and musician Nick Cave’s latest book offers a visual document of a 22-city tour of North America scrawled on the back of airline sick bags. Designed by Pentagram’s Angus Hyland and published by Canongate, it’s a fascinating collection of doodles, lyrics, thoughts and verse...

Described as “both mythic and contemporary...[a text that] lies somewhere between the Wasteland and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, the book contains images of sick bags written and drawn on by Cave alongside prose, poetry and lyrics.

As Patrick Burgoyne wrote about in our August 2013 issue, Cave (who trained as an artist) often composes albums and songs in notebooks stamped with dates, covered in drawings and adapted with both typed and written corrections. The super deluxe edition of his album Push the Sky Away, designed by Tom Hingston, came with a detailed copy of one of his notebooks, complete with coloured stickers and a scribbled-on hotel notelet concealed in a pouch on the inside cover.

 

The Sick Bag Song offers a similar glimpse into the workings of the musician's mind - arranged in order of his 2014 tour, it begins in Nashville and ends in Montreal. There are no obvious ‘sections' as such, but each destination is introduced with a simple graphic (pictured below) and image of the corresponding sick bag, stamped with a date and littered with sketches and observations. There is an underlined title on each, alongside arrows, small drawings, asides and corrections written in different coloured ink or overlaid on stickers.

 

 

The text offers fleeting glimpses of North America, from an image of a boy on a bridge to mountains, lakes and prairies, alongside some surreal and dark imagined scenes. It also provides a record of the inspiring yet gruelling experience of being on tour - an entry from Toronto, towards the end of his journey, notes: "We have traversed borders...We have moved across the land, over wheat fields, mustard fields, corn fields, bean fields and fields of sunflowers," before documenting the airlines he has flown with, airports he has sat in, food he has consumed and the venues he has performed in along the way.

Hyland says the book's design was inspired by the visual language of airlines. Text on the cover and an accompanying website, for example, is inspired by a message printed on one of the sick bags featured (shown top). "It's a very pared back design - it's laid out as a serious book of poetry [and] the look and feel of the packaging takes it cues from the idiom of blue chip, corporate America," explains Hyland. "We treated the sick bags as if they were works of art, showing both the front and back. If you took a pair of scissors to it, you could cut them out perfectly," he says. The book's cover features a white blind embossed design (pictured above), which Hyland says was designed with the intention of creating "something tangible and tactile."


 

As well as a standard edition priced at £30, Canongate will release a limited edition package containing a unique "and fully functioning" sick bag customised by Cave, a signed and numbered edition of the book and a limited edition vinyl pressing of Cave reading the text aloud.

Priced at £750, it's extraordinarily expensive - almost ten times the cost of his super deluxe Push the Sky Away package - but given Cave's cult following, and the popularity of previous deluxe releases, there will undoubtedly be fans and collectors who feel it's a worthwhile investment for a custom, one-of-a-kind Cave doodle. It seems a shame not to have included an original sick bag in the package, however. One produced in a moment of inspiration during the actual tour is surely more meaningful than one created to justify such a steep price tag.

 

To promote the book’s release, Cave will be hosting three live events: one on April 8 art the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles; another on April 10 at New York’s The Florence Gould Theatre and on April 16 at The Porchester Hall in London, where he will read from the book and take audience questions.

Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, directors of 20,000 Days on Earth (a fictionalised documentary about Cave) will also be releasing a series of short flims on the Sick Bag Song website.

 

The Sick Bag Song is published by Canongate on April 8 and costs £30. Copies are available to order at thesickbagsong.com

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Richard Ayoade and TomSka on YouTube and filmmaking http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/ad-week-youtube-filmmaking http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/ad-week-youtube-filmmaking#feedback Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:51:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87675

Speaking at Ad Week Europe in London yesterday, director Richard Ayoade, YouTube filmmaker Thomas Ridgewell (TomSka) and Dave Bedwood, creative director at M&C Saatchi, discussed how platforms like YouTube are changing filmmaking, how online content differs to traditional media and what the ad industry can learn from online video.

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Poster for Ayoade's film The Double, by Empire Design

Speaking at Ad Week Europe in London yesterday, director Richard Ayoade, YouTube film maker Thomas Ridgewell (TomSka) and Dave Bedwood, creative director at M&C Saatchi, discussed how platforms like YouTube are influencing filmmaking, how online content differs to traditional media and what the ad industry can learn from online video.

As a director, Ayoade is best known for his feature films Submarine and The Double, but previously directed TV shows Man to Man with Dean Learner and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, as well as ads for Citroen and LG and music videos for the Arctic Monkeys, the Last Shadow Puppets, Vampire Weekend and Kasabian. Ridgewell has been publishing short sketches online since he was a teenager and now has over three million subscribers on YouTube. He regularly posts spoof action scenes, sketches and cartoons.

Both provided very different takes on filmmaking, as well as how they deal with criticism of their work online, while Bedwood discussed how many young filmmakers are choosing to build careers online rather than pursuing traditional creative roles in agencies.

Asked what he enjoyed about making films for online audiences, Ridgewell said he liked the immediacy of it and the freedom to make mistakes. "I like the instant feedback [you get from] putting things online," he added. He also said he spends a lot of time analysing comments left in response to his videos online, often "deconstructing thousands" to gauge an overall consensus on what did or didn’t work and using that to inform his next film.

“Commenters definitely shape my work, but whether they improve it or not is a different thing – people can be stupid, and have a kneejerk reaction to change, so should you always listen to them?” he added.

 

Ayoade, however, said he paid less attention to comments about or reviews of his productions - "I suppose in general it's too late by that stage - you can't really do anything about it. It can be useful, but I wonder whether it ever helped the next thing - the demands of each new thing are individual to it, and at some level, reviews tend to be about the person writing it, and their response," he said, adding that with regards to comments on platforms like YouTube: "There's [often] a particular kind of person who responds online."

Bedwood said he was surprised at the amount of power online commenters have today, adding: "If one person says something, everyone thinks they need to react, but if they said the same thing at a party, you'd just think 'he's an idiot'."

With a new generation of filmmakers experimenting with sketches, documentaries and new kinds of content through platforms like YouTube, Alison Lomax, head of brand solutions at Google and chair of the discussion, asked Bedwood why he felt that advertising was still so focused on generating 30, 60 and 90-second spots.

 

 

"I don't know - if you look at some of the best advertising from even the 1960s [such as VW print ads] or the Michelin Guide [launched to encourage drivers to tour by road France following the launch of the brand's new tyre], creativity has always been there.

"It's difficult to understand why there's so much rubbish about in advertising, when the conditions for creativity are better than they've ever been. With tech allowing people to skip [ads] more often, you either need to do more PR or different kinds of sponsorship, or you need different content. So why don't we do it more? I don't know," he added.

Bedwood suggested one reason was that creatives are still keen to make traditional TV spots, seeing it as a step up to filmmaking and Hollywood - yet added that platforms like YouTube are attracting some of the best talent online instead of into agencies. "You want those people in your agencies but now they go on to other means," he said.

In terms of what else the industry could do to attract this kind of talent (Lomax cited YouTube and D&D's Global Next Director award as an example), Bedwood suggested that perhaps there could be a shake up of traditional creative teams: "There perhaps isn't enough in our industry of an eclectic mix of people - for example, a filmmaker and an animator. But you can't always afford to have people hanging about if the jobs aren't there," he added. "It's a shame you don't see more exciting work though, with all the tools we've got."


Discussing what ads could learn from successful YouTube content, and the kind of advertising that is best suited to the platform, Ridgewell said it was best to be up front and honest in ads, or incredibly subtle. "Everyone these days is so wise about advertising. The best way to do it satirically is to be upfront, almost by making an ad about making an ad - like Old Spice [with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like]," he said.

Ayoade agreed in a sense, adding that he felt there was a strong dissonance in advertising which try to integrate products or brands into narratives, "as if [characters] are all caring about this branded thing".

“I think it’s fine if you’re honest about what you’re doing, it’s when it pretends to be something else [that it doesn’t work]…it's difficult. With a story, you don’t want people to think a particular thing but in ads you do…you couldn’t be saying ‘what do you think about Diet Coke? I’m not sure',” he added. He said he found Jonathan Glazer's ads particularly interesting, however, as they could often exist as short films, with just a simple product shot or announcement at the end.


 

Asked whether YouTube was changing traditional filmmaking, Ayoade said he felt that much of film is still rooted in a cinematic language “that hasn’t changed since WD Griffiths, in terms of telling narrative with images. You have people like Tim and Eric disrupting that, but it relies on your knowledge of the old form," adding: "I don’t think you necessarily have to do new things, you just have to be interesting.”

One of the biggest challenges for platforms like YouTube, he said, was that the kind of short form content it encourages often struggles with a sense of meaning. “It’s hard to do that in short form. I think theres something about things existing in short form that dictates content. It tends towards surrealism and irony.”

Ridgewell agreed, adding that he felt content on YouTube was "very ephemeral". While the site hosts a vast array of content, he said it is also becoming a challenging and in some ways hostile place for filmmakers, in part because of "super aware audiences" who feel content has to be very self-referential or satirical, and due to the number of people watching films on mobile.

"[On a mobile], you need very straightforward content, not a sensory experience. It's not the place to watch a film...you'll miss out on the sound design and music," he explained. He also said it was difficult to make longer content for online platforms, adding - "I worry what will happen when I try to make a narrative longer than three to five minutes," but said: "What [YouTube] will contribute to filmmaking is encouraging people to try new things."

While Bedwood agreed about the ephemeral nature of online filmmaking, he said that even audiences watching online and on demand content still enjoyed sitting in a dark room "and watching a story unfold."

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A new kind of play centre by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/a-childrens-play-centre-by-marvin-gaye-chetwynd http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/a-childrens-play-centre-by-marvin-gaye-chetwynd#feedback Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:10:00 +0000 Eliza Williams http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87612

Life with small children can get repetitive. One of the most common repeats is the soft play centre, which seems to have an identikit, brightly coloured look wherever you go. But now there's a new kind of play centre in town: The Idol, created for the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking, London is designed by the artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and sports a strikingly different style...

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Life with small children can get repetitive. One of the most common repeats is the soft play centre, which seems to have an identikit, brightly coloured look wherever you go. But now there's a new kind of play centre in town: The Idol, created for the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking, London is designed by the artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and sports a strikingly different style...

Chetwynd has previously been nominated for the Turner Prize and is renowned both for her unusual name (which she explains here) and for her performance art, films and installations which explore surreal, often carnivalesque stories. The play centre is therefore something of a new direction for her, though it comes with its own narrative, based on the Dagenham Idol, an ancient wooden effigy found near the location of the new leisure centre in 1922, and believed to date from 2250 BC. For its appearance at the centre Chetwynd has giving the effigy, which is blocky in design, a robotic makeover, and children are invited to climb up inside it and look out at the world through its eyes.

Most significant, however, is the the monochrome look of the play centre. For parents weary of childish primary colours, this will come as a relief, and while in photos the black-and-white tones may seem a little sinister, when I visited with some toddlers in tow, they were entirely unphased and gleefully set upon the structure, which is narrow but high, stretching over three floors.

In most respects, its contents are familiar fare for regular visitors to soft play centres – there is a ball pit (of all-white balls), slides (including a terrifying looking vertical one for older kids, which was closed when I visited), and lots of soft things to climb up. In this, Chetwynd's piece differs from other artworks created for utilitarian spaces (such as Martin Creed's beguiling sound work in a lift at the Royal Festival Hall, for example) in that it is first and foremost a place for children – art fans who pitch up to view it as an artwork may receive strange looks from the staff, particularly if they arrive without kids.

But as an example of how a different point-of-view can enliven an otherwise formulaic genre, Chetwynd's work is something of a marvel. Here's hoping that more councils follow Barking and Dagenham's lead in employing artists to think differently about the more ordinary aspects of our day-to-day lives.

The Idol was commissioned by Create. It is part of the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking, London. More info is here.

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Do we need more humour in advertising? http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/jimmy-car-ad-week-europe http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/jimmy-car-ad-week-europe#feedback Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:35:00 +0000 Rachael Steven http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87649

In a conversation with Ogilvy Group UK vice chairman Rory Sutherland at Ad Week Europe today, comedian Jimmy Carr said British advertising was in danger of becoming boring, with clients and creatives too worried about offending audiences.

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Image via O&M Group UK on Twitter

In a conversation with Ogilvy Group UK vice chairman Rory Sutherland at Ad Week Europe today, comedian Jimmy Carr said British advertising was in danger of becoming boring, with clients and creatives too worried about offending audiences.

Carr worked in advertising and marketing before becoming a comedian and co-authored a book on comedy and humour with copywriter Lucy Greeves in 2006. In an entertaining conversation with Sutherland, he said that despite Britain's rich comedic heritage (in film, TV and stand up as well as advertising), there are "very few funny ads being made" today.

Both Sutherland and Carr agreed this was largely due to a fear of offending left or right wing audiences - from Guardian to Daily Mail readers - but Carr said the industry should worry less about causing a little controversy.

Criticising those who claim to be offended on behalf of others (which he dismissed as "bullshit" and "patronising"), Carr said it was OK to offend people sometimes. "The Daily Mail is f*cking brilliant at being outraged...but being offended [by something] isn't that bad. It's just a fancy way of saying ‘I don't like it', he said.

"There is no universal comedy audience - there's an audience for Frankie Boyle's humour, or for Mrs Brown's boys - they both make people laugh," he added. Likening people's sense of humour to their sexuality, he said that people have no choice over what makes them laugh: "If you tell a very edgy joke, people will laugh and then put their hand up to their mouth. The laughter is a reflex, then your brain kicks in and says, ‘what the f*ck are you doing?'"

Asked by Sutherland whether this meant he adopted an anything goes approach to humour, Carr said "you either believe in free speech or you don't" and said it was best to let audiences decide what is funny.

"Advertising suffers from too much analysis - too many people saying 'they wont get that'...but audiences can decide what's funny and what isn't. If you go too far [at a gig] you'll get silence, but if you get it right, they will laugh," he said.

As Sutherland pointed out, this is a huge risk to take in advertising, as just one controversial comment or tweet can have disastrous and lasting consequences for agencies, individuals or clients (Jon Ronson's new book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, provides some terrifying examples of people whose careers and lives have been ruined after ill-judged posts on social media). "More or less anything interesting you have to say will offend someone. Everyone's scared of it..If you tweet something controversial, you'll see a lot more favourites than retweets," he said.

Carr conceded that as a comedian, he has a lot more freedom to push the boundaries of humour - "I could get away with something funny on Twitter that you couldn't [get away with] because I'm a comedian. I could make a joke about a bomb at an airport, and it'd be fine, but you'd probably go to jail," he said - but added that humour can be an important tool in dissipating conflict, building relationships and giving brands a bit of personality. Citing the phrase "a joke is the shortest distance between two people", he said "it makes the world a friendlier place...the intent of all jokes is the same...'I want you to like me'."

Speaking about the tone of voice adopted by brands like Apple, Carr said he found it odd that there isn't more humour in global branding. "It's all very anodyne, theres no personality," he said. He also questioned why there isn't more humour in ads for mobile companies, many of which instead opt to target ‘yout culture' instead, and why there are considerably less ads featuring comedians, or 'uniquely British humour' than there used to be. "I'm not touting for work, but I'm always surprised agencies don't bring in comedians to write lines," he added.

For ads that are made with the intent of being shown over a long period of time, Carr admitted that many agencies were understandably reluctant to rely on one-liners, fearing that audiences will quickly tire of them once the element of surprise is removed, but said this didn't have to be the case. Citing an example of P&O's recent spots starring Rob Brydon, he said if done right, they could continue to be enjoyable for audiences even when they know what is coming.

Sutherland agreed with several of Carr's points, adding that he felt there was little wit in press ads today, and that he felt the industry is becoming too preoccupied with being "earnest and worthy".

Of course, as a comedian known for making dark and often controversial jokes, Carr enjoys a great deal more comedic license than any brand or agency, but he made some thought-provoking points about the industry and a growing culture of fear when it comes to using humour.

Jokes aren't always appropriate, and Carr wasn't advocating stoking controversy for no good reason, but instead warning that by trying to please everyone all of the time, we might risk losing the sense of humour that Britain has long prided itself on - and has become known for around the world.

"People get British humour," he said, adding that: "[In Britain], saying someone can't take a joke is pretty much the worst thing you can say about them."

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Cover revealed for Harper Lee's new novel http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/go-set-a-watchman-cover-harper-lee http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/go-set-a-watchman-cover-harper-lee#feedback Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:23:00 +0000 Mark Sinclair http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87632

It's not unusual to see the title of an author's most well known work included on the cover of their latest book. But in the case of Harper Lee's first novel in 55 years, the reference to her classic work of 1960 is evoked via some clever typographic shadowing...

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It's not unusual to see the title of an author's most well known work included on the cover of their latest book. But in the case of Harper Lee's first novel in 55 years, the reference to her classic work of 1960 is evoked via some clever typographic shadowing...

The cover for the UK and Commonwealth edition of Go Set a Watchman, which will be published by William Heinemann on July 14, has been designed in-house.

Set in the mid-1950s, the novel features many of the characters from Lee's hugely popular novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, some twenty years later. Go Set a Watchman was originally written before Lee's most famous work (which has gone on to sell over 40m copies to date), and was discovered last year by Lee's lawyer, Tonja Carter. Lee thought it had not survived.

According to the publishers "Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood."

The publishing world has changed immeasurably since Lee's first novel came out – and her new one is being duly promoted across all of the available platforms: on Twitter; Facebook; Tumblr; and Instagram.

 

*Update – below is the US edition of the book from Harper Collins. A less subtle (and more conventional reference) to TKAM and, it has to be said, a really strong illustration. And as author Jonathan Gibbs has pointed out on Twitter via @Tiny_Camels, does the UK edition really need both a visual and textual clue to her previous work?

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Craig Oldham at Typo Circle http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/typo-circle-oldham http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/typo-circle-oldham#feedback Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:05:00 +0000 Creative Review http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87629

Self-styled 'designer, writer and Yorkshireman' Craig Oldham will give the next Typographic Circle lecture

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Self-styled 'designer, writer and Yorkshireman' Craig Oldham will give the next Typographic Circle lecture

Oldham's eclectic practice, The Office of Craig Oldham, encompasses film and publishing projects as well as branding and exhibition design. His most recent project is a book of the protest graphics produced during the miners' strike, which is revied in the April issue of CR and featured here.

Oldham's talk, entitled I AM A_____ AND I____ will be at the St Bride Foundation, London EC4 on Thursday April 2.

Full details and tickets here

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Also Shot on iPhone 6 http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/also-shot-on-an-iphone-6 http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/also-shot-on-an-iphone-6#feedback Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:22:00 +0000 Mark Sinclair http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87627

Apple's new Shot on iPhone 6 campaign has come in for a bit of a reality check courtesy of two pranksters in San Francisco...

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Apple's new Shot on iPhone 6 campaign has come in for a bit of a reality check courtesy of two pranksters in San Francisco...

According to a post by Jessica Saia on The Bold Italic, a series of spoof ads have appeared next to sites displaying Apple's latest campaign – which aims to show the image quality that can be obtained with an iPhone 6 (gallery here) – on streets in the Mission, Castro and Downtown areas of the city.

The website alsoshotoniphone6.tumblr.com is currently hosting shots of the work in-situ, though it claims it is not the original source of the images.

"Our thought was that people don't always take pretty pictures on their phones," the two ad creatives behind the project told Saia, "so we thought it would be funny to show the other, non-beautiful, photos people take."

All images from alsoshotoniphone6.tumblr.com

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CR April issue: creativity in health http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/cr-april-health-issue http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/cr-april-health-issue#feedback Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:57:00 +0000 Creative Review http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87625

Creative Review's April issue looks at creativity, design and innovation in healthcare, from extraordinary prosthetic limbs, to the impact of health tech and how artists, illustrators and designers are transforming hospitals

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Our cover this month features an illustration by Chris Haughton which was commissioned by Vital Arts for the Children's Hospital at The Royal London

 

Creative Review's April issue looks at creativity, design and innovation in healthcare, from extraordinary prosthetic limbs, to the impact of health tech and how artists, illustrators and designers are transforming hospitals

 

The best way to ensure you never miss an issue of CR is to subscribe and save up to 30% off the cover price. All our subscribers can also take advantage of our CR Club offers, which are listed here. Full details on how to subscribe are here

 

We begin with a profile of Sophie de Oliveira Barata of the Alternative Limb Project who creates bespoke realistic and alternative limbs for amputees. From lifelike feet to light-up legs and rhinestone- encrusted arms, her custom designs help restore her clients' confidence and give them prosthetics to be proud of

 

How should campaigners, charities and the government talk to the public about health? Eliza Williams investigates

 

Wearables linked to online systems could put designers at the heart of a revolution in healthcare. Patrick Burgoyne asks where this ‘self-care' movement is taking us

 

Replacement hips, skull implants, ears and noses: the use of 3D printing in healthcare is growing rapidly. Could functioning 3D printed organs such as kidneys, livers and even hearts be the next step?

 

For years hospitals have used art and design to improve patient wellbeing, but commissions are now being allied to specific areas of treatment and care. The results are more than encouraging, reports Mark Sinclair

 

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Albertus and The Prisoner http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/albertus-and-the-prisoner http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/march/albertus-and-the-prisoner#feedback Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:35:00 +0000 Alistair Hall http://www.creativereview.co.uk/content.php?page_id=87570

The Albertus typeface crops up in all manner of applications from John Carpenter films to the street signage used in the City of London. But it was also a vital part of creating the visual world of the 1960s TV show, The Prisoner, appearing throughout the series in range of subtley tweaked versions. Alistair Hall investigates...

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The Albertus typeface crops up in all manner of applications from John Carpenter films to the street signage used in the City of London. But it was also a vital part of creating the visual world of the 1960s TV show, The Prisoner, appearing throughout the series in range of subtley tweaked versions. Alistair Hall investigates...

For those of you not familiar with the programme, The Prisoner is one of the most iconic TV shows to have come out of the 1960s, writes Hall.

It ran on ATV from September 1967 to February 1968. While any TV programme is obviously the work of a huge team of people, this show had one powerful force at its core: it was co-created, directed, and produced by Patrick McGoohan, who also starred in the lead role of 'No.6'.

McGoohan had made his name in the black and white spy show Danger Man, and had even been asked to be the first Bond on the back of his work on that. He turned down Bond, but after more than 80 episodes, had grown bored of working on Danger Man. He proposed a new show to Lew Grade (the cigar chomping head of ATV) – The Prisoner.

 

The plot revolves around No.6 – we know little about him, not even his name. The fantastic opening credits (above) show him resigning from some sort of governmental position, and then being abducted, and waking up in The Village – a mysterious community in an unknown location.

Over the course of the series, his captors use any means necessary to find out what he knows, and why he resigned. It's a psychological battle of wills in each episode, as each new No.2 tries and fails to break him. It's an incredible show, well worth checking out.

But what's particularly of interest from a graphic design point of view, is the rich use of a single typeface, Albertus, during the show.

 

Used far more extensively than just on the credits, the typeface appears on props and signs throughout the series. It represents the Village as much as the sets, the costumes or the characters.

 

Sometimes the lettering was very professionally rendered, other times slightly less so:

 

Occasionally, another typeface sneaks in, but often this just highlights the ubiquity of Albertus everywhere else. Futura shows up a couple of times for example (decades before Wes Anderson made it his own):

 

But Albertus is No.1 in this show.

The typeface was designed by Berthold Wolpe. Born in Germany, Wolpe had apprenticed at a metalworkers, becoming proficient at engraving in gold, copper and silver. He travelled to England in 1932, where he met Stanley Morison.

Morison saw some photographs of a set of Wolpe’s bronze inscriptions, and asked him to create a typeface for Monotype based on the lettering. So in 1935, Monotype Series No. 324 was born: Albertus Titling.

 

As you can see, it’s a beautiful typeface, somewhere between a serif and a sans-serif, with a few rather tasty alternate characters, and a frankly wonderful number 2. (Oddly, it doesn’t seem as if the Titling set has ever been digitised. What’s that all about?)

The marketing material of the time described it as follows:

“It is obviously a cut, and not a drawn letter, and possesses that squareness which in Roman inscriptions so notably serves legibility; but while true to the orthodox proportions, displays a marked individuality in the treatment of detail. The main strokes so terminate that the alphabet stands midway between the classical inscriptional letter and the modern sans serif.”

Albertus Titling was uppercase only, but a lowercase set followed in 1937, with bold and light versions arriving shortly afterwards in 1940.

 

We’ve not been able to find any direct statements from the McGoohan or any of the other creators of the show about why Albertus was chosen. It has a strong flavour to it, which will have helped to define the Village as somewhere out of the ordinary, and perhaps its duality fits well with the feeling of the setting as somewhere both old and new.

At the time The Prisoner was made, people would mainly have been aware of the typeface thanks to Wolpe’s vast number of book covers at Faber & Faber, where he used it extensively:

 

But we should perhaps look a bit closer at the way Albertus was used within the show. As with all things in The Prisoner, first appearances can be deceptive.

 

In the opening credits, the typeface is tweaked here and there. In the instance above, the ‘G’ of McGoohan has an extended stem that drops below the baseline.

The programme’s title was carefully adapted too:

 

The dot of the ‘i’ has been removed, but most distinctly of all, the lowercase ‘e’ has been attacked! The right hand side of the bowl has been lopped off, so that it resembles a sort of epsilon (the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet).

This adaptation was extended across nearly all appearances of Albertus in the programme. We’ve hunted high and low for information about why this was done, but as yet we haven’t discovered any facts. Obviously it makes the typeface feel much more bespoke, but we’d love to know if there was any reason beyond that. Was it perhaps done to instil a feeling of discord?

Here’s a look at the difference between a regular setting of Albertus, and a Prisoner style setting:

 

We created those two slides for our post, but here’s how it looked in the show itself:

 

As you can see, the sign is hand-rendered, and the ‘e’s have been given their own little flared terminals. A little bit bonkers. By contrast, in the credits, the ‘e’s have clean sharp ends:

 

Here the ‘e’ has a distinctly even stroke, and a vertical terminal at the top:

 

And in fact, the lettering changes constantly throughout the show, presumably depending upon who created each piece, and how much time they had to work on it:

 

Check out this heavyweight version:

 

And what’s going on here?

 

That poor ‘e’ looks a little bit stretched out.

And sometimes, the customised ‘e’ was forgotten about entirely:

 

You can picture the scene on set when that was produced:

Art dept guy: ‘So here’s the map you asked for.’

McGoohan: ‘Great, that’s looking really… Wait. What. Is. This?’

Art dept guy: ‘Um, is something…’

McGoohan: ‘What is this ‘e’? What the hell is this ‘e’? What the bloody hell is this ‘e’ doing here? Answer me that. I want information. Information.’

And it happened more than once:

 

Sometimes they even got it right and wrong at exactly the same time:

 

Regardless of any inconsistencies though, The Prisoner is a fantastic example of using typography as a key part of the creation of a fictional world.

We’d love to know more about the specifics of why the typeface was chosen, why it was adapted, and who actually created all the props and signs. So if you know anyone involved with the show, do get in touch.

Oh, and if you’d like to play around with making your own Prisoner bits and bobs, there’s a downloadable font called Village, created by Mark Heiman in 1994 in homage to the show, which features the lopped off ‘e’, and which also has ‘i’s and ‘j’s with their dots removed.

And remember – you are not a number.

Alistair Hall is the founder of studio, We Made This. This article was originally published on the We Made This blog and is an adapted version of a talk given by Hall at Grafik's Letterform Live event on February 25. Larger images are available on Alistair’s Flickr set. It is republished here with permission.

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