Game On for the IT Crowd

Remember when loading a computer game involved a tape player and a lot of patience? Well, that mid-80s era is the inspiration for the menu system and interface for the new DVD release of the first series of TV comedy, IT Crowd, created by Framestore Design

The pixel-built caricatures of the cast of the show – which featured in the show’s title sequence – appear in various game environments, depending on which part of the DVD menu the viewer is in. Project designer Sharon Lock researched a number of different games and – under heavy influence from the show’s director Graham Linehan – opted to include isometric, platform and wireframe graphic game styles, authentic to the 80s era, restyling the pixel-based versions of the show’s characters so that they looked right in each gaming environment. And, of course, each of the environments is based on an element of storyline from one of the episodes of the series. Not only does the interface brilliantly ape the chunky pixel graphics and each-screen-is-a-level type games of days gone by, but it is also accompanied by spot-on blippy gaming music.

“The audio was an important aspect of the authenticity and humour of the menus,” affirms producer Simon Whalley, “and this was provided by Matt Stronge from Jumbuck, who also worked on the original series.”

Watch it here


More from CR

Staying Alive

Seven international ad agencies have joined forces with the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) to create a series of spots to raise awareness of AIDS. The first 24 spots in the campaign will debut on MTV channels globally on World AIDS Day, December 1.

The ads forms part of the Staying Alive campaign, which launched nine years ago with a one-off documentary and now encompasses documentaries, a website, concerts and forums with leading politicians. This is the first year that the advertising industry has been involved with the campaign. “We realised that the GMAI needed to involve advertising agencies, so we approached people in Cannes,” explains Georgia Arnold, VP of Public Affairs for MTV. “There were no restrictions placed on the agencies. They were given background info on each of the core subjects, and then the scripts were only reviewed to check that they were factually correct, there was no creative interference.”
This freedom means that the films cover a broad range of styles, from the humorous to the heavy. I80 Amsterdam, for example, has contributed a simple animation of a talking penis, while Ogilvy has created a 70s style commercial showcasing the joys of not having sex (see still above). On the more serious side, Ogilvy has also created a chilling film, directed by Stink’s Neil Harris, which shows three men pulling out handguns and shooting their partners after having sex, with the guns representing the killer virus they have just passed on. On a similar theme, Y&R has created a commercial featuring a couple engaging in casual conversation while playing a game of Russian roulette.

Designing for Modern Times

With a new font, masthead, crest and thorough restyling of its navigational system, The Times has completed the final stages of its transition to compact format that originally began in November 2003. Neville Brody and designer Jon Hill talked us through the changes they undertook, working with deputy editor Ben Preston and the paper’s in-house design team. “I likened it to moving from a house to a bedsit but not unpacking,” says Brody. “We helped them to unpack and to put stuff on the shelves. We made it more spacious.”

When we were punks…

It’s 1978. A pensive, hirsute Malcolm Garrett (right) sits in on a recording session with Buzzcocks, the Manchester punk band whose image he so deftly crafted out of a resounding collision between day-glo and Constructivism. What’s he thinking about? Lunch? The impending implosion of civil society in the face of Pete Shelley’s checked shirt?
Whatever, he’s probably not thinking “come 2006, this lot are going to need me to design a thirtieth anniversary logo for them”.

’tis the season to be jolly…

But hopefully not so “jolly” that you drown in your own 40 per cent proof vomit. Or run someone over whilst drunk behind the wheel. Yes, it’s time to roll out the anti-binge drinking campaigns…

Graphic Designer

Fushi Wellbeing

Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency