Russell showed me an app called One Second Everyday. You shoot one second of video everyday and it stitches them together into a little film.
Russell posted his a few weeks ago.
So I started to make one, with the objective of making a better one than him, obviously.
I'm pleased with that. Despite working at an ad agency famous for making brilliant films, I've never been very good at making video. But making one second every day is surprisingly easy. And they seem to fit together in a nicely.
It's a good way of remembering things. I like this shortened version called 'Holiday'.
It's incredible to think each of those little clips is just one second long. Turns out you can cram a lot of detail into just one second.
Which brings me to another thing Russell and I were discussing - how come films are getting longer? YouTube seems to have allowed creatives to endulge their long form ambitions and make commercials that are 2 minutes long rather than 30 seconds. These longer ads aren't really any better, either, just bloated.
The trend for longer ads is odd given that people skip the ads anyway and watch the real YouTube clip. Why don't people concentrate on making a brilliant 5 second ad that would work with the pre-roll, not against it?
Modern media is full of this shorter stuff. Everywhere you go there are "digital six sheets" effectively press ads that wiggle about for 5 seconds.
Vine, Instagram and the like have loads of interesting content and should be breeding a culture where the 6 second video is king. Animated GIFs are internet catnip and are just about the shortest form of "film" you can make.
All that and the usual blah about attention spans shortening, media increasing, faster modern world blah blah.
Short - really short - film making would seem to be a skill worth learning. In his Campaign column Russell mentions a brilliant article called Trapped In The Loop with this incredible clip of all of LeBron James' scores in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
As Russell says that is "the most interesting filmic idea you’ve seen in years".
And it's maybe 5 seconds long?
Maybe we should make 5 second films about the internet and how people use it.
(I have have no idea what the convention is for crediting gifs. Sorry if I've got it wrong.)
I know it's a gag that only works once, by that I mean you couldn't use them everywhere, on every building site because they'd lose the novelty that makes you notice them and makes you feel a little guilty about not using the crossing becuase the nice man is right there holding the sign. But here outside Victoria station - I love them.
I've just spent a very enjoyable half an hour watching 'From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring' a documentary about company car drivers, sales reps. It's from 1993 and it's absolutely brilliant. Telly gold.
I remember watching the original TV series and the one that followed it 'Signs of the times' about homes. Both absolutely brilliant. Martin Parr shot the accompanying photos (above) and these TV programmes sparked my love of the great photographer.
Lots of the modern "docu-drama" filming style was taken from these hugely influential documentaries. Particularly their use of the "locked off shot" where the camera doesn't move and the image on screen appears like a moving photograph. If you're a fan of The Office you'll love this programme about reps.
I didn't really want to comment on this, but that's what blogging is for, so I decided to write this:
This isn't a blog post about logos or about designers or even a moan about how the logo could be better, or God forbid one of those Dribble style things where I have a go at a logo. This is a blog post about how Yahoo! came close to how you should "do a logo" these days and yet managed to miss it by mile.
Last week Yahoo! announced they were going to release a new logo. Or as they put it, "Yahoo! is making exciting changes daily. To celebrate where we're headed, we'll be unveiling a new logo in September. To get everyone warmed up, we are kicking off 30 days of change."
I have to admit I was quite excited.
Some background. Yahoo! used to be the big exciting web giant, lost all that, neglected various bits like Flickr and ended up as the new AOL. Last year they announced a new CEO Marrissa Mayer a big shot from Google and everyone got excited again. She's made some visible, dramatic changes, launching a good Flickr app, a good new weather app, buying Tumblr for one billion dollars (and announcing it via animated gif) and redesigning Flickr to much grumbling on the forums.
Lots of stuff going on. Momentum. The Flickr app is good, not without fault, but good. The acquisition of tumblr is crazy money but overall a smart move. A platform and an audience worth having. Undoubtedly a gamble, but if you're going to go might as well go big. The Flickr redesign is a step in the right direction, hurried and unfinished, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. So unfinished I was expecting that to get better iteratively, and it hasn't but at least they've gone from statis to Doing Something.
Back to the logo. I was cheered when I first heard the news because I thought at last here is a big brand that's not "launching" a logo, they're going to do something smarter, subtler. They're going to have a 30 day period of iteration and show progress at the end of every day.
Or maybe they're just going to develop the new logo (and branding) over a period of time, in public. That might be a good idea.
At the very least they're going to do something in the open, quickly. That can only be a good thing.
I realise that was incredibly naive of me, but I'm an optimist.
Instead what they've actually done is show you a completely different logo every day. A finished, fully visualised logo. And when I say completely new, it isn't really, because early on they declared "we’ll be keeping the color purple, our iconic exclamation point and of course the famous yodel." Which restricts the brief somewhat. Even the language is horrible, "Here’s day 1’s logo".
What they've ended up with is 30 versions of Yahoo! written in different typefaces.
Paul summed it up really with this fun little site where you can make your own Yahoo! logo. As someone said on Twitter, it's like your Dad emailing you and asking what typeface they should put the parish newsletter in.
Russell's Day Two logo.
"Launching" a logo is always a bad idea, it's set up to fail. You are asking for Change Rage. Almost no-one will prefer the new, strange, different thing to the old, familiar thing. That will be magnified by the echo chamber of the forums and your CEO will be on the phone in no time. GAP, UAL etc.
As Michael Bierut once said to me, you almost never need a new logo what you need is the old logo with a haircut. Shell, Ford, etc.
A brand or a visual communications system is about so much more than a logo, focusing on that on mark is insane. Simon Manchipp calls this Brand Worlds, I'm not a fan of the expression, but the essence of that is dead right. The logo is a tiny part of a much bigger picture. Simon has written about it here and elsewhere on the web.
This debacle reminds me of an inexperienced agency rocking up to a pitch with 30 different options. There's no strategic thought, there's no clear direction, there's no editting and no expert advice being given. When you present work like this you make it impossible for the client to make an informed decision. You're reducing it to a meaningless lottery. You might as well turn the lights off and chuck a dart at the wall. Pin the ! on the Y.
What should they have done?
Impossible for me to answer properly, of course. But seeing as this is a blog post, here's some things I would have tried.
They could have had a proper rethink of the "brand world". I can't see how starting from a firm position of not losing the ! or the purple is helpful.
They could have neatened a few bits up, given it a "haircut" and changed the jpeg without anyone really noticing.
They could have kept quiet and tried a few different options in public. Two or three progressive versions on different parts of their huge web real estate.
Or they could have done nothing.
If I worked at Yahoo! a company with numerous digital products, and I had a design team and 30 days, the last thing I'd tackle is the logo.
Follow the logos new here, we're pretty early on into the 30 days so in theory it might get better and we might end up with a decent logo.
It's a lovely project where lots of well known designers, especially magazine designers, have written about their favourite issue of a magazine. As Jeremy says, "My Favo(u)rite Magazine features images and words contributed by 88 magazine makers from around the world, including senior names from the New York Times Magazine, Pentagram, Anorak, Harper’s Bazaar, Port, Bloomberg Businessweek, Eye and NME."
Pretty impressive collection of contributors. I bought a copy last week, it's a great publication. The magazines are more varied than I expected, I thought it would be full of Face and Raygun, but it's much smarter than that. Also of note is the global nature of the contributors, it's not just London and New York.
It's a fascinating publication. Well worth getting a copy. You can buy one here as a print edition or a PDF.
Jeremy asked me to contribute but sadly I was too busy to make the deadline. It's not an easy decision and it takes ages to think of a favourite - just one magazine!
I would have probably gone for one of these Sky's
or maybe this Face
picture from Planet X.
or maybe this Vogue.
Or another Vogue. Oh I don't know, it's too hard!
A few of us from the design team visited this exhibition last week. It's very good, recommended.
Rogers is an incredible architect and a good influence on London (and beyond). I found his beliefs quite powerful, especially as he'd established these at the start of his career not post fame.
His take on modernism, transparency and public service still feel relevant now.
His use and understanding of colour is incredible and has quite rightly been seized upon by the exhibition's designers. Visually the exhibition is stunning.
These signs worked really well. They unnecessary hyphens disturbed me and seeing as GTF did the graphics I can only assume they were deliberate. I'm not a fan of that gratuitous hyphenation you see these days. Sorry.
Usual caveats about architects' exhibitions apply, I think. Lots of miraculous back-of-napkin sketches that look uncannily like the finished building. Lots of competitions they didn't win (why is only architects that can get away with showing work that didn't run, in exhibitions? Dan Wieden always said, if the client doesn't buy it, it doesn't count.) There's one room of "grand visions" for various cities, admirable and mostly good, but very broad brushstrokes. There are lots of pictures of good looking Italian meals. But anyway.
Overall - very good. You should go.
Oh, and I picked up a new book for the shelves.
More pictures on Flickr.