Found this yesterday at the back of a filing cabinet.
It's an envelope I sent to myself with something written on the seal to prove it hadn't been opened. Luxford is the name of a now closed ad agency I worked at in the late nineties.
This is a thing they teach you at college as a cheap way to project yourself in case of copyright desputes. Theory is; have genus idea, post copy of idea to self, then you have legally dated, sealed proof.
I'd always hoped to be involved in one of these disputes so I could rip open the envelope with a flourish in Courtroom A in front of Rumpole and his mates. But I don't remember any of my brilliant ideas being stolen in that time so I figure it's safe to open.
The envelope is dated 9 Feb 1999. It's very tempting to wait until 2019 and the twentieth anniversary, but I think instead we should open it together, live on this blog, on Monday 9 February. 16 years after posting.
See you back here, then.
Tony and Kim and w+k in general, had loads of little phrases and rules.
One famous one was Kim's obsession with no puns in ads. They were strictly banned. Everyone knew it. (You obviously had to induct the new creatives before they presented puns. It's a popular option with creatives.)
Here are two reasons why that's a good rule.
The ads aren't very well written. They don't make sense without the pun, they make even less sense with them.
They've mistaken pun for idea and sacrified clarity.
No puns, it's a good rule.
Here are two books, both good, both worthy of your consideration.
The first deserves a better review than I can give it. TM: The Untold Stories Behind 29 Classic Logos by Mark Sinclair is a beautiful book, well written and well thought out.
Does the world really need another book on logos? Mark answers that here, but the sucess of this book is in only picking 29. Lots of these logo books cover thousands of them and the quality is dimished with every turn of the page.
This keeps it simple and sticks to the classics. It's a good addition to a design library. In fact, I'd go so far as to say if you only have one book on logos get this one. And then don't buy anymore. You only need one. There are enough logos now.
Next up is the It's Nice That Annual 2014. Always good, this year they've raised their game on the design and it looks great.
They've even done that big hyphenated type thing that you lot love. I can never bring myself to do that, but it looks good here.
Some highlights of the year and some new stuff I hadn't seen before.
Makes me wish I'd answered the questions they sent me...
I know we all know the problems with iTunes. But this is so odd.
Seeing this a lot recently due to not understanding iTunes Match or iCloudTunes or whatever it's called. I have to go into the store to find a song I know I have. I have to click to "buy" the song, it asks me for my password (again) and then it says, "You have already purchased this item. Would you like to download it for free?"
Considering the interaction pattern knows I was attempting to pay money for it, I think they could safely assume I'd be happy to download it for free.
And then to confirm that I have to click "buy".
I know this stuff takes lots of work, but this feels so wrong and pretty straight forward to fix. It's not complicated, it's just hard.
There is a difference between saying you're doing "innovation" or just saying innovation a lot, and doing something that is innovative.
I read somewhere that for <large number> of "innovation units" only <single digit number> of them had actually delivered a product or service.
Mostly what we do is Fix The Basics, not Innovation. Turns out lots of people think that's innovative.
This is pretty much one question - do you watch [football] via the internet?
But I think what they mean is:
a) do you watch [football] on a laptop
b) do you watch [football] on a tablet
c) do you watch [football] on a phone
But they could mean:
a) do you watch [football] in a browser
c) do you watch [football] in an app
But, to be honest, I have no idea.
Couldn't resist this.
It's a bus stop in Baltimore.
I have no idea if it's real, or if it actually works as a bus stop. I can't see any times or a map of routes for example. I think it's real, there is more detail here.
But it looks cool and it's pretty clear what it is, which is nice. And it reminds me of these.
People around my age (39) have grown up among digital transformation.
When we started listening to music it was on vinyl and cassette, when our tastes started hardening it was on mp3s. We've seen both and experienced the change. The same is true of many other things.
The generation after us won't see this. They've grown up with digital technology and they find the analogue ones strange and confusing.
The generation before us largely had digital technology happen to them. They can often find it strange and confusing.
This is neither good nor bad. It just gives us a different view.
Design and creative stuff often seems to invove a lot of bottlenecks. In a traditional agency the Creative Director is a bottleneck and the maybe the ECD. Sometimes you can't see the High Ups for days and this becomes a reall issue.
There's got to be a better way of doing this? I'm not suggesting you have no oversignt and no approval process of any kind. (I have written a little bit about the design process at GDS.)
Maybe there's some interconnected way of doing this that is better. Forces pulling together not apart. Some inter-related approval system. A network effect instead of a bottleneck.
We've been playing Toca Nature all weekend. It's gorgeous. Beautifully designed, incredibly intuitive interaction. The 6YO opened it up and dived straight in. Hooked all morning. :"Daddy, this is even better than FIFA!" he exclaimed.
It feels like Minecraft crossed with Monument Valley, and that's a great thing. The good, simple, Lego style building of Minecraft and the blocky style to quickly display depth and scale coupled with the lush colours and the rich tones of Monument Valley.
We went to see the poppies thing at the Tower of London. It's officially called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red". Visually it's stunning.
I wanted to write a blog post called 'We're good at this stuff' but I don't know who I mean by "we". Great Britain? The world? Designers? Museums? Culture types? No idea, to be honest.
By 'this stuff' I mean this and Ryoji Ikeda's Spectra from earlier in the year, which was also visually stunning.
Both of these are commenorative things and designed to capture media attention as much as anything else. They are extremely Instagramable. I'd include the Angel of the North in the 'this stuff' part of 'We're good at this stuff' but that's not a memorial.
Picture from Jordan.
Reminds me of Massive happy things on the landscape.