This has come about because you guys mentioned you'd like to know more about what goes into making an annual. So I thought it was only fair to open up the questions to you lot.
I thought it would be interesting to make the questions pretty geeky. Do you use the same grid year after year? Who photographs all that work? And so on.
If you'd like to ask Fabrica a question about how they designed the latest D&AD Annual, drop it in the comments.
Some fantastic podcasts from the RSA's Royal Designers for Industry here. Mike Dempsey interviews Thomas Heatherwick, Gerald Scarfe and others. Really good.
Coming next, Malcolm Garrett. Well worth a listen. Or a download.
I love architecture and I love going to buildings that you don't normally get to see, I love London and, obviously, I love design. So Open House is right up my street.
Technically Open House is the name of an organisation that promotes appreciation and debate of the built environment in London. The organisation started in 1992 and I think the Open House London Weekend started later than that, but I could well be wrong. During Open House London Weekend, many famous, hard to access and residential buildings of architectural significance open their doors to the general public. For free. Fancy going to the top of the Gherkin? With Open House Weekend you can.
I moved to London in 1997 and for the first time in my Ten Year I went to Open House this weekend. For the previous years weddings, birthdays, holidays, more weddings and other such must attend events have stopped me attending Open House. Trust me, it's become a bit of a 'thing'. This year I finally made it.
I like architecture, I like design and like most Londoners I can sit and talk property prices with the best of 'em, but these shows leave me cold. I find them really boring. Another wet room - sigh. Another wall of glass bricks - sigh. Another standard two bed flat turned into a one and half bed apartment with the kitchen on the roof and the bedroom in the wet room - sigh. Oh shit we're £30k over budget, how did that happen? Etc etc etc.
I reliably informed by people whose opinions I trust that Grand Designs is the best of these programmes. The house shown below had won some sort of Best of Grand Designs Award.
I can see why. The house was brilliant. Really clever and interesting. (It has a retractable roof for fuck's sake!) The photos don't do it justice but the house was squeezed into a piece of land that was 4 meters wide at one point. There were loads of really clever ideas.
There wasn't enough room for a proper bathroom so you slide back the bed and voila! There's a bath underneath.
Round the corner a bit and there isn't enough room for a sink, so you pull a drawer out and voila! There's a sink.
I don't want to be down about the house, it was brilliant. And it was really clever and it was really well done and well thought out. But it all just felt a bit, laboured. A bit hard work. A bath under a bed is a brilliant piece of design and engineering and it may even be practical, but isn't it just a bit - complicated?
I think there's a huge amount of visual comfort in seeing stuff laid out before you. Remember those beds that flip up into the wall? That's a good idea, but isn't it comforting to see your bed in the room? Wayne Hemmingway talked about this once, he said one of the reasons so many new housing estates were really ugly was because the British insisted on parking their cars right in front of their house so they can see them.
Like I said I don't want to slag the house off, but this whole Grand Designs sort of thing leaves me cold.
Open House isn't just about modern architecture. There are old buildings too. This house is from the 1700's. It was lovely. But this really brought home the Openess of Open House.
This is a picture of someone's clothes, in that person's house on a public website. It's a bit weird isn't it? Maybe it isn't.
There are a few more photos on Flickr.
This does that brilliant thing of pulling together, building on and bundling up in a nice url all those things you'd been trying or meaning to do. The web is great at that.
The Visual Dictionary does what it says on the tin. A dictionary of 3000 single words all represent by a photo of that word. Presentations will never be the same again. Is this the new clip art?
Put together by Matthew Knight.
For years we have talked about setting up a little online shop.
We've tried a few things in the past and we tried this last year. But now, because lots of people have emailed me wanting to buy copies of this card and because we often get asked about the cards shown below and because Anne promised me it was dead easy we're going to set up a little online shop.
In the spirit of 'desktop research' I thought I'd upload some of our most popular greetings cards and ask if you consider buying one. All you have to do is drop a yes or a no in the comments. If we get some interest we'll set up the shop and you can buy them for real. That sounds like a fun game, doesn't it?
Here are the cards. Obviously they will all be printed dead nice on fancy paper and come with envelopes etc.
First up; I Asked Banksy To Sign Your Birthday Card.
Here's F**k Birthdays, part of the very popular F**k series.
And last but not least, The Copywriter's Birthday Card.
Posted at 17:32 in How To Start Up A Graphic Design Consultancy (Sort Of), Just Me Doing Stuff | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)
Here's what I sent back.
He's scanned all the responses he received and uploaded them here. He's had an absolutely amazing response. There are letters from Wim Crouwel, Daniel Eatock, The Sagmeister, Tom Geismar, Milton Glaser, Wally Olins, Aziz Cami from The Partners, Alistair Sim from LOVE, Simon From Poke, Lewis Moberly, Alan Dye from NB:Studio, Phil Carter from Carter Wong Tomlin, Harry Pearce from Pentagram and many, many more. Have a look at them all here.
I know I'm biased, but I think our letterhead looks bloody brilliant amongst that lot.
Last week the 2007 D&AD Annual was launched. Last year I posted about it and lots of people who couldn't get their hands on one (Mike in particular) liked looking inside. So this year I thought I'd do it again.
First up, the flags. You will all remember the flag project. You kinda helped after all. You can see all of the flag submissions here, some of them are good. Some of them are absolute bollocks. Creative Review covered Mike Dempsey's objections here and Michael Johnson talks about it here. 500 people were invited to take part and I think 39 people had their pictures used in the annual.
Five of mine were used, which is brilliant. Really exciting. Three were used just on the end papers (this one, this one and this one) and two others were used, big, as section dividers. Like the one shown below.
The category below is Writing For Design which I helped judge. The picture was taken by Tom and involved me standing on the roof of the building next to our office and throwing the flag off. Tom stood on the roof and captured this shot. It's one of our favourites.
Next up, and much more exciting for the blogosphere, is the picture of Famous Rob Mortimer holding the flag for me on the stage at the end of the Future Marketing Summit. Famous Rob, in Campaign, in Creative Review, now in the D&AD Annual.
Enough about me. Seriously, enough. Let's look at some of the stuff inside. There doesn't seem to much inside and not a lot that stands out, although I've been reliably informed it was a good year (in terms of numbers) for graphics.
I really liked this moving card for the Manchester Evening News.
Designed by Vicky Beswick and Lionel Hatch at The Chase - In Book.
Also Manchester related is this great ad for the Manchester adidas store. Nice and simple.
Designed by Richard Irving, Dave Price and Karen Matthews from McCann Erickson, Manchester - In Book.
These posters for Apple are fab. I've never seen them before and I've no idea what they're for (well, they're for the Shuffle, but I mean I don't know where they were used etc). I love 'em. Those great colours and a really nice use of graphic shapes and patterns, a trend, I think you'll agree, that is coming back.
Designed by the secret squirrels at Apple Inc - In Book.
This signage at the Barbican has been in development for a long time. I love the big numbers and if you visit the Barbican you'll see that the circular wayfinding thing works really well. I think the colour is a bit suspect but...
Last but not least is this amazing project from Japan, the Fukutake House. I really loved this one. I think it's gorgeous. Do you like it?
It looks like Masayoshi has done some similar work before. Lovely isn't it?
I was one of the luck pups who was treated to a week's placement at TDC after exhibiting at New Blood. Being a big fan of Ben's blog previously I couldn't believe I was going to the studio I'd already become so familiar with!
It's been great to sample a real slice of London life in one of it's top agencies, TDC's got a fab atmosphere, the studio is definitely home from home, as they all made me feel so welcome (esp. Becks!).
The Monday morning meeting on my first day brought me up to speed on what everybody was working on and straight away I was getting involved in current projects.
It's been a real taster for me of industry life and I've got to say I love it, I can only hope wherever I end up, it's as welcoming and thriving as this place!
Honorary Blogger - Stephanie Holford from Staffordshire University.
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Stef is here on a placement and she's cleverly admitted to reading the blog so I asked her to write something. I'd better be careful as this is now my third guest post (Marcus and Tom's efforts can be found here).
Today Pantone announced a new system.
I confess to not fully understanding that statement. What was wrong with the old system? Apparently the new system has doubled the number of unique colours. Hmm.
You can still by PMS swatches, but that hideous looking huge plastic cube thing will be replacing them soon. It's called Goe. I'll reserve some judgement until I use one in the flesh.
And it was good. Very good. It's lots of fun and it's playful and informative and you know those Pixar movies where they say "it's great for kids on a kid level but it has so much to offer to adults too", well it's like that too.
The graphics are great and strike a nice mix between Orwellesque knowing sci-fi, modern graphics and just ,sort of, clear information.
I particularly liked these shadows which reflect that style you see all the time, most recently seen in Iain's Best Thing Online Ever, Fuzzwich.
These, of course, are the undoubted graphics star of the show. Enough has been said about these already, but they are bloody gorgeous. Who wouldn't want one at home?
Last but not these are these cute little POS devices. A nice way of displaying the obligatory souvenirs.
Some more graphics focused pictures here. Well worth a visit.