The Weekender is like the online equivalent of the bucket full of sweets that your mum keeps next to the front door on Halloween to hurl at the kids who come trick or treating. Except we’ve replaced the treats with art and design, so you’ll have to get your calories elsewhere. As the Criminologist says, “I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.” Off we go then!
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman famously said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Failure isn’t fatal, yet many creatives get caught up trying achieve perfection, often at the expense of innovation.
The author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, Dorie Clark, urges us to stop believing that we have to be perfect:
Innovation of any sort entails risk and trying new things — and that mandates failure. A 100% success rate implies you’re not doing anything new at all… It’s not so much that you’re creating something (such as a product or service) that failed; it’s that you’re steadily improving a series of drafts.
Recognize that innovation requires failure. As paradoxical as it may seem: if you’re failing, you’re doing something right.
Detroit’s plight has been making headlines for years, and to outside observers the situation can seem hopeless. But Andy Didorosi is one of Detroit’s many concerned citizens that have refused to wait for outside help.
In this talk, Didorosi reveals how to take matters into your own hands despite government bureaucracy, lack of funds, and other obstacles—and why difficult situations are just opportunities for great and meaningful work. He shares how he built his own bus company to augment crumbling public transportation infrastructure and why you need to call the world’s bluff when doing great things.
Andy Didorosi is a 27-year old entrepreneur and Detroit native. As a college dropout with only a high school diploma, he became the founder of The Detroit Bus Company, Eight & Sand, Paper Street, Thunderdrome! racing series, and a handful of other successful small businesses. He currently lives in Detroit in the Boston Edison neighborhood. The Detroit Bus Company is an innovative transit company based in Detroit.
Founded in 2011, they employ web-based technological solutions and unparalleled customer service to create efficient solutions to public transportation challenges in Metropolitan Detroit. With a unique fleet of custom-painted bio-diesel busses, the Detroit Bus Company also programs a full roster of public shuttles, tours and day trips to help metro Detroiters and out-of-town visitors gain familiarity with the rich, vibrant personality of our city. Their primary project right now is their Youth Transit Alliance which gives kids in Detroit access to development programs and summer activities free of charge.
This week we were impressed by ads for BBC Drama, HSBC and Sixt, plus a sweet online tool from the Barbican. First up though, are a set of US holiday ads (yep, it's started) for the Gap, shot by Sofia Coppola...
The ads fall under the Gap's new tagline, Dress Normal, which was launched in the summer by a series of slightly mysterious spots shot by David Fincher. These new ads by Coppola have a stronger core idea, playing on the notion that while you might 'dress normal', most people, especially your family at Christmas, are far from regular. There are four ads in the series, and the most successful ones feature the oddest characters - our favourites are the two shown above. Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York; ECDs: Susan Hoffman, David Kolbusz; Creative directors: Stuart Jennings, Susan Hoffman; Copywriters: Laddie Peterson, Al Merry; Art directors: Jaclyn Crowley, Jeff Dryer; Director: Sofia Coppola; Production company: The Directors Bureau.
The BBC has been engaging in some blockbuster self-promotion of late. First we had BBC Music's epic new version of The Beach Boys' God Only Knows, and now BBC Drama is having a turn, with a celebration of its work helmed by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film opens with Cumberbatch intoning the 'seven ages of man' monologue from As You Like It. As the actor lists each age, appropriate footage from BBC dramas appears on screen: Call The Midwife for infancy etc. The film works especially well because of its mix of new and vintage BBC series, with scenes from The Singing Detective and of Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice appearing alongside the inevitable Doctor Who and crime drama footage.
Saatchi & Saatchi has created this new spot to promote HSBC's international golf sponsorship which does a surprisingly good job of making the sport look edgy and fun. ECD: Kate Stanners; Creatives: Gemma Philips, Mark Slack; Director: Scott Lyon; Production company: Outsider.
It's hard to make car rental companies seem cheerful, let alone nice, yet these quirky new spots from BETC Paris for Sixt make a good fist of it. Creative director: Olivier Apers; Creatives: Jordan Lemarchand, Julien Deschamps; Director: Jack Cole; Production company: Rita Production.
Our final pick this week is a lovely piece of self-promotion from the Barbican in London, which comes in the form of an online tool which helps you find events and exhibitions at the arts centre to suit your mood. The 'Sentiment Search Tool' has been created by The Project Factory and orders the Barbican's vast programme into categories based on emotions, so whether you are feeling 'dazzling' or 'nightmarish', there will be something for you to visit. Play with the tool online at feelings.barbican.org.uk.
“It’s been funny seeing ‘Robert Redford to sign off’ on our work plans in recent months," Mark Aver, Mother Design New York design director tells us, revealing the new identity for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. The independent film festival, which started in 1978 in Utah, is chaired by Redford, who from the sounds of it, takes quite a hands-on approach.
It’s become so easy to be sniffy about Shoreditch, all besmirched as it is with lecherous city-boy drunks, Johnny-come-lately “street food pop ups” and guided pub crawls for hapless young backpackers. But while we won’t bother to go into the tired old complaints about gentrification, it’s important to recognise the perfect storm of creativity, East End charm and some awesomely peculiar characters that made the place so alluring in the first place.
I’ve never wanted to applaud anyone more than the guys behind this project. Tech-wizards Jankenpopp & Zombectro have created a very special website that transports you back to your childhood and the days when you were just about getting to grips with a computer. Entitled Windows 93 the simulator is actually inspired by Windows 95 with its trademark grey, moveable boxes and somewhat threatening pixelated icons. The duo have thought of everything and have left no stone unturned when it comes to recreating how computers used to look and feel, which subsequently makes it totally hilarious.
Easily the most daunting periods of the art school experience are the summer before you arrive and the entire year after you’ve left; The former fills you with an unpleasant anticipation and the unshakable feeling that you’re heading off to be bottom of the pile once again. Sure you were the biggest fish with the best drawing skills in the tiny creative pool that was high school, but now you’re off to battle it out with other equally talented folks for the next three years; you’ve got every right to be nervous. The latter is justifiably terrifying because you’ve got your whole life ahead of you and a mountain of debt to start dealing with. What was the point of that degree again?
Is it us or has everyone gone way more bonkers for Halloween this year than ever before? Whatever, we’re jumping on the bandwagon, and have put together a spectacular, terrifying mixtape for you. This year we decided to concentrate on a particularly fantastic sub-genre that is spooky, psychedelic songs from the 1960s. Back then countless bands were teaming up in groups and calling themselves things like “The Five Blobs,” “Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians” and “Frankie Stein” to deliver some of the creepiest, grooviest songs in existence. Even if you’re not that into it, putting this on at a Halloween party tonight for everyone to bop to is far, far cooler than just putting on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, again.
Faced with imminent closure, London's Kemistry Gallery is hoping to reinvent itself as the first centre in the UK dedicated solely to graphic art and design. Next February, it aims to stage a pop-up show which will work as a pilot for the next phase of its development – but it needs your help...
To date, Kemistry has been an exciting space for showing the work of graphic designers and illustrators. From Jean Jullien and Geoff McFetridge to Saul Bass, Milton Glaser and Lou Dorfsman, it has shown an impressive commitment to celebrating both established names and cutting edge talent. I've lost count of the number of shows that CR has been to and featured on the CR blog.
But the gallery has recently revealed some sad news, that its home on Charlotte Road in Shoreditch is set to be redeveloped and so Kemistry is likely to be closed within three months.
Founded by Graham McCallum and Ricky Churchill almost ten years ago, Kemistry are adamant that while expensive rents might be moving the premises on, they are far from giving up. Their aim over the next year is to raise enough money – partly through a Kickstarter campaign – to establish Kemistry as "the UK’s first centre dedicated solely to graphic art and design".
"Rather than mourn the loss of our current digs and admit defeat," they say, "we have decided to take the challenge on, not only to find a new home but think about reinventing Kemistry Gallery and taking it to a bigger, bolder and more ambitious place."
According to the gallery's Kickstarter page, Arts Council England has already committed to support them in their efforts to pilot a new version of the gallery, to coincide with our 10th anniversary. This special exhibition, entitled Kemistry Gallery: 10 years 60 works, will be hosted in an East London location, running from the beginning of February and will present highlights from a decade of celebrating the very best of classic and contemporary visual communication, including work by Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Parra, Jean Jullien, Anthony Burrill and many more.
A mock-up of how Kemistry's pop-up exhibition might look
Kemistry has raised an initial £15,000 from the Arts Council and now need to match that to cover the exhibition costs over the next 30 days, via Kickstarter. As McCallum says in the video on the Kickstarter page, Kemistry's success has proved that there is an appetite for a place that shows graphic art and design – so they are determined to move on and to try and do something "bigger and better".
What McCallum outlines includes a larger gallery, additional spaces for talks and lectures, even screenings, potentially a bookshop or a cafe – more of a "resource" for graphic design than an exhibition space. If that happens, this cloud may well have one hell of a silver lining.
For full details of Kemistry's plans and how you can donate, visit the Kickstarter page here.
#SaveKemistryGallery design by Jean Jullien