We're through creative a branding and digital agency from Macclesfield near Manchester. We've put together this site to create a source of inspiration, we hope you like it.

Invention is the art of working with what we have

Posted: December 18th, 2014 | Author: Leila Johnston | Filed under: Art, Digital, Magazine / Newspaper | Comments Off

Leila Johnston and 3D printer at the Hack Circus event, Access All Areas, which took place in June this year at Lighthouse Arts in Brighton. Photo: Lighthouse Arts

A year ago Leila Johnston launched Hack Circus, an independent creative collective about ‘fantasy technology and everyday magic' that publishes a quarterly print magazine and stages a reality-bending live show mixing art, science and philosophy. Hack Circus is about experiencing things in the real world but, as she explains here, this has proved to be a surprisingly controversial stance...

People often ask why I am making a physical magazine when a digital version would be more relevant these days, writes Leila Johnston. The question belies a defensive fetishisation of digital, an elevation of what amounts to information convenience food.

The artistic merit of the physical world is to do with its difficulty. For a start, printed text carries culture, it is not simply a delivery mechanism for data. Objects are expensive to our pockets and demanding on our souls; we interpret them first with our hands, and we can't immediately look to hundreds of others to divine an acceptable opinion.

We are alone in our interactions with objects, and those adapted to a highly sharable world are bound to feel uncomfortable.

Cover of issue 2 ('Reality') of Hack Circus, March 2014

 

Digital media, however, does not carry the same inherently artistic or emotional challenge (at least not yet) – hence its extraordinary success.

Its facture is invisible and its contents materialise on screen without history or baggage. The digital is not emotionally difficult, it doesn't remind us of anything, it doesn't compete for our physical space. Instead, it invites us to build our own world, in comforting facsimile.

Anyone attempting creative work in ‘meatspace' is up against it. Progress and innovation have become synonymous with digital such that large amounts of funding are available for creative productions that might be the first to ‘crack' the problem by using technology in their work.

But this is a culture of faith; technology is not yet there. Digitising a piece of work does not automatically improve it, and frequently hinders it.

Creative technology is in its infancy, and we are pinning all our hopes to it. Since 2012, I have completed two residencies at arts institutions and talked and written about technology and the arts for numerous organisations, and I have come to the conclusion that technology should not be centre stage.

Spread from issue 5 ('Life') of Hack Circus, December 2014

 

We have a movement powered by a sort of quasi-religious optimism – concerned less with what's possible now than what may be, one day.

It is there in the singularity-like implications of the digital publishing question – that magazine creators await futuristic salvation from material production, and it is there in the neo-fifties notion that a performance is only complete when some slice of it can be rendered ‘in every home'.

Hack Circus has been described as "The Fortean Times as published by Make", and while the ‘hack' part attracts a tech crowd, in spirit the project is solidly Fortean. Invention is the art of working with what we have; it's about seeing the potential in the world right in front of us, today.

The Fortean Times is marvellous – and mocked – not because it's speculative, but because it subverts the model of the world around us right now. The fantastical shines so brightly because it sticks to archetypes, those vessels of true feeling in the present moment that root us in a past and a future.

 

Part of Seb Lee-Delisle's interactive installation, Lunar Trails, shown at the Hack Circus Access All Areas event in Brighton. See seb.ly. Photo: Lighthouse Arts

Artist and photographer Sinead McDonald at the Hack Circus Access All Areas event in Brighton

 

Immediacy and fantasy go together. Journalism, writing, performance and design all need to transmit important ideas fast, with minimal interference, but there are three major obstacles preventing independent creatives from capitalising on the communicative power of fantasy.

The first is the digital art scene, where quick, sharp, experimental projects are now a quaint sideshow to a lengthy, academic preoccupation with speculative design. Reams of difficult supplementary material stifle pure ideas, as creatives contort their politics to fit futurist aspiration.

The second is agencyland, which has now almost entirely appropriated playfulness, because artists desperately need money and digital agencies desperately need fun. And the third is the fact that things worth doing are often difficult. People look everywhere for the reassurance of something shared, but reassurance comes from within.

Hack Circus and similar projects are not about safety, they're about taking your creative life in your own hands and experiencing the vertigo of going it alone.

Leila Johnston is a writer, curator and artist and the founder of the creative collective, Hack Circus. A residency at Lighthouse Arts in Brighton enabled her to develop the project over summer 2014 – it has now evolved into a live show (with events on themes such as Time Travel and First Contact), as well as a magazine. Issue five is published this month – see hackcircus.com. Johnston's website is finalbullet.com


Where do you eat?

Posted: December 18th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Image: from Massimo Gammacurta's Candy Alphabet


We have a Food issue coming out in February and we'd like your help. Give us your recommendations for interesting, exciting, cool and/or innovative places to eat out in your town

The February issue will look at all kinds of aspects relating to creativity and food, from dining experiences to packaging, photography, food banks, apps for farmers and more.

We'd also like to include some of our readers' favourite places to go – local gems with a creative take on eating out, either through their branding, concept, location or menu. We'll feature as many as we can fit into the issue.

We are particularly looking for UK places out of London but welcome ideas from anywhere in the world – they could be pop-ups, street food stalls and/or vans or permanent restaurants. Please leave your recommendations in the comments section below with links

 


OFFSET 2015 speakers announced

Posted: December 18th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography | Comments Off

2014 titles by M&E

Dublin creative festival OFFSET returns for a fifth year in March, with another impressive line‐up of designers, animators, illustrators, artists and creatives...

Founded by Bren Byrne, Richard Seabrooke and Peter O’Dwyer in 2009, OFFSET has become one of Europe’s biggest creative conferences – over 2,500 people attended last year and past speakers include Seymour Chwast, Neville Brody and Erik Kessels as well as Richard Mosse, Tom Hingston, Jessica Walsh and Marian Bantjes (you can read a review of OFFSET 2014 in our May issue, or see daily reports here, here and here).

This year’s event takes place at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from March 6 8 and speakers announced so far include Annie Atkins, lead designer on the Grand Budapest Hotel (who we interviewed on the blog back in March) Veronica Ditting, art director of The Gentlewoman, Matt Willey, CR's designer of the year for 2014, and Why Not Associates’ Andy Altman.

Hey Studio, Calligraffiti artist Niels Shoe Meulman, Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and Angus Hyland, Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic and Forsman & Bodenfors will also be giving talks and as with previous years, there are plenty of Irish and Dublin‐based names too, from Atkins to photographer Matthew Thompson, art director and Wolff Olins designer Sue Murphy, illustrator Steve Doogan, animation studio Cartoon Salon and designer and musician Peter Maybury.

Student tickets cost €112 and early bird standard tickets, available until February 20, cost €175 for individuals or €145 for groups of six or more. Standard tickets after February 20 are priced at €225 or €187.50 for groups.

To buy a ticket, or for more info, see iloveoffset.com, or follow @weloveoffset for regular updates.


CR January issue: Feat. FKA twigs

Posted: December 17th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

"I don't want to be a pop star, I just love making things." An interview with the multitalented FKA twigs is the lead feature in our January Music special issue

Our new issue marks the beginning of an extension of our editorial coverage which we will be rolling out over the coming year. During the summer we carried out some major audience research which, thankfully, tied in with some of our own thinking about how to make CR more relevant, more valuable and, we hope, more interesting.

There are creative directors and creative (or design) departments in all sorts of organisations today, from broadcasters to banks, healthcare providers to sports teams. We want to link that creative community up, becoming a platform for celebrating creativity in all its forms and examining the value it brings.

For each issue of the magazine, we will be looking at a distinct sector and asking the question: "how is creativity changing this world?". Each issue will investigate key trends, highlight key innovations and individuals and discuss the impact of new thinking, new technology and new approaches. So alongside pieces on designers or creatives, you will find interviews with chefs or architects, dancers, scriptwriters and composers. We will continue to speak to people running design studios and ad agencies, but we will add to that people running theatre groups, or broadcasters, hospitals or universities – wherever creativity is making a difference.

That doesn't mean that we will be abandoning our heartland of visual communications, more that we are reflecting the fact that inspiration now comes from multiple sources, silos are breaking down and that the studio/agency world does not have a monopoly on creativity. We will still be writing about visual communication, but we will add other forms of creativity to the mix.

We start with music. Future issues will look at food and drink, health, entertainment, education and a host of other sectors where creativity is making its mark.

 

We caught up with twigs as she embarks on a directing career through Academy and talked to her about what it means to be a young artist in the music industry today

 

Our regular columnists also pick up on the music theme: Daniel Benneworth-Gray wonders whether it is ever acceptable to treat album sleeves as art while Michael Evamy delves into the design history of one of the UK's most important labels: 2 Tone. Plus, Nick Asbury looks at the revival of the jingle and meets one of the masters of the genre.

 

In the age of the digital download, what is the role of the physical object in music packaging? asks Tim Milne.

 

 

Could brand guidelines be extended to include music too?

 

 

Why and how band Wild Beasts created a graphic novel using gifs

 

 

Rachael Steven talks to Jack Featherstone and Hans Lo about how the graphics and live visuals for Simian Mobile Disco's Whorl are derived from the music itself

 

And Rachael also talks to Warp about how design and great A&R have been at the heart of the label's success

 

Antonia Wilson meets Bestival creative director Josie da Bank

 

Film composer Jim Williams talks to Mark Sinclair about the role of music in telling the dark tales of director Ben Wheatley

 

 

Alasdair Scott compares the UI/UX of leading streaming devices and services

 

Rachael Steven reports on the explosion of innovation around live gigs

And, finally, in our Crit section, Rick Poynor reviews a welcome new history of Californian graphic design

 

The best way to get this and every issue of CR is to subscribe, which you can do here. We are currently running a special Christmas Challenge: share your unique 20% discount code (which you can get here) and you could win £1000. The code gives 20% off all Creative Review subscriptions (UK and overseas) until the end of the year. It can be used by as many people as you like, so everyone you share it with can also benefit. You don't have to be an existing subscriber - it's open to everyone.

We will be totting up all the times that a particular code was used to buy a subscription. At the end of December, the code that was used for the most new subscriptions will win its owner £1000. More details here


Beyond the record sleeve

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Author: Simon Moore | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Despite the doom and gloom about the death of the record sleeve, Simon Moore says there's never been a more creatively exciting time for a designer to work in music


I was lucky enough to know, from a pretty early age, exactly what I wanted to do for a career. For me, this was as a result of being  told I was the worst student of music in my teacher's entire 30 year professional life, and then, days later, picking up the Mark Farrow designed Pet Shop Boys album ‘Introspective' (above). With traditional art skills only marginally superior to my musical ones, evidenced by a never-ending output of disturbingly incompetent portraits and sculptures that looked like the work of a broken sausage machine, I had long since given up on doing anything with my life that involved either of my two academic interests.

But once I got my hands on that 12" slab of geometric technicolour beauty, something clicked. Here was an object that looked incredible put out by my favourite band; music and art combining into something greater than the sum of its parts. I still remember the pop of clarity in my befuddled 13 year old brain as I realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

 

Detail from 1992 T-shirt for The Orb by TDR

 

Suddenly my schoolbooks became littered with hand-drawn band logos, and then, via similar synaesthetic crushes on Peter Saville/ New Order, The Designers Republic / The Orb and Tomato /Underworld, I ended up, like an incurable geek, in the Liverpool Street branch of Our Price in 1999, taking endless photos of the very first CD I'd designed sitting proudly, but with negligible aesthetic appeal, in the rack reserved for number ones.

In the intervening years, the music industry has provided me with the backbone of my clients. But in that time the impact of a new digital landscape has radically reshaped not just the music industry itself, but its relationship to design. The perceived wisdom seems to be that falling revenues from sales have necessitated brutal cuts to creative budgets, resulting in lower quality work. And the obsolescence of physical product, replaced by miniscule pixelbased packshots, negates the need for subtlety or imagination in their design.

In fact, to talk to many people today you'd think that design for music has become a creative void, populated by disinterested, dead-eyed clients paying peanuts to disinterested, dead-eyed designers, churning out soulless, functional rubbish to customers who don't give a shit. It's an opinion that rankles as I believe it's incorrect and unfair. There is in fact some excellent, progressive and genuinely creative work being produced for music clients as a direct result of the requirements of this digital age, not in spite of it.

Personally, I think this general negativity is because people's attention is still very much fixed on CDs and vinyl: the physical products traditionally the centrepiece of a creative campaign which are being produced in increasingly fewer numbers. In fact, whenever design for music is mentioned these days it still tends to be centred around some lavish, short-run packaging for an unknown band or barrel-scraping rock dinosaur. And while these can be undeniably beautiful objects, they also seem a little pointless: vanity projects or anachronistic trinkets. Sort of like a Tom Dixon designed fax machine.

As my introductory ramble hopefully illustrates, the affection I hold for those decorated squares of paper and card is a strong as anyone's, but the world, and especially the music industry has moved on - whether we like it or not. Wistful pining for a defunct era is at best a waste of time and at worst counter-productive, like yearning for that ex-girlfriend who will never take you back. In short, all that's happened is the parameters have changed, and design, as a commercial enterprise, is surely all about understanding and working within parameters.

Whereas previously you could win a pitch with some nice logo designs and shoot references, the scope for a designer in this area is now broader and less formulaic. The album or single cover is no longer the sun around which everything else orbits. I now often work with labels on a central construct for their artists, something that goes beyond just some nice imagery, but runs deeper and more fundamentally. Identifying what makes each artist or campaign different, and communicating that message across a range of channels, of more equalised importance, imbuing everything with different elements from within the same visual language, not just an endless re-purposing of the same cover design.

 

Image: vivacoldplay

 

The first time I saw this in full effect was the Mylo Xyloto campaign by Tappin Gofton for Coldplay, wherein the album design was part of a wider creative strategy that had all kinds of executions, physical, digital and experiential that held together consistently throughout. It felt modern and relevant in a way the traditional "3 singles and an album" approach no longer did. Increasingly, labels and their artists are seeing themselves as brands, which is a horribly overused word, but there's a logic to it here. In our visually-saturated world, the need for an artist's live shows, public appearances, fan-engagement, products, styling, digital presence and graphics to integrate coherently is more important than ever.

 

Atoms for Peace Drawing Room pop-up gallery featuring Stanley Donwood's artwork for the album. The campaign also included bespoke social media artwork by Glitchr, and graffiti by INSA (see top, below and our story here).  Image: The Quietus.


 

Shifting the sights to think of music more as an all-encompassing experience as opposed to simply a product therefore provides more
opportunity than ever for the willing creative mind. The number of different creatives now working within music is wider than I can ever remember, with younger, fresher talent now given more of a chance to produce exciting work for passionate and open-minded clients, at the expense of more costly, established studios. There's also been a pleasing focus on clarity within design, and the need to communicate across small and large sizes has seen the use of typography, especially, come to the fore, whether that be the bespoke experimentalism of Kate Moross (Wild Beasts video below) or brutal elegance of Trevor Jackson.

 

On 25 February 2015, Trevor Jackson will release F O R M A T as, initially, a limited edition consisting of 12 different musical formats each containing a separate track. A collected vinyl edition and digital versions will follow shortly after, all on The Vinyl Factory. More here

 

Wild Beasts - Mecca from StudioMoross on Vimeo.

 

 

From time-to-time I wonder whether a new generation of designers will be inspired by music to divert their life's path as I once was, but one look at the extremely vocal responses to new artwork on social media, the number of teenagers producing versions of their favourite singers' latest design, or the high take-up of fan engagement in projects like this suggests that music and creative work are as compelling a partnership as ever for this demographic, despite most of them probably never having owned a CD, let alone a piece of vinyl, in their entire lives.

Simon Moore is founder of creative agency Baby. See our profile here

 


Creative Review's January 2015 issue is a Music special, featuring FKA twigs, Bestival creative director Josie da Bank, film composer Jim Williams and more

 


Beyond the record sleeve

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Author: Simon Moore | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Despite the doom and gloom about the death of the record sleeve, Simon Moore says there's never been a more creatively exciting time for a designer to work in music


I was lucky enough to know, from a pretty early age, exactly what I wanted to do for a career. For me, this was as a result of being  told I was the worst student of music in my teacher's entire 30 year professional life, and then, days later, picking up the Mark Farrow designed Pet Shop Boys album ‘Introspective' (above). With traditional art skills only marginally superior to my musical ones, evidenced by a never-ending output of disturbingly incompetent portraits and sculptures that looked like the work of a broken sausage machine, I had long since given up on doing anything with my life that involved either of my two academic interests.

But once I got my hands on that 12" slab of geometric technicolour beauty, something clicked. Here was an object that looked incredible put out by my favourite band; music and art combining into something greater than the sum of its parts. I still remember the pop of clarity in my befuddled 13 year old brain as I realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

 

Detail from 1992 T-shirt for The Orb by TDR

 

Suddenly my schoolbooks became littered with hand-drawn band logos, and then, via similar synaesthetic crushes on Peter Saville/ New Order, The Designers Republic / The Orb and Tomato /Underworld, I ended up, like an incurable geek, in the Liverpool Street branch of Our Price in 1999, taking endless photos of the very first CD I'd designed sitting proudly, but with negligible aesthetic appeal, in the rack reserved for number ones.

In the intervening years, the music industry has provided me with the backbone of my clients. But in that time the impact of a new digital landscape has radically reshaped not just the music industry itself, but its relationship to design. The perceived wisdom seems to be that falling revenues from sales have necessitated brutal cuts to creative budgets, resulting in lower quality work. And the obsolescence of physical product, replaced by miniscule pixelbased packshots, negates the need for subtlety or imagination in their design.

In fact, to talk to many people today you'd think that design for music has become a creative void, populated by disinterested, dead-eyed clients paying peanuts to disinterested, dead-eyed designers, churning out soulless, functional rubbish to customers who don't give a shit. It's an opinion that rankles as I believe it's incorrect and unfair. There is in fact some excellent, progressive and genuinely creative work being produced for music clients as a direct result of the requirements of this digital age, not in spite of it.

Personally, I think this general negativity is because people's attention is still very much fixed on CDs and vinyl: the physical products traditionally the centrepiece of a creative campaign which are being produced in increasingly fewer numbers. In fact, whenever design for music is mentioned these days it still tends to be centred around some lavish, short-run packaging for an unknown band or barrel-scraping rock dinosaur. And while these can be undeniably beautiful objects, they also seem a little pointless: vanity projects or anachronistic trinkets. Sort of like a Tom Dixon designed fax machine.

As my introductory ramble hopefully illustrates, the affection I hold for those decorated squares of paper and card is a strong as anyone's, but the world, and especially the music industry has moved on - whether we like it or not. Wistful pining for a defunct era is at best a waste of time and at worst counter-productive, like yearning for that ex-girlfriend who will never take you back. In short, all that's happened is the parameters have changed, and design, as a commercial enterprise, is surely all about understanding and working within parameters.

Whereas previously you could win a pitch with some nice logo designs and shoot references, the scope for a designer in this area is now broader and less formulaic. The album or single cover is no longer the sun around which everything else orbits. I now often work with labels on a central construct for their artists, something that goes beyond just some nice imagery, but runs deeper and more fundamentally. Identifying what makes each artist or campaign different, and communicating that message across a range of channels, of more equalised importance, imbuing everything with different elements from within the same visual language, not just an endless re-purposing of the same cover design.

 

Image: vivacoldplay

 

The first time I saw this in full effect was the Mylo Xyloto campaign by Tappin Gofton for Coldplay, wherein the album design was part of a wider creative strategy that had all kinds of executions, physical, digital and experiential that held together consistently throughout. It felt modern and relevant in a way the traditional "3 singles and an album" approach no longer did. Increasingly, labels and their artists are seeing themselves as brands, which is a horribly overused word, but there's a logic to it here. In our visually-saturated world, the need for an artist's live shows, public appearances, fan-engagement, products, styling, digital presence and graphics to integrate coherently is more important than ever.

 

Atoms for Peace Drawing Room pop-up gallery featuring Stanley Donwood's artwork for the album. The campaign also included bespoke social media artwork by Glitchr, and graffiti by INSA (see top, below and our story here).  Image: The Quietus.


 

Shifting the sights to think of music more as an all-encompassing experience as opposed to simply a product therefore provides more
opportunity than ever for the willing creative mind. The number of different creatives now working within music is wider than I can ever remember, with younger, fresher talent now given more of a chance to produce exciting work for passionate and open-minded clients, at the expense of more costly, established studios. There's also been a pleasing focus on clarity within design, and the need to communicate across small and large sizes has seen the use of typography, especially, come to the fore, whether that be the bespoke experimentalism of Kate Moross (Wild Beasts video below) or brutal elegance of Trevor Jackson.

 

On 25 February 2015, Trevor Jackson will release F O R M A T as, initially, a limited edition consisting of 12 different musical formats each containing a separate track. A collected vinyl edition and digital versions will follow shortly after, all on The Vinyl Factory. More here

 

Wild Beasts - Mecca from StudioMoross on Vimeo.

 

 

From time-to-time I wonder whether a new generation of designers will be inspired by music to divert their life's path as I once was, but one look at the extremely vocal responses to new artwork on social media, the number of teenagers producing versions of their favourite singers' latest design, or the high take-up of fan engagement in projects like this suggests that music and creative work are as compelling a partnership as ever for this demographic, despite most of them probably never having owned a CD, let alone a piece of vinyl, in their entire lives.

Simon Moore is founder of creative agency Baby. See our profile here

 


Creative Review's January 2015 issue is a Music special, featuring FKA twigs, Bestival creative director Josie da Bank, film composer Jim Williams and more

 


CR Annual: extended deadline

Posted: December 15th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Type / Typography | Comments Off

There's still time to enter the Creative Review Annual, our showcase of the best work of the year in visual communications. Extended deadline: January 23

Make the most of the extra time and enter your work to be showcased in front of over 1,000,000 members of the global Creative Review audience.

Every year The Annual graces desks at some of the finest creative agencies, studios and brands in the world. It features exceptional work from the biggest names to the latest up-and-comers. This is your chance to put your name in the book.

Enter your work at creativereview.co.uk/annual and you could:

❑ Enhance your profile, impress current clients, and win new ones by getting your work published in one of the industry's leading titles.

❑ Gain independent recognition from the industry as one of the
best in your field.

❑ Ensure your hard work is celebrated in this annual showcase of
the best work in advertising, design and visual culture.

❑ Put your work in front of the UK's leading clients via our case study database of winning work.

Visit creativereview.co.uk/annual to find out full details on how to enter

 


Viktoria Modesta fronts new Born Risky campaign for C4

Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Digital, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

As part of Channel 4's ongoing Born Risky campaign, a new promo for singer Viktoria Modesta will be aired during the final of ITV's The X Factor this Sunday. Aimed as a stylish antidote to the ideals of the modern pop world, Modesta's prosthetic leg is a difference that C4 hopes will challenge viewer's perceptions...

Modesta was born in the USSR and suffered damage to her left leg at birth; aged 12 she and her family moved to London and at 20 she made the decision to undergo a below-the-knee amputation which would improve her mobility. Since then she has worked as a model, artist and musician (her EP1 was released in 2010) and performed at the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.

"Pop stars these days are painfully dull and manufactured," says Chris Bovill of C4's creative agency, 4Creative. "[Viktoria] is the perfect partner for Born Risky and Channel 4 as she embodies our governmental remit of championing alternative voices and establishing new talent."

The video for the track Prototype – the six-minute film version is shown below – forms the latest in 4Creative's campaign to challenge stereotypes. In 2012, it launched the stirring Paralympics campaign, Meet the Superhumans, and also worked with ‘bearlesque' act Fred Bear in creating the song Gay Mountain that wished athletes good luck at the start of the Sochi Winter Games in Russia.

 

According to Modesta, the new video has given her the chance to express some of her more extreme ideas and continue in her fight against being categorised. Along with the video's director, Saam Farahmand, Modesta achieved these aims with the help of Sophie de Oliveira Barata at The Alternative Limb Project – a fascinating venture which creates bespoke, often highly artistic, prosthetic limbs for clients.

In the 'making of' film, shown below, de Oliveira Barata explains how she created two bespoke limbs for Modesta – one that lights up and has an exposed mechanism (see above), and another that is essentially an elegant spike which Modesta equates to a kind of power dressing.

The latter design appears towards the end of the Prototype film in a sequence that brilliantly combines dance, colour and sound design to dramatic effect.

"For a long time, pop culture closed its doors on me as an amputee and alternative artist," Modesta explains. "I think people have always found it hard to know what to think or feel about an amputee who wasn't trying to be an Olympian."

 

"In sports, ‘overcoming' a disability makes you a hero, but in pop there is no place for these feelings," she adds. "I have never felt comfortable thinking of myself as disabled and this has inspired me to actively challenge old-fashioned views and create a platform in mainstream pop-culture, with other artists, where I have always known I belonged. The time for boring ethical discussions around disability is over. It's only through feelings of admiration, aspiration, curiosity and envy that we can move forward."

Director Farahmand was keen that Modesta also be shown in the film without her prosthetic limb and believes that the new video challenges many conventions. "Like Viktoria, it bores me that the only way an amputee can be relevant is to achieve something that people easily understand," he says. "Culture currently dictates that we view disability from a position of wholesome admiration and empathy."

The 'making of' Prototype film is below. A version of the Prototype video (above) will screen in an ad break during The X Factor final this Sunday night on ITV (in the UK). See viktoriamodesta.com

4Creative
Creative Heads: Chris Bovill & John Allison
Group Business Director: Olivia Browne
Exec & 4 Creative Producer: Miketta Lane
Producer: Nicola Brown

Video Production
Production Company: Rogue Films
Director: Saam Farahmand
Rogue Producer: Kate Hitchings

Music Production
Music Director: Pitch & Sync
Written by Roy Kerr, Hero and Viktoria Modesta

Making Of
Director - Liz Unna
Producer - Amy James
Production Company - HSI London


The soundscape of New York

Posted: December 10th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Digital, Illustration | Comments Off

Harlem – a visualisation of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's track Autumn in New York (1956)

What does New York sound like? And what does the sound of New York look like? London-based art director and designer John Davies' latest project attempts to capture the music of the city's Manhattan neighbourhoods in physical form...

The aim of Soundscape: The Physical Sounds of Manhattan is to re-engage modern audiences with the world of sound, Davies says on his website, and address our "loss of multi-sensory experience in music".

The result is a 3D-rendered map made from laser-cut perspex soundwaves – essentialy a recreation of the famous Manhattan skyline.

Gramercy – a visualisation of Iggy and The Stooges' track Search & Destroy (1973)


As more of us consume music digitally, there's something of a movement afoot which is questioning the nature of music's physicality – and, if we no longer require record sleeves, even packaging to receive it – how far the idea of what music looks like can be pushed (something we're addressing in our forthcoming music-themed January issue).

Davies believes that music has been increasingly relegated further into the background of our lives, that it's something we more commonly experience while doing something else – our attention split all over the place. So hoping to offer a physical interpretation of some classic New York music, Davies' used the shape of the sound waves from a selection of songs to construct 3D model 'skylines' of each area, which then lock together to form Manhattan itself.

Tracks include Patti Smith's Gloria, The Ramones' Blitzkreig Bop and Jimi Hendrix's Machine Gun – respresenting Chelsea, Lower East Side and the East Village, respectively.

Davies' has also created an accompanying record and book documenting the project. A Vimeo film about the project is below. All images are © John Davies. See the full project at knot1designs.com

Lower East Side – a visualisation of The Ramones' track Blitzkrieg Bop (1976)

Soho – a visualisation of NYC Peech Boys' track Don't Make Me Wait (1982)


Are you paid the right amount?

Posted: December 4th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design | Comments Off

We're conducting the UK's largest industry-wide salary survey so you can see how your pay stacks up against your peers, colleagues and even your bosses. And we need you help

Along with our sister brands, Design Week, Econsultancy and Marketing Week, we are carrying out a major survey into pay in the marketing, design and advertising industries. Once complete, not only will we report on and analyse the findings, we'll also create an online salary benchmarking tool allowing you to directly compare yourself against the industry average across job type, location and specialism.

Find out the average salary for your current position and see how much making the next step in your career may be worth. Find out which sectors pay well, which don't, which have seen the biggest year on year increase and which  provide the best benefits package.

The more people who take part, the more accurate and robust the survey will be so we would very much like your help. And we'll enter you into a prize draw to win £250 of Amazon vouchers and more importantly ensure you're one of the first to see the results when they are released in January.

To take the CR Salary Survey, please click here

 

Please note this survey is kept in the strictest confidence and your email is only required for the purpose of the prize draw or priority distribution of the Salary Survey 2014 as indicated by your response in the survey questions.