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Sagmeister and the ‘bullshit’ around storytelling

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Burgoyne | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Stefan Sagmeister has vehemently dismissed the current vogue among creative types to label themselves ‘storytellers' as ‘bullshit'.

In an uncharacteristically irascible interview for FITC, the organisers of the Camp festival in Calgary, Sagmeister attacks the urge for those in the communications industry to rush to re-assign themselves as storytellers, the theme of the conference. "Now everybody's a storyteller," he says, before dismissing the trend as "bullshit"


Some commenters on Vimeo, where the film was posted, disagreed, particularly with his definition of storytellers as only those who write novels or make movies.

Here, they have a point. Of course storytelling exists beyond those narrow confines, it always has. But I think Sagmeister's thrust was directed more at the way that ‘storytelling' has been latched onto by the advertising and marketing worlds to the extent that every corporate drone in chinos and a polo shirt is now spouting about it in their conference Powerpoint presentations.

It's almost become as ubiquitously nonsensical as ‘content', the misuse of which Gordon Comstock and Sell Sell railed against with great passion here.

At Cannes this year it seemed as though almost every session had a ‘storytelling' theme as if this were some amazing new discovery. People like stories you say? Wow, amazing insight!

Perhaps some of these ‘thought leaders' need to get their, er, stories straight. Here's Mainardo De Nardis of OMD telling us that "Storytelling is the capacity to create and distribute content which is relevant for audiences across whatever platform" - it is? Wasn't that 'integrated', or is that just what we were calling it two years ago? He also says that "without storytelling we go back to 30 second spots which is not the way our brains need to be communicated with to create real engagement"


And yet, at the same event, his peers on the jury were busy handing out award after award to this, a commercial (remember them?) that, in its form and content, could have been made at any time in the last 40 years (Solvite anyone?)


‘Storytelling' has been at the heart of some of the greatest advertising campaigns. What's this if it's not telling a great story, for example


And the famous BBH Levi's ads were all about telling stories around some of the unique features of the product


Now we have online films with longer narratives about brands, their users and their community



And we have new, powerful tools to tell stories in multifaceted ways, such as some of the brilliant pieces currently coming out of the National Film Board of Canada



Storytelling is universal and as old as the human race. But that doesn't mean we are all storytellers in everything we do.

In the film, Sagmeister rages about a rollercoaster designer who referred to himself as a storyteller: "No fuckhead, you are not a storyteller, you're a rollercoaster designer!" Being a rollercoaster designer sounds a pretty cool job - surely that's enough? Why the need to dress it up as something else?

This, I think, is the crux of the matter. The ad industry is searching for a role for itself in a communications world that has become very complex. The old certainties no longer apply. It has leaped on ‘Storytelling' as a means of defining what it offers that none of the data geeks or algorithms can.

So thank goodness for Sagmeister for puncturing this particular bullshit bubble with such alacrity. Of course it helps if you've got something interesting to say about your product or organisation, of course telling a powerful story will stick in people's minds and make them feel positive toward you. Yes, we now have lots of different ways to tell such stories. Didn't we know all this already?

Oh, and while we're on the subject of conference bollocks, can we please all stop saying "learnings'?


CR August issue: digital futures

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography | Comments Off

Cover concept by Carl Burgess featuring image by Komba3D available from TurboSquid


Are you sick of all the nostalgic, inky, handmade imagery that has dominated our visual landscape recently? Is it time to embrace the potential of 3D, CG and digital imagemaking and talk about tomorrow rather than yesterday?


In our CGI special issue, designer Carl Burgess makes the case for digital imagemaking. Our nostalgic obsession with the handmade comes from the desire to play it safe, he argues. Digital imagemaking, in contrast, is risky, exciting and allows us to talk about our world today and our hopes for tomorrow

Subscribe now and you will receive the August issue as the first issue of your subscription. Subscribing is the quickest and cheapest way of getting Creative Review each month and you’ll receive special subscriber content and offers. Just go here to subscribe.


We look at a range of work that is pushing digital techniques to the limit, including a remarkable film by Warren Du Preez, Nick Thornton Jones and the team at Glassworks. Worship was commissioned by James Lavelle for the Meltdown festival and set to a specially written track by UNKLE


We interview photographer Giles Revell in whose hands hi-tech processes re-present traditional artistic subjects in unexpected ways


And Ben Koppel, a regular collaborator of Revell's, who, inspired by an ad in CR for Cinema 4D taught himself to become a freelance CG artist


Did you know that Len Deighton was a designer? Away from our CG theme, David Crowley and students from the RCA look back over the history of the college's Ark magazine and its glittering array of contributors, including Alan Fletcher, David Gentleman and Deighton, who designed the cover for Ark 6 in 1952


And we talk to the curators of the V&A's controversial Disobedient Objects show which looks at the design of objects and materials used by protesters around the world


Plus, Antonia Wilson visits The Barbican's Digital Revolution show and asks whether it still makes sense to talk about 'digital' as a separate entity - surely 'digital culture' is now just 'culture'?



Mark Sinclair takes in the weird and wonderful at Tate Britain's celebration of Folk Art


And AKQA's ECD Nick Turner asks whether, with the launch of its new Material Design guidelines, Google's design will finally catch up with the excellence of the other aspects of its products


Plus, for subscribers, we have a brillaint Monograph designed by SEA featuring 15 full-stops from typefaces in the Monotype archive


Subscribe now and you will receive the August issue as the first issue of your subscription. Subscribing is the quickest and cheapest way of getting Creative Review each month and you’ll receive special subscriber content and offers. Just go here to subscribe.

What’s On

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: Antonia Wilson | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

CR's pick of current and upcoming exhibitions, design events and creative activities including Graphic Advocacy poster show in New York, Divine Violence from Broomberg & Chanarin in Llandudno, Gibert & George in London, Barbara Kruger in Oxford, street artist Sickboy in London, Summer Screen Prints at Somerset House, The Power of Baked Rolls! poster ad show in Helsinki...


Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012
ADC Gallery, New York
Until 15 Aug

Touring showcase of 122 posters demonstrating the medium's crucial role in social change - recording struggles for peace, social injustice, environmental defence, liberation from oppression, as tools for education, politics, and promotion - in this digital age, when multiple audiences can consume media through multiple sources and multiple channels.

After the New York show, it travels to Florida, Maryland, Indiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma, with more dates to be announced.


Broomberg & Chanarin: Divine Violence
Mostyn, Llandudno
Until 2 Nov

New exhibition from artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (winners of the Deutsch Borse Photo Prize 2013). Inspired by Bertolt Brecht's annotated bible, which Broomberg and Chanarin discovered in the Brecht Archive in Berlin, the duo annotated their own (entitled Holy Bible) - highlighting images of violence and destruction with photographs sourced from the Archive of Modern Conflict.

After initially publishing this in book form, it now goes on show as a full-scale exhibition, exploring visual representations of conflict and the connection between biblical catastrophe and modern governance. Other key works by the pair will also be on show, including Afterlife, a series offering a re-reading of the controversial Pulitzer Prize-winning 1979 photograph of the execution of blindfolded Kurdish prisoners; and The Day Nobody Died, a series of non-figurative, action-photographs taken without a camera in Afghanistan.

Get CR August on the iPad (out next week) for a closer look at the work from this exhibition. More info on the app and subscribing here.


Gilbert & George: Scapegoating Pictures for London
White Cube, London
Until 28 Sep

New show from the iconic duo, featuring giant photomontage work exploring urban existence, with a look at the changing face of London (their home for many decades), religious fundamentalism, drug abuse, and youth culture in the capital.

East London landmarks sit alongside burkas, buses, sinister bomb shaped nitrous oxide canisters, and of course depictions of the pair themselves in vivid blocks of red black and white. These are said to be some of their most outrageous works to date.



Barbara Kruger
Modern Art Oxford
Until 31 Aug

Solo show of new and recent work from the acclaimed conceptual artist, whose work combines bold colours, slogans and jarring juxtapositions of text and image, and explores and questions the strategies and manipulative nature of mass communication and consumer culture.

The exhibition includes a text based site-specific architectural wrap of the upper gallery space, alongside a series of classic 1980s paste-up works, and two films - Plenty LA (2008) capturing the gaze of the phone-obsessed consumer, and a four screen installation presenting a rare look at her film Twelve (2004).


Sickboy: Make It Last Forever
Until 30 August
The Outsiders gallery, London

Multi-disciplinary exhibition from UK street artist Sickboy, one of the leading artists to have emerged from the Bristol graffiti scene, presenting "a unique multimedia diary that seeks to outlive its creator, a rare opportunity to delve inside the chaotic existence of a nomadic talent".

His surreal, playful visual language appearing on large abstract canvases and other sculptures and interactive installations including temple shrines, a superman sculpture and a coffin, alongside ephemera from the artist's personal collection.


Summer Screen Prints
Somerset House, London
31 Jul - 25 Aug

Film poster exhibition in association with Print Club London, with limited edition prints inspired by each film shown at Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, marking the event series' tenth anniversary. Print Club has selected an assortment of styles and artists including Rose Blake, Hattie Stewart, Kate Moross, Steve Wilson, Kate Gibb and HelloVon.



The Power of Baked Rolls! - Co-op advertising in 1950s
Virka Gallery, Helsinki
Until 31 Aug

Nostalgic show of '50s Finnish Co-op Union ad posters from the Labour Archives collections, featuring local food, eco-values, family life, pastimes and DIY, alongside seasonal window displays built in to the gallery space.



To submit events for consideration, please email whatson@creativereview.co.uk

The CR Photography Annual is changing

Posted: July 21st, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography | Comments Off


Each year the Creative Review Photography Annual showcases the best in commercial photography. For 2014 we are introducing some important changes which will place the emphasis of the awards firmly on celebrating the power of the image to communicate ideas and tell stories in all media


Cover of CR Photography Annual 2013. Photographer: Tim Flach


• New categories
• More exposure for your work
• A celebration of the power of the image


Over the past decade, we have grown the CR Photography Annual to be a fantastic showcase of the world of commercial photography. In particular, the Photography Annual has provided photographers with a brilliant way to get their personal projects in front of our audience of art directors, designers and creative directors. It's no accident that the Personal/Non-published has always been our most popular category.

For this year, though, we are shaking things up a little. We want to celebrate not just the work of photographers themselves but also those who commission and art direct great images, whether that is in advertising, in a magazine, a book, online or via a photolibrary. So, new for this year, we are introducing categories for the best use of photography in advertising and marketing campaigns, in editorial (both magazines and books as well as related websites) and by fashion brands. The winning work in these categories will be shown in context ie as layouts, pages, covers etc

We are also introducing a category to celebrate the best images that have been commissioned by image libraries to help set standards in this important creative sector.

See details of all our categories here.

Selected work will be published in the special December 2014 double issue of CR and showcased to an invited audience of leading creative industry figures at our Photography Annual launch party. In addition, our winners will be showcased across CR's digital and social media platforms, reaching over a million people worldwide.

For full details, including deadlines, please go here


Cover of the 2014 CR Photography Annual. Photographer: Ewen Spencer

The Network is Watching

Posted: July 18th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Digital | Comments Off

The second series of Dennis Kelly's conspiracy thriller, Utopia, launched on Channel 4 this week. To promote the show's return, 4Creative and Unit9 have produced an eerie set of interactive ads and a disturbing online experience...

Utopia follows a group of people who uncover a global conspiracy in a graphic novel and are forced to flee an organisation known as The Network. It's a brilliantly dark and surreal show and a visual treat, with beautifully shot scenes rendered in acid brights.

To promote the launch of the first series, which aired last year, 4Creative launched a viral campaign targeting journalists active on social media. Using information journalists had posted online, it produced personalised films warning them: "the network knows everything about you" (you can see the case study here).

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Series two's creative builds on this sense of being watched with ads featuring a bloodshot 'all seeing eye' and the message 'The Network is Watching'. In animated digital posters placed around the UK, the eye appears to track the movements of passers by, while interactive online versions respond to mouse movements.

The ads feature the same bold yellow which featured heavily in both teasers (below) and titles for series one. "Utopia is visually stunning and very quirky - we loved how the grading pushes colours to saturation limits," explains creative lead Pablo González de la Peña. "We tried to reflect that by using yellow as the main colour in promos, again using this extreme saturation," he adds.

As well as reflecting the show's comic book-inspired aesthetic, the ads perfectly capture the sense of paranoia that runs throughout. The eye symbolises both the all-knowing power of The Network and the main characters' sense of being watched while on the run.

"With the first series, we were introducing a set of characters who were running from someone or something but they didn't know what. Now, people know what they're running from, and they know and love the characters, so we didn't need to explain. The eye says it all," adds de la Peña.

The eye was created with Unit9, 4Creative's production partner for the campaign. As Unit9 directors Dawid Marcinkowski and Kasia Kifert (The Kissinger Twins) explain, the aim was to create something that looked "both real and futuristic."

"The process was very complex," they add. "The eye was modelled in 3ds Max in three parts: the cornea, the lens and the iris. The material contains refractions, a bump map and a self-illumination map [making parts of it appear to glow and shine, much like a real eye]...and the texture was created in Photoshop with several layers used for veins, to give the impression of depth," they explain.

To accompany the ads, 4Creative and Unit9 have also developed an interactive online experience at thenetworkiswatching.com. The experience begins by greeting visitors with a yellow screen and the message 'Let us understand you better. Let us build a safer tomorrow,' before a voice over says: “Hello…we’ve been waiting for you.”

The website then takes a photograph of users and accesses data from their social media account (with permission). A series of glitchy animations follow and users are asked "Can We Trust You?" before being shown black and white CCTV films of serious crimes.

At the end of each film, the perpetrator's face is revealed, and users see their own face staring back at them, followed by the warning: "People will believe you did this. We own you. You can't hide from us." The interactive ends with a message from one of the show's leads, Jessica Hyde, and a trailer for the series.

The experience mirrors the programme's plot in series one, in which characters are framed for crimes they didn't commit -  in one scene, a character is shown doctored CCTV footage in which he appears to murder several people in a school.

"We wanted to make viewers feel how the characters in the show felt when they were being framed and people think that they're guilty of something they haven't done. We also wanted to create something that would show people who haven't seen it just how crazy it all is, the lengths that The Network will go to," explains de la Peña.

As The Kissinger Twins explain, the shoot was a complex process: "As the interactive uses html 5 face mapping, we had to be very precise with angles and performances. We shot the CCTV films in London, in a huge abandoned office complex near city airport - it's a strange, very atmospheric place, evoking [post-apocalyptic novel] Day of the Triffids," they add.

The interactive is an unsettling experience, particularly given the amount of information most of us share online every day. Like the all seeing eye posters, it offers a compelling glimpse into the world of the show that will be instantly recognisable to fans of series one, while creating plenty of intrigue for those who've never seen it.

To accompany the series, Channel 4 has also launched an online game which features 80s style graphics and music from Utopia composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer. The narrative was written by Kelly and levels will be released over the course of the show alongside videos and blog entries. To play it, visit channel4.com/utopia


Creative Lead: Pablo González de la Peña
Digital Producer: Christos Savvides
Art Director: Chris Rice
Production Partner: UNIT9
Interaction and Live Action Directors: Dawid Marcinkowski & Kasia Kifert / The Kissinger Twins

Can’t wait to finish this : ) so can work on my #novel

Posted: July 18th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Books, Digital | Comments Off

US artist Cory Arcangel has written a 'novel' based on selected tweets which include the phrase "working on my novel"...

There are a lot of novels currently in-progress if Arcangel's collection of Twitter users' literary amibitions is anything to go by.

Opening with the perhaps slightly misguided, "Now that I have a great domain name I can start writing on my novel", Arcangel's new book features another 127 tweets which each suggest that the particular would-be author is, yes, finally getting down and working on some text. Finally doing it. No distractions! Nope. Apart from Twitter.

The tweets were originally sourced via the artist's Twitter account at @wrknonmynovel and, in book form, have been ordered into a kind of journey from optimistic beginnings through to self-flagellation and time-is-running-out cries for help.

But along the way there's a distinct buoyed-up feeling of finally getting down to some writing, however deluded this might prove to be.

In one sense it's a book about distraction. Many of the tweeters are keen to list (blame?) the things that are keeping them from working on their novel: films, cafes and drinking feature. (This would also have to include being on Twitter).

But it also says something about how people find the time to be creative and how they deal with this when they do. Free time, it seems, can be such a rare event that, in finding it, many feel they have to tell people about it. But as soon as they're done hashtagging – it's back to the book. #iamwriting.

Working On My Novel by Cory Arcangel is published by Particular Books on July 31 (£5.99). Arcangel's site is at coryarcangel.com.

ShellsuitZombie: Undead but here to help you

Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper | Comments Off

'Zombie Day 2013'. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

Studio ShellsuitZombie has made a name for itself through its magazine made "by graduates for graduates" and its events programme for young creatives. Five issues in and fresh from appearances at D&AD New Blood and Leefest, design lead Alex Vissaridis explains how the zombies have continued to move beyond print...

CR has known of the Zombies' work since it launched its first issue of SSZ in 2010. And we were only too happy to be interviewed for its second issue a year later. (We tried to play darts and talk at the same time – but both the arrows and the interview suffered, so we moved to a table.)

That was where we met Jonny Burch, the graduate who originally founded the SSZ project with Andrew Muir Wood.

Shellsuit Zombie at D&AD New Blood 2014. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

Initially, SSZ billed itself as "the antidote to the existing design press". Four years in and their stance is still the same, if put a little more diplomatically.

"ShellsuitZombie is a project run by and for the benefit of young creatives," runs the SSZ About page. "Through our printed publication, website and regular events, talks and workshops we aim to represent the young voice in an industry too often dominated by the voices of those much older than ourselves."

The whole point of the SSZ team is that it changes and evolves over time – providing many young artists, illustrators and designers with an opportunity to work both in print, online and on events.

CR talked to one of its longer-serving members, lead designer Alex Vissaridis, about where SSZ is now, where it's going, and what graduates and creatives can do to get themselves and their work in front of people.

Cover of issue five of Shellsuit Zombie by Chris (Simpsons artist). Photograph: ShellsuitZombie


CR: Can you sum up what the aim of issue 5 of SSZ is – what do you hope people get from it? Is it satisfying working on something that's designed to help young creatives, that gives out advice etc?

AV: ShellsuitZombie is a creative outlet as much as it is a source of advice for young creatives; we regularly involve our readership in our projects, be they the magazine, the blog or an event where we curate interactive/live art. It's an excuse to try something new, and get involved in some projects you might not otherwise have access to.

Young people learn very quickly when challenged with solving a problem on a tight deadline, so it feels great to be involved in creating something that gives them the platform to show off what they've got.

Comic in SSZ5 by Bridget Meyne


CR: For those who might be new to the magazine, can you shed some light on how SSZ is put together? You call upon a wide group of talent, but how do you find your collaborators? Who heads up everything and coordinates it?

AV: ShellsuitZombie is headed up by 5 'lead zombies' who oversee the editorial, design, events, artist liaison and general direction of the collective, and the two founder/directors, Jonny Burch and Andrew Muir Wood. The wider collective then includes a further 20 designers, writers, illustrators, technologists and ad creatives, and each project is steered by a different mini project team.

Comic in SSZ5 by Kate Ducker

ShellsuitZombie is a side-project for all of us; we each have our own full-time careers, so SSZ is our extra little creative outlet. None of us get paid for what we do, so we always try and delegate jobs as much as possible to share the load. If we're working on a project that calls for the input of our readership, such as the magazine, we'll put out a brief on our blog and select our collaborators from the proposals that best fit the brief.

SSZ5 illustration by Jonny Clapham


CR: You're a bigger team these days; so do you work in the same space when putting an issue together, or each take stuff away to work on? Where was this issue was produced?

AV: We have members and contributors all over the UK, so a lot of discussion happens online, but we meet as often as we can in small groups, usually in London because that's where most of us are based. With this issue, we had eight designers working remotely on two or three spreads each, so WeTransfer and Google Docs were our best friends when it came to organising and putting everything together.

SSZ5 illustration by Russell Taysom


CR: The areas you cover in this issue – money, employment and so on – do they come out of concerns that the creatives you work with have? What tend to be the most frequent worries people have? And what, do you think, is the best way to try and allay their fears?

AV: Yeah, money and employment are the root of most worries. We're also seeing people graduating feeling under-prepared for the industry, getting stuck in underpaid jobs where their creativity isn't utilised and feeling forced to do too many unpaid internships with no prospect of a paid job at the end.

Our advice is: it might be a hard time to find decent work, but it's never been easier to get your ideas out there if you hustle and use the tools and channels that are freely available. If work/uni isn't providing the learning, development or creative satisfaction you crave, seek it out for yourself; get involved with extra-curricular projects or, even better, start your own things. Be patient, and learn from your mistakes.

SSZ5 illustration by Matt Roff


CR: Once printed, you distribute SSZ to universities; but is having a presence at something like D&AD also important for you to get the message out? You dress up sometimes, too, right? (As zombies, I mean, nothing weird...)

AV: Definitely! ShellsuitZombie has always enjoyed a presence at New Blood, and all previous issues of the mag have launched in early July to coincide with the festival. D&AD offers us amazing access to a huge pool of graduate talent every year, and it's great fun having everyone from across the UK all in one place. However, we realise that not everybody can afford or gets selected to come down, so this year, we were looking at ways to help out the underdogs, and we put extra effort into our magazine distribution to get it out to as many unis as possible.

SSZ at New Blood 2014. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

On our stand at New Blood this year we built a set of shelves to display interesting work and some strange artefacts from students who weren't able to come to the event (and some students who were there too). It became quite a talking point, particularly when we exhibited pieces from other creative disciplines like product design.

We also ran portfolio crits, collaborated with Dare on a tech-based ideas workshop and hosted our famously raucous creative challenge event: the Face Off. This year we focused on getting as much industry involvement in our activities as possible, making it a fun and valuable experience for all.

Portfolio crit at New Blood 2014. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

There was no dressing up this time around, unfortunately, but I did dress as a neon zombie in a shellsuit at last year's festival, and had a photo of me printed in the following issue of Creative Review. I'd pretend I was embarrassed, but who am I kidding? It was great fun! I think my parents are really proud of me, too.

Face Off session at New Blood. Photograph: Alex Aitchson

CR: How can people get involved with the production of the next issue of SSZ, be they illustrators, designers or writers?

AV: We'll be announcing the brief for the mag on the blog and through Twitter and Facebook later this year! We're also looking for brands, agencies and universities to support the magazine and the other projects we do. If you're interested in being involved with SSZ, give us a shout at team@shellsuitzombie.co.uk.

Quote, on left, by Teagan Robinson, one of the writers who worked on SSZ5


CR: Finally, you've just returned from the music and arts festival, Leefest. What took place there?

AV: Leefest is an independent, not-for-profit festival in south London that we've had a presence at for a couple of years. This year, we built a house out of recycled materials and furniture, and invited artists, illustrators and architects to make themselves at home. It was like a giant three-day house party, in a field, with 2,000 guests.

SSZ at Leefest. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

We worked with the likes of Kingston architecture student Farisa Khan; installation and performance collective Brainchild; music technologist Yuli Levtov; tape artist Benjamin Murphy; and gifted illustrators Biff, Betty Woodhouse and Emily Calland.

They populated our 'house' with a Twister bed, an illustrated dining table, an interactive sound and light installation, a decorated bathtub, a six foot illustration of a human heart and more. We filled a bookshelf with self-published 'zines generously donated by our readers, alongside big titles in the independent magazine world, mainly sourced through Stack Magazines. And we built a giant bench out of pallets for people to read them on.

SSZ at Leefest. Photograph: ShellsuitZombie

To find out more about ShellsuitZombie and to read issues 1-4 of the magazine, visit shellsuitzombie.co.uk. They are also on Twitter via @ShellsuitZombie (Alex is @vizzee).

What’s in the August issue?

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

Our August issue – a CGI special – is out next week. Subscribers get their copies first and it costs less than if you buy it in the shops. A bargain. Make sure you receive CR first each month by subscribing here...

And if you subscribe by Monday July 22, you'll received the August edition of CR as your first issue.

So what's in it this month, we hear you cry?

Well, in this issue we turn the spotlight on CGI and talk 'teamwork' with several of the industry's leading practitioners such as Smoke & Mirrors, Taylor James and Stanley's Post. We also have interviews with photographer Giles Revell and 3D artist, Ben Koppel.

Carl Burgess (More Soon) argues that, aside from generating beautiful work, digital image-making is a vital antidote to our current obsession with handmade nostalgia; and Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones talk us through the film they made for the Meltdown festival, which worked VFX house Glassworks to the limit.

There are also features on the new Disobedient Objects show at the V&A, which features art and design made by protest groups; while the Royal College of Art's critical writing in art and design programme introduce their new book charting the history of the college's student publication, Ark. Plus we review the British Folk Art exhibition at Tate Britain and the Digital Revolution show at the Barbican.

Here's the cover (below), based on a concept by Carl Burgess and features artwork by Komba3D (which is available from TurboSquid.com).

If you're not yet a CR subscriber – why not take one out today? Order by Monday and the August issue will be the first issue delivered to you. Visit our Shopify page, here.

AOI unveils online winners archive

Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Digital, Illustration | Comments Off

The Association of Illustrators has just launched a useful new addition to its website; a searchable archive of all the winning work from its AOI Awards since 2002...

New Talent and Professional Award winners from the past 12 years now have their own dedicated section on theaoi.com. Users can search by year, artist name and also categories which include 'books', 'editorial' and 'self-initiated' work.

Click an artist's name on the main menu and alongside examples of their work are details of the brief behind their winning entry, and plenty of biographical information.

The AOI's Winner Archive is at theaoi.com.

The Computer Virus Catalog

Posted: July 15th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Digital, Illustration | Comments Off

Inspired by the "dark side of computing," Amsterdam-based designer Bas van de Poel has launched an illustrated online guide to some of the world's most destructive computer viruses.

The Computer Virus Catalog charts twenty viruses dating from the 1960s to the present day. Some are fairly harmless - from an animated worm wishing users Happy New Year and one which triggers lichen-inspired visuals when keyboards are inactive - while others have wiped out entire hard drives and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Each entry is accompanied by an original illustration from a different creative, and contributors include HORT, Jonathan Zawada, Sarah Mazzetti, Karborn and Mike Perry. "I approached artists whose work I really like, and tried to create a nice mix of designers, illustrators and artists," says van de Poel.

“I've always had a great interest in the dark side of computing. Things like the NSA, underground TOR networks and viruses really fascinate me, and it seemed to be an interesting area to explore creatively,” he adds.

The project is ongoing and as well as adding more viruses to the site, van de Poel hopes to publish the collection in book form. For now, you can see the full set here.

Top: LSD, illustrated by Clay Hickson, overwrites computer users files' before displaying a hallucinogeic-inspired video

Above: Madman, illustrated by Jay Wright, causes an ASCII image of an angry red faced man to appear whenever computer users hit CTRL-ALT-DEL. Hit the keyboard again and the virus displays the message: 'Nothing can save you here, friend - you're in my world now!'

Nople, illustrated by Merijn Hos, invades local networks displaying furry graphics and the message 'It is the hour to format your disc!'


Implant, illustrated by Karborn, displays a hi res photograph of a topless blonde woman. On rebooting, it erases the infected computer's hard drive

Anna Kournikova, illustrated by Sarah Mazzetti, poses as an email containing an image of the tennis player before invading and emailing Outlook users' contact lists...

Skulls, illustrated by Anthony Burrill, corrupts Nokia phones sending malicious links to contacts and draining batteries

Ika-Tako, illustrated by Saïd Kinos, replaces photos, applications and system files on Windows PCs with images of squids

Lichen, illustrated by Jonathan Zawada, produces lichen-inspired visuals whenever users' keyboards are inactive for more than a minute


Cookie Monster, by Lawrence Slater. Allegedly the world's first computer virus, it freezes activity until users type the word 'cookie'