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How our December cover was created

Posted: November 25th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography | Comments Off

The cover of our December Photography Annual issue features a new digital finishing technique developed by Precision Printing that creates a high-build, super glossy finish

The two images from our Photography Annual which feature on the front and back covers of CR this month have been framed with a cross-hathc pattern that recalls Polaroid prints. In addition, the images themselves have been treated with a high-build finish that raises them proud of the surface of the cover paper.

The process, known as Lustre Enhancement, uses polymer to create texture and a high-build effect on designated areas rather like traditional UV varnishes. Unlike UV, however, it can be used to produce one-offs or, in combination with data files, personalised versions of each copy. The height of the polymer can also be varied across a sheet and the technique can even be used to produce foil-like finishes.

Precision created Lustre Enhancement using technology developed some four years ago by the Israeli firm Scodix. Our covers were initially litho printed and then sealed. Once they were dry, the Lustre process created the pattern around the frame of our cover images and the high-build effect on the images themselves. The area on which the finish was to be applied was stipulated by creating an Illustrator file, just as you would for a conventional UV varnish.

While Lustre is tough and resistant to the kind of wear and tear magazines endure both in binding and on the shelf, it is advisable not to apply it either right up to the edge of the sheet or where a sheet may be folded or creased. Otherwise cracking or peeling may occur. Because of the very high build of the varnish, we also had to use a different bindery to ensure that the copies ran smoothly through the process.

For the CR covers, "We pushed the technology very hard," says Precision sales and marketing director Simon Lythe who estimates that the job took between 40 and 50 hours on press.

While for our cover we have just applied the high-build effect to each cover image in its entirety, it is possible to pick out specific areas, just as you might with a spot UV. We could also have varied the height of the build across the sheet using different layers.

An effect similar to metallic foil can also be achieved by laying a sheet of silver laminate across the sheet before applying the high-build.

All of this can be personalised or done on very short runs: Lythe says that Precision do a lot of one-off jobs, for example, which just would not be viable using traditional UV varnish or foiling.

Although Lythe sees a great deal of potential for the technique in producing DM materials or personalised invitations, he says it is also being used for Braille printing as individual characters can be raised up from the paper surface, rather like embossing.

[Doing the Creative Review cover] is such a wonderful showcase for Lustre Enhancement," Lythe says. "We're really saying to the creative world, ‘where can you take this next'?"

See more about Lustre Enhancement and what it can do at precisionprinting.com

If you subscribe now (details here) you will still be in time to recieve our December Photography Annual issue


How to land that dream job and more student advice

Posted: November 24th, 2014 | Author: Pip Jamieson | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography | Comments Off

Poster by Andy J MIller as featured in the Advice to Sink in Slowly calendar. See below for details

 

As founder of creative community The Dots, Pip Jamieson knows a thing or two about getting started in the creative industries. Here's her (extremely comprehensive) guide for students and graduates looking to land that dream job, plus some Advice to Sink in Slowly


The scary thing about our industry 
is that while there are more creative jobs than ever before, the competition is fierce. Since starting professional creative community The Dots, incredibly talented juniors are always asking me for tips on how to get that all-important foot in the door.

To be honest there is no single thing that will land you that dream job, but after compiling tips from creative directors, artists, agencies, recruiters, industry bodies and lecturers I now firmly believe there is a combination of steps you can take; a secret sauce in a way, that if checked off will guarantee you're leagues ahead of others vying for your dream gig.

 

BEFORE GRADUATION GET PREPARED!
If you're a student in your final year or a junior looking for that first elusive job, before you even start applying for jobs it's best to get all your ducks in a row.

Before graduation, make sure you allocate enough time to work on your portfolio, cover letter, website, profile on The Dots and identity. This is a massive project in itself, but I guarantee it will set you up for life.

 

1. Work on Personal Projects

One of my all time favorite quotes is "If your portfolio reflects nothing personal, then it might as well be someone else's" .
All the Creative Directors we've worked with have been massive fans of portfolios that include self-initiated personal projects. In the end, these CDs review hundreds of portfolios, and if they only include responses to university briefs, they start looking a bit same-y. Including personal projects in your portfolio will not only help your portfolio stand out, but will show that you're a self-starter who's passionate about design. Below are some top tips on how to get the ball rolling with personal projects:

Create a Personal Identity
Let's face it, your own brand is the most valuable brand you'll ever work on and one of the only projects you'll have complete creative license over.

Do an Internship
Internships are an amazing opportunity to get real-world experience, build up your portfolio of work and make contacts that can last a lifetime. If you are at university, ask if they have an internship programme. If they don't, lobby for one! Also, more and more job boards have internship roles appearing. Obviously I'd recommend The Dots but hey I'm biased. There are loads more out there, just Google "Internships."
As long as they're paid and well structured, internships are an amazing opportunity to get real-world experience and build up their portfolio of work.

Enter Competitions
Competition pieces are a step above student work. If you don't win at least you have some great content for your portfolio. If you do win it's an amazing way to get your work and name out there. Fantastic competitions include D&AD New Blood, YCN Professional Awards, RSA Student Design Awards, The Lovie Awards, IPA Awards and Design Council Ones To Watch. But there are loads more.

Ask a Creative Director for a Brief
Contacting a Creative Director that inspires you, and asking them for a brief, is not only an amazing way to challenge yourself creatively, but if the CD likes your response they may even offer you a job.

Help out a Friend or Family Member
Friends and family always need creative services, be it designing their wedding or party invites, an identity for their business, a new website, some copywriting, social marketing tips etc. You'll not only get fresh content for your portfolio and resume, but also win major brownie points in the process.

Collaborate
Find a group of university friends you love working with (or approach people you respect on The Dots and start collaborating. Come up with your own passion project - be it doing an exhibition, a zine, a pop up store, a product range, an installation, hosting a creative event - whatever goes really. It's a great way to show potential employers that you are self-starting, with a true passion for creativity.

 

Poster by Simon Vince for Advice to Sink In Slowly Calendar



2. Get your portfolio / Resume ship shape

A well-crafted portfolio is a gateway to opportunities. Essentially it's your calling card. The better the portfolio, the more juicy the role.

Get Organised:
Throughout university make sure you compile all your briefs and projects in one spot; it will make it so much easier to organize your portfolio when the time comes.

Keep Project & Brief Notes
A well-written project description that allows companies to understand the brief and constraints is a really important component of your portfolio, since you're not always present to explain. So when you complete each project keep a written overview of the brief while it's still fresh in your mind. Trying to remember what you did, and why, a year ago can be a massive headache.

Revisit Old Student Briefs
Revisit old student briefs you enjoyed working on, but could have done better. Spruce them up with your newfound knowledge and feedback from your lecturers and friends. Employers will never know it's your second cut.

Cull, Cull, Cull
Don't worry if your portfolio isn't bursting at the seams. While it might be tempting to add filler content, less is actually more. Remember the average quality of your portfolio is brought down by your worst projects, so culling your portfolio back to just your best projects is definitely the way to go. Less is more - or as we like to say in the office ‘all killer, no filler'.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If you've collaborated on a project, it's great practice to credit those you worked with - it's not only the right thing to do, but it also gives more credibility to your own portfolio. In the end there is nothing worse than being caught out claiming full credit for a project that an employer then discovers is not wholly your own work.
Get Your Work Professionally Photographed
A beautifully shot portfolio will enhance your work. However, if you're not a dab hand with the camera, don't worry. The great thing about The Dots (sorry shameless plug) is that amazing photographers (http://the-dots.co.uk/creatives/Photographer) are only a click away.

Include a Resumé
In many of the larger companies it will be Human Resource Managers who do the first cull of portfolios, not someone within the creative department. So even if your work is incredible you might not make the shortlist unless you give them a feel for your background and experience, including where you went to university, your skills, past employers and clients.

Proof Read
It's a really obvious one, but often gets overlooked. When you apply for roles make sure you pay attention to detail. Companies are looking for reasons to cull the huge number of portfolios that hit their desk each day. So don't give them one.

Attend A Portfolio Masterclass
Sometimes it's hard to take an impartial view on what should and shouldn't be in your portfolio. I guess that's why we will soon be hosting Portfolio Masterclasses, a great opportunity to get your portfolio reviewed by leading creatives. Find out about the next class by following our profile.

 

 

3. Promote Yourself!

Now you've got an amazing portfolio raring to go it's time to get busy promoting yourself.

Submit your work to blogs & publications
Getting featured on blogs and in publications (such as Creative Review) is an incredibly powerful way to build recognition.

Create business cards
Now you've got an identify up and running, design and print some personal business cards to hand out at graduation shows, conferences, events and interviews.

Create a physical portfolio
Things are starting to move online, but the more traditional employers still want the tactile experience of viewing a physical portfolio at interviews. When it comes to printing your portfolio every senior creative I've worked with has had a firm opinion on design. ... keep it simple ... your work should be given centre stage.

Create a website
Get a website up and a domain name. The best domain names include your full name. Unless you're a dab hand at coding, don't worry about building your own website. Simply use a website building tool. My favourites are Cargo Collective () and Square Space, which are really easy to use and customize.

Create a free profile on The Dots
I may be biased but I reallybelieve this really is the best way to get your portfolio of work online and in front of the best collaborators, jobs, companies and clients. Over 1,000 + UK/EU companies use the site to hire talent - some of which are TATE, V&A, Frieze, Designers Block, Tent, Vice, Spotify, BBC, Net-a-Porter, Wolff Olins, Pentagram, Universal Music, Random International, AKQA, Condé Nast, Twitter, V&A, W+K, Guardian and many more.

 

Poster by Ben Javens

 

4. Network your socks off

The contacts you make as a junior can last a lifetime.

Immerse yourself in creative events
Including gallery openings, exhibitions, workshops, talks, networking events etc. They're not only great for inspiration, but also a fantastic opportunity to network. Great ones include Glug, Here, Nicer Tuesdays, D&AD Events but there are heaps more, just check for updates on The Dots.

Make the most out of your Grad Shows
Graduation shows are an incredible opportunity to come face-to-face with leading creative employers. It's all too tempting to hang with your mates and celebrate the end of year, but try to come out of your comfort zone and network with people milling around. They could turn out to be your future boss.

Join Industry Bodies
Join industry bodies such as D&AD, AOI, IPA etc and get access to industry events, news and promotional opportunities. They can be a bit pricey, so only join if you can afford it.

 

5. The all important cover letter

Cover letters are a pain, but can make all the difference.

Create a template
Before you graduate I'd get a really great template together that is easy to customise.

Make it relevant
In each cover letter include a section where you talk about the role and why you'd be perfect for it.

Praise the company
Every employer wants to hire people that are passionate about their work and brand. So take a couple of lines to reflect on how amazing their company is and why you'd love to work for them.

Design it
95% of cover letters are written, usually on a really boring word doc. If you want to stand out from the crowd a well-designed letter, including your personal identity, will put you leagues ahead.

Keep it short
Employers are time poor and have hundreds of applications hitting their inbox, so you need to keep your cover letters short and sweet. A good rule of thumb is to time yourself reading the letter; if it takes over a minute to read, edit it back.

Don't forget your contact details
I can't tell you how many amazing covers letters I've received that forget to add contact details. So make sure you include your name, email address, website url and link to your profile on The Dots (www.the-dots.co.uk). Employers need to know how to find you.

 

Poster by Gemma Correll

 

6. Take a break after graduation

So now you've got all your ducks in a row; a kickass portfolio, resume, cover letter, a profile on The Dots, a website and a couple of internships under you belt, what's next?

Take a break
You've got the rest of your life to work, so enjoy that freedom. See friends, party, travel, volunteer, chill - whatever floats your boat, you've earned it. It's also great preparation for that all-important first gig, as you've got the freedom out of your system and you'll be ready to throw yourself into your career.

Check your emails
Make sure you quickly check your email at least three times a week. There would be nothing worse than coming back from an amazing break and finding you'd missed out on that dream job offer.

 

 

7. Time to land that dream job, apply for roles.


Keep in touch with your lecturers and careers advisors from university

Many creative companies ask universities for advice on their star performers, so keeping in touch will ensure you're top of mind.

Research companies and hit them up directly
Research companies you'd love to work for and drop them a line direct to see if they have any roles going.

Keep interning
Unless you're one of those lucky graduates who lands a job straight out of university, keep interning while searching for jobs. You'll keep your skills fresh and, if you make a good enough impression, the internship could evolve into a full-time job.

Get Creative
Two candidates I know landed jobs at a leading agency by holding the domain names of the top creative directors to ransom, in return for a meeting with them. They then showed up at a number of agencies, with a camera and wearing balaclavas to present their portfolio. And while I'm not advocating trying the same stunt (it's been done so don't go there) it does prove that coming up with a unique and innovative way to get in-front of a company can work.

Set up job alerts & apply
Hit jobs boards - like the one on The Dots - and set up job alerts and start applying.

Pay attention to the details when applying for jobs
It's really important to read job descriptions carefully and check if an employer has, for example, specified what type of portfolio they want to see. If an employer has asked to see an online portfolio, make sure that's what you send, and not a PDF or Word document.

Personalise your application
When you apply for jobs make sure you direct your application to the right person, don't just address it "Dear Sir/Madam". If you're not sure who the right person is simply call the company and check, they won't mind.
Don't forget to include your cover letter

Reengage with contacts
Email past contacts you made while interning, at events, at conferences etc. Let them know you've recently graduated and ask if they've heard of any great roles going.

 


8. Time to land that dream job, prepare for interview

Spending time preparing for interviews will not only improve your chances of landing the job but will also reduce the nervous energy that builds up before an interview.

Swot up on the company
Before interviews, research the company. Who are their clients? What are their areas of expertise? The more you know about the company, the more the company will believe you really want to work there.

Prepare questions
Prepare some questions to ask at your interview. Employers will invariably ask if
you have any questions during the interview, getting a blank response simply shows you're just not that interested.

Know your audience and plan your wardrobe accordingly
Before you rock up for an interview get a feel for what kind of environment they work in; formal, or informal. Believe me there's nothing worse than rocking up for an interview in a suit if the person interviewing you is in jeans, and visa versa.

Prepare physical examples of your work to bring to the interview
During an interview if you're showing a print piece in your portfolio, studios like it if you bring a copy of the actual piece with you, as it gives them something tactile to relate to.

Write a script about each project
Communication in an interview is key. Employers don't want to just see your project, they want to understand your thinking behind it. A top tip is to draft a script explaining each project ahead of time, which you can read just before an interview to refresh your memory. It will take the pressure off big time.

 

9. Time to land that dream job, interview time

Leave a calling card
An employer may see as many as eight people in a day while interviewing, so all too often the interviewees can blur. Leaving behind a calling card is a great way to refresh an interviewer's mind when they come to reviewing candidates; be it a business card, a piece of your work.... Or the wonderful Jeremy Wortsman from The Jacky Winter Group has gone as far as to say he'd hire anyone who brings him muffins... magic!

Follow up straight after
When you get home after the interview drop the person that interviewed you a note to say how lovely it was to meet them; it's a nice touch that shows you're not only passionate about the role but also efficient and professional.

Ask for feedback
If you didn't get the job, spin it to your advantage and ask for feedback. It will help you better prepare for the next big interview.

Be passionate and let your personality shine
Something I hear time and time again from companies is that they see lots of great creative graduates, but not that many great people. In the end companies are looking for creatives that will work well in their organisation, so if you're not friendly, passionate and personable they'll simply hire someone else. Oh and always wear a smile.

Be humble
Don't say you're a great designer; say you want to be a great designer. Employers are looking for team players that they can mould, not people who think they know it all. It doesn't matter how talented you are, if they get a feeling you're going to be a pain in the arse they won't hire you.

 

 

10. That first job!

So you've landed that all-important first job, but that's not a reason to take your foot off the gas. Quite the reverse in fact. First jobs are invariably not all you dreamt of; essentially you're doing the donkey work that no one else wants to do. But work hard, be professional and soak up as much as you can and you'll be promoted before you know it.

Read
Read ‘How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul'

Find a mentor
Identify which person in the office you aspire to be like in 5 years and ask them to be a mentor; they'll be honoured and you'll get someone to lean on if you need it.

Make yourself indispensable
Take on every task with open arms and ask for more if you have down time.

Be a sponge
You're there to learn, so lap it up.

Be lovely to everyone
Unfortunately not everyone out there is nice, but don't make enemies, they can last a lifetime.

Take it on the chin and get on with it
You're not going to love all of the tasks that are given to you, unfortunately that's the reality of work, but be enthusiastic about everything, work hard and always wear a smile. The more you jump to every task, the more you'll get to work on the fun stuff.

Be part of the conversation
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Talent only takes you so far, being passionate and a real contributor will take you the whole nine yards. There's always a fine line between passion and arrogance, so learn to get a feel for how people react to your suggestions and adjust accordingly.

Work your socks off
It's a simple equation - the harder you work, the faster you'll get promoted.

Ask for feedback
The more you ask for feedback, even if it's negative, the faster you'll grow as a designer. If you come to work every day with a big smile on your face, work hard, seem genuinely eager to learn and make yourself indispensible your boss will be more inclined to help you get to that next level.

 

Pip Jamieson is founder of creative community The Dots

 

Founded by John Stanbury in 2006, Advice to Sink in Slowly provides free illustrated posters to first year art students bearing wise advice and words of inspiration from established creatives. The aim, says Stanbury, is to provide advice in a creative format that "people will want to live with, and which can let advice sink in slowly and be there to help out later on."

Its first wall calendar is priced at £15, with all proceeds going towards producing and distributing new posters. It's a worthy cause, and features work by a host of great illustrators. Design: We Three Club.
Buy a copy at advicetosinkinslowly.net


CR December: The Photography Annual

Posted: November 21st, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

December's CR is a double issue and features our Photography Annual; 80-pages of the best in editorial, advertising, fashion, stock and personal work...

This year's Photography Annual (in association with Precision Printing) includes some fantastic imagery from a wide range of experienced practitioners and relative newcomers. We launched the special issue last night at the Design Museum and were able to celebrate the achievements of those whose work is featured in its pages and the seven projects which were judged Best in Book. Congratulations to all.

Flip the issue over, and up front in the regular CR half we look at how Precision Printing worked to produce this year's Photography Annual cover; take a look at the best of this year's Christmas ads; and look at the Barry Island climbing wall which doubles as an art installation. We also have Bagpuss as we 'almost' new him.

In the columns, Daniel Benneworth-Gray struggles to cope with two new demanding clients in his life – a poorly wife and child; while in Logo Log, Michael Evamy explores the power of punctuation in branding – on the back of the NSPCC's recent logo redesign.

Kicking off our main features, Patrick Burgoyne talks to designer Vince Frost about his new self-helf book, Design Your Life. In it Frost explains how the same design principles which work for clients can be applied to making our personal lives better.

 

Patrick also investigates the social and political challenges that our ageing populations pose to Western economies – and looks at the opportunities that might arise, too.

Eliza Williams examines a year in which native advertising established itself as a controversial presence in our media landscape...

...and in using materials that change colour in the wind – or even react to brain activity – Rachael Steven talks to The Unseen, an 'exploration house' effortlessly combining art and chemistry.

French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien is much in-demand at the moment and Mark Sinclair talks to him about his work to date as he leaves his adopted home of London for New York.

 

Five years ago, Sophie Ebrand swapped life as an advertising account manager for that of a professional photographer – and she's never looked back. Eliza Williams meets her.

In Crit, Jean Grogan attends a Paris conference on the work of type designer, artist and ad man Roger Excoffon, whose work is enjoying something of a revival at the moment...

... and Craig Oldham is also conference bound – to Manchester's People's History Museum for an event dedicated to the history of the political poster in Britain.

Finally, Paul Belford celebrates a type-only poster designed by the late Alan Fletcher which proves that working counter-intuitively can pay off in a big way.


Unit9 presents launches live action zombie game

Posted: November 19th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Unit9 has teamed up with a student director and producer to launch a live action zombie game sponsored by G-Shock. The game was launched under Unit9 presents, a scheme helping new creatives make interactive content combining film and gameplay...

Released online today, Five Minutes was directed by Maximilian Niemann and produced by Felix Faisst, both students at Germany’s Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
. It begins with footage of a character in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, who is worried he may be 'infected' and has five minutes to decide whether to shoot himself and avoid joining the undead.

As the character John explains, the first symptom of infection is memory loss: the game switches between his flashbacks and attempts to defend himself and his daughter against attacking zombies. Viewers asked to tap, swipe and draw shapes with their finger or mouse to help fire guns, unlock doors and escape through a forest.

It's a compelling (and gory) piece of film and gameplay is fairly simple but engaging, although a little tricky for the not-so-steady of hand using a mouse. Players can choose from one of three levels of difficulty and can pause and replay parts of the game at any time. After a gruesome ending, they are also invited to share their score online.

To make the film, Niemann and Faisst taught themselves how to code and built a custom HTML framework, meaning the game can be played on any tablet or desktop device without installing an app. While it's not an official ad, the project was sponsored by G-Shock and features the brand's watches throughout (they are worn by both John and his daughter and used to count down throughout the five-minute period).

The pair came up with the idea for the film last year and pitched it to Unit9, who helped develop and release it. They have since been signed to the company for commercial work, although have still to finish their final year of studies. "Our goal was to create a different form of advertisement which involves the viewer in a fun and emotional way," they explain. "Although the viewer knows or has the feeling this is branded content, he should be able to enjoy it, to experience the brand without being constantly reminded of the product."

The project is one of several self-initiated interactive experiences that Unit9 has helped emerging directors produce and promote: in the past two years, it has worked with The Kissinger Twins on two interactive web films, Sufferosa and The Trip; a short film inspired by Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series by Gevorg Karensky and The Most Northern Place, a web experience telling the fascinating story of Qaanaaq, an Inuit settlement and one of the world's northernmost towns.

Five Minutes is the first film to be produced under the Unit9 presents name, and co-founder Piero Frescobaldi says the company is keen to work with more creatives who can make engaging interactive content.

"Up until a few years ago, a lot of people in the digital interactive industry were pushing boundaries, and brands were braver," says Frescobaldi.

"For various reasons, it seems everyone is a little less willing to experiment. It's just a thing that happens cyclically, and I'm sure things will change, but it feels like everyone has retreated into their shell a little. It's up to us as creatives to just go out and make things, or promote people who do, and revitalise the industry that way, rather than waiting for the perfect brief," he explains.

While Unit9 presents will help promote and make films, Frescobaldi says creatives looking to work with the agency have to do more than just pitch an idea. "With Five Minutes, [Niemann and Faisst] came to me with an idea, they had shot some of the footage and written it, and I thought it was good, but told them I thought they should try and push it forward, to see what else they could do with it. A few months later, they sent me a link and had created a really engaging, emotional piece of work by teaching themselves to code," he says.

"What's amazing is that [Niemann and Faisst] are able to think about everything from colour grading and camera angles, to how it will work in HTML5. Nowadays, I think that is really important and I'm very excited, as I think we're starting to see a generational shift - young people who have an innate understanding of interactive technology and gameplay, who are training themselves in new mediums,” he says.

While there is no limit on the number of projects Unit9 presents will take on, Frescobaldi says it will only do so if the idea is sufficiently interesting, and directors show real promise.

"If students can make things like [Five Minutes], we can help with scripting and developing it, or using our following to market it and promote it," he adds. "And in parallel to this, with Five Minutes, we have a representation deal."

A zombie horror game isn’t an obvious choice of medium for a watch brand, or perhaps any brand, to showcase its products – in most scenes, John’s watch is covered in blood and pictured alongside a gaping wound in his arm – but it is an engaging piece of content, and Frescobaldi hopes projects like Five Minutes will encourage more companies to commission more experimental content online.

“Of course, as this wasn’t an official ad [G-Shock] don’t have to get the approval of multiple people, or spend big budgets on it – they are supporting a student project – but I hope it will stimulate people to take more risks,” he adds.

Play the game online (over 18s only) at fiveminutes.gs


Weather forecasts were never so much fun

Posted: November 18th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital | Comments Off

In a rather sweet 'internet of things' experiment from Uniform, three different data-powered devices react to imminent weather conditions

"Weather Systems explores the potential to combine cloud based weather data with physical connected devices, to create simple glanceable alerts and engaging user interactions," Uniform say.

The studio created three devices that use online weather data from Dark Sky API to provide "real-time forecasts that accurately illustrate what the localised weather conditions will be over the next 10 minutes". Sort of like a barometer for the 21st century but more up to the minute.

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Weather alerts can be set up so that the devices are triggered if, for example heavy rain is imminent. Forthcoming weather can be checked by pressing the single button on each device.

Particularly nice is the Rain System which uses a series of pins that move up and down striking a metal plate, evoking the look and sound of water splashing.

The project came off the back of a client piece that Uniform were working on for the Met Office which took live feeds from weather ships and buoys and used it to generate live visuals on a flip-dot display for a V&A event during the London Design Festival

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The Creative Review Annual 2015 is open for entries

Posted: November 17th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

The Creative Review Annual 2015 is now open for entries. Enter by Friday 12th December to have your work featured in our showcase of the year's finest work.

As our major awards scheme, The Annual celebrates the best in visual communications from the past year, and showcases great work to both peers and potential clients from the wider creative community.

Each year, our panel of industry experts chooses the work that they feel represents the best of the year across advertising, design, digital and music videos, for publication in our special double issue of Creative Review in May.

For more details and to submit your entry, click here

 


Information is Beautiful Awards 2014

Posted: November 16th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration | Comments Off

The winners of this year's Information is Beautiful Awards include a day in the life of a New York taxi, a comparison of selfie styles in five cities, an analysis of rap lyrics and an investigation into refugee movements

Chris Whong's NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life won Gold in Motion Infographics. It visualises taxi trip data from 2013, showing the activities of a single taxi on a single day. Whong obtained data on 170 million taxi trips from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. The trips of 30 cabs were analysed for the project. As the data only included the start and end points for each trip, Whong ran the data through Google's Directions API to map the most direct routes for each journey - although these are not necessarily exactly the same routes that the actual taxi took.

 

Gold for Data Visualisation went to Rappers, Sorted by Size of Vocabulary by Matthew Daniels. The piece tries to compare the vocabularies of hip hop artists with each other and with both Shakespeare and Moby Dick. It took the first 35,000 words used by each rapper in their lyrics, the first 5,000 words in seven Shakespeare plays and the first 35,000 words in Moby Dick and looked for how many unique words were used.

 

The Refugee Project by Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma won Gold for Interactive. "Working with technologist Ekene Ijeoma, we created an interactive experience that illuminates where and when refugees emigrate, as well as the complex stories of political, social and economic turmoil behind each displacement. By adding historical context to the shifting patterns of forced migration, we highlight the impact each crisis has on people’s lives," say Hyperakt.

Deroy Peraza & Ekene Ijeoma: Visualized Feb 2014 New York from VISUALIZED on Vimeo.

 

In Infographics, RJ Andrews won Gold for Creative Routines. The piece visualises research by writer Mason Currey into how creative people organise their time in order to produce their work. "Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works". More here

 

 

Selfiecity by Moritz Stefaner won Gold in the Website category. The project analysed the demographics of people taking selfies, their poses and expressions in five cities. Shown below, for example, is a summary of the poses used by selfie-takers in Bangkok

"In every city we analysed, there are significantly more women selfies than men selfies (from 1.3 times as many in Bangkok to 1.9 times more in Berlin). Moscow is a strong outlier - here, we have 4.6 times more female than male selfies!" the creators say.

 

Sam Slover won the Student category for Wrap Genius: "For 12 weeks, I carefully tracked all of my grocery purchases and created a new visual framework to better understand it all. Where does my food come from? What are my healthiest and unhealthiest choices? Which foods have GMOs? I then created a Web framework that shows me all of this information and more. It's a new type of dream food label, designed for the interests of the consumer."

 

The Community award went to The Rite of Spring by Stephen Malinowski, an animated graphical score of Igor Stravinsky's masterpiece

 

While the prize for the Most Beautiful project went to RAW by Density Design Research Lab, which also won the Tool category.

 

See allthis year's award winners and more about the awards here

 


Information is Beautiful Awards 2014

Posted: November 16th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration | Comments Off

The winners of this year's Information is Beautiful Awards include a day in the life of a New York taxi, a comparison of selfie styles in five cities, an analysis of rap lyrics and an investigation into refugee movements

Chris Whong's NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life won Gold in Motion Infographics. It visualises taxi trip data from 2013, showing the activities of a single taxi on a single day. Whong obtained data on 170 million taxi trips from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. The trips of 30 cabs were analysed for the project. As the data only included the start and end points for each trip, Whong ran the data through Google's Directions API to map the most direct routes for each journey - although these are not necessarily exactly the same routes that the actual taxi took.

 

Gold for Data Visualisation went to Rappers, Sorted by Size of Vocabulary by Matthew Daniels. The piece tries to compare the vocabularies of hip hop artists with each other and with both Shakespeare and Moby Dick. It took the first 35,000 words used by each rapper in their lyrics, the first 5,000 words in seven Shakespeare plays and the first 35,000 words in Moby Dick and looked for how many unique words were used.

 

The Refugee Project by Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma won Gold for Interactive. "Working with technologist Ekene Ijeoma, we created an interactive experience that illuminates where and when refugees emigrate, as well as the complex stories of political, social and economic turmoil behind each displacement. By adding historical context to the shifting patterns of forced migration, we highlight the impact each crisis has on people’s lives," say Hyperakt.

Deroy Peraza & Ekene Ijeoma: Visualized Feb 2014 New York from VISUALIZED on Vimeo.

 

In Infographics, RJ Andrews won Gold for Creative Routines. The piece visualises research by writer Mason Currey into how creative people organise their time in order to produce their work. "Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works". More here

 

 

Selfiecity by Moritz Stefaner won Gold in the Website category. The project analysed the demographics of people taking selfies, their poses and expressions in five cities. Shown below, for example, is a summary of the poses used by selfie-takers in Bangkok

"In every city we analysed, there are significantly more women selfies than men selfies (from 1.3 times as many in Bangkok to 1.9 times more in Berlin). Moscow is a strong outlier - here, we have 4.6 times more female than male selfies!" the creators say.

 

Sam Slover won the Student category for Wrap Genius: "For 12 weeks, I carefully tracked all of my grocery purchases and created a new visual framework to better understand it all. Where does my food come from? What are my healthiest and unhealthiest choices? Which foods have GMOs? I then created a Web framework that shows me all of this information and more. It's a new type of dream food label, designed for the interests of the consumer."

 

The Community award went to The Rite of Spring by Stephen Malinowski, an animated graphical score of Igor Stravinsky's masterpiece

 

While the prize for the Most Beautiful project went to RAW by Density Design Research Lab, which also won the Tool category.

 

See allthis year's award winners and more about the awards here

 


Festival of Marketing 2014: why Airbnb’s rebrand was no disaster

Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design | Comments Off

Image via DesignStudio, which redesigned Airbnb's visual identity and created a new logo for the brand

The head of Airbnb's art department discussed reactions to the company's recent rebrand at the Festival of Marketing today, describing the public response to its logo as a "pleasant surprise".

Speaking to Design Week editor Angus Montgomery, Schapiro explained the reasons for the company's rebrand, the impact of the new identity on the company's communications and his surprise that it became one of the most talked about design stories of this year.

The lettings website launched its new look designed by London team DesignStudio in July (read our blog post on it here), which saw its original blue and white word marque replaced with the ‘belo', a universal symbol of belonging inspired by the idea of people, pleaces, love and community.

On social media, however, the logo was immediately likened to various body parts – from buttocks to male and female genitals. Within hours, the internet was awash with tumblr sites and memes pointing this out; the subject had trended on Twitter and was featured on mainstream news outlets from CNN to the Guardian and BBC.

Speaking to Montgomery, Schapiro described the social media response as incredible. "We expected it to be relevant and interesting to creatives and marketers," he said.

Asked why the rebrand caused such a fuss, aside from the obvious reasons, Schapiro said: "Most brands are very protective about what you can do with [their assets], so to challenge that notion and create something that's intended to be used and individualised across our community [Airbnb set up a site allowing people to create, download and share their own versions of the belo]... it was very disruptive."

While some media were quick to label the incident as a "disaster", Schapiro says the company was largely unphased by the public's response.

"Surprisingly, it wasn't difficult to deal with," said Schapiro. "[After working on it] for so many months, you'd expect it to be disheartening, but we all felt 100 percent confident that this was the right direction for the brand in the long term. We had to contextualise that [as an] immediate response," he added.

He also said the brand was used to controversy. "That's the nature of Airbnb – the concept of staying in someone's home, opening up yours is such a novel and new idea ... controversy isn't new to us," he explained.

Rather than ignoring the criticism online, Airbnb actively engaged with conversations surrounding the marque, with a social media team creating their own content in response and acknowledging the joke on Twitter.

"The [initial] conversation went on for about two or three days, and we continued with that strategy of responding to the situation," said Schapiro.

Four months on, he didn't mention whether the rebrand has had a significant impact on visits to the site, or transactions made on it, but Schapiro did say it has enabled the company's creative teams to create more engaging content and better share stories about Airbnb members.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall last week, for example, it released an animated film and website telling the story of two former border guards on opposing sides of the wall who were re-united after a chance meeting through Airbnb in 2012:

"It started out as a design project, but I have seen it elevate the entire company," he added. "Telling stories, for us, has always been a challenge ... this shift lets us share the message of our community globally."

The Festival of Marketing is a two-day conference organised by Centaur media brands, including Design Week, Econsultancy, Marketing Week, Celebrity Intelligence and CR. For details, see festivalofmarketing.com


Festival of Marketing 2014: How Lego uses social media

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Digital | Comments Off

Lego's global director of social media Lars Silberbauer gave a talk at the Festival of Marketing in London today explaining how the company uses social media to engage with consumers around the world.

Like most companies, Silbauer said Lego uses social platforms to create value in four ways: to increase sales, improve marketing efficiency, build "brand affinity" and as a damage control tool. With teams based in the UK, both US coasts, Denmark and Shanghai, Silberbauer said the brand aims to deliver content 24/7.

"There's always something happening on social media, and if we're not there [to engage with consumers] someone else will be," he said.

Citing seasonal campaigns such as 2012’s Happy Holliplay (case study below) and one promoting interactive game Life of George, which encouraged customers to build a character and take pictures of him in unusual locations, Silberbauer said Lego’s social content always aims to promote the idea of playing together and appeal to consumer's pride in their creations.

Most of its campaigns on social media encourage customers to share pictures of their own Lego builds, appealing to both adult and child fans, as well as proud parents who like to share photos of their children's creations.

He also highlighted how the company is using the internet to crowd source ideas for new products through its Lego Ideas platform. The site allows Lego fans to upload suggestions for new kits and products and if they get 10,000 votes, the idea is reviewed by Lego designers and marketing staff, with selected ideas put into production.

By building support for the product online before it's made, Silberbauer said the company doesn't need to spend further money marketing goods when they hit stores – "items are usually flying off the shelves," he said.

Although he cited damage control as one of the key functions of Lego's social media, Silberbauer didn't mention the company's handling of Greenpeace's online campaign urging the brand to end its partnership with Shell, but this was perhaps unsurprising, given Lego's stoic silence online during the period.

Pics promoting Lego during Hallowe'en, via Lego on Twitter

The brand released an initial statement online in July, stating it was a matter for Greenpeace and Shell and another in October before confirming it would not renew the partnership but declined to comment further on its site or social media platforms. (Given Greenpeace's aggressive approach to online campaigning and the success of its film and petition, this was probably a wise move).

Silberbauer did discuss other ways that Lego reacts in real time to events, however, mainly through short films and video content posted online, such as a recreation of Felix Baumgartner's jump from the Stratosphere made using space-themed Lego figures, shown below.

It also uses content posted by fans, and sold over $10,000 of merchandise on May 4 by using a fan image of a Star Wars Lego character to promote special offers.

With the brand's social content produced in-house, Silberbauer said staff are required to attend a course, pass an exam and receive a license before posting on behalf of Lego.

Likening social media to dating, he spoke about the importance of building "lasting connections" by not just posting content, but responding to customers, sharing their posts and creating camaigns that encouraged them to think imaginatively while actively engaging with the brand. "You have to be personal and human," he said.

Lars Silberbauer was speaking at the Festival of Marketing, the two-day conference organised by all Centaur's media brands, including Design Week, Econsultancy, Celebrity Intelligence, Marketing week and CR. Details here.