D&AD has introduced two new pencils to its awards line-up for 2015: wood and graphite. They will replace the old In Book and Nomination designations
D&AD's awards system has always been somewhat confusing for the uninitiated. Whereas other systems stick to gold, silver and bronze, D&AD's silvers were actually yellow and its golds, black.
In addition, work selected for inclusion in the annual (so-called In Book) was itself deemed to be award-winning, as was work which received the further accolade of being nominated for a pencil - whether yellow or black.
In an attempt to make things clearer, for 2015 D&AD is introducing a wood pencill and a graphite one, so if you get in the annual you'll also receive a trophy.
So, just to be clear, In Book is wood, Nominated is graphite, silver is yellow, gold is black and, er, white is white. And the President's Awards is gold. Clear? Well, there isn't a clear... yet.
CR reached 1m followers on Twitter today, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to look at some of our most retweeted stories and, if you're a CR follower, tell you a bit more about the million-strong gang you're part of. To celebrate, we also have a great CR subscription offer for you...
Thanks to our followers we've just reached a milestone on Twitter – to celebrate that fact we're offering 30% off all subscriptions packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.
Our very first tweet, sent out on February 23 2009, read "Creative Review's first tweet". We like to think that it was this kind of in-depth yet pithy analysis that helped us on our way to reaching a million followers this morning.
Looking back over our 14,000 or so tweets (exporting data from Twitter Analytics) many of them certainly did OK, plenty did very well, but a select few went RT-crazy.
In fact, two of our most popular tweets ever were sent out within the last couple of months: one linked to a story on the design of Aphex Twin's highly-anticipated new record; the other linked to images of, yes, some radical Norwegian banknote design. A look back at the stats reveals that our followers are interested in a huge range of subjects.
So, where are you from?
Well, according to TweepsMap, 29.1% of our Twitter followers are in the US, 26.3% in the UK, 3.5% from Canada, and 3.2% in India.
Indonesia represents 3% of our Twitter audience. It's a very international crowd with a further 8.7% of followers based in 191 different nations. Listed by city, the top five places are London (6%), New York (3%), LA (2%), Jakarta (2%) and Washington DC (1%).
And what do you like?
The results show that it's as wide a set of subjects as our audience is international – and also reflects the breadth of creativity CR aims to cover.
Using MyTopTweet we can bring up the most retweeted CR tweets of our last 3,200 but, again, exporting from Analytics and reordering the data gives us a better idea of what was popular over the last two years.
Our most retweeted RTs or MTs – i.e. retweets of images tweeted by other people, or links to external sites – include a shot of a Dutch bricklaying machine in action, a Richard Jolley cartoon for Private Eye and the news that twelve of Tom Gauld's Guardian strips are now – or at least were at the time – available as prints.
But looking at the most retweeted tweets that link to our own blog stories, there was a really interseting mix. So, here's the top ten, covering the last two years.
1. We've noticed how images have become key to Twitter over the last few years and this one, which linked to details on our just-published World Cup issue, seemed to sum up the state of the beautiful game:
London creative collective Peepshow has created opening titles and over 70 animated sequences for a new documentary on PBS exploring the evolution of great ideas and innovations that have shaped the way we lived today.
How We Got to Now is a six-part series presented by science author Steven Johnson. Each hour-long episode explores a different theme – from cold to light, sound and glass – explaining the stories behind key developments in that field and their influence on modern products, science and technologies.
It also considers the unintended consequences of ideas - an episode on sound, for example, explains amplified sound’s impact on modern warfare and the invention of ultrasound, while one on cold explores connections between artificial refrigeration, voting patterns and the golden age of Hollywood cinema.
Peepshow worked on the show for around nine months, producing animations which combine collage, photography and illustration. Science-related motion graphics often rely on slick infographics and zooming shots of planets and galaxies, but the sequences in How We Got to Now have a lo-fi, handmade feel.
In some scenes, line drawings are overlaid on live action footage, while others combine black and white photography with sketches of planes, trains, buildings, cityscapes and scientific formulae, creating a varied, layered style:
Title card for an episode on 'Clean'
Pete Mellor, who oversaw the animation, says the initial brief for the project was loosely inspired by an animated promo for Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From, which featured a series of illustrations drawn on a whiteboard:
“One of the things the network also mentioned in the initial brief was that they wanted the animations to look like the inside of Steven Johnson’s brain as he worked things out – a mix of drawings, sketches, animation and images,” he says.
“The way I pictured it in my head at first was as a kind of notebook to the show – as if Steven had given the director a scrapbook with pictures and notations and workings out."
Art director Luke Best, who created the collages and drawings for each sequence, says that while animations became a little more fast-paced than initially intended, they remain "restrained."
"One of the things we also agreed from the outset was that we didn’t want to make them funny – people have different perceptions of what’s funny, and creating some kind of Terry Gilliam-style sequence was something the production company was keen to avoid," he explains.
"It was quite a big risk to commission graphics that are very different to the kind you’d usually see in this type of show – I really like the idea of explaining complicated theories through simple, hand made drawings, instead of using ... pie charts or footage of zooming through someones eyeball and through the universe. It’s not that theres anything wrong with that – we just wanted to do something different," he adds.
For each episode, Peepshow received a script with notes on where the director wanted to add some animation. "After filming, we'd look at the footage and discuss which parts we thought would work well as animated sequences, and which we thought would be best represented by live action or archive photography," explains Best.
"If it was an initial script meeting, you could also suggest how something should be shot shot to tie in with the sequences. Though as it's a documentary, you also had to be prepared for the fact that some scenes would turn out differently, or be cut altogether," says Mellor.
"I think they really appreciated that we were willing to problem solve," adds Best. "Because of our illustration and art direction background, they could come to us with half-formed ideas or basic concepts and we could work out how to best to represent that visually using collage or mark making."
With a different director for each episode, Best and Peepshow co-founder Miles Donovan say it was important to ensure the visual language was flexible, yet strong enough to look consistent across the series. "Different directors will treat animated scenes differently, and some would want a more narrative-based sequence than others ... I had a few visual rules – I did all of the drawings with the same pen so there was consistency with the mark-making," explains Best.
"We also had quite a small team of animators, so Pete could work closely with them to oversee consistency with the animations and remain as faithful as possible to Luke’s artwork," adds Donovan.
"It was fun seeing people from quite a slick motion graphics background adjusting to working on these kind of lo-fi illustrations – ones where it’s OK if someone has no legs, or their head is cropped off," says Mellor.
One of the biggest challenges when devising sequences for the show was working out how best to represent abstract and complex theories and present everyday objects in an unusual or novel way, says Best.
"Some things were really tricky to animate – with a sequence about the radiometric clock, for example, I didn’t want to just show an image of a clock," he explains. "We had a general rule that we’d try and avoid showing something the easy way if it didn’t really add anything to the commentary. Other times, you'd get a list of the topics the sequence had to cover and think, theres nothing visually connecting this. It was fun though, thinking about new ways of representing things, [such as] re-designing a chemical symbol, or visualising sound without just using an image of a soundwave," he adds.
Each sequence also required a significant amount of research: Best worked with a picture researcher on the series, but sourced the majority of images for collages himself.
"With the collage elements, it was easier to just find my own images – it's difficult to explain what you’re looking for when you’re working in collage. There might be a badly cropped picture or one that to a researcher, will look terrible, but to you, it's perfect," he says. "We do a lot of editorial illustration work, so we’re used to doing a lot of research – but this really pushed our skillset to the limit," he says.
Sketches by Best
Peepshow's artwork has also been used in a book accompanying the show, published by Riverhead, and a website, howwegettonext.com. The next episode will be broadcast on PBS on Wednesday, 22 October at 9pm and the show will be distributed worldwide by BBC.
New York musician j.viewz and digital design agency Hello Monday have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an interactive website that will document the making of a new electronic album as it happens, allowing fans to contribute to tracks and listen to each song as it’s completed.
With just under two days to go, the project has received almost $62,000 in donations from 950 backers, exceeding its target of $60,000. As j.viewz (Jonathan Dagan) demonstrates in a tour of the beta site (below) the project will allow fans to follow the album's progress via a timeline, and view 'the DNA' of the album: audio and video clips and images from recording sessions, meetings and events that influence the development of tracks.
Using existing track Oh Something Quiet, Dagan reveals how a timeline might begin with the idea for a song, then at different points, reveal clips from recording sessions or experiments with vocals and harmonies, as well as the making of the video or album art for that track and incidental events which contributed to its development (Dagan met the visual artist behind the promo for Oh Something's Quiet, for example, after advertising online for a new room mate).
The site will also allow users to download audio samples to remix or use in their own music and upload photos, sounds and art. From time to time, Dagan says he will put out requests for certain sounds or imagery when looking for inspiration, allowing people to contribute to the album, comment as it develops and share content with other users.
Dagan says he came up with the idea for the project after completing a song which featured vocals from a singer he’d met on the Subway and was in part inspired by a trip to the South of France.
"I was almost ready to release the song when I thought, 'I can't release it without telling the story [behind it]. It has an artistic value, almost like the song itself," he explains.
Once the website is launched, Dagan will upload tracks in real time, as they are completed, at a rate of around one track per month for ten months. “Usually you finish a song, put it aside and wait for other ones to be completed before you release anything. It almost feels like you’re releasing old material. The concept behind this is to release songs in context - for example, if I make a summer song, I can release it that summer and not two years later," he explains.
He also hopes to launch a kind of 'creative toolkit' by uploading samples of beats and music from tracks, as well as unused material from recording sessions. “I might only use ten seconds of a two-hour drum session, but the rest of it is still valuable content, so [with the DNA project] I can share it and let other people do their own thing with it," says Dagan.
"When you make an album, it feels like 80 percent of it sits in a drawer [or on a laptop] and is never seen or heard. Of course, you want to release a crafted, edited version, but with this, I can give those by products [of the album] a little air time, too," he adds.
The DNA Project is one of a number of unusual digital experiments from Dagan, whose rendition of Massive Attack’s Teardrop, played using vegetables which he had turned instruments using a homemade kit which translates electricity signals into keyboard sounds, received over one million views on YouTube alone:
In 2012, the video for the title track from his album Rivers and Homes was nominated for a UK Music Video Award and an MTV O Music Award: after filming a video with Erin Amir and director Shelly Carmel, he printed out every frame and handed the images to fans, who were filmed holding them. Over 200 clips were assembled in a stop motion video and fans could tag themselves online.
He’s also created music using his heart as a metronome and is offering to use Kickstarter backers’ heartbeats in the album (other rewards include CD and vinyl versions of the album and a package containing an item from the making of it, such as an airline ticket, accompanied by a personal letter).
“The vegetables was just a fun experiment and it opened a lot of doors but in general, I want to stay away from anything gimmick-y - there's a fine line between making things interactive and preserving the art," says Dagan.
The site is still in beta testing but Dagan says he hopes to launch it this month and will add new songs at regular intervals until August 2015, when the finished album will be released in digital, CD and vinyl formats.
Promising to deliver a new track roughly every 30 days, and sharing the development of songs in real time is a bold move, but it's a fascinating experiment, and an unusual alternative to releasing clips or finished tracks on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Since Bjork’s pioneering Biophilia app was released in 2010, several artists have experimented with apps and digital projects: Radiohead teamed up with Universal Everything on one which guided viewers through a series of never-ending landscapes, set to music from the song Bloom, while the Roots released a narrative app telling the story of a fictional character on whom their harrowing concept album, undun, was based. Earlier this year The Smiths launched an online timeline, allowing fans to scroll through the band’s history while stopping to listen to tracks along the way.
Most of these projects, however, are designed as visual or narrative accompaniments to finished, edited albums. And while most musicians today regularly post pictures or updates from gigs, tours and recording sessions online, few, if any, have offered an in-depth, real time look at an album's progress, allowing fans to follow the making of it as it happens.
Dagan will still release the album in traditional analogue and digital formats, but the subscription based model encourages fans to regularly check on his progress, while releasing songs individually should help generare fresh excitement for new track.
By offering up sounds and samples for users to play with, the site also encourages interaction between users, creating a sense of community online and providing a kind of creative toolkit for fans and practising musicians.
It wouldn’t work for every artist, but it's a fascinating concept, and it will be interesting to see how the site is used by fans – and how Dagan maintains it – once it’s launched.
Materials alchemists, designers, artists, dancers and even Sherlock Holmes numbered among this year's hClub 100 list of some of the most inspiring figures in the creative industries
Each year private members' club the Hospital Club invites groups of industry judges, along with the voting public, to nominate inspirational figures across the creative industries, including theatre, TV, advertising, design, fashion and art. This year's group was announced last night.
Kristjana S Williams at last night's hClub 100 event
Creative Review was media partner for the Art and Design category where the final ten was as follows:
The 100 includes the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch along with musician Jon Hopkins, directors Ben Wheatley and Ringan Ledwidge, producer Juliette Larthe of Pretty Bird, Nils Leonard of Grey, Fi Scott of Make Works, Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman and Syd Lawrence and Tom Gibby of We Make Awesome Shit.
Also featured is Sarah Angold (above, as chosen in the Fashion category sponsored by CR's sister brand Fashion Monitor) whose studio combines extraordinary jewellery and lighting design with installations for the likes of the Design Museum and Tate Modern.
And, with surely one of the most unusual stories of the 100, self-styled Materials Alchemist Lauren Bowker (above) who invented the carbon emission sensing ink PdCl2 while still a teenager, went to study textiles at the RCA and now leads consultancy The Unseen "with material science, knowledge and visions infused by Magick".
The Unseen's projects include materials which change colour in response to their environment such as THEUNSEENAIR, a wind-reactive ink
Twenty six years after it first aired on television, David Lynch and Mark Frost's Twin Peaks is to return to screens in 2016. A video announcement enthralled Twitter earlier today, with many welcoming the return of the show's puzzling plotlines, surreal characters and haunting soundtrack. For me, what added to the strangeness of the original show was the jarring type that opened each episode – and it, too, looks set to reappear...
In 1990, I was 13 and Twin Peaks was the strangest thing I had ever seen on TV. According to a New York Times article from that year, the show first aired on BBC2 at 9pm on a Tuesday evening in October, the pilot episode attracting 8.15 million viewers in the UK.
Last Friday, identical 'twin' tweets were sent out by Frost and Lynch at 11.30am both stating "Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style. #damngoodcoffee". As well as including two references to the original series, fansite Welcome to Twin Peaks also noted that in its pilot episode, Kyle MacLachlan's character special agent Cooper first enters the town at exactly the same time. (Now that's a fansite.)
Today, with rumours buzzing, Lynch then tweeted a link to "a special Twin Peaks announcement" on YouTube (above); a clip which showed Sheryl Lee's Laura Palmer character, a shot of the 'Welcome to Twin Peaks' road sign from the opening titles and the words "25 years later" and "2016" followed by the Showtime logo.
So Lynch and co. were going to go return to the town as if it were the present day? Amazing. Yet seeing that unnerving lettering took me back rather than forwards.
The opening theme by Angelo Badalamenti remains one of my favourite pieces of TV music but, until today, I hadn't really thought about the how the visual part of the show's opening titles (designed by Pacific Titles) had managed to convey a sense of unease. It did this partly through typography which appeared, incongruously, over a calm backdrop of mountains and waterfalls, heavy industry and the winding roads of the Pacific northwest.
(For a high quality video of the opening title sequence, see the excellent post at artofthetitle.com – which analyses it in some detail.)
Looking at the sequence anew, the other odd thing I noticed was that when the show's title first appears, brilliantly timed with the crescendo of the main theme, it arrives with the 'Welcome to Twin Peaks' sign in the same shot. The traditional, panelled hand-painted sign – already announcing your arrival in Twin Peaks – is doubled-up. Who has the name of their show appear twice in the same shot of the opening titles? David Lynch, no doubt.
And not by anything that looks like the first sign either: the title is displayed in a modern-looking serif, a rusty brown outlined by a sickly bright green, in full caps. It still looks so strange today.
"And while the slow transitions and sleepy imagery impart a sense of tranquility, the overall mood of the sequence implies something sinister or somehow unnatural," writes Shaun Mir on Art of the Title.
"The combination of small town serenity with the eerily empathic score creates a sense of comfort while simultaneously hinting at the underlying truth about the setting. Notably, the town's residents are absent from the sequence, underscoring the fact that the most important character in the series is the town of Twin Peaks itself."
Researching the opening sequence lead me to an online discussion of the type that was used. Most commenters who concurred (and that's really not that many commenters) agreed on a single typeface: ITC Avant Garde Gothic Condensed Demi Bold. One of ITC's first families, the full alphabet was designed by Tom Carnese who worked from the logotype for Avant Garde magazine, created by his design partner Herb Lubalin in 1968 (Ed Benguiat later drew up the condensed designs in 1974).
I doubt that Frost and Lynch, or the person behind the design of the Twin Peaks titles, were attempting a wry reference to the kind of work they were helping to create – yet this was 'avant garde' television and certainly felt so in 1990 (though my 13 year-old self would no doubt have just thought it weird-looking.)
Perhaps there's something in it. While potentially retaining the same look and feel that Twin Peaks fans have hankered for the return of for several years, there's also one subtle difference in the type used in the new trailer. It's the same typeface alright – but it's oblique. By accident or design, that certainly sounds very Lynchian.
A nine-episode series of Twin Peaks is set to return in 2016 on the Showtime network in the US. For a more details on the opening title sequence to the original pilot and series, see artofthetitle.com
The October issue of CR - a fashion special - is also available for iPad, where you'll find all the print mag content and monograph plus exclusive additional content in Hi Res, our showcase gallery section, and CRTV, with video profiles of creative people, animations and other moving image work from around the world....
In Features we talk to the founder of clothing brand Folk Cathal McAteer and the brand's regular graphic design collaborators IYA Studio; and new British-made shirt brand Tripl Stitched who work with up and coming illustrators including Jack Cunningham (who created this month's cover). Plus the future of in-store shopping experiences; fashion films; the rise of the Instagram fashion blogger; and why carrier bags are collectors items.
Along with a review of new book Read Me: Ten Lessons for Writing Great Copy; a look at the history of VW ads; and not forgetting our lovely regular columns from Michael Evamy, Daniel Benneworth-Gray and Paul Belford.
In Hi Res you'll find emerging talent from new book Fashion Photography Next; we revisit our favourite illustration commissions for CR's last monograph; Jonny Hannah's illustrated tour of the mysterious Darktown; work photographers navigating the balance between art and commerce in The Art of Fashion Photography; design ephemera of 1980s youth culture from new publication Rave Art; a graphic history of Soviet Space Dogs; Mark Wallinger's London Underground project Labyrinth collected in a new book; and absurdist DIY flyers from illustrator Nathaniel Russell.
CRTV includes profiles on illustrators Wasted Rita and Stanley Chow; a selection of fashion films from White Lodge and Nowness; Blue Zoo's animation The First Murder featuring the voice of Adam Buxton; a behind-the-scene look at Film4's new idents; and new work from stop-motion animation duo Kijek/Adamski.
For some people, the idea that our bodies are covered in trillions of tiny microbes isn't necessarily a pleasant one. Hoping to make the invisible visible and shed light on the useful nature of these micro-organisms, a film film for the new Micropia museum in Amsterdam gives the little fellas a new, cuddly image...
Micropia is situated next to Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam and is the world's first museum of micro-organisms. The film, which is directed by Bianca Pilet, aims to convey that "there's more to microbes than just viruses and fungi."
Creative studio Part of a Bigger Plan worked in collaboration with agency Dawn on the film, Meet Your Microbes. The protagonist is shown covered in microbes (it's actually a hand-made suit featuring hundreds of pom-poms) and interacting with them – even exchanging them – in daily life.
Concept/creation: David Snellenberg (Dawn), Christian Borstlap (Part of a Bigger Plan). Production: Christel Hofstee (Part of a Bigger Plan). Music: Firewalker by Jungle Fire
The October issue of CR is a fashion special with features on the future of the shop, fashion and film, the influence of Instagram, one of our readers' favourite labels, Folk, and how the humble carrier bag has become a collectors' item
We talk to Folk founder Cathal McAteer and to the brand's regular graphic design collaborators IYA Studio about the brand that has found a place in many a CR reader's wardrobe
Plus, we feature Tripl Stitched, a new British-made shirt brand that is collaborating with up and coming illustrators such as Jack Cunningham (whose work appears on our cover this month). And, CR subscribers can get 25% off Tripl Stitched shirts, go here for details of how to claim it
Now that we do so much browsing and buying online, what is the future for fashion retailers on the high street? Rachael Steven looks at how the likes of Dover Street Market, Prada and The Apartment by The Line in New York ("the place to discover and purchase some of our favorite things in the intimate context of a home") are providing shoppers with unique experiences
The shift from photography to film as the medium of choice for many fashion brands has been underway for some time: Eliza Williams looks at how the genre has matured and even started to learn to laugh at itself a little
Antonia Wilson charts the rise of the Instagram fashion bloggers and thier growing influence with the brands they feature
For fashion stores, the carrier bag is a valuable piece of advertising real estate and an important brand communications platform: for collectors, they are artefacts of cultural history. Antonia Wilson reports
And our regular columnist Daniel Benneworth-Gray muses on the many choices designers have to make while Michael Evamy explores the enduring appeal of using animals in logos
Plus, for subscribers, we have a special Monograph this month featuring our pick of the ilustrations we have commissioned for the magazine over the past five years. Every issue of CR features work commissioned from young and extablished illustrators, here our art director, Paul Pensom, chooses some of his favourites
If you are not yet a subscriber to CR in print, we have a special offer this month: a free Rotring 500 mechanical drafting pencil for every new subscriber. To subscribe, please go here
Channel 4 has announced that its 4oD service is to be replaced with a new brand, All 4, from next year. Envisaged as a single destination for all of the broadcaster's linear channels and digital content, the new identity reworks the original Channel 4 logo designed by Lambie-Nairn...
The studio's 1982 "puzzle" identity remains an important part of the Channel 4 branding. While the new All 4 identity aims to emphasise that the reorganised services are born out of a single channel (and echoes the "pathwork" nature of the original design), it uses the various colours of Channel 4's existing brands (below) within the new look.
The static logo was created in a collaboration between Magpie, We Are Seventeen and Channel 4's award-winning in-house creative agency 4Creative (the overall brand identity was designed by 4Creative and We Are Seventeen).
"It's an important moment in Channel 4's history as this new identity links our digital future to our creative roots," says Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4, "with the use of the much-loved multi-coloured logo, re-imagined for the multi-media 21st Century."
According to the broadcaster, the new All 4 user interface and functionality will launch initially on PC and iOS devices and will be extended to other digital platforms across 2015. The new interface will be structured around three "temporal states" – On Demand (past), Now (present) and On Soon (future).
Executive Creative Directors: Chris Bovill & John Allison
Creative Directors: Alice Tonge & Chris Wood
Business Director: Nik Windsor
Senior Producer: Nicola Brown
Senior Designer: Kevin Price
Digital Producer: Christos Savvides
Brand identity: 4Creative / Magpie / We Are Seventeen