Archive for November, 2010


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I have just submitted the letter ‘T’ to Alphabattle.

This is a great opportunity for artists and designers and the odd silly art director to submit their versions of the alphabet.

It started in February 2010 and will finish in February 2011 with a new letter submitted every 2 weeks.

I have always had a love of type and type forms. It ‘s a unique way to combine words and pictures to create an original idea.

When I was at college I designed a typeface and named it ‘Blowfly Black’. It was used in the Swinburne yearbook and I also managed to have it released as a Mecanorma rub down type.

It took me months to design the letterforms and then illustrate each letter on art board, using a Rotring Rapidograph and compass.

When I was doing a fellowship in Manchester, the computer scientists felt that it would be a great exercise to try to use their computer to do all this hard work for me. Their computer was the size of a large truck and after 4 months they gave up – I think we had got to ‘C’.

When I first got involved with the Mac, a young designer showed me a program that could create a vector version of a typeface in a matter of seconds.

I wish I had had that in 1969.

Success doesn’t always make us
better at what we do.

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Over the last 27 years, AWARD School, the training program run by the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association has produced some of the finest advertising talent in the country.

Their graduates have gone on to head up successful creative department in Australia and overseas.

Their alumni read like a who’s who of the ad world.

Many have come from a variety of backgrounds, unrelated to the communication industry. This diversity gave rise to a generation of ad people who had a deep understanding of the ‘average’ consumer.

They all had a life before advertising.

There were accountants, brickies, lawyers and truck drivers.

Their campaigns were based on a common understanding of human emotions and insights. Their ads spoke to people in a language they understood, were engaging and were memorable.

It is so successful that now almost 70% of Australian creatives have completed AWARD School.

Their success meant that they moved away from the lifestyle that gave them their insights and into the rarefied atmosphere of boardrooms and big business.

They stopped going to the pub with their mates and started having business lunches at Nobu.

The life experiences they were now having were with highly paid marketing executives. Their travel was business class not standby rates with Jetstar.

They lost contact with real people and the only way they kept abreast of popular culture was by going to the movies, watching reality television or MTV.

The best writers, art directors, account managers and strategist get their insights first hand. They talk to people from all walks of life and create communication that engages the market.

If you work on the 27th floor and look out the window, all the people on the street look like ants. This is unfortunately how a lot of advertising creatives treat the consumer and their work reflects it.