Friday, 28 August 2009

Toy Story 3 Teaser Trailer

For my generation, Toy Story is an institution. It was the first full length CGI film and is still one of the best. When Toy Story 2 came out it was one of those rare cases in which a sequel surpasses an original. No wonder then that Toy Story 3 is so hotly anticipated - and maybe that's why the teaser trailer has been released 10 months before the film will come out.

I think this teaser trailer ticks all the boxes. It reminds us of all the characters and their traits, it shows the power struggle between Woody and Buzz and most importantly it gets people talking about the film. The 1.1 million views on YouTube prove that people are excited.

Maybe I'm analysing a cartoon teaser trailer a little too much but I'm a bit disappointed that the ad breaks down the third wall. The fact that the characters are aware of the camera and aware that they're making a film weakens the effect. Personally, I would have preferred to see a sketch involving the characters but as I said, the trailer does it's job. I can't wait to see Toy Story 3.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bochox Injection

When I saw this brand in the supermarket, it jumped out at me. Packaging the chocolate as if it is a medical prescription is quite a nice little idea. The copy has been written with a good sense of humour:

"Active ingredient cocoa solids 75%"
"Warning - may cause weight gain if used incorrectly "
"If seal is broken, suspect everyone"

There are some similarities between this and the Spiritualized CD packaging I wrote about. I wonder what else you could sell doing a medial packaging pastiche? I find it interesting that this brand is selling this product solely on the idea - without any advertising etc. It reminds me of Elmwood who started competing with the big tea brands just because they had a good idea for a new brand of tea. It just shows how far you can get with a good idea.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Banksy vs Bristol

This is Banksy's first ever exhibition in his home town and I think he's really stepped things up since his book 'Wall And Piece'. I love the moving figures, and pieces like the chimp parliament shows that he is a really talented painter. I really like Banksy for his satire and his sense of humour.


"How does logo design react to the sociological, cultural, economic and technological changes that define our time?" LosLogos attempts to answer this question whilst at the same time providing a platform for "young global designers". 

LosLogos does exactly what is says on the tin - it is packed full of logos. What I like about the book is that it groups them by theme. There is a spread dedicated to logotypes designed using helvetica bold, a page of heart logos, a page of gun logos, robots, fire, animals, you get the picture.

My criticism of this book is that it seems to feature a limited number of agencies, each with their own style and this leads to similarities. Not quite the all encompassing ethic LosLogos claims in it's introduction.

However, this book is massively inspirational to me, and was especially useful during my year in industry when I was involved in quite a lot of branding exercises.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

QUAD Derby

Derby isn't known for it's architecture so the new £11m film and arts centre 'QUAD' that opened in September 2008 really stands out in the city centre.

Looking into the architectural firm Fielden Clegg Bradley that designed it, I found that they are also responsible for 'Broadcasting Place' on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds. - that's the one we've all walked past saying "is it supposed to be rusty?". (It is).

Back in Derby, I like the way the slanted stone cladding looks like a piece of Derbyshire sedimentary rock. Inside, "QUAD is a gallery, cinema, cafe/bar, and workshop that anyone can use, and aims to be an organisation and building that is of local, national and international significance" as the press release says.

I think this is a great development for Derby, not only because it looks stunning, but also because it provides the area with a centre for the arts. I'll top and tail this post with some photos that I took.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

How Do You Spend Your Day?

Displaying data graphically is a huge part of visual communication, and this is a great example of it being done well.

This fascinating interactive graph, posted on the New York Times website, is the result of 2008's American Time Survey in which thousands of Americans over the age of 15 were asked to log every minute of their day. The interactive nature of this graph means you can filter the results for different groups of people as well as find specific data. For example, I have discovered that even in 2008 men spend more time working than women and that white people are more likely to have set meal times than black people who's time spent eating and drinking is more spread out through the day. I don't know why I'm interested to know this and I certainly can't explain why it's true but I could spend hours playing with this graph.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

McDonalds Leaflet

I suppose if you're one of the biggest companies in the world you can afford to employ decent designers. I liked this McDonalds leaflet as soon as I saw it. It gives information about the ingredients of a BigMac so each page is a different layer of the burger and is cut with a separate die. Just a clever, simple little idea, but done really well.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Rankin Live

Rankin is THE portrait photographer to the stars but his latest project 'Rankin Live' turns the camera on the British public. He's photographing 1000 people and displaying the results at an exhibition on Brick Lane in London. The other twist is that the photographs are being printed and hung at the show within 15 minutes of being taken as well as being uploaded to the Rankin Live website at the end of each shoot. Rankin is looking for people "with a distinctive style, sense of British eccentricity and enthusiasm" but anyone can apply. At the moment he is just under half way through the project, having shot 476 of the 1000 portraits.

There's a strange parallel to Antony Gormley's piece of work that I wrote about last month in that the focus is on members of the public - maybe that's the theme for art in 2009. I like the website with its bizarre celebrity-adorned flash video intro that features Jarvis Cocker among others.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Challenge Swound!

In a strange Danny Wallace meets Radiohead mix-up, Nottingham based band 'Swound!' are selling their album for a price of your choosing but only once you have set the band a challenge. The results can be seen in the form of videos on their 'Challenge Swound' website. So far they have asked a chip shop to deep fry some Haribo, spent a whole day in Derbyshire village Eyam, faked an alien sighting and been to try and find the Loch Ness monster among other things.

Meanwhile Steven Fry went on record at the iTunes Festival in London last Monday saying consumers who download copyrighted material for free should not be treated as criminals. Personally, I really respect artists, like Radiohead and Swound!, who embrace the ever changing way in which consumers purchase music. Top marks to Swound! for that reason and also because this stunt is dead funny. Oh and their album - 'Hello Future, We Are Swound!' - is great too.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Welcome To Britain

'Welcome To Britain' is a book of photography by artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale who seem to have travelled the length and breadth of Britain, snapping anything that catches their eye. Their images take a look at what it means to be British with a big focus on eccentricity - the book could easily illustrate Kate Fox's 'Watching The English'! Many of the images capture the downright ugly rather than seeking the picturesque and the work's power often lies in the the couple's witty observations.

Williams and Teasdale don't display their work in conventional galleries but rather in their own mobile Caravan Gallery which seems fitting to me.

I love this ironic sign, it sums up not only the type of work that these artists do but also so much about the British - our cynicism, our eccentricity and our sense of humour.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

James Lockey

James Lockey is a film maker from Doncaster who is heavily involved in the South Yorkshire DIY music scene. He has provided music videos for bands including 'White Belt Yellow Tag' (who feature James' brother Justin on guitar), 'Above Them' and for his own band 'The British Expeditionary Force'. 

I think it's fair to say that James Lockey has a certain style but I really like the way he plays with the depth of focus in his films. I also like the old shot-on-film-stock quality, despite being shot in HD.

I really respect the whole scene of artists here, who are making some fantastic music, these beautiful looking films and doing it all with a great 'do it yourself' work ethic.

Monday, 3 August 2009

MTV ident

MTV recently rebranded with the task undertaken by Universal Everything who after recently designing Warp Records' new website seem to be the go-to firm for hip music companies. The rebrand encompassed the logo, new typefaces, the channel's sound as well as idents. I love this 'Mad Drummer' ad. I first came across it when it was played on the big screens at a music festival I was at. In term of sound design, I think this is brilliant - what a great drum sound! The 2D animation is cool - I like the subtle pulsating MTV logo. It's also quite inspiring because the animation seems within my reach as a design student.