Next stop – the 1960s

No-one can deny that working in a creative environment is challenging and demanding. DNA is fortunate in having a team of high calibre staff who are more than capable of rising to those challenges. But what do they do to re-charge their creative batteries?

Wake boarding? Stamp collecting? BASE jumping? Maybe… Designer and IT Manager John Dawkins is a bus conductor. No kidding, most weekends from May until September you’ll find him on the platform of a vintage bus in Somerset. Kitted out in traditional bus conductor’s uniform, he collects fares and acts as tour guide on a scenic route around Exmoor or on private hire to wedding parties (see him in action on YouTube  http://uk.youtube.com).

But why? ”It’s great therapy,” John explains, “especially as there isn’t a computer in sight! Everything we use is old technology – even my ticket machine is 40 years old and entirely mechanical”.

John has only been a conductor for three years, so why the sudden departure from cutting edge technology? “Maybe it’s mid-life crisis or perhaps an antidote to the demands of keeping DNA’s computer systems running! Actually I’ve been mildly fascinated by all forms of transport since childhood but I never pursued it actively until I was offered the chance to work part time for these guys just a few years ago”.

So, although John goes off at the weekend to recreate bus journeys from the 1960s, he reappears on Mondays as a regular guy ready for the challenges of a new week in a busy creative agency. For more information please go to www.quantockmotorservices.co.uk

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Maintaining DNA?s commitment to supporting local Arts and Design, Jon from our design team and Sarah from client services headed down to South Devon College to talk to the students on the Design/Media Arts Diploma course. Supported by DNA case studies, the hour presentation focused on the best practices when creating or responding to a brief, the most successful methods of creative thinking and how to best liaise with clients. Jon and Sarah also gave constructive critiques on the students most recent body of work and wish them all every success in the their future careers. (For a small fee they are also available for private hire and children?s parties!). Any questions?

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One of my design heroes is undoubtedly British graphic designer and consummate typographer Jonathan Barnbrook. Renown and admired for his pivotal role in British graphics and his strong political views and contribution to social causes, Barnbrook strives to use the power of his design skills as a weapon for social change and for the moral good.

I was pleased therefore, when I spotted Barnbrook?s unmistakable ?Virus? fonts in the latest British Heart Foundation television advert. Directed by Barnbrook, ?The spot features a Virtual Heart Simulator, alongside a typographic treatment by Barnbrook of various words from the voiceover.??CR. Whilst undeniably graceful, and wonderfully paced, I do slightly wonder at the choice of some of Barnbrook?s self-designed typefaces ? as beautifully crafted and animated as they are. A pleasant change and real step away from recent BHF advertising.

Now to go home and dust off my signed copy of ?The Barnbrook Bible??ahhh.

Take a look at the advert here.

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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