Tag: Design

After doing some recent research for one of our clients, I came across some advertising produced for BMW. Believe it or not, these adverts were actually used, but mainly in Greece. I’m not sure that we would get away with them in the UK. If you dig deeper into these campaigns and read forums and blogs, they have been causing outrage and controversy for years, with claims that they are ‘demeaning’, ‘sexist’, ‘chauvinistic’ and ‘degrading’. However, whether we like them or not, BMW must be having the last laugh. The very fact that people are talking about these adverts all over the world, whether in a good light or bad, can only be more publicity for BMW. As the old adage goes, their is no such thing as bad publicity – however, not quite sure BP would agree with that statement at the moment.

Opinion – Paul Mabin (Creative Director / Managing Director)

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I get sent a lot of emails with various images attached and some of them are worth sharing. The guy who created these images is called Julian Beever and his work can be seen on pavements in England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Julian creates the images using chalk, but gives his images an anamorphic look. This is an extremely skilled and difficult way of illustrating and takes years of practice. But I think you’ll agree that he pulls it off amazingly well.

Article written by Paul Mabin (Managing Director / Creative Director)

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Earlier in the week I wrote an article on the Canon 5D MKII, shooting HD content for the last episode of House. While writing that article I was interrupted by the sound of Naaa, Na Na, Na Na Naaa. Yep, you guessed it – the intro to Coronation Street. Not a programme that I generally watch, but my beloved wife Donna loves it – I wonder how many men say the same thing? Anyway, I glanced over to see the intro and noticed that, at last, it has changed after being the same intro for about a million years or so. Apparently it’s to coincide with the first episode being broadcast in HD.

Don’t worry though, you hardened Corrie fans, the cat walking across the flat roof and the image of outside the Rovers Return are still present. However, those of you that don’t like drop focus imagery are not going to like it. I think it’s a welcome addition to the Street. Let’s hope that the rest of the programme gets updated – spoken by a true ‘Enders’ fan.

Well done ITV.

Article by Paul Mabin

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As a budding amateur photographer, I always keep abreast on what is happening in the digital arena. I have recently purchased a Canon 5D MKII after much research. The reason for my purchase was to add something extra to my photography – higher resolution (21.1MP) as well as a better image sensor and full HD video capture.

I have been extremely impressed with the camera so far, after only a couple of weeks of use. However, I have been more impressed with some of the work produced by other companies using the 5D MkII.

The last episode of House aired on 17th May and was shot entirely on a Canon 5D MKII. The House director Greg Yaitanes was available after the programme to answer any questions viewers may have had by using twitter. One of the questions asked was “how was the quality compared to the cameras traditionally used?”. Gregs’ response to this was “I loved it and feel it’s the future – cameras that can give you these looks”.

Greg also used the entire range of Canon Prime lenses as well as Canon 24-70mm and Canon 70-200mm zoom lenses. The effects are amazing. By combining the use of such a competent camera, twinned with Canon prime lenses, the style of imagery created is simply stunning. The subtleties, the use of depth of field, the clarity and colour help make this episode a visual treat.

The outcome was as engaging as any other House episode. I don’t think this will be last time we’ll see a Canon DSLR camera being used in the same way for TV film production or for movies. You may even see a film from me in the future – if I ever find the time!

Article written by Paul Mabin

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An article that was recently printed in the Herald Express, showed that the campaign run by Torbay Council and designed by DNA Advertising has proven to be a great success. The latest progress report for Fit for the Future, a scheme to encourage youngsters to join a gym, shows it has been enjoyed by 1,112 people.  The scheme, which has been running in Suffolk, Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and London had a target of recruiting up to 1,000 youngsters per district. London has smashed that target, with three months left to run.

DNA carried out research with a select audience, then presented our initial concepts. This research helped us refine the final design, which we rolled out across promotional literature and banners that were strategically placed around the Bay.  DNA also encouraged the council to use bluetooth phone technology to deliver the message to a wider audience.  The combination of using new technology and targeted design has clearly helped to make this campaign a great success.

[Update: Paul Mabin - Creative Director]

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Looking back over 2009 there were several articles within the design press reiterating Dieter Rams’ strategy of “Good design is as little design as possible”. Of all Rams’ design principles, this one rings truest for me. There is currently a Dieter Rams exhibition at the London Design Museum which if you’re in the neighbourhood shouldn’t be missed. If you didn’t know, Rams literally shaped our world with his radical industrial and product design at Braun, so if you thought the iPod was cool, you should see the work of the man who designed the first hi-fi over 50 years ago… They say ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ but as much as I love their products, Apple and Jonathan Ive have a lot to thank Rams for. Here are some choice examples of Rams’ work:

Rams’ work has much more to offer than his well-known and imitated 1950s pocket radios and hi-fis. Here’s the Design Museum write-up: ’As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, Dieter Rams emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products. The exhibition will showcase Rams? landmark designs for Braun and furniture manufacturer Vits?, examine how Rams? design ethos inspired Braun?s entire product range for over 40 years, and assess his lasting influence on today?s design landscape.’

You can read more about the exhibition and Rams’ trend-setting design while refreshing yourself of his famous design principles here:

(Opinion: Jon Price – Designer)

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It used to be that an advertising agency was simply that – an agency that you would go to if you wanted to advertise.  You would expect to pay them to create a message, devise a look and then put it in front of as many potential customers as you could afford. 

In recent years, however, the boundaries have become increasingly blurred between advertising agencies, marketeers, design groups and digital agencies.  Pressure is increasing on all of these to create ‘integrated’ solutions – campaigns that work across all media. Hence advertising agencies are having to diversify into areas once exclusive to digital or design agencies, and vice-versa. 

That’s not to say that there are no longer any specialist agencies out there. There are.  But the service offering for each type of agency is becoming more integrated. Where the agency can’t deliver something internally, they will almost certainly have a relationship with someone else who can. This is great for the individuals working within the agencies.  Being able to work in areas that we would not previously have experienced makes the job more fulfilling and more enjoyable; it also gives us more opportunity for learning and personal development.  For the client, it is perhaps not always clear which type of agency they should be working with, but it is also true that their agency (however they label themselves) is now more likely to understand how to satisfy their clients’ broader commercial and marketing objectives, using a broader palette of communications.  Surely that’s good news for everyone?

(Opinion: Paul Mabin -Creative Director)

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Have a good look at this illustration. This was produced by a young pupil whose teacher asked the class to illustrate what one of their parents did for a living.

Now read the letter his mother wrote to the teacher, having seen the drawing.

Priceless! But it also helps to illustrate one of my all time bugbears.


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As I was perusing my local newsagent last night I couldn?t help but notice the surprising cover design of the Daily Star. Covering the Government?s ?Bangers for Cash? scheme, the front of newspaper bravely adopted a sparse design with minimal copy, which amongst the myriad of tabloid clutter, stood out like a lighthouse for the lost. I wouldn?t normally pay the newspaper stand any attention, but as I passed, I just couldn?t help but notice. In this instance less was definitely more ? it?s not always the ones that shout the loudest that get heard.

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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