ADVANCE WARNING: NO PICTURES AHEAD.

I prefer this blog to be about stuff I like. To be positive, a refuge from the endless whingeing and complaining you find on every street corner of the web. But something caught my attention that got me thinking.  I’ve often wondered how a business based on creating words and pictures came to be run by people more comfortable with numbers. Scroll back to the eighties and we’d find Sir Martin Sorrell and John Wren sitting in finance departments, whilstRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of ‘Environmental Portraits’?

Not me. Well, not until last week. Don’t get me wrong, I knew portraits had been taken in environments, I’m no fool, but I didn’t realise it was a genre with its own name. Environmental Portraits are portraits that have been “executed in the subject’s usual environment, such as in their home or workplace, and typically illuminates the subject’s life and surroundings”. It turns out that one of my favourite portrait photographers, Arnold Newman, was it’s father of Environmental Photography. (Although he hatedRead more

Hands up who’s heard of Saul Leiter?

The of most important part of photography isn’t anything technical, it’s where you point the camera. It’s why 99% photos look dull, everybody points in the same direction. Often it’s because people don’t think that they have other options, or they feel too self-conscious to point their camera in the ‘wrong’ direction, it feels so unnatural. “Seeing is a neglected enterprise.” as Saul Leiter put it. He must’ve looked weird whilst doing his seeing; his camera would be pointing inRead more

TOP TEN TYPE TIPS.

I find this whole Facebook situation really disappointing. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing, regardless of cost.  I mean, how much money do they need? FACEBOOK: YOU HAVE A MARKET CAP OF $494bn, hire yourself a typographer! I keep spotting my mate Dave, (a future podcast guest, when I can pin the fucker down), and at the bottom of the ads I’m reminded that overhanging punctuation hasn’t hit Facebook yet. It got me thinking. Maybe someone elseRead more

PODCAST: Paul Weiland.

Unfortunately I seem to keep writing the same intros to these interviews; ‘Wow! I knew Person X was good, that’s why I wanted to interview them, but having gone through their archives I’d forgotten just how much great they’d done’. But never has this been more true. Today, in the ad world, Paul is best known as the director of the Walker’s Crisps ads featuring Gary Lineaker. (He’s shot about 150 of them over the last 20 years.) It’s probablyRead more

PODCAST: Tim Riley.

Words. Boy, they’ve really fallen off their perch. They used to be so respected, as were the people who knew how to use them. They could breathe life into cold, dead facts, in their hands ‘our beer costs a lot’  could become ‘Reassuringly expensive’. Better and shorter. Writers would often burn the midnight oil in an effort to get the maximum meaning from the minimum word count. It’s odd, because people have never read more than they do today, Facebook, Twitter,Read more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Pete Turner?

Sad to read of the passing of Pete Turner, one of the early pioneers of colour photography. He pushed the limits of film, colour and lab technicians to produce some of the most vivid, colourful images ever committed to film. He started early, developing colour pictures by age 14, ‘I love black and white photography, but somehow I got seduced by colour, I remember going to the art supply store as a kid and looking at water-colour paint boxes and thinking,Read more

PODCAST: Graham Fink. (Part 1.)

Context. It’s the word that comes to mind every time I think about writing one of these intros. What seems familiar today was once considered very left-field, risky or just plain crazy. Each pushes the peanut along for the next generation. Take the 1988 D&AD Annual, it’s hard to believe now, but all but one ad in the press and poster section had black headlines, the one that didn’t was Graham Fink’s Metropolitan Police campaign. I was a generation behindRead more

PODCAST: Nick Gill.

He’s never tried to become his own brand, hang out at the right clubs or promote himself. He doesn’t bounce from jury to jury, job to job or club to club. And you’ll never read his latest theory on marketing in the trade mags. Nick Gill is currently Chief Creative Officer of BBH, his third agency in 30 years. We had a great chat, hope you enjoy. COLLEGE. BMP. Clark’s. Tjaerborg. Fisher-Price. John Smith’s. Health Education Association. Abbey Life. Sport Aid. Batchelors. NewRead more