INTERVIEW: Sir Alan Parker.

Sir Alan, where did you grow up? I grew up in Islington. Ours were the first council flats built after the war and I moved in aged about three or four. Ironically, the flats overlooked the street where my Dad was born and brought up. (My Grandad was the local barber and the family were evacuated in the war when a bomb hit St Mary’s Church close to their shop. He was also the local bookie—illegal then—and so they movedRead more

100th post. (Well, nearly.)


Full disclosure; it’s actually the 113th. But I noticed that when blogs or podcasts hit a significant number they do a kind of round-up, like a kind of house-keeping thing, so here’s mine. 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNT ABOUT BLOGGING. 1. BLOGS HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN. MAY 2002: My friend Paul buys me davedye.com. OCT 2013: I decide to bung all my old work on it, for easy access. NOV 2013: It’s a bit chaotic. Having presented the workRead more

PODCAST: Tony Davidson Pt. 2.

The Wieden years. It’s weird, I only interview people whose work I really like, but whenever I lay their work out end-to-end, I’m always surprised at how much better it is than I’d remembered. It could be that there’s much more of it, the sheer consistency of it or that it appears better with the benefit of time and a bit of distance. All three are true of the work in this post. Tony does a good job of shiningRead more

PODCAST: Mark Reddy.

‘Art Director’ is an unhelpful title. It has nothing to do with Art and very little to do with directing. Some think it’s about making stuff look cool, I think it’s about communicating at speed. We work in a medium people are actively trying to ignore, so we can’t hang around. Art Director’s can only communicate quickly if the understand: a) Their basic toolkit; photography, film, illustration, editing, cropping, fonts, colours and the rest. b) The world around them: how humans behave,Read more

PODCAST: Ben Priest.

The arc of most creative agencies tends to be very similar; start idealistic and creative, become less principled and duller over the years as the realities of finance, earn-outs and fatigue start to kick in. Adam & Eve are like the Benjamin Button of ad agencies. They started burdened by the financial realities due to a situation called ‘Sorrell’. Having come through the early sensible years they seem to grow more creative as each year goes by. They won noRead more

GREEN BOOKS: Type 2.

The feedback I’ve had on these books is very consistent; ‘I had most of that stuff in my scrap books too’. What a world? Art directors from it’s four corners saving exactly the same references from exactly the same dozen or so sources* in order to help create them something different. Today there is no reason art directors should be fishing in the same pool. (*Interview, Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar, Lurzer’s Archive, Rolling Stone, Creative Review, Direction, Beach Culture, RayRead more

PODCAST: Neil French.

Former rent collector, bull-fighter, porn director, klacker salesman, Judas Priest manager, account man, copywriter, art director and Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Worldwide. (Warning: Some areas of the recording may have been adversely effected by a rioja.) BLACKER HYDE ASSOCIATES Ltd. An early Neil French concept. HOLMES KNIGHT RITCHIE. BATEY SINGAPORE. THE BALL PARTNERSHIP. The only known picture of Neil without a cigar. My tattered copy of Neil’s book. I recommend it.Read more

PODCAST: Tony Davidson. (Part 1.)

Sometimes, it’s difficult writing about people you know. On the one hand, you don’t want to offend them with a flip remark, like ‘no filter between his brain and mouth’, or ‘certified nut-job.’ On the other, and probably worse, you don’t want to get all gooey with guff like ‘only about the work’ or ‘incredibly consistent* since day one’. So I won’t bother, I’ll just let you listen and make your own minds up. (*Except for ‘Captain Chaos’.) STUDENT. BMP.Read more

PODCAST: Gerry Graf.

The best ads appear effortless. As if created accidentally, the result of a chance corridor meeting by people letting off steam on their way to different, grown-up,  serious meetings, probably ones involving charts, numbers and mashed-up new words they get the gist of but aren’t 100% confident of their meaning. The truth is that it’s hard to create work like that, it’s like catching lightning in a bottle. A few creatives have been in the right place at the right time to grab a bolt, barelyRead more

PODCAST: Dave Waters.

Starting out as a creative is tough. Most days are divided into two parts, first you squeeze out as many ideas as you possibly can, second you try not to give up when your creative director tells you they are all crap. Occasionally you may get a ‘nice’, that will keep you going until maybe two months later when you may get a ‘cool’, even an ‘ok’ buoy the spirits. Encouragement is crucial. The first person of any note to say nice aboutRead more