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

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

INTERVIEW: H before BB, (John Hegarty).

I joined the business in 1985. The best agency seemed to be Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Every year ever since they’ve been in the top five, sometimes they’ve been in the top one. Their success has been very well documented, what did Sir John did before that hasn’t been. So… Where were you brought up? I was born in North London, although at that point Edgware wasn’t in London, it was in Middlesex, which doesn’t exist anymore. My family was living inRead more

INTERVIEW: John O’Driscoll.

Where were you brought up John? Before I answer that question are you sure about this interview? I don’t give short answers and have a tendency to go on a bit! Ask my family! Yeah, I’ve heard that. I was born and bred in a Surrey village called Hersham. Birth place of Julie Andrews and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69. What was the first ad you remember? It wasn’t until I was 13 that I remember seeing an advert thatRead more

B&H, Part 2: The surreal years.

I used to walk past this poster every week for about a year. I was fifteen, my Art teacher had got hold of a life size billboard poster, a 48 sheet, or I should say 48 sheets. It was twenty or thirty foot long, and papered the entire corridor that lead to our classroom. We were all bemused by it at first, just a close-up of an electric circuit board? weird? Was it even an ad? Then we found the gold pack-shot.Read more

INTERVIEW: Mike Cozens.

  Where were you bought up? Farley Road, Catford, S.E.6. Mr Smiths was where the Richardson Gang had their 1966 Gangland slaying. My Mum worked there. Frankie Frazer used to escort her up the Road. He famously said ‘I’ll take you home Lilly, you meet some dodgy characters around here’. That’s where I was dragged up. Was advertising your first choice? Not exactly. I was invited to leave Haberdashers Askes at the age of sixteen. Fortunately the only teacher whoRead more

LESTER BOOKBINDER: Advertising.

The third and last post on Lester Bookbinder, unless by some miracle I get to interview him. If I thought finding the pictures was tough that was nothing compared to finding the words. But here’s what I’ve managed to discover. a) He was born in New York City in 1929. b) He trained with the photographer Reuben Samberg. c) He opened his own studio in 1955. d) He moved to London in 1959. e) Long before the New York Police Chief Bill Bratton started talkingRead more

IN-CAMERA 6: Barney Edwards.

”Question why anyone would be interested in this picture? What should be excluded or included to make it a better picture?“ – Barney Edwards. Where did you grow up? In my head, on the road, to a soundtrack. 04:00 Pre- Dawn. Sinai Desert. Cold. Dark. The door of our tin roofed Nissan hut thrown open wide. Shoal, a massive, Romanian-Israeli Army Dive Master towered over us, in Buddy Holly specs, accompanied by his growling Alsatian bitch. Shouting in broken English and Israeli.Read more

IN-CAMERA 4: Max Forsythe.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Newry in Northern Ireland, a great place to live before religion destroyed it. When did you take your first picture? Probably in my teens, my uncle was a wedding photographer, so I used his half plate camera. I took a lot more serious pictures on a trip to the US when I was 18. What was your first job? I was an Assistant Art director at what was then Hobson Grey.Read more

B&H Part 1: The ‘Gold Box’ Years.

In 1962, a bright, shiny new agency Collett Dickerson Pearce was offered a big account, the DuMaurier cigarette brand. This good news was particularly timely, as many at the fledgling agency were starting to worry their jobs. The agency turned the offer down. Founder John Pearce told the potential client the brand was a ‘dead duck’, and he didn’t want his agency to work with ‘no-hope brands’ or brands that they didn’t truly believe would respond to advertising. But being a decent sort of chap, MrRead more