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: 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

MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS SPORTS COUPE: ‘Shiny?’

Discounting premium products can be risky. It can take decades to build up a premium positioning for a brand, to give their products a value beyond the materials and man hours that have gone into their making. Once you start discounting you risk making it feel less special, because people know that, generally, products get discounted because they aren’t selling, if they aren’t selling it must be because nobody wants them. MERCEDES-BENZ PROBLEM: A stock-pile of C-Class Sports Coupe’s. They decidedRead 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 5: Graham Ford.

Where did you grow up? South East London When did you take your first picture? When I was eleven. Then I asked for a camera for my fifteenth birthday. One of my brothers showed me how develop a film and to make a contact print. I was completely absorbed by photography for the next 40 years. What was your first job? Aged 18, I spent two weeks in an ice cream warehouse, at minus 20 degrees. It paid for my newRead more

INTERVIEW: Jeff Stark.

Where did you grow up? Stirling, Scotland. Hitch-hiked to London the week I left school. Unusually, you had a lot of weird jobs before you got into advertising, so what did you learn from your time; a) running a stall on Petticoat Lane? People will buy anything as long as you can convince them it’s stolen. b) Selling Morris Minors? I learned that being 18 and looking 15 wasn’t a good start for being a car salesman. People used toRead more

IN-CAMERA 2: Rolph Gobits.

“To me, people are like lighthouses in a very big ocean, with wind and rain and waves trying to break them and make them go under.” – Rolph Gobits. Did you come from an arty family Rolph? I did not come from an arty family at all. Do you remember being aware of photography whist growing up in Holland? I was aware of photography at a very young age when growing up in Amsterdam. I was about five or six years old whenRead more

IN-CAMERA 1: Brian Griffin.

You grew up in the land of the Brum? I was actually born in the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, although I grew up in the Black Country in a town called Lye. Art College? I worked in engineering until I was 21, so as a mature student I studied at Manchester Polytechnic School of Photography. Did they teach you anything useful? How to lose your virginity and smoke. When did you take your first picture? As an amateur around 1965,Read more

INTERVIEW: Jeremy Sinclair.

Occasionally, very occasionally, a client will ask me advice on how they should judge their advertising. It’s easy to tell a terrible ad from a great one, but it’s rare to have such a big gap between ideas. A more likely comparison be trying to assess average against quite good? good against great? Some creative people will advise that ‘If it’s right, you’ll feel it in your gut’. Sometimes true, but not really helpful. I tend to give them a copy of the page above.Read more