Monday, 31 August 2009

The Impossible Project

With Polaroid stopping production of instant film in June 2008 what is left on the market is all there is and the Polaroid will soon become a distant memory. Or will it? The impossible project is a mission undertaken by some of the worlds top integral film experts to re-invent the now vintage and iconic technology. The reason Polaroid stopped making film was because the components/ingredients needed for the film have not changed in 40 years and some of those resources are no longer available or are just too expensive to be commercially viable. So the impossible project is to re-invent using new technologies film that will work with the vintage Polaroid cameras. The team have bought a whole Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and all of the necessary equipment, but will they be able to successfully re-invent Polaroid by their completion date of 2010? And if they do manage to do it and 'save' Polaroid, will it still be Polaroid? Sure if they manage it it will be instant film, but will it have all of those Polaroid characteristics that we all know and love? Will the new technologies or techniques used to create the film get rid of the imperfections that make the film so lovable? I suppose we will have to wait and see. And either way I hope they succeed, whether they retain the Polaroid charm or re-invent it completely, because at £30 a pop the limited stock of film is too highly priced for my student budget so hopefully Polaroid makes a comeback.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Virgin Re-invent Commercial Flight

The Cool Hunter Design studio have been working on creating a new flying experience. After all most airlines are more or less the same seats and service, its just passenger preference or price that dictates what airline you fly with. But what they are trying to do is look at a plane in a different light, why does a plane have to be like a bus? why cant it be like a hotel or a spa or a bar? It's an interesting idea and certainly if I had the money I would love to fly in style rather than in the same old fashion. Emirates started this whole thing with their suite sleeper rooms, were you can have a room to yourself with a fully reclining large bed-seat, and a 23inch plasma TV with your own mini bar and dressing table. But apart from obvious extra health and safety rules why cant flight be more like a cruise, were you sit in a bar and have a drink, or sit down at a table for dinner?

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Your a celebrity for four paces

With our cultures obsession with 'celebrity' and the fact that the SLR camera is no longer just for the professionals Nikon have come up with a clever interactive poster design. In a busy subway station Nikon have mounted a light-box billboard where life like images of paparazzi seem to be competing for the best shot of some new celebrity. As you walk past the poster a sensor is triggered and an array of flashes come from the poster, making you 'the new big thing'. Its a clever yet slightly intrusive and annoying poster if this walk was on your daily commute. But never the less it definitely would get your attention. And the other thing that you have to consider is not only have they got a load of paparazzi fighting for your attention, Nikon have been kind enough to provide you with your very own red carpet. This play on our cultures obsession with celebrity image is cool, and not only do you get to be a celebrity for that couple of paces past the billboard, you can follow the red carpet straight out of the subway station and into the Nikon store. Nice touch Nikon.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The line Vs Banksy

Ok, so yesterday I stood in line for four and a half hours, probably the longest I've ever stood in a line for anything. And the Banksy Vs Bristol Museum exhibition is worth all four and a half hours of the wait. You finally get let loose inside the museum after staring at the back of the head of the person in front of you for over four hours. Maybe the waiting and the freedom of walking at more than a pace every five minutes actually makes the exhibition better. Maybe the rebellion and freedom you feel when you are finally let loose of the monotony of the que is part of the whole experience. Anyway, the ground floor has completely been taken over by Banksy. There is one room absolutely rammed full of his/her work, and then as you venture upstairs in the museum/gallery the pieces become more sparse, you have to look for the work of the 'Local artist' amongst the collection of fine art the gallery normally displays. I think a lot of the people there are there because of the hype and trendy thing that the 'Banksy' takeover of Britain has created. And I got the feeling that they were not enjoying wandering round the Bristol gallery looking at all of the fine art and trying to just spot the 'cool' pieces. I on the other hand thought that this exhibition would have been a good opportunity to open some of those peoples eyes about all of the 'boring old paintings' that were the best of British art before this revolution. Whether many of the people who went did pay attention to the 'other stuff' or not will never be known, but this exhibition definitely drew enough of a crowd of all ages. Wandering round the gallery some of the pieces will literally make you laugh out loud where as others are just kind of beautifully ironic. I have to say its one of the best art exhibitions I have been to, not only in terms of it living up to all the hype, but just the body of work and its relevance to modern culture and the constant humor. The exhibition is only open until the 31st of August, but if you are in Bristol this weekend I guarantee the huge que is well worth the wait.

Please Drive Carefully

An advertising agency from Auckland, New Zeland have put together an interesting and shocking billboard campaign. According to Kiwi news the heavy rain after the summer brings the highest death toll on New Zelands roads. So this campaign urges people to drive according to the weather conditions. This billboard bleeds as it rains, to bring peoples attention to the weather and the way they are driving. It's a clever idea, if not a little too shocking and serious, and even distracting for drivers to have a child crying blood on the side of the road. The tag line 'Rain changes everything' also works quite well. I'm just not sure if the whole thing is just a little too gruesome.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Walkman Anyone?

With Apple's monopoly on the worlds ears in terms of mobile music with the iPod, their competitors really need to step things up. Not only do Apple have the 'coolest' product, they also have the 'coolest' ad's. Is it time for the rest to just hang up their earphones and give up? Sony don't think so, not yet anyway. I hadn't seen this poster campaign before but I've just found it, and as a counterattack to Apples empire I think its a valid effort. It was done by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney in 2008. It just tries to create a cool brand image for the 'New York Commuter' to try and compete with Apple by using the Sony earphones to map out the New York subway system. As most people use their MP3 players on their daily commute I think its an idea that would speak to the majority of people in that market, well in New York anyway. But is it too late for anyone to compete with the Apple empire? Is it possible to re-invent the iPod like the iPod re-invented the way we listen to music? Or are Apple free and clear?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Shark Water - Rob Stewart

I urge everyone to watch this film about sharks. Not only has it won 31 international film awards it will change the way you think about not only sharks but humanity and even global warming. It's an extraordinary account of a young film makers encounters with sharks and what we are now doing to them. Because of the media sharks have become the worlds 'evil' predator. I'm not saying this film has made me hate the film Jaws or anything, its just that its made me realize that that mindset has been thrust upon people by the media. More vending machines fall on people and kill them than sharks kill people every year. There are some really interesting views and facts in this documentary that really will change the way you look at things as well as some amazing and shocking footage. I've always been fascinated by sharks so I can understand why this striking film has had such an impact. But I cant urge you enough to go and watch this. Sharks are endangered and we have wiped out 90% of one of the oldest animals in the world that have been around for 420 Million years. Its almost unbelievable how the profile of sharks has been so influenced by the media and how because they are not cute and fluffy they are not being saved. Watch It!

Amnesty International - "It happens. Not here, But now."

After speaking about this campaign in my last entry I could not resist to put it in, just because this is probably in my mind the most genius advertising campaign ever. It's so engaging, is so striking, its just perfect for the purpose its designed for. The idea to bring the human rights problems to everyone's doorsteps were you cannot just ignore them. The idea of scouting out the locations of the posters and photographing the backdrop so that the poster sits in the scene perfectly is just a superb idea, its almost like the Polaroid post from yesterday, it just takes it that step further. We have all seen the adverts on TV for things like amnesty international and the NSPCC and water in Africa and so on, but nothing grabs my attention like this campaign has, it brings whats going on in the world that step closer towards you, and makes you that little bit more uncomfortable about whats going on.

Lays "Walkers" but for the rest of the world

This is an ad campaign for 'Lays' USA, they are trying to advertise that their potatoes are 'grown closer than you think' and Lays 'chips' or crisps, are made with local potatoes. It's a clever idea to use the roof of the subway tunnels, to show the potatoes growing through as you are underground. For three weeks in this subway tunnel in Chicago you will be able to see this installation of potatoes falling through the ceiling due to the creative minds of the Juniper Park agency in Toronto. It's another one of those ambient media campaigns that just works. It reminds me of the two amnesty international campaigns; 'It happens not here. But now' and the poster campaign were they put all the faces behind bars. These three campaigns have one important thing in common, the placement of the advertisement is the main contributing factor to the idea being successful.

Justice for Bakkies

This week the independent misconduct committee for the IRB ruled that all players and the South African Rugby Union were guilty of misconduct during the British and Irish Lions test on the 4th of July. If you didn't already know this misconduct hearing was following the South African players wearing 'Justice for Bakkies' armbands after he had a two week ban for dangerous play in the previous test match. As you can see all that the players did was have white tape on their arms with 'Justice' written on it. A simple visual message to show that they did not agree with the ruling against Bakkies Botha. The Independent Committee made it very clear in its ruling that “the playing arena is no place for protest” and that the wearing of the armbands “showed a serious lack of respect and consideration for their opponents”. The SARU have been fined £10,000, each player has been fined £200 and John Smit the captain has been fined £1000. Although I agree with the ruling, because really what they did was show they all support foul play it seems that the rugby pitch is no place for free speech. And it shows although the actual execution was just a bit of white tape and a sharpie, a visual statement or protest can get you in a lot of trouble. The IRB still have 14 days to appeal against the ruling to try and get more serious action taken against the SARU, one of the suggested fines is banning the current world champions from defending their crown at the 2011 world cup however that will only happen if they are found guilty of further misconduct between now and then.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


While I was looking around for Polaroid film and just random images on the Internet, i found a series of photos that were very interesting. They were by a young Swiss artist 'Aimless-thing' on The series interested me because of the Polaroid Vs Digital aspect. Something which i had been discussing with a friend at my party on the weekend. How Polaroid photos have somehow extra meaning and are more sentimental than film images, and film images are more so than digital images. The majority of peoples digital images never get printed, they sit on your computer and never get seen. Printing your images is something I've come to appreciate after doing Film B&W and Colour film developing this year. I've always shot film as well as digital but hadn't processed my own film until this year. Anyway the series reminded me of one of the projects I did for my colour course in Canada, where I did a series of self portraits where I had photographs of my face covering my face, if that makes any sense? Anyway the similar aspect was the photograph of a photograph that completes the picture. Something that not only works in this series of photographs, but adds so much by having what has become the iconic Polaroid image. The imperfections and lack of colour and contrast is what makes Polaroid images so nice. And this series plays upon that very well. Needless to say we need to bring back the Polaroid! The instant perfect image of digital that doesn't get seen the majority of the time somehow can't compare to the imperfections of Polaroid, they just have so much character.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sorry everyone, Bigger Is Better

As a silly present for my birthday I got a pack of A4 sized playing cards, and somehow just out of comedy value, playing cards becomes twice as fun. The size of the cards just make the whole experience hilarious, especially in the hands of our 8 year old family friend, the cards are like half her size. So we decided to make 'the biggest card tower ever'. Never the less, bigger is most certainly better.

Tag Heuer Carrera

'The “Carrera Panamericana” was an epic race that was started in the 1950s and attracted many of the leading drivers of the time. Juan Manuel Fangio, the famous Argentinian driver who was Formula 1 World Champion five times, won the race in 1953. To pay tribute to this unique adventure, in 1963 TAG Heuer launched the Carrera Chronograph that combined refinement with the spirit of sport. It was an immediate success. It has been modernised but still retains its sober elegance. The Carrera perfectly embodies the vibrant memory of the era of “Gentleman drivers.”'

Thats what Tag say about it anyway, my mam simply picked it because she thought it was 'shiny' and 'classic' looking, although I must admit she was quite drunk at my 21st when she told me that, so making sense wasn't her strong point at that time. But I have to admit it is quite shiny. Although my favorite design feature about the watch is the crystal back, so that you can see into the inside of the watch, a quite useless feature really as you have to take the watch off to see the back of it, and 98% of the time you'r going to be wearing the thing. But never the less, a aesthetic touch that pleased me.
Unfortunately I can't find you a photo of the one I'm looking at on my wrist because apparently from what Ive found out it doesn't go on sale until September. But apparently its Swiss Avant-Garde since 1860 so Tag say anyway, but I do have to admit the mixture of 'classic' or 'old fashioned' if you like with a modern twist is just perfect. The simplicity and geometric design makes it a simple and 'timeless' design that isn't going to go out of fashion because it doesn't try and be too much and keep up with trends, it just does the simple things right and looks good doing it.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Monopoly Ad's

Still with the topic of 'colour' I found these monopoly Ad's that exploit the iconic status of Monopoly within our culture today. Everyone knows almost instinctively that houses are green and hotels are red, because everyone has sat around and played monopoly on a rainy day with family or at Christmas. It even has loads of different versions now, you can even get Leeds university monopoly. But the thing I like about these ad's are they are purely basing everything on the knowledge that everyone knows the colours of the hotels and houses on the monopoly board. It's just s nice, simple advertising campaign that builds on preconceptions everyone already has.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Colour Blindness

After painting yet another room in my house the wrong colour my family have spent the last half an hour or so laughing at the fact that I'm colour blind. Picking up random objects in the kitchen and saying 'soo.. what colour is this?!' my mam being a very intelligent woman but having no common sense picked up a tomato and asked what colour that was, needless to say that brought on a lot of laughter amongst the rest of us. Because literally as soon as you learn to talk you learn tomatoes are red, so even if I couldn't see it I'd know what colour it was. Anyway, being colour blind this is a topic I find really interesting, and it would be an interesting brief to try and use colour blind dot test type typography to try and convey a message. Or at least an interesting thing to take into account while designing. Because what I didn't realize until we got my computer out with the family to look at colour blind spot tests that there are some that colour blind people can see and people with normal colour vision cannot. There are even some where within the same dot sequence there are two messages, one for colour blind people, and one for people with normal colour vision. I have no clue what the above dot sequence is, to me its a circle of dots. Can you see what it is?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

There Will be Blood (2007)

So, in my state of semi-sleep while I am ill I've watched yet another film. This time I went for Oscar Winning There Will be Blood. A period drama about the difficulties of trying to start up a family oil drilling business. Apart from the film being extremely slow and kind of boring I sill feel compelled to see what happens in the end, I think this is purely due to Daniel Day Lewis' performance in the lead role and his relationship with his son who becomes deaf in an accident drilling. The main thing that does get on my nerves about this film is not the slowness or the fact that I'm kind of bored, it's the need they have to add eerie weird music over the top of scenes that just do not match in feeling to the sound going on. It makes no sense whatsoever, the music feels like it has been plucked from a horror thriller where you are looking at what looks like a typical western, it just doesn't feel right. So the only reason I can see to watch this film is to see Daniel Day Lewis act his pants off, otherwise I'd give it a miss. Saying that I'm writing this while watching so there may be a fantastic ending that I will never write about, however that is doubtful.

..So I decided to stick it out until the end. Although the relationship between Daniel and his son becomes more interesting as the film continues and you eventually see the slow destruction of Daniels character due to that, it does not get much more interesting than how it started and the weird soundtrack just continues.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys is one of those films that I'd seen the majority of in various sittings but never really watched all the way through. And you have to admit its one of those strange 'cult-ish' films. The thing that struck me while watching it though was the believability of Brad Pitt as an absolute nutter, he has of course the Fight Club role were hes a little mad, but in this he is literally just mental. He's one of those Hollywood A-listers that appear in all those popular mainstream films like the Oceans trilogy and Mr and Mrs Smith but he also has some less popular gems. Other than Brad Pitt's character Bruce Willis has to cope with the ins and outs of mental illness as he struggles to cope with what is reality as he is forced to move back and forth between 1996 and 2035. The film is does well to try and convey the nature of reality and the subject that comes up in many films of Armageddon and the human races ability to wipe ourselves out. This never really feels like its one of those end of the world films though it feels more psychological than disaster, it hasn't got that un-needed dramatacism that comes hand in hand with the majority of Armageddon films. Without the un-needed drama it becomes more edgy and believable than say for instance Independence day, Armageddon, Day after tomorrow, which all cope with the subject of the end of the world. Overall the subject is artfully and cleverly depicted as apposed to the in your face aspect of the other films I have mentioned. This may be however because the majority of the film is based before the event as 'James Cole' Bruce Willis' character tries to gather information on 'the army of the twelve monkeys' the group thought to be behind the destruction of 99% of the worlds population. The scenes set in 2035 have an interesting Blade Runner / Fifth Element type quality were a lo-tech vision of the technology in 2035 is tried to be realized, for instance the ball of TV screens that 'James Cole' is sat in front of during the 'present-time' scenes. After finally watching the film from start to finish in one sitting I actually came away with a higher appreciation for it than I'd expected and if you haven't seen it its well worth a watch.

Matthew Impey's 'Gladiator'

As the IRB and Emerates launch the rugby photograph of the year award for 2009 I look back at last years winner to see what we have in store for us again this year. Last years winner Matthew Impey's with his 'Gladiator' photograph embodies the spirit of the sport every Welshman is born to play. This photo of Rafa Ibanez emerging triumphantly from the pile of Leicester Tigers and London Wasps bodies in the Guinness premiership final of 2008 captures all the emotion and physicality that accompanies the most gladiatorial of modern team sports. Possibly another reason this picture works so well is because of the balding head of Lawrence Dallaglio lifting himself from the mess of bodies, this the last game of a player who has become legendary in British rugby. I remember the moment when he went off about 60 minutes into this match and the whole crowd, supporters from both sides gave the modern legend a standing ovation. I can't think of any way this picture could encapsulate this match and this sport any more than it does without maybe switching Rafa and Lawrence just to give that extra bit of meaning, with this being his last match at Twickenham. But of course sports photography is not about setting up the scene, its about capturing that moment of emotion, the dive across the whitewash, the second a ruck is hit, the instant ball meets boot, and this photograph is a perfect example of that.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Walk on the wild side BBC

The simple things that make us laugh. While sat watching rubbish on the BBC a snippet for the walk on the wild side show came on, and made my friend and I wet ourselves laughing. Originally I thought it was just a clever snippet for one of the wildlife on one documentaries to draw in some extra viewers, but it's actually a full length comedy show using the same idea as the snippet, were comedians provide the voice overs for the usual documentary wildlife footage. It reminds me of watching the old eurovision song contest with Terry Wogan were you aren't really too interested in whats on the tv but the whole thing is made twice as funny by the voice overs, the same as how Terry Wogan's sarcastic half drunk remarks make the eurovision funny; the voice over the footage of a groundhog ignorantly shouting 'Alan' is just hilarious. Needless to say the show will be recorded tomorrow at 5:50.

Alex Trochut - The Decemberists

I've been a fan of Alex Trochut's for a while now, and he has recently updated the back catalogue of work on his website. I love his masterfull mixture of illistration and custom typography, it embodies a lot of the values and ideas taught in the classes I attended taught by Paul Sych, another creative custom typographer. This poster for 'The Decemberists' has such obvious links to Salvador Dahli with the melting forms suspended by a plethora of twigs but it holds its own by bringing in the barely legable type. The 'The' is pretty legable, and you can figure out the rest of the letters easily once you have gone down to the bottom of the page and read 'the decemberists' written in the uppercase serif type, but withought this it would not work as easily. For those people looking at it as a tour poster, they may never notice the type hidden in the illistrative blobs, which gives you a nice sence of satisfaction when you doo see it.

Toyota IQ Typeface

Ok, so the above typeface may look a little a simple handwritten typeface, and nothing too special, each letterform simply created from four strokes that look like they could be handwritten with like four pens stuck together or something. But the thing that is special about this typeface is the way it was created. The 'how they made it' video below explains all, using a car and filming it from above, to make a typeface is a completely mad and unique idea, but it only works for this one off use, it would of course not be a viable way to create new typefaces. Saying this knowing the typeface has been created in this way complitly transforms the way you see the typeface. Its a truly uniqe thing, commisioned by Toyota in order to back up their 'radical thinking' brand value attached to their new IQ car.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Mark Lewis

It's not surprising that the artist Mark Lewis caught my attention as he's a Canadian born artist now working in London and Ive just spent a year in Toronto. So some of his earlyer works caught my attention as they are panning video shots of downtown Toronto. His work consists of short films were the camera is either just placed observing what I'd call 'urban behavior', or it pans and zooms out slowly to reveal a bigger scene. The one that particularly speaks to me is the 'Nathan Phillips Square, a Winters Night, Skating' it's a kind of romantic view of the skating rink that's in the square in front of city hall in Toronto. A video which I enjoyed because of the 'Canadian dream' culture thing that had been part of the conversation and experience between me and my fellow international students during our experience. One of the things that strikes me most about Mark Lewises work is that these videos seem to feel like they are missing sound, some videos fell like they dont need sound, but these feel like they would be perfect stages to have a similarly good soundtrack, but the lack of sound is what makes it more interesting in the end. The lack of music were you expect there to be music makes you listen to the silence, and pay more attention to the visual things going on.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Gregoire Alexandre

At the moment I have swine flu, or something along those lines anyway, so the subject matter of my blog is now based purely on the things I see within the four walls of my room and the vast vortex that is the internet. While browsing to find anything interesting if for nothing else but to give me something to do while im quarantined in my room I found a photographer that jumped out at me. This is some of the best alternative studio set photography I have seen, the origami unicorn literally just jumps out at you. I just love the alternative usage of the green screen in the studio to make an origami unicorn. The rest of Gregoire Alexandre's portfolio goes on in a similar fashion, stunning set design within a photography studio that create surreal, unusual and striking images.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Univers Revolved

When I saw this I literally said Waw, out loud to myself, its such a cool idea, almost completely illegible, but just a nice idea, its something that anyone who uses design software has done, extruded and revolved letterforms for a laugh, but never thought of doing the whole alphabet and making a typeface from it. It's the whole Univers upper case alphabet that has been extruded and revolved. Its not something that could be used commercially, or even used outside the circle of people who are ever so slightly obsessed by type, because not many people are going to take the time to figure out the letters. Its just one of things that makes those people who do look for and notice these things sit and admire it for a second.But is it just one of those things? Could this typeface change the way we look at type? For example the above image, says 'WAKE UP!', you could get a similar thing using normal letterforms in the shape of a speaker but it wouldn't be half as effective without the illegibility of the letters and their 3D playfulness. The creator Ji Lee has also published a book, which I plan on ordering off amazon as soon as I post this blog, the book has similar things to the Wake up image above were you are left to re-learn how to read in order to decipher the message hidden within these highly pictorial 3D chunks.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Typographic Fruit

I can't remember where I've seen these before, but I've just stumbled upon them again and thought they must go in the blog. First time I saw them I thought what a nice, simple, well executed idea, especially the apple, where the copy reads: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'. Its just simple typography hand written on fruit, and it works. They really are a wonderful piece of slightly odd typography, you can just imagine the designer/artist Sara King, being bored in her lunch break and doodling on her banana skin and thinking; 'well that looks kinda cool'.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Phillippe Stark Gun Lamps

Ok, everyone knows Phillipe Stark as being an out there designer with his crazy space ship lemon juicer, but how cool are these? 18K gold gun lamps, a must have in any gangster rappers house! All I can think of when I look at these now though, is please, please, please let the trigger be the light switch and not just solid gold, because that would just be genius. If it weren't for the excruciatingly expensive price tag, one of these would be making its way to my living room right now, purely for the conversation factor of having a gun lamp in your front room. In terms of a design, what more could you want from a 'designer-fad' product than such a strong talking point. There may be those people who think it will be tacky and 'promoting violence' to have an M16 floor lamp, an AK47 table lamp or a Beretta bed side lamp, but that's not who these products are aimed at, there are plenty of people out there who will see them as just a bit of fun, its one of those designer products that's just 'out there' and a bit of a laugh and a talking point when you have your posh dinner parties.

Life-size Transformers

I'm sure someone will point it out so I'l just start off by saying I know its not a 'Transformer' its a 'Gundam' it just looks the same to me because other than the recent Transformers films I'm not really into that kinda stuff. But, Tokyo obviously is, as they have just built a 18 meter high statue of a Gundam (which is apparently life-size) in Shiokaze Park, Odaiba, Tokyo. The statue is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the animation series. The franchise has obviously become a massive piece of their culture as space to build in Tokyo costs more than anywhere else in the world, and they have found the space to build a homage to a cartoon series. But that isn't too surprising as the franchise is worth about £310 million. The statue however is only going to be there for 2 months, until the end of august, what will happen to an 18m high robot then I'm not sure. At the moment the statue is open for visiters, although it was visible before (it is 18m high) its now complete, with lights, smoke and a head that moves and looks around. I just thought it was pretty astonishing how something so simple as an animated series could (granted over 30 years) have such an impact on a culture to have this kind of thing built. 18m, the statue of liberty is only 43m and that's a massive American symbol of their culture and history, with another 30 years we could have an even bigger Gundam standing guard overlooking Tokyo bay.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Cell (2000)

So last night I was up flicking through the hundreds of channels on TV with nothing on any of them, and eventually settled on 'The Cell' a film by director Tarsem Singh starring Jenifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. I hardly had high expectations for the film as Jenifer Lopez was playing the main female role, and the storyline and acting hardly exceeded my expectations, but the one thing that did keep me watching was the highly elaborate sets, makeup, costumes and camera angles involved in some of the scenes were Jenifer Lopes's character is inside someones imagination/head. (basically there us a machine that allowes''J-Lo's'' character to go into the mind of a serial killer who is in a coma, to look for answers) I found that the scenes that were set in the imagination of the characters were very interesting and it was as good a visual representation of being inside a crazy person's imagination as I can think of. The attention to detail, dream-like sets and colours constantly reminded me of some of the scenes in Hellboy and Pans Labyrinth two of the more commercial works of Guillermo del Toro. So as the film as a whole, it wasn't the best, but its definitely worth watching for the glimpses of surrealism 'in the mind of a serial killer'.

Coldplay's 'Strawberry Swing' - Shynola

More than anything, when I watch this video, the thing I think about most is the amount of time it must have taken to create this world entirely from chalk. It shows Chris Martin the front man act out his day as a superhero while lying down on a floor as the world is animated behind him in coloured chalk. The subject of the video is a little weird were he fights with a giant squirrel to save the princess from the teacup, but the the idea of creating the world from chalk on the floor is something that reminds me of being a kid, were my sister and I used to colour in our granparents patio with chalk and draw all down the path untill it eventually got washed away in the rain. The execution of the idea is perfect. The section were his cape is cut and he's falling down towards the buildings I find looks particularly good, I'm not really sure why but I just like the look of him falling towards the buildings and slowing down as he opens the umbrella. But when you look into who did the video you find out that its the work of Shynola, so its hardly surprising that the animation is flawless, as they are responsable for videos like Radiohead's Pyramid Song, and Blur's Good song, which are both award winning animated music videos. There is no doubt that this new addition to their portfolio will be recieved well, and is on par if not better than their previous stuff.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

'Green' Architecture - The Dragspelhuset Accordion House

While flicking through an architecture book passing time in town the other day I stumbled upon this house design in Sweden and was just astonished by it. Just the overall look and the 'green' architecture of the house was amazing, and as I then looked into it a little more I found that the glass living room space of the house gets pushed inside the main shell when the house is not in use. This was to comply with building regulations in the lake area were the house is situated, but it doesn't half give the house a party trick. The new house had to be built on the foundation of the old one room fishing hut that was there previously, and the owners/designers needed more space and wanted to be closer to the river, so the living room slides out on two steel rails operated by pulleys and sits above the stream. In the winter when the house is un-occupied it is collapsed to save on space and environmental ill effects. As well as the accordion-like design of the house the exterior blends perfectly with the surroundings, and will blend in more-so with age. It has a very dream-like quality, almost looking like a set from one of the lord of the rings films.

'Get Sexy' CD Sleve - Bowden Design

So I'm sure as you are all looking at this CD casing for the Sugababes new CD you'r thinking its a nice idea, the CD title 'Get sexy' complimented with the idea of puting the CD in an oversized condom wrapper. A nice little clever touch that can be appreciated by the people who look for the un-ordinary things, but should the designer have kept this idea on the back burner for a more suited product where the target market could appreciate the idea? Who buys Sugababes CD's? Yes ther are those people who would be in the target market where this idea would work, but the majority of people who buy Sugababes CD's are young girls who are too young for such an idea to work, if anything its wrong to impose this idea on them. So fantastic idea, but it really does not work with the target market at all. However they may be trying to re-position themselves in the market, but surely that should be done firstly through their music and then through re-branding, plus I highly doubt the Sugababes have what it takes to make the jump from cheesy pop girl band to anywhere else they may be trying to go.