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131. Ad of the Week: Buckley's.

buckleys.jpgEvery now and then you see something in advertising that encourages, and makes you feel a little better about marketing managers, agencies and the industry as a whole. This installment of the Ad of the Week was chosen not for it's visual sophistication or clever wordplay. It's actually fairly ugly. Nor was it chosen due to some fancy schmancy video director or photographer. This campaign was chosen because it was courageous. (Not courageous in the sense of running into a burning building to rescue a puppy mind you - but courageous in the advertising sense: not scared to death to be honest or self-deprecating about your product. Not heroic, but courageous anyway.) The whole point here is to promote how terrible Buckley's tastes while indirectly enforcing it's effectiveness in relieving coughs and congestions due to colds. Somewhere, there was a marketing director that was OK with saying their product tastes terrible. Not just terrible, as they compare it to 'trash bag leakage' in one radio spot, and  to a 'public restroom puddle' in a tv spot. Now that takes some courage - as it wouldn't be a stretch, should this marketing fail, for the people responsible to lose their jobs. But they won't lose their jobs, because this campaign is memorable, funny, and just a bit disgusting. And one subtle benefit of this campaign is that I bet the taste is not quite as bad in reality as it is currently in my imagination - having yet to try it. So, they are even going to exceed most people's expectations that are set with this creative/strategy. Could it really be as bad as Pig Tongue Scrappings? You can view all 7 of their TV ads - which I saw on NBC last night - via their website. Or on YouTube.  This is a great rejuvenation of a long-term campaign - check out their print (newish and oldish) here.

Still trying to figure out the agency responsible, or if this was an in-house job. Anyone know?


130. Mandolux Multi-Screen Wallpapers.

mandolux.jpgNothing serious to report here, but good nonetheless. If you are like me - the wallpaper on your monitor can totally affect your mood, but I find it difficult finding many that I actually like. You can either design them yourself, which can be fun. But, if you are pressed for time Mandolux has been posting single and mult-screen wallpapers for several years now and almost all of them are awesome. Go check them out. (I'm digging the mykong design right now.)


129. Foo Fighters Album Art.

foo.jpgSleavage has an interesting behind the scenes take on the latest Foo Fighters album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace – and it's artwork. (Check it out here.) Designed by music industry veterans, Invisible Creature, the design theme is explained as well as how it was adapted throughout the liner notes, single covers and vinyl records. I also enjoyed the brief logo exploration and think it's worth a look. Projects like this (and the one below) make buying the actual albums/CD's preferable to a simple download. How would you like to have Dave Grohl as a client? I think I could handle that.

While you are at Sleavage, check out Vonnegut Dollhouse's fold-out dollhouse album art too. Very Cool too.


128. Field Report: House Industries AIGA Event.

It's been a few days since, but I was just sent this summary of the House Industries AIGA lecture that was held in Albuquerque, NM on September 26th. Steve Hinckle, art director at Mckee Wallwork Cleveland (in Albuquerque, the shop that is creatively run by Bart Cleveland who participated in our Art of Presenting series awhile back) sent not only the report but also the sweet poster that promoted it. Thanks Steve.

Click to read more ...


127. Typophile's Typowiki.

typophile.jpgI'm often asked to put together a design resource page - listing sources of inspiration, information, helpful tips, tutorials and anything else that would be of help to a designer. And I'm working on just such a thing - trying to not to duplicate other resources that are out there and giving someone a good idea of the sites that I find helpful in my daily project solving. As far as typography goes, however, I (or anyone else for that matter) would be hard pressed to do better than Typophile's typowiki. This site lists resources in categories like type foundries, printing methods, terminology, and organizations all the way to merchandise, conferences, museums and even other wikis. And because it's a wiki, it's a living breathing document that will continue to grow and adapt to the current design environment. I've been using Typophile for awhile now to stay up to date on all things type, and just now created an account  - allowing me to post articles, comments and contribute to the wiki. I would encourage you to do the same.


126. Marian Bantjes' Work For Saks.

bantjes.jpgI really enjoyed viewing Marian Bantjes new work for Saks Fifth Avenue and their holiday in-store design. Beginning as a collaboration with Michael Bierut and Pentagram, Bantjes eventually was able to work directly with the retailer on the designs. I think environmental design – maybe more than any other medium of graphic design – really allows a designer to spread his/her wings creatively and showcases just how powerful what we do can be. Add this artist's ability to simultaneously make the typography both the image and message and it's all the more impressive. Admittedly, I cringe a bit at the a-little-too-materialistic "Want It" tagline, but it IS work for a major retailer at an important time of the year for them financially. The design-cred of the artwork thankfully allows me to forget about it long enough to enjoy it. Take a look at the project on her site. And while you're at it – let your eyes feast on her sustainability poster.


125. So, You Want to Create a Font...

font.jpgOver at I Love Typography, they are posting a new series for those of you wanting to create your own font. It's just in it's initial stages, but based on the first installment it looks like it will be a fairly concise and user-friendly tutorial. (I have yet to try out FontForge, and would recommend FontLab Studio if you can swing it.) Most importantly, I highly recommend reading (more like using) the fantastic book, Designing Type before and during your process as well. Its focus is more on individual letter structures as opposed to combinations and process, but it's quite helpful nonetheless. Have fun.


124. Ad of the Week: The Economist.

economist.jpgI'm a big fan of The Economist. I have also been a big fan of the Economist campaign over the last decade or so. Their proprietary type on that bright red field always delights with an intelligent take on the world. Having said that, I present the latest Economist work coming from AMV.BBDO London. Now, I think these are really striking. Graphically speaking, the work opens the door for them to do a lot of interesting (intelligent?) variations of the white/red on black theme in the future. Apparently, the strategy for this campaign was to attract a younger audience using a slightly more modern approach - which to me is somewhat condescending, as if a younger person couldn't appreciate the sophistication of their prior communications because it wasn't paired with 'a pretty picture.' However, this shaky rationale for change is saved as a result of the beautiful work led by the art director, Paul Cohen. His direction to the illustrators was simple and elegant: interpret the lines written by Mark Fairbanks. And their interpretations are inspired and in their own way, intelligent. I do hope the copy for this new campaign remains as strong as when it was the only thing on the page. Then, the artwork can simply up the ante and continue to surprise. No word on whether or not the campaign here in the states will go in this direction or not.

Here are some of the first pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

(In true graphicology style, here are a few links to some of the featured Illustrators: Seymour Chwast ('Looking for the Herd...'), Matthew Green ('Disection...'), Mick Marston, Fine ’n’ Dandy, Geoff McFetridge contributed while Non-format illustrated two executions.)


123. Favorite Recent Links, Design or Otherwise.

officedoors.jpgI've been on travel for a few projects over the last couple weeks - so apologies for the inactivity. This week promises to be better with two new editions of the Art of Presentation series about to be posted. Look for those but in the meantime, check these out:

1. Awesome Dead-Letter Offices via AceJet170. 2. The Waterhobo via Boing Boing. 3. Switch Lightbulbs via CommonCraft. 4. Arrogance and Humility. 5. Why is Design Important? 6. Flatbush Pavilion Messages via H&FJ. 7. Right or left-brained? via 8. Awesome Infographic about Retail Footprints. 9. Yee-Haw Industries shop. 10. Bookcarvings via The Serif. 11. The Third Installment of the Bravia Campaign. 12. The Typophile Film Festival. 13. Embedded Web Fonts? 14. Advertising By Design. 15. And good lord, someone built their own letterpress.


122. Your P's and Q's Parts 2 – 5.

psqs2.jpgHaving received so many positive comments to scan the rest of this amazing book, I did just that. It's located here. I'll even put it in .pdf format over the weekend, if you would prefer to wait for that.

I found a 1945 edition that's available here and here. I have not re-found the source I used to purchase my 1923 copy, in bad shape though it may be. Let me know if you find it somewhere else. Enjoy.