RSS feeds update
Monday, January 5, 2009
I've restructured the RSS feeds to better manage my news content on a yearly basis. The feed on this page is for 2008 only. Should you wish to receive my latest news via your favourite feed reader be sure to go to the current year in the menu on the left and subscribe via the AddThis feed button.
My opinion: a repository
Monday, December 29, 2008
I've found myself writing a lot recently. Mostly commenting on branding and design related blogs such as Under Consideration's Brand New, Landor's blog and Creative Review. For those interested in my opinion I've compiled a selection on this website.
Click on the Barclaycard brandmark above and you'll find my thoughts on the new Barclaycard brand identity as well as links to the other blogs.
Of course my comments are out of context and without the benefit of adjacent posts to which my comments sometimes relate. Even so a pattern in my thinking will be apparent. Over time this should afford me a unique position which should find further purchase in my work.
Mobile device access
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
On a small screen mobile device the text menu on this website requires continual zooming in to navigate. This requires committed interest so for time poor viewers I've added a large simple arrow for quick sequential run-throughs. The arrow enables users to move forward through top level content for an overview of my work and profile.
Not only is the arrow also useful for larger screen viewings, it seems to enhance the overall aesthetic of the website. There is now an increased sense of pace and the arrow suggests a forward moving and dynamic approach.
PDF Portfolio & recruitment
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Along with a detailed update to the recruitment section on this website there is a PDF portfolio available for download in the live work portfolio section (or click the PDF icon above for a direct download).
The projects featured in the PDF is a selection from Live work, Concepts and Other in Portfolio. Each entry in Recruitment has either a link directly to the featured company or an explanation of the status of the company or the company website.
You can view my interview history as well as month-specific information for the current year and then yearly for companies that have received my CV. It also shows my recruitment agent history and whether my CV has been promoted by an agent or myself.
A short break - Ibiza and Dubai
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It's been a fair year so far. Siegel+Gale have brought me in on some choice projects and I'm looking forward to the not so distant realisation of some of my ideas, particularly the Middle Eastern telco brand identity.
The last few weeks I've spent consolidating the last year and a half's work. You'll notice a bunch of new work in my portfolio, mostly in the concepts section but notably Pick n Pay, Life Bank and Eksmo in the live section. There are a couple more projects I'll write news entries for when I return from a short break.
Today I leave to visit a friend (and client) in Ibiza for a few days and the week after, another friend in Dubai. As a lot of this year's work has been for clients in the Middle East I'll be looking very closely at what goes on in Dubai. And hopefully burn up a few sand dunes on dirt bikes in the desert. I'll be back on the 27th of October.
Eksmo - Russian publisher
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Eksmo is one of Russia's largest publishing houses. The old brand identity wasn't able to meet the demands of a rapidly changing and highly competitive market so SCG London was approached to reposition the brand and develop a brand identity to reflect the new positioning.
I generated the source positioning concept for the 'turning point' idea on which the brand identity is based. Initially I proposed 'a fulcrum'. This then became 'pivotal' and finally, 'turning point', both of which were used to describe a fulcrum in more accessible terms. Eksmo now positions itself as a turning point in publishing. A turning point for authors, partners and readers. I also proposed 'celebrating the book but freeing the content' to express a change in the publishing of content via new and traditional media.
My trip to Thailand and South Africa at the end of last year ended my involvement in the project but the final brandmark was developed from the brandmark shown in my portfolio. Click the Eksmo brandmark above to see the full entry.
Life Bank - The essence of life
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Life Bank is a large Russian bank offering services in mid-tier corporate, SME and retail banking with a strong retail presence in major centres throughout Russia. SCG London was tasked with evolving the brand identity and bringing the various regional banks in line with the Life Bank brand. My role was to develop a brand identity typeface and a collateral brandstyle (look and feel).
A complete brand identity typeface was required across the whole alphabet in both Russian and English as well as a tweaked descriptor typeface in both languages. Click on the cyrillic alphabet above to see the typeface and all the regional bank brandmarks.
'The essence of life' was chosen as the theme for the collateral brandstyle. Around this idea I developed three routes, expecting the client to choose one. Instead, Life Bank opted to use all three and subject to an appropriate fee structure it looks like they are going ahead with all three. The brandstyle featured (click the collateral image above to see the work) will constitute the initial roll out of the identity along with new branch interiors and facades also designed by SCG London.
The collateral graphic idea is inspired by DNA sequencing images and serves as an iconic brand signifier heralding the continued expansion and transformation of the Life Bank brand.
As soon as the other brand collateral ideas go public I'll publish the rest of my contribution to this project.
Saudi Aramco - Celebrates 75
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This year, Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producing company in the world is celebrating 75 years in business. In June last year Siegel+Gale brought me in to generate ideas for the celebration.
Saudi Aramco has taken the opportunity to emphasise the human side of the energy business - firstly for their staff, secondly for local community and regional culture, and thirdly for the people of the world. Human achievement and benefits to mankind embodied in the idea of 'Energy for generations' drove our explorations for the identity.
From a large team working on the project, two out of the six ideas put forward to the client were mine. You can find my contributions in the concept section of my portfolio. Alternatively, click on the image above to go to the first entry.
Nvohk - Earthcare
Friday, September 12, 2008
Nvohk is an eco-clothing startup harnessing the collective powers of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. This means that for a yearly fee members get to submit design ideas as well as decide how to manage the company. All hail the democratisation of business made possible by the internet.
As a paid member I put my efforts into the brandmark above. And more (click the brandmark to see the full entry in my portfolio), but as the competition was only for a logo it was subject to voting as a logo with no rationale or opportunity to demonstrate it's function as a brandmark.
As to be expected from members of the general public who fancy themselves as designers, bar a few ideas, the logo contributions were generally poor. Fortunately my entry made it through three rounds into a final four with one other worthy contender (to my mind).
Unfortunately, the collective chose what I've voiciferously described as vanilla on the member forum. Go to nvohk.com to see the winning entry. Sigh!
Pick n Pay - Value All Ways
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
One of the products of the fiercely creative start on the Pick n Pay brand transformation was 'Value All Ways' as a brandline. It wasn't part of my remit to find a brandline but its emergence seemed to impress the strategists at Landor. A glittering gem from the initial firing of the creative furnace, so to speak. I know that it did get favourable promotion at the senior management level at Pick n Pay. However, a brandline specialist was brought in and I don't know whether 'Value All Ways' made it into market research. 'Inspired by you' came to the surface and it made sense relative to the positioning. Never-the-less, I'm very proud of my attempt and always offer it as a unique example of my textual creativity.
Click on the brandline to go to the entry in my portfolio.
Siegel+Gale - Property brand
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
After the false start of a month ago the Middle Eastern property development company has given Siegel+Gale the go ahead to start brand identity creative work. I'm back in tomorrow for round two. This should keep me busy for the next three weeks.
Pick n Pay - Transformation
Friday, August 22, 2008
The new Pick n Pay brand identity has finally made it into my portfolio. This was the major South African supermarket brand transformation I was working on at Landor during the first half of 2007.
My trip to South Africa at the beginning of this year was rewarded by experiencing the new identity first hand. The flagship store in Constantia (Cape Town), the Rosebank store (Johannesburg) and other corporate stores throughout the country were very impressive. Along with the lastest retail gadgets, packaging, advertising campaign, instore and general promotions, an impression of a forward-looking, modern and vibrant organisation is being realised.
After much research the transformation was held to be crucial to the continued success of the brand. The old Pick n Pay appeared unable to make or keep up with changes in the sector. Woolworths was taking market share at the top and Shoprite Checkers from the bottom. The old identity was becoming synonymous with a dusty, reactionary and inflexible company of traders despite the iconic status of the brand.
After an initial uproar in the local marketing and design community it seems the new identity is holding its ground and becoming a valued part of everyday life in the new South Africa.
The most compelling criticism from local marketing and design professionals was that millions of Rands left the South African economy and that South African agencies lost out. It is possible but unlikely that South African agencies can offer the advice of the heavy-weight strategists in London. Experience of the sort offered by Landor strategists is second to none. These are a rare breed of incredibly articulate, deeply experienced and highly creative marketeers who know a thing or three about branding large organisations.
As with any change there are steep learning curves ahead and a few mistakes are bound to be made. Armed with the strategy advice and the new brand identity tools we developed at Landor, Pick n Pay has made a solid investment which is bound to make returns way beyond the intial cost.
Click on the Pick n Pay brandmark above to view the entry in my portfolio.
Siegel+Gale - More
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The US-based aircraft manufacturer brand identity project presented itself to start creative at Siegel+Gale, week before last. Everything was looking good, complete rebrand, new name, great sector and notably, a keen and decisive client.
Or so we thought.
As often happens when an organisation is confronted by the enormity and complexity of finding a new identity, subjectivity becomes an unpredictable factor. No matter how carefully the arguments presented or how much guidance and consolation offered, little can prevent key decision makers getting jittery - particularly when sustained contact at the top level isn't an option.
At the risk of doing additional naming work for nothing Siegel+Gale pushed back and the project was abandoned after a week's worth of brand identity work. Unfortunately the client may never get to see (or benefit from) the brand ideas we developed before the project was prematurely ended.
Siegel+Gale - Continued
Thursday, July 17, 2008
My three or four week booking turned into months worth of work. With an occasional gap of a couple of days and a week or two off attending to my personal projects, Siegel+Gale have kept me very busy. I've been working on various projects in the Middle East. These include brand identity concepts for ITFC (International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation), an event destination brand and a major telecommunications company.
A new brand name hiccup client-side prevented us taking a property development brand identity into creative on Monday this week. I should be back in as soon as this is resolved - hopefully next week sometime. Otherwise we're in talks about a brand identity project for an international firm of architects and a US-based aircraft manufacturer.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
After two months traveling Thailand and South Africa I'm back in the UK. Periscope has secured a three, possibly four week booking with Siegel+Gale starting on Monday.