Friday, 18 July 2008

Fifth Element - forecast the future?

I managed to catch Luc Besson's 'Fifth Element' the other evening on Film 4. It is now over ten years since it was first released and probably about the tenth time I have seen the film. For people who have not seen the film a quick description of the plot is: 'In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay'. The taxi driver is Bruce Willis and the 'weapon' is model Milla Jovovich. Every time I watch this film I realise how much i enjoy watching it. The sets are fresh even after ten years and the clothes (designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier) add to what I almost see as a melting pot of future directions.

What I mean by this is that for some the future is about slick lines functionality and an almost 'un-human' sanitization of the world, we can see this with the latest apple creation such as the iPhone and iPod touch, while currently these pieces are design icons they have an almost clinical beauty to them. The interesting aspect of Fifth Element however is the eclectic nature of the world that 'Korben Dallas' (Bruce Willis) inhabits. The flying taxis that still have visual indicators of current taxis – when i am sure it could be believed this would no longer be necessary, the vices of the day such as the enlarged filter cigarettes all showing and commenting on how no matter how bad things maybe for you, you may still chose to 'take part'. 

The idea of retro and eclectic is really current today with the last few years harking back to the 80's through this years fashions and music styles. Also there is the idea of mix and match in clothing and interior design etc. So I do feel that while those cutting edge technological pieces will always be with us I wonder when we get to a certain point will we yearn for familiarity?

Monday, 14 July 2008

Learning to drive in Cardiff

Having always worked and studied in fairly big cities and in my early years always being skint the whole driving lessons past me by. I did start lessons when I was about 17 but at that time I was heavily into rock climbing and I had a decision as to whether I should go on a long climbing trip or finish my lessons. For me there was really no contest and I went for the holiday. Since then though I have never really needed a car as I have always been able to get by. That is until this year and with hoffi being busier than ever it is really been necessary for me to learn. So as of last month I got in contact with a few schools and came across Streetwise and I have to say they have been really good, so far it is going really well and my lessons are going well. I think the only thing now is I have got pass my theory test. Fingers crossed and so if you see me with L plates on please be kind.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Bilingual Guides for Welsh Businesses

Over the last few months now we (Hoffi) have produced a number of bilingual design guides for Welsh businesses. Ranging from bilingual branding, through to brand communications and interactive design. The guides were really to give the client an idea of the issues involved in design and how bilingualism can help increase their reach. 

Since the series we are now going to be expanding the guide to wider business issues. Among these will be new marketing techniques, creating press releases and controlling you 'brand' image to clients and potential clients. This series will very much be an exploration of our clients wants and needs and so if anyone has anything in particular that they would like to suggest we produce a guide on, please email me at

Friday, 4 July 2008

Time to clean up

The last few weeks have been unbelievably busy at the Hoffi studio. Since moving into our new studio around 7 months ago we have always wanted to change a few things and make it a bit more homely. At the time we were not sure what exactly we wanted to do but as we have used the space more and more it has become more and more apparent what we should do. You may have seen some of the teaser shots on our blog, but if you have not it is now nearly completed so if you fancy coming in to have a nose why not pop in, we might even make you a coffee. As a company we find it really important to keep our space fresh and invigorating. In fact I always remember one of my lecturers in university talking about change, different view points and how these alter your perspectives. The idea being that by changing things, such as the journey you take to work, what you eat or even when you go to sleep all contribute to keeping things fresh and exciting and so through an ongoing 'freshness' regime it can aid creativity and productivity. 

In similar ways we try and use these same techniques to aid our clients to think differently about their company and the directions they are thinking about taking. Later this year Hoffi will be offering new services for our current and new clients to aid them stay competitive and stand out from the crowd, all based on the same principles. Watch out for developments

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

DME Award Shortlist for Sobor

We were delighted to hear that one of our clients has been shortlisted for this years DME Award in the first time design process. The shortlisted company Sobor is a fruit smoothie producer who we have been working with on their brand identity, packaging and promotional items. We are delighted that Sobor has been recognised in using design to aid their company and wish them luck with the rest of the process. fingers crossed.. The results will be announced in October at the Wales Millennium Centre, as part of the Cardiff Design Festival.