Monday, 29 June 2009

Pepsi Co rebrand and tropicana

It has taken over $1 million dollars to create the new Pepsi Co logo. Work has been produced by Arnell Group and you can see there thinking here.

Also the Arnell group has been involved in the rebranding and repackaging of the iconic Tropicana packaging. The work on both projects has been hugely criticized to date and it will be interesting to see what the future brings.

generous brands

Great post by P wothington of Wolff Olins

tango twat follow up

Carwyn posted an article about tango and it new can, which when you read from top to bottom it reads twat. Since thinking about it I am going to try and find some other examples of things that could maybe be a bit better.

Friday, 26 June 2009

designing sustainable retail environments

Check this article out for information about some great thinking about retail.

need an answer try aardvark

how do we get answers? is it from google? isn't it frustrating when we can not get the right answer? try aardvark

The authentic story

I came across an article discussing the story of companies and how we track them. Think with companies sourcing form a number of different companies the story and authenticity is so important.

See article here

keep cup

Recyclable barista cup

45 advertising brains

Do these ambient advertising techniques work?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

kodak stops production of Kodachrome

After many years Kodak has ceased production of it's flagship film Kodachrome. The film was the best photo colour film ever produced, and the results were brilliant. I believe that the processing though was very laborious and it was not the most environmentally sound of products.

Article source: times
Image source: Scott Haefner

Monday, 22 June 2009

repair things

I remember in my final year in University I was working for a furniture company in Tokyo. The company called SUSU was based on the idea of the slow life and getting away from the city life of Japan. Nearly all of the products were made out of wood and you would look after them by rubbing in oil to keep it looked after. The culture we now find ourselves in is very different from this concept products have been developed where it is now not possible to look after and repair products by the way they are produced. However in these times of thrift you only have to look at sew machine sales going up by 300% that there may be a new market. I came along platform 21's manifesto the other day and think it is once again a fun awareness campaign for everyday items. The pictures are some examples.

It has a hole in it

Found a great piece of soap design on the psfk website from the James Hotel in Chicago. The hotel has a strong belief in eco-design and sustainability and the idea of the soap bar being guests do not use the middle of a bar of soap. I would be very interested in learning what the ingredients of the soap are, but it does seem to be a nice take on a concept and in some ways is just as good as a making you think piece as a functional item.

Friday, 19 June 2009

UWIC - communication degree show 2009 part 2

Following on from my last email, the show's at UWIC this year centered around the usual graphics, textiles and products. It seemed to be slightly smaller than last year though. In particular the textile course seemed a lot smaller than before. Overall I find end of year exhibitions very hard work. As a company looking at people being potential employee's it is a very hard weigh up of seeing people being creative versus them actually being able to do a job and work within an agency. While there were some interesting projects it is always very hard to penetrate them and instantly understand them. For me the piece that really stood out and was not really a piece but a business card was Laura Scull's lollipop business cards.

Dell fights apple about macbook environmental claims - pt1

I came across this article recently about Dell's challenge to apple about it's green claims regarding the latest range of MacBook. Following on from my last blog about the latest incarnation of iPhone. It is interesting how such a huge company could effect the rest of the industry it is in. Having recently been working on a number of Eco-design projects it seems that there are a number of ways that as designers we may be able to affect change within society to make a fundamental difference to the products we design and purchase.

The market leader idea is an interesting one and in terms of case studies we could look at the office furniture market for an idea of how a leader can influence smaller companies within the industry. As I have discussed before there is a movement called cradle to cradle which has been gaining momentum over the last decade or so. It is a very interesting system and new way of looking at things. The interesting thing about it is that it is just a big if not bigger in America as it is in Europe. For years Herman Miller have been at the fore of design and office furniture. They have become the market leaders in the industry and have moved into using cradle to cradle as a way of differentiation and a standpoint to show how good their design is. So where the market leader goes others follow and since this time other companies such as Steelcase and Orangebox have all followed suit.

UWIC - communication degree show 2009

Well a very busy day yesterday. After working on a few things that had to go out before end of play we raced off to see the UWIC degree shows. Also this year there were two lectures from elmwood and Wales at Home. First up was Nicola Wilkes, editor of Wales at home. She spoke about how you can breakthrough using PR. I was remembering back to when I graduated and how valuable that particular lecture would have been to me. I hope the people who are thinking about exhibiting in the festivals this year take on some of her advice.

Secondly was Richard Scholey, one of the Creative Directors at elmwood. I have previously heard elmwood's chairman Jonathan Sands talk at an event organised by Design Wales so I was interested on a number of levels to hear someone else from elmwood. Firstly would the talk be a carbon copy of Jonathan's? would he have the same inspirational things to talk about? how would he compare? While a bit biased (all my family are from Yorkshire) there is a certain sense of humour of a northerner that works amazingly well in presentations.

The work shown was once again very inspirational and always a bit like 'wish I had thought of that', but what I really came away with was transparency. Something we have been working on at Hoffi (really ever since we started i guess) is to be very transparent and open both with our clients and with our employee's. It seems particularly vital in these economic times to be open and to be as approachable as possible. I feel in someways this is not something that cannot be engineered within a business it is more like something that is built within the foundations of the company. While only a small company we invest heavily in training and try and make everyone aware of what we are doing and where we are going both in terms of sales and also in business developments.

weighing scales

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Illustration Agency visits Hoffi

Andrew got a lovely visit from Rhiannon of Central Illustration Agency. They left a few things for us to look through, which I am sure we will be fighting over in the next few days.

Take That in Cardiff, also Oasis for that matter

Over the last week Cardiff has been invaded on friday Oasis were in town and performed at the Millennium Stadium, then yesterday and I believe today Take That are in town, a slightly different Lancastrian band but no less popular. These are huge events for the city and the events pretty much take over the whole city centre. The clean up alone is huge and is pretty similar to the end of a six nations game.

Obama kills fly - slightly dubbed

Saw the report of this on the BayCar this morning on BBC breakfast, granted this one is slightly dubbed but made me laugh.

Monday, 15 June 2009

we are having branding.hoffi

So what if .com and became obsolete and you could have any ending. I can think of the endless possibilities. A recent study in conjunction with The Future Laboratory is looking into the possible changes in internet endings.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Do Lectures

I came across this flickr presentation about the Do Lectures via howies blog. Over the last few years with my involvement with Cardiff Design Festival it is so obviously about people who get things done and go beyond talking. Through our (Hoffi) work with the Design Festival we setup up to try and drive art + design community and also bring exposure to those who want to put the effort in. It is still early days with the site but hopefully it will develop and grow. Ultimately though it is up to the community to make it what they want.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Recession what should we all do?

It's funny that when recession hits peoples first instincts are to reduce their spend on nearly everything. Being a director in Hoffi a brand design business it obvious that I am going to say that our clients should keep there advertising and design budget the same and if they want to become a bigger player in the market then they should even look at spending more. However where is the proof? I came across this article via twitter and Paul Rowen. This is some of the first historic information I have found to support the concept of increasing spend during times of recession. 

iPhone 3G S - announced on american site

There have been rumours of the latest incarnation of the iPhone for months and some sneak previews of the new bits and pieces that will be incorporated into the Phone. For me personally I got a 3G iPhone a few months ago and as you start to use the phone you start to realise how brilliantly it works. I always described it to people as mobile phones up to now have functioned yet the iPhone just works. The way you can switch from text to web to email are fantastic and truly groundbreaking, with some of the finger gestures being incorporated in to the most recent MacBooks (interesting if this would have happened if Mac never went into phones). 

Yet as time goes on the shine dulls and you start looking a bit more objectively at the iPhone. In someways the iPhone is a victim of it's own success, because it works so well you think it should do other things automatically and then get annoyed when it does have the ability. For me the obvious things that the 3G model should definitely had was the ability to send an image with a text, be able to rotate the keyboard allowing for bigger fingers, record video and finally copy and paste from application to application. So fast forward to the 3G S and all of these have been incorporated into the new model plus having a better camera quality (i secretly wanted that as well). 

So the question as always with Mac is are their products designed we obvious gaps in their products which allow for 'new' models? It's an age old issue and very much a chicken and egg situation. On the one hand you could argue if you only brought out a product when 100% happy with it you would never bring it out at all, as it would always be in production. Yet on the other hand are companies such as iPhone designing with definite stages in mind to maximize sales and profit.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

New way of looking at things

Came across this lovely way of visualising a map. The map shows the London underground via time. 

waitrose essential range

Over the last few years one of the iconic new magazines that I have had on subscription has been Monocle. Firstly it's size and design for me are miles apart from other magazines. Also the feel is of exploration and the articles well-versed coupled with a second magazine of Manga at the back and you have a truly engrossing magazine. For me the photography within the magazine is particularly strong particularly when they are looking at trends and bring back pieces and place them all together. I was struck by the similarity of the latest Waitrose essential advert which for me is very similar in style and feel. 

On another tangent it is also interesting in a branding sense with Waitrose Select Farm being incorporated into the essential range. For me this seems to be inline with recent trend analysis we and other people have been involved in. It seems simple no nonsense for a good price is really having power. The Future Laboratory 'No Frills Affluent' seems to be a strong market for this line of products. Finally the movement of the brand away from 'Farm' and also a scratchy 'handmade' feel of the old brand (you can see on image above), perhaps is looking at the idea of are people now feeling this styling means more money and so expense which may put people off in these times?

Friday, 5 June 2009

Microsoft latest gaming experience

Came across the latest gaming concepts from Microsoft on the LSN website. I have searched and searched on previous postings but to no avail regarding my thoughts about Nintendo and how they decided to reinvent themselves in the gaming industry by going in a totally different direction to the gaming industry at that time. The physical experience of a Nintendo game on the Wii is fantastic. Granted the novelty does go down hill quite quickly as there is not really the complexity needed to keep you coming back for more, but the jump in thinking about questioning the style of game play and how we as people can, and do interact with games was changed forever. They in someways took alot from Japanese culture and the huge popularity of gaming arcades which have a huge array of interactive games. Allowing you to become someone else.

The Microsoft concept takes the movement even further and in the video really merges many different life events together with their new offering. I am not sure if it will take to consume our lives quite as much but still a very powerful piece of branding building. 

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Game for all of us — eye-dentity

The recent recession has seen some large companies and brands fall by the way side. A number have merged or re-branded. I came across this game in this weeks design week and cant wait to get my hands on it. It's scary but we recall brands so easily as we are bombarded on a day to day basis. See full article here

In the air

I was tweeting earlier today about how people are doing things at the same time and are in no way related. I hope to write abit more about this in a later blog but could not resist posting this up today, we got the latest design week in the post and Andrew is working on the new colours for the Cardiff Design Festival.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

UWIC - communication degree show 2009

Got an invitation this afternoon (hand delivered), for the UWIC graphic communication degree show. As we have worked with a number of the students on live briefs and being involved in the portfolio clinic early in the year I am going to be very interested to seeing everyones work.

The photo does not really do the invite justice.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Hat for every occasion

Walking through Cardiff Centre this morning I came across this lovely number. It must have happened so many times but still makes you stop and look. I remember when I was in Leeds there was a similar type of statue at the end of Hyde Park I think it was and the statues boots had been painted red, and at christmas he always acquired a santa hat.

Monday, 1 June 2009

mapping at it's best

Got a tweet about this from Owen See what you mean stunning piece of mapping over New York from