Wednesday, 30 September 2009

France Telecom suicides

On my way to work today I was reading the Metro and came across a story about France Telecom. In under two years there have been 24 suicides from the people working for the company. The company itself employees 100,000 people and statistically the percentages are in line with the national population ratio of suicides. Yet many of the 24 who have killed themselves have blamed the working environment for the problems.

Source: Australia News

Monday, 28 September 2009

Hoffi brand seminar

Well it's over... It's been a long day and I am knackered but it's been good. Our first seminar took place this morning at gwdihw and we had a great turnout, and I think everyone got something from it. We have have already had a good response and will definitely be doing some more in the future. If any one would like to be informed when the next one is going to be just drop me an email.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

think this sums it up for me...

2.0 web - making - and 2.0 branding

Over recent times the development of the internet and associated technologies has moved platforms from talking at you to engaging with you and starting a dialogue. This development has been directly mirrored in the branding world. Kevin Roberts CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi coined 'Lovemarks' which represent the new version of successful brands of the future. These brands firstly live via hugely emotional connections. They also have moved into an attraction economy rather than the attention economy of yesteryear. The main idea of the branding of the future is that it is always changing, and the printed world will be out of date by the time your customer reads it. So with the development of internet technologies and the new way of thinking about branding the next ten years or so could be of great interest for the development of branding.

Since I began to being involved in 'Graphics' I always felt a bit at a lost end, the first design agency I worked at was highly structured and it was hard to engage in creativity, other than that taking place on screen, as a trained 3D Designer who worked their concepts by making and sketching, it probably looking back at it made me stronger on a computer but my creativity took a while to get back to where is was. This act of Making though has I believe suffered within branding and brand communications, and it is clear that the companies that have managed to maintain making within their structure have become very successful. I also am starting to include making in terms of technology making. Companies such as Moving Brands with their We are scarf have played with the concept of making and I believe the dialogue in the trials of the technology and system made the project strong.

In another way a company called proud creative who were responsible for the re-brand of S4/C
a few years ago also have a strong feel of making within their business. Now I am not sure if I feel these are cool companies because I like the idea of making or whether their potential clients will pick on this.

Saturday, 26 September 2009


Branding and the developments of recent times...

Recently we have been to a number of pitches in London, and while we unfortunately did not manage to get the job in question there were some up sides to visiting the big smoke. For us London is easier to get to that some of our clients within Wales so it makes sense for us to target businesses over the bridge. Watch this space on the job front.

Anyway to relieve some stress I thought some retail therapy would help. I had seen some puma trainers a few weeks ago and thought I would go back and take a second look (who am i kidding I went to buy), The trainers really struck me because as always it was the brand and its associates that had just clicked fro me recently:

With this in mind I thought I would describe puma through a personal experience.

During my school years I was fairly sporty. I was a member of the baseball team and also rock climbed about three times a week. I wasn't a massive football fan, I played at lunchtime but never went for the school team or anything like that. At this time football boots were starting to take off in terms of a mass product range. One of the more expensive and popular boots out was puma kings. I think some of the best English footballers at the time were wearing them so they had a 'cool' feel to them if you were into football. Fo me the brand seemed to be talking a different language to me and I was very much an adidas person as they were at the time venturing into rock climbing by sponsoring some of the best climbers of the time.

puma didn't really come into my thinking then for about another decade or so when I had (probably subconsciously) puma in my life again. puma had started to sponsor the boots for motor racing. Both F1 cars and motoGP. This began the change for me, before I had seem then almost mimicking adidas and nike, from here on I started to see them differently. The associations with DUCATI, FERRARI and also VOLVO through yachting had taken puma into a totally different space, at a similar time they brought Phillipe Stark in to create a number of shoes that further began the change into a design led company that had a degree of style and arrogance.

The seed was finally sewn when I went to a puma store with my good friend Ben, who raved about the interior of one of the puma stores. I went in and once again the feel and style was different from the other brands of the time. FRom here on in it was only a matter of time before I was going to buy something from puma. It was a few days after Usain Bolt had run to victory in both 100 and 200 metres during the world championship and I found myself in London near a puma store :-)

lack of vocabulary at Apple headquarters

MA nearly over

I have been trying to blog for the last month or so and only now have had a chance to catch up on some work. Until very recently I had always thought there was time to blog, that was until recently when I have had no time to do anything. I have been working generally a 18 - 20 hour day trying to get my MA and Hoffi work done. Now it is nearly over I have the MA completed we have applied for a recent big tender and have been to some really big pitches. Only have one more big day on Monday and then it's back to being a bit less hectic.

For me the MA has made for a great year in terms of learning and developing thoughts and ideas for the future of Hoffi and also the future of me personally. My final project for the name titled 'ARK' is slowly being formed through regular meetings with Lynsey and Simon. I hope that we have something that becomes a genuine venture for the future. The private show is this wednesday and I should get feedback at around the same time, fingers crossed.

Challenging creativity - new thoughts

I came across this project by Emma Smart recently after finding the link via Tom Harle's blog. The project named 'Creative Studio' got me thinking about recent projects I have been working on and also our studio space back at Hoffi. It is quite easy to get sucked into becoming stagnent within the place we work, at Hoffi we try and change our work area in terms of position and style about every 6 months, everyone complains about it because they have to move all their stuff but after three years I have always felt refreshed by the move.

The theory goes back to some work I was involved in over seven years ago in university. The piece was centered around office workers and focal points. The theory being that if you have the same stimuli day in day out your senses start to regress and take things for granted. Ultimately you can become depressed and unhappy. In the business we are in it can also lead to lack of creativity.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Experiences of setting up a group...

In the true spirit of setting up an open space technology I thought I would fill people in on my initial experiences of the project. Firstly I must say it is not my brainchild. Lynsey of attic 2 and Simon from ecodesign centre Wales have been discussing the idea of staging an 'event' for the forthcoming Cardiff Design Festival. With the work I have recently been doing through my MA and also hopefully beyond that I kind of gatecrashed it (but in a good way I hope). Lynsey introduced us to the concept of Tuttle and the idea of an almost agendaless meeting.

Firstly the idea is that you get together once a week same place same time and each time you meet you try and bring someone to the meeting that wants to chat in the broadest sense of the word about 'eco', then that person can come again and hopefully invites another person and so on and so on, if anyone is reading this though and lives in the Cardiff area then the more the merrier, just drop me an email: and I can send you the details.

Well that was the plan, but now coming up to the fourth week it is already apparent while the event and the idea of eco is hugely integral to the meetings it is the off shoots that really have taken the evening into different places and thinking. At first I was not really sure how a non-agenda event meeting would work. I also wanted to use the experience in developing my understanding of these type of events and to see how this type of open space technology networks can be setup. What has really surprised me from the first meeting is that in simple terms it really works. I have been trying to think about why it has and I think I have a reason for it. Firstly I would like to say I love going out for the odd drink but I hate the hangover. So how about you go out and instead of thinking I am going out to have a few drinks and see some people. I am instead going to go out have a few drinks and chat about somethings I really want to get better acquainted with. It kind of follows on from a quote in Martin Raymond's book The Tomorrow People where they identified a group of people who felt they were so busy that they had stopped drinking alcohol as they were too busy to have a hangover for the morning afterwards.

So far we have had few ideas about the Festival event, still not sure if it will be possible, but secondly the system has the potential to be the start of a much larger project that I am working on.