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News Articles

The latest creative industry news from various different publications and sources

10 Latest news articles

How brands should use Instagram

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 31st of March 2015 06:30:00 PM

Speaking at an Instagram event in London yesterday, photographer Adrienne Pitts, Instagram creative strategist Alistair Cotterill and Jade Harwood of knitwear brand Wool and the Gang shared their tips for using the platform, offering advice for brands and creatives on hashtags, comments and content...

In a discussion chaired by CR's Patrick Burgoyne, Pitts, a lifestyle and travel photographer based in London with over 83,000 followers, said she uses the site as a visual diary, taking images every day and creating hashtags to curate libraries of her photos which are inspired by a particular place or theme.

Image via @hellopoe (Adrienne Pitts) on Instagram

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Richard Ayoade and TomSka on YouTube and filmmaking

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 26th of March 2015 11:51:00 AM

Poster for Ayoade's film The Double, by Empire Design

Speaking at Ad Week Europe in London yesterday, director Richard Ayoade, YouTube film maker Thomas Ridgewell (TomSka) and Dave Bedwood, creative director at M&C Saatchi, discussed how platforms like YouTube are influencing filmmaking, how online content differs to traditional media and what the ad industry can learn from online video.

As a director, Ayoade is best known for his feature films Submarine and The Double, but previously directed TV shows Man to Man with Dean Learner and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, as well as ads for Citroen and LG and music videos for the Arctic Monkeys, the Last Shadow Puppets, Vampire Weekend and Kasabian.  Read More»

Music Videos of the Month

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 31st of March 2015 04:45:00 PM

It's been a grand old month for music videos, and we have some gems to share with you here, opening with a space age adventure from director Saman Kesh for Kygo's Stole The Show...

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Paul Smith on photography, creativity and Instagram

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 31st of March 2015 07:31:00 PM

Behind the scenes shot for a shoot promoting Paul Smith's 'suit to travel in', and photograph of record sleeves. Images via  Read More»

Ads of the Week

Source: Creative Review | Published: Friday 27th of March 2015 10:45:00 AM

We have some great work to share with you this week, for Orbis Access, Desperados, Moyee coffee, Specsavers, Think! and Kids Company. First up though is this Cold War-inspired short film from Taco Bell...

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Creative coding: the making of Hackaball

Source: Creative Review | Published: Monday 30th of March 2015 02:25:00 PM

Hackaball is a responsive ball for children that can be programmed to make games, teaching basic coding and computer skills. Created by digital agency Made by Many, it started out as a studio assignment and has since raised over $200,000 on Kickstarter. We spoke to Made by Many's Rachel Mercer and Richard Ling about the product and process of developing it...

Aimed at six to ten-year-olds, Hackaball is a small computer system made up of a vibrating motor, lights, a battery, memory to store sounds and a speaker, encased in a transparent plastic ball. The ball is covered in a silicone membrane and can allegedly withstand being kicked, thrown and dropped.

Using an accompanying app, children can download a series of pre-made games for the ball or create their own games and functions - for example, by selecting sequences (such as sounds and lights) to be triggered in response to simple actions such as kicking, passing or bouncing the ball. Made by Many says children have also used it to make 'Magic 8' balls, whoopee cushions and alarm clocks.

To fund the project, the agency launched a Kickstarter campaign and has already received more than double its funding target with three days to go (you can view the campaign page here). The agency expects to ship the product by Christmas, and is now in talks with UK retailers about stocking it in high street stores.

Hackaball design sketches

As senior strategist Rachel Mercer explains, Hackaball was created in response to an internal assignment, set almost two years ago, to make a connected product. "Hackaball came out of that process because at the time, we were doing a lot of work in education and learning [Made by Many had launched a Skype platform to deliver talks and lessons to pupils in schools around the world, and an online learning service for people in developing countries with TED]," she explains.

While there are already a number of products aimed at helping teach children about coding - from Kano's computer kit to Technology Will Save Us' DIY Gamer Kit - Made by Many felt these were often too complicated for younger children and parents or teachers who are unfamiliar with the basics of programming.

Early prototypes

"I think Hackaball fits a really interesting gap in the marketplace," says Mercer. "Most of what we've seen falls into two camps - there are a lot of applications which teach the basics of coding but are very much tethered to a screen and not very hands on, or you have really interesting products like Kano's, which are hands-on, but it's a much steeper learning curve to put them together. We felt there was an opportunity to make something a little more accessible and very open...it encourages children to use logic and follow sequences, but also use their imagination," she adds.

The product was tested on dozens of schoolchildren of varying ages, says Mercer, with the studio making between 50 and 100 prototypes before deciding on a final design. The first was a rudimentary model of a sensor duct taped to an Arduiono board, followed by a series of more sophisticated 3D printed models, which have been tested and refined over the past six months. Packaging and casing was developed by Map, a industrial design consultancy founded by Barber and Osgerby, which also worked with Kano.

"There were a lot of different aspects we had to test, from the ball itself (whether it was robust enough, and the right size for children to hold in their hand) to how we would accommodate a range of literacy levels. A six-year-old's reading ability is completely different to a ten-year-old's, so we created a series of icons for the app to denote different kinds of actions, such as kicking or throwing the ball," adds Mercer.

"In prototypes, we also made sure to include animations - in an age of things like Minecraft, children have really high expectations of what they interact with on screen, so a lot of our testing was aimed at gauging those expectations so we could meet them in the design of the [Hackaball] app," she adds.

Mercer and product manager Richard Ling say the studio also spent a lot of time developing ways to ensure children would continue playing with Hackaball over a long period of time.

"We wanted to add a bit of value for parents - to make sure it wasn't just something children would play with for a week and never pick up again, so we added features like the ability to share programmes you have created, and rewards for children the more they play with it, as well as levels," explains Ling.

"The idea is that the ball can grow with the child, they can start out using it to play and as they get older, use it to learn about hacking hardware. We're also testing what adults can do with it too, and looking at making it compatible with Arduino down the line," adds Mercer.

With its funding target reached, Mercer and Ling say Hackaball should be on sale by the end of this year. The studio has also received donations on behalf of schools and universities interested in using it in lessons.

As the success of Hackaball, Kano's computer kit, Raspbery Pi and the DIY Gamer Kit has demonstrated, there's huge demand for products that can help teach children about coding and computing in a fun, hands-on way, and it's great to see one that's accessible to younger children, as well as parents and teachers who might feel intimated by some of the more complex products on sale.  Read More»

A new marque for Glenlivet

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 31st of March 2015 12:30:00 PM

SomeOne has worked with illustrator and craftsman Christopher Wormell to create a new symbol for Glenlivet whisky, replacing the brand's thistle marque with a linocut depicting the river that flows through its estate.

Founded in 1824, Glenlivet is apparently the second biggest selling single malt in the world and the biggest selling in the US. The brand has used a thistle marque for the past 50 years but with its global export business growing, felt it needed something more distinctive.

The new marque, pictured top, depicts a packhorse bridge over the River Livet, which flows through Glenlivet?s distillery estate in Northeast Scotland and is the water source for the drink (the whisky's Gaelic name is also a reference to the river, translating as the valley through which the Livet flows). The bridge was apparently used by bootleggers to smuggle whisky from the estate in the 19th century, and is pictured within a perfect circle above the phrase 'Estd. 1824'.

Glenlivet's previous logo

David Law, co-founder of SomeOne, says the marque aims to better represent Glenlivet?s heritage and location ?while giving it a more contemporary edge.?

?The growth in the whisky market globally has been stratospheric, and Glenlivet wanted a signifier that would be understood in different markets, from China to the US. A thistle is a symbol of Scotland, but it?s very generic and doesn?t necessarily translate globally,? he explains.

The marque was produced in linocut by Christopher Wormell, who worked from preparatory sketches drawn up by senior designer Tom Myers. It has already been applied to Glenlivet's website and will be rolled out across packaging and branding over the next few months.

Logo sketches

?We?ve worked with Christopher a few times and thought he?d be perfect for this. We did some sketch work with him in mind, got it to look roughly how we wanted, then asked him to refine and finesse it. Chris works in wood cut as well as linocut, but we chose linocut [for the marque] as it?s a slightly quicker process, and we knew we?d have to make several small adjustments and tweaks to make sure it would work in small and large scale,? says Law.

?The refinements mainly consisted of bringing a little more finesse and tonal balance to the image, so that it worked a little more illustrative-ly than merely as a flat graphic symbol,? says Wormell.

?I worked on quite a few versions of the image at the sketch stage, between five and ten I think, mainly trying to get that tonal balance right and the curve of the bridge ? it needed to mirror the circle of the icon, yet maintain an illustrative perspective. Once the sketch was just about there I cut the image on a lino block, converting all shapes and textures into solid black and white,? he adds.

Wormell has produced some beautiful linocut and wood cut work in his career, including editorial illustrations and artwork for packaging, as well as a series of children?s books about animals. "I've been making linocuts for many, many years - for most of my life," he says. "Drawing with a lino cutting tool feels natural to me; making white lines on  Read More»

A new kind of play centre by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 26th of March 2015 11:10:00 AM

Life with small children can get repetitive. One of the most common repeats is the soft play centre, which seems to have an identikit, brightly coloured look wherever you go. But now there's a new kind of play centre in town: The Idol, created for the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking, London is designed by the artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and sports a strikingly different style...

Chetwynd has previously been nominated for the Turner Prize and is renowned both for her unusual name (which she explains here) and for her performance art, films and installations which explore surreal, often carnivalesque stories. The play centre is therefore something of a new direction for her, though it comes with its own narrative, based on the Dagenham Idol, an ancient wooden effigy found near the location of the new leisure centre in 1922, and believed to date from 2250 BC. For its appearance at the centre Chetwynd has giving the effigy, which is blocky in design, a robotic makeover, and children are invited to climb up inside it and look out at the world through its eyes.

Most significant, however, is the the monochrome look of the play centre. For parents weary of childish primary colours, this will come as a relief, and while in photos the black-and-white tones may seem a little sinister, when I visited with some toddlers in tow, they were entirely unphased and gleefully set upon the structure, which is narrow but high, stretching over three floors.

In most respects, its contents are familiar fare for regular visitors to soft play centres ? there is a ball pit (of all-white balls), slides (including a terrifying looking vertical one for older kids, which was closed when I visited), and lots of soft things to climb up. In this, Chetwynd's piece differs from other artworks created for utilitarian spaces (such as Martin Creed's beguiling sound work in a lift at the Royal Festival Hall, for example) in that it is first and foremost a place for children ? art fans who pitch up to view it as an artwork may receive strange looks from the staff, particularly if they arrive without kids.

But as an example of how a different point-of-view can enliven an otherwise formulaic genre, Chetwynd's work is something of a marvel. Here's hoping that more councils follow Barking and Dagenham's lead in employing artists to think differently about the more ordinary aspects of our day-to-day lives.

The Idol was commissioned by Create. It is part of the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking, London. More info is here.

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