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The latest creative industry news from various different publications and sources

10 Latest news articles

Deborah Sussman, 1931-2014

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 21st of August 2014 12:11:00 PM

Deborah Sussman, centre, in 1965

We were very sad to learn of the death of the designer Deborah Sussman yesterday. As a champion of bold and brightly-coloured supergraphics, epitomised in her work for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, her creations were much loved by designers and the public alike. Here, we republish our profile of her from our January issue...

In December of last year, I had the opportunity to interview Deborah over the phone prior to a new exhibition of her work at the WUHO space at Woodbury University. We'd arranged a date and time to talk by email (hers were written in alternate black and pink), and after a few technical hitches we settled into discussing some of her most famous projects, most of which were to be celebrated in the Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! show.

Deborah was gracious and funny and not afraid to talk poetically about projects she'd been involved with since the early 1950s: her move from New York to Chicago's Institute of Design; her time at the Eames' studio on the West coast; the work she'd made with artists and architects; the formation of the Sussman/Prejza studio with her husband Paul Prejza; and the famous LA Olympics project.

Looking over the few emails I received from her around that time, one particular sign off stands out (not least for the lowercase pink type). I'd asked her what she liked most about LA and whether the city had offered her the chance to do things that might not be achievable anywhere else. She wrote back: "It's probably the sky at sunset, in late fall; fluorescent peaches among a Tintoretto cloudful wave of the arm, in the simple southern California air."

If you didn't know her work we hope that the feature below, which we ran as 'LA Woman', gives a flavour of a uniquely Californian personality; someone who believed in, as she said, sometimes challenging the "less is more" doctrine with "more is more". The feature ran in the January 2014 issue of CR.

Deborah Sussman is a designer very much at home with the bold, bright colours and expansive canvases of California. Originally from New York, via Chicago's Institute of Design, she is ? at 82 ? still something of an adopted daughter of the American west coast. This month she is exhibiting some of her earliest commissions across two different galleries in Los Angeles, the city in which she has lived and worked since the early 1950s.

From her first job at the Eames studio in Venice, CA, to the large-scale graphics she has created with a range of architects over the years, including those for the LA Olympic Games in 1984, Sussman's design approach has found a home in this special city. Of the new shows, Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! at the Woodbury University gallery takes this relationship as its starting point and, for the first time, surveys her early work in California as it grew both in terms of scope and size.

The determination by the exhibition's organisers to display Sussman's formative projects, culminating with the Olympics work, resulted in a successful Kickstarter appeal to help fund it, but also told of a strong desire to see her design celebrated in this way. The gallery claims that the show will reveal "Sussman traversing office cultures, figures and collaborators of different generations, and types and styles of work". In as much as she has made this cross-disciplinary role her own, initially the city itself was not the reason Sussman ended up there in 1953. It was simply where the Eames' happened to be based.

As two of the most recognised designers in the world, earlier that year Charles and Ray Eames had visited Chicago's Bauhaus-influenced ID school, to give a lecture. "People were hanging from the rafters," Sussman recalls. "We all went crazy for it." While there, Charles Eames asked the school's Konrad Wachsmann if he could recommend a student who would be willing to come out and work for them that summer. "I found out about it by accident," says Sussman. "Walking down the street one of the faculty said, ?So you're going to Eames?' And I said, ?What?!' I packed up my belongings, went to New York to say goodbye to my parents and flew out to Los Angeles as quickly as I could." Sussman was 22.

In an interview filmed for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the designer has said that in studying theatre and art at New York's Bard College (1948-1950) and designing stage sets while in Chicago, she was already developing an Eames-like approach. "There was such a compatibility between the aesthetic that I had unconsciously been using and the ?disciplined' playfulness of what the Eames' were doing," she recalled.

Giant House of Cards, 1953 via modernconscience.com

One of her first jobs at Eames was to design the instruction sheet for the studio's illustrated House of Cards game. This meant "drawing the cards in perspective, and [the] configurations they could take," she says in the LACMA film. While drawing was no problem for Sussman, this particular task required using the ruling pen - "the world's cruellest tool," she adds. "Charles could always psych out your Achilles heel, and expect you to succeed in spite of it."

After four years with the Eames', Sussman was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Hochschule f  Read More»

Comic Sans for Cancer opens tonight

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 19th of August 2014 04:26:00 PM

This Studio

Two hundred posters are going on show tonight at The Proud Archivist in London, each with a similar aim in mind ? to make something eye-catching using Comic Sans and raise money for Cancer Research UK in the process. Ahead of the opening of Comic Sans for Cancer, the curators sent us a selection of the posters that will be exhibited...

"Can Comic Sans have a positive effect on society?" ask the organisers of an exhibition which looks to take one of the world's most divisive typefaces, have some fun with it, and make some art along the way. Vincent Connare's typeface is twenty years old this year, and since its inception as part of a Microsoft package where it was used to render text in speech bubbles, the face has become ubiquitous ? and much maligned, if not misunderstood.

Deciding to play with this idea, in some cases turning the image of Comic Sans completely on its head, Chris Flack, Renee Quigley and Jenny Theolin of Soapbox & Sons put a call out for submissions for a show where all the work would be made available to purchase (see below), with proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. They received over 500 pieces of work and their selection of 200 opens to the public tomorrow, running until August 24 (full details below).

Exhibiting artists include Connare ? and his nemesis Ban Comic Sans ? Biblioth  Read More»

Ikea launches charming interactive web campaign

Source: Creative Review | Published: Friday 22nd of August 2014 02:13:00 PM

Ikea has launched a new web catalogue for the Norwegian market, created by ad agency SMFB and production company MediaMonks. Based around a family starting their day, the site features lots of cute interactive moments, alongside lots of great-looking Ikea products, but is it enough to grab attention online?

The site is at engoddagstarterher.no, and is in Norwegian, though the English-language trailer below gives a flavour of what you'll find there. The website is also accompanied by a TV spot, here.

It forms part of a number of interesting digital approaches that Ikea has been experimenting with of late, including creating a catalogue website on Instagram and placing a 'digital flea market' on the brand's Norwegian Facebook page, to show its commitment to sustainability.

This new site aims to promote Ikea's renewed bed and bathroom collection, and focuses on a fictional family starting their day. The viewer follows the various characters as they wake up and do their usual morning activities, and can use the space bar to zoom into certain aspects of the site, such as an old-school platform game, or short films, including a Michel-Gondryesque sequence showing a girl flying on a home-made rocket (still top). At the end of the film section, we land on a page that shows all the products featured, with links to buy.

This is a charming version of a web catalogue, though my quibble with these kinds of websites is how to encourage people to engage with the film and the site in the first place. While other of Ikea's work online has appeared within a social media space that audiences might visit anyway, to find out about new products, this piece is more obviously an ad, and requires time and attention from the viewer to get its message across. Once on the website, users are rewarded with lots of interesting details to play with, plus the Ikea furniture certainly looks attractive within this picture-perfect home, but how many people will be invested enough in the brand to reach this point is open to question.

Play with the site online at engoddagstarterher.no.

Agency: SMFB
Creatives: Alexander Gjers  Read More»

Dave McKean art for Terror and Wonder show

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 21st of August 2014 10:30:00 AM

The British Library's forthcoming Terror and Wonder exhibition devoted to all things Gothic is set to open this October ? this morning a six metre high poster featuring the work of comic book artist and illustrator Dave McKean was unveiled on site...

The exhibition celebrates 250 years of Gothic literature with over 200 objects on show including handwritten drafts of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Posters, books, films ? even a vampire-slaying kit ? will also be on display.

"Ever since the publication of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto in 1764, Gothic themes and ideas have provided a rich source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers, artists, musicians and fashion designers; adding colour, wonder and a dash of delicious fear to our lives," says Greg Buzwell, co-curator of the exhibition.

"Dave's artwork brilliantly captures the drama and intensity of the Gothic imagination, something which we explore in detail in Terror and Wonder."

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination opens on October 3. Here's the artwork for the finished poster:

  Read More»

Hans Hillmann exhibition at Kemistry Gallery

Source: Creative Review | Published: Wednesday 20th of August 2014 10:55:00 AM

Opening tomorrow at the Kemistry Gallery in London is an exhibition that celebrates the stunning, graphics-led film posters of German designer Hans Hillmann, who died in May this year.

The show marks the first UK presentation of Hillmann's work, which feels surprising considering both the calibre of his posters, and the significance of the films they were designed for: among the 130 posters Hillmann created are works for Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai and Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, as well as films by Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Cocteau, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, and Luis Bu  Read More»

CR September: Graduate issue

Source: Creative Review | Published: Friday 22nd of August 2014 02:23:00 PM

This year we've approached our graduate issue slightly differently. Covering the shows (and talent) on the blog, in print we decided to see just where a creative education can take you ? from becoming production designer on Game of Thrones or Rihanna's creative director, to working as head of visual creative for Save the Children. The Shellsuit Zombie collective also present a guide to 'what next'; we explore what happens when advertising attempts to 'do good'; and, from new book TM, we finally get to the truth behind the creation of the Woolmark...

Opening the issue (and featuring on the cover and in Monograph), we look at artist Jim Lambie's new 100m long path in Glasgow designed to look like a shelf of records, and how it was made. Russ Coleman and Kirk Teasdale talk through how they constructed it from coloured concrete.

We also look at the controversy surrounding Penguin's new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stefan Sagmeister's recent take on creative types calling themselves "storytellers", and examine the Airbnb rebrand which, as Design Week's Angus Montogmery argues, could well become one of this year's landmark projects.

In the columns, Michael Evamy explores the trend for identities based on bespoke typefaces, potentially replacing logos altogether; while Daniel Benneworth-Gray looks at the way designers have been reprented on the big screen and decides that a Pixar animation might in fact give the closest approximation of what it feels like to work in the profession (it's not all like it is in Catwoman).

Shellsuit Zombie open our Grad Guide with a ten-point look at what the next stages might be for graduates who want to pursue a creative career...

... while our main graduate section looks at thinking beyond the agency or studio environment. We talk to six people with inspiring and unusual jobs and ask them how they got to be where they are today.

We start with Jess Crombie, head of visual creative at Save the Children...

... and then meet Gemma Jackson, production designer on Game of Thrones.

We also interview Clair Battison, senior preservation conservator at the Victoria & Albert Museum; Rachel Louis, arts participation manager at Vital Arts; and Brad Silby (below), Framestore lead animator on films such as Where the Wild Things Are and Guardians of the Galaxy...

... before talking to Simon Henwood (above), creative director for musicians such as Kanye West and Rihanna.

We also invite Grey ECD Nils Leonard and William Fowler, Headspace creative director and CR-columinst to a GoogleChat to debate what happens when advertising attempts to 'do good'; and feature an extract from TM, a new book looking at the history of 29 classic logos by CR's Mark Sinclair, which finally gets to the bottom of how the Woolmark logo came about in the mid-1960s.

In Crit, Rick Poynor finds much to pore over at this year's Rencontres D'Arles festival of photography...

... while Sarah Snaith reports back from a new exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion dedicated to the work of US designer, Ivan Chermayeff. At the back, Paul Belford talks through a deceptively simple-looking print ad for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

This issue's Monograph features some behind the scenes images of the creation of Jim Lambie's concrete path in Glasgow, with photographs of the process taken by Kirk Teasdale. The new issue is available to buy now. To subscribe to CR, go here.

  Read More»

We Buy White Albums

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 19th of August 2014 05:14:00 PM

For the past eight years, US artist Rutherford Chang has been collecting first edition pressings of the Beatles' 1968 White Album. His collection is now on display at FACT in Liverpool until mid-September...

Chang has bought more than 1,000 copies of the White Album so far. The collection was first shown at New York's Recess gallery last year but it has since almost doubled in size, with most purchased online or in second hand record shops for just a few dollars.

Released in 1968, the White Album was the Beatles' ninth and its cover was designed by Richard Hamilton. The minimal look was a reductive reaction to the colourful sleeve for Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club and featured the band's name in simple black type against a white background. Each first edition was also embossed with a serial number.

At FACT's loading bay space, albums are arranged in boxes as they would be in a record store, with visitors are invited to browse and listen to them. The exhibition also features a 96-minute LP which Chang created by overlaying 100 copies of the disc to reveal the crackles and imperfections in each.

As Chang's collection demonstrates, Hamilton's design acted as a blank canvas for owners to draw and doodle on: the exhibition includes sleeves covered in lipstick marks, signatures, declarations of love for Paul McCartney and hand drawn portraits of the band.

Most are tattered and yellowed with age, some have been repaired with sellotape and others feature mould and mildew marks. The collection also features an album covered in peace signs and another in images of food products.

The show provides a fascinating look at an iconic piece of album art and the cultural significance of the Beatles. As Chang notes, each has a different story to tell but together, "this collection of identical yet unique multiples forms a story of the past half-century."

Copies on display aren't for sale but Chang is hoping to add to his collection while in the UK and has invited anyone who has a first edition they'd like to sell to bring it to the gallery, whatever its condition.

We Buy White Albums is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am-6pm at FACT, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool L1 4DQ until September 14. For details, see fact.co.uk

  Read More»

What a failed pitch looks like

Source: Creative Review | Published: Friday 22nd of August 2014 12:52:00 PM

There are many reasons why a pitch tanks, writes Gemma Germains of Well Made studio. Price and strategy are the go-to excuses, but that's only half the story. No client will admit work is won and lost on personality. No client will admit you irritated them...

In five years we have won two pitches ? that's a 99% fail rate. Our studio's Pitch Fail blog posts are an opportunity for us to reopen old wounds and ask ourselves, with a hearty dose of hindsight, why our pitches stink. Give it a year and the reasons are obvious.

It takes a brave studio to admit they lost a pitch due to arrogance, because they didn't listen and worst of all, because they believed their own social media hype. We are that studio.

Despite having already run the numbers, in 2013 we competed in, and lost, three pitches. Having relaunched our studio in December 2012, we had reason to believe the following year would be different. Our rebrand was well received, far outstripping our expectations. We picked up some good press, enquiries rose and we felt some respect from our peers.

We began to take ourselves rather seriously.

So, the pitch. Honestly, we failed during the client briefing, at the first hurdle. Two conversations played out during that briefing, the one we wanted to hear and the one we should have listened to.

The first one started something like this: "We're a regional theatre with the capability to challenge the nationals. We want something that hasn't been done before."

Then there was the conversation that we chose not to hear: "Sorry, but I'm too busy to meet face to face, my team has been reduced in size and I'm doing three jobs in one. We've got a new artistic director in place so we're all just settling in after a lot of change."

We didn't just challenge the brief, we torched it.

The client wanted a brochure and show identity. For the same budget, we argued, the client could produce three newsprint 'zines per season, commissioning a writer to generate articles about the theatre and the companies they presented. We proposed a 'brand asserting' identity, shifting focus from the work onto the theatre.

Before you scoff, I actually know what I'm on about. I was a theatre marketing director. I obliterated my annual budget with brochure design, print and fulfilment. I watched this hideously expensive brochure slip into obsolescence as the season progressed. I watched as popular companies overtook my theatre's brand while we struggled to sell other less well known, equally brilliant productions. With the right theatre, it could have worked.

This was a theatre requiring assurance they could trust a large portion of their considerable responsibilities to someone else. This was a theatre finding their feet who didn't need any more flux. This was a stretched-to-capacity theatre who needed their designer to just bloody get on with it.

Ever been in a genuinely disastrous pitch? My word, it's a livener. The client wanted answers to a brief we'd decided was outdated and archaic. We stuttered and blagged through our allotted 20 minutes, spouting arse-covering nonsense on the fly.

Eighteen months on, we can laugh. We were eager and enthusiastic with none of the modesty a good early career studio possesses. We were arrogant, egos inflated by a handful of Favs and RTs.

When we asked for feedback, the client explained they'd chosen someone "with more experience". What they really said was "we've chosen someone who doesn't believe their own hype."

In hindsight, a grand idea.

Gemma Germains is co-founder of Well Made in Liverpool. Her Pitch Fail posts appear on the studio's blog at wellmadestudio.com.

  Read More»

Bombay Bicycle Club tour visuals

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 21st of August 2014 11:00:00 AM

Bombay Bicycle Club's hypnotic visuals for their recent tour made for a sensory-stimulating show, and they stood-out as the new experiential players at major festivals this summer including dreamy Suffolk weekender Latitude and the hedonistic paradise of Glastonbury. We talk to filmmaker Anna Ginsburg and video designer Adam Young about what it took to create the impressive stage aesthetic and why intensifying the audience's live show tingle is so important.

As part of the tour for Bombay Bicycle Club's latest, critically acclaimed 2014 album, So Long, See You Tomorrow,  Read More»


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