Monday, 26 July 2010

It's book crit time again...

Last week Vicky visited St Albans again for a few days so we could go through our book, compare the work we'd done and go to a couple of book crits in London.

I thought it would be a lot more difficult to work seperately and talk over the phone but I think we're coping quite well. Obviously it would be much easier if we could meet up every week, but neither of us has any money booooooooo.

When Vicky arrives we always have a little show and tell, showing all the drawn up ideas we've been emaiing, texting and calling about for weeks and telling each other what we think. It's a tight squeeze to sleep two people in my bedroom, and probably a fairly boring trip for Vicky (I don't have a T.V. signal in my room), but the hard work and sacrifice will pay off eventually.

Last week we spent day one on Tottenham Court Road, firstly going to see the new Twilight film - Eclipse. I am an unashamed fan of the books and I have to say the film was OK, and probably good for the people who don't read the books. Personally I think it lacked some of the humour that was in the book, for those who know them well, I'm referring to that tent scene.

Later on we dropped into Saatchi & Saatchi to see a team. We had our book crit out in the large reception area. I've always dreaded having such an exposed crit but it was actually a lot more relaxed and gave us a lot more to look at while they were going through our work. We had some really constructive comments as always and got feedback along the lines of "your ideas are great but you're just not pushing them far enough". We shall be revisiting Saatchi's (hopefully) in about a month, so until then we will be "pushing" everything as far as we can go.

The next day we went to see our mate Brittony - Check out her blog
she has moved into a house in Tottenham with some of the Dutch guys from our course. We were pleasantly suprised by the house and the area, in fact we were probably a little bit jealous of all their Ikea goodies.

Later on we went to Farringdon to visit an agency called Muirhoward, who are a relatively small agency that are responsible for those great HSBC "world's bank" ads:

HSBC 30sec TV AD - Power of 8 from muirhoward on Vimeo.

We saw the creative director who was a really inspiring guy and obviously lives for advertising. He seemed really enthusiatic about all our work and offered some great ideas of his own. After showing him the portfolio he went and brought us some of the work he had worked on and we had an interesting chat about Crystal Palace and Ikea. Vicky and I both feel like he was on the same 'wavelength' as us and would love to get offered some work there! He said he'd get back to us so fingers crossed.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Putting the Sans in Comic Sans

I have just read a very interesting article on the BBC news website, entitles, 'Do typefaces really matter?'

It gives some great examples of how fonts can subliminally influence the reader. For example, in logos for more traditional establishments your font needs to reinforce a sense of stability and safety.

There is also a reference to the uproar that the film Avatar recently caused. I don't know whether you would of noticed, but the first thing that struck me when watching the film was the strange choice of subtitle font. Only after reading this article have a realised I was not the only one to dislike it. Apparently there was some sort of anti-Papyrus uproar (Papyrus is the name of the font)on the internet.

This also made me think about other fonts that are laughed at by the design community. For example, the notorious Comic Sans. I found this amusing Hitler short on YouTube:

There is even an anti-Comic Sans website: which claimes to put the 'sans' in Comic Sans.

The font is even quoted as one of Time Magazine's 50 worst inventions of all time:

"Imagine a whole operating system designed around Clippy, and you get the crux of Microsoft Bob. Designed to be an easier interface for Windows 95 users, Bob envisioned your computer as his house — with you as a guest. Ever so accommodating, he'd even supply cartoon sidekicks to guide you through simple tasks. The software was expensive and overly cutesy, and it failed to compete with Apple's Macintosh, the user-friendly standard. And though Bob is long gone, he left one enduring blight on the Web: Comic Sans, perhaps the worst font of all time, was created exclusively for Bob."

The Big Kick

I have finally found some employment!

A lovely and local marketing and communications agency has let me man their reception for a few weeks. They're called The Big Kick ( and they produce lots of promotional marketing for brands like Walkers crisps, Nestle, Branstons etc...

They also have a very picturesque location - in the grounds of Hatfield House. This is the view if you drive in:

They also have a fantastic blog.

It is only temporary, but everyone is really friendly and it sort of gives me some industry experience. They're also really flexible about me going off for book crits, some of which took place this week (blog post to follow). My main duties include, answering the phones and responding to emails, but I also get to do a bit of PA type things, like booking people train tickets (exciting, I know). I'm hoping that someone will run in to reception saying something like "Help, this pitch is tomorrow and we just don't have any good ideas yet, oh where can we find a great creative at such short notice?!?!"...I think you can see where this is going. I imagine myself to be somewhat of a Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting character, or like those shoe-elves that come in during the night, etc...

Brands Hatch

Not being a big fan of cars, I wasn't overjoyed about attending 'World Touring Cars' at Brands Hatch last Sunday. However, it was going to be a lovely sunny day so I buried my contempt for cars deep down and went along with the boyfriend.

Strangely, I really enjoyed myself! The cars were ear-splittingly loud and so fast you had to really concentrate on what was going on, but I found it really fun. I prefered the World Touring Cars to the Formula 2 as they were a bit slower, so I could work out who was who and who I wanted to win. There was also a Seat race and a couple of Maserati circuits.

Here is a video I took of the first World Touring Cars race:

And here are some of the pictures I took:

Where I was standing to take a picture of this Red car later turned into quite a bad crash site, how fortunate we decided to move!

As you can see, it is a miracle there wasn't any deaths.

Monday, 5 July 2010


Check this beauty out and see how many ads you can spot!

Gis a job.

According to the latest figures (and the BBC new website) graduate unemployment has risen by 25%. Although, thankfully for me, more women than men seem to be getting their first graduate job. Unfortunately for me, I am still unemployed. This is the longest I have gone without working since I started my first job at 15.

I have had to visit my local Jobcentre and try and explain to a very bewildered man what a 'creative' is and how they don't advertise on the jobseekers website for vacancies. The Jobcentre thinks I should work at a new store opening in St Albans - Poundworld. Enough said.

Although all I want is a placement at a top 20 London advertising agency, I am realistic. My overdraft is the size of a small country and to be honest, I lose a little more self-respect everytime I have to ask my mother for a bus fare. I need a part-time job to tide me over. Something easy, like retail or admin that I can work around my portfolio homework. Ideally I would love a summer job at a local agency, but they don't seem to like replying to e-mails. Perhaps I should send them some cakes.....

After handing out multiple CVs and talking to various managers I have realised that as soon as these businesses hear the word 'graduate' they run a mile. They don't want some over-qualified, self-important student who will desert them at the hint of a decent job. No, they want a spotty 16-year-old who'll stay with them for 4 years on minimum wage because they don't know any better.

There was an article in this weeks Sunday Times Magazine explaining this graduate plight:

"The only jobs they've (the Jobcentre) got are office, shops or bar work - those kind of jobs don't like taking on graduates; they know as soon as a graduate gets a better offer, they'll leave. So they'd rather take someone less qualified who'll stay."

"...How frustrating it is to come out of college with a degree and huge debts and get turned down for jobs they could have walked into at 16."

To conclude, know anyone who can give me a job?