It’s All Gone Vodafone

It started here:


Then I saw:


Then this:


Then I realised it had left ‘advertising’ and gone native…


(I should have taken the time to balance the red colour to make the point better, but I don’t have the skill or the time, sorry…)

Showing Off Is Bad For You

sore hand

I’ve got a hurty thumb. It’s my own fault. I tried to demonstrate that I can support my own weight on my fingers and walk around. And it’s true, I can. Or rather I could. Just another sign that I break more easily than I used to. I’m sure I used to be indestructible. Now my thumb makes a funny pop-noise and bends a funny way when I try to show off. Ouch.

So typing is slower and more painful and other odd things are really hard. Pulling up socks is oddly very tough. As is doing up a button fly on your trousers.

As well as making me realise how many simple things we take for granted I’ve mastered a couple of new skills, texting and eating with my left hand for example.

I’m sure it must be good exercise of some kind…

Concrete Truck

From a designer’s point of view there’s probably all kinds of sins going on here. But I love the side of this truck. It makes me feel that concrete is both fun and very tough.

I’m Drawn to Nerdy Bag Contents

lifehacker bags

I don’t know why, but I really liked looking through this gallery of peoples’ bag contents. Perhaps it’s because they’re all readers of Life Hacker and therefore they tend to be pretty organised and full of interesting gadgets and overly co-ordinated pen sets.

Accidental Ad Mashups

Ribena have these quite fancy outdoor ads that rotate between flavours but have the same message overlaid on the top. They’re pretty eye catching and a bit clever.

Where they work less well is when the board inside gets changed and the overlay on the top doesn’t…

I quite like the berry deodorant.

Hidden in the Club Posters

I originally took this photo because I thought it was funny that Vivaldi and Bach were being treated in the same way as Bukem and Grooverider. Wondering what time Vivaldi would be playing his set, etc.

But then I looked at the photo and played with the levels a bit. And noticed that Nik and I are framed almost perfectly in the black reflective squares.

A nice photographic accident.

The Image of Joy Division

joy division

Lots of stories around this weekend about the sad death of Tony Wilson.

It also span off lots of stories about bands that he’d been involved with and that time in Manchester. This story in the Observer caught my interest:

Closer to the birth of a music legend

It’s a piece by Kevin Cummings who photographed Joy Division. If you’ve ever been in or around a music scene that includes Joy Division as part of its makeup you’ll be aware of what an amazing ‘image’ there is around them. An image constructed from a mixture of the music, tragic legend, ground breaking graphic design, and amazing yet bleak photography of the band.

The article reveals how a lot of the things that make up Joy Division’s photographic image may have been part of a very fortunate set of almost accidents:

When I was shooting for the NME in this, my first year out of college, I had very little money. I had to pay for my own film and processing (£10 per roll) and hope that the NME would use more than one shot in order to make a profit. (£6.50 was the repro rate at that time). Consequently I was very parsimonious with film. I rarely wasted a shot.

So it means that there are very few images of any of them looking goofy or mucking around. All of the shots were taken with purpose (from the point of view of a ‘serious’ music photographer).

Often, as Ian stood in front of my camera looking contemplative, the other band members, bassist Peter Hook ‘Hooky’, drummer Stephen Morris and guitarist Bernard Sumner, would stand behind him pulling faces. Occasionally Ian would yawn. These images only exist in my mind. I could never commit them to film. I couldn’t afford to. Would my pictures tell a different story if I’d had the luxury of being able to shoot endless frames digitally?

Then when you imagine what would happen if all of the fans also had digital cameras and had captured everything too. The mystique around the bad would have been massively eroded.

But the quote that made me slap my head most of all was this one:

It was pointless shooting the band in colour. I’d be wasting money. Publications that were prepared to feature the band only published in black and white. Peter Hook told me that even he thinks of Joy Division as a black and white band.

So Joy Division weren’t a monochrome band after all, it was all a matter of photographic economics!

It just got me thinking about how bands now have to appear and behave totally differently and that their performances and images are much more the property of the public. Which I’d sort of thought was a good thing. But reading that article made me question whether it is or not. Maybe it’s not better or worse, just different.

Brighton Pride

I went to Pride in Brighton on Saturday. And it was great. The weather was good and gays and straights were out in huge numbers having fun. Struck me how nice it was to have an event that was founded in people just wanting to celebrate being themselves. Maybe we should all do it from time to time.

The guy in the photo was dying to have his photo taken, so I thought he could be double famous by being featured on my blog ;-)

I’ve got lots of photos on my Flickr here. But I’ve edited my favourites into a smaller set here:

Protected Banksy (vs Warhol)

They just had to didn’t they: Warhol vs Banksy.

Which reminds me. I’ve been meaning to have a bit of a letoff about this…

protected banksy

It’s a bit of Banksy stencil art on a wall in Brighton (on the side of the Prince Albert pub on Trafalger St if you care), but it’s been protected with a layer of bullet-proof perspex. Maybe I’m being a bit of a tit, but if you’re making a statement by using ‘da streetz’ as your canvas then it’s a bit fucked up to be having some kind of VIP treatment, isn’t it? I know Banksy didn’t request his ‘art’ be encased in this way…

Oh bollocks, by talking about it I’m helping to make it important. I’ll shut up.

House Sign Typography

house sign amsterdam

I always get overexcited by nice type on house signs. Whenever I go to Europe I’m impressed by the layouts of their flat numbers and suchlike. They always look so, well, European, and sophisticated.

So when I was walking home in Brighton and I saw this (almost) nicely done house number. Even though it’s far from the standards you’d expect to see in Amsterdam or Zurich it is mounted nicely on perspex and someone had at least considered the design.

So I did a double take. Then I did a triple take. And it all fell apart in front of my eyes…

house sign