Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bling a Coach

National Express announce Bling My Coach, a design competition to customize a 49 seater coach, to be turned in to reality and take you and your friends on a trip of your choice!

Simply submit a design to buff up the exterior of an ordinary coach, and then say where you’d like to go for the weekend. If you win they get out the spray-can, copy your design onto the vehicle and give it to you – with a driver – for a whole weekend.

Enter the competition here and see some possible designs here. Good luck!

Too much?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

8 Ways to Drive a Graphic Designer Mad

Original Text: Ghisroy

As everyone knows, graphic designers are the reason there are so many wars in this world... they get inside our heads with their subliminal advertising, force us against our will to spend money on the worst pieces of shit, and eventually, drive us to depression and random acts of violence. And of course, most of them are communists. So to do my part to save the world from them, i made a list of things you can do when working with a graphic designer, to assure that they have a burn-out and leave this business FOREVER.

1-Microsoft Office
When you have to send a graphic designer a document, make sure it’s made with a program from Microsoft Office. PC version if possible. If you have to send pictures, you’ll have more success in driving them mad if, instead of just sending a jpeg or a raw camera file, you embed the pictures inside a Microsoft Office document like Word or Powerpoint. Don’t forget to lower the resolution to 72 dpi so that they’ll have to contact you again for a higher quality version. When you send them the ‘higher’ version, make sure the size is at least 50% smaller. And if you’re using email to send the pictures, forget the attatchment once in a while.

If the graphic designer chooses Helvetica for a font, ask for Arial. If he chooses Arial, ask for Comic Sans. If he chooses Comic Sans, he’s already half-insane, so your job’s half done.

3-More is better
Let’s say you want a newsletter designed. Graphic designers will always try to leave white space everywhere. Large margins, the leading and kerning of text, etc. They will tell you that they do this because it’s easier to read, and leads to a more clean, professional look. But do not believe those lies. The reason they do this is to make the document bigger, with more pages, so that it costs you more at the print shop. Why do they do it? Because graphic designers hate you. They also eat babies. Uncooked, raw baby meat.

So make sure you ask them to put smaller margins and really, really small text. Many different fonts are also suggested (bonus if you ask for Comic Sans, Arial or Sand). Ask for clipart. Ask for many pictures (if you don’t know how to send them, refer to #1). They will try to argument, and defend their choices but don’t worry, in the end the client is always right and they will bow to your many requests.

If you have to send a graphic designer a logo for a particular project, let’s say of a sponsor or partner, be sure to have it really really small and in a low-res gif or jpeg format. Again, bonus points if you insert it in a Word document before sending it. Now you might think that would be enough but if you really want to be successful in lowering the mental stability of a graphic designer, do your best to send a version of the logo over a hard to cut-out background. Black or white backgrounds should be avoided, as they are easy to cut-out with the darken or lighten layer style in photoshop. Once the graphic designer is done working on that bitmap logo, tell him you need it to be bigger.

If you need a custom made logo, make your own sketches on a napkin. Or better yet, make your 9 year old kid draw it. Your sketch shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to make. You don’t want to make something that’s detailed and easy to understand, because the less the designer understands what you want, the more you can make him change things afterwards. Never accept the first logo. Never accept the 9th, make him do many changes, colors, fonts & clip art. Ask him to add a picture in the logo. Bevels. Gradients. Comic Sans. And when he’s at his 10th attempt, tell him that you like the 2nd one the most. I know, it’s mean but remember: graphic designers are the cause of breast cancer among middle aged women.

5-Choosing your words
When describing what you want in a design, make sure to use terms that don’t really mean anything. Terms like ‘jazz it up a bit’ or ‘can you make it more webbish?’. ‘I would like the design to be beautiful’ or ‘I prefer nice graphics, graphics that, you know, when you look at them you go: Those are nice graphics.’ are other options. Don’t feel bad about it, you’ve got the right. In fact, it’s your duty because we all know that on fullmoons, graphic designers shapeshift into werewolves.

The best way for you to pick colours (because you don’t want to let the graphic designer choose) is to write random colors on pieces of paper, put them in a hat and choose. The graphic designer will suggest to stay with 2-3 main colors at the most, but no. Choose as many as you like, and make sure to do the hat thing in front of him. While doing it, sing a very annoying song.

When it’s your turn to approve the design, take your time. There is no rush. Take two days. Take six. Just as long as when the deadline of the project approaches, you get back to the designer with more corrections and changes that he has time to make. After all, graphic designers are responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

8-Finish him / her
After you’ve applied this list on your victim, it is part of human nature (although some would argue weather they’re human or not) to get a bit insecure. As he realises that he just can’t satisfy your needs, the graphic designer will most likely abandon all hopes of winning an argument and will just do whatever you tell him to do, without question. You want that in purple? Purple it is. Six different fonts? Sure!

You would think that at this point you have won, but don’t forget the goal of this: he has to quit this business. So be ready for the final blow: When making final decisions on colors, shapes, fonts, etc, tell him that you are disappointed by his lack of initiative. Tell him that after all, he is the designer and that he should be the one to put his expertise and talent at work, not you. That you were expecting more output and advices about design from him.

Tell him you’ve had enough with his lack of creativity and that you would rather do your own layouts on Publisher instead of paying for his services. And there you go. You should have graphic designer all tucked into a straight jacket in no time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google crop circles

Google UK's homepage is today given over to a "doodle" showing a flying saucer hovering over crop circles. The word "Google" is spelt out in several crop circles, with what appears to be a tractor completing the letter "L".

The internet giant also posted a tweet on its Twitter account with the map reference 51.327629, -0.5616088, which eagle-eyed sci-fi fans have identified as the centre of the small town of Horsell in Surrey. This was the spot where HG Wells set the first UFO landing in his novel The War of the Worlds.

Everyone's trying to read deep significance into this. Is it about abduction? Or aliens? Or Horsell? Or just crop circles? No. It's almost certainly a viral marketing campaign teasing people ahead of some launch in a week or two. One possible explanation is that it's trailing an online "happening" that will coincide with the 143rd anniversary of Wells's birth next week.

Crop circles were once fascinating additions to the English countryside, but now they have become tacky vehicles for corporations to advertise just about anything. A cottage industry has grown up with groups of circle-makers ready - for a price - to reproduce just about anything. The Royal Bank of Scotland, Disney, NBC, UKTV, Red Bull, Greenpeace, Microsoft, Nike, Shredded Wheat, Pepsi, Weetabix, the BBC, The Sun, Mitsubishi, O2, Big Brother, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel have all paid to emblazon fields with their signatures.

Now Google has jumped on the bandwagon. If you click on the crop circle icon, it brings up a search for crop circles. The first alien-themed doodle that Google ran was last week, when it had people guessing why it showed a flying saucer "abducting" the letter "O" in its name. Clicking on that doodle took users through to a page about "unexplained phenomenon".

Expect all to be explained next week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Naked Ambition

Magazine publishers take note. The collectable-cover stakes have been raised. Not only do you need multiple fronts for your title to win attention. Now you also need a man who miraculously takes off all of his clothes.

"Strip tease! Karl says peel please," says the caption above a picture of a stern-looking model. It would take a tough person to disobey the commands of Karl Lagerfeld in guest-editing mode. So off comes the giant sticker covering the front of Wallpaper* – and off too comes the model's Dior Homme suit. And everything else.

What did Tony Chambers, the title's editor-in-chief, say when Lagerfeld explained his cover concept? "I said 'Of course', and then I really, really panicked. We've done expensive things in the past, but I knew this was going to break the bank a bit more."

Lagerfeld's buff young man – "Karl thinks he is the male Gisele [B√ľndchen]" – is not Wallpaper*'s only September cover star: Philippe Starck has created an alternative cover, charting evolution. It has the advantage of not causing you to be shamed in the news agent by a moment of ill-advised peeling. But it's Lagerfeld's version that marks a new high – if you could call it that – in the collectable cover.

"With magazines, you've got to make a bit of an event," says Chambers. "For people to spend their £4.30 there's got to be something that's nice to hold, to feel, to keep." (The cover resticks so you can repeat the undressing experience, should you desire).

Wallpaper* is not the first mag to embrace the special cover, of course. Radio Times printed 21 different covers for Comic Relief last year, and has also used artwork from the comic book creator Jamie Hewlett; Esquire did a fashionably styled Morph; Empire has a long tradition of printing multiple covers for big films. The aim is either higher newsstand sales, increased publicity, reaching different kinds of consumers, or all three.

But the question is: how do you keep increasing the specialness? Harper's Bazaar has already cornered the market in crystal-embellishment; i-D turned out 12 covers for its March issue; many titles regularly create special covers for subscribers. The multiple cover is so commonplace it seems in danger of losing its impact. Unless, of course, you put a strippable man on it.

From Media Guardian

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Utter Genius

This is one man's story shot in 60,000 pictures, developed in 9,600 prints and shot in over 1,800 pictures all over again. No post production...