My journal

Tell a good story!

I’m currently reading Yuval Noah Harari’s new masterpiece 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and came across this simple, but powerful quote.

This is as true as ever. Even with the vast amount of information and data out there, people in the end want to be told a good story. So, next time you’re about to start with a new communications project, keep this thought in mind.

If you’d like help telling your story in an inspiring and engaging way, do get in touch. 😉

 

How immigration shaped the English language

I came across this interesting timeline on the development of the English language. I has been shaped over the past 3,000 years by waves of immigrants.

And yes, though it first emerged as a West Germanic language spoken in early medieval England, its roots go as far back as the Celts. It was carried by Germanic settlers to various parts of the Netherlands, northwest Germany, and Denmark. One of these Germanic tribes, the Angles, eventually made its way to what is now Britain. At the time, the native population in Roman Britain spoke Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, that had certain Latin features.

Lantz’s diagram is also fascinating in that it beautifully illustrates how cultural injections influence the evolution of language. For English, this ranged from the Viking and Norman invasions through to the Renaissance mixing and empiric imports, such as Hindi and Arabic.

If you find this interesting, be sure to check out this animated history of the English language.


Credit: Triangulations blogger Sabio Lantz

Trump lends a little hand….

This is a beautifully cheeky advertising campaign for the Women’s Equality Party. THeir new ‘thanks’ Trump protest campaign was their defiant answer to the American president’s controversial UK visit.

Satirical ads “thanked” Donald Trump for his contributions to the cause of women’s rights, with slogans such as “Thank you Trump – for giving feminism a little hand.” The timing of this campaign could not have been better and struck the right tone in galvanising supporters in the fight against misogyny. Plus, it did so with a sense of humour – a powerful tool to unite people and a much-needed antidote in yet another week clouded by political turmoil. I hope at least a few Trump supporters got the message.

Client: Catherine Smith, head of campaigns
Agency: Now
Creatives: Laura Muse, Amelia Wood, Steph Ellis, Rory Hall, Sarah Levitt, Clint Harding and Juliet Kent

Thank you Trump

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Rebirth of the not-magazine?

Facebook is joining a whole list of companies, from Airbnb, Asos, Casper, Dollar Shave Club to Net-a-Porter in publishing a new magazine. Except, it is a not-magazine.

Despite being packaged in the shape of a magazine, bearing all the hallmarks of a magazine and having the words “a quarterly magazine for business leaders” emblazoned on its magazine-like cover, Grow by Facebook is categorically not a magazine according to the Facebook PR team. No – this is, they say, simply a piece of marketing collateral. A brochure even. It’s almost as though Facebook doesn’t want to be called a publisher or something.

Whatever you want to call it, Grow joins an ever-expanding collection of branded publications whose arrival has coincided with major consumer titles such as NME and Teen Vogue closing their print magazines. So why is it that dead tree media is proving so desirable to companies that have built their success on eschewing legacy technology?

“Trust, authority and credibility,” says Terri White, editor-in-chief of film bible Empire. “The digital space is a hectic, loud, cluttered landscape with bloggers, influencers, journalists, editors, writers, marketeers all shouting into the void – their voices surfacing, or not, depending on SEO or algorithms. In such a crowded space, how do you ensure that people trust what they read on your website or social channels versus the other 30-odd people/brands in your area? How does your brand stand out?”


Read the full article on DRUM

For the archive…

Sometimes you can spend ages on a logo design project – and the client goes for something you really didn’t want them to go for. Such is the life of a design project. So, I thought I’d post of a design visual of one of my favs that got away. Maybe it’ll serve as a design inspiration to someone else?

 

Proudly presenting QUAD, the University of Oxford’s new Alumni Magazine

There aren’t many occasions you get the chance to design a new magazine from scratch. But that is just what I did in this creative project.

Working closely with the energetic and clever Richard Lofthouse as editor, for me the most amazing part of this brief was the freedom I had in the design. From creating a grid system, colour pallet and font style sheet from scratch, being able to design irregular columns and working very much by eye. A graphic designer’s dream.

Even the politics of creating the magazine weren’t that painful. Sure, some things went right up to the wire, but for a new publication, what do you expect?

As for the cover art, it features one of the paintings from an article about Cool American Modernism at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. This is the first exhibition to explore the ‘cool’ in American art in the early 20th century, from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.

Another nice thing about the magazine is that there are very few adverts. Inside front and back cover, that’s all. Nothing to spoil the look and feel as you thumb through the pages.

Any downside? This is an annual publication. So you’ll have to wait until next year for the next issue.

And finally, while nothing beats feeling a hard copy in your hand, here is a digital issuu version for you to take a look through.

 

Celebrating Oxford’s Diversity

 

 

 

Been waiting for weeks to post about the identity design I did for the University of Oxford’s Diversity Awards.  This has been used for anything from posters and flyers to social media, banners and of course, the wards themselves. Oh, and congrats Clara Barker!

When the posters were coming hot of the press…

Very nice to see celebrations in @UniofOxford Twitter feed too, with some more proud winners.