Finally after nearly going on several occasions I finally got to check out the Design Museum at its current home on the bank of the Thames. There was a great exhibition on cycling, from its first forms through to ultra modern time trial bikes. A highlight was seeing Chris Boardman's gold medal winning Lotus from the '92 Barcelona Olympics.
The other main exhibition was "Design of Year 2015".
Now in its eighth year, Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. Someday the other museums will be showing this stuff.
Some great work on display... and I love the BMW i8.
Finally I squeezed in a quick visit to the Barbican for the "World of Charles and Ray Eames" exhibition. I got there 20 mins before it closed and the attendant advised me it takes 2 hours to see it all. I whizzed round in 15 mins... here are the highlights!
Manchester After Hours is the rainy city’s take on the national, annual Museums at Night celebrations: for one night only, museums, galleries and libraries stay open late for some creative goings on - with nearly everything free to attend.
First up was the Unit X exhibition at Federation House. Unit X took over Federation House for its annual showcase of emerging talent from Manchester School of Art. Film, art, design and photography come together in exhibitions and installations throughout the building.
After a pit stop in Trof for a cheeky pint (the free bar ran out in Federatin House just as we got to the front of the queue), we bumped into the choir and brass band which were touring the Northern Quarter playing and singing to whoever was passing by.
Next stop was Fred Aldous which was hosting an evening of FREE creative collaboration including; live painting, photobooth mugshots and a Risograph zine workshop.
Up next was a visit to the roof terrace above Manchester creative agency, Music, where they were playing a few tunes whilst offering up good views back over Stevenson Square and the Northern Quarter.
It was getting cold now, so we headed down to Ply below for a little break and to kill some time before heading over to the NCP car park in the centre of the Northern Quarter for our final event of the evening.
A-top of the NCP multi-storey car park on Church Street, musicians, choirs, street performers and brass bands deliver a pumping finale to the Northern Quarter’s proceedings. As the pictures and videos below show, it was a great way to end the evening with everyone getting involved in the carnival atmosphere.
What is required from a creative brief
A creative brief is a unifying document that identifies the important key benefits for a project or task. It tells the story and explains why it’s important to the audience, serving as a guide for the creation of new materials. It seems simple. Yet developing an effective creative brief is far more difficult than it may at first seem.
A poor creative brief can waste time and money, and creates frustration because the resulting concepts do not nail it.
A well thought out creative brief is imperative no matter the scale of the project. From quick turnarounds, amends or longer projects, a solid creative brief is the one document all parties refer to throughout the life of the project or task.
The key aspects of a creative brief are as follows:
This is where the brief provides all the supporting, contextual and target audience information, as well as any customer insights or knowledge gained from previous projects and research.
Always provide more information than you think is relevent. Remember the person working on the job
may not be as familer with the task or a projects history as the person who created the brief.
What are the problem(s) which needs solving. Keep it short, and to the point.
This is where any other supplementary information is confirmed, this includes (but is not inclusive):
- Brand guidelines, styleguides and technical specifications.
- Supporting copy and headlines.
- Assets - Brand supplied or campaign imagery, logos, lockups or illustrations.
- All links/CTAs and their destinations.
4) Deliverables and objectives.
What is required and what do you expect to gain from it.
Eg. A webpage, banner, email, logo, page takeover, etc.
5) A reasonable deadline.
Liase with the creative department to get an idea of timescales if unsure.
If it is a large project, set intemediate targets/deadlines along the way.
Before starting confirm everyone involved with the project and all stakeholders are happy and onboard.
It is then the job of the creative(s) to consider the brief, carry out suitable research (as required) and
present back solution(s) which answer the brief once completed.
Remember: Briefs are in their nature, brief. Use bullet points, keeping each point short and concise.
Avoid: Stating or illustrating how you want the final design to appear.
The Whitworth, Manchester's gallery in the park, has just reopened after a £15 million renovation and expansion. Having never been before I had been wanting to check it out since the re-opening, and its well worth a visit. There's good mixture of exhibitions from photography, portraits, sculpture and art, with the exhibition spaces also adding their own character to the displays.
The park location is great, especially on a sunny day like day. Whether you're inside and catching glimpses of green out side or outside where the new glass extension cantilevers into the park.
My highlights were: The 1960s: Works by Peter Blake, Bridget Riley and others reveal the riotous colour, fashion and art of the era and Cornelia Parker's solo show. Cai Guo-Qiang, Unmanned Nature looked interesting, but there was a big queue so I just poked my head round the corner for that. Also worth noting is the 'War Room', a large space lined with the left over cutting sheets from the production of memorial poppy's.
Today in the UK we witnessed a rare astronomical occurance, a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse is where the moon moves in between the earth and the sun, blocking out the sun's light for a short period of time.
Its really impressive to witness, and is one of the only times you get a sense of being apart of system of moving rocks in space, and just how small we are.
The eclipse reached at around 83% coverage in the UK, with only two places on earth getting a full 100% coverage.
The next solar eclipse in the UK won't be until 2026.
This week I was fortunate enough to receive an email from Oscar at Behance to let me know that my work for Scotts had been selected by their curatorial team to feature on the front of their Adweek Talent Behance gallery.
Be sure to visit and check out the other great work on there if you've never done so, and if you want to follow me on Behance, check out my profile.
A few days ago I received an email from the good people at Creative Bloq about a follow-up piece to their wildy popular Designers and their tattoos article. This time the idea being 'Designers as you've never seen them before'.
We've featured a lot of designer interviews over the years on Creative Bloq, but a lot of the time we end up with very similar photographs. Here's a designer sitting at his Mac with Illustrator open and a bunch of vinyl toys on his desk! Here's a designer in her studio, with lots of inspiring artwork on display! Here's a designer leaning against a wall!
I sent over a few tales and the story they wanted to feature was from when I featured as part of the final of the BBC's Junior Apprentice TV show. If you want to read more about and also find out about what 9 other top creatives get upto in their spare time, head over to Creative Bloq.
2014 was the year I finally went premium on spotify, and pretty much ditched my dependence on iTunes. Below are my top 15 artists and tracks played last year as recorded by last.fm and some other interesting stats from the spotify round-up.
|1||Caribou – Can't Do Without You||22|
|2||Arcade Fire – Afterlife||20|
|3||White Denim – At Night in Dreams||19|
|4||Metronomy – I'm Aquarius||19|
|5||Todd Terje – Delorean Dynamite||19|
|6||alt-J – Hunger of the Pine||19|
|7||Caribou – Back Home||19|
|8||Bonobo – Sapphire||18|
|9||White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade||18|
|10||Arcade Fire – Normal Person||18|
|11||Metronomy – Monstrous||18|
|12||Metronomy – Love Letters||18|
|13||Grizzly Bear – Sleeping Ute||17|
|14||Bonobo – Jets||17|
|15||Bonobo – Know You||17|
Based on my 2014 listenings, spotify have created this for 2015. Play it forward.
Behance Portfolio Review week, is global event happening in hundreds of towns and cities across the world organised on behalf of the online portfolio service now owned by Adobe. Last night was the Manchester event, and Jonny Evans at Degree53, who was hosting the night was good enough to ask me to help out and take one of the feedback sessions.
The night started off with a talk from Brendan Dawes, which took us through his work and general search for serendipity (and chaos). Brendan’s work has been featured in numerous journals including idN, Creative Review, MacUser, Computer Arts, Create, Wired, Eye, The Guardian, The Times, Communications Arts and was interviewed by Computer Arts in December 2008 for their "Design Icon" series.
The whole group then split into groups 8 or 9 groups for the portfolio reviews. I lead one group, and it was an enjoyable experience. I was impressed with some of the work on display and it was great to meet so many people passionate about design, illustration and photography.
I would like to say a big thanks to Jonny at Degree53 for taking the time to organise the event. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve also pinched some of your photos from the night.
Mark Stringer, Managing Director at Ahoy Digital (@ahoymark)
David Newton, Creative Director at Ahoy Digital (@LetsNotPretend_)
Simon Vaughan, Exec Creative Director at Amaze (@amazeltd)
Paul Normington, Art Director at Amaze (@Norm_ski)
Jade Sahota, Head of Design at Degree 53 (@jadie0503)
Tash Willcocks, Programme Manager at Hyper Island (@tashwillcocks)
Michael Watson, Creative Director at Project Simply (@projectsimply)
Speaker - Brendan Dawes (@brendandawes)
Host – Jonny Evans (@jonnylikes2rant)
Wednesday 29 October
Manchester School of Art
Benzie Building, Higher Ormond Street, Manchester M15 6BR
Last night I attended, “North: The Great debate”, a discussion between prominent members of the Manchester and UK creative industries as part of the Design Manchester festival at the Stirling Prize shortlisted Benzie building. The debate was chaired by Robert Yates, Assistant Editor of The Observer, with a panel including Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council; Lou Cordwell, founder and CEO of Magnetic North; Professor David Crow, the Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor of Manchester School of Art; and Caroline Norbury, the CEO of Creative England
It was billed as “Growing by Design: the role of the creative industries in building a northern powerhouse” taking place against the backdrop of a seemingly unstoppable movement towards more devolution between the cities and regions, with the recent publication of One North and the plan by the leaders of Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield; Design Manchester’s Great Debate looked at how the creative industries can stimulate and create a prosperous and successful northern economy.
There was strong discussion with several outspoken members of the audience being vocal in their opinions and whilst others had travelled from across the country to participate. The one area the debate was let down for me was the lack of an opposing voice in the panel with the members being predominantly Manchester based/focused. Although I suppose that is to be expected of a discussion happening in Manchester, with the main topic of conversation being Manchester.
'The cities of the North must have control of their own destinies' - @SirRichardLeese #northdebate
A recurrent theme was Manchester and its own (and often lack of a) narrative compared with other major hubs such as London. Personally I think Manchester has a pretty strong identity, and although creatively its reputation isn’t as strong globally as London, it however shouldn’t being trying to replicate that and instead play to its own strengths. Not that any of that really matters, for me if those in power want to turn ‘The North’ or Manchester into a globally renowned centre for the creative arts, its not about how to PR the region but rather to create a climate in which creative business want to setup in Manchester and can then operate successfully. This means having great infrastructure and office space at affordable rates to entice more business in, which then in turn creates more jobs and demand for talented individuals.
Further reading: Read Robert Yates’ article in The Observer.
I love a good iOS photography app, I use quite a few on a regular basis and have experimented with loads. I've recently come across Dubble, a new double exposure app that randomly pairs your image with that of a stranger. Often the outcome is a bit of a mess, but with a little bit of persistance and plenty of luck there are some really nice outcomes. It can be quite addictive once you get in the swing of things.
If you are feeling adventurous, try double dubbling.
The app is easy to use and free to download in the app store.
Check out my profile: dubble.me/bentopliss