LinkedIn Product and Service Spotlight Graphics

LinkedIn has a brillliant 3 graphics, rollover slider gallery for their company pages, called the ‘Product and Service Spotlight’. Here you can upload up to 3 graphics which tell the LinkedIn community exactly who you are. Its also a great way to continue your companies brand identity, presenting a professional front in a busy space. Here’s a set of slides I’ve completed for SRGEurope, the specialist recruitment firm,which appears under the ‘services’ tab at the top of their company profile. Visit this link to see it in action on their company profile. If you’d like me to prepare a set for your company, plus any other social media branding, then please contact me at


It’s Good to Talk

As a well known and renowned chatterbox – frequently told I talk too much -  its great news to me the spoken word, along with ‘augmented reality’, is now the medium of the future, an exciting add-on to make a business stand out from the crowd. Check out this video to review what I’m talking about.

The results of the video has been achieved with Dunhill’s hook up with Aurasma, ‘the world’s leading augmented reality platform’, who with their business partner MediaCom – are about to – and this is no understatement – revolutionise the advertising campaigns of some of the world’s leading brands.

Part of this platform appears to be the use of a technology called QR codes, which have, apparently, been around for a while, but marketeers have struggled to work out ways the technology can best benefit both the consumer and the brand – or so says The Direct Marketing Voice, who have a interesting post on QR Code Best Practice and Considerations.

Well it seems luxury brand Dunhill’s might just have cracked it, by demonstrating their slickly branded brochure and smooth brand champions in this YouTube video. A quick review of Dunhill’s website sees they have a current campaign, ’Voice’. I’m sure Aurasma platform has led this campaigns direction.

For a more accurate description of what this is and how it works, then make sure you visit the Aurasma website for the real, true information!

If someone really smart could transfer this imagery into a 3d, fully breathing version of a George Clooney or an Ashton Kutchner then I’d be seriously impressed. Love the idea of multitudes of these two appearing in my living room any time soon. [*Pass the remote, George, love!*].  For those who say I chat too much, I promise if you supply me with the latest, fabulous smart pad I promise I won’t talk to you until said smart pad is pointed at me.

999? “We Need a Designer, There’s an International Disaster”

In a previous life I spent some time (3 years) as the Art Director of The Asian Wall Street Journal., based in Hong Kong. One of my day-to-day tasks was to design graphics suitable to brand a crisis or a disaster. It always struck me as a strange request and quite a task to illustrate such an item.

The challenge included getting the tone and sentiment correct, ensuring nothing would cause offence; somehow making the branding instantly recognisable during the immediate news period and editorial content; and then, for follow up stories, hoping the branding would provide immediate recognition of that particular event; hoping it didn’t look like another disasters’ graphics. Phew! It was a difficult day for this Art Director to have more than one crisis in a single newspaper! That would be a B#@$gger! What exactly could be suitable for events like the Kobe Earthquake - a particularly awful crisis occuring during my work experience in the 1990s?

On a day like today, September 11th 2011, the 10 years anniversary of an event I still find hard to believe or understand, I’ve noticed in the news and media coverage a striking 9/11 logostyle appear frequently. Effortlessly caputuring the visual brand requirements - *you can see the towers* -  it’s a design masterpiece. Not since the ILoveNewYork logo has anything appeared so NewYork – Alicia Keys superb song New York being the exception.

Some research leads me to discover this logostyle and brand was developed by agency, Landor Associates, a leading strategic brand and consulting design firm.  Their press release has some interesting background on the logo and brand development for the newly opened National September 11 Memorial & Museum. This quote explains:

In an effort to make the memorial distinctive and accessible to the general public, the name was shortened to “9/11 Memorial.” With the name change came the need to create a new visual identity that reinforced the spirit of rebuilding. The new visual icon is built upon two pillars of strength and solidarity. The simplistic use of the date, 9/11, with the ‘11’ standing alone in a subdued blue against the black ‘9’ and ‘Memorial’, the icon allows the gravity and authenticity of the events that occurred on 9/11 to speak for themselves.

  • For more insight into the brand please download Landor’s press release:
    [download id="1"]

It’s been quite a day, I’ve watched the coverage extensively. Best today – at wine o’clock – sometime between day and night – a brilliant red sunset lit the sky over my garden. I felt the breeze flutter on my skin and thought how lucky I am.

Learn more about Landor Associates here. If you love their work and can’t afford them, then contact me!

About the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, raise the funds, and program and operate the Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site.  The Memorial & Museum will be located on eight of the 16 acres of the site. The Memorial will remember and honor the nearly three thousand people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001.  The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two pools that reside in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, surrounded by a plaza of oak trees.  The Arad/Walker design was selected from a design competition that included more than 5,000 entrants from 63 nations. The Museum will display monumental artifacts associated with the events of September 11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of September 11 and its aftermath.  It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.

Visit Website National September 11 Memorial & Museum



iPad Envy

Okay, I admit it. I’m a designer and I do not own an iPad, or an iPhone, and just a broken iPod, which doesn’t really count. I like to think the reason is that I have a mortgage and a bad habit of paying extortionate electric bills. More likely it’s because I’m also a grown up, trying not to jump on the latest accessory craze, so far avoiding a Louis Vuitton handbag and a chihuahua.

Normally the craze for some bit of kit wouldn’t bother me, but after a recent trip to London and visiting the Apple Shop in Baker Street and playing with said iPad, and doing that strange thumb thing clumsily, I realised me and an iPad need to become a partnership. Even more so, today.

Richard Branson launching Project magazine in New York. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Because … only just reaching my radar is the impending iPad Media Wars about to explode between serial entrepreneurs and media magnets, Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch. Today, Richard launched ‘Project’ , a new revolutionary multimedia magazine built especially for the iPad, and promising all singing, all shiny, slick, fabulous, gizmos in magazine delivery/content and adverting. Slow up the rear (I hear) is Rupert with a battalion of journos and techos building the first iPad only newspaper, called The Daily. And all I can see is an online web image of Jeff Bridges, in a Men in Black suit, smugly looking out from the screen, with no access, any area for me to see on my PC.

So, what’s the big deal about the iPad? With 40 million sales forecast to be built and sold by end of 2011, the iPad promises to bring (amongst other things) truly portable, multimedia entertainment and real time content as immediately accessible to people as a mobile phone, in a format as legible as a monitor.

If you have an iPad you can download the free app for Project and then get Issue Number 1 which includes a full month’s worth of updating content including videos, galleries, music and daily updated content, all for £1.79 via iTunes. (NB: Times that by 40 million and it no wonder Mr B can afford to take the whole family day tripping in Space).

Read more about Richard Branson’s iPad Project magazine here.

Yeo Valley Milks the X-Factor

‘Big Up Yer Chest’ – you’ve heard the best – the rapping dairy famers from Yeo Valley – a producer of organic yoghurts and dairy products – are registering more impact and buzz on social networking networks than the show itself. Strategically placed 2-minute long ads during the X-Factor breaks have registered over 9 million impressions in the first week of showing on Twitter, with repeat impressions for the following broadcast.

The ad features 4 v good looking farmers (and Ted the Owl) strutting their stuff and rapping in a hip-hop spoof, filmed at the real Yeo Valley farm, whilst looking like an ad for Burberry. Facebook fans are campaigning to make the Yeo Valley Crew No.1 single for Christmas, with the tune downloadable from iTunes.

This campaign is the genius of advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, definitely an agency who gets the UK ‘yoof’ market. Rosie Arnold, the BBH Deputy Executive Creative Director, talked about the idea of the campaign: “What we wanted to do was make Yeo Valley Organic popular for everybody. We wanted to make people pronounce Yeo Valley correctly and get everybody talking about it. So that’s how we came up with the rap idea.” Check out below ‘The Making of The Yeo Valley Ads’ which shows a behind the scenes peak of making the ad, the talent involved and discussion of the concept.

Here shows the actual completed ad, delivered by YeoTube! – yes, really, it’s that kind of detail which separates the farmers from the flock – and at date of posting has been viewed by 1,287,129 viewers:

Humourless critics have called the ads cheesy – for a dairy ad I’m sure they’re delighted. As Simon would say, ‘I don’t like it – I love it!’

Ted the Owl
Just discovered, Ted the Dancing Owl in the ad is actually named after Ted, a hand-reared orphan owl who is cared for by one of the conservation team. Aaawwwh! This alone is enough to make you want to eat their yoghurts. Apparently his dance moves are the real thing and not a camera trick. It is common for them to do this as they are both long and short sighted and this helps them get their focus right.

Read more about YeoValley here and here!