For the second time, I recently watched a BBC4 documentary about John Cooper Clarke (BBC4 documentaries are great, by the way – especially music-related ones). Cooper Clarke has become widely recognised, acclaimed and loved for his work at the intersecting fringes of poetry, punk and stand-up. He has carved out a singular place in each of those fields despite there being absolutely no precedent for what does, and when watching the documentary you quickly begin to see why. He’s incredibly witty, incisive and obviously talented. Hard-working too.

But the whole thing got me thinking about the implied inevitability of success that’s inherent in threading his story into a narrative. “Of course he’s successful, he did X, Y and Z and he’s talented, smart and hard-working. It’s inevitable”.

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blog_bullshitbackfire_illustration-01There’s been a lot of umming and aahing about the new Yahoo logo. As you’re no doubt aware, they’ve painstakingly ground-out every minute detail of the type over the course of a weekend and rehashed Optima. But as much as I can’t actually bring the look of it to mind and immediately think “meh” every time I do see it, I can’t argue with the rationale behind the redesign.

The one thing about it I can argue with is there’s no idea, nothing to engage people. And it’s every designer’s fault, whether you worked on the project or not (myself included), that the Yahoo logo is as engaging as a cup of milky tea.

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blog_responsivebranding_illustration-01Following on from JohnsonBanks’ article (and this Coke music thing from W+K), and now having some terminology I understand, I’ve been thinking about digital branding. That is, how branding behaves on screen and online or how it’s created digitally.

There’s some really fascinating work going on in combining responsive web design thinking, big data and brand strategy/identity execution at the moment, but nothing that’s been acknowledged as ‘a thing’. So I’m going to clamber above my station and offer some ideas on stringing together this ‘thing’ and calling it responsive branding.

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Every day I go for a walk at lunch time. Very occasionally I’ll happen across a discarded item of clothing: a missing glove, hat, necklace etc.

This in and of itself is pretty unremarkable. It’s never anything that makes me think I should get the police involved; people lose stuff. The one thing I do find remarkable, though, (and what has prompted me to photograph said items) is that they’re very often adorning an inanimate object. I have a theory as to why.

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This article by Michael Johnson and its’ CR Blog comments got me thinking about how to separate out the amorphous blob that is brand/identity/logo/icons/brandmarks/visual language into terminology I could get my head around.

People much smarter than me have defined the various permutations in numerous different ways, but I’m offering up a version here that makes sense to me, i.e. simple and relative to pop music (‘cos everyone knows about pop music).

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