As if it wasn't hot enough in the studio last week, the guys rigged up a temporary studio in the studio (!) to get some shots together for the Roses Design Awards 2009 submission. Great opportunity to capture all of the most recent work we've been producing - it's amazing how much new stuff we've been doing.
We'll post some of the shots next week when they've been titivated (technical photoshop term).
I was really inspired by the recent feature in Eye magazine on classic Airfix packaging. It featured the fabulous illustrations on the box fronts that were in fact a combination of packaging and point of purchase in the models shops of Britain.
As a boy, I was obsessed with model kits of all kinds (there wasn't much else to do in 70s Leeds, clearly) and although Airfix was a mainstay, if you were really serious about model kits, then Tamiya was the only way to go.
These Japanese kits were far superior in quality to the British made ones (sorry Airfix) and were at a bigger 1/48 or 1/35 scale. We would spend hours poring over the next kit to buy on a Saturday morning and the amount of time and effort spent on painting every detail was, by today's standards, worrying.
Having looked again at the kit boxes and the fantastic illustrations on them, they really are from another time. The detail lavished on the illustrations wasn't lost on the 13 year old model builders of Leeds where we would even try to emulate the mud on the tires with Humbrol matt enamel.
Sad, I realise. But even writing this blog has made me think of some excuses to go out and buy a model kit - just for research, obviously.
Here's some pics of another nice printed brand piece for our client Standards for England. It's a leaflet/poster designed especially for members of staff, handed out at a staff away day at the Lowry Centre in Manchester last week.
It's only a little thing, but it's quite important. Employees are the most important people in any brand project and clients that overlook this do so at their peril. Every brand project we work on contains a large amount of internal consultation and subsequent buy in before the brand get launched externally.
It's a simple brand piece that gives a layman's overview of the brand and what it means for everybody in the organisation and it seems to have got the new brand off to a flying start.
We've just received the first printed piece for Southbank Centre.
As part of our ongoing brand development work with them we've designed a new monthly publication that contains every single event that takes place at the world famous arts venue in London. Believe me, there's a lot of arts going on there.
It's a lovely piece of print - the paper is fabulous (smells amazing) and the way the ink sits on the surface is just beautiful.
Tactical pleasure aside, it's a perfectly pitched piece of marketing that's bang on brand. It's what we do.
Fresh from the sponsorship of the Northern Design Competition, there was a great piece on BBC Look North. National treasure (Ok, regional treasure) Harry Gration was reviewing the awards and speaking to world famous songster, Ricky Wilson from the Kaizer Chiefs.
It was all very interesting and informative however, I was distracted by Ian Thompson's giant fizzog in the background along with super prominent Thompson branding. Genius! I couldn't concentrate on Ricky's sage words on the pitfalls of fame and fortune whilst Ian's mocking grin loomed large over proceedings.
In case that's not exciting enough for you, influential Leeds blogsite Culture Vultures seemed to have captured the pointy shoes I wore at the awards for some reason. It does prove I had made a bit of an effort in the shoe department but not how handsome I looked obviously.
It was the awards bash for the Northern Design Competition on Thursday night and if you follow this blog, you'll already know that we were the Graphic Design Category and Exhibition sponsors.
It's a great competition open to designers of the student persuasion from all over the North and this year the standard was excellent. We're passionate believers in the talent of Northern designers so it was a no brainer from our perspective to be involved.
We see a lot of students these days who graduate and enter the real world almost pre-programmed to constrained thinking so it was good to see the finalists on Thursday night thinking well outside of their collective boxes.
If you'd like to know the full list of winners/finalists have a look here
The category we sponsored contained some great graphic design work and a well deserved winner in Kerry Venus from Lincoln School of Art and Design. Images to follow on this as soon as we have them.
Our special prize 'The Thompson Real World Prize' - went to the entry that we thought would make the most difference if it was launched tomorrow as a live product. This went to Jamie Shek at the University of Dundee for his groundbreaking iphone app 'igiveadamn' - that allows users to give to charity quickly and easily. We thought it was an idea that would make the world a little bit better if it was launched tomorrow.
A great evening was topped off by shoulder rubbing with Ricky from the Kaisers (and no we weren't start struck, much) and a live band that started live proceedings with 'La Bamba' and in time honoured tradition followed with "Mustang Sally'.