Saturday, 2 January 2010

Lacking inspiration

Trying to get back into work after a little too much Christmas spirit is proving very tricky!

I have gone through the motions of the research but now I just can't get an idea... I think I want to do something that highlights the different perspectives that people can see the same thing from - hence the work i've been looking at below.

The brief specificly says that the postcard is to be politically neutral, so it got me thinking that there are so many different views and opinions, and they are all valid, what the design needs to do is awaken the passion to stand up for your opinion, and remind us that you can make a difference.

I hat it when you know exactly what you want something to be like, but you haven't figured out how to do it yet!!

The new YCN annual...

After D&AD announced they couldn't afford to give the annuals away this year it seems maybe YCN are a bit strapped of cash too...

They've printed most of the book in this hideous blue tint, with photographs so small you can barely see them. They haven't showcased any student work properly except for tiny little thumbnails which is a real shame. They've used most of the book to showcase their own work, which is fair enough, but seriously I can't tell the difference between last year and this year. And frankly if I see one more bit of 3D sans serif type photographed or doritoes brief I might explode.

For me there has always been quite a large margin between the student work they showcase, some stuff is baad and some stuff is amazing. This year I didn't find that much to inspire me, but then it was hard to get past the blue. The ones I particularly liked are below. I do wonder how some of the work ever gets chosen...

Luckily you can find the student work in full on the website!
Overall, the annual was pretty rubbish this year!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Cloud Atlas

I finally got round to reading this book which I think has been on my shelf for about 4 years. Since I went on holiday in 6th form and forgot to take a book, I bought two from the airport, chosen just because I liked the covers, then tried to start both and hated them. Coincidentally, the other book was 'A million little pieces' by James Frey, and when I've finally read them they have both turned out to be two of my favourite ever books!

I tried to start this book about 3 times, had no idea really what it was about, the blurb doesn't give much away, but as the first chapter is set in the 1800's, it was pretty heavy reading and I kept giving it up. This time I managed to persevere and realised that the book is made of 6 mini stories, 6 lives which span from Victorian times through the 21st century and right into a post apocalyptic future, and then back again so the book ends where it begins. We start with Adam Ewing's diary travelling on a ship through the pacific with missionaries, to Robert Frobisher's entertaining letters to his gay lover - a composer scrounging of an elderly musician in early 1900's Brugges, to journalist Luisa Rey on the brink of discovering a nuclear scandal in 80's America and in constant fear for her life. Then a publisher trapped in a an old people's home near Hull, to a cloned slave on the run for her life in the near future, and back to pacific islands way into the future when civilisation as we know it has ended with Zachry's tale for a big climax. Then the book works it's way back through each story until we end up finishing Ewing's diary.

Each character is linked in some way, yet each story is so different, the characters, storylines and language, you can hardly believe it's the same author writing. Each story ends on such a cliff hanger and leaves you desperate for more, but then you move onto the next one and get hooked all over again. This book was not only an exciting and thrilling rollercoaster ride but original and an extremely clever social commentary that would give Orwell and Wells a run for their money!