Saturday, 25 June 2011

Happy Inside

Lately, Ikea has made it on to my radar.  The variety of adverts they're producing at the moment is something to be marvelled at, especially since they are all so different.  I love it when a brand is confident enough to run ads that don't necessarily fit into a traditional 'campaign'.  These adverts are all individual and clever in their own right, the only thing that links them together is the 'Happy Inside' strapline.  Unlike some brands at the moment, ahem Cadbury, to me these don't come across as try hard, just natural, funny and refreshing ideas which really capture an insight into customer feelings and current trends.  And it comes as no surprise to find they were done by London agency Mother.

How the time goes by...

4 house moves, a month in London, 2 months in Manchester, 6 months in my first design job, a Post Grad in Creative Business Management, various freelance clients, and a new job later, I find myself at the degree show for the graduates of 2011!  Wow, it has gone so fast, but looking back I have achieved a lot and couldn't have wished for a better graduating year.  I have learned so much, but it was only when standing 1 year later on the fourth floor looking at the wonderful work, did I realised how much has changed.

Now I have just started a new role at Cotton Traders (those of you who know about Rugby will know the England legend that is Fran Cotton and the iconic rugby shirts they produce, see below).  As I am sure we all know, finding a job in the design industry faces tough competition, and I decided to leave my previous role as Junior Graphic Designer to move back to Manchester to gain some experience in the marketing side of things.  My new role (Marketing Production Assistant) means I work closely with the creative team to brief them, implement marketing messages and strategy, as well as competitor analysis and maintaining the marketing plan/schedule.  Compared to the tiny marketing budget I worked with at Panaz, this marketing team spends over 14 million a year on marketing, so they really do play with the big fish.

You may have seen their recent TV ad which aired a few months ago, a first for Cotton Traders and a huge success in terms of driving traffic to their website and sales.

However, this by no means marks the end of my design career, in fact its just the beginning.  I am working on a number of projects on the side and hope to be able to share these with you in the very near future!

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Look at these lovely wallpapers! I particularly love 'la vie ordinaire' (bottom), would be great for a childs room!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Panaz Healthcare Catalogue

For the last 6 months I have been working at Panaz, a textile design house just outside of Manchester! I've had a fantastic time here, but my contract is ending soon and I'm looking forward to moving on. While I've been here, I've worked on a number of big projects, including two 140+ page catalogues from start to finish. This was a bigger task than I could ever have imagined and a huge learning curve in printing, photoshop and proofreading!

This catalogue is for the Healthcare sector within the business, but I also did the Hospitality catalogue which is much more high spec. Unfortunately, this is only just going in to proofing stages so it will be a while before I get the finished article in my hand!

H and M Spring 2011

I've recently started seeing these ads on TV and 40D and I love them.  At first I couldn't put my finger on why, but then I realised that the ad is a take on changing room antics.  This concept is so subtle yet so effective - it captures that private moment in the changing rooms, that feeling you get when you find something that you know looks great on you, that little smile to yourself when you look at the price tag and its affordable!  It also really shows off the details of the clothes, yet is short and memorable.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Visit Wales

Possibly my favourite advert so far this year, maybe even last year too! I have a special soft spot for Wales as my Grandparents live there and it's where I spent most of my childhood holidays.  I think this advert captures this beautiful country perfectly, it is such a contrast from other holiday ads.  I love the use of type to compliment the touching and real film style.  And what's more, Weiden and Kennedy have totally hit the nail on the head, understanding their audience down to a tee.

This ad is also backed up by a great blog which actually gives details of the places shown in the ad and how to go there.  The Horse riding and converted barns are just round the corner from my Grandparents!

Maybe I'm a little biased, but the sign of a good advert is to evoke a reaction and this makes me tingle!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Good design is everywhere...

Part of my new job is to collect inspiration,
so here are some lovely things I collected last year...

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Cooperative

This new advert for Cooperative is a little epic for my liking, however, it certainly caught my attention.  Made by TBWA Manchester, it's actually very clever, perfect timing for that new year buzz of fresh starts with cleverly placed nostalgia.  I imagine there are a lot of things people get pretty fed up with - the commute, the kids, the daily grind, but is food shopping one of them? does anyone pay for parking at a supermarket? Is shopping at the Cooperative really going to stop that?

I'm not convinced.

Heinz Soup

Heinz Whistle advert by AMV BBDO

This has been out for a while now, but its an excellent follow up advert to the Tomato Ketchup one, lovely art direction and most of all, as always, that perfect insight into it's consumers.  Love the girl who blows her soup then her nails, inspired.  It has to be Heinz!

Happy New Blog!

Wow I can't believe it's been nearly 3 months since I've blogged! And its 2011? How did that happen?

Well since the New Year has begun, I thought I better conform to all the cliches and make some resolutions.  Unbelievably, I generally do keep my resolutions fairly well (last year I worked my way through all 12 books on my shelf that I hadn't read, stopped eating potatoes after lunchtime and joined a gym).  As cheesy as it is, I like the New Year being a big fat metaphor for a fresh start, and I usually think quite hard about what it is I want to do!  So here goes,

1. Blog (again)
During the final year of uni we were required to record every moment of our lives on here but now that student days are behind me and i'm not getting marked, I've decided my blog can take a much more visual approach.  After all, in the real world we never have to document and record every thought and reflection but instead it becomes just a natural part of the day.  So, from now on my blog will be much simpler, less about me and more about the big wide world with all together less writing and reflecting.  It will still be a little bit about me, though, with a few opinions thrown in, just no essays about greater meanings.  Apart from this post.

Good riddance to University!

2. Draw more - this is something I lost the time for when I was at uni so now seems the perfect time to get out the pencil sharpener!

3. Don't be complacent - I am loving my job as Junior Graphics and Marketing assistant right now and have learned so much already, but I've decided I don't want to miss any opportunity, so 2011 will be the year of seizing and building my career.

Watch this space everyone, I have lots of lovely things saved up from the last few months to show you.

Happy New Year!