Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Solving problems — On Stray Dogs and David Abbot’s excellence in advertising

December 1, 2010, 4:20 PM

Browsing around from one article to another on Mike Dempsey’s excellent blog, one poster really knocked me off my chair: an ad done by David Abbot for a RSPCA unwanted dogs awareness campaign back in the 70s (I think):

The reason why this poster struck me so hard is that most Romanian cities have had this problem for decades now, stray dogs wandering around almost everywhere (it actually feels strange not seeing any stray dogs since I’ve moved to London, after being so used to them in Bucharest). Some of them are living on the mercy of various people, becoming something like a neighbourhood’s dog, usually having a rag to sleep on near the entrance of the block of flats where his benefactors live, while others just prey on whatever they can find through garbage. Most of them are beggingly friendly, wagging their tails in hope of a small piece of bread for their backbone-glued stomach, few are aggressive and rarely attack (like in the case of the unlucky Japanese man that died a few years ago after being bit by a stray dog).

Anyway, the above poster shows yet again how effective good advertising can be, as I’m sure something like this would have great impact even with the ever-untrusting and uncaring-enough Romanians. But unfortunately, Romanian advertising is just as bland and afraid of shocking — therefore delivering the message — as the people that it’s meant for (and I’m ashamed to say that some of that social-numbness has rubbed off on me as well — hopefully, living in the UK will cure that in time). Problem-solving advertising (and design, too) has become rare these days, as the majority seems to be much more interested in following trends and looking / talking just like the competitors. Those that dare stray from the well-known path are usually labeled as fools and booed in public (Wolff Olins seem to enjoy this, though :) ).

I’d really love to see this kind of bold ads in Romania (and not only), as there are so many problems that people need to wake up to. But the brave ones to approve such work are yet to come.

You should definitely read Mr. Dempsey’s beautiful article about David Abbott’s career: David Abbott, A Man of Letters. There are a few other great ads to see as well, and his career is truly inspiring.



When’s the last time you felt something, watching a TV ad?

May 31, 2010, 10:38 PM

Funny how things go round — one year ago I saw a beautiful animation, called Father & Daughter, by Michaël Dudok de Wit. Yesterday I stumbled across a few other shorts by the same gifted author, from which I loved The Monk and The Fish. However, the following collection of TV ads really impressed me, managing to fill me with much more than indifference and nervousness, the usuals when it comes to advertising — mind you, I quit working in advertising 3 years ago and I’ve been off the TV for almost 9 years now.

I can’t really tell what makes them special — maybe it’s the beautiful watercolours, maybe it’s the music, maybe the slow pace — or maybe the credible slices of life told in less than 15 seconds. Either way, I’d sure love to see more advertising like this.



Design is honest

September 14, 2008, 6:32 PM

Priceless. Gotta have one.


(via we ♥ it)



Tongue-in-cheek advertising

September 9, 2008, 8:24 PM

It’s nice to see clients with guts from time to time, makes you keep going in this eternal client-creative fight.

(via Ads of the world)



Conversations with Paul Rand

September 2, 2008, 11:14 AM

Always inspiring. Still hard to understand. But, God’s permit, we’ll have a lifetime ahead of re-reading and re-watching until we’ll come to understand Mr. Rand. Dying trying is not that bad either. After all, there’s more than just one way to reach Rome, right?

Description from YouTube: A short film by Preston McLanahan interviewing Paul Rand, the great American Modernist designer. Filmed in 1996, shortly before his death he talks about his process, art, aesthetics, and design in general. A very inspirational video and soon to be released on DVD.

Here is the link, embedding has been disabled, unfortunately:

(via Swiss Legacy)



The perfect typography billboard

May 8, 2008, 12:34 AM

This is definitely the perfect billboard. The copy says (larger image here):

“The Perfect Billboard. Eggshell white with romalian type. Nice. Raised lettering, a subtle 7 inch bone border, and just look at the tasteful thickness of the headline. All perched on four evenly spaced 3.2 metre powder coated stanchions. My god, it even has a watermark.”


Only a designer can truly enjoy the quote from American Psycho :)
(via Ads of the world)



IKEA – guts and glory

March 28, 2008, 2:33 PM

Beautiful work for IKEA by Karmarama. Be sure to check the tv ads (and the rest of their excellent portfolio). Freakin’ hilarious. It would be a pleasure to see this kind of advertising in Romania. Bold, fun, effective, no BIG prices and useless information about the product. And no big logo.


(via PPA Marketing)



Cannes Lions gets a new section for design

January 22, 2008, 2:00 AM

One of the most (still) respected european advertising festivals gets a new section: design. Packaging Design, Brand Identity and also Environmental Design to be more precise.

Wonder if they’ll find a way to subscribe some ghosts for this section as well :)) Nothing’s impossible, right? Nevertheless, it’s still a good thing that design gets a little more attention and maybe it’ll become a little bit more popular (compared to the “coolness” of advertising – everybody wants to make comercials, few want to design brand guidelines). And *just* maybe design will become a bit better known in Romania as well. It’s frustrating to say you’re a designer and have to explain that no, you’re not a fashion designer but something more serious and useful.

(thanks the creative cheaters)



The Ancient Way – Koi Klub trainers

December 9, 2007, 1:50 AM

Great animation for Koiklub (made by Wu Yué & Yoske Nishiumi):

BIG KOI "The Ancient Way"
Uploaded by Koiklub_Berlin

(via designboom)



Cityscape typo

November 15, 2007, 1:21 AM

After seeing this beautiful typo set on the net almost on every blog, i’m glad they finally decided to use them for something nice. Check out these ads for Renault Megane:


(via Ads of the world)