July 2007

A date or two in Canberra

July and August have become busy months for the studio. Several major projects along with developing client work are part of the mix:

  • the studio is relocating to St Kilda in early August (more information soon),
  • a range of new projects are underway,
  • we are collaborating with artist David Band from Mahon and Band on a range of prestigious hospitality briefs (more information soon),
  • we are developing a mystery project with 3 Deep Design (more information soon), and
  • Andrew winged it to Canberra 24, 25 July to “dish up the dirt“ so to speak accounting his experiences in big and small studios. He also delivered a new show and tell presentation to designers at the University of Canberra.

The dirt.

Gary Wilson had an idea 12 months ago to assemble a small group of designers, introduce some food, drinks and have a guest designer tell their story from the hip thus far. Wilson was interested to see what happened when a designer presented without their familiar visual presentation. Abi from Third Drawer Down broke in the idea, Andrew proceeded with this script — speaking candidly about his training, who he worked for, the ten year design partnership, moving to Melbourne, being a millionaire of paper for a few days, the cancelled IPO, being brought out, taking six months off, teaching design, leaving a partnership, developing a new studio and collaborating. The night kicked off at 7pm, with a majority of guests still chatting to midnight. It was an interesting event, there were many questions, answers, points to be made and issues left up in the air… a bit like a dinner party that kicked on to the wee hours, with one or two raids of the cellar.

Show and tell.

At 12.30pm the next day the tour continued at the University of Canberra. Andrew fine tuned a talk he developed for Hongki University Korea in June, investigating the theme of design as a verb — a visual and spoken presentation that explores influences, creative process, learnings with a generous dash of project work. The presentation went over time by 20 minutes, there was enough time for a handful of questions, the laptop was packed up and Gary drove Andrew to airport to meet a 3.30pm flight back to Melbourne.

Thank you to Gary, Alissa, Frank and Anita for your hospitality.

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A poster design process

Studio friend Craig Dunn has an interest in band posters of the works produced for Australian indie rock legends You Am I. Please enjoy two posters from Craig’s collection. Each demonstrating the design process of a rock poster by American based poster artist Guy Burwell — from the sketch, rough development, to the final hand screen printed poster (also depicted). Thanks Craig and Guy for sharing your passions with Nowality.

Visit Guy’s website to see his range of works and for poster purchases.

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Stranger than Fiction, a review

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There was a buzz in the studio this week for a film that slipped past the cinema and to DVD with little than a wink from the media. Stranger than Fiction is a comedy and drama that has a curious take on life and death. The film follows the twists seen in many contemporary plots — the inside out side, backward forward, end at the beginning and the beginning in the end storyline leads the viewer to its ultimate end.

The protagonist Harold Crick is woken up from the slumber that was his nerdy life by apparent voice in his head. This oddity drives him to find out why this voice appeared in the first place. Directed by Marc Forster this film is shot with strong sense of space and form. The perspectives are sweeping, the colours are considered, the compositions are dramatic, the costumes are elegant, and the graphics seamless.

A striking element to the film is a clean graphic layer which represents the G.U.I (Graphic User Interface — a graphical, rather than purely text based, user interface to a computer), that Harold thinks and possibly sees with every step, every calculation, every process of his nerdy life. A graphic pops in and out of Harold’s thoughts with a human like touch — it is stunning, detailed and un-intrusive.

Stranger than Fiction has 7.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes with mixed reviews. Will Ferrell is convincing as Harold, as are Emma Thompson’s, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s and Dustin Hoffman’s characters. However the direction of this film is a little fluffy, sentimental and sugary, and the end seems unresolved, leaving it short of sharing the mantel with films like Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Little Miss Sunshine.

The visual effects designers MK12, could have also had a stab at the poster and packaging design these outcomes are pedestrian examples of communication design for such a visually exciting movie experience.

Click here and visit the official site

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Our hole in the bucket

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Bucket no 17 by Studio Pip and Co.

Presented by Ambiguous and Knew Design, There’s a Hole in my Bucket is
an online gallery that is publishing photographs of up to 100 numbered buckets, taken by people across Melbourne to signpost examples of faulty design. The project aims to encourage people to think about the design that is inherent in everything we encounter, and by highlighting what is bad, encourage us all to think about good design, and what it means.

The studio was invited to submit an everyday encounter that could benefit from a healthy dose of sound design thinking. We chose to focus upon public transport. Melbourne has such a great public transport network that would benefit from an ongoing liberal dash of creative thinking and dreams put into action. Public transport is a design brief that has endless outcomes, countless benefits and has a active role to play in the sustainable future.

Visit the website to see more

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World class chamber music

The studio for the last few months have been working closely with Chamber Music Australia to present its biggest event — the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Held every four years the competition brings together the best chamber musicians in the world for over $70,000 in prizes. The studio has assisted with developing the event brand, print collateral, site and street signing, apparel, and print advertising. The competition finishes up this Sunday 15 July, listen into ABC Classic FM for live, stage by stage coverage.

Visit Chamber Music Australia for details

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