Archives For November 2011

This post from Design Taxi crystallizes the argument against creativity in Hollywood. Granted, that’s not a hard argument to make. But its a shame. Hollywood should lead the way in creativity. But alas, with big money comes big fear and aversion to risk which is why it seems my wife and I sometimes spend more time searching for a movie than actually watching them. Some nights, it seems like they all suck.

The Design Taxi post is about the idea of a French film distributor named Christophe Courtois. He found reoccurring trends in the graphic design of Hollywood movie posters. Yellow backgrounds. Women in red dresses. Great big eyeballs. But then he did something really creative with his insight.

He made mosaics out of the repetitive, boring, same–same approaches that Hollywood studios seem to lean on again and again. He kicked Hollywoods butt at their own game: creativity. And uh, why is Tom Crusie always show in profile?

For a breath of creative fresh air, here are a couple awesome offerings from the great Saul Bass.

And here’s a nifty take on the top 20 movie posters of all time.

John Lewis is a British department store. Their advertising is generally excellent.

I absolutely hate, loathe, despise, and abhor any type of communication about Christmas that happens before Thanksgiving. However, this ad rises above my belief.

Today, this ad is 6 days old. It already has 1.5 million YouTube views. Wow.



Ladies and gentlemen, Jim Meskimen. Unreal. While he’s got a great gift to use his voice to sound like a huge breadth of people, perhaps his greatest gift is his ability to listen. If your job is to communicate, your job starts with being a brilliant listener.

A fine Guinness poster series indeed. Thanks Google.

“Why Man Creates” is a 1968 documentary animated film from Saul Bass. And sheesh, does it feel like the prototypical tone of animation in the 60’s: that graphic style (which Schoolhouse Rock borrows from), that lush, somewhat cheesy orchestral musical score, the zany wacky sound effects. (Part 1 is seen above.)

While studying film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I learned about the graphic awesomeness of Saul Bass as a famous designer of movie titles.

As an ad guy, I knew of his legendary logos.

Recently I found “Why Man Creates.” And I’m kinda sorry to say the ideas on why we create don’t do a whole lot for me, despite its Academy Award, experimental tactics and go-go dancers. The style and execution are cool, but I’m not sure I’m smelling everything that it’s cooking. It’s as if the ancient Greeks wrote it. And while The Frogs is a helluva play, it’s a little…inaccessible.

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.” David Ogilvy

A great line from the legendary ad guy who wrote really long copy, but admitted that 80% of readers jump ship after the headline.

Swing away.

Wow. This video from Motion Plus Design is a jaw dropper for motion design freaks, with some great history, beautiful examples, and a video bibliography that’ll blow you away. Their Facebook presence is really exciting, with lots of folks chipping in coooooool coolness. Here’s hoping their new initiative to bring more motion design awareness to the world takes off.

Found via Maria Popova at Brainpickings, a really great blog that you should frequently read.

Maira Kalman is a great illustrator of book covers and New Yorker magazine covers, and a captivating TED speaker. She just illustrated Michael Pollen’s “Food Rules,” which you should buy, read and live if you have not already.

When people like Maira, who are driven by the visual arts, come up with a line like “everywhere I go I see hats,” which is a very verbal, wordy and cool bit of writing, it makes me hope that the Great Scorekeeper of Creativity awards visually-oriented people like Maira at least 10 Writer Points.

Have you heard of GoodSearch? It’s a Yahoo search engine, but the twist is that with each search, approximately 1 penny goes to charities. How they figure out how much approximately 1 penny is interesting. Regardless, what a cool idea. I’ll give it a try.

Here is how you can get involved.