Blog — news

The White Pencil Symposium28 November— 
As part of our work with D&AD’s newest initiative, NB went along to see the beginnings of our identity work for The White Pencil Symposium, held at the Royal Institution in Mayfair. As Lord David Puttnam put it in a powerful and impassioned speech, the choice of venue was significant – many of the major scientific breakthroughs in the last century were first discussed, presented and announced in the hallowed lecture theatre, which is also home to the famous Christmas Lectures. 
This combination of a special venue and varied speakers gave the evening a revelatory and at times revolutionary feel. 
Whilst we allow the dust to settle and the inspiration to take hold, we’ve reduced and combined what were fascinating talks into 5 key themes and facts that defined the evening for us:
1. Businesses & brands must embrace and act with sustainability and positive social change at the heart of what they do. The challenge for agencies like NB is to help establish this thinking at the core of everything our client does or wants to do. 
2. Sustainability and positive social impact = business growth. Accenture reports commissioned by OgilvyEarth split consumers into 4 groups, with decreasing levels of interest and concern over sustainability; Super Greens, Upper Middle Greens, Lower Middle Greens & Green rejectors. The study estimates that the middle two groups - Upper Middles and Lower Middles represent roughly 67% of the available market. 
3. Sustainable and ‘green’ products, marketing and advertising often fail for the same reasons. Research indicates that green products are marketed as too feminine (think curvy electric cars, canvas bags), too expensive, or seemingly aimed at a niche, ecologically concerned section of the market rather than the afore mentioned 67%. The key is to ‘normalise’ sustainable living rather than place it on a pedestal; so as to not be out of reach to the vast majority.
4. We are in the Age of Damage – customer perception of business & brands can be altered in hours thanks to social media. See BP’s Unofficial PR twitter feed in the wake of the oil spill (it has infinitely more followers than the official feed), Barclays (recently dismissed) Head of Asia FX Strategy’s violent outburst at builders in Singapore, or indeed the video of a FedEx delivery driver throwing a TV over a fence. The challenge for brands is how they respond - look at Domino’s transparency campaign as a good example of how this can be done.
5. All consumers have a residual need for goodness and trust in their business and brands. In this age of information (and misinformation) the truth is the most effective marketing message a brand or business can convey. As Jan Chipchase of Frog put it: a petrol station is an elevated container of petrol and a tube. Everything else is fluff. 
We’re excited about how we can develop the White Pencil identity with D&AD and inspired ask new questions of the businesses and brands we work with. Credit to D&AD for a great event and to Stephen Johnson, David Jones, Kim Slicklein, Jan Chipchase, Marc Mathieu, Jeremy Gilley & Lord David Puttnam for fascinating talks. 
Nick 

The White Pencil Symposium
28 November
— 

As part of our work with D&AD’s newest initiative, NB went along to see the beginnings of our identity work for The White Pencil Symposium, held at the Royal Institution in Mayfair. As Lord David Puttnam put it in a powerful and impassioned speech, the choice of venue was significant – many of the major scientific breakthroughs in the last century were first discussed, presented and announced in the hallowed lecture theatre, which is also home to the famous Christmas Lectures

This combination of a special venue and varied speakers gave the evening a revelatory and at times revolutionary feel. 

Whilst we allow the dust to settle and the inspiration to take hold, we’ve reduced and combined what were fascinating talks into 5 key themes and facts that defined the evening for us:

1. Businesses & brands must embrace and act with sustainability and positive social change at the heart of what they do. The challenge for agencies like NB is to help establish this thinking at the core of everything our client does or wants to do. 

2. Sustainability and positive social impact = business growth. Accenture reports commissioned by OgilvyEarth split consumers into 4 groups, with decreasing levels of interest and concern over sustainability; Super Greens, Upper Middle Greens, Lower Middle Greens & Green rejectors. The study estimates that the middle two groups - Upper Middles and Lower Middles represent roughly 67% of the available market. 

3. Sustainable and ‘green’ products, marketing and advertising often fail for the same reasons. Research indicates that green products are marketed as too feminine (think curvy electric cars, canvas bags), too expensive, or seemingly aimed at a niche, ecologically concerned section of the market rather than the afore mentioned 67%. The key is to ‘normalise’ sustainable living rather than place it on a pedestal; so as to not be out of reach to the vast majority.

4. We are in the Age of Damage – customer perception of business & brands can be altered in hours thanks to social media. See BP’s Unofficial PR twitter feed in the wake of the oil spill (it has infinitely more followers than the official feed), Barclays (recently dismissed) Head of Asia FX Strategy’s violent outburst at builders in Singapore, or indeed the video of a FedEx delivery driver throwing a TV over a fence. The challenge for brands is how they respond - look at Domino’s transparency campaign as a good example of how this can be done.

5. All consumers have a residual need for goodness and trust in their business and brands. In this age of information (and misinformation) the truth is the most effective marketing message a brand or business can convey. As Jan Chipchase of Frog put it: a petrol station is an elevated container of petrol and a tube. Everything else is fluff. 

We’re excited about how we can develop the White Pencil identity with D&AD and inspired ask new questions of the businesses and brands we work with. Credit to D&AD for a great event and to Stephen Johnson, David Jones, Kim Slicklein, Jan Chipchase, Marc Mathieu, Jeremy Gilley & Lord David Puttnam for fascinating talks. 

Nick 

Action, lights, camera, action16 November—
A lot of effort goes into making something look effortless. Having just completedtwo shoots, with two different clients and two photographers, we thought it would be interesting to share what goes on before the shutter is released and the lights pop.
Firstly, and most importantly you need an idea – that much is obvious. Once you’ve got one you need to develop it with the client and refine the thinking with the photographer until you’re sure it will work. This can involve sketches, moodboards and crudely ‘photoshopped’ mock-ups. Often a member or two of the NB team will reluctantly stand in for the model. At this stage the emphasis is on trying replicate as accurately as possible what the final image is going to look like and how well it communicates the idea.
By now all stakeholders are aligned and committed to the shoot; agreed on budgets, timings, locations and personnel – cast, crew, make-up artists, props etc. It sounds simple, but sometimes it isn’t. At NB we work closely with our clients and collaborate with some of the best photographers in the land (thank you David Stewart & John Ross for all your hard work).
Finally, it’s the day of the shoot. The anxiety fades as everyone turns up on time and gets to work. The trick here is give the experts (photographer, designers, crew and models) space to work, to improvise and create. Before the shoot it’s all about organisation. On the day it’s all about instinct. It’s the balance between rigorous planning and spontaneous improvisation that makes a photo shoot dynamic and exciting. There’s that little moment of magic as the shot appears on the screen (or develops in the tray); all the hard work has been worth it. We love it when a plan comes together. 
We’ll be sharing more information about these projects soon.

Action, lights, camera, action
16 November

A lot of effort goes into making something look effortless. Having just completed
two shoots, with two different clients and two photographers, we thought it would be interesting to share what goes on before the shutter is released and the lights pop.

Firstly, and most importantly you need an idea – that much is obvious. Once you’ve got one you need to develop it with the client and refine the thinking with the photographer until you’re sure it will work. This can involve sketches, moodboards and crudely ‘photoshopped’ mock-ups. Often a member or two of the NB team will reluctantly stand in for the model. At this stage the emphasis is on trying replicate as accurately as possible what the final image is going to look like and how well it communicates the idea.

By now all stakeholders are aligned and committed to the shoot; agreed on budgets, timings, locations and personnel – cast, crew, make-up artists, props etc. It sounds simple, but sometimes it isn’t. At NB we work closely with our clients and collaborate with some of the best photographers in the land (thank you David Stewart & John Ross for all your hard work).

Finally, it’s the day of the shoot. The anxiety fades as everyone turns up on time and gets to work. The trick here is give the experts (photographer, designers, crew and models) space to work, to improvise and create. Before the shoot it’s all about organisation. On the day it’s all about instinct. It’s the balance between rigorous planning and spontaneous improvisation that makes a photo shoot dynamic and exciting. There’s that little moment of magic as the shot appears on the screen (or develops in the tray); all the hard work has been worth it. We love it when a plan comes together. 

We’ll be sharing more information about these projects soon.

The Design Dinner12 October — 
Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).
Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.
The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 
With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.
Jamie
The Design Dinner12 October — 
Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).
Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.
The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 
With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.
Jamie
The Design Dinner12 October — 
Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).
Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.
The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 
With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.
Jamie
The Design Dinner12 October — 
Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).
Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.
The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 
With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.
Jamie
The Design Dinner12 October — 
Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).
Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.
The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 
With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.
Jamie

The Design Dinner
12 October 
— 

Last Wednesday night a few of us were honoured to be invited to attend one of Lynda Relph-Knight’s legendary Design Dinners – a quarterly evening for a select group of individuals from the world of design. Held at the quirky Union Club in Soho, each evening starts with a guest speaker and finishes with a three-course meal (and wine of course).

Animator and long-time friend of NB Johnny Kelly wowed the guests with a simple A to Z of his award-winning animation ‘Back to the start’ for fast food chain Chipotle, which aims to promote the benefits of sustainable farming. Check out the film here.

The dinner also saw the launch of Tabletalk, a ‘parish magazine’ for the club members that we worked with Lynda to help conceive, design and produce. 

With the help of illustration agency Handsome Frank and printer Gavin Martin Colournet the magazine features interesting stories, news, interviews, industry gossip, a collection of fruit wrappers from our very own Tom Moloney and lovely food-related illustration from Handsome Frank’s Joël Penkman.

Jamie

ADCC8 June 2012—
I have just got back from Toronto, Canada where I was asked by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada and it’s president Fidel Pena to join the judging panel for the ADCC Awards and to give a talk to its members.
…And I thought it rained in London.
Toronto was experiencing 48 hours of monsoon like rain which although unfortunate, was a brilliant excuse for me to visit the Picasso show at the AGO which I missed in London. It was excellent. When it eventually stopped raining and the mist and clouds had disappeared, I travelled the 1,815ft up the CN Tower and stood on its crazy glass floor - which apparently can take the weight of 5 large Hippos, or a couple of American tourists.
What I love about judging awards are the people you meet and the new friends you make. My fellow graphic jurors were Matthias Ernstberger, who is owner of ME & Friends but in his past life was Stefan Stagmeister’s right hand man for 6 years and Nicole Jacek, currently the Creative Director at Karlssonwilker - both German designers from Stuttgart now resident in New York. We hit it off from the go and had the same design sensibilities. It was a completely enjoyable day spent awarding many Gold and Silvers.
ADCC is a little different from other awards - the work submitted is only Canadian and the judges are totally International. I loved the fact we had to choose the work by placing little coloured beads into a hole cut into a polystyrene cup.
Thank you ADCC for looking after me and Canada for a wonderful experience.
Alan ADCC8 June 2012—
I have just got back from Toronto, Canada where I was asked by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada and it’s president Fidel Pena to join the judging panel for the ADCC Awards and to give a talk to its members.
…And I thought it rained in London.
Toronto was experiencing 48 hours of monsoon like rain which although unfortunate, was a brilliant excuse for me to visit the Picasso show at the AGO which I missed in London. It was excellent. When it eventually stopped raining and the mist and clouds had disappeared, I travelled the 1,815ft up the CN Tower and stood on its crazy glass floor - which apparently can take the weight of 5 large Hippos, or a couple of American tourists.
What I love about judging awards are the people you meet and the new friends you make. My fellow graphic jurors were Matthias Ernstberger, who is owner of ME & Friends but in his past life was Stefan Stagmeister’s right hand man for 6 years and Nicole Jacek, currently the Creative Director at Karlssonwilker - both German designers from Stuttgart now resident in New York. We hit it off from the go and had the same design sensibilities. It was a completely enjoyable day spent awarding many Gold and Silvers.
ADCC is a little different from other awards - the work submitted is only Canadian and the judges are totally International. I loved the fact we had to choose the work by placing little coloured beads into a hole cut into a polystyrene cup.
Thank you ADCC for looking after me and Canada for a wonderful experience.
Alan ADCC8 June 2012—
I have just got back from Toronto, Canada where I was asked by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada and it’s president Fidel Pena to join the judging panel for the ADCC Awards and to give a talk to its members.
…And I thought it rained in London.
Toronto was experiencing 48 hours of monsoon like rain which although unfortunate, was a brilliant excuse for me to visit the Picasso show at the AGO which I missed in London. It was excellent. When it eventually stopped raining and the mist and clouds had disappeared, I travelled the 1,815ft up the CN Tower and stood on its crazy glass floor - which apparently can take the weight of 5 large Hippos, or a couple of American tourists.
What I love about judging awards are the people you meet and the new friends you make. My fellow graphic jurors were Matthias Ernstberger, who is owner of ME & Friends but in his past life was Stefan Stagmeister’s right hand man for 6 years and Nicole Jacek, currently the Creative Director at Karlssonwilker - both German designers from Stuttgart now resident in New York. We hit it off from the go and had the same design sensibilities. It was a completely enjoyable day spent awarding many Gold and Silvers.
ADCC is a little different from other awards - the work submitted is only Canadian and the judges are totally International. I loved the fact we had to choose the work by placing little coloured beads into a hole cut into a polystyrene cup.
Thank you ADCC for looking after me and Canada for a wonderful experience.
Alan ADCC8 June 2012—
I have just got back from Toronto, Canada where I was asked by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada and it’s president Fidel Pena to join the judging panel for the ADCC Awards and to give a talk to its members.
…And I thought it rained in London.
Toronto was experiencing 48 hours of monsoon like rain which although unfortunate, was a brilliant excuse for me to visit the Picasso show at the AGO which I missed in London. It was excellent. When it eventually stopped raining and the mist and clouds had disappeared, I travelled the 1,815ft up the CN Tower and stood on its crazy glass floor - which apparently can take the weight of 5 large Hippos, or a couple of American tourists.
What I love about judging awards are the people you meet and the new friends you make. My fellow graphic jurors were Matthias Ernstberger, who is owner of ME & Friends but in his past life was Stefan Stagmeister’s right hand man for 6 years and Nicole Jacek, currently the Creative Director at Karlssonwilker - both German designers from Stuttgart now resident in New York. We hit it off from the go and had the same design sensibilities. It was a completely enjoyable day spent awarding many Gold and Silvers.
ADCC is a little different from other awards - the work submitted is only Canadian and the judges are totally International. I loved the fact we had to choose the work by placing little coloured beads into a hole cut into a polystyrene cup.
Thank you ADCC for looking after me and Canada for a wonderful experience.
Alan

ADCC
8 June 2012

I have just got back from Toronto, Canada where I was asked by the Advertising and Design Club of Canada and it’s president Fidel Pena to join the judging panel for the ADCC Awards and to give a talk to its members.

…And I thought it rained in London.

Toronto was experiencing 48 hours of monsoon like rain which although unfortunate, was a brilliant excuse for me to visit the Picasso show at the AGO which I missed in London. It was excellent. When it eventually stopped raining and the mist and clouds had disappeared, I travelled the 1,815ft up the CN Tower and stood on its crazy glass floor - which apparently can take the weight of 5 large Hippos, or a couple of American tourists.

What I love about judging awards are the people you meet and the new friends you make. My fellow graphic jurors were Matthias Ernstberger, who is owner of ME & Friends but in his past life was Stefan Stagmeister’s right hand man for 6 years and Nicole Jacek, currently the Creative Director at Karlssonwilker - both German designers from Stuttgart now resident in New York. We hit it off from the go and had the same design sensibilities. It was a completely enjoyable day spent awarding many Gold and Silvers.

ADCC is a little different from other awards - the work submitted is only Canadian and the judges are totally International. I loved the fact we had to choose the work by placing little coloured beads into a hole cut into a polystyrene cup.

Thank you ADCC for looking after me and Canada for a wonderful experience.

Alan

John Hegarty at The Typo Circle3 May 2012 — 
Last Thursday evening saw another inspirational talk from The Typographic Circle; this time with advertising legend and BBH founder Sir John Hegarty.
Aside from the showing timeless, ground-breaking ads such as this and this, he also took the audience through his views on working in the creative industry; the subject of his book Turning Intelligence into Magic.
He revealed that a censorship argument on whether a man can appear in only his briefs for this TV spot for Levi’s, led to a 500% upturn in the sale of boxer shorts in the UK. "Hands up who’s wearing boxer shorts here tonight? You’ll be wearing them because of that ad".
Our favourite words of wisdom from the night?
On aims:"Don’t chase the money. Chase the opportunity."
On writing a book:"Words are just describing pictures"
And finally, on how to keep producing great work:"Surround yourself with great things and you’ll do great things"
Jon John Hegarty at The Typo Circle3 May 2012 — 
Last Thursday evening saw another inspirational talk from The Typographic Circle; this time with advertising legend and BBH founder Sir John Hegarty.
Aside from the showing timeless, ground-breaking ads such as this and this, he also took the audience through his views on working in the creative industry; the subject of his book Turning Intelligence into Magic.
He revealed that a censorship argument on whether a man can appear in only his briefs for this TV spot for Levi’s, led to a 500% upturn in the sale of boxer shorts in the UK. "Hands up who’s wearing boxer shorts here tonight? You’ll be wearing them because of that ad".
Our favourite words of wisdom from the night?
On aims:"Don’t chase the money. Chase the opportunity."
On writing a book:"Words are just describing pictures"
And finally, on how to keep producing great work:"Surround yourself with great things and you’ll do great things"
Jon John Hegarty at The Typo Circle3 May 2012 — 
Last Thursday evening saw another inspirational talk from The Typographic Circle; this time with advertising legend and BBH founder Sir John Hegarty.
Aside from the showing timeless, ground-breaking ads such as this and this, he also took the audience through his views on working in the creative industry; the subject of his book Turning Intelligence into Magic.
He revealed that a censorship argument on whether a man can appear in only his briefs for this TV spot for Levi’s, led to a 500% upturn in the sale of boxer shorts in the UK. "Hands up who’s wearing boxer shorts here tonight? You’ll be wearing them because of that ad".
Our favourite words of wisdom from the night?
On aims:"Don’t chase the money. Chase the opportunity."
On writing a book:"Words are just describing pictures"
And finally, on how to keep producing great work:"Surround yourself with great things and you’ll do great things"
Jon

John Hegarty at The Typo Circle
3 May 2012 
— 

Last Thursday evening saw another inspirational talk from The Typographic Circle; this time with advertising legend and BBH founder Sir John Hegarty.

Aside from the showing timeless, ground-breaking ads such as this and this, he also took the audience through his views on working in the creative industry; the subject of his book Turning Intelligence into Magic.

He revealed that a censorship argument on whether a man can appear in only his briefs for this TV spot for Levi’s, led to a 500% upturn in the sale of boxer shorts in the UK. "Hands up who’s wearing boxer shorts here tonight? You’ll be wearing them because of that ad".

Our favourite words of wisdom from the night?

On aims:
"Don’t chase the money. Chase the opportunity."

On writing a book:
"Words are just describing pictures"

And finally, on how to keep producing great work:
"Surround yourself with great things and you’ll do great things"

Jon

The eye of the beholder26 April 2012— 
When I was asked to speak at a ‘lightining talk’ organised by It’s Nice That and GF Smith called ‘Beauty in the Making’, my initial response was panic:
I don’t ‘make’. I don’t use a loom, I don’t ‘do’ wood-block printing or engravings. I don’t craft in the traditional sense. In fact I’d go as far as to say I avoid it as much as possible. I’m less ‘Do It Yourself’, more ‘Get Someone Better To Do It For You’. What on earth am I going to say?
So, in my designated 8 minutes, I decided that I’d attempt to explain my life, my loves, the ups and downs, what inspires, moves and drives, what infuriates, confounds and stalls me. I did this through the medium of the ‘speed-waffle’ and loosely stitched it together with a pun on F-words. 
I was two-thirds through my rant when the bell went indicating it was time for me to shove-off and make way for the next worthy speaker (nicely done Olivia). So here are my slides in their un-edited form. 
The nub of my gist? I love ephemera. I love rigour and detail. I love ugly-beautiful and vice versa. I love the accidental and the deliberate. I love the thinking and the doing. I love kids drawings (in this case Chewie, Princess Leia and Darth Vader by Baxter, 5), my family (Sarah, Bethan and the aforementioned Baxter) and my extended family at NB; partner Alan and team of amazing and hugely talented ‘kids’. And these are the things that inspire me. And these are the things that make = beautiful.
The rest you can fill in for yourself as you look at the pictures and it would probably be more enlightening than I could have made it.
Hats off too to James Groves, Hannah Barry, Rose Blake and Olivia Solon for their enlightening and enriching talks (which only made it harder for me to efficiently dispatch mine). And thanks to INT and GF Smith for inviting me.
You can see the entire slideshow by clicking here.
Nick
The eye of the beholder26 April 2012— 
When I was asked to speak at a ‘lightining talk’ organised by It’s Nice That and GF Smith called ‘Beauty in the Making’, my initial response was panic:
I don’t ‘make’. I don’t use a loom, I don’t ‘do’ wood-block printing or engravings. I don’t craft in the traditional sense. In fact I’d go as far as to say I avoid it as much as possible. I’m less ‘Do It Yourself’, more ‘Get Someone Better To Do It For You’. What on earth am I going to say?
So, in my designated 8 minutes, I decided that I’d attempt to explain my life, my loves, the ups and downs, what inspires, moves and drives, what infuriates, confounds and stalls me. I did this through the medium of the ‘speed-waffle’ and loosely stitched it together with a pun on F-words. 
I was two-thirds through my rant when the bell went indicating it was time for me to shove-off and make way for the next worthy speaker (nicely done Olivia). So here are my slides in their un-edited form. 
The nub of my gist? I love ephemera. I love rigour and detail. I love ugly-beautiful and vice versa. I love the accidental and the deliberate. I love the thinking and the doing. I love kids drawings (in this case Chewie, Princess Leia and Darth Vader by Baxter, 5), my family (Sarah, Bethan and the aforementioned Baxter) and my extended family at NB; partner Alan and team of amazing and hugely talented ‘kids’. And these are the things that inspire me. And these are the things that make = beautiful.
The rest you can fill in for yourself as you look at the pictures and it would probably be more enlightening than I could have made it.
Hats off too to James Groves, Hannah Barry, Rose Blake and Olivia Solon for their enlightening and enriching talks (which only made it harder for me to efficiently dispatch mine). And thanks to INT and GF Smith for inviting me.
You can see the entire slideshow by clicking here.
Nick
The eye of the beholder26 April 2012— 
When I was asked to speak at a ‘lightining talk’ organised by It’s Nice That and GF Smith called ‘Beauty in the Making’, my initial response was panic:
I don’t ‘make’. I don’t use a loom, I don’t ‘do’ wood-block printing or engravings. I don’t craft in the traditional sense. In fact I’d go as far as to say I avoid it as much as possible. I’m less ‘Do It Yourself’, more ‘Get Someone Better To Do It For You’. What on earth am I going to say?
So, in my designated 8 minutes, I decided that I’d attempt to explain my life, my loves, the ups and downs, what inspires, moves and drives, what infuriates, confounds and stalls me. I did this through the medium of the ‘speed-waffle’ and loosely stitched it together with a pun on F-words. 
I was two-thirds through my rant when the bell went indicating it was time for me to shove-off and make way for the next worthy speaker (nicely done Olivia). So here are my slides in their un-edited form. 
The nub of my gist? I love ephemera. I love rigour and detail. I love ugly-beautiful and vice versa. I love the accidental and the deliberate. I love the thinking and the doing. I love kids drawings (in this case Chewie, Princess Leia and Darth Vader by Baxter, 5), my family (Sarah, Bethan and the aforementioned Baxter) and my extended family at NB; partner Alan and team of amazing and hugely talented ‘kids’. And these are the things that inspire me. And these are the things that make = beautiful.
The rest you can fill in for yourself as you look at the pictures and it would probably be more enlightening than I could have made it.
Hats off too to James Groves, Hannah Barry, Rose Blake and Olivia Solon for their enlightening and enriching talks (which only made it harder for me to efficiently dispatch mine). And thanks to INT and GF Smith for inviting me.
You can see the entire slideshow by clicking here.
Nick
The eye of the beholder26 April 2012— 
When I was asked to speak at a ‘lightining talk’ organised by It’s Nice That and GF Smith called ‘Beauty in the Making’, my initial response was panic:
I don’t ‘make’. I don’t use a loom, I don’t ‘do’ wood-block printing or engravings. I don’t craft in the traditional sense. In fact I’d go as far as to say I avoid it as much as possible. I’m less ‘Do It Yourself’, more ‘Get Someone Better To Do It For You’. What on earth am I going to say?
So, in my designated 8 minutes, I decided that I’d attempt to explain my life, my loves, the ups and downs, what inspires, moves and drives, what infuriates, confounds and stalls me. I did this through the medium of the ‘speed-waffle’ and loosely stitched it together with a pun on F-words. 
I was two-thirds through my rant when the bell went indicating it was time for me to shove-off and make way for the next worthy speaker (nicely done Olivia). So here are my slides in their un-edited form. 
The nub of my gist? I love ephemera. I love rigour and detail. I love ugly-beautiful and vice versa. I love the accidental and the deliberate. I love the thinking and the doing. I love kids drawings (in this case Chewie, Princess Leia and Darth Vader by Baxter, 5), my family (Sarah, Bethan and the aforementioned Baxter) and my extended family at NB; partner Alan and team of amazing and hugely talented ‘kids’. And these are the things that inspire me. And these are the things that make = beautiful.
The rest you can fill in for yourself as you look at the pictures and it would probably be more enlightening than I could have made it.
Hats off too to James Groves, Hannah Barry, Rose Blake and Olivia Solon for their enlightening and enriching talks (which only made it harder for me to efficiently dispatch mine). And thanks to INT and GF Smith for inviting me.
You can see the entire slideshow by clicking here.
Nick

The eye of the beholder
26 April 2012
— 

When I was asked to speak at a ‘lightining talk’ organised by It’s Nice That and GF Smith called ‘Beauty in the Making’, my initial response was panic:

I don’t ‘make’. I don’t use a loom, I don’t ‘do’ wood-block printing or engravings. I don’t craft in the traditional sense. In fact I’d go as far as to say I avoid it as much as possible. I’m less ‘Do It Yourself’, more ‘Get Someone Better To Do It For You’. What on earth am I going to say?

So, in my designated 8 minutes, I decided that I’d attempt to explain my life, my loves, the ups and downs, what inspires, moves and drives, what infuriates, confounds and stalls me. I did this through the medium of the ‘speed-waffle’ and loosely stitched it together with a pun on F-words. 

I was two-thirds through my rant when the bell went indicating it was time for me to shove-off and make way for the next worthy speaker (nicely done Olivia). So here are my slides in their un-edited form. 

The nub of my gist? I love ephemera. I love rigour and detail. I love ugly-beautiful and vice versa. I love the accidental and the deliberate. I love the thinking and the doing. I love kids drawings (in this case Chewie, Princess Leia and Darth Vader by Baxter, 5), my family (Sarah, Bethan and the aforementioned Baxter) and my extended family at NB; partner Alan and team of amazing and hugely talented ‘kids’. And these are the things that inspire me. And these are the things that make = beautiful.

The rest you can fill in for yourself as you look at the pictures and it would probably be more enlightening than I could have made it.

Hats off too to James Groves, Hannah Barry, Rose Blake and Olivia Solon for their enlightening and enriching talks (which only made it harder for me to efficiently dispatch mine). And thanks to INT and GF Smith for inviting me.

You can see the entire slideshow by clicking here.

Nick

David Bailey26 April 2011— 
I was at the “Q&A with David Bailey” talk last night. Part of its President’s Lectures, D&AD promised the evening with the iconic photographer would be a good one. It didn’t disappoint.
The atmosphere was relaxed and informal, with our host for the evening, Andrew Graham-Dixon, in conversation with Bailey. He recounted his upbringing in the East End, how dyslexia affected him in school, his passion for Picasso and Chet Baker, and how his interest in photography began. There was also a side story about a teacher in school trying to kiss him.
We were shown some of his work as a commercial director, including this anti-fur campaign for Greenpeace and this spot for Volkswagen.
He spoke of the importance of simplicity and directness in his work, both still and moving image – plain background, get in close, always cutting the ‘thing’ down to its essence. 
Surprisingly, the images of “Swinging London” that he is most remembered for were not shown last night. There were, however, enough anecdotes about the famous and infamous from that era that you felt like you were looking at the pictures.
It certainly seemed like Bailey is not as good with names as he is with cameras (“that woman I loved – what’s her name again?”). Friends, heroes and audience alike were referred to by mischievous nicknames, with “Frankie the Pig” (Francis Bacon) being the most memorable.
All that, plus the swear words that peppered throughout and a special appearance of Rankin in the audience, made for a very enjoyable evening.
Derek
P.S. At the end of the talk I was very glad to find out that, for someone who claims to “not give a f**k about what others think” he does care enough to not turn down any requests for autographs.

David Bailey
26 April 2011
— 

I was at the “Q&A with David Bailey” talk last night. Part of its President’s Lectures, D&AD promised the evening with the iconic photographer would be a good one. It didn’t disappoint.

The atmosphere was relaxed and informal, with our host for the evening, Andrew Graham-Dixon, in conversation with Bailey. He recounted his upbringing in the East End, how dyslexia affected him in school, his passion for Picasso and Chet Baker, and how his interest in photography began. There was also a side story about a teacher in school trying to kiss him.

We were shown some of his work as a commercial director, including this anti-fur campaign for Greenpeace and this spot for Volkswagen.

He spoke of the importance of simplicity and directness in his work, both still and moving image – plain background, get in close, always cutting the ‘thing’ down to its essence. 

Surprisingly, the images of “Swinging London” that he is most remembered for were not shown last night. There were, however, enough anecdotes about the famous and infamous from that era that you felt like you were looking at the pictures.

It certainly seemed like Bailey is not as good with names as he is with cameras (“that woman I loved – what’s her name again?”). Friends, heroes and audience alike were referred to by mischievous nicknames, with “Frankie the Pig” (Francis Bacon) being the most memorable.

All that, plus the swear words that peppered throughout and a special appearance of Rankin in the audience, made for a very enjoyable evening.

Derek

P.S. At the end of the talk I was very glad to find out that, for someone who claims to “not give a f**k about what others think” he does care enough to not turn down any requests for autographs.

The cream always rises?20th April 2012— 
I’m always thrilled to be asked to judge for D&AD and have done it many times in the past. I do think it is one of the best International and highly sought after awards. 
However, I do get bored with people constantly saying it is an ‘Old Boys’ network of judges. In my experience there is always a bunch of new and interesting creatives. I’ve usually never met (or even heard of) them before. It is always great to bump into old faces too. 
Personally I would mix the judges up more; illustrators, advertisers, photographers and writers would be a much better mix than a gaggle of graphic designers judging the Graphic Design section? 
But then I’ve always thought all awards are sh*t until you win one. 
This year I was judging the student category. 
I must say and I’m usually very positive and probably the most generous judge I have ever met, but the entries were incredibly poor. Dominic Lippa had set a fabulous brief, to design a magazine for The Typographic Circle. 148 entries, only 14 got through. What an absolute waste of an opportunity to shine in front of some of the most prestigious and influential designers in the world, people like Irma Boom and Dominic Lippa. My advice? Students: read the brief in the future. Don’t over design. Keep it simple. Colleges: please edit the work before submitting.
On the subject of D&AD, why? Why? Why? didn’t that beautiful typographic Comedy Carpet in Blackpool even get in the book? Judges you should be ashamed of yourselves – personally I would have given it a Gold! 
Alan The cream always rises?20th April 2012— 
I’m always thrilled to be asked to judge for D&AD and have done it many times in the past. I do think it is one of the best International and highly sought after awards. 
However, I do get bored with people constantly saying it is an ‘Old Boys’ network of judges. In my experience there is always a bunch of new and interesting creatives. I’ve usually never met (or even heard of) them before. It is always great to bump into old faces too. 
Personally I would mix the judges up more; illustrators, advertisers, photographers and writers would be a much better mix than a gaggle of graphic designers judging the Graphic Design section? 
But then I’ve always thought all awards are sh*t until you win one. 
This year I was judging the student category. 
I must say and I’m usually very positive and probably the most generous judge I have ever met, but the entries were incredibly poor. Dominic Lippa had set a fabulous brief, to design a magazine for The Typographic Circle. 148 entries, only 14 got through. What an absolute waste of an opportunity to shine in front of some of the most prestigious and influential designers in the world, people like Irma Boom and Dominic Lippa. My advice? Students: read the brief in the future. Don’t over design. Keep it simple. Colleges: please edit the work before submitting.
On the subject of D&AD, why? Why? Why? didn’t that beautiful typographic Comedy Carpet in Blackpool even get in the book? Judges you should be ashamed of yourselves – personally I would have given it a Gold! 
Alan

The cream always rises?
20th April 2012
— 

I’m always thrilled to be asked to judge for D&AD and have done it many times in the past. I do think it is one of the best International and highly sought after awards. 

However, I do get bored with people constantly saying it is an ‘Old Boys’ network of judges. In my experience there is always a bunch of new and interesting creatives. I’ve usually never met (or even heard of) them before. It is always great to bump into old faces too. 

Personally I would mix the judges up more; illustrators, advertisers, photographers and writers would be a much better mix than a gaggle of graphic designers judging the Graphic Design section? 

But then I’ve always thought all awards are sh*t until you win one. 

This year I was judging the student category. 

I must say and I’m usually very positive and probably the most generous judge I have ever met, but the entries were incredibly poor. Dominic Lippa had set a fabulous brief, to design a magazine for The Typographic Circle. 148 entries, only 14 got through. What an absolute waste of an opportunity to shine in front of some of the most prestigious and influential designers in the world, people like Irma Boom and Dominic Lippa. My advice? Students: read the brief in the future. Don’t over design. Keep it simple. Colleges: please edit the work before submitting.

On the subject of D&AD, why? Why? Why? didn’t that beautiful typographic Comedy Carpet in Blackpool even get in the book? Judges you should be ashamed of yourselves – personally I would have given it a Gold! 

Alan

Typocircle26 March 2012—
We’ve just designed the poster (and name) for the upcoming Typographic Circle event: Five Big Names in Type.
The Typo Circle is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, that brings together anyone with an interest in type and typography. It’s of particular interest to everyone here at NB as Creative Director Alan Dye is a member of the committee.
The talk is billed as “a lively, any questions-style debate with a panel of the very best in typography” and chaired by Lynda Relph-Knight.
Bruno Maag, Henrik Kubel, Freda Sack, Phil Baines and Simon Dixon are the panel that will tell us what inspires them, followed by a lively and informative debate with questions from the audience.
Each designer’s name is type-set by themselves in a typeface designed by them. The posters were expertly printed by Gavin Martin Colournet on five shades of GF Smith’s Colorplan.
So come along, say hello and arm yourself with questions – and maybe walk away with a  poster.
Typocircle26 March 2012—
We’ve just designed the poster (and name) for the upcoming Typographic Circle event: Five Big Names in Type.
The Typo Circle is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, that brings together anyone with an interest in type and typography. It’s of particular interest to everyone here at NB as Creative Director Alan Dye is a member of the committee.
The talk is billed as “a lively, any questions-style debate with a panel of the very best in typography” and chaired by Lynda Relph-Knight.
Bruno Maag, Henrik Kubel, Freda Sack, Phil Baines and Simon Dixon are the panel that will tell us what inspires them, followed by a lively and informative debate with questions from the audience.
Each designer’s name is type-set by themselves in a typeface designed by them. The posters were expertly printed by Gavin Martin Colournet on five shades of GF Smith’s Colorplan.
So come along, say hello and arm yourself with questions – and maybe walk away with a  poster.

Typocircle
26 March 2012

We’ve just designed the poster (and name) for the upcoming Typographic Circle event: Five Big Names in Type.

The Typo Circle is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, that brings together anyone with an interest in type and typography. It’s of particular interest to everyone here at NB as Creative Director Alan Dye is a member of the committee.

The talk is billed as “a lively, any questions-style debate with a panel of the very best in typography” and chaired by Lynda Relph-Knight.

Bruno Maag, Henrik Kubel, Freda Sack, Phil Baines and Simon Dixon are the panel that will tell us what inspires them, followed by a lively and informative debate with questions from the audience.

Each designer’s name is type-set by themselves in a typeface designed by them. The posters were expertly printed by Gavin Martin Colournet on five shades of GF Smith’s Colorplan.

So come along, say hello and arm yourself with questions – and maybe walk away with a  poster.