These riddles can be quite addictive and annoying, can’t they? With seven mischievous riddles published over the last few years, we’ve learned a few lessons along the way. At this point, you might be used to endless, mischievous, tricky, mean, time-consuming and intricate Mystery Riddles, and the latest one wasn’t any different. It had to be playful and challenging, and take at least 45 mins to resolve. In the end, the first answer to the new riddle came in after 1h 48minafter the (slightly delayed — sorry about that!
To create Fedrigoni 365, TM called upon the talents of the creative industry to come up with a single-colour design for each its pages, based upon a particular date given at random to the participants.
Contributors include Matt Willey, Morag Myerscough, Sara De Bondt, APFEL, Koto, David Pearson and Pentagram.
The cover of 365 is Sirio Color in Nero E20 290g/m2 with 680g/m2 Sirio in Ultra Black boards tipped onto the front and back.
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Today I read an eye-opening article about the current young generation and their financial future. It’s hard to grasp words like “Millenials”, and there’s much talk about specific issues they face, but, for many of us, it’s not easy to understand their struggle — no matter if you’re older or younger than me (I qualify under the Millenial generation). But Michael Hobbes’ entertaining and super informative article revealed a lot to me.
CR’s first online training programme, Mastering Creativity, will help unlock your creative potential, whether you are a professional creative, designer or commissioner of creative work. Additional expert insight for the course is provided by our five Creative Pioneers – Sir John Hegarty, Caroline Pay, Jim Sutherland, Zia Zareem-Slade and Michael Johnson of johnson banks. Video interviews with each of them are available as part of the course material but in this series of articles we are giving you a taste of that content.
Here, in an edited extract from his film, we talk to Johnson about the growing role of strategy and how Johnson banks approach pitches.
CR: You’ve said before that you rarely work from a brief anymore but if you are invited to pitch, how do you respond?
It is now very rare for us to get a brief from a client. Or, if I am honest, we’ll get a brief from our client, we’ll read it and we’ll go, ‘Well this is clearly not right’ or ‘They haven’t got scripts for their own problem’. There might be an instance where you are sent a brief and they are talking to multiple agencies and then the decision on our part is, ‘Are we going to tell them the truth here? Are we really going to say what we really think?’.
We hedged it a bit for a few years but now I am just too old. I just say what I think. I just say, ‘Well this is the issue. You have said this but clearly that is not the problem, this is the problem. We think you should be looking at this, this, this and this. And, if we can crack that, then we’ll be able to get on with the creative part of this project’. More often than not, that goes down pretty well. Once we are in the boardroom we rarely come out. It is probably because, sadly, a lot of designers still pitch on ‘I did this logo’ or ‘I did some stamps’. Of course, we could do that but we very, very rarely talk like that in a first meeting, that’s for sure. We would never show stamps to a potential client. It just doesn’t work.
We are trying to get inside their head and understand the problems they are facing rather than just showing them lots of great design – because you could go and see a hundred companies in London who could show great design.
CR: Would there ever be a project where there wasn’t a visual element involved at all?
Occasionally now we are getting contacted by people asking about doing what we would call ‘the front half’. I am still in two minds about whether that is a good or a bad thing. Have I gone so far the other way, that I have become… I mean, I did start life as a strategist at Wolff Olins and I wonder sometimes if I have come around in this bizarre circle and I am back as a suit who can draw, if you like.
Yes, we have had people contact us about that and it still makes us a little nervous really – because we talk about defining then designing and so just to define and not to design does feel a little strange.
CR: On that last point. There has been quite a lot of interesting debate – coming more so out of the States – about the future of design consultancies. And, do you think, long term, that front half is actually where the value is? Where, long-term, what we currently think of as design consultancies is going to move? And, do you think the visual side is becoming less valued, if you like?
I think in the long term, this move to embracing the more – if you like – consultancy aspects of branding and design…I think more people are going that way. They are having to. It is just…there are only so many times that you can stand in the boardroom and feel completely naked and not really know what you are talking about. I’ve done that too many times – I never want to do it again. I have to know that I know what I am talking about. And, I need genuinely to know that they trust me before we get to the design stage.
I really don’t like that divide between the suits and the designers. I have always really mistrusted that. Although it is still there, of course, and will be still there for some time. So, I think it is beholden on designers who are just straight designers to understand more about the process.
Whether they can get their clients to give them a hundred grand to do the front half, that is the second question. And that takes some skill and experience really and we couldn’t do that for years. We would say, ‘Look we’ll do this’… We started doing it really because we would partner up with strategic design companies and if an NGO comes to you for a proper big identity project, our fees plus the strategic company’s fees were so huge that the NGO would go, ‘We haven’t got the budget.’ So, we actually had to sort of start doing it ourselves just to try and make it… We really wanted to do these projects so we thought, ‘Sod it, we’ll work out how to do it’.
Michael Johnson will share more insights on Creative Review’s online training programme, Mastering Creativity.
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Snap is the latest tech company to reveal its AR offering with Lens Studio: a free desktop tool that allows users to create lenses for Snapchat.
Google, Apple and Facebook have all launched or announced AR platforms this year: Apple’s ARKit launched on iOS 11 in September, Facebook opened up its AR Studio tool to developers this week and Google has introduced an AR Stickers app – created using its ARCore platform – on its Pixel 2 smartphone. (A wider release of ARCore is expected next year.)
Lens Studio allows individual users as well as brands and advertisers to create lenses for Snapchat. The tool can be used to create ‘world lenses’, which are triggered via the rear-view camera, and ‘face lenses’, which are triggered via the front facing camera and appear on users’ faces (think bunny ears and giant tongues).
Only brands and advertisers working with approved partner agencies can create face lenses but world lenses can be created by anyone. Creators can then publish and share lenses using Snapcodes.
The Lens Studio website also includes templates and ‘how to’ guides explaining how to create static and animated objects. In a statement announcing the launch of Lens Studio, Snap said it wanted to make lenses more accessible to creators and more diverse.
The company plans to launch a series of AR challenges throughout 2018 – the first invites creators to come up with a lens “that will bring New Years’ spirit to anyone who plays with it”. The company is offering an iPad Pro and “swag bag” to the creator of the winning Lens (see the Lens Studio website for details).
Lenses were introduced in 2015. Snap claims that 70 million users – one third of its community – now interact with them each day. The company introduced geo-specific lenses in September, including a dancing foam finger which can be unlocked at NBA arenas in the US and Jeff Koons lenses which were made available at Miami Art Week. Snap has also been working with Apple to create lenses using ARKit and revealed a “portal” lens which placed users inside a set from Netflix series Stranger Things back in October.
You can download Lens Studio or find out more at lensstudio.snapchat.com
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