Gaming’s only for fun, isn’t it? Doesn’t teach you anything? Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right. Surely gaming offers more than just light-hearted entertainment? With the right game, couldn’t playing be an opportunity to work on honing useful life, social and business skills?
After a hiatus, I decided to start playing games again this week, the one to hook me was multiple award winning 'INSIDE' by Playdead.
What do a dodo, Lewis Carroll, fossil hunter Mary Anning and Marie Claire magazine all have in common? The answer is they were all found at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Big anniversaries often prompt a bit of reflective thinking. Much to my happiness I've just hit a decade of self employment, 10 years since I started The Usual Studio. Here's my honest take on what I've learnt so far...
Highlights of The Usual Studio’s best bits from last year, reflecting on the rest and revealing two new things that are about to be launched.
Returning to tried and tested ideas is the easy option when you're feeling tired, time’s a ticking or the deadline is looooming. But what if you took a giant step back and thought of another way of doing things. Perhaps you recognise there is a need for reinvention, you’ve started questioning the old ways of doing things, imagining new ones and you need a plan to get others on board.
1.8 billion photos are now shared every day via our smartphones. That is staggering and tots up to 657 billion a year. Or to put it differently: Every two minutes, people take more photos that ever existed in total 150 years ago.
More and more people are finding themselves overwhelmed by the demands of the digital world: it’s given us access to truly breaking news, more articles than we could read in a life time, new people to banter with on social media, ways to promote businesses, share ideas and reach people on a global scale. If all that sounds exhausting, you are right. It is.
The digital world is not an easy place to be if you’re prone to distraction, for anyone needing to focus on a task (most of us!) it can be challenging. How much more could be achieved, if we all had fewer distractions?
Nostalgia is a useful tool for brands to connect with people as they tap into the past to woo them over in the future. This was evident in one of the most buzzed about Summer TV shows - Stranger Things, an American sic-fi, supernatural horror series on Netflix, starring Winona Ryder as a mother whose 12 years old son goes missing in 1983. Along with his school friends, she launches an investigation into his disappearance which leads them to unravel government experiments, mysteries, supernatural forces and an unusual little girl.
After exploring the topic of whether designers should be friends with clients, or just friendly recently, it’s a good place to lead from and discuss how to choose a designer to work with.
You’ve identified a business need for a designer - perhaps to create a brand identity, re-brand an existing one, launch a brand magazine or design a website - but how do you go about finding the right person to fulfil that need?
I had an interesting discussion with trainer and coach in influential communication John Scarrott last week, which touched on the topic of client relationships, specifically whether it’s beneficial to be friends with clients, or just friendly?
There are big changes ahead for education in the UK this Autumn and it’s going to have a very real affect on the future of the creative industries.
From the Autumn, art and design subjects will be excluded from the school timetable for over 90% of students, as the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification becomes compulsory. Just like that, students will be required to study a minimum of seven narrowly defined subjects including English, Maths, Science, choose a language and a humanity, at the exclusion of creative, artistic and technical subjects.
I received a surprising email last week, which has a great story behind it... In February I wrote ‘Meet the Explainer’ after attending a Bubble Show at The Science Museum. I loved the idea of someone having the job title ‘Explainer’ and I wrote about the parallels I noticed between the roles of an Explainer and a Designer. At the time of writing, I didn’t know David’s full name and certainly didn’t expect him to eventually read the article...
It's been a very exciting weekend, as we celebrated our recent work designing Candid magazine - The Design Issue - at the official red carpet launch party on Saturday. Hosted by cover star and industry icon, Stephen Jones OBE, the celebration took place on the Roof Terrace of Century Club, London and was attended by a host of industry icons.
After almost a decade working from a home office and loving doing so, I’ve decided to switch things around and move into something more akin to a co-working space for part of the week. You might be thinking well that sounds very ‘on-trend’ but here are the real motivations behind the change:
Are you publishing for your business? Maybe you’re thinking about it, but not convinced publishing an in-house magazine is a good idea? Here’s all the reasons you should delve into the world of brand publishing for your business.
D'you have an accent? Most people do, but how many of us make the most of it in our day-to-day communications? I’m not talking just about speaking, but in our written voice too.
So much of the content we see now has little, or a diluted sense of place. It could have been written almost anywhere from: Glasgow to Bristol, Kent or Cardiff. Part of what makes us Brits charming, unique and slightly eccentric is our myriad range of accents.
A lot of design studios and branding agencies talk about their process and approach to projects, but lets turn the tables. Here’s what your design agency would really, really love you to do, when working together...
I went laptop shopping a few days ago. This is not something I do often so quite frankly I was a bit excited and clearly an interested potential purchaser when I headed into my local independent Mac shop. Entering the empty shop (bar 3 staff), we headed purposefully for the 2 models I was interested in.
How do you sign off emails? Do you stick to the tried and tested letter formalities taught at school, or do you keep it more informal?
I've always kept my email sign offs pretty serious, more often than not ending with 'Kind Regards' or 'Many Thanks'. But that's not even close to how I talk and I'm pretty sure it's not how you talk either. So why do we do it?!