Creative Design

Not enough time in the day…

Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Dribbble, Instagram… everyday designers, artists, illustrators, makers and doers around the world post their creations online for us to appreciate. While this can often prove a vital resource for inspiration, there are a number of catches when browsing and posting art and design online…

The first problem is that what you think is wonderful (and your mum has reassured you is truly awesome) might just be a bit rubbish. And now the whole of the internet has seen it and anonymous commenters are bluntly comparing your artistic ability to that of a trained chimp. Ouch! Of course the alternative is almost as bad – your work is poor but you get 30+ likes on Instagram so you falsely assume that it’s good. Who are these people who are telling you that your work is ‘Adorbs’ or ‘Sick!’ and do they know what they’re talking about? Take a look at their profile and the sort of thing they post. If it’s all kittens and food, are they really a valid critic? Perhaps not. So, rule 1: don’t just post any old stuff. Look at it. Evaluate it. Post it only if you’re proud of it.

The second problem with sticking all your images online is that other people, less scrupulous than yourself, may appropriate your work and pass it off as their own. Rule 2: if you’re showing professional work that you use to earn your living, it may be better to only show a sneak peek online or to invest in professional watermark services to protect your copyright.

A further problem with looking at the work of talented, skilled designers and illustrators from across the world is the crushing sense of personal failure that can arise when you realize that, even if you quit your day job and did nothing but drawing practice from now until you’re 90, you’re never going to be THAT good. Oof! That can be a harsh blow to your ego but hey – maybe that person can’t code websites or cook a mean linguini or whatever your particular talent may be. So rule 3: don’t let the talents of others knock your self-confidence.

However, the main problem with browsing Pinterest and Behance etc is that we spend too much time looking and not enough doing… Faced with the sheer enormity of stuff available to look at, admire, covet and drool over, it’s easy to waste whole afternoons browsing, pinning and admiring inspirational images but that’s time you could have spent creating your own little masterpiece. So the final, most important rule is: make time to make things. Go on…

(Featured image: Whale  by Sarah Bibby)

Creative Design

Lost and Found on the Southbank

After three heavy filming days, confined to the foot well of the cramped car and a less than ideal temperature, my artistic leash was unfastened by my directors. I was set loose around some poignant, cultural and stimulating exhibitions.

IMG_2786I packed up the cameras, notebook and complimentary tickets. I declined the idea of a hot tube and plumped for an on foot foray of optical delights.

London definitely did not disappoint. I’m a little lost on the Southbank and I feel like I have walked into uninvited rave, as I am party to an explosion of neon stripes and geometric revelry.

An impromptu feast of shapes and colourways, these would be my inspirational epiphany. A whole memorised mood board, was being built and ready to pass on to team members for our creative den, which is under construction as we speak.

IMG_2791An awe inspiring construction of typography and multi leveled graphics lured me in to explore. Artists, communities and partners had come together and transformed the Thames side site with installations and artworks (featured in Creative Review).

The artist Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan, shower me in a riot of bright colours, a place of celebration and love for humanity to conquer hate – something we could all do with right now.


I had no choice but to smile and be happy, with an energized spring in my step, The images are captured and stored to help influence styles and ideas within the office.

IMG_2785I turn around the corner to find a random lonely chair, perfectly placed in the most contrasting setting. Swaddled in street art and placed in the center of the skate park. How did it arrive? Where is it going? I place my self on the seat and take in the messages, stories and statements.

This is the height of using visualisation for clever communication, albeit smelling of p*ss from where the homeless sleep every night, it seems to add to the social impact and impact of the political messages being spoken through illustration.

Each of my senses are heightened, as I have eaten my visual starter before I head off to the Tate for my mind filling, main course.


#teamDTW Creative PR

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear Glass

We’ve just joined the Google Glass Explorer programme.

Now I’m guessing most people reading this are either thinking “The what?” or “That’s cool.”

If it’s the latter you’re right. Not only is it cool but its simple to use and is already adding value to the way we work with our clients.

If you don’t know what Google Glass is you can find out straight from the Google itself, but basically it looks like a pair of glasses but it’s a computer with a tiny screen (and a built-in high quality video-camera) just inches from your eye that you can talk to.

Yes, really.

It’s part of what those trendy types are calling wearable technology, but what’s really interesting is what you can do with it.

The potential for training programmes, almost instant video uploads to Youtube and for capturing content from a unique first person perspective is fantastic.

We’ve let our Social and Digital Manager Guy Bailey loose to do some R&D work with the glasses over the past week, and he still hasn’t stopped smiling. Basically he’s in charge of having fun whilst working out the vast number of applications for the new technology. We’ll keep you up to speed with the opportunities, but in the meantime if you want to have a demo of how it all works get in touch with and let’s talk.

PS – Thanks to Timbuk 3 for the headline inspiration (if you’re under 30 and you care you’ve probably already googled it)

#teamDTW Creative PR

Life Through a Lens – Google Glass arrives at DTW

DTW Digital and Social Media Manager Guy Bailey takes us through the Looking Glass…

I’m a gadget guy. Always have been, a child of the ZX Spectrum generation, I measured my own and humanity’s progress based on access to the latest advances and cool devices. For most people growing up in the eighties, Tomorrow’s World was the annoying, swotty buffer between Top of the Pops and The Young Ones while for me it was a catalogue from the future.

Glass-boxOne family in every neighbourhood was always the first to have a Walkman, or a Diskman, or the latest Brevill Sandwich Toaster. My dad shared my love of the shiny so it was us. True, it frequently led us down many a silicon cul de sac as we chose the loser in a two-horse tech race – Betamax over VHS, Intellivision over Atari, TCR over Scalectrix – but at least we were at the party.

I continued to blaze a trail through the nineties and noughties with my calculator watches, digital diaries and Palm pilots until the dawn of the Smartphone revolution when everyone got in on the act. When I heard about Google Glass, I turned into a hyper eight year old again.

You can read about what Glass is and does, and why DTW has sensibly got in on the ground floor – but let’s talk about what it was like when my colleagues and I got to hold the future in our hands for the very first time.

The majority of the designers I work with were far more interested in typefaces, fonts and box layout than the actual piece of kit itself. Although Google being Google, it looked exquisite and as if it had fallen through a wormhole from the very near future.

Holding them as if they were made of Unicorn hair and fairy wings, I gently placed them on the bridge of my nose and powered them on. Adjusting the moveable eyepiece into my field of vision, a black welcome screen emerged with the GLASS logo gently appearing.

A welcome video played and guided you through the first uneasy steps into navigating your way around the device. You literally stroke the side of the glasses with your finger forward and backward to take you through various menu settings and double tap it to select your favoured option.

If you make a wrong turn, which is easily done at first, you can slide your finger downwards to cancel the screen and return you to the ubiquitous homescreen with a pleasing clanging sound.

The homescreen is where you will spend most of your time in Glass and can be accessed with a tap of the glasses, lifting your head up to a certain degree or if you specifiy it yourself, by winking. Yes, winking.

karen-glassThe screen displays the time and the phrase ‘OK, Glass’. This is a phrase you will become very familiar with. Say ‘OK Glass’ loud enough for it to hear but not so loud that you look like the crazy man outside Pret A Manger, and you access a list of suggested commands you can give to glass such as take a photo, record a video, send a message, play a game etc.

Glass works via Bluetooth and wifi so can work independently of another Android device or iPhone but it works best when paired with one. This gives Glass access to your email, calendar, SMS messages and more, so you can see notifications and messages in your screen as and when they appear. Other apps also link into Glass and it has its own select utilities that take advantage of its unique capabilities including a star map to identify constellations, Evernote, Tumblr and the busy media professionals’ tool of choice right now – IFTTT.

The camera and video recording features give Glass another unique edge. Filmed from your first person perspective, you literally just look and click. There is also a manual button on top of the glasses for you to take a picture, or hold it for longer and it will start taping a 10 second video clip. If you press the button again during this recording, it will remove the time limit and continue recording for as long as you want to, or your battery allows. Once recorded, you can upload it to any YouTube account you have or share it via email or SMS.

Sarah-glassIt’s an amazing device in itself but, like the iPhone and iPad before it, its key functionality will come out of what the community makes for it. When the iPhone was launched, all everybody was concerned about was call quality and the novelty of web access. Nobody mentioned the App store – which is its primary feature today.

The potential for Glass is huge with geolocation, augmented reality, facial-recognition, real-time video streaming, social networking and journalism uses waiting to be unleashed. Right now, you won’t see too many in the wild, especially in the North East, but as more users join the Explorer program, new and exciting designs come out from Diana Von Furstenberg, Ray Ban and others and word gets out on one or two killer applications and uses go mainstream, then the Glass ceiling will be broken – and recorded live while you do it.