Tag Archives: writer

Brewed In Hell

Bitches Brew Beer PackagingI’m not much of a beer drinker, and I never have been. I have started working in a pub and they always have loads of different types of guest beers on that change every week. Recently, I’ve had the chance to try and get more acquainted with different beers (mainly because I hate it when a customer asks me to recommend something and I have to admit I’m not sure, or ask one of my co-workers for help). I’ve found quite a few that I like now, particularly Camden Hells Lager, Rocky Head Zen American Pale Ale and Redhook Longhammer IPA.

Enough about taste, though – I’m sure you know what beers you like. When it comes to marketing beer, it’s quite rare to see branding that is particularly cool or eye-catching, with a lot of brands – particularly mainstream breweries – plumping for classic designs, paired with adverts that are geared towards men. I do find it a little uninspiring that there isn’t a beer that has been successfully, but subtly, marketed towards women. Not because I feel incensed that women are being ignored, but just because it seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me – men already enjoy beer, why wouldn’t you want to increase your profits by selling your product to women as well? I suppose that most attempts have been pretty weak, with breweries attempting to repackage their beers as girly alternatives to sparkling wine, making them fruitier and sweeter. That’s why this project for a fictitious brand of beer, Bitches’ Brew, is pretty great. I love the modern gothic design and I’d probably try and like Bitches’ Brew even if it tasted awful! It reinforces beer as a choice of drink for a woman who is cool and maybe a little bit tough – after all, it is a drink for ‘bitches’.Bitches Brew BeerBlack Cat Bottle TopBitches Brew BrandingThe design was done by Wedge & Lever, a California-based design studio. Unless they decide to actually start conjuring up this Bitches’ Brew, I suppose I’ll just stick to drinking spirits. However, if a brand were to take quite a dark, sophisticated approach to marketing beer to women, I reckon it could be hugely successful. Unfortunately, I have already found something called ‘Chick Beer’ which used Curlz MT as the font, with an emphasis on the lower calorie content of the product. Bitch, please…

Interactive Magazine Ad For Motorola

ImageMotorola have run a print ad in the current issue of Wired with the ability to change colour. The reader is able to change the colour of the phone on the advert, with the intention being to highlight the colour customisation feature on the new Moto X smartphone. When I first read about the advert, which was created by Digitas, I wanted to buy a copy of the magazine when it came out so that I could try it out for myself. Unfortunately, only 150,000 Wired readers will get to see the advert, and these copies of the magazine are only being distributed in Chicago and New York. Rude. So, unless you’re one of the smug Chicagoans or New Yorkers who actually got their hands on a proper copy, you will have to watch the video below to see how it works.

Maybe it’s best that I didn’t get a copy of the magazine. I would have wanted to see how it was made, and I would have probably ended up ruining all the fun by doing this to it…Interactive Magazine Advert

12 Shoes For 12 Lovers

Sebastian Errazuriz Shoes12 Shoes For 12 Lovers is a project by sculptor Sebastian Errazuriz, where the artist has drawn inspiration from previous relationships and trysts, creating shoes in their honour. My favourite pairs from the set are the red “Heartbreaker” shoes and the black “Boss” shoes (pictured above). I’m not sure how practical either pair would be – that cupid’s arrow could get caught on things, and the “Boss” heels are far too pointy for a novice like me to walk in – but I really like both of these playful designs. I’m into accessories and shoes that have a bit of tough charm to them. I get a lot of compliments on a Mafia necklace I have, which has teeth on it, and I have coveted these Terry De Havilland boots from the moment I first saw them…Terry De Havilland Knife BootsSeriously, they are fucking magnificent.

John Lewis: The Bear & The Hare

Angry BearThis grizzly bear is doing a pretty good job of aping my reaction to Christmas.

Everyone is going mental for the ‘touching’ John Lewis advert again, which is a blatant Animals of Farthing Hood rip off soundtracked by something no one needed to hear: Lily Allen covering Keane. It’s good, but obviously it doesn’t even come close to melting my ice cold heart or eliciting any kind of Christmas cheer from me. However, this touching tale of cartoon animals does carry an important lesson: if your BFF happens to be an apex predator, you might want to round up a few unwitting friends morsels in the hope that your carnivorous frienemy eats them first. Look how happy the bear is when he sees the meat feast he has woken up to…John Lewis Hare and BearAnyway, enough of my cynicism, here’s the actual advert, which was made by Adam & Eve/DDB and produced by Blinkink and Hornet. The animation really is lovely – and is the result of a lot of hard work – but I’d recommend muting it and playing something more appealing over the top.

Review: Storms at Club NME

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© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

Absolut Originality

ImageFollowing the hugely successful ABSOLUT Unique campaign, ABSOLUT vodka have once again rethought their bottle design so that 4 million limited edition bottles can be produced. While their previous production method seemed to embrace a chaotic ‘more is more’ ethos to bottle design, the new ABSOLUT bottles have a single streak of cobalt running through the glass, which is uncontrolled and therefore different each time. The manufacturing process is detailed in the ‘behind the scenes’ video below.

These new bottles, with clear glass and an abstract, minimalistic design also seem to reflect the recent rebrand of ABSOLUT’s range of flavoured vodkas, which was done by The Brand Union. Take a look at the transformation below, if you haven’t already seen the new designs.

ImagePrior to the rebrand, the bottles were made of frosted glass with subtle colour gradients or accents to represent each flavour.

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The new designs boast a striking motif on a clear glass bottle…ImageIt looks as though the design process for ABSOLUT Raspberri was a lot of fun!

Diddo’s Cocaine Skull

ImageCheck out this new piece by Diddo, who I previously featured because of his beautifully extravagant piece ‘The Cure For Greed’. This latest commission was for a private client, who I’m willing to bet is some kind of professional gangster, or at least likes to think they are. The skull is made of cocaine, held together by just a small amount of gelatin! Diddo Cocaine SkullChances are that you can’t afford to have an artist create a conversation piece for you out of something like cocaine, which is both illegal and expensive, but how about having your skull with a different kind of Colombian export?Skull Coffee You can easily get hold of some sugar skulls on Etsy, but these ones by Snowviolent are the best I’ve seen.Sugar CrossbonesSugar skullActually, I think I kind of prefer these because of the scale. I’m always impressed by tiny, intricately-crafted things.

Franz Ferdinand – Right Action

Franz Ferdinand Music VideoFranz Ferdinand Saul BassFranz Ferdinand VideoRight Action VideoDiagramFranz Ferdinand Pelican BookI know this song has been around for ages, but I’ve only just seen the video for it and I LOVE IT. It’s such an amazing pastiche of mid-century modern graphic design, referencing Saul Bass, maybe a bit of Kenneth Grange, classic textbook diagrams and – my favourite – those wonderful Pelican book covers.

The video was directed by Jonas Odell, the same guy who did the constructivist-inspired video for ‘Take Me Out‘.

Mmm, Mezcal!

Mezcal SietesMezcal has been fashionable for quite some time now, with London locations like Bodega Negra, Wahaca and Mezcal Cantina selling this smokey, curious South American since they first opened. I ordered a mezcal mule at Crazy Homies in Notting Hill, without knowing much about mezcal, but it was delicious. Its rise in popularity sounds almost similar to cider in the UK, which used to be a drink reserved for 15-year-old scallies and country bumpkins. Mexicans once considered mezcal to be a scummy kind of drink, too – strictly for country folk and the poor. In recent years, however, it has become one of the coolest and most popular alcoholic drinks in Mexico, with more than 150 different brands now on the market. The multitude of mezcal varieties mean that there are a lot of artisanal brands, each with its own packaging and identity. Here are some of my favourite designs…Mezcal BrujaBruja Mezcal
El Buho MezcalEl Buho Mezcal
Mezcal Emmascarado
Mezcal EmmascaradoLa Botica MezcalLa BoticaMezcal Mononegra by Sociedad 6Mezcal Manonegra

Write It In Your Own Voice

Write It In Your Own VoiceBrilliant series of adverts from Uniball which highlight the merits of sending a handwritten letter and cleverly illustrate what misused fonts say about your message. An advertising campaign which is all about communication and implicit meaning – so meta!Uniball Pen Advert Comic Sans joke Uniball AdvertMy favourite one is ‘Pappy Is Dead’, which makes fun of Comic Sans (the underdog of all fonts) and there is also quite a camp skit deriding the Broadway font, too. The ‘Bust You Out’ version is probably the most effective, because obviously slang sounds so ridiculous when it’s read out in the Queen’s English. It reminds me of the time when James Blunt had to read out some Sean Paul lyrics on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Great work from TBWA South Africa.

EDIT: This campaign has since disappeared off the face of the Earth/internet, with no explanation. What the fuck, maaan?!