Once a month our design team gathers over coffee and breakfast to each share something creative with the rest of the group. Whatever they share must be linked to the chosen theme and the response is always varied. You can’t help but leave with heaps of unexpected inspiration. This month the theme was ‘Experimental’ and we saw everything from design to film, music and even slime!
Take a look at what we discovered:
Emily chose to look at typography and really loved what she found from Sheffield based graphic designer and typographer Daniel Reed. He’s worked on some really interesting experimental typefaces. These include ‘Sidekick’ made for kids with all proceeds going to the NSPCC, ‘Plunk’, influenced by jazz and our favourite, ‘Raymond’, named after Daniels’ grandfather.
The type specimen is beautiful, laid out to showcase Raymond, whilst incorporating black and white images of its namesake. There are also medals from the war, which it seems have also been used as inspiration for the typeface, using the same angles and shapes in the serifs. See and purchase them all here.
Tim is an avid surfer so it’s no surprise that he chose to show us something surf related. He chose surfer and surfboard designer Ryan Burch. He has experimented with more designs than most have even considered. He’s broken away from the traditional symmetrical board shapes and expanded the concept of performance surfing on alternatively shaped boards.
Amethyst: A virtual journey through a glitchy universe of chemical colour. This music visual for UK producer ORCA was created by a university friend of Jacks’ for a series of films celebrating England’s most exciting young artists and filmmakers in partnership with the Arts Council England.
The footage shows oil and ink moving through water in a random pattern which is completely mesmerising.
Dan presented a very famous logo which was experimental at the time it was created and is now recognisable the world over. Timely too, with the death of Hugh Hefner – it’s the playboy bunny.
Freelance Illustrator and Art Director Art Paul was contacted by Hugh Hefner work on ‘Stag Party’ Magazine – better known by its launch issue in 1953 as Playboy. As Art Director for Playboy Magazine, Art Paul was given creative freedom to create and style the magazine as he saw fit. This included the commissioning of artists such as Warhol and Dali, and he was also tasked with creating a footnote at the end of articles. This mark became the Playboy logo, which has become synonymous with the Playboy brand, and today creates more revenue than the magazine itself.
Google has recently been looking at artificial neural networks and how they can be used to help with image classification and speech recognition for search purposes. One project, known as ‘inceptionism’ programmes computers to generate art and pictures based on that computer’s understanding of what things look like. The results are pretty experimental and really quite spooky. You can read more on the subject on the Don’t Panic blog and on engadget.com (including the picture below).
Jenny chose to look at an experiment conducted by M&C Saatchi into the role of technology in advertising. Using a Darwinian approach, they used facial recognition technology to track peoples responses to a bus stop advert over the course of 11 days. They captured 42,000 interactions resulting in 1,540 iterations of the advert over 70 ‘generations’.
We questioned whether technology in this way could lead to the automation of design. But, according to a survey run by the BBC, we’re here to stay. Out of 366 jobs listed, graphic design is ranked as the 307th most likely to be automated. Phew!
Data isn’t the first word which comes to mind when you think of creativity but artist and designer Brendan Dawes has successfully combined the two in a visually stunning experimental art piece which was commissioned by Brand Culture for Platts. It’s an animated visualisation showing the journey of over 3000 ships created from five months of historical shipping data. You can see the full animation here.
Another of Brendan’s projects ‘The Shape of Data’ takes real-time happenings from Twitter. For every minute, creates a physical like structure representing the popularity over time of selected hashtags. At the start of each capture, text accompanies each moment. As time passes, the text becomes less important as the expected transforms into the unexpected, giving form to passing moments.
Peter Fischli & David Weiss’ iconic 1987 video “Der Lauf der Dinge” influenced the Honda Accord advert ‘Cog’ and got Honda into legal discussions with the duo. We enjoyed watching part of the original cult film alongside the newer advert.
Both films took some inspiration from the work of Rube Goldberg (1883-1970). He was an engineer, sculptor, author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, known for his zany invention cartoons. It’s estimated that he did a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime.
We finished this month’s creative breakfast with an actual experiment! Jayne told us about how her daughter is obsessed with making slime (the current craze for kids). It was fascinating to discover that such a huge trend has developed and exists without us knowing about it. With a carrier bag full of things like shaving foam and bicarbonate of soda, we gave it a go!
Want to get all experimental for yourself? If you want to try making slime, there are plenty of blogs out there with recipes, like this one: perfect slime.