Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Radiohead's All I Need Brings to Light Human Exploitation

Thanks to my FIU student Camila for sending me this link to Radiohead's All I Need video as an example of using strong messages in advertising, a topic of class discussion. The Radiohead video presents two parallel stories of a young boy in the West, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle, and a young boy in the East, forced into slave labor. The ending is quite jolting. The director, Steve Rogers, weaves his story using compelling cinematography by John Seale, and shakes viewers out of their complacency by bringing awareness to our own practices that affect human beings overseas.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke in an Apr. 30th MTV press release:

It's an interesting thing, because if you are in the West, it's a luxury to be able to talk about the importance of human rights for everybody, but yet in the East or the poorer countries where slave labor is going on, if you talk to certain companies,...somehow the rights of the workers are secondary to economic growth.

In contrast to Benneton ads, discussed in class, the Radiohead video presents its message purposefully to try to affect change in this important social issue. Benneton has been criticized for presenting strong, sometimes shocking, images solely for the purpose of promoting its clothing brand, oftentimes disregarding the pain and suffering of others.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Typographic Stylings of the Barack Obama Campaign
Thanks go out to Angelica, my FIU student, for sending me this link to an Apr. 2nd N.Y. Times blog posting by Steven Heller and Brian Collins on typography and branding in the Barack Obama campaign. Collins praises the campaign's art directors for their consistent application of design across a wide variety of media, and by thousands of volunteers from state to state. Collins also discusses the aesthetic and emotive qualities of the typeface Gotham, as used in the Obama campaign:

It has a blunt, geometric simplicity, which usually makes words feel cold and analytical...but it also feels warm. It’s substantial yet friendly. Up-to-date yet familiar...And Gotham has another quality that makes it succeed: it just looks matter-of-fact.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Island of San Serriffe
It sure has been a long time since my last posting; you can be sure I've been quite busy with all my classes, but now with the summer lull, I hope to resume regular postings. First off, Jeff, a past student from MDC, sent me the following article for April Fool's Day, from the Museum of Hoaxes.
Publishers of
The Guardian, a UK newspaper, often ran special reports, focusing on an obscure country or new technology, designed to attract related advertising. Tired of the parade of little countries no one had ever heard of, Philip Davies conceived the island of San Serriffe, as a hoax for the April 1, 1977 edition of the paper, which ran a seven-page article dedicated to the fictitious island, complete with fake maps, history and advertisements--all built around typographic references. The island is shaped like a semicolon, the capital is Bodoni, and its dictator is General Pica. The hoax proved to be extremely popular and is well-known to this day.
Thanks also to Robin, another past MDC student, who sent me this link to San Serriffe from WikiTravel.