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Profile your characters to determine the face of your business

At Urban Giants Design we’ve always loved type, typography and typographic design. It’s a multitude of subtleties and creative discipline which work together to create the perfect typographic illustration.

Ever wondered or wished you could view your website through the eyes of Google? At Urban Giants Design we like to do this using typography and a touch of design…

I was once told that every typeface has a character, a tone of voice and a personality – never a true word has been spoken. For those who like to be pedantic, yes every typeface does indeed have a character, in fact they have quite a few, but I’m more interested in the human sense of the word.

Reading the personality and tone of voice of a typeface is something I take for granted now as an instant response, but it’s an immensely difficult skill to truly get right. But what about reading your personality through the body of content you write, and the things you may not realise you’re actually communicating.

I sometimes use a free website resource to create an element of typographic interest to enhance something which maybe needs a creative boost, such as a document, proposal or presentation, or more importantly to get some insight into the textual content of a website. The website in question is one which you may or may not have heard of… www.wordle.net

Wordle is an interesting little bit of web-based software which generates a typographic illustration for any body or list of text you enter, or even a website. It dynamically calculates the most commonly used words, emphasing the most used with increased point size and colour change. To illustrate my point (if you pardon the nerdy pun), I have input the Urban Giants studio blog – www.feefifofum.co.uk – and here’s the type illustration it generated…

Wordle.net - Dynamic Typographic Illustration

Wordle.net – Dynamic Typographic Illustration

In addition to it being a visually interesting piece of typographic design, it’s also an interesting experiment to see what you really write about, and what you are communicating to others. Not surprisingly for Urban Giants the illustrative portrayal of our studio blog above is clearly littered with words like “creative”, “create”, “design”, “art”, “designer”, “graphic”, “giant”, “photography”, “think” and “project”.

It’s a useful tool to demonstrate to clients what they are really saying with their website content. If you have a company why not try it and see for yourself, and if you’re not happy with what you find just give us a call to discuss what it should be saying. This is not a bad way of looking at your website through the eyes of Google.

Your online presence is vital to the success of your business, so can you afford not to give it a quick go to see what you’re really telling people?

Wordle works directly with websites which generate an RSS feed or similar, such as blogs, by copying and pasting a body of text, or by just entering text off the top of your head.

This is also a good tool to brighten up a CV, summarise a proposal or PowerPoint presentation (KeyNote presentation if you have a real computer!), creating a piece of artwork, a t-shirt, or to create an interesting homepage illustration to sum up the intentions for your website.

Whatever the reason for using Wordle, I’m sure you’ll have fun using it and create something interesting.

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

Middlehaven nets giant eyesore

Middlehaven has become the venue for Britain’s largest sculpture. Longer than a 747 jumbo jet, and standing as tall as Nelson’s Column, Temenos contains half a mile of steel cable at a staggering cost of 2.7m!

The so-called Tees Valley Giants series brings five “world-class” art installations by internationally acclaimed sculptor Anish Kapoor, and leading structural designer Cecil Balmond. As to who gives out the title of “World-class” is beyond me.

Temenos, based on a large butterfly net, was unveiled on 10th June 2010 as the first in a series of what Teesside will lay claim to as the biggest public art  in the world. Whilst many will claim it to be the biggest waste of money in the world.

Given the current economic climate of the country, and in particular the North East, I personally don’t think it’s anything to be proud of shouting about a 2.7m expense for a couple of giant hula-hoops and a bit of old net. It’s not pleasant to look at in anyway, and isn’t something you can admire once, never-mind again and again.

It’s also ironic that with all of the looming job cuts across the public sector, that the same public sector has funded this project which has a name deriving from the Greek verb τέμνω meaning “to cut”. I just hope that David Cameron steps in with a bit of reality and stops the other four, before Kapoor gets rich and people lose their jobs.

Where exactly does the reported 12m for this whole development go? How much of it goes directly into the creators pocket? I think the detailed accounts for these sculptures should be printed for public viewing in the press, just to clearly define where every penny for the 2.7m sculpture went before we give them any more money to create the others.

The vast amount of money for Temenos was funded by government initiative The Northern Way, Regional Development Agency One North East, the Arts Council England, the Northern Rock Foundation, Middlesbrough Football Club and BioRegional Quintain.

Apart from football supporters and old sea dogs, who actually visits Middlehaven Dock anyway?

I just don’t get this piece of “art”, neither can I justify it’s cost. Apart from Kapoor, and those who have to defend the fact they approved the funding for this, does anyone actually think this installation is a positive thing? I’d be interested to know peoples opinions on twitter.

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

Amazing crayon carvings… tick!

As a designer and creative I’m always looking for something different and new to stimulate the senses and inspire me to stay creative. It’s interesting to see what other project briefs agencies are working on, and how they resolve creative issues.

Whilst I was searching around the internet the other day, I stumbled across an interesting project for Nike. The sporting brand giant commissioned design agency Wieden +Kennedy , along with sculpture Diem Chau to create an amazing box set featuring beautifully hand carved crayons.

A metallic set of 66 Crayola crayons provided the humble, raw base with which to carve out some of the worlds most famous football stars as part of a World Cup 2010 promotion. I didn’t know that you could even buy metallic crayons, so this amazed me before I’d even seen the carvings. Unbelievably, Diem hand carved nearly 70 detailed crayons in a staggering 18 days.

Crayola Crayons

Crayola Metallic Crayons

Hand Carved Crayon Players (photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Hand Carved Crayon Players (photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Custom designed wooden inlay box (Photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Custom designed wooden inlay box (Photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Custom designed wooden inlay box (Photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Custom designed wooden inlay box (Photos by Wieden & Kennedy)

Wieden & Kennedy are a high quality creative agency with offices and design studios across the globe, and you can see why when you look at the quality of these presentation boxes, and the creative concept which sits behind it.

As a design agency owner, I can’t help but feel a sense of envy, as we’d love to be involved in a project such as this.

More photographs and information on this project can be found on Wieden & Kennedy’s blog, or on Diem Chau’s aptly named “The Pleasure of Tiny Things” blog.

Following the success of these creative little figures, Diem Chau has been commissioned by others to create custom pieces based on the Crayola Crayon colour of your choice. Who knows, she may create one of you if you ask her nicely enough?! She’s a talented lady.

Private commission carving by Diem Chau

Private commission carving by Diem Chau

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, call us on 0191 377 0933 or email us at creative@urbangiants.co.uk

www.urbangiants.co.uk

T: 0191 377 0933
A: Durham, UK

F: /urbangiants
T: @urbangiants

Branding & Logo Design | Graphic Design | Design for Print | Marketing | Creative Public Speaking

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