The best bit of our job is making interesting things - logo's, virals, ideas, digital apps, films, ads, books, websites, events, promos. It’s all enjoyable stuff. That's probably why we like Dr James Boardwell so much. He doesn’t look much like a doctor and he makes things. He's also really fascinated by the thousands of other people out there who make things too. I guess that's why he's made Folksy - a place where like-minded people meet, show us their stuff, tell us how they made it and maybe sell a few things. LOVE designed the Folksy logo which I think he likes. I'm sure he'd appreciate you signing up.
There once was an utterly pointless blog called standinaqueue, recording the nationwide queuing experiences of one William Deed. I say utterly pointless: it was also utterly brilliant. We even had William come in for a couple of weeks to work with us (we forgot to tell him about the dodgy loo flush in the gents’ toilets) and everything looked rosey in the garden of Deed.
And like that *blows hand* he’s gone.
Vanished into thin air like Keyser Soze. Some believed that William had caught the “50-year queue” somewhere off the west coast of Australia; others whispered that he’d taken a full-time position at his local Greggs. But just as we were starting to get worried, up he popped again. In the Congo.
Will’s been out there since the beginning of March working on a project called Wild Life Direct, whose aim is “to provide a platform, through blogging, for the people here to talk about their day-to-day lives protecting the wildlife of Virunga National Park, including the now vulnerable Hippos as well as the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas.” You can visit Will's blog here. I’ve got a lot of admiration for Will – it’s the kind of stuff that I wish I could be doing, if only I was a little younger, a little smarter, a little braver and a little less addicted to the current series of 24.
It’s quite humbling to read about the work he's doing, along with the other rangers, Elie, Aloma, and Deo. If you get the chance, do drop by their blogs and say hi, send encouragement, donations, best wishes and general cheer. Unfortunately there’s currently no way of sending pasties, steak bakes or breakfast melts.
Note - Sorry about the Um Bongo references Will. Just lazy.
So when a friend was recently going through a bit of a tough time, I decided to write a book for her and her two year-old son. Nothing that’s going to win a Booker prize – or any prize for that matter – just something simple she could read to raise a smile. I knocked the story out over a couple of weeks, set it in Times New Roman or something similar (“good knowledge of typefaces” isn’t something I’ve got on my CV) and was heading off to get it bound at Staples, when I thought I’d run the idea past her Dad, Clive Rand, aka the nicest man in advertising.
Clive was one of the founding members of Leeds-based agency Brahm (he’s the ‘r’) and also a rather useful illustrator. Clive said he'd love to help and so started a series of 29 illustrations for the book.
Now it also happens that her brother, Jon Rand, is a freelance voiceover artist, and it’s fairly common knowledge that all the best children’s books these days come with a CD narrated by a famous voice. Probably Tom Baker. Jon’s got a great voice and in between idents for Channel 4 and Film4, laid the story down onto a CD.
Now all we needed was someone to turn it into a book, which is where the beautiful people at LOVE came good again. We only produced 20 copies in total, so I doubt you’ll find “Little Alex” on the shelves of Waterstones (unless I decide to put one there), but it was still a great project to do. Many thanks to Dave Simpson, Jon Hatton and Matt Beardsell for all the extra hours you put in. And Clive and Jon. You done good.
Like Russ, we were very pleased to receive a copy of the W+K Book Of The Year 2006 - proof that a physical book version of a blog is better than a blog version of a blog (if you catch my drift). It made us think about another aspect of corporate blogs. If a blog is a web log of things that happen, shouldn't they contain all the bad news stories and the unfortunate events throughout the year?
If you've followed the Weiden's blog, you'll remember that they covered a couple of crap events - like the pitch losses in June. We've done the same a couple of times, but I wonder how long we'd carry on blogging if every day at LOVE was crap instead of joyous, euphoric and brilliant fun (ahem). Is a corporate blog really heartfelt until it's a warts and all account of what's going on?
"Can I sit at the table and wait for him to come in, then beckon him over and say, 'Oh sit down, oh sit down, oh sit down next to me'? Please? I'll do it really dead pan - and no-one will ever have done it to any of them ever before." "It'll be the shortest meeting you've ever had," replied the eternally responsible Alistair, with a vision of that Father Ted episode where they meet Victor Meldrew down in the caves.
So, in came Larry from James, and I stretched out my hand and said, "Hello, I'm Adam. Pleased to meet you."
James are re-forming, doing a nationwide tour, re-releasing their greatest hits album, and recording some great new material, so what with the fresh start and all, they quite fancied updating the James brand. It's pretty simple really, a hand customised typeface and a nice modern take on the iconic james flower. But because the boys are so passionate about design (Larry's also a furniture designer) they understand what we do, and want everything to look ace, which makes working with them very, very enjoyable. So watch this space for more James stuff soon - in the meantime, bookmark we are James.
With a bit of fiddling and registration, you can also vote whether you like the new James design in "The New Logo - What Do You Think?" General Board section here.
It's approximately 6 degrees in Manchester. In Melbourne its exactly 41 degrees. We know this because along with a LOVE book, we sent Stan a bar of chocolate. The book made it in one piece, the chocolate didn't.
Radio is often seen as the poor relation of the media world - not as glamourous as cinema, not as high profile as TV, not as proud as press. But done properly it can be an absolute joy - and make a huge impact on the public without making a huge impact on your budget.
Anyway, whilst we'd in no way proclaim to be legends in the world of radio, we've done our fair share over the last few years, and it's nice when the hard work gets rewarded. Mark Bryant, the excellent producer at Hush! entered two of our ads for the Museum of Science and Industry into the Vox Awards, and, of the eleven categories available, the LOVE/ Hush partnership picked up four Golds. They may not be as recognised as the Aerial Awards in the advertising community, but they are the respected face of the radio production community. (The Grossology commercial was also commended by the Aerials.)
So, a big thanks to Mark - if you're looking for a fine radio producer outside London, then I can't speak highly enough about him, and if you'd like to hear the ads you can click through from here. The ads are called Grossology and MarsQuest.
(Sorry, I tried to load them directly onto the blog but failed miserably)