All posts in the Uncategorized category

Jungian branding for beginners

Jungian branding. So what does that mean, exactly? Branding where you analyse your client’s dreams to choose the colour of the logo? Where you place the product in broad daylight to see what kind of shadow it casts? Or perhaps where you fling open the doors to your unconscious mind and let that decide the […]

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Swansong at Bannockburn

Sheila Stewart chose a momentous day in a momentous place for her final concert. It happened in Bannockburn on 18 September 2014 – the day of the Scottish referendum for independence. When the concert started the polling stations were still open, and the man sitting next to me had skipped off polling duty for a […]

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Ten things I learned at The Story 2014

You never know quite what will happen at The Story, except that it will illuminate distant areas of your brain with unpredictable copper sparks for some time to come. Here are a few of the things I learned from this year’s gathering of storytellers of all stripes – from film makers, writers and artists to […]

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Mike Paisley – Designer Soapbox

Mike Paisley loves simplicity, making things and tinfoil gadgets. We first met when he was involved in Throwawaylines, a wonderful project which treated rubbish like royalty. Mike is a Design Director at The Partners, where he’s solved brand and communication problems for clients as diverse as LV=, eBay, Allen & Overy, HSBC, Penguin and Richard […]

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Nadya Powell: Tech City’s one-woman whirlwind

Women make up pretty much half of the population and nearly half of the workforce, but they are still woefully under-represented in the tech world. I met up with Nadya Powell, MD of MRY UK, to hear what she and her peers are doing to redress the balance. The highlight of Internet Week It’s Friday […]

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Horror stories at Shoreditch Town Hall

It was the day before Hallowe’en – a suitably sombre evening for a night of horror stories hosted by D&AD. Shoreditch Town Hall was packed with people keen to hear terrifying tales of screw ups from ad industry insiders. Here are five things I learned. 1. “The key to brilliant work is to have no […]

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Auxiliary verbs perish in boating accident

Do you know those Duck Boats that roam up and down the Thames? Bright yellow amphibious boats. Great fun for kids and tourists. Well, one caught fire the other day. Luckily no people were injured. But a load of innocent auxiliary verbs perished in this ITN report shortly afterwards. Have a listen to the story. […]

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Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas cards

The other day I was sent this picture of reindeers pulling Santa’s sleigh. The child who drew it has cancer and is being helped by the Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s all to do with a new writing project that brings together copywriters like myself from writers’ group 26 and children supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust […]

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Designer soapbox: Tim Foster

Born in Yorkshire and raised in Kent, Tim Foster trained at Ravensbourne and since then has worked for everyone from the Observer magazine to Dorling Kindersley and Mitchell Beazley (twice). Here he talks about combining his roles as an editorial designer and art director, why he loves working with text, and what inspires him. What’s […]

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Soak it in a pond, soak it in the sea

I caught the Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean on the very last day. Had forgotten all about it until the curator, Jon Whiteley, popped up on the Today programme, talking about how people behave in museums. He told the story of someone who came in to show him a violin, convinced it was a very […]

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Once upon a housing estate

Since Procter & Gamble hired Jim Bangel 40 years ago and made him their official ‘Storyteller’, the profession of ‘corporate storyteller’ has become increasingly mainstream. Storytellers now pop up all over the place, not just in their natural habitat – marketing and advertising – but in oil and gas companies, the automotive sector and software […]

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Being interesting: a QI masterclass

John Mitchinson, the ubiquitous and ultra-bright co-founder of QI, made his way up the hill at Glastonbury to tell a packed tent how to find any subject interesting. Here are his ten insights into how to investigate the world through the lens of  QI’s patented curiosity goggles. 1. Everything is interesting if you look at […]

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Hairy hounds and the harp

When I’m not writing for a living, I play the harp. The harp has been a passion since I was nine years old – pretty much a constant companion. I’ve played the harp all over the place – including the Sydney Opera House when I toured Australia with a youth orchestra. But the other day […]

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Saying yes, saying no

As part of 26’s collaboration with Designer Breakfasts, I listened to a debate among designers on rejecting and accepting work. Money, chemistry and your internal hypocrisy meter – how do you respond to the offer of new projects?   Three ways to react to a phone call. 1. You feel your heartbeat speed up and […]

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Story 2013: a kaleidoscope manifesto

Believe in clouds. Be stubborn. Keep your rococo aesthetic. Lob your opinions upwards. Rise up like an octopus, like a rubber parachute, like a chewy umbrella. Don’t believe the hype. Investigate peace. Be joyously, defiantly subjective. Send your characters to remedial school. Talk to the person next to you. Walk into a story. Listen to […]

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