Friday, 25 November 2011


I used to think blogging was for people who had far too much time on their hands. After creating my own, I now understand why it has become so popular in the last few years and to some extent, an addiction. It has opened my eyes to the world around me and made me connect with others who share my interests. On a daily basis, I am constantly searching my surroundings for creative ideas whether it being on the streets or at my university. Even whilst at the supermarket, I am always searching the shelves for good design and often I will try a product just because of its appealing packaging.

My creative blog contains a wide variety of design as I am interested in many areas. This reflects my versatile approach to my practical artwork where I am constantly changing the media I use. Although there are specific jobs out there for design and I realise that one day I am going to have to narrow it down to one, I think it is still good to be open minded and look at all aspects of design. I also want to comment on design I do not like and also look at the controversy design has caused in the past, hence the title, ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.’

Although I consider myself a fine artist, I seem to be more interested in advertising. My passion for it can be seen by the abundance of advertisements in my blog and for this reason, I am considering moving into that direction in terms of a career.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Successful Advertisements aimed at Students

I am a student and I find that everywhere we go, we are hunted down by people on the streets who try to lure us gullable students into buying their products. If I am not hassled on the street, my letter box is abused by take away services and adverts of nights out in Leeds. We seem to be constantly exposed to advertising messages designed to make us believe we cannot live without a certain product or cannot miss a certain night out without the reputation of our social lives being hindered. I am so frustrated by these people who try to buy our love that I now ignore anyone who flaps a leaflet in front of my face and I will even pretend to be on the phone to avoid the eye contact with these evil people. However, I came across this advertisement that stands out as it is not distorting the truth to make the product seem better than it really is. Instead, it contains an honest, humorous photograph that students can relate to and may have even been subject to. It is more like a normal photograph taken by a student from a night out than an advert and I think this is what gives it so much appeal. It also tells you straight away who the product is aimed at, what it does and overall I think it is a very successful means of advertising.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Absolut success and a few disasters

Advertising can have such a huge impact on the product as it can either boost sales or even make a product unpopular. The best example of a product, which has become so popular due to its advertising campaign is Absolut Vodka. This campaign has been running nonstop for fifteen years, which, in advertising, is practically forever. The first Absolut advert appeared in 1980 giving birth to an award winning campaign centred upon the distinctive shape of the Absolut bottle, which appears in some form or another. It is now considered to be one of the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising. The main reason for its success is because it is such a versatile advert yet it is still always very distinctive as being an Absolut vodka product. They are full of wit, artistry , and imagination and I am so inspired by them that I created a few of my own, which can be seen on my website. Hundreds of these adverts now exist however I have discovered a fan site, which contains every single one ever made:

Advertising can also have the reverse effect and create a bad name for products. A recent example is A Tetley advert, which was banned by the TV watchdog for misleading viewers. In the commercial, a woman decides to drink a cup of green tea rather than go jogging and the words 'as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle' appear on screen. The ASA said the commercial breached codes dealing with evidence and accuracy because it implied health benefits without evidence to back up the claims.

One advertisement, which I particularly like because of its colloquial nature was sadly banned for its use of a swear word. So where the bloody hell are you? was an advertising campaign launched in 2006 by Tourism Australia created by the Sydney office of the London advertising agency M&C Saatchi. The campaign received a huge press coverage however despite this, it was soon deemed a failure and withdrawn. The reason behind this was it was banned by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre in the United Kingdom because they would not allow the word “bloody” in television versions of the commercial. After watching it, it really made me want to visit Australia because the people in the advert seemed so friendly and welcoming and so it was a shame it had to be banned.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Smoking campaigns

Smoking used to be seen as glamorous and sexy with A-list celebrities and models advertising various brands. With today’s knowledge of the health effects associated with smoking, advertising has now taken a completely different approach where there are now a wide range of campaigns out there encouraging the public to stop smoking. I thought this simple image of the hospital bed was extremely powerful. The colour of the bed instantly tells you the advert relates to cigarettes and the use of the hospital bed directly links this to suffering or even death. It’s amazing how much information you can get out of a plain image without words.

Passive smoking is also a very common theme in advertising these days. I found a very unique one by the advertising company, CHI and Partners. I particularly like it because of its surreal qualities, which I am particularly interested by.

Here is some more surreal imagery, which I am greatly inspired by for my own Surreal photographs, which can be seen on my photography website at

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Art Exhibitions in London

During 2007-2008, I did an art foundation year in Wimbledon in London. During this time, I visited a wide range of art exhibitions and discovered new galleries other than the well known ones such as The Tate, The National Gallery, The Serpentine and The Royal Academy of Arts. I now regularly visit these lesser known galleries during my free time.

Previously I was not aware of any privately owned galleries however now I am a regular visitor to many such as the ones in Green Park and Cork Street. One artist that particularly stood out for me at one of the galleries on Cork Street was Graham Dean. Dean uses the figure to convey ideas, emotions and psychological states. He paints with watercolour onto porous handmade Indian paper in order to achieve beautiful, painterly effects.

During my year living in London, I also visited a few art fairs such as the Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park and The Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington, which both display work from new and established artists. The space was so vast and in each there was a huge mass of visitors, which was a nice change from the usual quiet confinements of a normal gallery space. The art was suitable for all ages and for a modern audience and there was a buzz and liveliness at each, which made the experience more exciting.

I always enjoy going to see The BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery as I am astounded by the realism of all the paintings. I am not keen on realistic painting however I admire the work as so much skill is involved and it also interests me as often there is a story associated with the portrait. This annual competition is the most prestigious portrait competition in the world, promoting the very best in contemporary portrait painting.

The Saatchi gallery moved to Chelsea in 2008 and it is now much more successful and popular amongst the public than at its previous site. The gallery space is ideal; there are high ceilings and clean, white washed walls with ample light streaming through the large glass windows. There is a wide range of media on show and it all is engaging and appealing to all ages. Another reason why I like it so much is it is free, which is Saatchi Gallery’s aim to bring contemporary art to the widest audience possible. Many artists showing at The Saatchi Gallery are unknown when first exhibited, not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world. I visited the New Art from the Middle East exhibition, which contained some extremely eye catching work.

The Wildlife Photographer of the year at The Natural History Museum is an International Competition, which showcases the very best nature photography. At age 11, one of my photographs was shortlisted to the top 25 from 3000 entries. I am now competing against professionals and so it is very difficult to be shortlisted but I still enjoy going as it is definitely my favourite annual exhibition in London.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Drink Driving

Drink driving is certainly a huge issue, particularly amongst young drivers who hit the legal drinking age at the same time as when they have the freedom of being able to drive. The government is desperately trying to tackle this problem and reduce the numbers. So far this has involved campaigns such as Safe Drive Stay Alive, which is a project that educates young drivers by using a hard-hitting approach where people who have been involved in life threatening accidents or have lost loved ones to such accidents talk about their experiences. There have also been many successful advertising campaigns such as ‘Think!’ I came across this one, which is very powerful and I also chose it because I like the use of advertising directly within the environment.

The THINK! campaigns focus more on avoiding distraction, being visible and reinforcing basic road safety principles. These adverts need to be powerful and memorable as road accidents between vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists are the biggest single cause of accidental death for 12 to 16 year olds. Whenever I see a cyclist on the road, my attention is always focused on it now all because of this advert, which has stayed in my mind ever since first viewing it.

There may be some successful advertisements out there created to encourage the public to reduce their alcohol consumption, however I think the best are in fact, those which promote alcohol. Here are some of my favourite, most memorable advertisements for beer:

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Rankin is one of my favourite photographers as his images are so innovative and a lot of his work directly benefits charitable causes. I have been lucky enough to have taken part in one of his recent, ambitious projects called Rankin Live. This involved inviting 1000 of the British public, who had a distinctive style, sense of British eccentricity, and enthusiasm. To apply, you had to send in a photograph of yourself and the lucky participants were invited to the Rankin exhibition at London's Truman Brewery in August to sit for their personal shoot. The portraits produced on the day were hung as part of his exhibition, showcasing his work from the past 22 years and they were also uploaded online to the Rankin Live website:

His most recent project involves a series of striking images of close-ups of women’s faces with heavy makeup. At first glance the images appear to be advertising the latest in edgy style from the more extreme reaches of high-end fashion however they are actually intended to highlight the millions of women around the world who have gone blind. His purpose is to make more people aware that two-thirds of blind people are women, 90% of whom live in developing countries. I think these images are very effective as they look very fashionable rather than a disturbing one, which we would discard and not look twice at.