game changer not came over

Six months ago I created a report for Euromoney Thought Leadership (EIITL) on Shorthand, a digital storytelling platform. The feedback from EIITL and from their client Baker & Mackenzie was incredible, so within a few months, EIITL were back with a new client, a new subject, and a new Shorthand challenge.

They were working with Deloitte to dig into the tax and related regulatory challenges facing aviation finance. Immediately I was excited as while tax is not a thrilling subject to visualise, the aviation element conjured up all sorts of interesting images. 

Shorthand had also upped their game in the previous months and had introduced a full screen reveal feature which meant that charts and graphs could build in a more exciting way.

I worked closely with EIITL to define the branding (Deloitte led, but with EIITL elements) and work out the best charts and statistics to feature. I'm really happy with the result, and once again, thanks to Shorthand for building such a great product. 

You can see the full interactive report here: euromoneythoughtleadership.com/game-changer
(it's fully mobile responsive, but looks best on a desktop).

ghosts in the machine

Towards the end of last year, Tom from Euromoney Thought Leadership got in touch to tell me about an exciting new project they had coming up. Their client, international law firm Baker & McKenzie, wanted to commission a survey on artificial intelligence and the implications for the financial markets.  Not only that, but they wanted the report design to reflect the subject and not just be another stale white paper; they wanted something fresh and exciting. The game was afoot. 

I was already looking into new ways of online storytelling as a potential medium for The Economist Educational Foundation. The BBC and Telegraph were starting to use scrolling stories with lots of imagery and videos to make complex topics more accessible, including this terrifying look at the Nairobi Westgate Mall massacre. As I collected these examples, I realised that a lot of them were built using an online app called Shorthand – it allows scrolling images, a fully responsive site, and a simple drag and drop build. I pitched the idea to Tom, who pitched it to Baker & McKenzie, and they were on board straight away. 

So next step - the design of the piece. There were two initial challenges:

Challenge 1: the report needed to be co-branded to reflect both the Euromoney Thought Leadership brand (who were the lead) but also tie into the Baker & McKenzie brand.

Challenge 2: the subject of artificial intelligence and risk and regulation is a bit of an abstract concept. I was convinced that I didn't want any robots or matrix-style binary code. However the title of the report was Ghosts in the Machine, which had an intriguing ring to it. It was mysterious and secretive. 


// THE IDEA
The ghost in the machine. Something which is there but unseen.
Artificial intelligence. A neural network reaching across technology.

// THE EXECUTION
Explore the idea of an AI ghost using negative space. By showing what is there, you can also show what is not there. Intricate networks radiate out providing pathways for the new technology to act across. A typographical solution, using the key identity colours of both brands, that shows connection and communication.

Ghosts in the Machine artwork

For the rest of the report, I used elements of the connected network to continue the theme

You can see the full report here
www.euromoneythoughtleadership.com/ghostsinthemachine

The feedback has so far been incredible, from Euromoney's clients and Baker's team and stakeholders, with no small amount of the credit due to the Shorthand platform for making such a great product. Thanks chaps!

 

i got 99 problems, but cashflow ain't one

MarketInvoice are a good lot, and they put effort into making their office an enjoyable place to be. From Friday craft ale and fuseball sessions to Lunch and Learn lectures, it's a nice place to work. 

They asked me to create a series of typographic posters that used some of their favourite client testimonials as well as some of their in-joke catch phrases.

Printed A1 and A2 and framed, then dotted around the office. A few of them are included below.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it
If everybody used them, everybody would get paid faster and life would be a lot easier! - Fishrod
I got 99 problems but cashflow ain't one
A match made in heaven. MarketInvoice was responsive when banks were not.

seduced by a Q - a meander through Brussels

Through a comedy of errors involving an absent passport and a surprise birthday trip, I found myself on a weekend jaunt to Brussels a couple of weeks ago. My only previous visit to the city was a sad, grey tale of a group of rugby fanatics having their hopes dashed as the Les Bleus demolished Les All Blacks in 2007. I was looking forward to updating my Belgium anecdotes with something a little more positive.

I was already overly excited by the prospect of a weekend dedicated to moules frites, waffles and beer, but was not expecting Brussels to be a typographic haven. 

It was a chocolate box of design. A thousand references for inspiration. Like running around in a Wes Anderson film, only I wasn't dressed in pastels and I got conned into exorbitant paella at a tourist restaurant. On second thought, maybe it was like a Wes Anderson film. 

But from the elegant twisting of the fluorescent signage, to the elaborate box shadows on a shop facade, in every corner there were examples of beautiful typography. Both old and new. Proof that good design is infectious. 

While some parts were a bit tourist-twee, the intention to beautify was everywhere. 

All photos taken on my iPhone as, like the fool I am, I took my SLR but forgot the memory card.

It's the little details that grab you.

We stopped in at the Delirium Cafe, and it was like the mothership of vintage beer signage.

This Q for example, I was transfixed by this Q.

I tend to work in more muted shades, so the bold colours and sharp shadows seduced me from across the bar (definitely nothing to do with the four pints of 8% Red Cherry beer). 

I recreated it with a few favourite words* below, and the style seems delightfully adaptable to font and palette. I'll be nabbing that for a future project. 

*I like the way you kind of roll the word amalgamate around your mouth to say it...
ah-MAAAAL-gAH-mayte

My experimental versions of the Q's drop shadow

My experimental versions of the Q's drop shadow

But back to Brussels...
I geeked out and took photos of everything and anything in the Delirium Cafe.
A selection of the non-blurry ones below.

red, white and blue

Here's a quick peek at Whitney and Marc's save the dates for their wedding next year.

Marc is from Luxembourg, Whitney is from the US. They are getting married on Independence Day, so wanted a red, white and blue theme, but also wanted to reference the two countries uniting. 

I stumbled across a gorgeous old stamp from the 1960's and adapted the lion to be marching along with a simplified american flag.

The lion was matched with a simple sans serif typeface and lots of white space. Together, the invitations look modern and unfussy, the feel that Marc and Whitney were hoping for.

Invitations were printed by the good people at moo.com as Luxe postcards with a red seam.

Invitations were printed by the good people at moo.com as Luxe postcards with a red seam.

Wedding website is hosted by weddingwoo.com

Wedding website is hosted by weddingwoo.com

light and dark

I saw an image on Pinterest a few weeks back, and liked the shadows as type effect so today I had a bash at making a few of my own. It was a bit of a brain exercise to get the text orientation right, more than I can really be dealing with while slightly hungover. Cutting in a straight line was difficult enough.

This was the first attempt and I got the text orientation wrong. Flipped around though, the contrast and strength of letters is nice. Quote is Charles Bukowski, but I ran out of steam before finishing the whole thing (I want the whole world or nothing)

This was the first attempt and I got the text orientation wrong. Flipped around though, the contrast and strength of letters is nice. Quote is Charles Bukowski, but I ran out of steam before finishing the whole thing (I want the whole world or nothing)

The multiple shadow effect comes from the lamp in the lounge which has five bulbs in a row. The words are the title of a Tennis  song

The multiple shadow effect comes from the lamp in the lounge which has five bulbs in a row. The words are the title of a Tennis song

Stuck it to the wall to try a different angle. It loses the shadow text, but it still has a nice effect.

Stuck it to the wall to try a different angle. It loses the shadow text, but it still has a nice effect.