jump to navigation

Will The Last To Leave Turn The Lights Off February 13, 2011

Posted by Ivan Pols in comment.
add a comment

After many years and 160-something posts on WordPress, I’m consolidating my web presence a little by moving this blog into my TruthandSpectacle.com site.

Retry.tv will be directed to the new space where I’ll occasionally post about things I find interesting.

Thanks to the hundred or so visitors a day. I’ve enjoyed some of the crazier comments.

I’ll leave the blog here so the permalinks do their work.

Have fun.
Ivan

The Other Side by Tiny Tim April 26, 2010

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, comment, culture, music.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

The ice caps are melting, this Tiny Tim guy is acting like a fish and little girls are singing a chorus including the words “the tide is rising to wash away the sins”. Sheer lunacy. It’s beautiful. Your day will be better for watching this and singing along.

Green Washing August 5, 2009

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, comment, culture, drawing.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

greeenwashing

It’s Where You Take Things To May 20, 2009

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, art, comment, culture.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Jim says

CR Blog had a post that raised a traditional issue in advertising and design. Namely the “stealing” of ideas and techniques.

YouTube provides a steady stream of inspiration to advertising creatives, but it also leaves young directors vulnerable to having ideas stolen and agencies open to accusations of plagiarism. How can both directors and agencies protect themselves?

That started a fun discussion. I argued that nothing (advertising, design, art, music) is original. Everything you do is based on the work of someone else. You don’t necessarily have to proclaim from the roof who you borrowed from, but don’t be shy when someone points out that you are not a true original. I like Jim Jarmusch’s quote, “Don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it.” Just remember that you borrowed and will be borrowed from in turn (if you’re any good). Just try make it better and stop feeling so damn guilty. Love your history.

How about this: Love Your Influences As You Would Be Loved. Okay, now where’s that D&AD annual…

Is Dripbook Aptly Named? December 5, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in articles, comment, design, dripbook, portfolio, presentation, technology, virb.
add a comment

Dripbook

I’m updating this blog post after a few e-mails with Dripbook. They are a group of people trying very hard to make an excellent service. Most of my reasons for writing this post could have been dealt with better communication on their website. I suppose that’s been done by now.

Photographers, illustrators, hair stylists etc are typically a little crap at keeping their websites maintained, if they exist at all. I appreciate any efforts to help these busy creative people show their work to the world. Dripbook is one of those efforts. I found out about them through a comment in one of the Virb art groups and Mashable have written about them too. I’ll check anything out and it seemed like a good project. Easy portfolio tools combined with a social network aspect to help you connect and promote. So I sent them an application. I had to apply because… they’re pulling the exclusivity card as a marketing stunt really. I said I’m handsome and make nice work and sent them my portfolio site (ironically). Thank goodness I was let in or my street cred would have collapsed like an underfed model. The feature I wanted to explore was their ability to publish to third party sites. Widgets that create a bit of code that refers to your dynamically updated portfolio instead of you having to create the books on your own site. I use viewbook.com for a site I built for a photographer which does that exactly. Unfortunately I never did get to trying that feature.

Most of Dripbook is fine even if it’s a bit dull in the design stakes (a web 2.0 phenomenon apparently). The upload of images was easy enough, the networking idea is a good one. After I uploaded I found that my images came out looking soft. Which is odd considering they were sized down for web use and were sharp, black and white images when they left my desktop. Even that I could figure out given enough patience. My irritation is that the site is not recognizing that I have “published” a book of drawings. It says it’s published. But it’s not visible to anyone else it seems. I’ve tried every “publish” button three times and now I’m bored. If you can’t publish, you can’t promote and then the social network is useless.

Turns out that because I put a “Mature” marker on my book because it contained drawn nudity, I encountered a legal fix:

You followed the instructions exactly and did exactly what you were supposed to do. When a user goes to look at your book, he / she is asked whether he / she wants to look at mature content. Then a cookie is places on that user’s computer, and the warning does not show up again.

 A fact that would have been good to know a few days ago.

Not wanting to spend any more time on the site I figured that I’d cancel my hard won account and focus my efforts on other tasks, like my real job. Except I can’t find anywhere to cancel, suspend, deactivate, kill my account. Really. I’ve looked pretty hard. The FAQ neatly ignores the fact that anyone would be brazen enough to leave their services. I wonder what happens when you buy a premium account ($9 per month)?

Dripbook have informed me that they hadn’t got to that detail yet.  It’ll be done now.

Dripbook is in Beta phase which may excuse any screw ups and my decision to leave their site is based on a few personal impressions, not only some basic technical glitches. The site is slow, I don’t like their presentation options and I don’t like their design.

I‘d leave, but I can’t.

ps. Turns out that no one had ever asked to leave. I have that dubious honour. My apologies, Dripbook, for being that guy.

 I have been deleted. After the short e-mail chat with Dripbook I appreciate that I was rather harsh on their Beta site. I only wish they had been a bit more forthcoming with how Beta they were. I mean, who doesn’t have a delete account button?  If you think I was a putz let the comments fly.

Is Boundless Gallery the Height of Boundless Tackiness? November 8, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, comment, culture.
add a comment

 Art Finder

Looking for a piece of art for your home, office or car? Simple! Select the colour you’d like. How much you’d prefer to spend. The dimensions of the space you have. And Ta Dah! Boundless will spit out a list of objet d’art that match your green curtains or lilac bed sheets.

It sounds like a good thing right? It gives minor artists exposure to a public that prefers to be told what to like. You can get a painting that matches your curtain pattern. It’s as easy and painless as only Web 2.0 can be.

Then why do I find this service quite horrible? Perhaps it’s too many years of liking art.

Link 

We The Robots – Silicone Declarations November 8, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in comic, comic strip, comment, culture, illustration.
add a comment

 Why?

Chris Harding is working on a few projects. One of which is his web comic “We The Robots“. Nicely drawn, simple and satirical up the wazoo. Perhaps there are a few things we can learn from the Robots.

Link 

Lateral Thunking September 8, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in art, comment, design, drawing, lateral, music, photography, portfolio, social network, virb.
add a comment

 Lateral

Sometimes I despair of social networking sites. They have a promise of interesting connections and influences and then fall a bit short of the dream. Much like any kind of technology I guess. I’m thinking that Virb is not going to live up to it’s designer promise. The pages dedicated to Art, Photography and other creative output have not arrived, despite months of promises. I’m sure they’re busy and music is the easiest way into this business, but c’mon! Most of the people I chat with on the site are designers of some sort and how awesome would a chart of top illustrators on Virb be? Anyways, every now and then I’m surprised by someone that wants to be friendly and what they’re attached to.

The other day a guy called Franks contacts me on Virb. And it turns out he is the Head of Design (and a damn good drawer) at a company called Lateral, based in London. They’re an interactive type of agency who’ve done boat loads of work on Nintendo DS and Levis. While their portfolio is impressive, it’s their website that caught my attention. It’s a damn clever piece of information design. Slick, simple and fast. The expandable blocks provide excellent bite size pieces of information and the colour work is fun and intuitive. I think it’s built in Ajax.

It’s a lesson in how a single page can be an entire information architecture.

Lateral 

The Viral Palette July 9, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, articles, blog, comment, culture, design, film, free, funny, games, geek, ivan pols, media, news, portfolio, presentation, statistics, technology, trash, viral, writing, youtube.
4 comments

One of the problems that Marketers are concerned with is how do they maintain Brand Values while trying to maximise reach with Viral Media. They’re uncomfortable with the stunty craziness associated with YouTube but realise they can’t miss out on the opportunity. What do they do?

I’m going to bust the misconception that you need to be off strategy and whacky in order to get millions of people interested in your content. In fact, the most viewed, most memorable corporate content is all about brand strategy and brand values. You have to have something to say, why not say what you believe in?

Instead of talking about the sociological theories of viral media or showing a powerpoint slide with the “marketing approach” shopping list (which only provides the illusion of brand control) I’ll show some examples and do a quick precis of what I believe they do. This is by no means an exhaustive list of options but I’ll try to cover the main bases.

How do you get people to pass along your message? Here’s what worked for a few brands.

Take a Stand

A couple of guys jump an airport fence under cover of darkness and tag “Still Free” onto the fuselage of Airforce One. It’s a political statement. Well, it’s a corporate political statement. Marc Ecko and Droga 5 decided to make a film that embodies the spirit of the Ecko clothing label: The Art of Street Graffiti, Freedom of Speech (Ecko had sued New York City over the right to a graffiti competition) and champion of the youth. The sheer audacity of the prank meant it spread like wildfire. Ecko quickly (nearly the next day) explained why they did it in a statement from the owner himself where he mentions all of his Ecko properties. He did it for the kids of America, because he believes it’s the right thing to do, because it creates an altruistic brand character for people who sell t-shirts to kids from the hood and the burbs. They claim nearly 80 Million views.

Buy the Still Free t-shirt
Read about the Still Free Game
The Marc Ecko Brand
Still Free Official Site

Cannes Cyber Grand Prix 2006

(more…)

MTV Switch “Faces” vs Audi A4 “Faces” June 20, 2007

Posted by Ivan Pols in advertising, Audi Faces, comment, design, film, funny, MTV Switch Faces, music, objectification, politics, portfolio.
2 comments

MTV Switch
Play MTV Switch “Faces”

This is a classic example of ideas stepping on ideas. Which is to say these two ads almost come from the same cutting room. I appreciate that the takeout is different, one is about the hungry mouths of power outlets and the other is about the big mouth of the Audi A4. I also understand that the creative teams were oblivious to one another (MTV Switch 2007, Audi A4 2005). And the MTV ad is for an environment saving “charity” and Audi is an environment destroying car. Despite all these dissimilarities, they are ridiculously similar (and I’m sure similar to a hundred other references).

So, the important question is: Which soundtrack do you prefer?

ps. The Audi A4 ad is mine by the way.