Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Unusual Design Orphans

Four design posts that all had a premature demise: a tech company, a childrens book, a console game pitch and cinematic bingo - yeah, you know, cinematic bingo.
Voipster was on of a number of companies going after Voice Over IP (like Skype) in 2004.
The combination of day to day business values with approachabilty and a friendly medium sent me looking up things like Dilbert, Mister Men and Niceday branding - which ended with these homely colours, cartoon illos and a paint print finish.
If I say so myself, the client loved it - but then the work stalled as they promptly called for a review of the company name. So it goes.
My sister has published two non-fiction books as Sarah Burton and she followed them in 2008 with a reworking of the nativity in a childrens book. Loyally, she asked me to pitch as the artist. The story weaved conflicting folk tales details of the story together and I did this spread to show the same event perceived in two ways. Turned out the publisher already had an established house style of soft, loose, pencil sketches.
Not a lengthy design job - but I was pleased with this style I did for numerous screens needed to illustrate a console game format. This was needed because in 2007 I won a place in 'Lizard's Lair' - a competition to pitch a console game idea to a panel of game luminaries for Channel 4 and London Games Week . It was a format called Duplicity which explored Time Travel paradoxes. True to Dragons' Den form, I was kicked around a bit for not knowing enough about the intended market - but Lizard No 1. - Peter Molyneux - spoke up encouragingly in defence of the idea - which is the bit I'll remember : )

Design 4: Bingo reboot. Some US conglomerate associated with the ODEON chain wanted to run an automated movie-like experience allowing people to play live National Bingo at the cinema. Pitching the look for the new brand, I did 3 cheesy, gold, sparkly, 'LE' looks ( light entertainment) and this one. My patter was pretty poor - I'd used up all my chutzpah trying to sound hopeful about the cheesy ones, in case they wanted them. By the time I presented the last one, I ended up muttering " …and then I just wanted to …get this…uh… feel"
I mumbled some more but I can immodestly add I was immediately shushed with a " It's great!" Ultimately, the project was a department-busting mix of digital, broadcast and tech, toes were trodden and direction was fought for. I reluctantly relinquished creative control under demands from other projects. However, much of the early feel survived into the final product - which also featured a white-suited Vic Reeves recorded into countless video loops as the interactive compere to the bingo nation.


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