Friday, December 11, 2009

Ben “Odds and Jobs” – Thursday 10th December.

Ben “Odds and Jobs” – Thursday 10th December.

Spent the first thing this morning in a design meeting with Chris, discussing another project E-creation is running.

I have been working on a press release and learnt about focusing on the 5 W’s of journalism when writing an article: The “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?” in no particular order.
This is to get a reader’s attention. To do this you have to write the article in a concise and interesting manner. In the hope that the journalist will choose to publish yours over the hundreds of others they receive everyday from companies.
It is imperative you make the first paragraph really count and provide a summary of the article. For some useful advice on writing a press release check out:

Being printed in a newspaper is beneficial for a company as it gets the message out about their products to people besides using direct advertising. Once I was happy with my draught I sent it to Laura-Jayne a journalist, so that she could provide me with some feedback on what I had written.

I heard back from Universal Music with regards to obtaining the rights for galvanize for the online marketing presentation. The cost for doing so was £1750. This is prohibitively expensive considering the site is unlikely to have more than a 100 hits a month. I think this time round E-creation will be leaving that one.

Monday, December 7, 2009

JP - Tired, annoyed about not being shortlisted, Flash 3D challenges and super cool 'bling' Facebook goes live - XTM International, Slough Council

Tired, annoyed about not being shortlisted, Flash 3D challenges and super cool 'bling' Facebook goes live ...

All businesses have to run multiple projects to grow but when you have to juggle chickens, tired, milk bottles and scarves it becomes a bit of a pain. Okay, that's a fairly confusing way of saying that there is just too much going on right now, so I am having to prioritise pre-Christmas delivery projects (meaning E-creation might miss the Christmas market with some of it's own projects).

XTM International

The team made the final breakthrough (see left image) on the website designs last week after E-creation presented three design concepts. The website design is now looking awesome - hitting all the key objectives in the correct tone - 'professional, friendly, international, fresh, technical & easy to code!' Really key here is 'easy to code' as we will not be doing the coding ourselves but rather leading the internal development team at XTM International, so the visual assets and guides need to be absolutely spot on.

Leon has been working on the Flash animations that will be applied in the top corner and doing some experiment using realtime 3D to help reduce file sizes. On previous projects, we have had to face the challenge of truly amazing animations created as loops in After Effects which ended being integrated as film loops in the background of the Flash file. This can be seriously inefficient, so now, we try to make things as 3D objects where perspective effects are required. This has helped us to reduce the original file sizes of 3,000k for XTM International (impossibly large!) down to 28k (improbably small!) for effectively the same effect.

Slough Children's and Young Person's Directory

This project is finally coming towards closure after we had agreement on the image selection for the website. It always surprises me that no matter how 'rigorous' we are about explaining to clients that the written and image assets for projects is likely to be the bottle neck in any project, it's the last thing we end up doing, often months after a design process is complete. The risk is dilution of the 'creative essence' that is very dense during the design process, when the design team is totally immersed in the project and mind space, as other design projects with different design objectives and guidelines float around - keeping project specific mood boards on the wall seems to help ...

Bid for Shepway Find Your Talent Website

I found out this morning that we haven't been short listed for this project, which is a pity, as I really thought we were very ideally placed to deliver the creative and technical requirements of the project. That said, I only had 48 hrs to put together a very complex proposal with elements such as our equal employment statements, 3 years of financial data, creative treatments and more!

Have a peak at the visual idea to the left that we cobbled together in 4 hrs for the proposal. It's pretty amazing what you can come up with when under pressure.

Incidentally, is now up and running, our 'super bling' version of Facebook, so check it out and feel free to give us feedback - it's still early days, so any ideas are readily welcomed!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ben “Munkying around” – Looking into T-shirt manufacturers.

Ben “Munkying around” – Looking into T-shirt manufacturers.

Today I went with Jan to investigate the viability of manufacturing customised t-shirts for one of our clients. We visited Munky UK, a custom T-shirt maker based in Southampton.
They use a special vinyl which is cut with to a design using the digital vinyl cutter. They can produce personalised designs. The vinyl is weeded; they pick out what is unnecessary from the design. This is then heat pressed onto a t-shirt.

The vinyl is very flexible it comes in a variety of colours and textures including flock, which has a velour like texture. It is very durable and will most likely outlast the life of the t-shirt.
We left with some prototype designs. It was not exactly what we were looking for but it produced some useful ideas.
Check them out at

Got back to the office and had a conference call with a client. I did some test shots of the T-shirts to see how they might look online and dealt with some emails. I packaged the t-shirts up and took them off to be posted to the client, so could see what they looked like.