Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

The Business

If I ever write a book, I can only hope it has as great a title as Thee Almighty & Insane: Chicago Gang Business Cards from the 1970s & 1980s by Brandon Johnson

Johnson was put onto the world of Chicago gang cards through a card given to his Dad by a gang-affiliated friend back in the day.

Inspired by the social athletic clubs and political groups that preceded them, street gangs in 60s and 70s Chicago made business cards displaying their symbols, nicknames, territories, and enemies as a means to assert their pride, recruit new members, and serve as general tokens of affiliation.

It’s tempting to see the cards as quaint, especially with the prevalence of ‘Lils’ in the gang member’s names, but you could also draw a line from these groups to the terrible gun violence currently plaguing Chicago today, (though I absolutely don’t know enough about either current Chicago crime or these gangs to make any assertions).

That being said, there is some magnificent old-school naming going on here. I love the mix of 20s Chicago gangster – Mugsy, Lil Greaser, Droopy – and street warrior – Savage, Maniac – as well as the incredible gang names themselves – Insane Popes is amazing, but Future Chicago Players is also top-notch…



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To the sea

For last year’s Style Frames Design Conference, Isreali artist and animator Eran Hilleli (previously here) created this charming animation, with music by Disasterpiece.

It has a bit of an Adventure Time vibe…


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Visual design in games normally means either character or environment design, but it’s not often that it means branding.

Appropriately, given how much of a role advertising and branding plays in modern Formula 1, futuristic PS1 racing game Wipeout was the first game to work with a design studio to develop the posters, logos and team icons seen throughout the game, (as well as the packaging and posters for the game).

The design studio, The Designer’s Republic was primarily known for working on album designs for Warp Records, the label that included Aphex Twin and The Orb. With their work on Wipeout, they brought music industry sophistication and cool to an industry that had previously favoured cartoony pop or teenage grittiness.

Sci-fi imagery often ages badly, but Wipeout’s still looks clean, iconic and real because the J-Pop, sci-fi corporate branding that The Designer’s Republic created feels like it was developed for real racing teams, rather than trying to create something that just looked ‘futuristic’.

More than 20 years later, it still looks great:


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A lovely, simple, clever campaign for Irn Bru Xtra by the Leith Agency. It’s a bit weird to praise the copywriting in an ad that is deliberately nonsense, but these ads do a great job of painting a surreal visual picture, flowing nicely, and still feeling like complete gibberish: 

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Sorry about the lack of posting recently, work’s got in the way of my important blogging time.

I stumbled across this Adidas ad recently and it reminded me how damn good the writing was in that campaign. Impossible is Nothing is obviously amazing, but it’s easy to forget how difficult it is to write body copy that fist-pumping without it coming off as cheesy. Top work:


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More (here and here) lovely, negative space work from Noma Bar:

Negative sapce - Noma Bar (Shoes)

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