Rationale: ‘a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or a particular belief.’ I knew from the start of this blog brief that a rationale needed to be written on the topic of inspiration. However, I decided early on that I wasn’t going to go looking for things that I would find inspirational. Instead, I’d look in the way of fortunate stumblings. Almost take a serendipitous approach, a series of fortunate accidents. This could be the wrong approach, and I could lose marks because of it, but it’s the way I’ve been inspired for years. You can’t plan a logical course of where you’ll find your next influence. So, with a head like a sponge, I just began soaking up whatever was around me.

It appears that the sources of my inspiration don’t just come from the Internet, thankfully. I won’t neglect the fact that it has served a purpose for the ‘Website’ category and finding adequate images, but I haven’t been dependent on it. I’ve drawn inspiration from the most obscure of places: walking though different cities, sitting on my arse in the lounge watching telly, even misspelling intended pools of information on search engines has proven useful. Seems that inspiration can literally come from anywhere. Design-related publications like Creative Review, Dirty Mouse, Computer Arts and Design Week have obviously been good sources because of the subject matter.

Inspiration: ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do something creative.’ It’s the true mark of finding something that leaves an impact; if it encourages you to make an impact of your own. Pleased to say that what I’ve found has encouraged some elements in my portfolio. The Patrick Hughes work influenced my play on perspective for D&AD, the Woman’s Aid campaign has encouraged me to do a more aggressive personal project for the Samaritans, and Seb Lester and Alison Carmichael have helped me create something more appealing for this one week brief that’s been set.

Even though the deadline is coming up soon, this doesn’t mean that the blog isn’t going to develop further. I’ve never been a keen blogger; I’ve never used MySpace or BeBo so this was my first taste. I’ve looked on other people’s blogs for this brief and I have found new avenues which I probably never would of found otherwise. It's a renewable source, and one which I intend to pool from from now on.

Alison Carmichael / Exquisite Handjobs

There's nothing I enjoy more than appreciating beautifully crafted hand lettering. Alison Carmichael is a name you may not know (if this is this case then you should look into changing this) but you've almost definitely seen her work.

Those of you who collect the Don't Panic packs may remember this design, courtesy of you know who.

Guggenheim / NYC

Rather than an exhibition within a museum providing a source of inspiration, it's the museum itself that does this in this case. The Guggenheim in New York has been a popular icon in modern architecture since its construction. I could regurgitate the history of this museum according to Wikipedia or some other infamous know-it-all but that isn't what caught my eye.
It's the rotunda that did.

I've never seen anything like it - having all the floors connected in one smooth direction. I found myself gliding through the exhibition, which is a novel feel because I'm use to dragging my feet. I spent hours in the museum happily; partly because the exhibition was amazing and partly because I was fascinated by the architectural design.

Urban Cactus

Have you ever seen a residential block like this...

If you have any other examples then please let me know, but for the moment, I'm mesmerized by this. This is called the Urban Cactus and it's a concept proposed for the Rotterdam harbour.

The designers (UCX Architects) have created a concept for how 98 residents can live in 19 floors. The main motivation was that it needed to create a green image due to its location by the harbour and each apartment needed optimum sunshine exposure. Thanks to the rotatory design, each balcony has a larger outdoor space than you'd usually find in an ordinary tower block.

Thankfully, this design has been accepted and building should be commencing next year. Can't wait to see it in the flesh.

El Presidente

I have to thank Alan for this one. He showed us a few music videos in a class for the Motion elective last year - this was the one that most stood out for me...

Not only is the tune catchy but the video itself is fantastic to watch. There's lots of small minute things going on throughout, so much so that this encourages you to watch again and again to see - a clever design.


The Soundhouse

The Soundhouse is part of the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield. It offers a standard recording studios and rehearsal rooms for its studios, but with a difference. The exterior is covered in sound insulating black rubber, which has obvious advantages.

Using three floors to represent the style of its surroundings (the Portobello area), the 'music box' offers a striking building that you can't help but admire.

Modern Car Park

Last week, I was walking through Sheffield to meet my girlfriend and I came across this...

When you look at this building in context of where's it's located, it truly does stand out from the crowd. I later found out that this was a multi-story car park and I've never seen one like it before. It's inspiring to see how a bog-standard building shape has been simply modified to create something that's visually stunning.


Great Adaptations

Possibly my favorite film genre, novel adaptations will take a beloved piece of literature and attempt to give it justice in its visual format. Often in a one-sided contest, the film will never be as good as the book, apart from the special few that are: Angela's Ashes, The Shawshank Redemption and Enduring Love.

To celebrate these great adaptations, Film4 launched this advertisement...

It's been a long time since I've seen 'flicker-book' effects used to promote anything (in fact, the only other advert I can think of that does is the latest one from Sony Bravia). A movie snapshot appears from the pages and you can't help but be impressed with how such a straight-forward idea catches your attention. Also a nice little touch: on the quick pan shots of the stacked books you can make out some of your favorites that you know will be aired on screen over the following month.

Unbox The Box

Audi has quite the reputation of creating smart and clean adverts. Visually compelling and in-depth effects, each leave their own impressions (and ones that embed themselves in your memory for quite some time). The one that has taken the longest residency in my noggin has been this one...

Catchy score, effective use of simple technology (stop-motion photography) and a car that you believe has been crafted with care and attention to detail.

Advertising Is Dead! Long Live Advertising!

I'm not going to lie, I bought the book because of the name. I enjoy anything that looks niche or quirky so I jumped at it on the shelf.

I have a passion for Ambient Advertising: it's the medium that'd I'd like to specialize in after HOPEFULLY graduating from Leeds Uni.

It's exciting. Knowing that an idea you have doesn't have to be confined to the traditional formats of the 48 Sheets etc is a concept I was introduced to a few years ago and haven't stopped wanting to learn about. I can concede that sometimes the traditional mediums can perform better but I know which of the two I'd rather stumble across on an amble through town. Once again, I've put up examples of the most effective from the book....

In my opinion, the most effective piece of ambient advertising. Located "outside the main gates of the Big Day Out, New Zealand's largest outdoor music festival, a girl pretending to have just been dumped invited girls to smash her ex's car with a sledgehammer. This simple idea to draw attention to nzgirl, an online magazine for girls, generated much word of mouth during and after the festival." Who wouldn't enjoy smashing up a car with a big hammer?

This one works quite well too.

This book features the cream of the crop and I can never go a day without looking back through it.


Font Magica de Montjuic

Earlier this year, me and my girlfriend went to Barcelona for a couple of weeks in the hope of sun, sea and sand - we were lucky to be graced with all three. Like most British tourists, we saw the familiar sights: la Sagrada Familia, the Picasso museum, Casa Battlo etc. They were all very impressive, particularly la Sagrada Familia which should hopefully be completed in 2026.

The one that stood out above the rest was the Font Magica de Montjuic; a fountain that performs a display of water and light to classical music every night. I realize that I may not be doing this spectacular event justice so hopefully these pictures will...

Not sure sure whether this qualifies as architecture but it was certainly a piece of inspiration: a woman sat on the seats actually began crying during the night we were there. It was one of the most alternative evenings I've ever spent but one I will never forget.



If there's a car manufacturer that promises in providing its customers with unrivaled excellence and pristine automotive pleasure, it needs some sturdy proof. If anything can do so then Mercedes-Benz can do so with this. It's called the A-to-S and it's assigned a flattering noun to each of said letters . . . but with remarkable twist.

There are three ways that you can access each letter and after choosing any one, you are presented with a unique and innovative way to reveal the complimentary information.

Once again, I'm not going to be a spoiler but all I can say is that I recommend Dedication, Fragrance, Kit, Multiple and New.

If there is any downfall then it'd be that because I was enjoying what I was doing so much, at first I wasn't absorbing the information. Contradicts the proposal that Mercedes offers the best when you partially ignore the important bits-and-bobs. Nevertheless, they've made a website that I want to come back to again and again, so mission accomplished.

MNU's Guide Through Disctrict 9

Without a doubt, District 9 has been a popular blog since its release: and for well deserved reasons. I can go on with a review of the film (such as how it tackles present-day views on refugees or how it was based on a short film Alive in Jo'berg) but the medium that I was most taken back by was its website.

Before a feature film reaches its premiere date, a website of the same name is released to act as promotion - typically only showing the trailer. District 9's stands out from the crowd.

Your first step is to enter in what species you are. Each species carries with it a different experience through the website.

Now you come to a bird's eye view of the city of Johannesburg and you begin to understand how realistic the designers have tried to make this. From behavioral recommendations on how to react to the 'prawns' to riots occurring throughout the city between the species; the smallest of details have been scrutinized over that gives the core idea a more realistic and believable premise - there's even careers vacancies for MNU.

The MNU Community Watch was the detail that I was most struck by. By choosing different locations on the map, you either access an audio or video response from members of the public commenting on their non-human experiences. Different topics are brought up by these people and you begin to relating to their answers resembling your own.

The longer you spend finding out about District 9, the more news feeds pop up in your inbox. More information about the key central characters begin to emerge.

It's the best film-related website I have ever come across. After enjoying the infinite details on the website, I walked into the cinema and sat down happily entertaining the idea that this was happening. It began as a documentary, with 'talking heads' of different people of significance such as sociologists and MNU employees. I would prefer to watch something for 2 hours that has a great degree of possibility or logicality - even though this concept of aliens is out of this world, the reaction of the sinister global conglomerate to these refugees and the reactions of the on-screen general public made it more compelling viewing.

I'm quite the film-buff so I took great pleasure in seeing both the movie and its supporting website.