Wednesday, 30 June 2010

"How do we know if it's working?"

We talked about the 4 key questions yesterday.  Let's try them out against anything you did and you will see the problem - if there is any:

"What are we doing?"
"How are we doing it?"
"Why are we doing it?"
"How do we know if it's working?"

My concern is the last one.  How do we know if _____________ is working?
(fill in the blank with anything that needs an answer, e.g. the toilet, the final project)

If you cannot provide an answer, it is useless!

The Chat Roulette Killer Viral-cost $300 & end with 125,000 Youtube views

McDonald's interactive billboard

McDonald's interactive billboard

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Think inside the box

Very often I hear this: think outside the box!

Cool!  It's almost like you are not capable to solve the problem and what you have done so far just does not work - because you've been thinking inside the box.

I wonder if there is really a cure outside.  We all do things inside a box: eating inside a cafeteria box, working inside an office box, shitting inside a toilet box, sleeping inside a bedroom box, watching movie inside a cinema box, singing inside a karaoke box ... you name it!  As a matter of fact, we do live inside a box (the Earth) so literally there is nothing wrong if we think effectively inside "our boxes" - if we can be pragmatic and really tackle our problems positively and effectively.  

Here are 4 key questions to ask ourselves:
"What are we doing?"
"How are we doing it?"
"Why are we doing it?"
"How do we know if it's working?"

Try them to see if you have done your job effectively inside the box.

Gatsby Moving Rubber CM (ft. Takuya Kimura)

A Hotel Where the Writing is on the Walls

A Hotel Where the Writing is on the Walls

Writing on the walls is unnecessary as seen in this ambient words filled hotel.

MARIO VIVA -- Friday Special Seminar!

Are you making the most out of email?

Are you making the most out of email?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Interesting dialogues

Just got these interesting dialogues while working in the noisy cum disturbing office a while ago with lots of happenings around me: vaccum cleaning, unpacking, loud talking on the telephone, fixing the office machine ...

"What department are we in?"
"It's the CDM department."
"What? PDM?"
"No, it's CDM."
There came the smart guy, "CDM, C for Cat, D for division, M for Mechanism."

What useful hints!?
I'd reckon, "C for Compartmentalization, D for Democratization, M for Materialization."
Any thought to complicate the poor guy? :P

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Disappointing match

What a disappointing match Germany beats England by 4:1 tonight in the world cup.
Disappointing to the England fans but beautiful to the others.
Germany is fast, accurate and efficient...

This is word of mouth 2.0!

Saturday, 26 June 2010


I met some old students yesterday and they talked about how much they have learnt over the past year in the top up degree programme where they were exposed to different way of teaching and learning (more student-centered I supposed) and were challenged to think deeper with better research and so on - that was absolutely fantastic!

I told them that I was so glad to know they have become more confident and competent by the "changes" that they have mentioned.  However, I also added that such changes could not have happened without the cultivation of the teachers in our HD course.

I love to see students grow from strength to strength, and I believe they can shine one day if they so wish.  Nevertheless, one should not be forgetful that life is a process, what we are arriving at today is a natural progression of the previous ones and it would be ignorant for not knowing that. 

For those who think oppositely, I could almost hear them saying "Yesterday I couldn't spell designer, now I are one."

Friday, 25 June 2010

Show What?

Substance.  Substance.  Substance.


Style.  Style. Style.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

God is in the detail

A short note for everyone here especially those graduating students who are showing their works in the exhibition, "God is in the detail"!

Yes, details are important.  No matter what you do, it should be done thoroughly.  Check every single detail from color to typography to composition to presentation
There is no excuse for bad English or merely to have overlooked a wrong spelling in your design statement, it will ruin all your effort of months' hard work.

The power of online advertising

Heineken – “Real Madrid Vs Milan AC” – JWT MilanJune 23, 2010

Ultimate skincare

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has produced a racy new viral film to communicate the very serious dangers of skin cancer. Created around a new fictitious beauty product - Ultimate Skincare – it spoofs the standard treatment for beauty ads. See the work here.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Committment is really showing how much you love what you do. It's how much you care about your doing and how passionate you are with it. I don't know if this sounds odd if I am telling you that it is very important to have a committment , no matter what you do. But this is really not old school you know.

Just stop and think. Learning is a committment, making friend is a committment, keeping a promise is a committment, playing foootball is committment, facebook, MSN, blogging is a committment too. As a matter of fact, Life is a committment!

Challenge me if you think otherwise!

I've seen many many students with committment, and I've seen them with success.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Durex Baby 杜蕾斯很有創意的行銷手法

Amazing Fire Animation!

So What (is Advertising)?

Engagement Workshop for the prospective students of 61994S, HD in Advertising Design

Love what you do

Just a brief recap of the recent posts from the Identiy Campaign to the typographic feast of the five senses and then the Nibi No Neiro, it should not be difficult for one to realize that if you love what you do, you will be successful.

That's it!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Hibi No Neiro

“Hibi No Neiro” is a music video for a Japanese band called Sour that was filmed entirely by webcams and starred more than 80 cast members... The song... is about discovering one’s own voice and embracing individuality in order to open up to the world...

SOUR / 日々の音色 (Hibi no Neiro) MV from Magico Nakamura on Vimeo.

Flickermood 2.0

Flickermood 2.0 from Sebastian Lange on Vimeo.

Typophile Film Festival 5 Opening Titles

A visual typographic feast about the five senses, and how they contribute to and enhance our creativity. Everything in the film is real—no CG effects!

Typophile Film Festival 5 Opening Titles from Brent Barson on Vimeo.


The Identity Campaign reminds me of a powerful thinking tool which I developed some years ago to help students understand the intuitive approach to creative thinking - Decomposition/Recomposition.  It is particularly useful as you can see from the video that there are almost unlimited ways of recomposing the "faces" once they are "decomposed" (with the camera).  

A subject is broken down into its component parts (decomposed) and is then composed again differently (recompose) to form a new whole.  If we apply this simple technique, say for instance, to naming, literally all (English) names are recomposition of a fraction of the 26 alphabets.  Similarly, all (Chinese) names are then recomposition of the characters strokes and radicals.  All music are recomposition of the musical notes ...

Or by simple logic, when we say all men are equal, it could be that all men can be decomposed into flesh and bones.  Every man is different, because he is recomposed uniquely in his own way.

So can you make a difference?


Identity Campaign( street version)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Father's Day

I have long felt that my life as a father - or the life of my mind as a father - began when my son was born.  I couldn't believe that so many brilliant things could be brought together in one relationship of a father and son, and later with another of a father and daughter.

Everyday I am more determined to go to work and more eloquent in completing my task.  I was addicted to being a father, and the years since then have only made my bond with my children unbreakable.

As a father, you do things for your children that you wouldn't, and perhaps couldn't , do anyone else.

The achievement of the children is really an achievement on behalf of every father who cares about the future of his children and the evolution of the society at large.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Students or Customers?

My colleagues from other courses commented during lunch yesterday about how more and more students have seen themselves as customers - who have paid their school fees and that the school or teachers should treat them well to offer the best service possible to satisfy their requests - to provide convenient time table so that they can do part-time jobs, to provide required materials to complete their assignments, to guarantee a pass, to guarantee winning in competitions, to guarantee jobs after graduation, to guarantee further study, success and prospect and so on ...

This phenomenon is getting popular but dangerous because once they see themselves as customers that they are buying a service then it should be guaranteed or they should have their money back (it is a big investment and a big buy after all).


For education is not like simple buying of daily goods.  You don't get what you WANT in education, but what you NEED!  Yes, teachers are here to teach what you need, not what you want!  So if you want something because you have paid the money and the offers should be money worth to justify your ego as a customer, you are wrong, deadly wrong!

What we offer (the school and the teachers) is to show you the knowledge and direction to take on in your chosen career path, that's what you need, it's the methods of learning and the thinking and attitude that's matter, it's the content of the teaching not the form.

Sadly, "Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition". - Jacques Barzun 

Friday, 18 June 2010


The HKDI campus does get attention.

If you stand in front of the building, you will be amazed by looking at it with a series of attentions.  Your attention may first flow to the white tubular structure surrounding the four pillars, then the long elevator pointing up to the podium, the transparent glass surfacing most of the architecture, the canopy and so on ...  you can rest your eyes on some details and then back to the whole.  This is a dance of attention.

This is a fascinating way to perceive our surrounding - and it makes a good explorative exercise.  The HKDI campus is a good place to do your attention dance.  Once you are there, you can direct your attention to any part you like.  You can choose to look at the tubular structure.  You can chose to tilt to the right corner of the canopy.  You can choose to look at the materials of the building.  You can choose to look at the scale and proportion.  You become a director of your attention.

Great, we are finally in HKDI!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Design Graduation Show 2010

Click for details



(背景資料概略 : [港珠澳大橋]位於珠江口伶仃洋海域,是連接香港特別行政區、廣東省珠海市和澳門特別行政區的大型跨海通道。擬建工程所指[港珠澳大橋]在港區內的相關工程。)

PS:你的選擇有可能會成為[港珠澳大橋]的slogan! please go to I am HKDI group to vote!


Alex, Eddie, Sandra, Thomas

The plane won't wait!

We are moving to the new HKDI campus tomorrow so everybody was busy packing and throwing away all unwanted stuff.  It was not an easy job giving the fact that, in my case, some of the belongings had dated back in 1991 - poster designs by my students for the graduation show.  I had used them as reference for other students but now, though unwillingly, I thought they must go.  

Early this week, I found quite a number of uncollected student work which I had put together deliberately in a carton box for students to collect - the RVJs submitted for CS3 in the first semester.  I then sent a note to ask them to get their works back by today before noon, or they will be trashed.

Nobody came this morning so I decided to dispose them into the trash cart after lunch.  At about 3:20 pm, my telephone rang and I heard JJ on the phone: "Can I pick up my work?"

Guess what?

My answer might have been cruel, the poor one had ended up turning over the entire trash cart for her buried RVJ.   Though once again, unwillingly, a lesson is learnt - "The plane won't wait!"

Another form of A.I.R.

I did some reading today while background tasking the dragon boat race on TV.  It's about the story of the men who made the adverts that changed our lives.  I came across a line: "... an advertisement worked only if it was noticed, digested and remembered." 

The concept is very simple and it can be applied in circumstances like communicating ideas or expressing viewpoints.  How to get noticed by your audience?  Do they understand or can they digest your information?  Will they remember what you have said?  If there is a no in any of these three questions, you are probably wasting your (and their) time.

Got it!  It's really a different way of saying A.I.R.  So however well you were doing with your design or your "speech", A.I.R. is the only benchmark.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I received the EE report of our new HD programme (61394) yesterday and was delighted to find these words, "In a commercial world, to be able to express and communicate an idea is almost as important as the idea itself." - Totally agree.  

I don't know how students would react to her words but the fact that most students these days are so reluctant to speak up and when they do speak, they usually end up with long and clumsy words boring the audience if not confusing them.   Whether they think visual communication should be self explained or selling their ideas is a cheap way to get things across - or they are just simply uncomfortable to express their points of view (in front of others)?  My guess is the lack of self confidence.  Prove me I'm wrong!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Elevator Pitch

I was taking to my colleague today about a recent concern about how our graduating students should perform in the graduation show, particularly when being asked to present their designs in front of visiting guests.  These two words pop up in my mind.  Yes the "Elevator Pitch", meaning you have to tell your idea (or main concept) of your design in a succinct and compelling way to impress your audience, within the time you'll normally have in an elevator ride, say 30 seconds.  Sound cool huh?  It is essential for everyone to remember and take that into action.  So, it's time to think about your keywords and key sentences, straight to the point, now can you tell me your design concept or big idea using an "Elevator Pitch"?
Give it a try if you dare!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mattessons 'Hunger Drums' advert

The new advertising campaign targeting mothers, hunters and providers for the families, is centred around her ‘Primal Urge’ to feed the family a hunger busting meat meal. 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

What is An Experimental Book?

What is An Experimental Book?

"Open Book: An International Survey of Experimental Books" at the University Galleries at Eastern Michigan University. The exhibition investigates the role of the book in the contemporary art world. The curators have expanded on the traditional definition of a book, which they define loosely as a vehicle for information that is organized into "sections." The exhibition includes unique traditional books, altered books, sculptural books, digital books, and installation, photography, and performance-based books.

Salty - Mask

Knorr SideKicks Side Dishes Funny Commercial Low Sodium

Knorr Sidekicks Salty Dating commercial

Don't Rely on Cupid Video ad

Don't Rely on Cupid Video ad

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

How to walk on water: A new form of subliminal advertising?

How to walk on water: A new form of subliminal advertising?

A new approach that seems to be gaining popularity is embedding your product within a short film that, on face value, is documenting something entirely different.



‘There’s Nothing like Australia’

Tourism Australia has launched the second phase of its international advertising campaign ‘There’s Nothing like Australia’ and is using song to promote the country overseas.
The 90-second film is based on the experiences of Australians who submitted their favourite locations to the website.

To view the ad click here