Wednesday, 10 September 2008

D&AD Xchange Conference

I recently went to the D&AD Xchange Conference held in London on Sept 1st and 2nd. I have to say that the speaker were a mixed bunch, some very good, some rather naff.

There was an emerging theme about digital advertising that came through many of the presentations. It seems to be the 'new buzz word' although it has been around for quite some time now.

It was great to see that the debate around craft was kept alive by the like of Alan Kitching and his letterpress work. Seeing these pieces in the flesh gave me great inspiration, rather than seeing them as thumbnails in books. The vibrancy of the colour made them hypnotic and I found myself wanting to go home immediately and 'do some work.'

Blog ImageThe sense of playfulness of the work left me wanting more. It is obvious there is a love of what he is doing and the contacts he and his wife Celia gave to the audience regarding letterpress workshops will no doubt be useful.

In stark contrast to this came the work of 'onedotzero' was decidedly high-tech. It may not be completely described as graphic design, although it has links with it. Shane Walter used a few case studies but it was the work of United Visual Artist or UVA that impressed me. They have done many pieces of visual work for bands, including back drop screens for the likes of Massive Attack. The project in particular Shane showed was a light installation for a show in Paris. The installation reacted to movement and music, so the audience had participation with these huge monolithic structures. See images below.

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The other speaker that was extremley good was Joel Veitch, with his website. He spoke about how some of the short 'films' he had done for fun and put on his website had attracted a lot of attention from ad agencies and eventually reworked to use for campaigns. The thread of his talk was that just by putting a project on youtube, even something fairly rough could have a massive effect, to the extent you never know how far it could go. The examples were some sketchy collage work to a low-fi song that became a cult hit called 'we like the moon', this became a commercial for Quiznos. Entertaining and very fun, worth checking out.

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