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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Collins’

Brian Collins Takes BIG Leave of Absence


head of Ogilvy’s Brand Innovation Group Brian Collins is taking an extended leave of absence starting in May of this year. He’ll be heading to China to work on a personal design project with students. It also looks like with Collins leaving they’re reverting back to the original “BIG,” since the announcement that went out to Ogilvy employees called it the “Brand Integration Group” again. We’re so confused. From that announcement:

Brian’s legacy at Ogilvy includes an outstanding body of award-winning work for such diverse clients as Coca-Cola, Motorola, Kodak, Hershey, Jaguar, American Express and most recently, the ground-breaking Helios House for BP.

But equally important to these accomplishments, Brian built an outstanding creative team of brand designers, brand strategists and brand enthusiasts who have enhanced the luster and reputation of our company.

The announcement closes with this uplifting quote:

And we remind ourselves of the wisdom of David Ogilvy‘s oft-repeated axiom: “Change is our lifeblood. Stagnation, our death knell.”

Is that t-shirt material or what?

Jens Gehlhaar and Somi Kim Dish On Graphic Design


Two Brand names took the stage for the first session of the Schools of Thoughts conference: Jens Gehlhaar of Brand New School and Somi Kim from LA’s Brand Integration Group (you heard us right, it seems BIG/NY is “Innovating” while BIG/LA is still “Integrating”). The question “What is graphic design and where is it headed?” was answered by these two practitioners who occupy opposite ends of the graphic design spectrum.

Gehlhaar focused on what they do over at BNS that isn’t considered graphic design. Apparently posters created as production designs for a Coke commercial they directed can’t be entered in an AIGA competition for typography. An animated Python-esque spot for MTV counts as illustration. A live-action commercial for IMF has lots of graphic design in it, but it’s still not design. “That’s part of the reason we’re not really good at anything,” Gehlhaar said, “Because graphic designers can do so many things.” But are they even designers over there? BNS is identified not as a design studio but as a “bicoastal directorial collective.”

When Kim took the stage, the tone was ultimately more personal. While she also sees graphic design as the endless pursuit of many different skills, she didn’t talk about the strategy-oriented/immaterial design created at BIG, but rather her own trend analysis about where graphic design was going. One fact that made us shake our heads in disbelief: An extremely high percentage of high schoolers today expect to become famous (ooookay…). Kim also advocated “slow design” and a new international design movement, akin to the Al Gore Show.

What Kim and Gehlhaar both agreed on was that two things needed to be emphasized in education to address their concerns: type and craft. Type, in the sense that it’s the only thing that designers can truly own, said Gehlhaar (makes sense, since as Kim pointed out, “graphic” comes from the Greek word for writing), and craft, which they explained differently, but we’ll go ahead and say that it’s something you hone, over time, to help communicate an idea even more effectively. And you better be damn good at it or no one will be paying attention.

Listen, You Guys, Sometimes Food Packaging Is Really Bad! Seriously!


We realize that you may, at some point in the future, want to write a story like this. Or one like this. So we’ll make it easy: If you ever get hired by a newspaper to write a “design story” about annoying supermarket packaging, here’s all you have to do:

1) Set your tale in the deep, deplorable canyons of your local grocer. Be sure to allude to the fact that you sensed something was up while filling your cart with what you previously thought of as innocent, non-branded food.

2) Beef up your descriptions of the horrific visual assault with these words (pick three): screaming, bovine jig, crayon-bright, golden sunlight, verdant, sax-playing, bilious, garish.

3) Call a designer at Pentagram for a quote expressing their displeasure through a metaphor that describes a downward trend. If you must, call Brian Collins for clever one-liner to reaffirm your position.