About Me

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Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom
I am currently studying Advertising and Brand Management at Staffordshire University - and love it! I am graduating June 2010 - nearly time to wiggle out of my University cocoon!

Monday, 9 November 2009

The big bad Wolff...

Many apologies, I have been a very busy undergraduate recently and haven't blogged for AGES! Thus meaning that i have a lot to talk about!!

Last week I was in the beautiful city of Liverpool, at the Liverpool Design Symposium to listen to the captivating and legend that is Michael Wolff. He was giving a talk on "Branding the City" which conveniently co-insides with my latest Uni project... re-branding the town of Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. I've never heard him speak before and i was genuinely captivated by all his views and opinions and his straight talking approach to the advertising industry. For anyone that doesn't know he was the second half of the iconic agency Wolff Olins (that is still very successful today, be it without Wolff)

He had a very philosophical theory, that design practitioners have 3 muscles... the inquisitive muscle, the appreciation muscle and the imagination muscle. All 3 of these must be present to really succeed and achieve in the design field, and I really love this theory! Without these 3 'muscles' then nothing can really be achieved. He also touched on the issue of 'like'.. how can advertisers and designers really know what everyone likes in order to please them all? We don't really ever know why we like something and there isn't a set route or instruction, it just either ascetically pleases us or intrigues us to think more about it. This got me thinking is branding about creating desire or like-ness or is it about giving something a meaning and being? And how do agencies or designers really address all these issues? After all a bad experience that someone may have can overshadow there overall opinion of that thing. Just like if you visit a city you've never been to before and the first thing that attracts your attention is litter, your impression of that town will always begin with the litter...

Wolff talked openly about his experiences within the advertising industry, saying that he feels some agencies have become more concerned with the salaries and cars than producing truly inspiring like-able work, and also that he felt they lacked courage and passion to be daring with design, sticking with the mundane norm. This is a brave opinion to put out there and i feel he isn't completely right. There are some agencies who truly do push the boundaries with their work considering all target markets, or really know the ones they aim to attract and these get it right!

He left us with a final thought on city branding... Its an easy illusion to brand a city, but it only covers up what is wrong at the heart of that city. Do things that reach people, touch them and truly gives them an experience.

I hope this inspires!

Toodles for now.

T.H.G x.x

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