“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
One of those sayings that seem it will forever be valid. I remember this ideal being quoted and portrayed in some of my favourite time-wasters from days gone by e.g. Bambi and The Pagemaster. Yet as we grow up, this piece of advice becomes lost in superficiality and replaced by the importance of good presentation equalling good reputation. Whether it is lost from inevitable judgement of peers, romantic interests or objects, we ALL become guilty of sometimes judging a book by its cover. It is why I believe we then come to have a funny relationship with the logo and brand packaging. We don’t want to become fools of consumerism, but we can’t help it! Choosing a certain product because it is visually appeasing. Buying a product because knowledge of said product says something about whom we are and what we have come to learn in life. Realising you rather like certain logos, packaging or campaigns. They can look good and they can be clever. These are all factors of logos and packaging that help to seal the deal.
The Quiet Shop in No Noise at Selfridges attempted to question the power of branding within logos and bring people back to the bare basics. Producing a line of iconic and treasured items with parts of their aesthetic removed challenged the poignancy of image. Although it was still clear to see what brand the product belonged to, you get their drift. The No Noise campaign implemented in January (2013), came just after the yearly hectic rush of buying everything in sight for one day of consistent hedonism – a time we have grown to both love and hate. Remembering its roots through the recreation of The Silence Room is a space originally conjured by founder Harry Gordon Selfridge in a bid to relax shoppers and remind them all is well. In the 21st century edition rules in this area included no shoes and no phones (or other technical devices I assume). Apparently No noise is ‘an initiative that goes beyond retail’, however, it is clear Selfridges realise the irony of it all as they go on to say goods from The Quiet Shop will become ‘exclusive collector’s items of the future’. Many of those available sold out within days. The only reason this outcome was inevitable lay in the choice of products up for grabs. With most of them being iconic symbols of Britain and the other few now having long-term international status, stripping away bits of their logo meant nothing, the key was in the years of clever campaigns, branding and visibility that predated No Noise. These items had already been judged and approved.
It is clear logos are still important in our buying choices but do we decide this or is it decided for us? We all feel in control of how we spend our money because after all we are the most prominent agents involved in such transactions, but what about all the advertising or sometimes lack thereof, that help attribute to an image with which we would like association to. In addition the inescapable reality of judging what is in front of you doesn’t help. Being aware of how others perceive you, your ideals and lifestyle on the basis of such choices, means that as much as we are in control in the physical sense, others have a huge influence we at times can not see. As we are constantly being judged and constantly judging, it seems who decides how important they are switches back and forth from us to them.
Designers like Moschino and Versace reference logos and iconography in a way I am quite obsessed with: humour, style and irony. I love traditional styles of logos as well as the in-your-face-brash and conceptual styles we see more of today. I am happy to say BOTH are still going strong.
having a laugh
Tom Sachs making Mcdonalds look bog-standard with the help of Kate Moss.
Corey Holms plays with the rocky relationship between nature and corporations in a potential design for a publication. Highlighting a range of companies that use symbols of nature as their logos.
Posted in Art, Fashion, Film
Tagged activism, advertising, anti-corporate, Barbara Kruger, billboards, Corey Holms, Don't judge a book by its cover, First impressions, graffiti, irony, logo, morals, No Noise, packaging, Selfridges, The Quiet Shop, Tom Sachs
less is more because more is a bore
The Gold Painted Stripper by Weegee. 1950.
Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield flauntin’.
The good ol’ days of Burton. Edward Scissorhands. 1990.
Girl and her pet monkey along the Arabian Sea. Mumbai, India.
Brandi Quinones by Ellen Von Unwerth. 1999.
Naomi putting it down!
Anna Nicole Smith swingin’.
Wrapped up in cotton. Still from Home. 2009. Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
1960 by Dagoberto Martinez.
Potts Point by Andrew Stark.
People watching. Elliot Erwitt. Madrid, Spain. 1995. Clothed on the left, nude on the right.
by Andrew Stark.
2 More Minutes by Josef Smukrovich. 1962.
Gli Italiani Si Voltano by Mario De Biasi. Milan. 1954. ‘The Italians turn’
A stripper named Dee Light by George Silk. Wallingford, Connecticut. 1966.
by Alba Yruela Xifro.
Photo used for a Chakachas record cover. Chakachas LP. 1972.
Posted in Fashion, Film, Honeys, Music, Photography
Tagged Alba Yruela Xifro, Andrew Stark, Anna Nicole Smith, Brandi Quinones, cartoons, Chakachas, Dagoberto Martinez, Edward Scissorhands, Ellen von Unwerth, Elliot Erwitt, George Silk, Gianni Versace, Jayne Mansfield, Josef Smukrovich, keep things simple, Mario De Biasi, minimal, Naomi Campbell, nudity, simple life, Sophia Loren, stripper, understated, Weegee, Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Two Cars, One Night. A great short from New Zealand. After looking in many schools, the director/writer, Taika Waititi, managed to find them all in one school not far from the scene’s location. All three of them were inexperienced actors, hard to believe cos they make it look easy peasy.
in some places they do still make ’em like they used to
Not much to say about Audrey Hepburn that you probably don’t already know…she was amazing!!! So I will leave you with some of my favourite snaps of her instead.
Photos By Bob Willoughby
Reading a letter from home.
On the set of ‘Green Mansions’.
With James Garner on the set of ‘The Children’s Hour’.
On the set of ‘My Fair Lady’.
The Audrey Hepburn rose.
She adored gardening and has a rose named after her.
A poem by Sam Levenson, that was a favourite of Audrey’s. Brilliant words of advice to live life by.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run your fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows,
and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!
Photos by Mark Shaw
1953. On the set of ‘Sabrina’
1953. LIFE magazine.
1954. ‘Sabrina’. Hepburn regularly bicycled from the movie studio’s make up department to the set.
1953. ‘Sabrina’. Used in LIFE magazine.
Both photographers have their own printed collections of the amazing Hepburn, I badly want the Mark Shaw one.
Posted in Book, Fashion, Film, Magazine, Music, Photography
Tagged 50s, Audrey Hepburn, black and white, Bob Willoughby, Green Mansions, Hollywood glamour, La vie en rose, LIFE books, LIFE magazine, Louis Armstrong, My Fair Lady, poem, poetry, rose, Sabrina, Sam Levenson, The Children's Hour, vintage glamour
‘Meshes of the Afternoon.’ 1943.
Swallows by Vladimir Tolman. 1930s.
by Ellen Von Unwerth.
Posted in Film, Magazine, Photography
Tagged 30s, 40s, dancers, Ellen von Unwerth, hair, jump, Jumping fox, Meshes of the Afternoon, Ryan McGinley, Vladimir Tolman