29 October 2013

Gingerbread men

By chance as I was nibbling away at my morning tea I came across this picture that made me smile.

Not only is this image enough to make me smile on its own, but that's what my little snack happened to consist of... a cup of coffee & a gingerbread man.

These are some of my gingerbread men. Not my best decorating job, but yummy nonetheless :)

If you're looking for a good spicy gingerbread recipe try this one from Greggs:
I'll admit upfront though that I do make a couple of tweaks :)

First I replace a 1/4 of a cup of the golden syrup with molasses, I also add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground chilli powder. Chilli you say? Don't worry it doesn't taste hot, it just seems to bring out the ginger, making it extra zingy :)



Preheat oven to 170°C.
Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large pot and bring to the boil.  Boil rapidly for several minutes and stir as it boils. 
Sift the flour, Gregg's Ground Ginger and Gregg's Ground Mixed Spice into a large bowl.  Pour melted butter mix into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Mix baking soda and milk in a cup and pour into the dough, stirring until it is well combined.  Rest dough for 5-10 minutes covered in cling film.
Roll out on lightly floured board (2-4 mm thick).  Use cutters to cut various shapes.  Put onto baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Cool.

22 October 2013

Evolution of the brand logo

Things change, we know that, but how do things change when there is "marketing" behind them. More specifically how do brand logos change? And what are the people who change them trying to make us think or feel? Do they reflect anything about the society they're trying to interact with?

Take a look at these logos and see what you think...

The first logo is uses a busy font and is hard to read by today's standards. It doesn't take long for a bolder more readable font to be introduced - something that can be read better from a distance. Then we get the introduction of colour, and by the '60s a very simple font. By 2008 a very bold move is made - the assumption that text is no longer necessary, that this brand is so well recognised a simple tri-colour circle is all that is needed.

I think comparing the changes in Coke to Pepsi is very interesting. This brand has been a lot more consistent image wise, colour being the only real change. Yet despite not having the readability of the short '80s font has I doubt there is anyone who doesn't recognise this logo. Coke has also made an assumption, where Pepsi said they didn't need text at all, Coke has said everyone knows our logo, it doesn't matter if our font is super easy to read or not, people know us. 

Apple: such a change from the first logo! But then they find something that works and sick with it. The colour changes they only reflection of changing times.

This is an interesting one because it is such a reflection of the history of the company. Four separate entities join with each logo reflected. Then things are simplified, we lose the logos but we keep the linking image. 

 Okay so the first three logos don't quite count as it's only by the time we get to the forth logo, "International Business Machines" with a globe, that we hit the present company name. Nonetheless like Apple there is a big shift from the globe logo to the simple IBM. Again staying with what works.

I've got to thank Bored Panda for these - to see more go to Bored Panda

15 October 2013

the image of music

Have you ever wanted to see music? Or wondered if Daft Punk's music looks any different from Bach? That's right, see/looks, visual words not auditory ones. 

An incredible art exhibition asks the question - what does music look like? Not only that but it finds a way to answer that question. 'Sonic' is the latest project by German photographer Martin Klimas. Paint is put on top of a speaker and then music is played at full volume – creating explosions of colour. 

Bach, Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

Richard Wagner, Ride of the Valkyries 

Charlie Parker, Ornithology

Kraftwerk, Transistor 

 Daft Punk, Around the World

08 October 2013

Zombie Nouns

I went to a great talk by Helen Sword over the weekend (cool surname). She primarily helps academics be better writers, but a good sentence is a good sentence no matter the genre. One of the things she talked about really ticked my fancy: Zombie Nouns.

Zombie Nouns eat all the strong action words, verbs, adjectives and even other nouns, leaving the sentence to lurch forward. There is of course a real term for this nominalization (pretty much a zombie word all by its self).

However, I think Helen can describe this better than I ever could. Check out this video on zombie nouns :)