Q: Where can we explore the complex to make things clear?


The University of Central England has excelled itself once more. Not only does the latest advert look as bad as all the previous ones, it barely even makes sense the first time you read it. The colour balance is wrong, the composition is clumsy and the typography is abismal.

Even from 10 feet away, on the lower level of the tram, I can tell exactly what the problem is. It’s not the poor sucker who designed it, it’s the marketing department of UCE Inc. A few years ago, Tris, Tom and I were asked to design a new poster for the School of Housing. We were given a set of rules that were not be broken: the image must be x number of millimetres from top and y from the bottom, the text must be z points tall and Frutiger etc. We tried to bend rather than break, blurred the boundaries here and there, adjusted it to make it work. Initially the client was happy, but when it was passed up the line for approval it came straight back with the instruction to change it. You can see the results in our gallery.

The irony is that the cheeky monkey twins featured in the advert (who look as confused as I am) are from the Fine Art school and could probably do a better job with a few potato prints.