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Posted by sueb on March 28, 2014  |   No Comments »

Win a whisky sauce gift pack, courtesy of family.

Posted by family on December 17, 2013  |   18 Comments »

It’s Christmas! And this year, we’ve been very well behaved; we’ve created the branding, packaging, point of sale, and shiny new website for The Whisky Sauce Co.

To celebrate the launch, we’re giving away a scrumptious pack of sweet whisky sauces to one lucky winner.
All you need to do, to be in with a chance of winning, is to leave a comment on this post by Wednesday 18th December telling us what your favourite Christmas food is. The winner will be announced at 5pm on Wednesday 18th December.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, filled with fun, festivities and (best of all) family.

Is the Internet taking over our lives?

Posted by family on November 27, 2013  |   No Comments »

Amanda Jones, Student at the University of Strathclyde & Intern at Family.
Is the internet taking over our livesOkay, perhaps that is overdramatic – as far as I’m aware there is not an army of impersonating computers on the loose though I can’t help but wonder whether the world could cope without the Internet.

I love the Internet, I really do. To set the scene, on a particularly lazy night it would not be unheard of for me to check my bank balance online (sob), check what’s on the TV online (why don’t I just check the TV guide?!), order a pizza online, and then sate my appetite for clothing by buying things, you guessed it, ONLINE! When I get lost (sadly a situation I find myself in far too often) I don’t pull out a map, I turn to my dear friend Google. I could not live my life without this invention and I am not in a minority.

A result of the Internet is that the world has now become a global community, which is great for staying in contact with friends abroad. It is genuinely easier for me to message my friend in South Africa than getting hold of my socialite Nonna who lives 10 minutes away. She is constantly talking to her friends but, unbelievably, not through tweets or Facebook messages: she actually meets her friends… in person… to talk to them. Even more amazing, when they are playing cards there are no interruptions with phone calls, WhatsApp’s or, worst of all, high importance emails. It genuinely perplexes me that with people’s schedules becoming increasingly hectic it is near impossible to organise a non-work meeting, but when the girls eventually do catch up there is more “I’d better answer this/reply to this” than actual face-to-face interaction.

We are constantly speaking but never actually talking. Our society has never been more connected but, at the same time, people have never been more isolated. It is possible to live your life without ever stepping out of the house. Watching a new movie used to involve meeting friends, getting popcorn, buying a ticket and so much excitement. Now in reality I find myself not being able to wait for a film to be released in the UK – watching it online, by myself. Admittedly, I still enjoy the film, though I do wonder if great directors such as Tarantino expected their masterpiece to be viewed, these days most likely, in a dark bedroom, on a laptop where the sound doesn’t work properly because you spilt a gin and tonic on it last week.

Maybe it’s just me but I do wonder if what was once a life enriching technology has become a shackle that weighs society down. We spend on average 3.6 hours a day using social media. There are even detox programmes available to escape from technology. Whilst I don’t suggest this, I can say going for a walk or turning your phone off for an hour is liberating. The Internet has become an essential facet of our daily life, I just hope that social media does not actually replace our social life. Perhaps I am 20 going on 70 but it is worth remembering that receiving a hug from an old friend feels ten times better than a retweet.

A Cover Up

Posted by family on August 20, 2013  |   No Comments »

I was surprised to see that The Co-operative have recently announced that they intend to cover up ‘lads mags’ such as Nuts and Zoo. The announcement follows a campaign from UK Feminista and others, leaving the likes of Loaded, Nuts and Zoo needing to implement the changes by 9th September. It has led to healthy debate on the subject and Nuts have displayed outrage at the new ruling.

Top Shelf MagazinesNuts are right to be concerned. The covering up of the main sales draw could be disastrous for the magazine. Magazines are essentially impulse purchases, and drawing consumers in with a shiny cover and a few eye-catching headlines is key.

There are other worries surrounding the sector, recent studies that have claimed that the rise in smartphones is damaging magazine sales. More consumers than ever are browsing through the internet on their smartphones instead of flicking through a magazine whilst queuing. The move towards self-checkouts has also seen declines in the purchase of impulse goods in the US, something that will no doubt spread though the UK with the proliferation of the self-checkout.

So Nuts have decided to fight back against the Co-op’s ruling that ‘lads’ mags must come in modesty bags within 6 weeks or be removed from sale in their stores. They have launched a sharable image which labels the ruling as ‘blatant censorship’, a phrase that has done it’s job in triggering high emotions on twitter (#KeepTheLadsMags). A number of supporters are also pointing out that women’s celebrity, fashion and health magazines all use images of women in bikinis, or less, on their covers and are not subject to the new rules.

It doesn’t seem like Nuts is going to win this one, however there is something to be said about the glossy black modesty covers employed by The Cooperative. Ironically they seem to stand out more, and suggest far worse than the images that are probably concealed beneath…

Family Favourites: Our Top 5 of the Fringe.

Posted by family on August 20, 2013  |   No Comments »

It’s that time of year again in Edinburgh. The sun is shining (sporadically), the locals are careering about in defiance of the slow-paced, pavement-hogging tourists, and the thespians, musicians, artists and all manner of bizarre human beings are congregating, en masse, along a particularly spectacular Royal Mile. Aside from an influx of individuals dressed as mythological creatures, the Fringe attracts a vast variety of creative talent – culminating in the world’s largest arts festival.

We’ve handpicked the crème de la crème of all things weird and wonderful for you to watch in the last remaining weeks of Fringe festivities.

BiancoBianco https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/dance-and-physical-theatre/bianco

Time: 14.30, 20.00

Venue: NoFit State Big Top

Contemporary circus combines live music, dance, stage design, text and film with traditional circus skills. Today, NoFit State is the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company. Rooted in the travelling community who arrive, pitch a tent, drum up an audience, then leave with only flattened grass and a memory to prove they were ever there: this show is certainly not to be missed.

shakespeareShit-faced Shakespeare https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/shit-faced-shakespeare

Time: 23.20

Venue: C Venues

With one utterly sobering Shakespearean play and one utterly shit-faced actor, the magnificent Bastard Productions are back for another round at the Fringe. Every night, a cast member is randomly selected to drink a hearty amount of liquor before the show. We challenge thee to stifle a giggle, as one exceedingly merry cast member brandishes a not-so-lethal light sabre, in place of a sword.

boy_with_tapeThe Boy With Tape On His Face: More Tape https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/boywith-

tape-on-his-face-more-tape

Time: 21.40

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard

The boy is back with another spectacularly silent sell-out show. Performances on the Royal Variety, BBC Two’s ‘Comedy Proms’, ITV 1′s ‘Comedy Rocks’ and BBC Three’s ‘Live at the Fringe’ are a testament to Sam Wills’ comedic genius – quirkily packaged in this endearing Parisian mime act.

anatomyAnatomy of the Piano https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/music/anatomy-of-the-piano

Time: 21.50

Venue: Summerhall

Within the intimate confines of a Victorian Anatomy Lecture Theatre, our narrator, Will Pickvance, begs the question: “Where exactly is the heart of the piano?”

This talented pianist, composer and entertainer will entrance you with a surreal and mesmerising meander through, what can only be described as: ‘part piano recital, part fantasy lecture’.

Phill JupiterPhill Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Zeitgeist Limbo https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/spokenword/

phill-jupitus-is-porky-the-poet-in-zeitgeist-limbo

Time: 17.00

Venue: The Jam House

They finally caught Jeremy fucking a car” quips the QI regular during his rendition of ‘Jeremy Clarkson: Car-fucker’. Jupitus harks back to his spoken-word roots in this offbeat performance and, as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, there’s no excuse not to see it.

IKEA

Posted by family on August 20, 2013  |   No Comments »

On a slightly stressful trip to IKEA at the weekend I was resolutely underwhelmed. The food was luke warm, it takes forever to find the furniture you want in the warehouse and then when you get it home thereʼs a vital component missing to build the coveted ʻRaskʼ.

However, even though the reality sometimes doesnʼt live up to the image, IKEA remains one of my all time favourite brands. So, in a quest to find out just why the IKEA brand is so effective I had a look back over a few IKEA campaigns that have stolen the spotlight.

The Quirky Outdoor Campaign

ikea red bookcasesIn 2012, IKEA launched a brilliant experiential campaign in Australia. Bright red IKEA shelves, which were in place for just one day, offered the surfers of Bondi Beach thousands of books to choose from and the public were invited to swap one of their own books or make a donation, with money raised going to The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

The One with the Cats

Ikea white catsIn 2010, Mother released 100 cats into the Wembley branch of the store. They then created an advert full of lots of slow motion shots of beautiful grey and white cats jumping off the furniture. The advert highlighted how comfortable IKEA products are and Ikea also released a light-hearted video showing the making of the advert. The YouTube films garnered over 4m views between them and the website was visited by 225k individuals, spending an average of 5 minutes each.

The One that IKEA didn’t know about

Created by independent ad agency Drogo5 and without IKEAʼs input, this was truly a stroke of genius. Hotmalm.com is a fake porn site, the star being the sensuous Malm bed.

Every link takes you to the IKEA website. Additional features include ‘webcams’ showing ‘Malm on Malm action’ and ‘Live Web Malms’.

www.hotmalm.com

The One with that song

kitchenIKEAʼs Kitchen advert is backed by the unbelievably catchy remake of Jona Lewie’s 1980 hit ‘You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties’. The advert features an eclectic mix of characters wandering around an array of unfolding IKEA kitchens and shows a perfect blend of product, setting and song.

There have been many other adverts from IKEA but they all seem to have one thing in common – they are incredibly product-centric. Whether itʼs a full kitchen or a bookcase the focus is always leading the consumer to the checkout point.

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Posted by family on November 1, 2012  |   No Comments »

Going for Gold – Olympic Ad Campaigns.

Posted by family on September 12, 2012  |   No Comments »

Hi I’m Lee, Family’s newest intern. After an amazing summer of sport, the highlight without a doubt being the London Olympics, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few of my thoughts on some of the recent campaigns featured throughout the games (its not like there has been a shortage to choose from either as everything from insurance to fabric freshener caught the Olympic bug).

I was very impressed by channel 4’s ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign as it attempted to change the public’s attitude towards the Paralympics, moving the focus from the athletes disabilities to their sporting prowess and athletic abilities. The 90 second film aimed to attract a new audience to the games with its upbeat soundtrack, provided by HipHop group Public Enemy, and inspirational footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuAPPeRg3Nw

As with all major events across the world the Olympic games has experienced a huge amount of ambush advertising as no one wants to miss out on the biggest sporting event in the world and the large audience it attracts. Naturally there has been a lot of controversy regarding some campaigns given the strict Olympic rules on this form of marketing. The most notable example being Nikes campaign which aimed to compete against its rival Adidas, an official sponsor of the games, and one that paid more than £700 million for the privilege. No wonder Nike managed to ruffle a few feathers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYtMkhfQfa4

Whilst many of the Olympic focused campaigns have adopted an emotional or serious tone, there are those who look to use the games for comedic purposes. One of my favourite adverts (despite only being a parody ad for entry into The Drum’s Fauxlympics contest) has to be DMS’s advert for Durex, It is definitely the wittiest Olympic themed ad I’ve seen.

Another ingenious ad, and excellent bit of reactive marketing, is Specsavers response to the flag mix up at Hampden Stadium, where the North Korean women’s football team walked off the pitch before kick off because the South Korean flag was mistakenly shown alongside the North Korean team line up. This ad was placed in the Daily Telegraph, and yes, the strap line reads ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’.

A ‘Back in the Days’ Moment – Letraset

Posted by sueb on February 21, 2012  |   No Comments »

Whilst tidying up some shelves at work I came across a rather dusty Letraset folder containing two dozen old marker pens and it gave me a back in the days moment… Letraset dry-transfer sheets…

Letraset, is a British company that made (and still makes) a variety of graphic art supplies. It was the quality brand of the industry and you couldn’t call yourself professional without using at least one of the company’s products.

There were plenty of other brands of dry-transfer type – Format, Chartpack, Meccanorma – but Letraset was not only the best made, they had the nicest type selection, too. Many Letraset-exclusive designs have become standards of the type world.

You could tell serious graphic designer by whether they had a special tool just for burnishing dry-transfer type. A ball-point pen would do, but there were a number of dedicated products for the task, including what amounted to a big ball-point pen with no ink in it.

Letraset had special dry-transfer sheets just for architects and if your company was big enough, there were custom-made logo sheets.

They even had clip-art sheets. Like almost all clip art, you couldn’t imagine ever actually using them, though I have to guess sometimes artists did, if only for comps. Let’s also not forget that in those days you were certain to burn through a lot of registration marks, which Letraset made in sheet and roll form.

If you were ultra-cool or worked at a big-enough design studio, you had your own special cabinet just for dry-transfer type. This was a good thing because the enemy of dry-transfer was dust or dirt of any kind. You had to treat the sheets with tender loving care or the letters would crack and peel.

But Letraset was a lot more than just dry-transfer products. The company made a wide range of graphic arts supplies, most of the sort that we don’t use anymore.

There were two distinct processes in those days: making “comps” and making camera-ready artwork. Back in the days, though, showing art in color was not all that easy. Making colored type, for example, was a complex process that rarely worked, and printing in color required layers of acetate overlays, one for each color.

Letraset’s products included border sheets, shading film, and various textures, which, when applied in enough layers, generated odd moiré patterns and printing disasters. The artist had to pick the resolution of the screens in advance based on the printing method being used.

No art studio would be complete without an assortment of toxic aerosol products, which were necessary for gluing and adding protective coatings to keep the dry-transfer type intact.

Letraset licensed the Pantone color library and manufactured a variety of Pantone products (colored art boards and transparent sheets, markers, etc.). Letraset was partially responsible for Pantone’s success in the graphic arts market.

Back in the days when the graphic designer had a toolbox filled with magic markers, rotary pens and tubes of gouache, a wad of crumpled Letraset sheets wasn’t too far from his or her clutches.

These were the days when Letraset formed the backbone of visual communication and, for many years, this dry transfer system was the means of creating anything from logotypes, headlines and copy in both design and advertising.

Of course there were alternatives but few had the desire or skill to spend their days under a Grant projector, zooming with one handle and focusing with the other to create the template for a carefully calculated line of copy. With the correct spelling and the desired kerning this then had to be copied onto the artwork to be inked in.

Letraset came in a wide variety of typefaces from typographers such as David Quay, Alan Meeks and Tim Donaldson. There were sheets of symbols too, in a range of colours and sizes. The sheets consisted of both upper and lower case characters together with numbers and symbols. There were more vowels than consonants, very few ‘Q’s and ‘Z’s and when the sheet became sparse an ‘A’ was formed out of an upside down ‘V’ and and ‘I’! Letraset was a way of achieving something relatively quickly but it was also limiting and undoubtedly took some of the shine away from the beautifully crafted artworks that preceded its invention.

Nowadays, the crumpled wads of Letraset sheets have become another discarded relic in the age of the digital revolution.

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