Cheltenham Design Festival: Factor 3's take. - Factor 3

Cheltenham Design Festival: Factor 3’s take.

I went to see ‘When did Advertising become such a dirty word?’ with Laura Jordan Bambach, at the Cheltenham Design Festival.

When I booked the tickets I was expecting a defence to the too often asked question ‘Why do you work in advertising? It makes women feel bad about themselves.’ I work in this industry because I love it. And to clarify, I don’t work on any accounts with the sole purpose of making anyone feel bad about themselves.

However, the talk I went to see was not what I expected. Laura gave us a show reel of advertising that has done real good for people around the world. But a defence to why she worked in advertising or why young people trying to get into advertising should go for it didn’t come. In fact, she said that she is ashamed to admit that she works in this industry. Not because she doesn’t like creativity, but because some people think that it is evil.

The main point to her presentation is that you should always try to do some good with your work, no matter what the client business. I enjoyed the case studies she compiled on when brands do/create something for the greater good. One that particularly stood out for me was superhero chemotherapy covers for children, helping them to get the courage they need to fight cancer.

An image of an ad from Warner Brothers, DC Comics and AC Comargo Cancer Centre that dresses chemotherapy up as a SuperFormula to fight cancer.

Warner Brothers and DC Comics have teamed up with AC Comargo Cancer Center in Brazil to dress chemotherapy up as a Superformula to Fight Cancer.

One of the things that stuck with me is how, even at the level that she is, and with such strong opinions about how some brands conduct themselves (such as banks), it still didn’t stop her working on those accounts. So whilst I commend her sell on doing the best work that you can no matter the brief, I struggled to find inspiration from someone who is ashamed to admit that she works in this amazing industry.  For me, the synopsis just didn’t match the film.

Here is what other members of Factor 3 thought about the Cheltenham Design Festival…

Victoria: I went to see ‘Devining the Future’, an interesting and inspirational interview with Harriet Vine, one half of Tatty Devine (my words not theirs). Harriet told the story of her college days studying art, to the market stall where they sold leather cuffs, through to the successful enterprise that Tatty Devine is today. A lot of the F3 ladies are customers of TD (myself included) and I was interested to know the story behind the company and what inspires them creatively. Harriet was incredibly down to earth, articulate and very engaging. Loved the David and Goliath battle with Claire’s Accessories as well as how her mother would allow her to bunk off school on Fridays so they could shop for fabric and dress patterns.

A very enjoyable hour which will see me hitting the TD website this weekend for new, gorgeous stuff.

Daniel: ‘A good idea allows you to blur ‘with Erik Kessels. With a back catalogue of work and clients to drool over, you could forgive Eric Kessels for simply delivering a ‘best of’ slide show, but instead he delivers a wonderful meandering guide to his approach to his creative life.

With a portfolio of work that constantly begs the question ‘how on earth did they manage to get this past the client?’ and personal work that shows real insight and humour. Eric Kessels is a storyteller, speaking with a comfortable passion and leaving you with all that you can hope for from any talk, feeling inspired and wanting for more.

Donna: ‘Design can make your feet itch’ with Jamie Ellul. Good talk about how Jamie progressed and is progressing through his design career. Inspiring for students/junior designers who have a passion to succeed. His luck in where he started on a placement, to gaining a full time job and has now worked on clients such as Channel 4, Royal Mail in his own agency Magpie Studio, before a lifestyle change and now freelancing to be able to spend more time with his family.

A motivational speech to those who want to succeed in this industry. I’ll leave you with his words of wisdom:  ‘Comfort kills creativity’, which I think is true in various ways.

Liz: Jack Schulze, founder of design consultancy BERG and co-creator of the Little Printer, delivered a funny and informative talk about the emerging landscape of immaterials, new technologies and looks at how they will affect design.

Top three messages I took from it:

  1. User interaction is always key.
  2. Doug Hill wrote a lovely quote about Steve Jobs:  “We believe that its technology married with the humanities that yield the result that makes the heart sing.” Implies that Apple products have soul, and people are attracted to those products because they feel that soul, consciously and unconsciously.
  3. Read “The Filth” by Grant Morrison, a graphic novel which apparently defies all logical storytelling, with its nonsensical plotlines and disregard for all dimensions!

See what others are saying on Twitter about the event.

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