Tuesday, July 31, 2007

a little self indulgent >> more france stuff

yes I know you are probably a bored of france but it is one of those days, it has been sunny and warm. so late this afternoon we got the camping stuff out to make sure it was all ok and pitched the two tents we are taking in the front garden.
I know we are not going to france for over a week but carol is getting excited, she still only has a few shifts left.
I am on summer break but still have to write the september's surfing article for Go2 magazine, before we go as it has to go to press early-mid august. the august issue is out and a good one .
I am also playing around with another project a complete re-design of an academic web site, the deadline is september so still early, and I am still thinking about it.

any way these three pictures will hopefully sum up a part of our next surf trip to south west france (basque country).


Monday, July 30, 2007

cars >> fuel etc.

I went to a kind of summer carnival thing over the weekend luckily the weather was ok. what I didn't know was there was a small car show as well. I spent ages boring my 9 year old showing him the cars that I wanted when I was a child they had even a ford escort mexico there, I really thought they were cool in the 70's. I remember the ford zodiac, and just had to get a picture.

there was also a kind of gathering of smart cars, the first thing my son did when we saw them all was laugh! I know it is not green or right, and as the owner of a 4x4 I am not really doing my bit as far as green transport but still it gave me something to think about.

Friday, July 27, 2007

it's a nice idea >> local shops

you would think that living in the area I do (cornwall). local shops would be successful but that is just not the case. we have many shops geared totally for the seasonal visitors, selling tourist trinket stuff (probably made in china).
but more and more the big super-stores/supermarkets the nearest an 18 mile round trip. but we use it most weeks it is a shame that local shops just cannot compete, and that the price is all that seems to matter.
oh well! the video says it better than I can.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

more marketing >> rip curl

more on marketing, the surfing industry really has grabbed the marketing guys and gone full out. never mind the mildly amusing renault/rip curl TV adverts in the UK.
but surfing the rip curl way seems still seems to be for every-one except people who actually surf. probably because that is where the money is, real surfers never have any money.

next week down here in the south west the rip curl boardmasters will be under way. as a side show there actually will be some surfing going on. along with the 'nuts magazine' beach babes, a car show, a music festival, and official music festival, a beach festival and all in the name of rip curl.
don't misunderstand me I am not against the rip curl boardmasters, it is a fantastically well organised important event for the south west of the UK.
any way on the subject of rip curl I do like their watches especially this one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

the dump >> recycling

first day of the summer break and already I was at the local waste disposal unit/recycling centre or the dump as it was. I was amazed at just how much it had changed since christmas. we have a good paper/plastic/glass/clothes/cardboard by-weekly recycling door-to-door collection but bigger things have to be taken to the unit so I loaded my truck and headed to the dump.
I had old wall tiles, bits of the old bathroom (basin toilet, etc.), even so old lead piping that we replaced. as well as on my second trip a large chair. another chair and a large sofa go in the morning. our new front room furniture (now in place) was bought second hand from some friend and nice it looks.

I was pleased to see that instead of a few huge dumpsters with anything chucked in them as is was ready for landfill. they were really strict with what went where and it really seemed that a very large percentage of the stuff was really being recycled.
living in the south west we have a large number of visitors in the summer so the amount of waste is enormous, and puts a great strain on the relatively poorly resourced local councils. it is good to see that the cornwall recycling guys have got things in place. just time for us to do our bit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

too tired >> school holidays

should be full of energy as the school holidays are here at last!
I am just too tired to get things going. I have two new web sites to re-design and a whole bunch of other stuff to get done, so today I am taking it easy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

le tour >> marketing

more french stuff but this is different. I am really interested in road racing/cycling and have always been excited by the 'le tour de france'. the most famous bike race in the world, and of course the most watched. with only a week to go the tour is still looking really interesting and still one of about 4 riders could win.

what I also have noticed is the way it is marketed the control that the french governing body in conjunction with cycling's governing body (based in switzerland) control every thing from the teams that are allowed to compete to the way all merchandise is designed and the way the logo is used. even the riders are paid in swiss francs!

sounds like a situation of complete dictatorship? I don't think so having been in france last week and experiencing the way the french people and visitors enjoy the racing as well as the TV coverage.

to me it is a creative experience. just look at the official web site le tour, and check a few of the competing team sites discovery for instance, along with confidis & liquigas just to get a flavour of the fantastically creative use of the internet to promote what is only a bike race!

Friday, July 20, 2007

just had to >> more french stuff

promise this will be the last picture from france. I had to include this one, taken on the second day of the ardeche descent while stopped for lunch. I have never enjoyed stale bread with tomatoes and plain crisps as much. washed down with a large amount of water as we had to drink at least three litres a day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

more french stuff >> because I like it

for no other reason than I like it. I have put this poster on my blog.

Check their website mmparis

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

france >> ardeche

I have been to the ardeche region of france many times but each time it is a wonderful surprise. this year the day before our two day descent we had the most amazing thunderstorms I have seen there.
lasting for over three hours whipping around the gorge emptying rain into the river and across the mountains. it almost meant we had to postpone the start for another day. we didn't and were treated to a fast roller coaster, rapid filled (canoe) paddle for the first day. the second day the river got less furious so the water became clear and the sunshine came out.

we had two great days on the river with a night under the stars on the river side, I can't say enough it was, and always has been a treat; no mobile telephone coverage, no wi-fi so no blogging and of course no email. in some areas you are more than 60km from the nearest house.
hope to be back again next year. (and yes it was work! as I was part of a team looking after 41 students).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

albert falzon >> photos >> film

I have been a fan of film-maker/photographer albert falzon, for over 30 years. but it is only recently that I have looked at his web site I must say that the design and layout is of now.

amazingly enough his work has been at the cutting edge of design (as far as the surfing world) in both film making and photography.

since the first film of his I watched, morning of the earth (early 1970's). I recently got a remastered copy of morning of the earth, that cost real money and worth every penny.
anyway check the site design, good and clean.

Monday, July 16, 2007

millau bridge >> montpellier >> architecture

I know always bore people with stuff whenever I go off on my visits work or otherwise. this time I hopefully be short enough with the words to not be so boring.
just have a look at these pictures (not fantastic quality they were taken on a mobile phone). I was travelling up to calais from narbonne plage, having spent a short time in montpellier.

my thinking is that the mad dog english often get things a wrong. It was about 2 in the afternoon and the place was empty (having a sleep probably) good for me just pasing through looking at the archictecture. the first is taken in montpellier walking along the river, (when I got home and showed ben. he said that looked nothing like gotham city of batman) I thought it did, no matter I liked it.

as to the millau bridge well I already new it was the highest in the world designed by norman foster one of my heroes. though I had never actually seen it. I think it is something very special indeed when you cross it and look back. well worth finding if you are in the south of france.

sorry there will be more about france as I am off back there for a holiday (rather than work which the ardeche/narbonne one was) in about 3 weeks!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

back from france >>

just a very quick one to say I will be back adding stuff from tomorrow, sorry but I am just too tired.
france was really good, no doubt I will be mentioning it in future posts.

Friday, July 06, 2007

week away >> france

I am off to france (the ardeche & nimes area) on saturday the 7th july, for the first of hopefully two visits over the coming summer. I will not be back until sunday 15th of july, so the next blog will be on monday 16th of july 2007.
hope you all have a good week.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

a quick flash >>

for a long time I was one of those people who didn't like flash introductions to websites preferring to go down the jakob nielsen route of usability when designing as well as using the internet, and I know that a few years ago the most clicked button on the internet was skip intro!

however I have changed, obviously with the brandband pretty much the norm. a good flash introduction can really help and differentiate design as far as a website. watching the way the students I teach use the internet gives me a real insight as to how people view things and I have noticed that a good short flash clip adds to the site. to this end I have started to add into some of the teaching I do flash animation especially centred around web intros. concentrating on a really tight, well thought out, well structured mini film.

one example I think works well is the intro on the kustom footwear site.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

doesn't have to be complicated >> to be good

occasionally I happen across a website that I like the look and feel of straight away. zapata design is just one, I am not even sure how I found it or what I was looking for. the site was designed by patricia zapata a graphic designer with over 10 years experience in professional services and consumer product design.

however a lot has been said recently after the cost of the london olympic logo (don't go there!) was made public. a bad example but it did get design and designers in the news.

it is difficult to put a value on ability, in my opinion the zapata web design gets close to a pure simple yet considered layout with a clear navigation with great subtle touches. and I just like it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

what I like about this >> paper first please

when you are teaching, especially if you happen to be in a good position/location and with a very well equipped room. (technologically I mean). it is all too easy for students to be controlled by the programmes they use.

macromedia flash for instance is initially a reasonably easy programme to use and students will happily make stick men move around a screen, but their work all looks the same and if it were on paper they would discard it. used well flash is fantastic and we are in a position to create very complex layered animations with students who are still in their early teens.

dreamweaver does the same it takes control of what the user is doing, and as the students are so used to having templates to fill in as with bebo, myspace and facebook they just follow and any creativity is lost.
please don't misunderstand me the programmes I mention are very good indeed, but only when the user is in full control. (I hate wizards as they used to be called).

that is why I keep the students away from the computers until they have planned what they want, with pen/paper and paper, this gives them time to think before the computer channels them in to the way it works. it sounds simple but I am scared that we could have a whole generation who expect everything to have a template. so they don't learn they just follow a few simple directions.

then they have to make the programme do it. it is of courses much harder but brings much better return, and that is why I like this......

a working drawing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

this tagging thing >> gizfolio guys

I normally have no interest in this tagging malarkey but as it was the gizfolio guys who tagged me I thought I would sort of comply.

A reminder of the Tag Rules…
One: Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
Two: People who are tagged need to write their own blog entry about their eight things and post these rules.
Three: at the end of your entry, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names/pseudonyms/blogs.
Four: Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

so here they are, 8 random facts about dgthekneelo

1, dgthekneelo is an amalgamation of david george the kneeboarder. I am a surfer but as well as surfing a normal well sort of normal surf board (currently an 6' 2" oxbow fish). I ride kneeboards and have quite a few, my favourite is a 5'10" blue and white swallow tailed quad (four finned), shaped by ex. world champion david parkes. (I am also a surf contest judge)

2, I once worked for malcolm mclaren, as a designer around the time of his album 'fans', he is a very cool man with a creativity to match. I also designed for monsoon, as well as terrance conran amongst others.

3, I initially trained as a textile designer, but have moved on to web design as well as designing brand images/logos for the surf/fashion industry. I consider that even after 27 years of trying to do it I am always learning new stuff, and am also in the lucky position of being able to teach it.

4, I still wish that I had trained as an architect, but I love what I do.

5, my dog, a parson terrier called 'rusty' (after the legendary surfer/shaper rusty presendorfer) did a poo in my sons bedroom on saturday morning. (not sure why?)

6, I eat muesli late at night even if I am not hungry, a habit started when I used to get home late after baseball training. I played infield ( 2b & 3b), catcher, as well as occasionally pitched (not all at the same time) for the b.h. red hats, the brighton jets and the south coast/brighton buccaneers in my baseball career. it has totally wrecked my body, I used to have a very good throwing arm. however I don't regret a minute of playing I had so many good times.

7, I actually like watching formula one motor racing even though it is such a huge waste of money and resources and is very loud. I felt guilty about it so to placate my guilt I made a pledge and made a donation and my name is on jenson buttons car this season.

8, I completely stopped drinking alcohol in october 1999, and have not started drinking and do not plan to drink alcohol (in the same quantity) ever again!
I have never and will never make people feel forced to reply, or do anything. I am only doing this as I have a lot of respect for the gizfolio guys.

I tag lgcreativity, as well as dan lockton
I know that I am supposed to tag a whole load more but most of them have been tagged before and will probably be bored of this tagging malarkey.