August, 2008

  • Steve Clayton

    Dedicated Follower of Fashion


    [images from Daily Mail]

    Long term followers of this blog will know I’m something of a Paul Smith fan (fanatic may be the right word actually but I digress…) and was recently invited to contribute to the Dedicated Follower of Fashion blog.

    Last week Harvey Nichols brought these two worlds together as they teamed up with Nick Park to get Wallace and Gromit help promote their new store in Bristol. I picked this up via the The Daily Mail Online and love the advert above with Wallace and Gromit resplendent in their Paul Smith kit. You can also check out Lady Campanula Tottington from Curse Of The Were-Rabbit in a “black draped dress by Alexander McQueen, fabulous red patent shoes by Christian Louboutin and a metallic bronze ‘Puffy’ bag by Zagliani”. Marvelous daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahling. A second photo of the dynamic duo shows them pictured for the campaign sporting Ray Bans, Alexander McQueen navy cashmere and silk suit along with a Dolce & Gabbana fitted white shirt and a Giorgio Armani tie.

    I know this is wildly off topic but I know at least 3 people who will find this post interesting :) For the rest, enjoy some multimedia by watching how the adverts were made

  • Steve Clayton

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet



    Ever wondered what that text is all about? I sort of knew but I’m a geek’s geek and like to find this stuff out. Fortunately, Laura Robinson pointed me to this explanation in a Microsoft KB article. 

    Although the phrase is nonsense, it does have a long history. The phrase has been used for several centuries by typographers to show the most distinctive features of their fonts. It is used because the letters involved and the letter spacing in those combinations reveal, at their best, the weight, design, and other important features of the typeface.
    A 1994 issue of "Before & After" magazine traces "Lorem ipsum ..." to a jumbled Latin version of a passage from de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, a treatise on the theory of ethics written by Cicero in 45 B.C. The passage "Lorem ipsum ..." is taken from text that reads, "Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit ...," which translates as, "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."
    During the 1500s, a printer adapted Cicero's text to develop a page of type samples. Since then, the Latin-like text has been the printing industry's standard for fake, or dummy, text. Before electronic publishing, graphic designers had to mock up layouts by drawing in squiggled lines to indicate text. The advent of self-adhesive sheets preprinted with "Lorem ipsum" gave a more realistic way to indicate where text would go on a page.

    Excellent, another mystery solved. Move along now please :)

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft Office Labs releases Chart Advisor



    Ever wanted to know what is the best chart type to represent the data set you have in Excel? Chart Advisor is here to help.

    The folks at Office Labs don’t rest on their laurels and have been busy building an advanced rules engine that scans your data for properties that inherently make good charts.  They then use that analysis to pick different chart types that will render graphs conveying useful information. With that magic done, Chart Advisor chooses some good combinations and presents them as small thumbnail previews in the recommendation gallery.

    Groovy. Download it now

  • Steve Clayton

    Intuit already delivering Software plus Services



    That’s the charge of Larry Dignan in his post on Microsoft talks software plus services; Intuit actually does it and though the post initially got my back up (XBOX Live is S+S for example) his post is good news – it’s another acknowledgement that S+S is the right approach over a pure SaaS approach. What we call S+S, Intuit calls “software advantaged services”. Shame they didn’t adopt S+S too but they want to differentiate themselves as expected. I think our marketing department marginally wins this one though :)

    As Larry says, the strategy is working for Intuit and “it can work for Microsoft too–if it can deliver”.

    We’ll deliver, I’m confident of that. In fact I’d suggest we already are but right now, I’m just happy that people are starting to see the sense in S+S.

  • Steve Clayton

    Tiger Woods goes viral


    I spotted this on Steve Rubel’s site earlier in the week and waited to make it a weekend post – in the meantime it’s been spreading in classic viral fashion across the web showing up on Jemima’s Guardian Viral Video chart.

    This is EA’s response to to a fan video on YouTube that showed Woods hitting a golf ball while walking on water in Tiger Woods 08. The result is a brilliant executed piece of digital marketing.

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