Robert L. Peters

31 July 2012

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb; that's where the fruit is.

—H. Jackson Browne Jr.

30 July 2012

Free Olympukes!

London, UK

On the occasion of the London 2012 Olympics, Virusfonts has release Olympukes 2012—with the support of FontShop and TYPO London. Olympukes is a new set of pictograms for the London games designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, Jon Abbott, and Marwan Kaabour. In 2004, VirusFonts originally took on the Olympic pictograms— the ultimate designer’s commission—but with a witty subversion. Rather than expressing ‘inspirational’ human endeavour, the Virus pictograms acknowledged the complex contradictions of the modern olympics. “The occasion of the London 2012 games gives us an opportunity to revisit this concept, not only because VirusFonts is based in London but also because much has changed globally in the last eight years,” says Virus founder Jonathan Barnbrook.

The 2012 games come at a time of great economic and political uncertainty. Since 2008 the global economic system has lurched from one crisis to the next. Greece—the host of the 2004 games—now sits at the epicentre of a crumbling Eurozone. Ironically, the last time London hosted the Olympics, they were nicknamed the Austerity Games. Sixty-four years later, we find ourselves back in an era of austere cuts which serves to highlight the absurd expense of the 2012 games.

Another aspect of the Olympics that is back for 2012 is the unfettered commercialism. If you think the games are about sport alone, think again. “In Beijing we took it for granted that a dictatorial one-party state would suppress human rights in order to deliver the perfect games. What was a little more unexpected is the excessive security measures due to be employed by a supposedly liberal democracy.” says Barnbrook in his press release. And: “In a country with an estimated 1.8 million cctv cameras, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.”

Where the 2004 Olympukes celebrated the general greed, manipulation and skulduggery in the Olympics, the 2012 version looks more specifically at complaints, controversies and accusations leveled at the London games and associated events. Countless hours went into researching accurate and thought-provoking stories, presented here in pictogram form. Olympukes 2012 is available in dark and light weights in the multi-platform OpenType format.

Download Olympukes 2012 at Virus. (Thanks to Toze Coelho for the link).


28 July 2012

Pierre Mendell | Die Neue Sammlung

Nuremberg, Germany

A selection of the unmistakable posters of Pierre Mendell (along with preparatory sketches and small collages) is on display until 14 October at Neues Museum für Kunst und Design, Nuremberg.

See more and learn more here.

27 July 2012

We spend our whole lives seeking wisdom, when all we have to do is remember it.

—An old Native American grandmother (overheard by friend David Busch).

26 July 2012

Occupy: What's Next?

San Francisco, California

Results of the international poster competition (with participants from more than 30 countries) on the theme of “Occupy: What’s Next?” have been announced… winners were chosen for their graphic impact and creativity in confronting the challenges of economic inequality, greed, corporate influence, political corruption, and environmental tragedy that were identified by the populist Occupy Wall Street movement of fall 2011.

See more and read more here and here.

“Viewed together, these posters convey the intensity of discontent with the status quo maintained by a hyper-priviledged 1% while demonstrating the role that designers around the globe can play by engaging constructively in social debate. Designers were urged in the briefing to go beyond the conventions of protest by creating positive messages. The submissions and the jury’s selections make clear how difficult that task is.”

(Thanks to David Peters, [no relation], one of the gig’s organizers).

25 July 2012

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom…

—Nelson Mandela

24 July 2012

Greenpeace denied Edmonton billboard space for oil spill ad…

Edmonton, Alberta

Pattison Outdoor has denied Greenpeace Canada the space on one of its billboards in downtown Edmonton—and handed the activist group a much bigger free PR opportunity… the company, which owns billboards and other ad space on public transit and in malls and airports, advised Greenpeace Canada that it had rejected its ad about oil spills in Alberta.

Greenpeace had booked the billboard space in June… Pattison rejected it two days later without giving the organization its reasons for doing so. The bright yellow billboard design included black text that read “When there’s a huge solar energy spill, it’s just called a nice day. Green jobs, not more oil spills.”

The ad was a response to the recent oil spill near the town of Sundre, Alta. It was designed to draw attention to the problem of oil spills, and to encourage premier Alison Redford to appoint an independent body to investigate the safety of the province’s oil pipelines, said Mike Hudema, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada in Alberta. A recent study conducted by Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor found problems in that province with enforcing regulations over pipeline safety.

“It’s something that unfortunately is a recurring theme here in the province,” Mr. Hudema said. “We have aging pipeline infrastructure.”

The billboard was booked to go up on Sunday, June 24, and run for a week, at the corner of Jasper Avenue and 106 St. NW in downtown Edmonton. It would have cost Greenpeace $2,800 for the week, plus tax, Mr. Hudema said.

When contacted for comment, Pattison Outdoor vice-president of marketing Joe Donaldson explained that the company often does not comment when asked for reasons behind such decisions, and pointed out that Pattison is a privately-held company. The firm is Canada’s largest out-of-home advertising company, and is owned by Vancouver-based Jim Pattison Group.

“Pattison’s official statement is ‘no comment’,” Mr. Donaldson wrote in a follow-up e-mail. Mr. Donaldson did not respond when asked whether anything in Greenpeace’s account was incorrect.

Greenpeace has had its ads rejected in the past. Last year it ran an online campaign for supporters to design ads spoofing a campaign by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to promote the oil sands. It announced the winner in May, 2011 and plastered posters of the ad around Ottawa. An attempt to buy space for the ad in bus shelters was rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor, said Greenpeace climate and energy campaign co-ordinator Keith Stewart.

Last year’s rejection was understandable because it attributed a quote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he did not say, Mr. Stewart said, but he added that rejections are relatively rare because Greenpeace does not like to spend money designing ads if they will not see the light of day.

Pattison has accepted Greenpeace ads in the past. In 2009, it ran a billboard that took its inspiration from a well-publicized series of bus ads run by an atheist group declaring “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Greenpeace’s version read, “There’s probably no cod. Now let’s stop overfishing & think of the future.”

Greenpeace has deliberately courted controversy through its advertising in the past. In 2010, the U.K. branch of the organization attracted attention for a graphic online ad that accused candy producers of killing wildlife through their use of palm oil in products. It spoofed Kit Kat’s “Have a break” commercials.

Getting an ad rejected can often be the fastest route to greater publicity, which is why companies often take advantage of the buzz around the SuperBowl to claim their ads were banned from the broadcast. Ashley Madison, a dating website for people who want to cheat on their spouses, and Web-domain registering service and lowest-common-denominator advertiser have used this strategy more than once. Their ads often include elements that would normally have little chance of passing broadcast standards.

But Greenpeace’s Mr. Hudema says the organization was surprised its ad was rejected, given the relatively tame content of the billboard design. The “solar energy spill” line has appeared on billboards elsewhere: it was originally created for the Vote Solar initiative, which gave Greenpeace their blessing to re-use it. Mr. Hudema is hoping that its rejection will spark further discussion.

“We are encouraging people to circulate the ad,” he said. “If Pattison doesn’t want to run it we can at least get the awareness out.”

Source: The Globe and Mail

(Thanks to my New Mexican friend Maggie Macnab for the heads-up…)

23 July 2012

Banksy, and the London 2012 Olympics…

London, UK

Newsflash! Newsflash! Read all about it. Read all about it here

22 July 2012

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.

—Australian Aboriginal proverb

A "just war" is hospitable to every self-deception on the part of those waging it, none more than the certainty of virtue, under whose shelter every abomination can be committed with a clear conscience.

R.I.P. Alexander Cockburn, (6 June 1941 – 21 July 2012)

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