Friday, 12 October 2012


Now that I have no longer been updating my posts via this blog about my design work, I am posting tweets to keep me commercially aware of what's out there in the creative industry.

Please feel free to follow me via this link! :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What to read?

I've been making a few visits these days to bookstores around Hong Kong wondering if there is a good summer time novel that I could indulge and read during my free time. I hadn't found anything until today. I had already scoured recommendations, looked up the best read lists, skimmed through new novels by some of my favourite authors but I still wasn't able to find the book that was screaming 'Pick me!' from the book stands. I had no urge to want to buy a book until I noticed a book in the Self-Help/ Motivational section.

So why was I looking in this section in particular? Recently I have been stumbling upon endless questions that had been questioning my inner psyche.It wasn't until the more I was catching up with my friends back here in Hong Kong that I realised that it is a vital time to reflect upon my achievements, my goals, who I am, what do I want to achieve and where to I want go?

Of course action speak louder than words. So there's no point rambling in my mind all these questions. They are inevitably only going to make my mind tired and . I need to find a way of achieving this goals. Making these words spring into ACTION.

This book is probably an indirect approach but will be of guidance in helping me as what the book states: 'to unlock my potential...find courage, inspiration, success and happiness'. Do these words not epitomise what people would like to acquire and pursue? Dare you to say no but these words definitely sprung qualities of what I would like to be defined with. Wouldn't anyone?

I stood staring at a bold red book. 'The Tools' by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. Okay, so it's recommended by one if its staff. I guess it could be good. I can't help but notice the 'Hollywood's open secret' credential by The New Yorker. From a graphic perspective, the design it not bad at all It actually makes me want to read it. It's simple graphics- focus on the type, seems to wrap up that it will be a straight forward, no-fuss read. I wanted to skim read a few pages but it was plastic wrapped. I'm always reluctant about buying a book I don't know about but there was something about this book that was telling me to buy it. I couldn't leave it there. It was the last one on the shelf as well. I gave in. It must be a good read I thought to myself.

My curiosity did get the better of me and as soon as I bought it, I unwrapped the wrapping like a child on Christmas day wondering if I had bought a book that was worth buying. Mixed emotions reading the first few lines but I had to give it a chance. I was walking home and I couldn't help myself carrying on reading it as I was walking my way home. This is pretty darn interesting. Let me read a little more.

I got home and found myself glued to the book. I couldn't put it down. Was it because I was intrigued by what Stutz had to say or the approaches he was describing in his book? Will this change my life? Is this true? Will it work? Who knows, I guess I can only find out by trying his techniques. However, even before trying out his techniques the tone of voice of the narrative induces a sense of calm, expresses a sense that readers will grow and reassurance that everything will be okay, if not better.

I can't wait to apply these techniques to my life and foresee a brighter future that it awaiting through conquering fears, embracing challenges and times of adversity! Off i go to continue reading.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Illustration in progress

I am working on a few illustrations as part of my leisure.

Here's one that I worked on this afternoon...

The illustration not yet finished but I thought I would show you the progress.

What do you think?

Maeko-san © Kasumi Miyake 2012

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

What's hot? What's not?

 The Olympics has by far been all the buzz for this summer. Constant media updates of the latest fixtures and results fill up the screens, newspaper pages, webpages, facebook comments and tweets. Such availability of several social media platforms keeps everyone around the world up to date and perhaps more united to celebrate the atmosphere of the Olympics.

HK Station Samsung Advert © Kasumi Miyake 2012

It was hard not to notice this advert advertising Samsung Galaxy. Environmental and spatial advertising used at its advantage. Who knows how many Hong Kongers walk by this walk way to commute to and away from the center. Samsung Galaxy is another hot product competing against the iPhone4s.

It is no longer accustomed for advertising to promote a product via product placement means. Advertising exudes a way of life and a way for consumers to appeal to a lifestyle and gain an experience from. By advertising the Olympics swimming event through spatial advertising you may think that the product's attention will be lost. Instead, the brands unique approach to advertising reinforces Samsung as a smart product to its consumers. No one wants to be approached only about the performance of the product anymore do they? Visual impact is the key. This definitely gets the tick for that. When I saw this my first thought was: 'What's this pool of water doing?' Then when I looked up I was surprised (delightedly)  and this tapped into my inner psyche thinking 'What a smart way to use the space'. It's somewhat lighten up the space changes walker by's experience of an empty white walkway creating a different walking experience that was different from the usual.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Football hunger

Are you hungry?

NIKE quenches the thirst of its football fans with a video film that encapsulates football fever through visual expression, humour and famous sports celebrities.

Check it out here:

At first you think it's another one of those football ads. But NIKE seems to strike the balance between its brand and message well, scoring a goal when it comes to making ads that are visually impacting and memorable. Its simplicity and main focus on the aesthetics and feel of the video help to make NIKE express their brand and its culture effectively.

It almost seems as if you are watching a re-run of a computer football game. Viewers are immersed to feel like they are part of the NIKE ad and the NIKE football community to tease them to want to join in on the fun and play football. A teaser to get people into the Europe tournament kicking off soon. And perhaps to kick off youngsters to aspire to become professionals too?

Let's take a look at the ad.

Supporters chant and surround the whole stadium.
Football fans only want to be present at the best right?
Tackles highlight the players skills.
No football ad won't include the close up of a twisting and turning of a football. Do you agree?
The beat of the music keeps the ad rollin.
Most ads by NIKE tend to stick into your head? Tick.
Some sort of enigma from the beginning to catch your attention- Why the rush? Who are these players that are all making their way to the pitch? Football fans of course. Mischievous ones too. Making an appearance to break the 'only for the elite' ideology and impeding the 'anyone can play football' hegemonic value.
Minimal copywriting floating around at times. Only putting an emphasis when needed- note the attention to the fuel band during the slow motion period on LeBron James. Anyone own one by the way?

Bypassing the fancy yellow car. Nothing can be more important than a game.
Oh and the ending. Ronaldo turning up by the time the football crowd has moved on with a tshirt fit for a small boy. Not quite expected but it did bring in humour, didn't it?

Typical conventions have been used but the outcome of the advert is different to previous ads. A strong narrative structure makes it coherent. No wonder the 7 million viewer hits on Youtube.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Eye spy the little green man

Taipei City 2012

Who would of thought my eye would go to a universally recognised green walking man light in Taipei?
My first thoughts of the green light wasn't 'Time to walk across!'. I was faced with a confused interest thinking 'It appears almost comic'. Surprised by its fast paced walking movement, it made me rethink of how the visual language and how symbols are culturally relevant. The little man animated to walk in a haste at first seemed a bit strange but considering the fast paced living environment of Taipei City, it almost seemed more suited to its environment and its culture. Perhaps the citizens would be able to refer to this green man better than others? Because this is considered universal symbol, it makes me question why is there differences in the shape of the figure and the pace of walking? Is it better to have localised symbols within universal signs? Does it promote cultural stereotypes? And if so, should they be accepted or are they undermining?

Turns out, I was blinded by the fact that it appears that there are numerous designs of the walking man    (and shall I say women) for some cities. Check out the hasty New Yorker with the forward leaning stance!