My Marketing Valentines

Given the date I think its time I shared a few of my design and marketing loves on my blog.  Valentines day is a suitable day to celebrate some of the loves of my creative mind …  you, the reader, may well feel you know me a little better if you have read a few of my blogs, so I’d be interested if any of my selections surprise you.


It does feel like a few words of explanation are needed before I get into my top ten;

  • It’s not a straightforward top ten, it is more like a 21st century version of a mix tape
  • It mixes brands, type, design and more, but all are creative related and I have a genuine love of all of them
  • These are my top ten .. In any order you like, split across two blogs to keep you guessing (ok and keep it short and readable as well !)

Right, now that’s out-of-the-way, here we go with Pt 1 – my first 5…


Ilford logotype

Ilford logotype

I adore the beautiful simplicity of this logo, its simply always stayed the same.  The font is Futura Extra Bold I think.  Its been consistent for years and has lovely clean lines … always black, usually on crisp white, which given the company focus on B&W film is entirely appropriate.  It just sums up my early photography experiences.  I love it.  Always have.  Always will.

TRANSPORT MEDIUM FONT (as used on UK road signs)

Transport font

Transport font

This is one of those familiar types that is now so common that it almost passes you by, if you will forgive the pun.  It is wonderfully clear, so very legible, and works with a  variety of backgrounds.  It is so startlingly easy to read that I can absolutely understand why it is used and why it has endured so long.  Kinneir and Calvert the designers made the font to enable readership of the words/names to be completed quickly.  The fact that it is so attractive is a happy by-product for us all.  Motorway signage in “Motorway” font by the same designers is only slightly less lovely in my view.

Wikipedia entry on Transport typeface


What I love about Leica is the unashamed confidence in its own design aesthetic and principles.  The cameras are fabulous to use, I own quite a few in my collection.  My favourites are the pre and postwar Leica rangefinders.  They epitomise solidity, luxury and function, all in a quite wonderfully proportioned body.  They have always been a luxury camera, they have always been resolutely faithful to their design beliefs and considered by some to be constrained by their design and resolve to stay close to their heritage.

1955 Leica IIIF red dial

1955 Leica IIIF red dial

They have made great SLR cameras as well … but just look at a Leica IIIF red dial, or IIIG or M6 or the latest digital Leica.  Stunning looking designs that also perform to the highest standards and do so whilst looking genuinely tactile and absolutely beautiful.  Leica as a brand to camera enthusiasts comes very close to the cult status Apple enjoys today.  Which brings me to …

APPLE specifically my iMac (but equally my iPhone, MacBook and iPad) BRAND

My iMac looks beautiful, it is solid, confident and with a lightness in design that makes me forget the aluminum case is so heavy – I found out just how heavy when taking it to my local Apple store for a replacement hard drive recently.  Leaving my iMac was hard .. I had to plan the visit and time it properly … and yes, I do know this makes me sound sad, I do have a life honest.

A quote from Simon Sinek in his book “Start with the Why” sums it up nicely for me:

“Their products unto themselves, are not the reason Apple is perceived as superior; their products, WHAT Apple makes, serve as the tangible proof of what they believe. It is that clear correlation between WHAT they do and WHY they do it that makes Apple stand out.  This is the reason we perceive Apple as authentic. Everything they do serves to demonstrate their WHY, to challenge the status quo.”

Simon Sinek on TED Talks

A long quote I know .. But I like it.  I’m typing this on my iMac on Apple software and that makes me happy.  On reflection, another reason it makes me smile is because I estimate I know only a good third of what my iMac is capable of and that’s after a good few years use.

ECM (record label) DESIGN and BRAND

ECM website – company history pages

This is a close as I get to cool I am afraid.  ECM was founded in 1969 by Manfred Eicher.  ECM stands for Edition of Contemporary Music and as a music label it does just that.  I came across it through my love of contemporary Jazz, and Tomasz Stanko in particular, at the CCA in Glasgow in the late ‘90s.  I bought the CD, Suspended night, and was blown away by the album and the design principles the label follows.  The website is clean, minimal and packed with concise, clear information – just like the CDs themselves and in some cases the music too.

The cover art is stunning in its simplicity and appropriateness to the music is prefaces.  The fact that the label hosts Steve Reich (a new love following an introduction by a friend) and Manu Katche, EST, Tomasz Stanko etc (some of my favourite jazz artists) is a happy coincidence, even if they stopped recording those artists I would still love this serious, adventurous and ‘cool’ brand.

TS simple album cover


Well, that’s Pt1 completed … let me know what you think so far please, Pt 2 to follow in due course .. oh and Happy Valentines day !


14 February 2013


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