admiration, conscious living, daily shite, fucking amazing, goals, green earth, humor (humour), imagination, information design, optimism, reduce your carbon imprint

yanno, once in a while you meet someone you just really like.

seminars at school happen every thursday morning at 10am. they run the gamut from “amazing” to “why did i bother showing up” and everything in between. mercifully, this quarter we’ve had some goodies. many of the speakers were truly interesting and interested. of course, i am not writing a blog post to share my thoughts about a group of people. i just want to give brian collins some major ups for coming to atlanta (and soldiering on even after his presentation had gone *poof* the night before.)

brian isn’t tall but when he’s in charge of the room, he may as well be paul bunyon. his energy fills the space with the kind of electricity that feels good and the kind of enthusiasm that makes you want to go out and conquer the world. did i mention he’s super clever and funny, too?

like many of the speakers this quarter, brian added to both my visual and word vocabularies. the former is always welcome, but the latter is especially important to me. (i am currently trying to sort out ways that i can work with my husband mike by capitalizing on our disparate-yet oddly related-skill sets.)

brian has so much common sense; he knows design and he knows it has to communicate to the outside world. at his first job, his colleagues worked in closed offices. not really conducive to creating good design that communicates! so, he held meetings out in the hall. gradually he led his lambies to a big room where they could yap and talk and discuss and wreak general havoc. and that havoc produces some incredibly thoughtful and meaningful communiques.

without brian, there would be no “real women” on the dove commercials. do you understand how important that is?? as someone who isn’t thin or a “looker”, i am completely validated by those adverts. real women are pretty and gorgeous and all shapes and sizes and colors and fantastic. what variety we all comprise! far more interesting than a foetus wearing the latest fashions from the runway on her stick-insect frame. i’m glad i don’t look like everyone else. and thanks to brian and those that were inspired by his work, the dove brand has expanded…and gained an audience of real women. in monetary terms: far more real women than stick insects.  

another amazing project under brian’s big, huge, gargantuan brain was a one off petrol station for bp (british petroleum). the photos showed an impressive structure, metallic and lights and facets everywhere. read: incredibly fascinating and stylin’ environment for those filling up their cars. inside, instead of the requisite filthy, disgusting restrooms, brian had someone design the most beautifully tiled restroom. we’re talking bee-yoooo-tee-ful. i would have this room in my house! all design aside, the project was expensive. but dig this: people went out of their way to fill up at this particular station. people that used the fantastically designed restrooms cleaned up after themselves. this station made more money than others!! is it because it was a one off? maybe. if the public expected this of every bp station they may take it for granted. but dotting them across the landscape in conservative numbers might be a great idea. 

too much more to mention. most of you probably know of brian collins, but if you don’t, do some research. and if you have an opportunity to go and hear him speak, or take a class with him at sva, do it.

all this from a man who was obsessed by bozo as a child. heh. i am STILL scared of clowns.

lovely photos tk.

oh, and please read the comments from brian, below. lots more people who deserve ups.


One thought on “yanno, once in a while you meet someone you just really like.

  1. Thanks so much for the ups. I am glad that people responded so well to what I had to say that day at Portfolio Center. The students were awesome.

    In your post, however, you had two sentences that, although enthusiastic, gave me way too much credit for the work I contributed to. I have been a part of larger teams with amazing collaborators, but as Creative Director, I end up getting disproportionate attribution for this work because I talk about it.

    “Without Brian, there would be no ‘real women’ on the Dove commercials.”

    Not exactly true. Without David Israel, Leigh Okies, Satian Pengsathapon and Judd Harner, among others, the Dove exhibit launch in North America never would have happened. And without Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, the creative directors at Ogilvy Toronto who did the remarkable “Evolution” and “Onslaught” films, the campaign never would have received the global acclaim it deserved. And the team at Ogilvy Chicago brought the product to life in print and television in such a way that the Dove products flew off the shelf.

    Sure, my team and I were happy to be a spark. But it took many others to turn it into a phenomenon.

    You then say “Another amazing project under Brian’s big, huge, gargantuan brain…” in reference to BP.

    This time, even more people were involved, including, among others, my team mates at BIG: Mark Aver, Christian Cervantes, Jung Ha, David Harlan, Chuck Rudy, Allbriton Robbins, Noah Venezia. And our partners, the Boston architecture firm Office dA, including Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani as well as the Los Angeles firm JohnstonMarkLee.

    And, if I were to include the visionary clients who helped us produce this work, the list would go on to the next blog.

    I guess my point is this. We work in an increasingly collaborative domain.

    And, in these two cases, I got to stand on people’s shoulders – and people who are far more talented than I am.

    They deserve the credit.

    Still, I am glad you liked our work!

    Warmest greetings from 5th Avenue,

    Brian Collins

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