I kept thinking about this lately. Russell Dais wrote in the Jan 22 issue of Campaign that new media is such a tough sell because the concept is ‘new’. While I certainly understand where he is coming from, at the same time I cannot stop wondering…When was the last time you feel proud of selling some worn out ideas that everyone had done it before? Isn’t selling something new the whole point of our business? We pride ourselves for launching new brands, introducing new prepositions of products. We change people’s consumption habits by bringing them new product concepts. We get people to connect with each other though social networking, an idea that was so new it didn’t even exist just a couple of years ago. So how did we do it? Is it really like Russell Dais suggested that it is about identifying prototype examples as reference? Or is it more about building a track record of successful delivery of results to win the confidence of the client?

Does it require someone with great vision to see the real potential of a big idea? Or should we get inspiration from the arts that advocate the importance of courage, curiosity and desire, and a degree of spontaneity? We know that the best art has always pushed the boundaries and striven to go beyond the known, can creativity in the commercial world do the same? How can we address the need for accountability? How can we ensure commercial success and safeguard the client’s investment? Sir Brian McMaster once suggested in his report on ‘Supporting Excellence in the Arts’ that ‘the biggest risk is taking no risks at all’, can it be applied in what we do?

Any thoughts?

Read about this web site Cymbolism.com in The Times magazine on Saturday 30.01.10. Cymbolism explores the relationship between words and colour with the aim of ‘making it simple for designers to choose the best colours for the desired emotional effect’. Absolutely loved the idea.

I am always very sensitive towards the representation of colour in different cultures, and more importantly, how its meaning had evolved in modern days. Vera Wang, the American designer who is famous for her wedding dress design, had recently come up with a wedding dress that is all black. Controversial? Or is it forward thinking?

Colour can also have a strong cultural meaning. Is white a colour for mourning or a symbol of purity? Why you should not wear purple to an Italian wedding? Is red always absolutely the best colour to represent vitality and passion? Is no colour a kind of colour?

The myths about representation of colours also mean when we create communication materials for global brands, it is not only words we need to pay attention to. When we creatively adapt a web site for another market for example, we should also make sure use of colour is appropriate for the local culture.

The Cymbolism web site would be so much more interesting if they could add a dimension of cultural differences in it so that designers who are producing global work will have a rich resource to tap into.