I was asked by my mate Huw Thomas at the creative agency ‘Make Complex Simple’ to design a joint self-promotional poster. The brief, quite simply, was ‘Make Life Simple’. I immediately wrote down a bunch of thoughts on what would make my life, and other people’s lives, simpler. I then sent a draft of the text to Huw by email, he added his thoughts and bounced it back to me. I added further thoughts and bounced it back. It went on like this for a couple more rounds until we realised we were both being drama queens so we back-tracked to an earlier draft which we were both happy with. At that point I was ready to commit ink to paper.
I had known the typographic approach I was going to adopt all along. To make it more interesting I sat on the Southbank in London (for it was a beautiful sunny day) and proceeded to create the first draft in full public view, something I'd never done before. I also did it upside down so people could read it as they passed by.
Spreading the word
Lots of people stopped to read it. I was really amazed by the feedback. Many people asked if they could buy it there and then. One father read it out loud to his children, as did a care worker to a young girl in a wheelchair. Mexican, Russian, German, Sri Lankan, Spanish, French tourists all stopped to translate it. Japanese and Korean tourists took lots of photographs (thanks to Kimsun Mi for the shots below). One guy said abruptly “Life's not like that!” and waltzed off. Another guy said “Avoid drama queens, my sentiments exactly!!”. One rastafarian guy simply said “Genius!”. It was a good day. It was an inspiring day. Next time I’ll take something comfortable to sit on.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Don’t be afraid to work in public, or upside down.
Don’t be afraid to get your message out there. Simple.