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The thing is, ignorance is rarely the problem.

The challenge is that people don’t always care about what you care about. And the reason they don’t care isn’t that they don’t know what you know.

The reason is that they don’t believe what you believe.

The challenge, then, isn’t to inform them. It’s to engage and teach and communicate in a way that shares emotion and values and beliefs.

Seth Godin

Maybe in a couple of verses

It may seem abstract to some but, often in a television watching moment someone says something and it sums up my current mood/mindset/thoughts…

“We’re kinda groovin’ out here, maybe in a couple of verses”

Everyone is in a hurry to move, climb, leap, take the next step, succeed, progress, interrupt…

And, sometimes it’s wise to stop and say ‘maybe in a couple of verses.’

ps: sorry about the swears at the end of the clip!

That McCafé Ad

The coffee market has got a bit over-complicated, hasn’t it? But with McCafé, none of the frills or fuss. Only freshly ground beans, making great tasting coffee. It’s simple.

There have been lots of interesting reactions to this around social media. I gave it the middle finger on Twitter…

I’ve given it some more thought… as if it deserves more thought.

A brand that feels threatened might do something like this.
A brand that wants to muscle in on a change in peoples coffee drinking habits might do something like this.
A brand that has huge advertising power and believes it’s own hype might do something like this.
A brand that has a smug smart-ass marketing department might do something like this.

Ok, perhaps it’s a little funny to satirise latte art, decor and ‘hipster beards’ but, the ad is full of subtle and not so subtle jibes at the speciality coffee industry.

A brand that doesn’t care about coffee origin might do something like this.
A brand that doesn’t care about tried and tested coffee making methods might do something like this.
A brand that doesn’t care about rising costs for farms, buyers, roasters and independent shops might do something like this.
A brand that doesn’t really care about people might do something like this… after all, they are making fun of thousands of people and businesses in the UK who support what the speciality coffee industry stands for.

Or maybe not.

Maybe they really care about ‘great tasting coffee’ in the same way they care about great tasting food!


Horny Bull Take One – Illustration

Some of you know I’ve been working on new branding for Hillstown Brewery. One of their core range is called The Horny Bull Stout and as with all their beers, our key objective was to create a completely new vibe/look/feel.

During that process in any project there are always ideas that don’t get used.

This bull was one of those illustrations that I love but, ultimately didn’t use because it conflicted a little with the direction that I saw the other labels going in.

I thought I’d share it.

You can see some of my other illustrations here and, I think very soon we will get to share the new Hillstown Labels.


Set your own buzzer

Deadlines don’t cause death if missed, but sometimes we persuade ourselves that it’s almost as bad. As a result, marketers and others that want us to take action invent cliffs, slamming doors and loud buzzers.

We put a rope at door, a timer on the clock and focus on scarcity and the fear of missing out. And as a result, consumers and students and co-workers wait for the signals, prioritising their lives around the next urgency.

When everything is focused on the deadline, there’s little time to work on the things that are actually important.

– from Missed It by That Much on Seth’s blog today. Read it here.


Loyalty filters

This… while we are all baffled by Trump’s alleged lies.

Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

Quote source.

This doesn’t just happen in politics. There are always ‘ruling cliques’ in business, charities, churches… and this is one of the ways they behave.


Middletown Coffee Co Menu design

Middletown Coffee Co unveiled a new menu design [by me] today.

Here’s a time-lapse they posted of local printers Ballyprint putting the new design up…

It’s always exciting to be involved in anything Middletown are doing, I love working with them. You can see a larger version of the design on this “work” page here.

Martin McGuinness

While Ian Paisley Jnr was saying this on our television screens, I was completing the image of Martin McGuinness below.

I was born in 1977 so the evolution of Martin McGuinness – and other figures in Northern Ireland – has been fascinating to watch. I wasn’t sure what to say about this picture. I wasn’t sure if I would share it. Has anyone from Ballymena ever painted a republican leader?

The Martin McGuinness of the last few weeks has taken me by surprise. He has confirmed that he is unwell but, seeing someone who had looked the same to me for thirty years, all of a sudden look so old and frail was shocking. I wanted to capture that in the painting.

I am not a unionist. I am not a republican. I don’t know where I fit…

But, Martin fascinates me. His contribution to life in Northern Ireland, whether you like it or not, will be remembered for a very long time.

And art doesn’t discriminate.

– Painted using Procreate, Apple Pencil, iPad Pro.