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New BBC 3 logo criticised

The new logo for BBC 3 (shown below) has been criticised for supposedly not including the number 3.




Personally I like the logo.
To me the number 3 is clearly there in the form of the Roman III. The fact that the final digit is also an exclamation mark is a clever typographical trick, not a design blunder. It might have been a blunder a few decades ago, when the design would possibly have been interpreted as II!, but in these days of hybrid symbols I’m not so sure, especially when it’s viewed at the very small size that it’s designed to be viewed at (unlike here).
The three digits of the Roman III also echo the three squares of the BBC logo above, creating a nice unity.

The design contains something of the concept of modifying digits to convey a message within the digits themselves. In this case that BBC 3 is fun and youthful.

Another example of this style of typography is the logo for Channel 4 Plus One, the version of Channel 4 that is broadcast an hour after the original. Its logo, shown below, consists of a plus sign and the number one that can also be read as a subtle number 4.





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Definition of an optimism and definition of a pessimist

A quote about optimism and pessimism:

quotation about optimism and pessimism

‘An optimist thinks that we’re moving towards the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist thinks that we’ve already arrived.’

This quotation about optimism and pessimism came to me in June 2013  while I was thinking of ideas around the subjects of optimism and pessimism in general.

The quotation is all my own work, however a quick check of quotes on the internet about optimists and pessimists inevitably revealed that a similar expression already existed. Here it is:

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.”
This quote is by James Branch Cabell from his book The Silver Stallion.

Both quotations include the phrase ‘the best of all possible worlds’. I think that in both cases this phrase is absolutely central, and without it the quotation can’t exist. In fact, in my case at least, it was the act of thinking about this phrase as it applies to optimists that made me think of the way the phrase might apply to pessimists.

The main difference between my version of the expression and James Branch Cabell’s version is that my version looks to the future while Cabell’s looks to the present. My quote looks to the future because it’s my opinion that optimism and pessimism are qualities that are directed towards the future.

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03/01/2014 · 18:29

A butterfly that has talons – digital art


This is an image that I created today of a butterfly that has a hawk’s talons. It’s based on a doodle that I came across in an old sketchbook of mine – proving the importance of using sketchbooks to jot down transient ideas!

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Malcolm Gladwell: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants

In Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, Gladwell describes how some dyslexics develop strategies that enable them to cope with and overcome their disability. For instance they may develop greater interpersonal communication skills so that they can rely on other people for information that is written down – people who have access to the secrets of the written word. As a result of honing these skills in their youth they may grow up to be successful businessmen and politicians due to their ability to surround themselves with useful people.
Gladwell makes this observation of human behaviour in the face of disadvantage sound like a revelation that he has uncovered, while in reality it is probably no more than a reframing of the age-old idea that people who are blind develop a better sense of hearing.
Part of Gladwell’s talent is to make mundane observations seem profound.
One of his other talents is to wrap his insights up in a way that turns his books into a top end version of self help or self improvement manuals – manuals that are appealing to the type of person who would rarely wish to be seen reading a book from that genre (i.e. people who don’t think that they need them).

Here’s an observation of people triumphing over adversity that would fit well into Gladwell’s book.
Ugly people make better comedians than good looking people.
This may be true – or it may not be. However the general consensus is that there’s something in it.
The theory is that ugly people have to find a strategy for attracting and impressing other people that doesn’t rely on their looks. Good looking people don’t have to try, they simply attract people by standing there. As a result, ugly people become great comedians while good looking people become non-entities. Who’d want to be a good looking non-entity?

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Margaret Thatcher caricature as the Iron Lady or Mad Axewoman

Following todays announcement of the death of Margaret Thatcher here’s another caricature of her that I drew when she was at the height of her powers.
This caricature was used extensively in books, on posters and on political badges at the time. It even appeared in the recent film about Margaret Thatcher called The Iron Lady.
Margaret Thatcher cartoon or caricature as the Iron Lady or Mad Axewoman
If you want to use this cartoon please go here:
Margaret Thatcher cartoon as the Mad Axewoman

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Margaret Thatcher dies. Margaret Thatcher caricature

Following the death today of Margaret Thatcher here’s a cartoon or caricature of her that I drew while she was dismantling the welfare state.

Margaret Thatcher cartoon as the mad axewoman

Margaret Thatcher caricature as an axe destroying the welfare state

If you want to use this cartoon please go here

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Les Gibbard, Guardian political cartoonist during Thatcher’s reign, dies

Les Gibbard, who was the political cartoonist on the Guardian newspaper between 1969 to 1994 has died at the age of 64 of  a pulmonary embolism following a knee replacement operation.

In the early 1980s Gibbard was my favourite cartoonist. Judging by the quality of his work, with its clarity of line and style, I’d always assumed that Gibbard must be an urbane and sophisticated individual, smartly dressed and well turned out.

In 1985 I started working for the Guardian myself, as a freelance illustrator and graphic artist. From behind my desk I’d occasionally see a huge, bearded, unkempt tramp-like man walk past along the corridor, carrying his few possessions in a plastic bag. One day I noticed that this shambles of a man was carrying a Gibbard cartoon, and what’s more, that he was talking to another member of the Guardian’s staff as though he’d actually drawn it himself.

Les Gibbard obituary in the Guardian (written by Mike McNay, former Guardian art editor, who gave me my first job on the newspaper).

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