Comic Sans Conservatives: A graphic designer takes on Tories Ugly Fonts 

Ugly Tory Fonts

The Conservatives have chosen graphics that you wish you hadn’t seen to promote themselves online. 

Topham Guerin PR is behind the posts, who helped Scott Morrison of the Australian Liberal Party win an election using “boomer memes” which used gaudy design and crass imagery.

They said they made them really basic and deliberately lame because they’d get shares.

A bold font choice in comic sans, a notoriously stupid font, only ever appropriate for kids toys or activities, has sparked discussion as its been spotted online. 

Amongst a clubland themed one, a 1980s match day one, 50s seaside one, builders merchant one, and more the lack of consistency is clear. 

“The comic sans one is the one that tips you to the fact they’re doing this badly on purpose,” said Cally Gatehouse, graphic designer and lecturer at Northumbria University. “Its such a cliche of bad graphic design” 

“I’m never really sure what’s going on when right wing people use irony.”

As a person with a degree in graphic design, having worked full time in graphic design and after looking at the online adverts the Conservative party are putting out I have to say they all scream desperate distraction.

Choosing how to represent a serious political party with comic sans is knowingly asking for mockery, perhaps to distract the electorate, and that makes it problematic.

If a designer or someone who works in any creative industry sees a poster or sign with comic sans it is very likely they will take a picture and share this with friends to have a giggle over.

In fact reddit has nearly 3000 members on /r/comicsans/

Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 22.59.10Designer Hassan Rahim has noted the typeface in the Conservatives’ clip (above) is strikingly similar to the one he created for LuckyMe and Jacques Greene’s debut album, Feel Infinite.

The most viral newly designed tweet only got 3000 retweets, hardly much, according to Scott Wark, a meme research at the University of Warwick. 

With minds like Peter Heneghan, a former communications director at LADbible and BuzzFeed seen arriving in Downing Street having the best on board is still not enough. 

Professor of Political Communication at Loughbourgh University explains: “The point is virality,” says Chadwick – “an attempt to get the message to travel beyond their immediate supporter networks online. Even if it means opponents will mock the posts as they spread them, they’re still spreading them.” 

The tactic here may make Conservatives a laughing stock but I imagine they at least want people talking about them, something achieved by the dodgy adverts.

As we face a general election soon, getting a party into conversation works wonders and it may be a smart tactic but they are going about it in a disrespectful way. 

The way I see it, it makes a mockery of the electorate. 

Talking to my ex Graphics lecturer at London College of Communication, Craig Burston, we discussed how back when the internet was in its infancy, sites offered space for people to make a “homepage”, many of which used comic sans. 

This was because it was a ‘web safe’ font which most browsers could support meaning it could be read. However, this meant the font became an online “voice” for a lot of insipid, vain and content-light homepages produced by internet amateurs. Since then, comic sans negative reputation has gone before it. 

Also, it just looks goofy.

Independent trend analyst, Jay Owens said: “I think the Conservatives are testing different graphic design styles to see what sticks,”

 “But I think they’re also using design to reach into new audiences.” She may be onto something.

“If you wanted to gain reach into a young, creative Millennial segment the Tories normally couldn’t reach, this is a great way to do it – and indeed, it’s being discussed in depth by tastemakers like Mat Dryhurst, an electronic musician based in Berlin, and graphic designers such as David Rudnik and Metahaven.”

What kind of people are the tories trying to attract? With this tactic, no one. 

For anyone still using comic sans wrongly, direct them to this site http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/

Ugly Interview – Sebright Arms

Ugly-Press-Shot-600x415

On possibly the hottest gig I have ever been to, a blistering 33 degrees,  I had the opportunity to interview Ugly, a great young band from Cambridge.

Having released their latest EP ‘The Price of Fame – Themed’ this week, now is the perfect time to chat with the band sure to make waves.

Jangly guitars and indie pop perfection accompany reflective lyrics and deep thoughts in their previous releases but their latest EP has potential to go far.

Having seen them perform at the Lexington in June, I cant help notice the heat and basement venue of the Sebright Arms has made the performance dreamlike, though a rowdy moshpit is still present here.

At the Lexington gig, Sam whipped out a fascinating blue velvet bass, encrusted with Swarovski jewels that read ‘Juicy’ (so 90s and rom com chic), I have been unable to get the bass out of my mind.

I spoke to Sam, Harrison and Charlie, their drummer.

Asking about the double single, Sam told me, “its about being in a band really”.

“The title is quite ironic and thats on purpose”. I asked if that was being self – deprecating and he agreed.

We got on to the subject of festival season and when asked what their dream headliner would be – he told me Paul Simon in his early days. A classic 80s pop icon, great guitar, catchy riffs. Im pinning it to the doom rock themes they share. ‘Pissing in the Sink’ instrumental certainly brings Paul Simon to mind.

Their dream festival to headline? “Gotta be coachella”, I am hoping this is continuing the ironic theme of the EP.

“clout, man”, despite being similar in age, this reminds me of success in music today, online bragging, having and showing.

In Blister, a single from their newest EP, energetic rock gets the crowd going, not an easy feat considering the blistering heat in the Sebright Arms basement.

The repeated ” You’ve lost all motivation / for conversation once again” perhaps summarises the millennial disenfranchisement with authority currently. In the same week unelected PM Boris Johnson calls for a proroguing of Parliament until October, when Brexit will have to happen, is approved by the Queen.

“Snails Pace, Rat Race” opens up my questioning about careers and working life as a young person in London, “well you know where I work”, chants Harrison.

“Its about being broke, which is every young person in London” Sam tells me.

“You are my brother”, lyric can only refer to Sam and Harrisons brotherly friendship, as they tell me they’ll be writing much more closely now and have missed being further apart than usual geographically speaking.

Asking Sam and Harrison a question I ask them whenever I see them, “How do you write a song?”

Harrison, guitarist and bassist, replies with “A magician never reveals his tricks”.

Sure to go on to great things, I wish these lovely lads the very best and urge you to see them live as soon as you can.

Support Ugly and get their really Ugly merch – http://www.reallyuglymerch.bigcartel.com

Check out their bandcamp here – https://weareugly.bandcamp.com

Check out their distiller video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUL0KJXhNeY

Listen to their EP here – https://open.spotify.com/album/4DdA9Otnq6JcGv2lE8iMJU

 

 

27th August 2019 cp

Online honesty

Due to the recent online beef between Youtubers I had not come across before (Tati and James Charles) I felt the need to discuss online debates, honesty, “receipts” aka texts sent and screenshot, and the power of being honest or holding back online.

Since starting this blog I have lost my job and ended a relationship in relatively short amount of time. The change from both can leave anyone feeling grief, upheaval and uncomfortable. Due to my optimistic nature I saw both as an opportunity to start again. Whilst in both I knew there were not for me, I was not enjoying them, they were not serving me and I should just quit both of them.

The routine and the reliability that a relationship and a steady job provide are blessings. They allowed me to take up other hobbies as I could compartmentalise my time, e.g taking up Japanese lessons on Monday evenings, even though my colleagues would berate me for leaving on time on Mondays, it was a joyful and useful way to spend my time.

Having left the routine behind I now feel a sense of despair, not for the job or the relationship but perhaps the way it forced me to conform, to tick the boxes of employed and taken so that my friends, family and society would no longer worry about me. Strangely being free from those has allowed me to crave the routine, miss the money which would allow travel but honestly, not much else.

While to some a situation where you leave your job and your relationship seems ridiculous and self sabotage, for me, it was exactly what I needed to do.

 

Little Miss Sunshine @ the Arcola – Review

Little Miss Sunshine was a hugely successful and easily iconic film released in 2006 starring Toni Collette, Paul Dano (my crush), Steve Carrell, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin follows a struggling family along with a gripping, real and poignant story about overcoming life’s hardships whilst (just about) driving to a pageant for Olive (the youngest daughter in the family).

Could this Oscar winning movie translate well on stage?

The Arcola hosts Europes first showing of the musical of Little Miss Sunshine and to mixed reviews.

The Stage and the Guardian have given it 2*s whilst the Evening Standard has awarded it 4*s. Due to perhaps failing to strike the right subtle mundane tones the film hit so successfully.

My personal rating would be 4* as the story is brilliant, the cast exceptionally strong but sadly a lack of memorable songs lets it down ever so slightly despite a very wonderful band.

Excuse me whilst I go rewatch the movie that made me cry when Dwayne realises something life-changing and shouts profanity in the way I do daily in my head……

What would happen if we had another Referendum?

Dear Future Britain,

This is what the United Kingdom (or Divided Kinkdom I call it) has become since we chose to hold another Referendum post the Peoples March on the 24th of March 2019.

  1. ITS LAWLESS AND CHAOS RULES. A good time for punk bands, a bad time for everything else.
  2. PEOPLE ARE HAPPIER. Trade deals continuing as they had done and those who previously voted Leave turned out and made the outcome a far swing to remain means Britain is mostly as it once was, only now a global embarassment.
  3. ENVIRONMENT ISSUES ARE AT THE FOREFRONT. We are likely to hold another referendum on whether to make climate change issues the priority in parliament, this, unsurprisingly has caused an uproar and many within are mocking it.
  4. THE POOR, DISABLED, HOMELESS AND VULNERABLE ARE FORGOTTEN. NHS continues to struggle and that bloody big red lying bus has been turned into a mobile hospital which moonlights as a nightclub due to rapid cuts/extreme need and scary closures of Londons night venues.

Oh and we all live underwater and survive on soya crickets now.

Peace out and you know what to do.

Beginning

This evening as I opened up my laptop post work post gym post bath I perused shopping sites, ebay Mulberry Bayswater Navy with silver hardware (my aesthetic and something I wanted as a pre-teen), PrettyLittleThing (I have never shopped there) snakeskin boots I saw on someone I don’t know on instagram, yet here I am, having “bought” a blog.

Having recently lost all my notes and writing queues I had begun on my daily commute to the big apple in the sky and with Valentines day tomorrow, I felt I deserved to treat myself.

To something intangible, perfect for me, made by me, and hopefully only speaking from me, truthfully.

I am excited.