Alan Sillitoe Trail Roars into Life at thinkamigo
thinkamigo Creative Director Paul Fillingham was invited to design the front-cover artwork for Nottingham events magazine LeftLion this month.
LeftLion is Nottingham’s leading events review and listings magazine. Distributed through arts, leisure and tourism venues throughout the city, the tabloid format publication is also available as a free download.
The June July 2012 Issue (#47) has a double-page spread detailing the Arts Council England and BBC digital arts platform The Space and features an interview with writer Derrick Buttress by Sillitoe Trail editor James Walker.
LeftLion’s editorial style carries with it the edgy, individualistic streak of Nottingham’s most famous sons, a characteristic that appeals to Paul’s wry sense of humour. Here’s how LeftLion Editor – Al needham introduces him:
Paul grew up amongst the coalfields of North Notts, but got involved in all that bleddy poncy media rubbish, studying Fine Art in Leeds in the eighties (whilst fronting a band called The Smart Cookies).
He then began a career as an offline video editor, working on award-winning advertising campaigns and pioneering touch-screen technology for people like Boots, Raleigh and Rolls Royce.
However, it was his co-authored book Images of England – Nottingham in the 1980s that brought him to our attention, rammed as it was with photos of folk body-popping on the Square and flyers from long-departed rat holes like Zhivagos.
In his current role as Creative Director of Notts-based digital agency, thinkamigo, he’s worked with some massive names and is currently creating a mobile trail for Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning which combines his love for Nottingham’s cultural heritage and cutting edge technology.
The cover montage for LeftLion combines a contemporary shot of Nottingham Market Square with a vintage image taken back in 1929 when the Cecil Howitt’s grand Council House building was still under construction.
The Editor’s brief was inspired by Chris Wilde’s Retronaut website, in particular, a series of images entitled ‘the ghosts of Leningrad‘ which combines old and new photographs.
The man standing on the street-corner outside what is now ‘Starbucks’ is Alan Sillitoe’s contemporary Derrick Buttress, responsible for the opening literary pieces on The Space – part of the Market Square segment of the Alan Sillitoe Trail.
“James [Walker] and I have been plundering the archives at the BFI and other sources for months. We’ve built-up quite a collection of images for the Alan Sillitoe iPhone App. So, when Al asked if I could produce a design for the [LeftLion] cover, I knew exactly which images to use”. Says Paul.
Although Paul has been engaged in digital production since the mid-nineties, he’s no stranger to print, having spent several years as an Apple Software Specialist working with high-end AGFA, Linotype, Canon and Sony imaging systems. He admits to being ‘a bit of a Mac evangelist in those days’ introducing design agencies up and down the country to the emerging Apple technology and training-up designers from several studios including Saatchi and Saatchi.
Paul’s ad agency work includes several award-winning poster campaigns and photo-montages.
“We really pushed the technology with some of those early pieces. And campaigns like the Cerne Abbas male style-press ad [for Raleigh] - one of my personal favourites – certainly pushed the boundaries of our clients’ marketing team”.
“It’s sometimes necessary to go with your gut feeling and take a bit of a risk. By giving an idea ‘a little more edge’ you can often get something that really stands out from the crowd and in a competitive environment differentiation is everything”.
Although the Alan Sillitoe Trail is essentially a literary project, the thinkamigo team are working hard on developing strong graphic elements. The project will also need to incorporate user-generated content coming from Social Media channels between now and October.
With a diverse range of themes being covered by the trail, the iPhone App and complementary booklet looks set to deliver a rich, visual journey through Sillitoe’s Nottingham.
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