9 Apr 2010

Gunk is Launched

Just a quick update.

I've been working on the Channel X brief for 2010 ISTD, and have finally got to the stage where I am developing a series of stings and logos and generally trying to refine the identity I am working on. As its intended as a Tv identity I decided to create a free Tv channel online, as a sort of sandbox for concepts. Below is the result.


Watch live streaming video from gunk1 at livestream.com

25 Mar 2010

Gunk.tv project

Below are drafts of motion graphics for the ISTD 2010 Channel X brief. I guess this might seem an obvious concept considering the name, but it is one I think has a great deal of potential for exploration.

8 Mar 2010

Focus on Imaging 2010

On Sunday 7th March 2010 I attended Focus on Imaging 2010 held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Despite the sheer lack of organisation to get in, (guess it shows how popular it is) theres a great deal on offer at this year's show. Held every year at the NEC Focus on Imaging is Europe's biggest annual imaging show, with exhibitions from all the big manufacturer's including Nikon and Canon, as well as numerous lighting and studio equipment suppliers - even printers.

It is certainly a must-attend event for anyone remotely interested in the imaging industry. I attended for the first time this year with the intention of gathering as much information as possible to facilitate the process of setting myself up in the photographic business with a portrait studio.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to buy anything, (damn student budget) though I would be lieing to say the temptation wasn't there. On the plus side there was ample freebies on offer from the various vendors. From business cards, leaflets, and catalogues to pens, badges, and even calendars on offer let's face it - who doesn't love a freebie. Especially when its a Photoshop cake.

Ok so its not Adobe Photoshop but even so credit for the style

While you would expect the big names to put on a show and really aim to impress, the one stand that really impressed me visually had to be Panasonic. While Nikon and Canon as well as many others were very impressive as well as informative, you can't beat the simple ideas. Its a photographic exhibition and it wouldn't be complete without a giant camera somewhere - and this is what Panasonic provided.

You'll have to excuse the poor quality as it was taken quickly on my phone - how ironic

Not only was this impressive in appearances but it had a working camera inside it, (although I suspect it was a camcorder) which fed a live image to the oh-so-much-more than 2.something inch screen on the back. Even if non of the buttons worked.

Suffice to say I will be going back next year. Hopefully this time with a bigger budget.

For more information on this exhibition I advise you visit the website.

3 Mar 2010

Starting Up In Business - Keeping the Taxman On Side

As far as the taxman is concerned a business becomes liable and therefore should be registered as soon as you recieve the first client or begin actively seeking clients, (eg. via advertising).

To Register:

1. Phone 0845 154 515
2. Download the CWF1 form from the HMRC website.

This will register the business for:

1. National Insurance (NI)
2. Income Tax

It is at registration that the company details are taken, liability begins, as well as a Unique Taxable Reference (UTR) allocated. You will also recieve a "Starting In Business" Guide.

In running a business you will be subject to pay:

1. Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance
2. Income Tax

Class 2 NI equates to £2.40 per week for self-employment and can be paid either quarterly or via Direct Debit. The only exceptions to this are available if the company profits expected are less than £5075 in the given tax year.

Class 4 NI is calculated based on the company profits, which for the current year is:

- 8% on profits between £50,715 to 43,875
- 1% on profits of £43,875 and above

Income Tax Rates break down as follows:

1. Personal Allowance - £6475
2. Basic Rate - 20% £1 to £37,400
3. Higher Rate - 40% £37,401 and above
4. From 6th April 2010 - 50% £150,000 and above

There are a number of records which need to be kept such as:

1. Business Expenses.
2. Value of stock on hand and work in progress.
3. Business Income.
4. Bank Documents.
5. Employee Wages.
6. Accounts taken for personal and family use.

*All cash flow should be recorded as accurately as possible!

When keeping business records there are 3 important notes to remember:

1. Set up a system.
2. Keep the system up to date.
3. Retain records for 5 years from the relevant statutory filing date.

There are a number of allowances for different aspects:

Capital Allowances:

These are available on assets which you expect to last a few years. The costs of these items can be written off against the company profits. Examples include:

1. Van or other vehicle.
2. Machinery or other equipment.

Annual Investment Allowance:

An AIA is the first £50,000 of expenditure on plant and machinery, (excluding cars and buildings). This can only be claimed in the year which the money is spent. In order to claim this you must be sure to document expenditure primarily:

1. What
2. When
3. How Much paid

If the figures aren't enough to contend with yet, theres VAT to consider:

You must register for VAT if:

- Taxable supplies exceed £68,000 in any 12 month period.
- You expect taxable supploes to exceed the threshold in any 30 days.

You may also register for VAT voluntarily before you reach the threshold. There are some distinct advantages to this such as the company image, as well as claiming back the VAT on business costs. The primary disadvantage to this of course is you must charge VAT to your customers/clients.

The current rate of VAT is set at 17.5% as of 1st January 2010. There is also a reduced rate of 5% as well as 0% applicable to items such as staple food items and children's clothing.

So how is profit calculated?

- Turnover (takings) less Allowable Expenses = Net Profit less Allowances for vehicles and equipment (Capital Allowances) = Net Taxable Profit

And finally the Tax year:

- Begins 6th April
- Finishes 5th April the following year

2 Mar 2010

Creative Futures 2010 - Entrepeneurship Day

On Monday 1st March, Creative Futures 2010 opened at Glyndwr University with a very informative and insightful line-up aimed at enterpeneurs and new business start-ups. Of particular interest to me was the Business Planning talk given by Garry Greenwood from Venture Wales Ltd who broke down the rather daunting task of business planning into a straightforward process.

A business plan is key in terms of business direction and essential in order to apply for funding. The key sections of a plan should include:

1. Executive Summary
2. Introduction
3. Market and Competitors
4. Marketing Strategy
5. Operations
6. Financial Data and Forecasts
7. Appendices

Executive Summary is a summarisation of the entire plan and as far as applying for finance is concerned is of paramount importance. This summary should give a quick run-down of the plan with particular attention to the highlighting the purpose of the plan/business, the finances, and obstacles to be overcome.

Introduction consists of:

Business idea / Background
Business details
Legal status
Owner / Management details
Product / Service details

Market and Competitors consists of:

Technical specifications
Features and benefits
Unique selling points
Future development plans

Marketing Strategy consists of:

Market overview
Customers / Target markets
Market size / Trends
PEST analysis
Competitor analysis
Marketing objectives
Marketing mix

Operations consists of:

People / Staff
Production processes
Systems and procedures
Legal aspects
Health and safety
Quality control

Financial Data and Forecasts consists of:

Details of cost, prices and volumes
Funding requirements
Sources of finance
Cash flow forecast
Profit and loss account
Balance sheet

15 Feb 2010

E4 Jaws Sting

Just thought I'd share some of the work I've been doing for the D&AD E4 Monday Night Movies brief. Enjoy. All feedback welcome.

5 Oct 2009


Kids nationwide, if not globally will no longer have to face the sheer trauma of being told no when asking if they can have a pet. Thanks to the new EyePet for Sony's PS3 system.

It seems like a very interesting and, from the E3 previews at least, a very polished product. However I guess this is Sony and there are moments in the video above that could shatter the magic that Sony seem to be selling to anyone evenly remotely impressionable.

Using the new generation augmented reality, the EyePet appears like a fascinating idea but in a way kinda gimmicky. That said it is clearly a stepping stone to bigger and better things to come.

Oh and when I said no more trauma over pets....thats if the parents agree to forking out for a PS3, Playstation Camera and the game...