Category Archives: Print Buzz

Great print advertising still gets us going.

Real Food, But Not Really

How Food is “Produced” for Pictures and Videos.


We all know expectation and reality are quite different when it comes to the photography of the dishes on the menu (or in the media) and what you see when you receive your order. So much so, that even one of McDonald’s own decided to explain how this happens by documenting the production of a series of publicity photos of their snacks.

Videomaker Minhky Le, creator of the series “Real Food, But Not Really” has also decided to document this process on video. In three videos he shows, in a very interesting way, a comparison of how food is prepared to be served and how it is “produced” to be photographed or filmed.

Featuring a burger, an ice cream and a drink that after watching these videos may look more delicious, but you certainly will not want to eat any of them.

This is called food styling. But what is food styling? Is it the artful placing of a garnish, the careful drizzle of some sauce and the precise placement of food to best display its charms? Well yes, it’s all those things but it’s so, so much more too.

Some people question if creating a heavily stylised version of a dish for photography is somehow dishonest.

In my opinion? No. Assuming a recipe had been tested and tasted good, all the stylist is doing is making the food look its best for the shot. That’s the job of a food stylist.

Here are some tips to practicing your food styling according to Denise Vivaldo

1) Read and study

Study as many food styling and food photography books as you can get your hands on. Similarly, learn as much you can about food. You don’t have to be a chef to be a food stylist — although there are more and more ex chefs moving into this area — but the more you know about food the easier your job will be.

2) Attend a food styling course and workshops

You’ll learn insider techniques and tricks that’ll blow your mind and fast-track your career. You’ll also be able to watch techniques being demonstrated and then try them yourself with on the spot feedback. The friendships and contacts that you make will also be invaluable.

3) Assist a professional food stylist

Assisting a professional food stylist is one of the best ways to learn about food styling. As an assistant you’re free to observe and learn, without the pressure of having to deliver. When approaching a professional stylist to request an assisting position, show respect and do your homework. He or she doesn’t owe you anything so be polite and explain what you can do for them.

4) Build complementary skills

You might be the world’s best food stylist but if no one knows about you, you’re going to struggle to find work. So learn about photography, writing, social media and marketing. Alternatively, seek out people who have these skills and who are also looking to build their portfolio.

5) Start a blog

What’s the easiest way to get your work out there? Start a blog – it’s a great way to show people what you’re capable of.

6) Always over prepare

While you must be a master improviser at the actual photo shoot, solid preparation the day before a shoot will stand you in good stead. Practice the recipes you will be preparing. Go over your food styling kit and make sure you have all the tools you may possible need, including backups. Buy at least two of every time you will be cooking.

7) Be meticulous in your prep

On the day of the shoot, go through all the produce and remove any bruised, old or unsightly items. Prepare raw produce meticulously; ensure your cuts are consistent and neat.

 8) Think on your feet

Problem solving is perhaps the most important skill a food stylist needs to develop as the actual job on the day may dramatically differently from the agreed brief. Perhaps the client has a change of heart at the last minute, some produce is unusable or there is no running water nearby. Whatever the problem, the food stylist has to be able to solve it in a calm and professional way.

9) Create your own signature look

When you’re starting out as a food stylist you may be tempted just to copy the work of other food stylists and food bloggers. There’s no harm in. After a while, though, try to consciously develop your own style to create your own signature look. Think of it is a being a first-rate you instead of a second-rate somebody else. You’ll be a lot happier and your work will be much more distinctive.

Ice Cream



 Article by Advertising student, Carlos Alcantara

Is this the World’s most Hated Font?

For all you budding Art Directors out there, take heed:

What’s the most hated font in the world?

Most of you would probably answer: Comic Sans. A fair guess, given the sheer amount of CS-hating that exists online. (See here, here, here and here. And that’s just on The Huffington Post alone.) A smaller segment would probably shriek, “Papyrus!”, that 1982 creation that tries to mimic calligraphy but fails miserably.

Alas, you’d all be wrong. Because, thanks to a cheeky designers at Barth and Co., there is a Frankenstein font that puts all other typographical disasters to shame. That font is Comic Papyrus.

“Why waste valuable time bashing hated fonts individually?” creator Rob Barth wrote on his blog. “Now, thanks to Comic Papyrus from Barth and Co, you can diss two fonts at once!”

Fonts, fonts, everywhere.

We reached out to Barth, wondering why on Earth he’d create such a hybrid. He replied:

“Well. The font doesn’t really exist, per se. I merely designed the sample that is posted on my blog. I was really making a statement about the inordinate amount of time people spend bashing fonts online. I mean, there are font arguments on forums and in comments sections that go on for miles. Eventually everyone agrees that Helvetica is great and goes to bed. I wanted to provide a font that allowed critics to save time by hating both Comic Sans and Papyrus at once.”

And there you have it. Hate on, dear design nerds. In case you were wondering, Barth agrees that Helvetica is the closest thing to a “best” font. “It can be used for almost anything without looking wrong,” he added. “The worst font is Comic Sans. Or Papyrus. Or both.”

This article is appeared on SMH online and is originally published by the Huffington Post.

13 ways to create a winning print ad


Thanks to Jeremy Taylor Riley for this gem of an article from BRAND REPUBLIC about some extensive research from the Gunn Report (who reviewed 1,000 of the most awarded and admired ads and campaigns in the world from the past 15 years) to analyse how ideas are found for great press and outdoor ads. Have a read.

Click here for the original article on BRAND REPUBLIC


The ‘Power of Print’ study identified 13 different basic dramatic formats used to engage consumers creatively and effectively.

A valuable tool for students and young creatives alike wanting to delve deeper into what makes a print ad stand out or for seasoned industry professionals looking for a spark of inspiration, The ‘Power of Print’ is an insight of best practice used in brand communications.

We’ve done the hard work for you, so here are the 13 basic Dramatic Formats identified, each with a great example. Enjoy.

1. Information/Facts

Newspapers and magazines are the media we spend time with for the express purpose of gathering news and information. So when we have compelling information or facts strong enough to carry the sale, it would seem a shame – possibly even a crime – not to go this route.

Example: Moms for Gunn Sense, “little red riding hood” (pictured above)

2. Fresh Thought/Insight

When lacking unique product news or information, a fresh thought or insight we can dig up out of the product can actually be just as powerful.

It feels like proprietary news because our product is the one that has brought it to the light of day, thus providing a fresh point-of-view on the product’s value and usefulness in life.

Axe Deodorant

Example: Axe Deodorant “get a girlfriend – scout”

3. Demo In Print

With movement, time, visuals and sound, demonstration is clearly the trump suit of television. But a single static picture can provide visual proof too. Sometimes factual authenticity is key. But with an extra charming idea, a soupçon of creative licence will be granted.

Example: Tide-to-go stain remover pen,

Example: Tide-to-go stain remover pen, “pocket”     

4. Dramatise The Need/Problem

The process is to turn our creative spotlight full beam onto the Need the product meets, the Problem it solves. Problems, from a dramatic perspective, can be more entertaining and more arresting than solutions.

So the sale is achieved by exploiting the dramatic potential of the Need/Problem… as the build-up to bringing on the Client’s product (or message) as the answer.

Granny's Fries,

Example: Granny’s Fries, “Ida”

5. Exaggerated Graphic for The Need/Problem

Format 5 is Dramatise the Need/Problem continued. But now we leave the realms of reality and exaggeration takes over. To enhance the impact, as we put the Need or Problem centre stage, our job is to create a larger-than-life, indeed other-than-life, visual metaphor and hyperbole.

Example: Imodium D,

Example: Imodium D, “bus seat”

6. Comparison

The advertising idea is to juxtapose the benefit as provided by our product versus the inferior alternative supplied by others. It can even take the form of mocking the plight of the silly person who has chosen the wrong product.


Example: Harley-Davidson, “thighs”

7. Tell a Story

Ever since The Bible and Aesop’s Fables, a truly great way to get a message across is to wrap it up in a story. People like stories, people listen to stories. And if they are very good stories, people sometimes even pass them on. One route is to come up with stories that exemplify the product’s role and usefulness in life. The other route is to dream up consequences that the benefit could cause.

CNN Turkey,

Example: CNN Turkey, “cameraman”

8. Exaggerated Graphic for The Benefit

Testimony to the power of a knockout visual – one that translates the benefit arrestingly, surprisingly and perfectly – is to stop customers in their tracks and win mind space for the brand.

Example: Heineken,

Example: Heineken, “builder’s bum”

9. Associated or Used Imagery Lifestyle/Attitude Reflect The Benefit

The Benefit is reflected contextually, in terms of where it lives and what it lives with. The most potent association of all tends to be with people. These are the people with whom you identify and with whom you are identified when you buy, carry and use a brand.


Example: Diesel, “smart/stupid – brains-balls”

10. Media-Driven Idea

Nowadays the ‘Outdoor’ category has extended to anything that happens out of the home, inc. stunts and happenings which are filmed for virals, as well as for the 10 O’clock News. Our examples here are all billboard or poster-led.

They have resulted from pondering the creative brief and the selling message in conjunction with the outdoor Media we could choose to use and how we could use it.

Example: The Zimbabwean,

Example: The Zimbabwean, “cheaper than money”

11. Product Provides The Graphic

A brilliant solution whenever we can pull it off, so it is worth think-about time on every brief. Can we harness the visual characteristics/the look of the product to provide a personalised graphic idea for the advertising? If so, i) impact, ii) uniqueness and iii) outstanding branding will all three have been achieved.

Example: Havaianas,

Example: Havaianas, “rainbow”

12. Borrowed Format or Parody

This is harnessing a vehicle that’s already familiar as a unique way to burn home our message. It could be a movie, or art, or an iconic image, or something from showbiz, or from history, or from fiction, or even a famous ad campaign.

There is a whole wealth of material out there with potential, if we can make it relevant to our selling message, for borrowing or parodying.

Example: Czech National Library,

Example: Czech National Library, “the old man and the sea”

13. Participation

Originating from the coupon ad, adventurous creative brands have taken it much further. The basic principle is that the reader/viewer has to participate with the ad on the printed page, in order to complete the circle.

BBC World,

Example: BBC World, “citizens/criminals”

Donald Gunn is the founder of The Gunn Report. To view the full ‘Power of Print’ analysis and all 140 supporting examples, visit

This article was first published on





Ad Students at Typemasters Exhibition



Advertising students Ash Maher and Patricia Tamayo and advertising lecturers Ian Thomson and Jason Gemenis recently caught the Typemasters exhibition at the “He Made She Made” gallery in Darlinghurst.

Type posters, representing the work of some of the best emerging type artists were presetented from The Royal Academy of Art in The Haague’s Type and Media program. This is a one-year intensive course where students collaborate and delve more deeply into type design for not only print, but also film, television, video and interactive media.

Opening the Sydney exhibition was the Australian graduate and designer, Troy Leinster, who is one of only four Australians to ever complete the course. His Brisbane typeface was one of the highlights of the 2013 exhibition, which toured The Hague, The Netherlands; Berlin, Germany; Brisbane, Australia; Moscow, Russia; and Sofia Bulgaria.

The Sydney Typemasters Exhibition runs from August 7th to the 15th.

Click here for the gallery link from “He Made She Made”

For further information please contact AGDA  via

Bodies with No Regret

Bodies with No Regret

Fun and provocative staged photos from photographer Sandro Giordano.

“Each shot ‘tells’ about worn out characters who, as if a sudden black-out of mind and body took over, let themselves crash with no attempt to save themselves, unable, because of the fatigue of the everyday ‘representation’ of living, oppressed by ‘appearance’ instead of simply ‘existing’,” explains Giordano.

Click on the photo for the original post on demilked.

The Best Print Campaigns of 2013-14

The Best Print Campaigns of 2013-14

If you haven’t seen the results from Cannes yet, check out this great link to ADWEEK. They list (and show) the best print ads awarded at this year’s Cannes festival. Be inspired.

Gemma O’Brien on the return to bespoke typography


As the latest installment in Macleay’s AdSpeaks 2014 series, Advertising students welcomed typographer Gemma O’Brien. Known for her illustrated typography treatments and hand-lettering, she has created work for clients including Woolworths, Heinz, Vodafone, The New York Times, SBS and Kirin Cider.

Gemma spoke to the Advertising class about the amount of hard work she’s put in over the past few years, setting her up for a great career in typography. Her passion for typography is inspiring for us to see, and shows how much dedication goes into pursuing a dream.

It was interesting to hear how Gemma’s career in typography quickly succeeded because of the authenticity behind her hand drawn skills on paper and illustration, meeting a revived demand for typography that looks ‘hand made’ and original.

Gemma’s session has inspired me to pursue high goals and helped me understand that I’ll be able to get there by giving my best in everything I do.

Macleay Advertising student, Jessica Germino