My perfect cousin

Today my cousin came through from Edinburgh to chat to our design manager. Keith set up Bluemungus with his business partner Willie a few years back and they have some pretty impressive clients with some fascinating work in their portfolio including Infinite Scotland, Museum Without Walls and my personal favourite the iProclaimers app which helps you learn the chords and words for Proclaimers songs and keeps you up-to-date with the band’s news.

Keith studied graphic design at college and his first job was in a print shop (remember them?). He then moved on to software design and CD-rom production (remember them?). Then came the shift to web design and app creation which is what he was coming to share with us. A few months ago I stumbled upon Google’s Mobile Playbook and all sorts of ideas and inspiration started swimming before my eyes. We produce hundreds of leaflets and booklets and create loads of web content, animation and film that, if stitched together properly, would make fabulous multimedia, content-rich pieces of work that the public would use in a heartbeat. We have the content, we have the designers, we have the developers – we just needed to know how to make it all work together.

And then came Keith.

He talked to us for an hour and a half although he could have gone on for longer, and we would have listened willingly. Yes, there is some training to be done , yes we have to manage expectations and yes it will be a steep learning curve. Our designers are already using the right tools and the developers know how to make the ideas work. We just need to think a bit differently about the work coming in. Can we enrich it with video or audio? Could we take that content and make it sing? How can we add value to this leaflet and turn it into a teaching tool or a piece of entertainment?

My head was ready to burst by the time Keith and I left for lunch. Some of the projects he’s working on are more art than function but why shouldn’t they be? And then it dawned on me that everything we’d been speaking about is what I keep trying to get over to MiniMe. The days of the geeks being in charge should be over. It’s not enough to get by on technology alone anymore. We all have gaming devices, phones more powerful than our PCs and home entertainment systems. Shoot ’em ups and driving games are all pretty samey. What the industry needs is creatives – good artists, good film makers and great writers. It’s time for the geeks to move over a bit and work alongside us right brain thinking creative types.

So that’s what we have planned – even more collaboration than yesterday 🙂

Lunch was in my fave restaurant Equi’s, although the waitress is so used to seeing me with HimIndoors she probably though I was up to no good today.

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A hearty dollop of Creme Egg ice-cream

Today I have learned:

  • not everyone can write well (this always surprises me)
  • a retweet by Betty Wright didn’t even make a blip on my blog stats 😦
  • it doesn’t matter how full you are you’ve always got room for Equi’s ice-cream

Today’s track

Today’s recipe

Fideua (Spanish pasta)

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Ingredients

olive oil for frying

800g raw prawns

1 onion, finely chopped

150g tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tsp paprika

1 litre chicken stock

350g small durum wheat pasta

seasoning

2tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

2tbsp allioli – you could make your own but mine came from Asda in a jar

lemon wedges to serve

Method: Heat a little oil in a large pan and cook the prawns till pink. Remove ans set aside.

Ad a little more oil and cook the onion till soft. Add the tomatoes and paprika and cook gently for 15 minutes until pulpy. Pour in the stock, add the pasta and bring to the boil. Simmer gently and cook till the pasta is soft and has soaked up the stock. Don’t stir it.

Season to taste then stir in the allioli and parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

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