Author Archives: Michael

Christmas Consumption

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Being a midwinter festival with roots in pre-Christian cultures, it is no surprise that Christmas revolves around food: in times gone by, the survival of the community was dependent on… Read more >

Zen and the art of understatement

Zen and the art of understatement

“You are never dedicated to something that you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to… Read more >

The semiotics of the political spectrum

The semiotics of the political spectrum

In the west it is pervasive to think of political parties as sitting somewhere on a left-to-right spectrum. From a purely branding point of view, which end is the easier… Read more >

Google Chrome: Future Nostalgia

Future Nostalgia

Google Chrome’s ‘The web is what you make of it’ campaign plays with the conventional semiotics of time to communicate its enduring value. The ‘Dear Hollie’ spot is perhaps the… Read more >

The Kuleshov Effect and Political Stage Management

The Kuleshov Effect

In the early twentieth century, Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, pioneer of the montage technique, carried out an experiment that a hundred years on serves to illuminate an elementary aspect of… Read more >

Colour is everything


Like many people these days I have taken to wearing a black balaclava when out and about. Walking into my bank to draw out some money over the counter, buying… Read more >

The origin of clothes


Clothes are an integral part of human life. You might imagine that we first began using clothes for utilitarian purposes. Picture a caveman in winter skinning a very put-out deer… Read more >