Creative Director & Podcast Host

Bird by Bird - By Ricky Richards

Pseudo Individuality

For the most part my day has been pretty bland. I’ve been putting together the ideas for pedigree into a presentation and I also came up with some ideas to promote the Sherlock Holmes film. I did some research last night and was surprised to find out the story of the real Sherlock Holmes, a man by the name of Dr Joseph Bell. He played a role in the investigation of the Jack the Ripper murders, who’s house is actually opposite our office in Hanbury Street. Hanbury street is also the home of Flanagan and Allen, the musicians who created the song ‘Run Rabbit Run’. As well as Wieden and Kennedy, who are responsible for a hundreds of cultural ads over the years. It’s a great street that is full of history.

The reason I’m writing this post so late today is because nothing much notable has occurred until I got home. Two of the three books I’m expected to read for my innovation management course have arrived and I’ve made a start on Visual Methodologies by Gillian Rose. I’ve only read the first chapter so far, mainly because a lot of the text requires me to read over it multiple times to understand. It has strings of complex words that take me time to interpret individually, let alone one after another.

However, some of the words and concepts that have come up have been really interesting. A lot of them are used to describe ideas I was aware of, but prior to today, had no way to describe.

The best example was Pseudo Individuality which goes some way to describe the funny cultural trend where everyone buys into certain things in an attempt to feel unique, but in actual fact, they just further reinforce their lack of individuality by fitting further into a niche group. It’s also used to show the lack of real difference between products other than the perceived values we attach to them. How for example, virtually all brands of lipstick are the same, but due to consistent messaging we come to have different belief about one product to another.

This reminded me of my brainstorming session with the Nattr founders the other day. One of the guys mentioned that he refuses to buy clothing from Top Man, because other people will have it. He said he’s happy to pay inflated prices for worst quality clothing because he likes to be original and despises the mass market. My view was that in doing that, he now falls into an admittedly less sizable group, but arguably better visually defined demographic of boutique shoppers. The styles of which vary little from shop to shop and ultimately provide the same unified look for any person who also shares the cultural viewpoint.. The only way I can see true individuality being achieved in the case of clothing, is if people were to blindly pick based on practical application.

I feel this would be a good idea for a charity. If for example, they were able to categorise clothing based on size and practical application. Such as 'warm jumper size medium’ then people pay a small charge to be sent the clothing unknowing of it’s looks.

Even in this case you would probably find the person ends up looking like a average badly dressed individual, which will again only attribute another set of social values. But it might reassure the wearers to know that in owning those clothes they have in no part been tricked by the Marxist system of consumerism.

Two other words that caught my attention were conflation and ocularcentrism.

Conflation... is the combination of two or more different expressions into one. I found this funny because not too long ago, a friend of mine (Jack Benson) raised the fact I was saying ‘flustration’ instead of frustration. I don’t know why but I always thought it was the former, a kind of hybrid between frustration and flustered.

Ocularcentrism... is an interesting word to me because I feel I am very ocular-centrist. When concepting for clients I always think in visuals. I like to combine images and I’m really good at coming up with simple visual metaphors for complex ideas which is probably attributable to my preference towards visuals over text.

That’s it for today. The book is really good so far and I’ll be sure to mention any other interesting concepts it may churn up as I read it.

 

 

Ricky Richards