Category: Random Thoughts

Future Tech Products that are straight from the movies!

Future tech, it seems, is often inspired by the movies or the Hollywood directors who know something we don’t. Movies are the place of fantasy and desire and movie buffs being able to bring some key technologies of our favourite films to life is really a motivation of every film lover. From the Back to the future time travelling car, to the Tron Legacy Light Cycle so many key technological film props capture the imagination of us all. Continue “Future Tech Products that are straight from the movies!”

Are You Manipulated by Design?

Recently I had a message from a young Graphic Communication students about to graduate in need of some current designer’s viewpoints on her dissertation topic. Being someone who likes to help people whenever possible I answered her questions. This is the conversation that unfolded : –

Hi there! I was wondering if you would be able to answer 4 quick questions for me if you have a spare moment? I’m a third year Graphic Communication student and would really benefit from designers like yourself answering a few short questions to help me with my Dissertation!!Hope you can help! Thank you

Can you describe what ‘persuasion‘ means to you in terms of design?

emotions play a big part in being manipulated by design. picture shows how emotion puts  is into a situation that we desire to experience something, this time venice...but in las  vegas

Sure, persuasion for me is a subconscious effort when it comes to design, you don’t necessarily persuade people consciously through design you simply create a desire that is so immense that it becomes so unavoidably attractive that you are persuaded to act on the design whether it is a new product, a message or an interesting new architectural design. Persuasion is about tapping into our human emotions of desire and/or the hunger to improve our lives :).

 Can you describe what ‘manipulation’ means to you in terms of design?

Manipulation is similar to persuasion as every time we design something we are trying to manipulate people to act, we want to almost control the actions and thoughts of the viewer with our designs. Designers want to convince consumers through their own emotional experiences in life that they simply cannot live without our design, knowing it may correct a problem they have or have had,make them become more desirable or simple make them feel happier with their life. As designers we try to manipulate the customers to buy our product or service to enhance their experiences of life, albeit sometimes artificially.

 Describe a situation where you think you have been persuaded & manipulated by design

I am not sure when or if I have been persuaded by design. Being trained to think creatively, artistically and analytically you are constantly aware of design so it is difficult as a designer to be persuaded by ‘concious’ persuasion as we know that we are trying to be convinced to buy. Saying that, if a product is well designed ergonomically and I can see it is manufactured well then I am drawn to it more rather than through clever branding such as apple.

Maybe I have been persuaded or manipulated by design but without actually knowing about it because the best graphic design will only subtly persuade you without the viewer actually realising it is doing so. An example of this subtle manipulation is the marketing message in the Budweiser advert.

Example of subconcious manipulation in advertising

Budweiser used to sell mainly to white middle class Americans but they wanted to expand their market to include the young ethnic market so they released the wassup advert.

In this video every actor has a funny conversation where each friend says wassssuuuup and every one of these people are from the new market group targeted. The fact the advert is funny attracts everyone regardless of race and subconsciously makes it acceptable for people other than the white middle classes to drink Budweiser, a clever design by the advertisers of Budweiser.


There are many times when I look around and can see many manipulations and persuasive messages on billboards and shop windows that are so consciously trying to persuade that they have no effect on those who are creatively trained but like the advert above I found it fun and remember saying wassup to my friends yet didn’t realise the subliminal message that the company wanted to portray that their beverage was for everyone.

Therefore it is possible to suggest that we are being manipulated and persuaded to every day, whether a small advert on a website or a poster on the tube or told a believable marketing messages such as ‘Apple is the best in creating technological advances’, all things that we have been persuaded or manipulated into believing by advertisers and marketing firms.

So next time you are out and about just take a moment to study what you are looking at and be more prepared to analysis what the message is that is trying to be communicated to you to make you act in a certain way.

What are your views on persuasion and manipulation in design? Please comment in the box below.

4 ways to find out what is trending on the internet

Sometimes deciding what to write about on your blog can be difficult, you just get a creative block and it’s like you are sat in a white room, on a white stool with white windows & with nothing to white, oh sorry I mean write! Finding out what is trending on social media is one great way to inducious your creative sparks. In this post you will find four useful links to find out what is currently trending.

Google Trends

Each day there is new content created on the web and search engine giant Google is a great place to find out what is trending. It is the most widely used Search Engine in the Western Hemisphere so if you write about something related to the main trend you have a good chance you may generate some traffic from it.


Ever heard of reddit? Well you have now! Reddit is a place that people share stories that they find interesting and they post them in specific categories. The benefit of this for looking for ideas for your own works is that you can see how many up’s they have which gives an indication at how interesting and successful the story might be if you were to create something yourself around that particular article.

Buzz Feed buzzfeed

BuzzFeed is the leading media company for the social age, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas. Their technology powers the social distribution of content, detects what is trending on the web, and connects people in realtime with the hottest content of the moment. A great way to really spark your imagination with many subjects and ideas to discuss on your blog, what could be better?

Youtube Trending

youtubetrendLastly, if you are starting to enter the world of video blogging you may like to take a look at this site. It gives you insight into what is currently trending on youtube. Even if you aren’t video blogging it still might spark some ideas for your latest blog post or podcast.

[divider style=”1″]

Remember, although all these websites are informing you of what is trending at that particular moment you may want to try and be a little bit psychic too and write about things that are yet to happen but are foresable and highly likely to happen as this will give google time to index your content and you won’t become old news. Alternatively, if you can write an article within a couple of hours and you have large social media followings on various platforms and you are a part of various communities then don’t worry so much about natural search results just make sure you use the hashtag as effecitvely as possible when describing your blog post so that your article can be found amongst all the other trending information. Best of luck and if you have any other ideas of to find out what is trending then please feel free to comment in the box below.

11 successful British people who didn’t get a degree

Its August and many students are packing their bags and buying laptops and student supplies in ready to undertake their very expensive university education. For others they may not have got past the UCAS point scoring or maybe they aren’t as academic as their counterparts. In this post I will show you ten British people that have made a success of themselves without ever attending university, proof that a degree doesn’t always necessarily mean increased wealth and better opportunities.

[divider style=”1″]

Duncan Bannatyne


If you don’t give it a go you’ll never fail, but if you don’t accept the possibility of failure, you’ll never get the chance to succeed.

— Duncan Bannatyne

John Caudwell


“I strongly believe the group has enormous potential for further growth in the UK and internationally ,”

Simon Cowell


If you have people working for you, you must understand that they have an invisible sign on their heads which says, “Make me feel important”. Share the credit.

Alan Sugar


The entrepreneurial instinct is in you. You can’t learn it, you can’t buy it, you can’t put it in a bottle. It’s just there and it comes out.

Richard Branson


 My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do this today.’

Sean Connery


I left Scotland when I was 16 because I had no qualifications for anything but the Navy, having left school at 13.

David Beckham



 I’ve felt a little tired, but I’m only 24. I love playing football. That’s my job and that’s what I love doing.

John Lennon


“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Andy Murray


The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to win.

Deborah Meaden


There isn’t a single path to success – there are many.

William Hesketh Lever


Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don’t know which half

[divider style=”1″]

The main thing that all these people have is a passion for one industry, determination to make it work, an understanding that hard work will eventually pay off and a “realistic” belief that they can do it.

Just because you didn’t get a degree or state education ( what many in society believe is expected for a successful future) doesn’t mean you can’t still be highly successful. If these ten successful British people without a degree are anything to go by it could be said that you are probably wiser not to attend university and invest your money and more importantly, time elsewhere.


A week without Facebook

Pretty much ever since Facebook was invented I feel as though it has been the third arm I never had, a tool that now probably seems it is an integrated part of our life, checking on status of friends, looking at inspiring photographs & playing games. Now I am exploring more social media platforms I am wondering just how important Facebook is to me as a creative professional, sometimes i feel as though I waste too much of my time on Facebook when I should be spending time blogging, spreading posts on Reddit or Stumbleupon or maybe just creating some entirely new art away from the digital arena?

Being disconnected from the Matrix

Video : Interesting the Blue Pill keeps you in a state of not knowing..

The experiment has begun! My Facebook is now deactivated and I am going to see how my life is going to be effected. I will be reporting daily about the experience, what I am missing or what I am gaining from the fact I will no longer be using the king of social platforms. Will it be an eye opener or will it feel like I am missing an important part of my life? Only time will tell…

Living a semi-normal life

Trying to live a non facebook life will be interesting, it may be sad to admit but when I wake up the first thing I would do is check my facebook news feed for the latest bit of interesting facts. Surely this can’t be healthy and thus one of the reasons I am conducting the experiment.

Sign up to the rss feed

If you are interested to see how I cope for a week without Facebook and what I discover please subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the page to the right. I hope you enjoy following my anti-facebook journey.

I want to change my life for the better

Sometimes we can get really down in life when we focus on the economic gloom, read & watch the negative news about the few very mentally disturbed people doing terrible things to other human beings, the dwindling amount of work in the ever increasing competitive markets and personal difficulties that life can throw at us, we can easily become depressed and feel the world is becoming worse rather than better. You want to escape from it anyway you can…believe me…i’ve been there! If you are thinking like this then you are likely thinking “i want to change my life for the better”.


The truth is what we focus on we become. What we give out we get back.

It is never too late to change your life from a negative to a positive, it is simply a matter of choice.

If we think with our hearts and realize everyone is striving to be happy we can all help one another make this world a great place to live once again for everyone not just ourselves. Creating happiness in others is the greatest wealth anyone can have. I guess that is why they won’t make you happy.

I am going to try my best to follow the message of the video as much as I can , be positive and spread positive vibes. Its never too late to change your attitude  : –

The Gift of an Image

Something I am quite fond of seeing in people is when I see compassion, love & a genuine interest in wanting to help others better themselves. On Twitter I stumbled across a tweeter that has created a very nice concept.

Children + instuctions + Cameras + Develop + Print + Exhibit = Gift

Their concept is simple. To stimulate & cultivate creativity in youngsters through the power of photography. Now how is this innovative you may say? How is going to make a difference? There was a famous guy that you may have heard of, Albert Ironstein, that once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, which to some degree is very true, you can be extremely good at remembering facts and learning new techniques but unless you can put the facts and knowledge you gain together with the special ingredient of creativity then the experience remains quite useless.

[divider style=”1″]

Sharing our world

For me, creative professions of all shapes and sizes try to make sense of the world through communicating our experiences to others in various forms hoping to improve the lifestyle or mind of the participant who is interacting to what we have created. By giving children cameras it allows them to communicate their view of the world to people and realise that their voice does matter.

the gift of an image

Helping others live better without wanting anything in return is the most rewarding thing you can do

When you are a creative and you have been trained to be harness the creative potential of your mind ANYTHING is possible. I was trained for over 10 years to develop creativity. From the ages of 14 to 26 I pursued a greater interest in the arts. Beginning in Graphics, pursuing a dream of architecture when the big bad recession pushed the dream down & then realising that creative skill sets are transferable to just about any profession I retrained myself in the “creative” IT world.

[divider style=”1″]

Why is what I am saying about my life experience relevant to the The Gift of an image scheme? I understand that developing young peoples creativity can vastly improve their lives and help them to dream, realise what they have to share matters & give them the skills to develop their creative genius.

View more about this scheme on Behance & see some of the images that the children have taken

[medium_button color=”dark” url=”″ target=”_blank”]Read More[/medium_button]

Follow them on Twitter

[divider style=”1″]

Please note, all Pictures belongs to Gift of An Image


JA Wilson Design website evolution


Like any design process a website undergoes change after change before arriving at an appropriate finishing point. Design items are never 100% complete even when they are pretty impressive, designs can always be improved upon but what helps a designer reach a stopping point is time and deadlines. This website is currently undergoing a makeover and I thought I would see if I could find my old site design online and to my surprise it is still out there on the web! Read on to see the website evolution.

[image source=”” width=”full” target=”_self” lightbox=”false”]

My original website domain was jawzofdesign. I decided to change it because I wasn’t happy using the z in Jaws.. I felt it was a symbol of a designer trying to hard…oooo an s back to front! Really clever… :s. Why Jawz of design? Well the work i produce is all based around communication, graphics, conceptual art, websites, its all about using our jaws , talking in any medium I can find. JAW is also my initials.


You may notice the logo was a lot more rectangular than it is now. I never realised that i had extended the logo in such a way. Subconsciously I had redeveloped my logo in order to give it a more sleak appearance.

Good points

I particularly liked the banner on this website. When you hovered over an image it would pop out to the side and because each image has a unique texture it really does make you curious to see what those things are.

Bad points

I think the header wasn’t fantastic and the layout left a lot to be desired.

JA Wilson DesignJA Wilson

My latest website design is okay for its purpose but its still lacking that oompf! I know it needs more clever images, I think the layout will need some alterations also. I really liked how the logo hit you as you visit the site but the problem with this is firstly, it has no call to action and secondly every time you visit any page on my site you have to scroll a whole page before you see any content. Maybe this is great for branding awareness but for usability it would seriously frustrate me and this is the reason I am going to be giving the site a makover.

Hopefully, by the start of April the website will be much more user friendly with a more sleek graphical site to feast your eyes on. It goes to show that as you gain more experience you know what works well and make improvements, nothing ever stays the same…

Finding out you are dyslexic

You may have noticed that sometimes ( actually…probably quite often!) that my blog posts can have grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Sometimes I only realize after I have read what I have wrote three or four times and it can be quite frustrating to say the least. The odd thing is, as a child, I won a trophy for creative writing, I completed all of my school qualifications with good grades and I managed to see through two of the most difficult degrees possible in Architecture & Teaching. Okay Architecture may be more practical but we still have to write about Architectural History & the technology as well as read how things are built and how famous architects have conceived their ideas. It was only when I had to take QTS ( Qualified Teacher Status ) tests that I realized I may have a problem in this area. I passed my IT and Maths test with ease it was the english test that caused me problemos! Continue “Finding out you are dyslexic”