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Alex

Brave and bold

This is James. Yesterday I went long with Dan and Mike our photographer to photograph video and interview him.

Last September James was told he had a particularly aggressive, terminal lung cancer. He was told he had 2 weeks to live. As you can see, he’s made it a long way beyond those 2 weeks.

Brave and bold, James is an amazing guy. Everyone we met who knows him talks of how he has inspired them. He says that the cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him. His message is to practice acceptance, a positive attitude, and keeping things in the day, living every day to the full and focusing on friends and family not the diversions of career and bullshit.

He speaks very eloquently of the great support he’s had from Macmillan, when we got our act together – his words. The first few months he didn’t get the support he needed. He’s inspired me to make sure we continue to do what we do well, but also to do better. Those few months we weren’t there for him could have been his last. Thanks to his courage and fight, he’s still around and now Macmillan is doing loads to support him make the most of his life and to have the happy and dignified death at home he wants.

Look out for what will be an very inspiring video and set of photos.

Update

Sadly James died a couple of weeks after our photo shoot. I’d like to offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family. I’m very grateful that he gave part of one of his last days to help us. I hope his story and photographs will inspire people in his situation, and others to support our cause.

Annual Report 2013

Letting our supporters know the amazing things we did in 2013, celebrating our successes and setting out our aims for 2014 and beyond, Macmillan’s Annual Report is a big deal for us. We want to make sure we get it right in terms of tone, content and presenting it in a way that is engaging and clear.

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We took a good look at the structure and language this year and how we could make the report as clear and informative as possible. Our creative principle of ‘for and by real people’ is also to the fore, with some great photos and stories of how we’ve helped people live with and beyond cancer.

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And our refreshed brand with painted panels and pop colours give it plenty of life and positive energy. Well done to everyone invoked in the project and let’s hope it inspires even more people to support us.

CRUK favourite charity amongst those aged 18–24

So we all know Macmillan is the nation’s favourite charity brand this year, but in the youth sector things are very different. The Youth 100 reveals the most loved brands of 2013 based on a survey of thousands of young people. The top three brands in this age group are You Tube, Wikipedia and Cadbury. CRUK are the first charity coming in at a respectable 11th place. The next seven charity brands are Comic Relief, Oxfam, Movember, Talk to Frank, Greenpeace, Amnesty and [Red].

You’ll notice that Macmillan don’t feature in the top 100. What are your thoughts about this? How can we make Macmillan better known and loved by Britain’s young people?

 

CRUK’s new user-generated content microsite

Take a look at the latest CRUK microsite every moment counts.

 

Useful PDF summary of some of our competitor’s brands

We’re the number one charity brand and we want to stay that way. So visit this section of the blog regularly to keep an eye on what competition are up to. To start you off here’s a handy visual summary of how CRUK, Marie Curie, Breast Cancer Care and various other cancer charities look. Enjoy.

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Geek heaven

A fun infographic allegedly featuring ‘all the sci-fi spaceships known to man‘. Quite a claim which immediately had me browsing through to find what I could spot that wasn’t included.

The facade’s fallen off my house

Okay, it’s not my house and the slipping down facade is really a clever sculpture by artist Alex Chinneck.

Why not head off to Margate to take a gander. If you’re feeling less energetic or the prospect of the bracing English seaside in October doesn’t appeal, you can read all about it here (or watch a short video if you’re feeling even less energetic).

 

Cool graffiti

Snapped in various locations in Spain

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Zorn@60

I went to an amazing gig at Barbican on Friday, showcasing some of the music of uber-prolific John Zorn (His discography stretches to 100′s of entries.) It was pretty inspiring to see the energy and iconoclastic style of 60-year-old Zorn as he bounced around the stage conducting some brilliant musicians clearly inspired by his enthusiasm and demanding music. I knew his music was pretty eclectic, having bought Spillane, his recording based around the fictional detective a few years back.

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But it hadn’t prepared me for this concert that mixed hard core thrash metal, a piece for for five female voices singing what I can only describe as Philip Glass meets medieval plainsong, and some pretty avant garde free jazz. The combination of intense beauty and sheer violent energy was a bit like a condensed Glastonbury experience, where you’ve wandered from the mosh pit at the Other stage to an afternoon gig on the Jazz stage via an acoustic tent. From slightly traumatizing to deeply moving and joyful, the contrasts made each piece seem even more intense.

Written on the wind: Lawrence Weiner exhibition

I was really interested to see this exhibition at MACBA during my recent trip to Barcelona.

Weiner is best known for his typographic conceptual art, often installed as large wall graphics.

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I really like his work; well, working as graphic designer that’s not that surprising. They’re very clean – some might say cold – so it was really interesting to see his drawings, which revealed another side to the artist.

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From big working drawings for installations, to ideas on scraps of paper, this was a fascinating insight into his working mind. The things that stood out for me were his wry sense of humour and how personal, sometimes autobiographical, his work is.

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If you want to see and learn a little more, here’s a nice video produced by the museum.

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