Pentagram

New at Pentagram

Skip to content

Fighting the Good Fight

white_pencil

Naresh Ramchandani shares six things he learnt whilst judging D&AD’s White Pencil ‘Creativity for Good’ Award. 

Last week I was lucky enough to sit on the D&AD White Pencil jury. I was with a terrific group of judges, judging the work I care most about – work that is here to do good. We looked at a vast amount of entries from around the world and figured a few things out in the process. I wanted to share some reflections on a hugely thought-provoking week.

New Work: I Give An X

Only 65% of people voted in the last UK election, with a majority of non-voters being young people. In the run up to the General Election on 7 May 2015, Naresh Ramchandani, Marina Willer and their teams decided to combat this disengagement.

The result is I Give An X, a non-partisan, online campaign that asks people to visit the I Give An X website, pick an X to download and share as their profile picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #igiveanx. By living in social media, I Give An X has a relevance to younger voters and, by allowing them to wear a virtual badge of pride, the campaign can influence their social circles as well.

A Pentagram Production: The Poems of Henry Ponder

Naresh Ramchandani explains how we came to make a short film about one of Britain’s most thoughtful, but lesser known, poets. 

I don’t know about you, but my life affords me barely any time to think. The amount of attention I give to my family, my work and to my other duties and pleasures – all manifest through unending calls, meetings, texts, emails and to do lists which never seem to shorten – leaves me precious little time for contemplation. It wasn’t always so.

When I was younger, I used to consider the world around me, and notice things, and think things, such as no matter when you reach a place, your nose will have got there first, or the fact that a stopped clock will tell the right time twice a day. These were not idle thoughts but simple reflections on a world which I had time to attend to, be mindful of and curious about.

That’s why it was such a pleasure last year to discover a minor poet by the name of Henry Ponder, a man tweeting very short daily poems in which he contemplated his everyday world. Henry wrote about the restorative nature of sweeping a floor, and the brusqueness of the language of warning signs, and the inner-softness and vulnerability of a pain au raisin, and more. As I followed his poems, they became mini-mediations not just in his day but mine, reminding me think beyond my immediate preoccupations; reminding me to stop and smell life’s proverbial flowers.

I decided that this unknown poet deserved to be better known. I contacted him on Twitter and arranged to meet him. In person, he was a small, shy man shy with unkempt hair and thick-rimmed glasses. When I suggested the idea of making a very short film about him, he thought for a while, and then said “That would be kind.”