The grey men


This wall. This fucking wall. I’ve been looking at it for the last 6 years, every day, on my commute into London. I know it inside out. I know every crack, every brick and every smudge of dirt. Or at least I thought I did, because something happened this morning that made me look properly. Someone had spray painted the previously uncoloured air vents yellow (I think they are air vents).


I know, unbelievable isn’t it.


So why did this happen? And why was it executed so badly. Just look at all the yellow paint on the wall! All over the place. Someone obviously didn’t care.


Was this painted for health and safety reasons? Probably. But is this necessary? The vents already have a cage around them to make them safer. Did someone complain about them sticking out? Ripped their coat? Maybe. We will never know.


What is interesting though to think about – maybe – for a moment is how this intervention of the “grey men” has impacted on the overall brand experience of the wall and by extension First Capital Connect whose colours have been used to paint the bricks.


The grey person that added the yellow probably had no knowledge of the overall communication strategy and branding of First Capital Connect. They just did what they’ve been told. Botched on, an afterthought compromising the appearance of FCC’s brand.


Sound familiar?


This is something that happens a lot in our creative industry. You work away at a beautiful and simple idea and a grey man comes along and fucks it up.


Also if you look at the rest of the wall, it seems that “the idea” of FCC wasn’t properly executed in the first place. Again, perhaps the person that painted the wall didn’t buy into the overall idea or even worse had no knowledge of it. Notice how the pink line isn’t properly finished? Also how the whole wall has deteriorated. Paint peeling off. Dirt everywhere.


Ideas need to be looked after, tended to, loved. Some people call this Social Media. Every single touch point of an idea impacts on the overall experience.


Anyway. Sorry about that. I think I might be slightly over thinking this.


Here comes my train. Phew.




3 thoughts on “The grey men

  1. deteriorated, not finished, dirt everywhere, botched, afterthought… It sounds like the grey people in this case were fully briefed on the FCC experience principles…

  2. I just came here because of a good word I heard about you. The first thing I read is Fuck on your page. Bye!

  3. Pingback: GREY MEN (Part 3) | The way things go

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