Jon Hillier
jon hillier

Down to Margate?

Margate Lido

My family moved to Margate in 1999, and throughout my teenage years I was embarrassed to talk about it. Forgotten by day-trippers in the 1980′s, Margate had become a desperate, depressing place to be.

But times, tides and tastes change. Thanks to regeneration efforts begun by Turner Contemporary and sustained by a growing community of local artists and risk-takers, Margate / Margz / Dalston-sur-mer has become an effortlessly Instagrammable place to be seen. I’m suddenly one of the worst ‘yeah, I knew it before it was cool’ hipsters.

Now having moved to London, I only manage to get back to Margate every other month – but it’s no exaggeration to say I discover somewhere new with every trip home.

There’s still plenty of work to be done. Our town remains rough around the edges, don’t visit expecting Brighton, Salcombe or St Ives. Instead, visit to discover a town re-making itself around buckets and spades, Emin’s ‘dirty weekend’, art, surprisingly grand and diverse architecture, great food, makers, artists and independent shops.

So if you’re planning your own Jolly Boys Outing to Margate, here’s a few tips:

Art & Culture
Turner Contemporary
Shell Grotto
Vortigen Margate
Tom Thumb Theatre
Margate Arts Club
Resort Studios
By The Sea Festival

Food & Drink
Hantverk & Found
Cheesy Tiger
GB Pizza Co
Fort’s Cafe
Peter’s Fish Factory
The Greedy Cow
The Lifeboat
Mala Kaffe

Black Deep
Transmission Records
RG Scotts / Junk Deluxe

Seaside Sights
Margate Lido
Botany Bay
Walpole Bay Sea Bathing Pool
That Sunset

The Reading Rooms
Old Barrel Store
Retro Apartment
Sweet Dreams

Ramsgate Music Hall
Morelli’s Gelato

Generation X


“We live small lives on the periphery; we are marginalised and there’s a great deal in which we choose not to participate. We wanted silence and we have that silence now.

We arrived here speckled in sores and zits, our colons so tied in knots that we never thought we’d have a bowel movement again. Our systems had stopped working, jammed with the odour of copy machines, Wite-Out, the smell of bond paper, and the endless stress of pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause.

We had compulsions that made us confuse shopping with creativity, to take downers and assume that merely renting a video on a Saturday night was enough. But now that we live here in the deserts, things are much, much better.”

Generation X signed Douglas Coupland



Sort it out later.
You are an information gatherer, you are an eye.
Everything you see is interesting. Learn to believe in this and fashion your world towards the recording of that data.

The more you go into this recording mode, the more you will see. So detail becomes important. The glistening lino on the floor of the underground carriage, the colour of the sky at particular times of day, the debris and litter on the streets of your town. All is available and miraculously all is free. Take advantage.

Your work is like a spaceship tethered to Earth, it can take you for a ride around the universe. Be bold, go, but remember to write down all the details.

How to be an Artist, Michael Atavar

Che Fece… Il Gran Rifiuto


To certain people there comes a day
when they must say the great Yes or the great No.
He who has the Yes ready within him
reveals himself at once, and saying it he crosses over

to the path of honour and his own conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Should he be asked again,
he would say No again. And yet that No -
the right No – crushes him for the rest of his life.

CP Cavafy

Ogilvy Fellowship Reading List


Exciting times at Ogilvy towers – we’re recruiting for a new year of Ogilvy Planning Fellows. Junior roles in planning are few and far between – this is a really coveted route into the ad industry. (You should probably apply.)

So to celebrate, Ogilvy Fellows past and present got together to start you off with a list of recommended reading – whether you’re applying to the Ogilvy Fellowship or not, this is a pretty handy list for young ad-sorts.

You can download the full list here.

Ok, so there are a few on there I wouldn’t leap to read myself, but take a look at the list and see what takes your fancy – print it out and take it to the library. Read.

My really recommended, though hardly groundbreaking, suggestions are:

Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy
Truth Lies and Advertising, Jon Steel
Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely

But I’d like to give you a tip that wouldn’t make other advertising reading lists:

How to be an Artist by Michael Atavar

How to be an Artist, Michael Atavar

A bit of a hangover from my days in contemporary art, this book is absolutely nothing to do with the business of advertising, but everything to do with the business of ideas and creative thinking. Pretty handy for a wannabe planner, right?

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