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Computer Arts - April 2018 (2)

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P R O A DV I C E
STRENGTHEN A BRAND WITH BESPOKE ILLU STRATION
STUDIO INSIGHT
ISSUE
DESIGN
MATTERS
279
SPRING 2018
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HOW TO WIN
GLOBAL CLIENTS
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internationallysuccessfulstudio
THE ART
OF THE
EXPERTS
REVEAL HOW
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C O V E R A RTI ST
SPRING 2018
Making
the cover
Stepping into a cover illustration
with Kyle is like being taken into a
sorcerer’s cave: exotic, thrilling and
almost completely mystifying. All you
can be sure of is that you’ll step out
with some real magic.
Our initial cover pitch – a
Terminator 2-like flow of liquid metal
– was politely batted away by Kyle,
who wanted to devise something
“less dated”. Sure enough, over the
following days he experimented with
and honed a scattered pixel frenzy
that was all but ready to print... until
a flash of inspiration struck.
“I want to really push the ART
of the rebrand angle,” he explained,
before emailing through photos of
mysterious eruptions so beautiful
and strange that they made us rethink the cover from scratch.
We begged an extra 24 hours
from our printers to give Kyle time
to magically interweave type and
photography, and after pulling an
all-nighter, Kyle delivered one of our
most striking cover illustrations.
Check out Showcase next issue to see
some more magic Kyle’s been cooking
up lately...
Top left: The ‘scattering’
technique felt right
conceptually, and the
bespoke typography Kyle
made for us was ace. But
there was a risk that the
foil we had pencilled in
for this cover would
boss the fine detail
about too much.
Top right and above: The
art department has sworn
not to reveal the exact
details of how Kyle
conjured up the final
cover art... these two
images give some
clues, however.
KYLE WILKINSON
Designer Kyle has worked
with some of the biggest
clients in the world,
including Adobe, MercedesBenz, Adidas and Time Inc.
www.kylewilkinson.co.uk
This month’s foils were provided by
our print finishing partner Celloglas.
See more examples of our special cover
finishes at www.bit.ly/ca-printfinishes
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-3-
W EL C OM E
SPRING 2018
Editor’s letter
FEATURING
Are you the same person you were 20 years ago? Of
course not. We all need to change and grow in order to
prosper — and the same applies to brands.
But just as with personal change, when change to a brand
happens too abruptly, or heads in the wrong direction,
it can be wildly counterproductive... and the history of
branding is littered with cautionary examples.
So in this issue, we take an in-depth look at how to
reinvent and reinvigorate a brand in the right way; building
on existing brand equity and extending it, without
throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Oh and, by the way, when we say ‘in-depth’, we mean
it. If you prefer short and snappy list features, then by all
means head to the internet, where you’ll find them in
abundance. But this magazine has always set out to provide
comment and analysis that’s a little more heavyweight,
nuanced and professionally focused, via longform articles
that gather insights from some of the industry’s most
respected experts. And our main cover story ‘The Art of
the Rebrand’, brilliantly written by recent ex-editor Nick
Carson, delivers all of that and more.
And that’s just for starters. This issue is packed with
branding insights, including a report from Emily Gosling
on the use of illustration in branding (page 58); details of
how Bruce Mau Design goes about uncovering a brand’s
core mission (page 76), and the tale of how Jo Graham
Consulting and Studio Sutherl& breathed new life into a
226-year-old shoe brand (page 82).
But Computer Arts is not just a two-way street: we
want to hear about your branding stories too! Good work
deserves recognition, and entering our annual Brand
Impact Awards, which are open for entries until 5.30pm
on 1 June, is a great way to achieve it. So please head to
brandimpactawards.com today, and submit your best work!
HOLLY KIELTY
Having began her career as an art
director, Holly is now creative director
of brand language at Design Bridge. On
page 23, she reflects on the value of good
ideas in an increasingly fearsome world.
www.designbridge.com
SEAN THOMAS
Over 17 years, executive creative director
Sean has worked for everyone from
start-ups to global giants. On page 20, he
discusses how leaving your comfort zone
can lead to some surprising results.
www.jkrglobal.com
LOUISE SLOPER
As head of art at BMB London, Louise
Sloper oversees the creative agency’s
multiplatform output. On page 98, she
examines why her childhood fascination
with the power of light continues today.
www.bmbagency.com
NICK MEEK
Nick is an internationally acclaimed
photographer working in fine art,
editorial and advertising. On page 92,
he explains how he combined twin roles
as a photographer and film director on a
project with MSQ Partners.
www.nickmeek.com
KAR YAN CHEUNG
Senior strategic designer at Bruce Mau
Design, Kar Yan focuses on research,
visioning, strategy, communications and
visual identity. On page 76, she discusses
how BMD keeps its global clients happy.
www.brucemaudesign.com
TOM MAY
Acting editor
journo.tommay@gmail.com
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH…
@computerarts
/computerarts
@computerarts
/computerartsmag
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-4-
SPRING 2018
FUTURE PUBLISHING LTD
Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA
EDITORIAL
Tom May
Acting editor
journo.tommay@gmail.com
MEET THE TEAM
INTERNATIONAL
Computer Arts is available for licensing.
Contact the International department
to discuss partnership opportunities.
Matt Ellis International licensing director
matt.ellis@futurenet.com
TOM MAY
ACTING EDITOR
SUBSCRIPTIONS
Tom has been making the most of every moment
as acting ed, before handing over the torch to a new
permanent editor and going back to his regular gig on
sister magazine Professional Photography.
Email: contact@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk
UK order line and enquiries: 0344 848 2852
International: +44 (0) 344 848 2852
Online: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk
Sharon Todd Head of subscriptions
Mark Wynne
Art editor
mark.wynne@futurenet.com
Rosie Hilder
Operations editor
rosie.hilder@futurenet.com
CIRCULATION
Tim Mathers Head of newstrade
tim.mathers@futurenet.com
MARK WYNNE
CREATIVE BLOQ
www.creativebloq.com
ART EDITOR
PRODUCTION
Mark spent much of the month on the phone with cover
illustrator Kyle Wilkinson, pretending he understood
the processes the art boffin was using whilst muttering
‘Yes... Oh God!’ like some sort of sex chat addict.
Mark Constance Head of production, US/UK
Clare Scott Production project manager
Joanne Crosby Advertising project manager
Jason Hudson Digital editions controller
Steve Wright Digital edition coordinator
Vivienne Calvert Production manager
Kerrie Hughes
Editor
Ruth Hamilton
Associate editor
Julia Sagar
Contributing editor
SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Aaron Asadi Chief Operating Oicer
Paul Newman Group content director
Matthew Pierce Brand director
creative and photography
Greg Whittaker Head of art and design
Dan Jotcham Commercial finance director
Dom Carter
Senior staff writer
MANAGEMENT
Amy Hennessey
Editor-in-chief
Will Shum
Senior art editor
Dave Harfield
Head of editorial operations
ROSIE HILDER
OPERATIONS EDITOR
Rosie left everyone else to sort out the cover this
month while she was busy preparing for the future.
This is her penultimate issue of Computer Arts, as
she’s soon to be joining the Creative Bloq team.
Printed by:
Wyndeham Peterborough, Storey’s Bar Road,
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 5YS
Finishing partner: Celloglas Ltd
CONTRIBUTIONS
The AOP, Nick Carson, Jim Field, FranklinTill,
Emily Gosling, Anna Higgie, Holly Kielty, Julia
Sagar, Louise Sloper, Sean Thomas,
Kyle Wilkinson
Distributed by:
Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place,
Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU
www.marketforce.co.uk Tel: 0203 787 9001
KEY CONTRIBUTORS
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ADVERTISING
Media packs are available on request.
Claire Dove Commercial director
clare.dove@futurenet.com
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01225 788204 michael.pyatt@futurenet.com
Chris Mitchell Account director
01225 687832 chris.mitchell@futurenet.com
Next issue on sale
JULIA SAGAR
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, CREATIVE BLOQ
This month, Julia finally finished decorating one
whole room in her (very small) house, following an
ill-advised renovation that has taken almost three
years. Cue wild celebrations.
29 May 2018
ISSN 1360-5372
NICK CARSON
Want to work for Future?
Visit www.futurenet.com/jobs
CONTENT STRATEGIST AND COPYWRITER
Nick has started working on copywriting briefs for
some of his favourite agencies, while badgering them
to enter the Brand Impact Awards. On a related note,
he explores the art of rebranding on page 40.
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-6-
CONTENTS
ISSUE 279
SPR ING 20 18
CULTURE
INSIGHT
20
EMBRACE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Sean Thomas on how to break out of
your comfort zone creatively
22
DESIGN MATTERS
Can branding have a real-world
social impact?
23
DESIGN FOR CHANGE
Holly Kielty on why good ideas are
more important than ever today
24
US OPEN REBRAND
Three perspectives on the tennis
tournament’s new identity
10
TRENDS
How designers are exploring the use of human
waste as an abundant, sustainable material
14
MY DESIGN SPACE
Designer and illustrator Jill Mars shares how a
sense of fun brightens up her Chicago studio
15
NEW VENTURES
Illustrator and art director Justin Maller discusses
his new role as chief creative officer of DeviantArt
16
EVENTS
Rosie Hilder reveals how the power of self-doubt
was a big theme at this year’s OFFSET Dublin
18
INSPIRATION FEED
Barrington Reeves shows us his Instagram feed
PROJECTS
SHOWCASE
26
REFRACTED TYPE
Hot new work, including a new
identity for Future London Academy
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-8-
82
A STEP FORWARD
Jo Graham Consulting and Studio
Sutherl& on breathing new life into
a 226-year-old footwear brand
88
ILLUSTRATE A KIDS’ BOOK
Jim Field outlines how he captures
the energy of children’s stories
92
POLITICS OF THE EVERYDAY
MSQ Partners discusses the Got 5
campaign, which promotes voter
registration in a quirky way
C O N TE N TS
SPECIAL REPORT
PROFILE
76 STUDIO INSIGHT
Bruce Mau Design explains how its
international mix of designers
helps attract big clients worldwide
BACK TO BASICS
40 THE ART OF THE REBRAND
Nick Carson, chair of judges for CA’s Brand Impact Awards, discusses
three key approaches to rebranding with previous BIA winners
INDUSTRY ISSUES
58 BRING A BRAND
TO LIFE WITH
ILLUSTRATION
In the second of our series
about crafts in branding,
Emily Gosling explains what
illustration can add to a brand,
and how it should be used
70
REGUL ARS
96
PHOTOGRAPHY MEETS DESIGN
Our AOP series continues with a look
at how to brief a photographer
98
DESIGN INSPIRATION
Louise Sloper discusses her long
fascination with the power of light
SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE UP TO 55 %
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insight every month, and save up to 55%! See page 38 for more details
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
In the fourth of our series on digital
skills, we examine how to make your
digital designs responsive
CULTURE
TRENDS
PEOPLE
EVENTS
INSPIRATION
Each month, our Trends section is curated by experienced
creative consultancy FranklinTill www.franklintill.com
T R E NDS
SPRING 2018
IMAGES COURTESY OF: Fabio Hendry and Martijn Rigters
TRE N D S
BEAUTIFUL WASTE
Designers are challenging the negative connotations
surrounding human and animal biological waste and
exploring its use as an abundant, sustainable material
ith the world’s population expected to exceed nine billion by
2050, shit, hair and dust generated by humans and the
animals they keep are among the few natural resources whose
abundance is increasing. Now new technologies are allowing designers
to take advantage of this ever-expanding material.
Fabio Hendry and Martijn Rigters, for instance, have developed
a way to turn hair into an ink. This can be used on various metals to
create decorative surface efects. The designers drew inspiration from
both old ceramic techniques and contemporary printing processes to
develop their methods. Using locally sourced ofcuts from hairdressers’
floors, the project aims to reposition hair as an abundant and sustainable
printing medium.
The Dust Jewelry collection by Ágústa Sveinsdóttir, meanwhile,
reinterprets dust as a precious raw material, and in the process, poses
questions about material worth. ‘We always demand that everything
should be flawless but in the end, everything is dust or becomes dust.
Is it possible to make use of materials that have always been considered
nothing more than useless dirt?’ asks the designer.
Sveinsdóttir gathered dust from derelict buildings across Iceland,
including abandoned farms, bound it using a biodegradable adhesive,
and used it to coat metal rings and bangles. The dust coating gradually
wears away to reveal the structure of the jewellery beneath, making
transformation and disintegration an integral part of the design.
w
THE COLOUR OF HAIR
BY FABIO HENDRY AND
MARTIJN RIGTERS
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 11 -
CU LT U R E
SPRING 2018
FRANKLINTILL STUDIO
DUST BY ÁGÚSTA
SVEINSDÓTTIR
Design Futures / Material Futures / Colour Futures
FranklinTill Studio is a forecasting agency and creative consultancy that
works with lifestyle brands across the disciplinary spectrum to provide
research-based insights that drive creative innovations in materials,
colour and design. It creates reports, publications, exhibitions and events
with the aim of making its research both accessible and inspiring. It also
edits and produces two magazines, published by View Publications,
which you can buy from www.viewpoint-magazine.com.
VIEWPOINT DESIGN
Viewpoint delivers visual, editorial and statistical information to brands,
designers, agencies and consumer insight teams determined to create
lifestyle products, campaigns and environments that anticipate consumer
demand. Written by professionals in the branding and design business,
each issue explores how a significant trend will impact consumer
behaviour and the global design landscape.
IMAGES COURTESY OF: ÁGÚSTA SVEINSDÓTTIR
VIEWPOINT COLOUR
Launched December 2016, Viewpoint Colour ofers visual inspiration,
design direction and a global perspective on colour. The inaugural
issue provides an in-depth analysis of the personality traits of emerging
colour stories, explaining why they are relevant now and how they are
currently being applied.
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 12 -
Radical Matter:
Rethinking Materials
for a Sustainable
Future (Thames &
Hudson) ofers a
new vision of the
future of materials,
design processes
and manufacturing
practices.
CU LT U R E
SPRING 2018
Jill Mars is an illustrator and graphic
designer who lives and works in Chicago.
www.jillmars.com
MY DES IGN S PA C E IS . . .
EVERYTHING I LOVE
Designer and illustrator Jill Mars shares how a childlike sense of fun brightens up her studio
ver the years, designer
and illustrator Jill Mars
has collected a diverse
array of objects for her Chicago
studio. She describes the city she
works in as equally diverse, and
brimming with culture, which both
influences and informs her work.
“My studio is an approachable
array and eclectic hodgepodge of
everything I love encapsulated in
natural light and warmth,” says
Mars. “The objects in my studio
remind me to find beauty in the
O
monotonous and mundane,
maintain a sense of humour no
matter the gravity of a situation, not
take everything so seriously all of
the time and have some fun!”
Mars admits to being “like a kid
in a candy store” when it comes to
gumball machines (1). “They cast an
undeniable sense of nostalgia that
makes me smile without knowing
why. I’ve even adopted one as part
of my personal brand,” she says.
While interning at Chicago
Children’s Museum, Mars was given
this bus (2) by a senior designer.
“It symbolised a right of passage for
me back then and serves as a
constant reminder of my journey,”
she explains. “It sits proudly on my
desk until it’s able to be passed
down to somebody else who
admires it as much as I.”
Mars also finds inspiration in her
“hovering art directors”. (3) “When
Bing Bong is not holding my stylus
he is assisting Helga Pataki with art
directing me,” she says. “I have an
ainity for animated cartoon
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 14 -
characters with loads of personality
and like to keep them close.”
Mars states that you never know
when you’ll need some googly eyes
(4), so she keeps a stash of them in
case of a “googly eye-mergency”.
“Some people bedazzle their things
with rhinestones,” she shrugs, “some
with googly eyes.” Mars is the latter.
Mars’ Chicago flag Field Notes
(5) represent her love for her city.
“I jump at any chance to show that
love, so when I found these bad
boys I knew I had to have them.”
P E OP LE
SPRING 2018
1
Justin Maller is an
Australian illustrator, art
director and musician.
www.justinmaller.com
N E W VE N TU RE S
DEVIANT CHANGES
2
Illustrator and art director Justin Maller has landed a new role as chief
creative oicer of DeviantArt. We caught up with him to find out more
his year has been a busy one for
digital illustrator Justin Maller. He’s
just become chief creative oicer
of DeviantArt, has released an LP with his
band Book Club, which he also created
artwork for, and has moved from New York
to Los Angeles. We found out more about
what’s inspired such big changes.
T
3
4
5
How did your new role come about?
I’ve been a part of the DeviantArt community
since 2001 – it’s where I got my start as an
artist. I’ve maintained a great relationship
with the site and its admins over the years,
particularly with Angelo, the CEO. He
broached the idea of me taking the role
prior to us going on a trip, and after a few
long conversations, I started to see the fit.
What will your new role involve?
I’ll be working with the in-house and Tel
Aviv studios, as well as across product
and marketing to develop new tools for
the community and then share them with
the broader world. I’ll also be working on
ofering more to artists, and ensuring that
everything is done with artistic credibility.
There’ll be a lot of strategy development that
goes in to all that, of course.
How do you plan to balance your new job
with other projects and freelance work?
I’ll take some jobs here and there to maintain
my standing as a working artist and the
relationships I’ve developed, but it will be a
much smaller part of my day to day. I hope
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 15 -
to make more personal work, and DeviantArt
is very encouraging about that!
Tell us more about your new LP...
Making that album was one of the most
intensely rewarding creative endeavours. I
made the artwork to accompany the songs
because we’re a new band with no label,
no PR, and up to now, no music online.
Accessing my art audience was the best
shot we had at getting the music heard, and
creating a new series inspired by the tracks
felt like an honest way to broach the subject.
How do you think you’ll adjust to life in LA?
Leaving my friends and the life I built in
NYC over eight years is really hard, and I’ll
miss it. But I’ve done it before, moving from
Melbourne, so I’m sure I’ll adjust again.
You mentioned on Twitter you’ve had some
personal issues lately. Do you think it’s
important to be open with your fans?
To an extent, yeah. I don’t bring a lot of
personal stuf to my social media. However
I think people got used to seeing a certain
volume of production of art, and due to
personal circumstances I was way below
my usual levels in 2017. I wanted to remind
everyone that I am still a human being, and
their Goku wallpaper might have to wait.
Any tips for keeping on top of projects?
Flail frantically at them in a frenetic and
disorganised fashion until you’re exhausted.
Then take a nap.
CU LT U R E
PHOTOGRAPHY: OFFSET. Caroline McNally.
SPRING 2018
E V E NT RE PO RT: O FFSE T D U B L I N
KEY INFO:
Location
Bord Gáis Energy
Theatre, Dublin
www.iloveofset.com
DON’T BE AFRAID
When
23-25 March 2018
elf-doubt isn’t a concept
you’d necessarily
associate with the
speakers of an internationally
renowned conference like OFFSET
Dublin. But it’s one that came up
again and again over the course
of the three-day creative event.
After stating she was sure her
invitation to talk at OFFSET was a
mistake, children’s book illustrator
Beatrice Alemagna made another
confession: “My work can be
described in one word: struggle.
My childhood struggle, the struggle
against myself, struggle against my
working methods.”
Alemagna went on to talk about
how drawing competitions with her
sister propelled her to improve her
Number of attendees
2,700
Key speakers
Gail Bichler, Stephen
Doyle, Chris Ware,
Richard Brim, Sean
Murphy, Joshua Davis,
Luke Powell and Jody
Hudson-Powell, Frith Kerr
Rosie Hilder discovers the power of fear and self-doubt at OFFSET Dublin
S
technique, and how she believes
that children’s literature can be art.
“In children’s books, at least the
good ones, we find the fundamental
concepts of life, such as comforts,
nightmare, anarchy, adventures and
prejudices,” she explained.
“I’m afraid every day when
I’m working on something,” said
Stephen Doyle of New York agency
Doyle Partners, as he described his
continual quest to create new and
exciting work. “I really try to work
over my head. If you push yourself
into unfamiliar territory, you’ll have
so much fun, but it’s really scary.”
During an entertaining look
at ad campaigns that started with
what seemed like a “stupid idea”,
Richard Brim, chief creative oicer
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 16 -
of adam&eveDDB, also discussed
fear. “We have a fear of other
people laughing at us. Sometimes
the most stupid ideas are the ones
where the magic happen,” he said.
It takes someone – and often it’s not
the most senior person in the room
– to pluck up the courage to “share
an idea that makes everyone else
go, ‘What the fuck?’” he continued.
“And then it takes someone else to
take a chance on it.”
“I don’t want anyone to ever feel
bad about having an idea,” echoed
ustwo games’ head of studio, Dan
Gray, as part of a rousing talk on
the making of Monument Valley 2.
“People talk about what their values
are but don’t necessarily back them
up in terms of how they decide to
E V E NT S
SPRING 2018
run their business,” he mused. “Put
love into every single pillar of work,
treat your employees with love and
that will come back ten-fold.”
Despite talking against a
backdrop of his iconic covers for The
New Yorker, illustrator Chris Ware
also admitted to lacking confidence.
“I’m constantly overcoming a certain
degree of self-doubt, even just
getting to my drawing table and
starting to draw,” he said.
Like many of the speakers, Ware
eschewed the idea of planning:
“I hesitate to use the words ‘make it
up as you go along,’” he said, “but
I make it up as I go along.”
Sean Murphy, creative director
of Moving Brands, also consciously
avoided sticking to a set career
path. “Having a plan sets you up
for failure,” he reasoned. “You’ve
got something to measure yourself
against and if you don’t meet it,
you feel like a failure.”
And as you move through your
design career, imposter syndrome
doesn’t go away, he continued.
“The more senior you get, the more
people expect you to have all the
answers, which I never do,” he
admitted. “No one teaches you how
to be a manager. But I think what
it means is that I can do anything.
Which is lucky, because I don’t
know what being a designer will
mean in 20 years.”
Murphy wasn’t the only one
looking to the future. “One of the
loveliest things about living in 2018
is that anyone can be anything they
want, at any time in their career,”
said Doyle, as part of a discussion
with IBM’s Doug Powell. “The only
thing you have to do is be brilliant.”
Pip Jamieson, CEO of creative
network The Dots, ofered slightly
more practical advice during a talk
entitled The Robots are Coming.
“None of us really know what’s
Clockwise
from left: Sean
Murphy explains
his non-linear
career path;
Chris Ware
(right) talks to
John Walters
from Eye
Magazine;
Stephen Doyle
reimagines
books; Pip
Jamieson on why
we shouldn’t
fear automation;
Richard Brim
talks advertising.
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 17 -
about to happen, so we have to be
more flexible in our skills,” she said.
“Work out what your core skills are
and then if your job does become
automated, you’ll be okay.”
Creative director of MPC, Antar
Walker, recommended prioritising
your own enjoyment over gaining
skills you think employers will want.
“If there’s something you enjoy
doing then just do more of it,”
he said, as he outlined a “weird
journey” that involved dropping
out of college, doing an illustration
degree, and then moving to London
to find that there were no jobs. At
that point, a recruiter told him digital
designers were needed, so he
taught himself to code: “It opened
up an entirely new toolset for me,
and I loved it,” he grinned.
What can you learn from
Walker’s experience? “Adapt, don’t
be afraid of change,” he advised.
“Things just get better and better.”
CU LT U R E
SPRING 2018
I N SPI R ATI O N FE E D
Too_Gallus
Barrington Reeves is a graphic designer based in
Glasgow. With his studio Too Gallus, he mostly helps
new businesses and individuals turn their ideas into
reality. He guides them through the design process of
starting a business, covering everything from brand
discovery, positioning and logo design, right through
to creating brand guidelines and websites.
“I try to take pictures of everything that inspires
me, whether it’s a cool vintage car with awesome
colour combinations or something I’ve seen out and
about in the city,” he says. “My camera roll has turned
into this awesome visual diary that I can look back on
and take inspiration from when I start a new project.”
Reeves loves Instagram because he says it contains
“such a wealth of amazing design that it always pushes
you to get out of your own head and try new things.”
He tries to maintain a balance in his feed between
finished creative work and behind-the-scenes shots
of what he’s up to in work and life. “No matter what
I’m taking photos of or showcasing, my feed is about
clean, fresh, minimal and good design,” he concludes.
www.instagram.com/too_gallus
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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INSIGHT
SPRING 2018
INSIGHT
ESSAY
Strong opinion and
analysis from across the
global design industry
SEAN THOMAS
ECD, JONES
KNOWLES RITCHIE
www.jkrglobal.com
Sean is executive creative director of global brand
consultancy Jones Knowles Ritchie. With a career
stretching over 17 years, he has worked on brands big
and small, from global giants such as Budweiser to
new to market start-ups like The Gut Stuff.
HOLLY KIELTY
CREATIVE DIRECTOR,
DESIGN BRIDGE
www.designbridge.com
Holly is creative director of brand language at
Design Bridge. She began her career as an art
director but soon her love of language prevailed.
On page 23, she discusses why good ideas are more
important than ever in today’s world.
DESIGN MATTERS: Can branding have
real-world social impact? — page 22
PLUS: Three perspectives on Chermayeff &
Geismar & Haviv’s US Open logo — page 24
Illustrations:
Anna Higgie
www.annahiggie.co.uk
Embrace being
uncomfortable
Sean Thomas, executive creative dire
or for
Jones Knowles Rthie, on how breaking out of
your comfort zone can lead to surprising results
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 20 -
SE A N T HOM A S
SPRING 2018
y art teacher once ended our monthly life
drawing session with a quick exercise.
We first took sheets of paper decreasing
in size from A1 to A6, and then lined up materials
increasing in size, from a fine-haired brush to a
solid block of paint. As the exercise progressed, we
were given less and less time to capture the model’s
changing poses, with the canvas reducing as each
implement grew in size.
It was frenzied, instinctive mark-making that
made me feel increasingly uncomfortable. The
culmination of the lesson saw us grab a solid block
of unwieldy, wet, black paint which spawned – in five
seconds – the most exciting piece of art I’ve produced.
For years, I couldn’t put my finger on why I loved
that lesson so much, but recently I realised it was
because the outcome surprised me. I simply couldn’t
believe I had produced this work. It was as if it had
just appeared through a surge of nervous adrenaline
or someone had possessed me. And it felt good.
Regularly moving out of our comfort zone is
something we have vowed to do more at Jones
Knowles Ritchie. Not because it makes us money
— often that first attempt at something is costly and
difficult — but because it’s exciting, and because
learning new things is invaluable.
The best brands stay relevant and adapt to
evolving times. They don’t fall by the wayside.
Brands will endure for as long as they find pertinent
things to say and create, and I think clients, designers
and agencies are no different.
In the time I’ve worked in the industry, I’ve seen
design shift hugely, and it’s never been more thrilling.
And in my eight years at jkr, the business has already
undergone two big transformations. At one point,
it was paying people to look for talent and clients,
rather than attracting them through the work.
So the owners shook everything up. They made
decisions that could have fundamentally broken a
successful agency and put their faith in the people
hungry to prove themselves, under the mentorship
of those who had got the company this far.
The results were unorthodox but transformative.
Design and strategy directors now effectively lead
their own mini studios, account managers with a love
of words have become copywriters, our 70-year-old
typographer teaches every graduate how to create
their own font, the head of workshop who displayed
an interest in animation now runs a filmmaking
team, our 3D packaging experts are running client
workshops. Bit by bit, those same clients who told
us they didn’t have any more work for us have
M
commissioned jkr to fundamentally overhaul their
brands from top to bottom.
It has been a brilliant, rewarding and terrifying
era of my life. We were going into pitches diverting
from the given brief in favour of what we believed the
real issue to be. We were responding to clients with a
single solution, knowing we’d lose the account if they
disagreed. We were turning away projects, because
they didn’t motivate us or benefit the brand. We were
asking people to do things they’d never done before.
And of course, we failed. Countless times.
But we learned from those experiences and we also
benefitted from them. All of this helped us figure out
who the most proactive members of staff were, what
our clients were looking for that we couldn’t yet offer,
who was doing the wrong job and what sort of work
we wanted to be doing as a company.
This period also made me realise the importance
of relinquishing control. There have been high
profile rebrands I personally didn’t love aesthetically;
however, the team had been so
passionate, I held my tongue
and slept on it. At the time,
that feeling made me deeply
uncomfortable – do I let
something leave the building
I don’t like? Or do I shatter a
passionate, emerging team’s
vision? As the work answered
the brief, I took the call to see
what happened and embrace
the uncertainty. These projects
have become two of jkr’s most
warmly regarded.
I’m no different to the majority of people working
in the creative industry. I dread someone coming up
behind me, tapping me on the shoulder and saying,
‘I’m onto you and we all realise you’re clueless’.
Putting a bit of yourself onto a piece of paper (or a
screen) and having it torn to shreds never gets any
more fun. But if you don’t keep doing it and you
choose to play it safe, repeating the same old tricks,
you will miss an opportunity to empower the next
generation of creatives to follow your lead. And
remember what happens to the brands that do that?
To this point, I’ve realised you create your own
luck. So my advice to anyone who asks me now is
this: go in the direction that looks most interesting,
no matter how illogical it seems. And if you’re not
inspired by the people around you, leave.
Are there any benefits to playing it safe? Tweet your
thoughts to @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
If you hoose to play t safe,
repeating the same old tricks,
you will miss an opportunty
to empower the next
generation of creatives
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 21 -
INSIGHT
SPRING 2018
DISCUSSION
Can branding have
real-world social impact?
VICTORIA PINNINGTON
Senior designer, True North
www.thisistruenorth.co.uk
MARK LESTER
Creative director, Mark Studio
www.markstudio.co.uk
“Absolutely. Take the #MeToo
movement. Although not designed as a
brand, the hashtag has come to embody
a powerful idea that has become a
worldwide phenomenon. With a clear
purpose and message behind it, this
otherwise commonplace phrase has
become a recognisable symbol that
carries a potent message driving social
change, thus acting as a brand. The
hashtag itself has superseded the need
for a logo – arguably the hashtag is the
logo – while the black attire worn at
the Golden Globes acted as a visual
signifier or uniform for those
supporting the movement. The same
can apply to any brand – but only if it
authentically embodies an idea, and if
social change is a part of that.”
“Brands have the power to reach
more people than almost any other
creative output and so, undoubtedly
play a role in shaping our opinions,
beliefs and how we see the world. The
rise of the consumer conscience, and
the fact that many of us want to feel
good about what we buy, means the
lines between company and consumer,
brand values and beliefs are blurring.
For that reason, there is an increasing
expectation for brands to align their
values with action. But in order for
branding to have a real-world social
impact, it needs to be telling a genuine
story, one that aligns across every
output, one that is done with purpose
rather than for promotion.”
“I suspect the days of blindly
exchanging money for sardines and Pot
Noodles are numbered. Most of us
would lean towards brands that
support a real social cause that we
believed in, be it human rights, animal
welfare, negative portrayal of snakes in
movies, or whatever. It’s easier for a
new business to connect with a social
cause and embed it in their company
values with clarity and purpose right
from the start. It’s much harder for
more established brands, with previous
baggage, to simply tag on a social
purpose message and expect us to
believe them. But it can be done, as
M&S’ Plan A and Unilever’s Sustainable
Living brands are proving.”
APORVA BAXI
Co-founder and executive
creative director, DixonBaxi
www.dixonbaxi.com
TWEET @COMPUTERARTS OR FIND US ON FACEBOOK
@CASPERLAJENSEN
I believe so. Branding can
become a symbol. It should
want to make a change in
people’s lives. It can become
a movement that represents
the receiver’s values.
@STEWARTAINSLIE
I almost hope not. People
and organisations make
real social change. Branding
can elevate those ideals. But
the danger is that brands
can pay lip service to causes.
@WHITESPACEHOU
Absolutely! Branding is
something if done well that
can transcend real world
thinking and influence
societal perception.
GONÇALO TELLES
Branding has the power to
reach out loud and connect
people around something
they can believe in together.
Bringing people together is,
for me, a positive outcome.
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 22 -
DAVE HAIGH
Yes. Have you not seen the
Pepsi adverts?
H O L LY K I E LT Y
SPRING 2018
COLUMN
Design for change
Holly Kielty of Design Bridge refle
s
on the value of good ideas in
a fearsome world
oday’s world is angry.
This anger is borne
from fear, fatigue and
disappointment. In a world
where we vote with clicks, where
news may be fake, and where
political confusion is rife, it’s tempting to remain in our echo
chamber, reading the articles that parallel our own point of view,
burying our heads in aesthetic niceties. But this may be dangerous.
For as we have seen in recent years, fear tends to prompt poor
decision-making. And we as designers must strive to override fear and be
braver in our choices. After all, we are co-curating what people see. We
have a responsibility to push boundaries and create a visual world that’s
driven by positivity, freedom and confidence. Take Made Thought’s
collaboration with lobbying group A Plastic Planet to create a graphic
device that marks products as plastic-free, encouraging consumers to
consider what they’re purchasing. Or Christopher Bailey’s beautiful
rainbow-embracing print for Burberry, paraded in his final collection as
a tribute to the LGBT world that’s inspired him. You have to see it to be
it, and if we want a better world, visibility is key.
Yes, there are always budget constraints or commercial demands,
and I’m not suggesting that every brief is an opportunity for protest
or dissent. But as designers we need to see beyond our bubble and be
more conscious of the wider world. It’s all too easy to stick to our own
T
societal patterns, ticking the
boxes of our peers, sticking to
the tried-and-tested. But by
doing this we’re giving the green
light to the kind of monotony in
which apathy begins to thrive
and create a dangerous vacuum, waiting to be filled by bigotry and hate.
Ideas that truly matter are different to the norm. They are the ideas
that change perspectives or open a door to another world. They linger
with you because they have raised questions or changed your mood or
behaviour. In a world where lies can be printed on the sides of buses,
never has the truly good (in every sense of the word) idea been so vital.
A brave idea may be deemed ugly or controversial, but if it provokes
debate, it can provoke change. In our recent campaign promoting Design
Bridge’s Dog’s Bollocks Student Awards competition, we aimed to raise
questions rather than answer them. We want our entrants to express
their real beliefs in meaningful ways, at a time when so many platforms
for self-expression are being used dishonestly.
Graphic design often mirrors societal mood, but we can change that
mood. To do so, we have to be bolder and more liberated. Let’s astonish,
provide escapism and prompt new thinking. Let’s imagine, and create, a
better world. Because now is the time to be the noise, not the echo.
Is the design world an echo chamber? What can we do to change that?
Tweet your thoughts @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 23 -
INSIGHT
SPRING 2018
REBRAND FOCUS
US Open rebrand
The American tennis event has a brand new identty, courtesy of
Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. Three creatives offer their views...
SAGI HAVIV
Partner, Chermayeff
& Geismar & Haviv
www.cghnyc.com
“For the 50th anniversary of the US Open,
the United States Tennis Association decided
to reinvent its visual identity. The mark that
had been used for 20 years – an illustration
of a flaming ball paired with thin serif type
and a red swoosh – was a complicated image
that had challenges in digital media. What’s
more there were several different versions,
which made it diicult to build recognition.
The new mark is an evolution of the
flaming ball idea, distilled to its essence to
work as a simple icon. The new modern
symbol is paired with an italic, lower-case,
sans-serif typography, with the name held
together by a flipped ‘u’ and ‘n’. The result
expresses the energy, spirit, and velocity of
the flaming tennis ball and the tournament
itself, while modernising the look, providing
a more youthful appeal, and optimising the
identity for use across multiple applications.”
TOM NEISH
Creative director,
Junction Studio
www.junction-studio.com
“You cannot be serious? As neither an
American, nor a tennis spectator, I hold
no affection for the old US Open logo.
Having said that, I do guiltily enjoy the old
flaming tennis ball: it might be obvious and
a little clumsy, but it does have personality.
Which is more than can be said of the new
logo from design powerhouse Chermayeff
& Geismar & Haviv.
I like the concept of taking the literal
flame of the old logo and turning it into a
more realistic streak of a tennis ball against
the blue sky. But any dynamism is instantly
snuffed out by that bank-ish blue and
bland typography.”
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 24 -
ALEX BERKOWITZ
Designer and developer
www.alexberkowitz.com
“The old identity was bland and lacked
energy, despite the logo being about 35 per
cent flame. For the new look, some changes
are more effective than others. The fiery
tennis ball has evolved into a brilliant
abstract streak and the vibrant new colour
scheme adds some much-needed vitality.
Unfortunately, the wordmark falls a bit flat,
with a trendy all-lowercase capitalisation
that lacks emotion and reads as ‘us open’.
Still, the italic font nicely echoes the
motion of the ball and helps the mark feel
cohesive. Overall, I think this is a welcome
update, one that invokes an athletic spirit
that was notably absent before. And that
tennis ball is awesome.”
US OP E N R E B R A ND
SPRING 2018
The US tennis
championships
new identity is
optimised for use on
everything from apps
and Instagram to
billboards, print ads,
glasses of bubbly and
of course, tennis balls.
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 25 -
SHOWCASE
Computer Arts selects the hottest new
design, illustration and motion work
from the global design scene
REFRACTED TYPE
FUTURE LONDON ACADEMY
REBRAND
by ONY Agency
https://en.ony.ru
Moscow-based design agency ONY
and branding icon Michael Wolf have
collaborated to create a striking new
typography-based identity for Future
London Academy, an establishment
ofering immersive learning experiences
for creative professionals and innovators
from around the world.
While exploring London, ONY
noticed two recurring elements in the
city’s architecture – triangular shapes and
refraction – and brought both into the
identity. The team created a library of
3D buildings referencing the city’s main
architectural and cultural symbols, before
layering the models onto the brand’s
type and images to create an abstract
refractive efect.
“It echoes the idea of Future London
Academy: knowledge through the lens
of London,” explains ONY’s Anna Sytina.
“The library of 3D objects can always be
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLO Q .COM
- 27 -
extended, giving the brand an unlimited
way to experiment and express itself.”
“On one hand this was a dream
project,” she adds. “Everyone who’s
engaged in design and brand building
wants to make a brand identity for an
educational institution that’s focused on
design and creativity. But at the same time
it was a challenge to do something for
such a sophisticated audience.”
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLO Q .COM
- 28 -
S H O WC A SE
SPRING 2018
A secondary colour palette enables
every course at Future London
Academy to be distinguished, yet
remain visually consistent.
The custom font gives a nod to the
geometry of the city, as seen here.
The striking refracted type illustrates
that Future London Academy is
about creativity and disruption.
More print material. “The triangle
became the core trigger for the
typography approach,” says Sytina.
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 29 -
S HO W C AS E
SPRING 2018
EDGY TRAVEL
MOVEMOVE
by Loulou & Tummie
www.loulouandtummie.com
MoveMove.nl is a travel service that launched
earlier this year. Commissioned through digital
agency Flink and production agency Shop
Around, Dutch creative studio Loulou & Tummie
were briefed with creating illustrations and
animations for the MoveMove website. “Everything is based on their logo and
card design,” explains Laurens (Loulou). “The
colours are picked from their branding and we
decided to draw everything at a 45-degree
angle. This gives everything a forced and flat
isometric-like perspective.”
Using the colour palette was challenging,
admits Chantal (Tummie). “It’s all based on
layering their magenta and pastel green on top
of each other in Multiply mode, in all thinkable
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 30 -
variations. It was sometimes diicult keeping the
colours and contrast in balance.”
The pair say the subtle animations are their
highlights of the project. “The animated details
bring the illustrations to life and give it a feeling
of movement and speed. Exactly what we
wanted to accomplish.”
S H O WC A SE
SPRING 2018
OLD WITH NEW
ANGELA GEORGIOU REBRAND
by Clout Branding
www.cloutbranding.com
When luxury jewellery designer Angela Georgiou
wanted to grow beyond her current customer reach,
she tasked branding agency Clout with creating a more
distinct positioning and identity to help her stand out. Georgiou’s Greek Cypriot heritage inspires her
work – she re-imagines found and personal antiquities,
turning them into unconventional, contemporary pieces
of jewellery – so the studio centred their new branding
on the notion of ‘the past re-imagined’. “We developed a lino-cut illustrative style inspired by
ancient Greek mythology, where we depicted goddesses
wearing photographed pieces of her jewellery – the
idea literally highlighting the old with the new,” explains
creative director Michael Smith.
“Our favourite part was seeing the illustrative look
evolve from initial sketches into beautiful lino-cut prints
that were then combined with photography to create
the desired look that we were aiming for.”
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 31 -
S HO W C AS E
SPRING 2018
ILLUSTRATIVE CUT-THROUGH
ONE HUNDRED BROADWAY BRANDING
by Moitt.Moitt
www.moffittmoffitt.com
Sydney-based studio Moitt.Moitt was asked to
name, brand and market One Hundred Broadway, a
set of new commercial workspaces ofering flexible
and creative ways of working, inside an innovative
new business hub precinct built by architectural
firm Frasers Property Australia. “The brand mark is a
reference point for the curved layers of the building
design by Foster + Partners,” explains founder and
director Andrew Moitt. The studio also commissioned a suite of
illustrations by Steve Scott to capture everyday
moments of life in and around the new building. The
aim was to highlight that a workplace is as much
about living as it is about working.
“Their instant charm and approachable character
gave the project instant cut through – setting it apart
from the stock imagery world of commercial property
marketing,” says Moitt.
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 32 -
S H O WC A SE
SPRING 2018
JUICY BRANDING
WILD ISLAND SACRED TREE
by ThirstCraft
www.thirstcraft.com
After designing the bottle for Wild Island Gin,
drinks branding studio Thirst was tasked with
designing a second edition, Wild Island Sacred
Tree. Inspired by the gin itself – which is infused
with hand-gathered botanicals from the small
Scottish island of Colonsay – the studio looked
to the island’s ripe bramble vine to create a
deliciously juicy colour palette using watercolour. “The brief was to capture the essence of
autumn on the island, and the wonderful bounty
of berries and botanicals it produces,” explains
creative director Matt Burns. Thirst paired the autumnal colour palette
with a simple wordmark that gives a nod to
the island’s Viking heritage. When it came to
applying the fluid watercolour design to the
bottle, the texture was printed on both sides of
the transfer, enabling it to be viewed through
the distortion of glass and liquid. “This allows
the watercolour to take on new life, constantly
changing as the bottle is rotated,” adds Burns.
PEAK PROGRESS
CINEMA 4D BASECAMP
by Animate
www.animade.tv
When School of Motion asked London-based
animation studio Animade to create a short intro
to its new course, Cinema 4D Basecamp, the
studio used a mountaineering theme to illustrate
the idea of learning how to use 3D elements. “We threw some ideas around and decided
to go for a 3D character-led piece with a nod to
the 80s,” recalls senior creative Milo Targett. “We
wanted the UI of the 3D software to feature in
the environment physically, so we could see the
character grappling with new tools.”
After successfully creating a Plasticine-like
handmade feel, the team worked on fine-tuning
the pacing of the piece and fitting it with the
music. “I think in the end all the efort on the
animatic paid of,” says Targett. “The snakecapturing scene is one of my favourites. And
the avalanche run, since physics simulations are
always a laugh.”
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 35 -
S HO W C AS E
SPRING 2018
DIVERSE DESIGNS
INSIDE OUT ALBUM ARTWORK
by Build studio.build
Aus Records imprint Inside Out tasked Leeds studio
Build with coming up with a template for a new
compilation series. They came up with four questions
to ask each artist. “What’s your favourite view? What
object means a lot to you? Which person has had the
biggest impact on you? What’s your first memory?”
“The answers then feed into the design of the
cover,” explains Build founder Michael C. Place. “These
could be either photographic images, or just words.”
For the sleeve of Inside Out 1, Build reflected the
diverse musical taste of label boss Will Saul through a
range of graphic influences, including the UK transport
design system, the Rail Freight identity, heraldry and
more. “The coloured pixel system is one of my favourite
parts,” adds Place. “The Inside Out (bracket) logo for
the series was also something I enjoyed designing.”
COM PU T ER AR T S .CR E AT I V EBLOQ .COM
- 36 -
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I N D US T R Y I S S U E S
SPRING 2018
THE ART
OF THE
R E B R A N D SP E C I A L
SPRING 2018
Nick Carson, chair of judges for CA’s Brand
Impact Awards, discusses three key approaches
to rebranding with previous BIA winners
ILLUSTRATION: Kyle Wilkinson www.kylewilkinson.co.uk
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 41 -
I N DUS T R Y I S S U E S
SPRING 2018
ethinking, repositioning and redesigning brands is a
staple task for many design studios. Although start-up
organisations will always be a blank canvas by
definition, it’s fairly rare for an agency to develop a
totally new identity system for a client.
As a creative exercise, rebranding poses a unique
set of challenges compared to branding from scratch.
This is simply because, for want of a better phrase,
there is creative baggage attached – and that baggage
was often the work of another agency.
In the following pages, we’ll explore three of the
most common strategic approaches to the rebranding
process, complete with insightful advice from some of
the world-class agencies that have triumphed at CA’s
Brand Impact Awards in previous years.
These key routes include drawing on a brand’s
heritage, and restoring its former glory after it’s lost its
way; gradual evolution, refinement, and modernisation
of a brand to make it fit for purpose; and finally, ripping
it up and starting again, as if branding from scratch.
According to Chris Moody, chief creative oicer at
Wolff Olins, and two-time Brand Impact Awards judge,
the biggest challenge of rebranding in 2018 isn’t
creative: it’s the wider global climate. “Politically,
socially, and technologically we are in times of massive
change, and as a result there is a great deal of
nervousness and trepidation,” he points out.
“There’s also lot of noise and bluster, so to a
degree the biggest challenge is managing ‘volume’.
There’s the literal volume of people in the room –
clients and numbers of agencies involved in projects
has never been larger – but also dealing with the
increasing volume of feedback and rounds of design
iteration,” he continues. “Crafting a distinct, singular
brand voice has never been more necessary, but it has
also never been more tricky to pull off.”
Moody believes we’re on the cusp of a third era of
branding design. “The designer’s palette now
FEATURED CREATIVES
CHRIS
MOODY
Chief design officer
at Wolff Olins, Chris
is responsible for
setting the bar for all the agency’s
work. He has judged the Brand
Impact Awards twice.
www.wolffolins.com
RICHARD
BUCHANAN
MD at The Clearing,
Richard has helped
rebrand muchloved institutions like Royal Ascot,
as well as transforming less-loved
ones such as Fitness First.
www.theclearing.co.uk
CHLOE
TEMPLEMAN
Chloe is creative
director at Design
Bridge, highly
commended at the BIAs in 2017
for its Guinness rebrand. She is
judging this year’s awards.
www.designbridge.com
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 42 -
K AT E
MARLOW
As creative partner
at Here Design, Kate
has crafted
branding for Hendrick’s Gin and
many more high-end brands. She
is also on 2018’s BIA judging panel.
www.heredesign.co.uk
B R A NDI NG A DV I C E
SPRING 2018
C A S E
S T U D Y
ROYAL MINT
N
O
R
T
H
Sometimes a brand’s heritage must
be celebrated. Back in 2008, North’s
rebrand of the Royal Mint did
exactly that. “This is the only
minting institution to have an
1,100-year-old royal heritage,”
explains North’s Sean Perkins.
North clearly differentiated
the Royal Mint from its overseas
competitors, combining the Royal
Family’s Coat of Arms with a gold
heraldic ‘supporter’, symbolising
heritage and minting expertise.
“The supporter is derived from
the Tudor rose, struck on the first
gold sovereign of 1489, combined
with the geometric shapes of the
coin ‘dial plates’ currently in use at
the Royal Mint,” explains Perkins.
“The use of black, gold and silver evoke the premium qualities
of this royal institution. The Royal Mint emblem represents the
ultimate guarantee of quality,” says North’s Sean Perkins.
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I N D U S T R Y I S S UE S
SPRING 2018
C A S E
S T U D Y
LAFAYETTE ANTICIPATIONS
W
O
L
F
F
O
L
I
N
S
When iconic 120-year-old French
department store Galeries Lafayette
planned to launch its own cultural
institution, Wolff Olins was brought
on board to develop a brand for it:
Lafayette Anticipations. “We
created a new language that was
born from the ever-changing nature
of the building itself,” explains chief
design officer Chris Moody.
“Everything the design team did
– from an intelligent typeface built
by algorithm, though to a hyperminimalistic palette of colour and
texture – grew from a fundamental
understanding of the physical space
and the story it had to tell. It was
one story, from strategy to tote bag.”
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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“Crafting a distinct, singular brand voice
has never been more necessary, but it’s
never been more tricky to pull off”
Wolf Olins’ fragmented identity system for
Lafayette Anticipations was inspired by the
building itself, and translated beautifully into
quirky 3D signage that now adorns it.
CHR IS MOODY, WOLFF OLINS
In a characteristically innovative twist, the “intelligent typeface” for Lafayette Anticipations was built by an algorithm.
I N D U S T R Y I S S UE S
FOUR WAYS
TO REAWAKEN A
BRAND’S HERITAGE
1. FIND THE ENDURING BENEFIT
“Heritage just for heritage’s sake won’t work,” argues
The Clearing’s Richard Buchanan. “There has to be
something at the core of the brand to give you that
connection. Mini reflected popular culture in the
1960s; the ‘Mini Adventure’ campaign repackaged
that in a more urban way. It’s not just graphic or
verbal veneer: there must be an intrinsic benefit.”
North’s branding for RAC in 1997 included famously thorough brand guidelines.
includes motion, haptic, texture and voice as standard,”
he reels off. “At Wolff Olins, we have started to define
this third wave – after corporate identity, and brand
identity – as ‘intelligent identity’.
“If you’re a designer working in brand, it’s your
imperative to steal some of the perceived authority
from product teams, service designers and, most of all,
engineers,” he continues. “It’s our responsibility to set
the agenda for the whole brand experience, and to be
the ones inventing and curating the definitive
interactions we have with a brand.”
2. DON’T PASTICHE THE PAST
“Limited editions can be a good way to stir nostalgia
in people, and remind them of why they fell in love
with a brand in the first place,” says Design Bridge’s
Chloe Templeman, giving the example of a ‘retro’
Irn-Bru edition that was reminiscent of her childhood.
“But brands have to continually move forwards.
It’s about taking inspiration from past brand stories,
and then puing a modern lens on it.”
3. FIND A COMPELLING STORY
DESIGNING IN THE SPOTLIGHT
“Heritage is only really effective if you have a purist
past and a compelling relevant story,” says Spencer
Buck of Taxi Studio. “For some brands, it would be
impossible to look back to move forward. Robertson’s
Jam is an extreme example [look it up to find out
why], whereas the roing lion carcass found on a
certain brand of syrup remains perfectly relevant and
as acceptable today as it was then,” he adds.
“Heritage can be a loaded gun, and authenticity
is a bandwagon word. Consumers can’t be fooled or
entertained into buying stuff like they used to,” Buck
continues. “They demand more from brands, and
rightly so. Being authentic is fundamental. Without
it you’re fake, and fakers soon get found out.”
4. FOCUS ON MODERN RELEVANCE
“The only thing that really maers is what’s relevant
to today’s audience,” insists Wolff Olins’ Chris Moody.
“Brewdog has taken everything we knew about
beer branding, and remixed it to its very core. They
are as authentic as hell, but they do it by constantly
innovating and challenging what was done yesterday.
Heritage brands like Tetley should be learning from
Brewdog’s modernity, rather than rummaging through
their archives for old logos.”
It’s a rousing battle cry from the veteran agency widely
credited with ‘inventing’ modern branding as we know
it. But it sits at odds somewhat with another relatively
recent challenge for agencies to face: the often
alarming speed with which a rebrand is met with
public scrutiny, often before the more nuanced aspects
of the scheme – the “whole brand experience”, as
Moody puts it – are revealed.
“For some reason, everyone is now an expert and
a critic, without in reality being either,” laments Sean
Perkins, partner and director at North, which picked
up Brand Impact Award trophies for its rebrands of
Co-op (see page 50) and Arjowiggins in 2016, the same
year it topped the list in CA’s annual peer reputation
survey, the UK Studio Rankings.
Perkins points out that major changes to any
organisation’s identity system are expensive and can
be risky, adding that all of North’s rebrand projects
stem from a legitimate strategic business need. But that
public scrutiny all-too-often focuses on the logo: “In
their reveal, they can be immediately criticised or
commented on for entirely the wrong reasons,” he says.
“Rarely is a new brand identity about looking nice.
Identities are about doing a job, and they have a
strategic purpose to exist. On social media, people are
quick to point a finger, like or dislike,” he continues.
“Personally I don’t care: most of the comments are
ill-informed and naive. But their commentary causes
concern for clients: no business wants controversy
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B R A NDI NG A DV I C E
MAY 2018
For ET Brain, Wolf Olins evolved and extended Alibaba Cloud’s core brand palette to explain what AI is.
C A S E
S T U D Y
ALIBABA: ET BRAIN
W
O
L
F
F
O
L
I
N
S
Launched January 2018, ET Brain
is an innovative AI platform from
Chinese cloud services giant
Alibaba Cloud. “This is a good
example of a brand that could have
simply been a sub-brand or
campaign without such a
progressive thinking client,”
explains Wolff Olins’ Chris Moody.
“When you are dealing with a
fundamental shift in technology,
it deserves a tone of voice and
presence that can give it longevity,
and a design platform that can
enable it to keep growing,” he says.
“Our ET work set out not just to
illustrate artificial intelligence, but
also better explain its role in
people’s lives. It did this by smartly
extending the core brand palette,
without reinventing it.”
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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I N D U S T R Y I S S UE S
C A S E
S T U D Y
PANZER’S
H
E
R
E
D
E
S
I
G
N
Here Design rebranded Panzer’s Deli &
Grocery, a much-loved institution in St
John’s Wood, London, established in 1944
and known for its smoked salmon, bagels
and eclectic world foods. Conscious of its
fiercely loyal customer base, the agency
conducted extensive research into the
deli’s history and place in the community.
The Austrian and Czech heritage of the
shop’s original founders informed the
design of the new word marque, inspired
by the typography of old Austrian shop
signs. And the bespoke signature fish
symbol is a nod to the shop’s muchsought-after smoked salmon, which is
also emphasised through a salmon stripe
motif throughout the branding system.
C OM -
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R E B R A ND SP E C I A L
“Rarely is a new brand identity
about looking nice. Identities are
about doing a job, and they have
a strategic purpose to exist”
SEAN PERKINS, NORTH
North-west London delicatessen Panzer’s
had a strong Austrian and Czech heritage,
as well as a reputation for delicious smoked
salmon. Here Design brought both to the
fore in their rebranding of the store.
over a new identity, especially after spending significant
amounts of money in implementation.
“That means clients in general become more
cautious, and wary of making changes in the future.
They become less brave. Our industry’s reputation is
damaged by the vocal infighting around taste and style,
and potentially smaller design agencies’ reputations
would struggle to survive significant controversy.”
“The biggest challenge is, as it always has been, to
deliver and meet the expectations of the clients, no
matter how high, or how realistic those expectations
are,” agrees Kate Marlow, creative partner at Here
Design and judge for 2018’s Brand Impact Awards.
“The specific design challenges themselves haven’t
necessarily changed, but in most cases the budgets are
leaner and the timelines shorter.”
Like Moody, Marlow is excited about the diverse
multi-platform opportunities that are available to
agencies in 2018. “More so now than ever, brands
recognise that they need to be seen across all platforms:
we call it their brand world,” she says.
“That can span everything from packaging, to print,
to environments, to social media and beyond,” she
continues. “It’s a lively period, where our role as
designers is to be constantly thinking beyond
convention, and to be originators of ideas.”
Joining Marlow on this year’s BIA judging panel
is Chloe Templeman, creative director at Design Bridge.
She identifies that an influx of new, challenger brands
– in the food and drink sector in particular – are now
posing an additional challenge when it comes to
rebranding more established clients.
“Branding for these start-ups tends to focus on
design individuality, with ‘uniqueness’ and ‘newness’ as
design cues,” she explains. “So many claim to be
small-batch, natural and sustainable, or fit within the
‘clean eating’ trend. There’s a lot more choice for
consumers than in the past.”
Templeman points out that more-established brands
often feel like they’re falling behind their newer,
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I N D US T R Y I S S U E S
SPRING 2018
CREATE BRAND IMPACT
Now in their fifth year, Computer Arts’ very own Brand
Impact Awards reward the best branding from all around
the world – and previous winners have included total
creative rethinks of household-name brands, products
and ranges, as well as stand-out examples of skilfully
reawakened brand heritage.
Taxi Studio’s radical overhaul of Carlsberg EXPØRT was
shortlisted at the 2017 Awards, while its limited-edition
København Collection packaging picked up trophies in
both the FMCG and Wine, Beer & Spirits categories.
“We knew they needed something much more dramatic
than a tweak to force reappraisal,” reflects Taxi Studio’s
co-founder Spencer Buck. “Thankfully the client was very
much on the same bus, so radically redesigning them
became the brief from day one.”
North’s rebrand of Co-op and Design Bridge’s overhaul
of Guinness picked up trophies in 2016 and 2017
respectively. While Co-op’s much-lauded new look
reinvigorated its 1960s heyday, Design Bridge’s work for
Guinness delved even further back, incorporating
authentic details from the brand’s 250-year history, and
adding tactile craftsmanship through woodcut-style
illustration and the use of letterpress.
Have you created some best-in-class branding this
year? Entries are now open for the Brand Impact Awards.
Now in their fih year, CA’s very own Brand
Impact Awards reward the best branding
from around the world. Find out more and
submit your best work before June
www.brandimpactawards.com
R E B R A ND SP E C I A L
SPRING 2018
Johnson Banks picked up Best of Show at the
BIAs twice, with its Cambridge University and
Unicef UK projects. This recent rebrand of
Historic Houses evolved to encompass
everything from cottages to castles.
younger counterparts. “However, their strength lies in
the fact that they’re trusted and stable, which is
important in this economic climate,” she continues.
“This is where using design to celebrate the brand’s
story and journey can be very powerful, reminding
people of the connection they already have with them.”
Sometimes, of course, a rebrand is necessary to help
reverse ill fortune for a brand. “I love working on a
brand that has lost its way a bit,” enthuses Templeman.
“You can go back in time, understand its sometimes
forgotten past, and then bring it back to life again, in
a way that resonates today.”
STRATEGY 1: REAWAKEN HERITAGE
This leads us neatly into the first of three main
rebranding strategies, and one that’s been high on the
agenda in recent years with widespread talk of the
‘retro design’ trend, aka digging around in the archives
until you find something that could be modernised.
But according to Spencer Buck – co-founder and
creative partner at Bristol’s Taxi Studio, a doublewinner at last year’s Brand Impact Awards for its
limited-edition København Collection for Carlsberg
(see opposite page) – talk of trends is irrelevant.
“Quite simply, you do it when it’s the right thing to
do,” he shrugs. “I hate the reference to a ‘trend’ as that
implies transience, whereas the point is to design the
brand into a place where it’s more timeless and robust.
But the sad reality is that some brands were the best
versions of themselves many years ago.”
Brand equity can be eroded over time, Buck
explains: “It washes away critical points of difference –
brand USP, in old money – until the brand becomes
normalised in the marketplace.
“Our job is to identify the point it all went wrong,
then seek to bring the brand back to being the best
version of itself. Digging in the archives is not a ‘fix all’
for all branding briefs, but it’s also not a bad place to
start if the brand has drastically lost its way over time.”
Richard Buchanan is MD at The Clearing, which
picked up a Brand Impact Award in 2016 for its rebrand
of Breast Cancer Now. He draws attention to several
brands in the FMCG and automotive sectors that have
been resurrected for modern times, including Arctic
Roll, Monster Munch, Fiat 500, Beetle and Mini.
“They were built on sentimentality, but also a
reservoir of goodwill that exists in consumers’ minds,”
he explains. “But those consumers alone aren’t enough
to ensure that brand is successful in future. They have
to appeal to new audiences.”
Ultimately, Buchanan adds, for a rebrand to tap into
some long-lost heritage it needs to have something
substantial in its DNA that’s worth reawakening in the
first place. “There needs to be a benefit that’s as
relevant today as it was then,” he says. “Some essence,
or attitude, that can be reimagined for a new audience.
You need to identify those golden nuggets, those little
gems that make that brand special.”
According to Templeman, Design Bridge often
works with long-standing brands whose rich heritage
may have been forgotten or somehow ‘lost’ over time.
“It’s our job to find those hidden gems, and tell those
stories through design in a way that is relevant today,”
she says, giving the agency’s rebrand of Guinness,
which was highly commended at the Brand Impact
Awards last year, as an example (see opposite page).
“But this approach can only really work when the
brand has a past, and an interesting one at that,” she
goes on, echoing Buchanan’s thoughts. “Sometimes you
search for the hook and it’s just not there, so you have
to choose another route. There’s no science to it:
sometimes it’s a gut feel.”
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C A S E
S T U D Y
UK PARLIAMENT
S
O
M
E
O
N
E
SomeOne’s recent overhaul of UK Parliament was
initially met with logo-focused social media derision,
a by-product of many high-profile rebrands. “While
there’s understandable attention towards a logo, the
other assets most likely prove more useful,” reasons
co-founder and executive strategic CD Simon Manchipp.
He draws attention to how the new website,
infographic systems and more progressive, digital-first
approach are already having an impact. “Just as a F1 car
receives many areas of attention that remain out-ofsight between races, the visible design work is not the
only aspect important to success,” he explains.
The well-established portcullis mark itself was
optimised for three key applications: a radically
simplified version for mobile; a mid-size version for
general print work; and an entirely new decorative
version for large-scale work. “Few people will
immediately notice the variants, but should appreciate
them over time,” adds Manchipp. “We are not after a
thunderclap relaunch, but a more well-considered
and engineered approach.”
SomeOne set out to make the UK Parliament’s branding more
digitally versatile, and created three diferent versions of the
portcullis marque for mobile, print, and large-scale work.
SPRING 2018
REB R A N D SP E C I A L
FIVE WAYS TO EVOLVE
A BRAND GRADUALLY
1. LET FORM FOLLOW FUNCTION
“Incremental tweaks can help brands address
certain functional issues, without jeopardising their
equity and reputation,” says North’s Sean Perkins.
“Luhansa is a great example of this approach:
incremental change, with huge effect on recognition.
Masterfully successful, in my opinion.”
2. MAKE A BRAND DIGITAL FRIENDLY
Design Bridge has reimagined packaging ranges for Fortnum & Mason.
Moody believes in looking to the future, rather than
the past, wherever possible. “On a personal level, I feel
nervous about building on heritage alone,” he admits.
“It’s a valuable component, but in no other industry
would people be so self-indulgent and self-referential to
their industry over that of the client’s.
“All brands should aim to carry with them a core,
forward-thinking DNA that is true to what they stand
for. Picking a fixed point in history as the only anchor
can hold you back,” Moody argues. “Authenticity
shouldn’t be confused with heritage: it’s something
that’s earned over time.”
“If you’re going to change anything, you must have
a good reason. Something should be fundamentally
broken, or substantially shiing in the market,” says
The Clearing’s Richard Buchanan. “Making sure
that brands are fit-for-purpose, particularly digitally,
is what people are most concerned about. If not
a digital-first strategy, they need a digital-friendly
strategy. Look at Audi: it’s got to work as a badge
on the front of a car, but also a 16x16-pixel favicon.”
3. MAKE EVERY CHANGE COUNT
“Tiny tweaks become very hard to justify, when you
consider the cost of rebranding projects,” believes
Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks. “There may be
a legitimate business reason to tweak your verbal
brand and not the visual – but my old boss Wally
Olins called his job ‘change made visible’, and I still
subscribe to that view. If nothing appears to have
changed or the changes are imperceptible, it makes
it much harder to re-position a brand on just words.”
STRATEGY 2: INCREMENTAL CHANGE
4. PICK YOUR BATTLES
If a brand hasn’t lost its way entirely, but is becoming
a little tired, sometimes the rebranding process is more
about modernising, and making a brand fit-forpurpose, rather than dramatically looking either
forwards or backwards for inspiration.
“Small incremental changes are about subliminal
reaction to the change, not overt signalling of
newness,” explains Perkins. “They’re useful when
brands need to address certain functional issues to
move forward, without jeopardising the equity and
reputation in their existing brand recognition.”
Like so many high-profile projects before it,
SomeOne’s recent rebrand of the UK Parliament (see
opposite page) faced a wave of initial criticism for
spending public money on what was perceived to be a
few tiny tweaks to the portcullis logo. But as the tweets
piled up, and more of the ‘brand world’ was revealed, it
became clear to anyone willing to dig a little deeper
that the rebrand was about digital versatility.
“Only a fool rushes into an established brand with a
total disregard for the brand’s history,” believes Simon
Manchipp, co-founder and executive strategic
“Change in general is resisted by all but the most
progressive of thinkers,” reflects SomeOne’s Simon
Manchipp. “Part of our position is to identify the
elements of the brand that will make the greatest
positive impact. In the UK Parliament’s case, the
symbol is well-known and needed technical aention
but not a radical creative overhaul. However, the
infographic systems and iconography to aid nonwrien communications were underdeveloped,
and increasingly sought aer.”
5. DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
“As a younger designer, I avoided ‘evolutionary’
routes,” recalls Johnson. “Now? I’m a lile wiser, and
can see that some clients’ previous identities weren’t
completely broken. They just needed to work beer.
We changed Action Against Hunger’s confusing
symbol to simply one of food and water. Historic
Houses’ monosyllabic old symbol became a visual
reminder of the many houses they represent.”
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C A S E
S T U D Y
ROYAL ASCOT
T
H
E
C
L
E
A
R
I
N
G
When The Clearing was tasked with
rebranding Royal Ascot, Richard Buchanan
recalls that the existing marque felt old
and tired-looking, and the team felt it was
in need of a premium overhaul.
“We designed a total creative vision,
mapping out every single touchpoint:
product, service, internal culture,
environment and communications,”
Buchanan recalls. Since it’s ‘Royal’ Ascot for
a reason, all of this needed to be signed off
by the Queen herself.
“She didn’t approve the logo: it was 2011,
and we were still in what people thought
was a double-dip recession. She was
concerned they were seen to be spending
money on what wasn’t broken,” he continues.
As time progressed, though, the agency had
a chance to revisit the branding and “move
that needle”, as Buchanan puts it.
“We needed to capture the heritage and
luxury; with the old marque it wasn’t
possible,” he adds. “With luxury brands, it’s
as much about the negative space as the
marks you make.”
The Clearing gave the Royal Ascot brand a premium overhaul to match
its world-class reputation.
R E B R A ND SP E C I A L
SPRING 2018
“Only a fool rushes in with a total
disregard for an established brand’s
history. There’s nearly always
something worth preserving”
Stockholm Design Lab recently rebranded Ericsson by making
small tweaks to improve digital precision.
creative director at SomeOne, which won a 2016 Brand
Impact Award for its D.Thomas skincare rebrand.
“There’s nearly always something worth preserving,”
he insists. “With the UK Parliament, the portcullis is
part of the very fabric of the buildings. The Royal
documentation. Even the curtains. So there was never
a question of replacing it. It’s a globally recognised
symbol, which in brand terms is worth billions.
“It was streamlining and making it digitally adept
that formed the basis of our brand work, as well as
creating systems to better clarify Parliament’s role in a
modern democracy. Connecting many parts to make
one cohesive whole.”
Moody compares this approach to the principle of
‘incremental gains’ embraced by Team Sky in cycling
events, and admits that Wolff Olins has actively
encouraged it in recent years. “However, just like Team
Sky, I’m now questioning the true validity of doing
this,” he adds. “It’s not so much about being unable to
plug in to other people’s designs, but more that it’s more
important than ever to design with totality in mind.”
If small changes make a big impact, he reasons, then
it’s a course of action worth pursuing, but you need to
be completely honest with yourself. “If you are fiddling
with line weight for the sake of it, then it’s a waste of
everyone’s time,” he smiles.
Moody gives the example of Ericsson’s recent
minimalist brand overhaul (above): “It’s pure hygiene,”
he argues. “This is commendable, and a critical part of
any brand design process, but it’s neither genuine
‘rebranding’ in any major sense, nor newsworthy.
“Fetishising these tweaks – see also eBay, Audi, and
YouTube – gives them an inflated level of importance,”
he adds. “It feels like [highly-acclaimed architect]
Richard Rogers making a big deal about bleeding the
radiators in one of his buildings. Designers should aim
S I M O N M A N C H I P P, S O M E O N E
for big, bold, radical change. If you aren’t pissing
someone off a bit, you aren’t trying hard enough.”
STRATEGY 3: START AGAIN
Which leads neatly into our third, and most radical
approach: starting again from scratch, treating the
client almost like a new start-up. Almost, but not
entirely. According to Michael Johnson – creative
director and principal of Johnson Banks, an agency
which has twice won Best of Show at the Brand Impact
Awards – rebranding is a very different beast from
branding a new company, and your creative process
should be tailored accordingly.
“For a while I approached both in a similar way,”
he admits. “The penny dropped a few years ago that for
‘new’ projects it made more sense to start at the core
– why they are here, what do they stand for, then work
outwards. Conversely, when realigning existing brands
we often start from the edges and talk about ‘how’ they
work, and what they believe in, before we tackle the
trickier and more essential stuff at the core.”
Johnson emphasises that truly radical change must
be a collaborative decision between agency and client.
“I think there’s a very naive view out there that
designers should ‘persuade’ their clients to be more
adventurous,” he says. “I can only do a radical piece of
work if, client-side, they are on the same page.”
He adds that graphic design alone is rarely enough
to persuade: you need solid strategic foundations,
based on a clear need for major change. “Walking into
a boardroom with a clutch of new logos and a
presentation you could précis as, ‘Wouldn’t this be
cool?’ is asking for trouble,” he smiles.
As ever, wider economic factors often come into play
with any root-and-stem changes to a brand – especially
for a well-established, global one. Johnson gives the
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I N D U S T R Y I S S UE S
When Fitness First came
to The Clearing, Richard
Buchanan describes it as
“broken”, with serious
under-investment and a
reputation for poor value.
“We kept the name, but for
everything else we started
again,” he explains. The
ground-up rebrand
transformed it into a richer,
more motivating experience.
example of Virgin Atlantic, when both he and the CEO
began on the same page in terms of a radical shake-up
of the company’s livery.
“Yet, when someone pointed out that repainting just
one plane cost a quarter of a million pounds, and my
jolly little presentation had just ‘spent’ £10 million in
implementation fees, that was a killer blow – and
illustrates how the hopes of a graphic designer can
sometimes run headlong into everyday realities.”
The Clearing faced a similar challenge, albeit on
a slightly different scale, with its rebrand of Royal
Ascot (see page 54) – which needed to be signed off
by the Queen. “They had a really old, tired-looking
marque, and we wanted to move it into something
quite premium,” Buchanan recalls. “We designed a
total creative vision, mapped out every single
touchpoint: product, service, internal culture,
environment, communications.
“When it came to sign-off, she didn’t approve the
logo, because it was 2011 and we were still in what
people thought was a double-dip recession. She was
concerned that they were seen to be spending money
on what wasn’t broken. You would have had to change
every sign on the racecourse, and wayfinding and
signage becomes really expensive.”
THE THIRD ERA OF BRANDING
The Clearing successfully revisited and refreshed the
marque at a later date, but like Johnson’s Virgin
Atlantic example, that initial reticence to change was
grounded in practical realities. The cost, and associated
risk, of wholesale change of a brand can be prohibitively
expensive in any sector – and in most cases, a brand
needs to be fundamentally broken to consider it.
Buchanan uses two main measures to decide this:
saliency, or the ‘meaning’ associated with a brand,
which can be both positive and negative; and
awareness. “When the saliency is negative and
unhelpful, and your awareness is really low, you go:
you have fundamentally pissed people off and they
don’t particularly like you,” he reasons. “Then what’s
the point in hanging onto it?”
Moody agrees that it usually takes some kind of
fundamental brand crisis, or some kind of major
organisational change, like a merger, for a brand to
start again. “This is a shame, because you end up
starting from a bad place,” he argues. “The branding
work done for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was
intriguing, as it was an identity that made sense of
something that previously nobody had thought of. I
suspect we will see more of this, particularly as West
Coast brands reach their next stage of development.”
Moody believes that customers are actually more
forgiving than we give them credit for, and that it tends
to be the clients who refuse to let go of the past. “The
world moves incredibly quickly, so brands need to be
more agile. That should include identity,” he insists.
“Imagine wearing the same clothes for 25 years. You’d
look out of touch and stale.
“The argument against radical rebranding is
perverse, as it’s often claimed that big changes erode
hard-won trust,” Moody observes. “But look at it
another way: would you trust someone who seemed
decades out of step with the rest of the world?
“If corporate identity was about standing out, and
brand identity was about better communicating what
you stand for, then this new third wave of more
intelligent identity is about creating brands and
identity systems that can move with people, and move
people emotionally, in real time,” he concludes. “If you
are focusing on building new value, you’re less likely to
need to cling onto the past.”
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01/06/18
e n t r y
d e a d l i n e
Submit
your best
branding
Enter the Brand Impact Awards 2018:
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WKHZRUOG·VEHVWEUDQGLQJ
For a full list of categories, entry instructions and previous winners visit:
www.brandimpactawards.com
S P EC I AL R E P OR T
SPRING 2018
BRING A BRAND
TO LIFE WITH
{Illustration}
In the second of our series on crafts in branding,
Emily Gosling explains what illustration can add
to a brand, and when and how it should be used
Now in their fih year, CA’s very own Brand
Impact Awards reward the best branding
from around the world. Find out more and
submit your best work before June
www.brandimpactawards.com
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IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
SPRING
SPRING2018
2018
Hired Guns Creative for Driftwood Brewery.
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S P EC I AL R E P OR T
SPRING 2018
M
Thirst Craft used illustrations to create the
branding for Fuller’s seasonal range of brews.
any brands choose to use
illustration to do at least some
of the talking for them, and if
it’s true that an image speaks a
thousand words, it’s easy to see
why. Whether through content,
style, implicit narrative or
(likely) all three, an image can
communicate what copy and
typography often can’t, at once
setting out a mood, tone of voice,
target audience and attitude in
a succinct visual.
The idea of using illustration
not just in a campaign, but
as a core part of a brand’s
visual identity is perhaps less
common than it once was, and
seems more aligned to certain
sectors than others. Luxury
food packaging, for instance,
especially on seasonal ranges:
think high-end Christmas
chocolate boxes. Or craft
beer, a sector that’s seemingly
indefatigable when it comes to
both new variants and breweries.
So what can illustration do
that type, photography and copy
alone can’t?
For one, it shows a uniqueness,
and in the right hands, it delivers
on-shelf standout like few other
approaches can.
There’s far less chance,
for instance, of a brand
commissioning the same
illustrator, style and image as
there is of it using a similar
typeface or colourway.
Broadly speaking, a brand
commissioning illustration also
subtly communicates a level
of thought and attention. In a
similar way to brands working
with bespoke, hand-drawn
typography, even digitally
created illustration hints at a
person behind a brand. This
helps build its story and tells us
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that there’s more to the product
than just ‘buy me’.
As Chloe Templeman,
creative director at Design
Bridge puts it, the notion of
image as story is as, “old as cave
paintings and hieroglyphics, and
has come full circle to emojis.
An illustration route is straight
to the point: it’s an instant
emotional connection that can
surpass language barriers.”
BOOZY ILLUSTRATION
Thirst Craft is a Glasgow-based
branding and design agency
specialising in the drinks sector,
whose portfolio boasts no shortage
of richly illustrated designs.
According to creative director Matt
Burns, it’s little surprise that the
craft beer sector in particular has
latched onto illustration as the
perfect conduit for communicating
a brand’s attitude and uniqueness.
“Illustration is created by the hand,
and that hand-rendered touch
lends itself nicely to craft beer,
and the whole ‘brewed by hand’
story,” he says. “There’s something
personable about illustration, so
it’s a great way to communicate
and tell a story of that brewery,
but there’s also something kind
of quite edgy and visually exciting
about illustration, which is why it
works well on pack.”
Burns adds that illustration is
engaging and has a lot of energy,
meaning that people can really
relate to it. “It captures that level
of excitement and emotion:
with things like the Beavertown
brewery stuff, people love it –
rather than being a sales tool,
it’s a piece of art. People want to
keep the cans, and you don’t get
that with other packaging.”
Hired Guns Creative is
an agency based in British
IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
SPRING 2018
C A S E
S T U D Y
T H I R S T
C R A F T ,
L O C H
HOW A SCOTTISH AGENCY UPDATED THE LOOK OF ESTABLISHED BREWERY, LOCH LOMOND
Glasgow-based agency
Thirst Craft was brought in
to create a new look for the
relatively established beer
Loch Lomond; and a key part of the brief
was to refresh the look and feel without
alienating existing customers. “If we made
them unrecognisable, they’d have a drop in
sales,” says creative director Matt Burns.
“So we wanted to keep what was working
well and where they have strong equity,
and that was in landscape illustration and
unusual colour palettes.”
The agency brought in illustrator Jack
Daly for the project. “The way he uses
light and shadow is great,” says Burns.
“There’s so much to explore there – he
has a beautiful use of curves and colour.
Also, it was great as he grew up [near Loch
Lomand]. It’s quite a subtle detail but we
wanted to capture that sense of a whole
day at the Loch.”
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L O M O N D
S P EC I AL R E P OR T
C A S E
S T U D Y
SPRING 2018
R O B O T
F O O D ,
V O C A T I O N
B R E W E R Y
REPRESENTING EACH BEER THROUGH PICTURES HELPED ELEVATE THIS START-UP
Leeds-based agency Robot Food
created the naming, branding
and packaging design for
Vocation Brewery. According to
design director Mike Johns, the project was
“very much an open brief”, and the approach
looked to communicate something, “a bit
gritty and new-school, in design terms.”
The solution was to use an intricate,
taboo-inspired illustration style created
in-house with icons and graphics that subtly
communicate the story of each brew. “We
want to portray the tasting notes of each
beer through the illustration, so the American
Pale Ale is a celebration with fireworks, while
Heart and Soul is more a heaven scene,” says
Johns. “We wanted to add elements and
details that tell the story. The main thing
about Vocation is getting across what each
beer is about pictorially.”
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IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
SPRING 2018
“REALLY BOLD, EYE-CATCHING ILLUSTRATION
IS A GOOD WAY TO STAND OUT, AND IS DIFFICULT
FOR OTHER COMPANIES TO EMULATE”
L E I F
M I L T E N B E R G E R ,
Columbia, Canada which,
like Thirst Craft, has chosen
to specialise in solely creating
designs for alcohol, with most
of its work across the craft beer
sector and the majority of that
work relying on illustration in
one form or another. So why
is craft beer such a rich font of
illustrated packaging? “A lot of it
comes down to trying to compete
on shelf,” says managing partner
Leif Miltenberger. “The craft
beer market in North America
and in the UK is exploding, so
every product on that shelf is
trying to scream as loud as it
can for attention. Really bold,
eye-catching illustration is a good
way to stand out, and is diicult
for other companies to emulate.
A lot of craft beer companies
have packaging design that’s
very minimalist, and although
you can stand out through
typography, bright colours, or
certain printing techniques, it’s
easier for another company to
come along and replicate that.”
For craft beer in particular,
brands are selling an attitude as
much as a liquid: “A lot of people
in that space really try to align
themselves with counterculture
through their brand, and
illustration is a great way to do
that. You can design things for
the craft beer guys that major
beer or spirit brands would be too
scared to do,” says Miltenberger.
Somewhat unusually, Hired
Guns chooses to create all its
illustration in-house, mostly by
creative director Richard Hatter.
INVESTING IN CRAFT
When a brand commissions
illustration work, it’s not only a
way of augmenting or creating
H I R E D
G U N S
C R E A T I V E
Smirnoff Choose Love was a collaboration between Rob Bailey and Design Bridge.
a more cohesive brand world or
message, it sends out a signal
that it cares about its product,
and the people that are buying
it. A distinctive, characterful
illustration is a symbol of
uniqueness and distinction,
immediately elevating it above
nondescript system fonts or less
ownable colour palettes.
“It shows they value the
appearance of the product
as well as what’s inside,” says
Miltenberger. “Some people
think that if the product is good
enough, it’ll be successful, but
that’s not the case. It’s a supercompetitive market. Sometimes
you get the feeling from the
illustration that they’re trying to
target a certain demographic –
maybe something hand-drawn
to feel authentic and appeal
to millennials or hipsters or
whatever name they have on
their demographic. But bigger
corporations more and more are
co-opting that approach: a handdrawn gin label doesn’t mean
its created in small batches by
someone who cares.”
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As Burns points out, such
intricate packaging is also a
crucial hook – especially within
the craft beer sector: “The
packaging is what makes people
buy the first one, and the product
makes them buy the second,
third and fourth.”
Careful and considered
commissioning also gives the
sense of a brand being not just
about product, but artistry.
“Being seen as a creative brand is
priceless,” says creative strategist
and designer Silas Amos. “For
brands, it’s about creating an aura
around themselves. The more
avant-garde you are or the more
you visually snag, the more you’re
making a difference.”
There’s also the question of
how much a brand is seen to
be investing in craft, continues
Amos. “Craft is telling a story,
and that tends to be whimsical
– pictures are a good way to tell
whimsical stories.”
One of the reasons we’ve
recently seen a wave of
illustration that hints at care,
craft and heritage is the
S P EC I AL R E P OR T
SPRING 2018
“WITH AN ILLUSTRATION
YOU SEE THE HAND OF
THE ARTIST, WHICH
COMMUNICATES CARE,
WARMTH AND A
BESPOKE QUALITY”
fact that so many brands are
celebrating landmarks. Their
100th or 150th anniversary is a
perfect chance to put their flag
back in the ground, and show
a world full of shiny start-ups
that they’ve been in it for the
long haul; they’re reliable, an
institution. At the forefront of
Design Bridge’s recent work
for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise,
for instance, was stripping the
aesthetic away from syntheticleaning imagery to usher in a
new, softer, watercolour-like,
hand-drawn style of illustration.
“It feels like more love has been
put into it,” says Templeman.
H E I D I L I G H T F O O T ,
T O G E T H E R D E S I G N
Design Bridge/Coralie Bickford-Smith for Fortnum & Mason.
5
T I P S
F O R
BRAND STORY TELLING
It’s that ability for illustration
to convey narrative that
brings London-based studio
Together Design to draw on it
(excuse the pun) for so many
projects. As creative director
and founder Heidi Lightfoot
puts it, illustration is perfect
for branding projects as it can
communicate, “really big themes
C O M M I S S I O N I N G
and messages that you just
couldn’t sum up in a photograph.”
In a photograph, Lightfoot
explains, you really have to
feel some resonance to the
people being featured. “But
in illustration it’s often less
personal, so we tend to find
illustration really useful in
communicating big themes that
are part of a client’s message.”
That sense of illustration as a
succinct and easily manipulated
conduit for a brand’s message
extends into what it says about
the brand itself – again, what’s
“inherent in a drawing is artistry
and craft in a way that’s harder
to communicate in other ways,”
says Lightfoot. “Type can feel
quite cold, and photography can
occasionally feel quite glossy, but
with an illustration you usually
see the hand of the artist. That
artistry in craft communicates
care, warmth and a bespoke
quality, which is lovely for brands
who want to communicate
those attributes. Then if you’re
using one style across different
I L L U S T R A T I O N
FOLLOW THESE PARAMETERS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF ILLUSTRATORS
1 SET A CLEAR BRIEF
Commissioning great
illustration is about great
communication. To make sure
this happens, set a clear brief
covering exactly what you want
in an image and the style, as
well as the timeline. Make it
plain why you’re commissioning
that person for that job, and
give them as much information
as possible to let them
interpret that creatively.
2 CONSIDER SPECIALISING
According to Hired Guns
Creative, specialisation was
initially a scary move, but has
been “a fantastic thing.” Thirst
Craft echoes such sentiments:
“This is our story now, and
it’s given us a really deep
understanding of the drinks
industry now and the right
questions to ask people,” says
creative director Matt Burns.
3 THINK ABOUT SCALE
When commissioning
illustrations for packaging,
remember the canvas will
generally be pretty small.
You have to strike a balance
between work that’s suitably
detailed as to be interesting
close up, but is also bold,
visible and legible enough to
stand out on the shelf.
4 LOOK TO THE FUTURE
According to Canadian
agency Hired Guns Creative,
augmented reality technology
is likely to become a big
innovation in illustration
across alcohol packaging, and
is already being used across
Australian winery’s 19 Crimes
wine, which uses an app to
show portraits of real former
criminals on the labels.
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5 RESPECT YOUR
COLLABORATORS
Nothing makes for a better
working relationship – whether
between a brand and agency,
agency and illustrator, or all
three – than trust, respect,
and dialogue. “It’s a balance
between respect for who you
are as a brand and flexibility
to impose no limits on the
creativity,” says artist Dennis
Osadebe. “A great client is
one who can communicate
effectively and understands
the importance of allowing the
artist to embrace their talent.”
IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
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C
T
D
P
A
O
E
E
S
G
S
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E S T U D Y
E T H E R
I G N ,
R S O N
USING ILLUSTRATION TO
CROSS CULTURAL BARRIERS
Together Design has
worked with education
brand Pearson for the
last three years. As the
lead agency for its global rebrand,
Together Design “created hundreds
of pages of guidance in many
different languages,” says creative
director and founder Heidi
Lightfoot. Illustration was a vital
part of this new approach, enabling
easy, direct communication across
numerous languages and cultures
for a company that has over
30,000 employees.
Together commissioned five
illustrators located in different
parts of the world including
Singapore, the US, Australia and the
UK to create hero illustrations “for
communicating big themes”, as well
as producing designs in-house for
infographics, pictograms and
patterns, to create a comprehensive
“kit of parts” visual asset library for
Pearson’s global operations.
“It was important to have
different illustration artists around
the world that the Pearson teams
could commission directly,” says
Lightfoot. “So there may be imagery
which is market- and productspecific, but it all ties in seamlessly
with the global library that is
accessible to all.”
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C A S E
S T U D Y
S I L A S
A M O S ,
R E D
R E D
HOW A TOUCH OF THE SURREAL GAVE FLAVOUR TO THIS STEW-POT BRAND
Without the budget for a conventional
ad campaign, African-inspired stewpot Red Red’s approach was to create
a ‘design campaign’ orchestrated by
creative strategist and designer Silas Amos and
based around the idea of ‘a lunch less ordinary’.
Nigerian artist Dennis Osadebe was brought in for
the punchy illustrations used across various brand
touchpoints, creating slightly surreal characters
that mix humour, nuance and subtle use of African
patterns. Parent brand Unilever was looking
for a key visual, an image that communicated
the brand’s essence while also showcasing the
product. “We gave Dennis the brief to do his
work in the mildly surreal way he does, but then
we let him loose,” says Amos. “He came back
with an astronaut lady, a Caesar character…”
Osadebe adds: “We knew exactly what the brand
represented: it was then a case of finding how to
best bring it to life, visually. This inspired me to
work with the feeling that the brand gave me – a
mixture of fun, vibrancy, innovation, timelessness
and most importantly diversity, in the sense of
merging of different cultures together.”
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IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
“THE ARTIST WILL
ALWAYS BRING
THEIR OWN TAKE ON
SOMETHING AND
THAT BRINGS A
WHOLE NEW ANGLE”
S I L A S A M O S ,
C R E A T I V E S T R A T E G I S T
A N D D E S I G N E R
materials, it becomes part of the
brand’s handwriting.”
CHOOSING THE RIGHT
COLL ABORATORS
A few years back, the typical way
for an agency to find the right
illustrator for a project would
have been through submitted
physical portfolios or using
agencies and organisations such
as the AOI. Nowadays, it’s more a
mix of good old-fashioned ‘who
you know’ and trawling through
online portfolios and social
media, most notably Instagram,
and for Together Design,
sometimes Pinterest too.
For Burns, finding the best
illustrator for the project is
“more gut instinct than anything
else,” and he warns against the
temptation to simply hire the
person who’s available at the
right time, at the right price
– especially when up against
tighter deadlines and smaller
product budgets.
For Amos, the process of
hiring an illustrator to work on
a brand is similarly instinctual.
“There’s no hard and fast rule or
set process [for commissioning],
but as a designer, I think in
pictures, so I’ve already got
something in my head and
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I’m looking to translate that
into a picture. Sometimes you
see a person’s work and think
‘their style would be great’, and
that informs the answer; but
sometimes you have the answer
and you’re looking for the style.”
Of course, as Burns hints, you
can’t always get what you want
when it comes to your dream
commission. You have to take
into account budget, availability,
and the opinions of any other
stakeholders who might have a
say in the final look and feel.
But what makes a person
great to work with, should they
fit all of those more pragmatic
criteria? For Amos, the best
sort of relationship is “a little
bit of a ping-pong match,” and
Lightfoot agrees that it’s vital
to find someone willing to
collaborate, and work through
potentially numerous iterations
with the designers.
“No matter how perfect
the brief is, when you see the
first rough there will always be
ways to improve, or perhaps the
emphasis on different elements
has changed,” she says. “It’s nice
to be able to have a conversation
about that rather than one stage
and one stage only, though
that’s very rare as illustrators
are usually very open to ideas
from both sides. The artist
S P EC I AL R E P OR T
C A S E
SPRING 2018
S T U D Y
S I D
L E E ,
B L U E
G O O S E
THE USE OF ILLUSTRATION ADDED AN ARTISANAL TWIST TO A MEAT AND FISH COMPANY
The Toronto studio of creative
agency Sid Lee was briefed to create
new packaging designs for Blue Goose,
a range of meat and fish that prides itself
on being ‘clean protein’ – the brand’s emphasis is
on transparency and tracing the product back to its
farming origin. Agency executive creative director and
partner Tom Koukodimos says that going down the
illustration route and commissioning Ben Kwok was
perfect, as it allowed the agency to capture a complex
story in its simplest form and “do it in a way that’s
unique and ownable, and visually distinct”.
The solution sets the brand apart from competitors,
which often lean towards simple images showing
potentially generic images of farms. “The illustration
was meant to feel artisanal, but without leaning into
artisanal visual shorthands,” says Koukodimos. “It
needed to be new and imaginative, and a little inventive.
The style has a craft feel to it, but without getting into
those dated cliches of craft.”
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IL L USTR AT I ON I N B R A NDI NG
Design Bridge worked with Timorous Beasties to create packaging for Fortnum & Mason.
will always bring their own take
on something and that brings a
whole new angle. It’s all about
collaboration, not just telling
people what to do.” The key to
that sort of working relationship
is both clarity and flexibility:
setting out a clear brief, but being
willing and open to listen to new
ideas and seeing an illustrator not
as a gun for hire, but a crucial cog
in the bigger creative machine.
WHEN TO ILLUSTRATE
Of course, as with any other
design communication tool – be
it copy, typography, photography,
pattern or colour – designers
working with global brands have
to do some careful research into
any unexpected signifiers that
might say something they don’t
want to say in other countries.
When Design Bridge worked
with Timorous Beasties on a set
of highly illustrative packaging
for Fortnum & Masons, for
instance, the team soon
discovered that moths are seen as
unlucky for certain cultures; and
had to take care with the shape
and colouration of the butterflies
that appeared in the work.
As we’ve seen, illustration
and craft beer are superbly
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comfortable bedfellows, and
many food brands, too, use
illustrative imagery to convey
their message and create on-pack
details. So are there any sectors
where illustration wouldn’t work?
According to Lightfoot, not
really. “There might be sectors or
client types you wouldn’t think
could use it, but illustration can
disrupt in an exciting manner,”
she says. “Even with a product
where photography might be
king – maybe with something
like a tech brand – there’s always
a way that illustration can play
a part in the marketing, and I’m
excited about brands that use it
as part of their core messaging.”
Templeman agrees: “An
illustration route goes straight
to the point in conveying a
brand’s message. It has so much
stretch and there’s such a huge
spectrum of different styles –
from more linear, stripped-back
work to infographics to beautiful
artworks – that I can’t think of
a brand that illustration would
never be right for.”
NEXT
MONTH
CHARACTER DESIGN
Experts share their tips,
insight and advice on creating
the perfect character.
BA CK T O B AS I C S
SPRING 2018
_ D I G I TA L D E S I G N S K I L L S
HOW TO MAKE YOUR
DESIGNS RESP ONSIVE
In recent years, responsive web design has become increasingly
important. Tom May explains why we need to make our digital
designs responsive, and how best to do so
B PA R T 4
This issue we look
at the importance
of responsive web
design and what it
means for designers.
PAR T 5
NEX T MONTH
The fifth part of the
series examines what
you need to know
about SEO, to make
sure the websites
you’re designing rank
highly on Google.
ack in the ‘olden days’ (before 2010), most
web design involved the creation of two
separate websites: one for desktop, one for
mobile. Then Apple introduced the iPad,
and everything changed.
Before long, the number of different devices
hitting the market was increasing exponentially,
and it was becoming impossible to design a
bespoke website for every single one. To meet this
challenge, a new discipline emerged, which its
creator Ethan Marcotte dubbed responsive web
design (or RWD for short).
The basic principle of responsive web design
is that, rather than create a separate website for
every device, you write one lot of code that will
seamlessly adapt your site to whichever device
it’s being consumed on.
This explains why any quality website created
in 2018 will have a totally different look when
viewed on a widescreen laptop than when viewed
on smaller smartphone screen. Indeed, even if you
just resize your browser window on the former,
you’ll doubtless see the layout morph and adapt to
it in a delightful, ‘automagic’ fashion.
But responsive web design is not just about
making a site look different; increasingly it’s about
making it act differently too.
“Essentially, responsive web design is about
creating the right experience, exactly when and
where the user needs it,” explains Bill Kingston,
partner at London design consultancy Elixirr
Creative. “The information users seek varies
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depending on the device – so we need to take this
into account when designing. Having insight into
user behaviour and context is key.”
Joel Maynard, digital designer at Hampshire
agency Superrb, provides a practical example.
“How you handle navigations on some sites, for
instance, needs to be carefully thought through,”
he explains. “Things like rollovers and hover
effects were really fashionable at one point – but
if you’re relying on the use of a cursor to unlock
these features, that isn’t practical for touch
devices, so you need to think about things like
that upfront. Especially because, as well as
smartphones and tablets, touch desktops are
becoming more popular now too.”
SUBTLE TWEAKS
The main point is that a user’s needs, and often
the kind of information they’re looking for, may
change based on device. These differences may
often be only slight, notes Chris Robinson, a
design lead at digital studio ustwo London, but
that doesn’t mean they’re not important. “For
example, attention spans may differ. A change in
navigation hierarchy might be required. You may
want to prioritise certain features or make subtle
changes to the interaction principles.”
Thankfully, new technologies are making it
ever-easier to bake these complex needs into
responsive web design. “Previously, certain layouts
may have been diicult or hacky to make
responsive,” says Robinson. “But new tools such
DIGITA
DIG
ITA L DE SI G N SK I LLS
SPRING
SPRING2018
2018
CASE STUDY
MAKING MENUS MANAGEABLE
DIGITAL DESIGNER JOEL MAYNARD REVEALS HOW SUPERRB MADE A
LONDON RESTAURANT’S WEBSITE RESPOND TO ITS CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS
“Dirty Bones is a London
restaurant based on an NYCinspired food and cocktail
concept. The company had grown
from one venue to five, and had
an extensive brand refresh,
moving away from the grungy,
ratty-edged vibes to a much more
mature, clean style. The design
needed to reflect this via the
client’s imagery; the user needed
to know exactly what Dirty Bones
was about, the moment they
landed on the website.
The site had slightly more
mobile users than desktop but
it was pretty much 50:50. So we
had to focus on ensuring that all
functionality was easily
accessible on desktop, mobile
and tablet. Even though a very
small number of people accessed
the website on tablet, we still
made sure it was as usable as on
any other device.
From a client perspective, the
ability for users to book easily
was a core factor, and so this had
to be given strong consideration
in the responsive designs.
The other issue we needed
to overcome was ensuring the
menu functionality for each venue
was easily accessible on mobile
devices. Each venue has a variety
of food and drink menus, which
can be formatted on desktop for
easy access. Due to limited real
estate on mobile, this had to be
thought about carefully.
Dirty Bones has multiple
locations and has plans to
expand. On top of this, the
navigation already had a lot of
items due to various seasonal
campaigns. So we decided to
create a sub-navigation that
expands, while all other nav items
bar the venues are obscured with
an overlay, to focus the user’s
eyes to the various locations. This
was a future-proof solution that
allows for several new locations
and works across all devices.
Lastly, we also had to make
sure that the booking and contact
information is always visible
so we included these links in
the header – separate to the
main navigation.”
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When London restaurant
Dirty Bones asked
Superrb to design it a
new website, the team
worked hard to ensure
the site would be
responsive to customers’
needs, whether they
accessed it on a mobile
or desktop device.
BA CK T O B AS I C S
SPRING 2018
T E X T- F O C U S E D
WEBSITE
“Heritage Futures is a four-year
research programme funded by the UK
Arts and Humanities Research Council
exploring the potential for a creative
exchange across a broad range of
heritage and related fields. We built
them a prototype website which
the client, their team and multiple
researchers in the field could test out.
We then used this feedback to make
important decisions about the design.
In the process, we learned that we
shouldn’t make assumptions about
device usage. Instead, focusing on the
content and experience ensured that
the website worked across multiple
devices and ensured a consistent
brand experience.”
CHRIS BUT TERWORTH
H E A D O F D I G I TA L ,
THE DISTRICT
GET RESPONSIVE
We asked three experts for their advice on getting started
in responsive web design
_ C O L L A B O R A T I O N I S K E Y “The best sites are those that have been
designed in a collaborative environment,” says Sean Masters, creative director at
Leicestershire marketing agency Masters Allen. “Designers should work closely with
developers, using tools like Adobe XD to help build an understanding between both
parties as to how functionality or user stories can best be implemented.”
_ K E E P T H I N G S S I M P L E “Too many sites are unnecessarily complicated for
visitors’ needs,” adds Masters. “Designers need to remember the importance of
keeping the design simple and not over-engineering a site’s navigation. This includes
ensuring that loading times are kept to a minimum. Using flexible assets like Google
Fonts and Font Awesome, along with a stripped back design approach, really helps
here – even with video use.”
_ U S E T E S T I N G T O O L S “Chrome and newer versions of Opera – which is
my personal favourite – have great responsive testing tools so you can see how
your website will look at different screen sizes,” explains Chris Butterworth, head
of digital at The District. “Also, libraries like Hammer.js are amazing for detecting
different interacting methods.”
_ W O R K W I T H R E A L C O N T E N T “Use the actual content that your users
will see – not dummy or placeholder content,” says Philip Lackmaker, senior UX
designer for global digital agency Potato. “This will help you structure the page and
understand the information hierarchies you are trying to build.” You should also
try to imagine the ‘worst case scenario’ in terms of how the content will appear,
he continues, and use that as your reference.
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as CSS Grid and Flexbox are starting to allow
for more intricate layouts. Interaction on the web
is vastly improving and we’ll see a range of
complex apps now being built into the browser.”
Luckily for most designers, you don’t have to be
a coder to get on board with all of this. “Graphic
design tools are finally starting to adapt to digital
workflows, with features that help designers test
responsive layouts,” says Robinson. “Sketch’s
smart resizing and pinning tools, for example,
allow you to create responsive rules on a
component level. Framer helps you go a little
further, enabling you to change the visibility
of components at various dimensions.”
Maynard uses Sketch for the majority of his
web design projects. “It comes with templates for
device sizes, so you can dive straight into
designing responsively,” he explains. “I’d also
recommend keeping your eye on InVision Studio,
as it really does look like a game-changer for
prototyping, animation and design, all in one app.
Another tool I tend to use is Skala Preview in
order to help check all my designs are in line when
browsing on smaller devices.”
LOOK AROUND YOU
But even if you steer clear of creating websites or
prototypes yourself, understanding the core
elements of responsive design can still help your
career as a designer. And that can be as simple as
paying attention to what’s going on around you.
DIGITA L DE SI G N SK I LLS
SPRING 2018
FIVE COMMON
M I S TA K E S
OUR EXPERTS HIGHLIGHT ERRORS
THAT KEEP CROPPING UP WHEN IT
COMES TO RESPONSIVE WEBSITES
1 L A C K O F E M P AT H Y
“The biggest mistakes you can make
when it comes to responsive web design
are the following: treating the web as if it
were print, not putting yourself in other
people’s shoes, and making
assumptions,” says Bill Kingston of
Elixirr Creative.
2 LEGIBILIT Y ISSUES
“A common mistake I’ve found newbies
make is the use of tiny font sizes on
mobile,” says Joel Maynard of Superrb.
“Bigger fonts may not be as visually
pleasing from a designer’s perspective,
but text has to be legible, otherwise it
may as well not be there.”
3 TEX T WR APPING
“Issues with text wrapping are common,”
says Chris Robinson of ustwo. “It’s easy
to design layouts that look perfect, yet
the moment you use variable ‘real’
content it becomes a mess. So it’s
important to stress-test layouts with the
type of content you expect to see. There
are great plugins for popular design tools
that can help you do this.”
IN-FLIGHT
W I - F I P O R TA L
“With most passengers carrying
a smartphone, tablet or laptop,
Qantas decided to install in-flight
Wi-Fi on some of their aircraft,
and engaged UsTwo Sydney to
develop a responsive web portal.
Their research suggested business
customers were more likely to
use laptops in-flight, while leisure
customers were more likely to use
a smartphone or tablet. So they
designed the desktop and mobile
breakpoints to ensure that the most
relevant information for work and
leisure uses was clear and available.
Another challenge was ensuring
that the moving map showing the
plane’s progress ‘bled’ into the rest
of the page on larger screens, but it
was fully contained on mobile.”
USTWO SYDNEY
“When working on websites day in day out, you
naturally start picking up how a website operates,”
Maynard points out. “To delve more deeply, sites
like Awwwards and siteInspire are great for
finding cool sites that have been pushed to the
max in terms of cutting-edge design. You can also
use sites like Tympanus and CodePen to find nice
interactive elements that work well across
multiple devices and various screen sizes.
“More broadly, practice makes perfect when
it comes designing responsively,” he adds.
“Something I once did to practise was to find a
website that I thought could be improved upon,
and then put together a responsive concept.”
Kingston takes a similar view. “Keep your eyes
on the web, look at sites on different devices,
analyse them,” he recommends. “Keep a list of
pain points as well as an inspiration folder of
successful experiences when you come across
them. Stay alert, RWD is in constant evolution.
There is no wrong or right way, experiment!”
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4 BROKEN HIER ARCHY
“I often see hierarchy fall down on
mobile,” adds Robinson. “Calls to actions
get pushed out of view, which can really
impact performance. It’s also common
to see an interaction that works well on
a mouse-driven interface but falls down
completely on touch; or design for
specific devices, rather than a good
range of breakpoints.”
5 TA K I N G S H O R T C U T S
“I think the most common mistake for
those learning anything is trying to take
shortcuts; don’t,” says Chris Butterworth
of The District. “If I was learning RWD
again, I’d read up on mobile-first
development, which I see as best
practice for making responsive designs,
and move forward with that,” he explains.
BACK ISSUES
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MAY 2018
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Get a better job with our advice
on upgrading your skills. We also
reveal the 10 hottest indie mags
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Discover the top 25 illustrators
to work with this year, improve your
logo craft with our 10 golden rules,
and get pro portfolio advice from
agency Handsome Frank.
Have your best year ever with our
advice for conquering obstacles
and achieving your dreams in 2018.
We also look at how to use brand
guidelines effectively.
We reveal the hottest colour
palettes for 2018. Plus: how to
succeed as a designer-maker,
build a global reputation overnight
and get better at typesetting.
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P R OJ E C T S
SPRING 2018
PROJECTS
Computer Arts goes behind the scenes with world-leading
designers as they reveal their working processes…
76
STUDIO
INSIGHT
HOW TO KEEP GLOBAL CLIENTS HAPPY
Bruce Mau Design reveals how an international mix of designers, a focus on brand mission, and pop-up
design studios are helping it attract big clients from all over the world
82
88
92
BEST FOOT FORWARD
ILLUSTRATE KIDS’ BOOKS
EVERYDAY POLITICS
Jo Graham Consulting and Studio
Sutherl& describe how they breathed
new life into the identity of a 226-yearold shoe brand, Start-Rite
Award-winning illustrator Jim Field
outlines how he captures the energy of
children’s books with a walkthrough of
his process for a book about squirrels
MSQ Partners and photographer Nick
Meek explain the creation of the Got 5
campaign, which promotes voter
registration in a quirky yet relatable way
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S TU D I O I N S I G H T
SPRING 2018
STUDIO INSIGHT
HOW TO WIN
GLOBAL CLIENTS
Bruce Mau Design tells Tom May how an international mix
of designers, a focus on brand mission, and pop-up design
studios are helping it attract big brands worldwide
aunched by the eponymous
Canadian designer after he left
Pentagram in 1985, Toronto-based
brand consultancy Bruce Mau Design
has gone from strength to strength.
Despite its founder departing in 2010, the
agency has continued to win awards and attract
big name clients from across the world, including
Sonos, the V&A and ASICS. Here, we talk to
some of its creatives, including president and
CEO Hunter Tura, creative director Chris Braden,
senior strategic designer Kar Yan Cheung and
graphic designer Kyosuke Nishida, to uncover the
secrets of their success...
L
You pride yourselves on ‘mission-driven
design’. What does that mean, exactly?
Hunter Tura: It means branding ‘the mission’,
rather than the product, service or building. So
we start by defining the higher purpose of an
organisation, and focus on developing a brand
platform around that mandate. That opens up
so many new possibilities around how a brand
can make meaningful and long-lasting emotional
connections with its customers.
Chris Braden: It’s about more than just
aesthetics, so it leads to deeper, more
meaningful solutions and opens up possibilities.
Our aim is to help people rethink what it is they
do. That’s one of the most exciting parts, when
you unlock that moment for them.
BRUCE MAU DESIGN
Bruce Mau Design, aka BMD, specialises in branding the mission of
organisations, and shaping the future of their respective industries
worldwide. Its creative work has been recognised by many design
awards including a Cannes Lion, a D&AD Pencil, two Fast Company
Best Branding awards, and three Core77 Design Awards.
www.brucemaudesign.com
How difficult is that to achieve in practice?
CB: The older and more complex an organisation
is, the more challenging it becomes, because
you start to encounter entrenched ideas. Take
for example, our work for Metrolinx, the transit
authority for Ontario.
Historically they’ve had super-smart
engineers and policy makers trying to figure
out how to make connective and seamless
transportation across the city. But we’ve been
helping them realise that the thing they’re really
doing is creating connections – between people,
between locations, between modalities of transit
– and to build an identity that expresses that.
As another example, Sonos saw themselves
essentially as a multiroom, digital audio system...
which is another way of saying they made
speakers. But we helped them realise what
they’re actually about is making the ultimate
home listening experience. And that totally
unlocked different ways of doing things for them.
How do you attract these big clients?
HT: Energy can be a differentiating force, and I
think ambitious and forward-looking companies
respond to the spirit that our team brings into
our projects. I make sure we establish in every
kick-off meeting that design is a fun process and
if we’re not collectively having fun then we need
to figure out a way to do so.
We’re also less concerned about budgets than
we are about ambition and values. If we share a
world view with the client that great design can
drive growth, engagement and awareness, then
we can find a way to work together. Client size
isn’t so important: we work with startups and
younger companies as well as more established
‘legacy’ brands looking to reinvent themselves.
ASICS is a great example of the latter.
Kar Yan Cheung: We get a lot of referrals and
recommendations, thanks to our clients loving
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BR UC E M A U DE SI G N
SPRING 2018
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S TU D I O I N S I G H T
SPRING 2018
“We put a lot of work into
understanding our clients
and their business, and a
lot of love into the work”
the people here. That’s because we put a
lot of work into understanding them and their
business, and a lot of love and care into the work
we do for them. I think that’s sensed by clients:
they know when you’re truly engaged. It’s a thing
that doesn’t get talked about so often, but in
practice it helps a lot.
How do you create a studio culture that
achieves that sense of engagement?
KYC: It’s a lot of work, actually. You need to
have enough introspection as a company to
recognise what is and isn’t working, to see the
special parts and foster them. You can’t force
it, but you need to actively foster it and seed it;
practise it every day.
How do you keep your clients happy?
HT: I have two main strategies. First, I truly care
about their business and spend a lot of time
thinking about how we can position their brand
and create differentiated messaging, visual
systems, packaging, environments. Next, I make
sure the team we assign to that work is, without
exception, more talented and visionary than I am.
So we have an organisational structure called
‘The Avengers Model’, where we try to bring
together the world’s best design talent to drive
truly innovative solutions.
Kyosuke Nishida: The Avengers Model means
we recognise that you cannot rely on one
‘superman’ to create amazing work all the
time. Instead, I tell my team that we need to
collaborate, really respect and understand each
other. So we’ve created an environment where
This page: Metrolinx is
a government agency
aiming to improve
the coordination and
integration of all modes
of transportation in the
Greater Toronto and
Hamilton areas. In its
work with them, BMD
helped to re-envision
Metrolinx’s “higher
purpose” as one of
creating connections
between people, places
and transport hubs.
HUNTER TURA
President and CEO
Hunter is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction, creative
excellence and global business development. Recent collaborations
include projects for Samsung, Sonos, Harvard University, the John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, and the
new Design Society in Shenzhen, China in partnership with the V&A.
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BR UC E M A U DE SI G N
SPRING 2018
3 TIPS FOR WINNING
OVER CLIENTS
President Hunter Tura shares
some tried and tested techniques
for keeping clients on side
1. Make it about them, not you
When I pitch business to a client, I spend
very little time talking about us, and a lot of
time talking about them. They’re generally
aware of the work: they’ve seen the Sonos
project; they’ve seen our work with Unilever.
They don’t have to spend the next hour
hearing about that all over again. It’s like
going out on a date and all you hear about
is the girl’s six last boyfriends. The client
doesn’t want to hear about our last six
boyfriends. They want to talk about what we
could be doing together.
This page: BMD worked
closely with ASICS to
position it as a lifestyle
athletic brand while still
staying true to its core
performance heritage.
They worked across all
touchpoints, including
packaging guidelines,
graphic and photographic
language, a footwear style
guide, a brand book, and
a custom font developed
in collaboration with
Kontrapunkt.
2. Make the client a collaborator
Ola Bowman is the director of the Design
Society museum we collaborated with in
China. But he’s an incredibly sophisticated
thinker about design in his own right. So I
said: why don’t we co-creative direct this
project together, rather than me being the
designer and you being the client? And it
worked brilliantly.
Knowing the people that were paying me
also had a role in the creation of this thing
– and that I was leveraging the intelligence
of one of the world’s leading design thinkers
– certainly made my job a lot easier.
Essentially, I don’t care how I’m credited;
I care that our work really helping drive
organisations forward. You can call me the
dishwasher if you want.
CHRIS BRADEN
Creative director
Chris leads a team specialising in strategy, communications and brand
development. Since joining BMD as an intern in 2008 he has worked on,
among other projects, the visual identity system and website for OCAD
University, ASICS and ASICS Tiger, Metrolinx, Harvard University
Graduate School of Design and Sonos.
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3. Manage client expectations
Imagine going to a bakery and asking
for the person there to bake you a cake.
Imagine the guy tells you he’ll bake it at 350
degrees and it will take an hour. But you
say: ‘That’s no good – bake it at 575 degrees
because I need the cake in 15 minutes.’ The
baker’s going to tell you: ‘Well, I could do
that, but I’m telling you, baking it at 350 is
how the cake is going to taste the best.’
And it’s a similar thing with clients.
When they ask, ‘Can you complete our
project in two months’ less time?’, we say
that we can – but that this runs the risk of
it not turning out quite right. It’s a pretty
simple concept to grasp if you explain it in
the right way.
S TU D I O I N S I G H T
SPRING 2018
This page: The ASICS
Tiger brand relaunched in
2015 as a platform for
contemporary sports
lifestyle inspired by the
company’s designs of the
1970s to 1990s. BMD
developed a global brand
identity that was inspired
by overlapping wild
postings on the streets
and applied through the
use of bold brand
photography layered over
large-scale type.
interns can say anything they want; juniors
can say anything they want. We try to listen and
always collect what people are thinking.
Tell us about your ‘on-site collaborative popup studios’. What are they, exactly?
CB: The pop-up studio model is a way that we
can transport our way of working to our clients’
offices; or alternatively, to bring clients into our
offices for engagement that is a more like an
intense workshop.
We first used this in 2015 when we worked
on Design Society; a project to create a new
design museum and cultural hub in China, in
partnership with China Merchants Group and the
V&A in London. To help build understanding with
the client, we spent two weeks working in their
offices in Shenzen.
The pop-up studio is a really intense way of
working, but it can also accelerate timelines and
get to really meaningful solutions really quickly.
It feels like we aren’t just giving them solutions
but we’re actually co-creating solutions. That
way, they really feel ownership of the solutions
we come up with together.
A large number of you hail from outside
Canada; how does that benefit the business?
CB: It’s one of the things I love about working
here: you have so many different points of view,
so many different life experiences, and so many
different styles of working, which all come
together in interesting ways. And it helps us
because so many of our clients are international
too. For instance, because Kyosuke is from
Japan, he looks at ASICS in a different way.
For him it’s the national sports brand he grew
up with, it’s this deeply meaningful, personal
experience. And so he can bridge cultural divides
for us – not to mention language barriers – when
we talk to the client in Japan.
KYC: Design culture is super-different from
place to place, but our ideas are not just from
one perspective. We are from all over the world,
KAR YAN CHEUNG
Senior strategic designer
Kar Yan focuses on research, visioning and strategy, communications
and visual identity. She helps clients to translate their core purpose
into visual and verbal expressions. Clients include the new Design
Society in Shenzhen, China, The University of Waterloo, E. & J. Gallo
Winery, Dream Unlimited, and Harvard Graduate School of Design.
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BR UC E M A U DE SI G N
SPRING 2018
This page: BMD worked
with China Merchants
Shekou Holdings and the
V&A on branding ‘Design
Society’, a new museum
and cultural hub in
Shenzen, China, designed
by Japanese architectural
practice Maki and
Associates.
and that helps us to generate better ideas that
please our clients.
KN: It also means we socialise a lot. Most of us
hail from different countries, and don’t have a lot
of Canadian friends. So we all hang out together;
we’re like a family.
KYOSUKE NISHIDA
Graphic designer
Originally from Japan, Kyosuke works on both commercial and
not-for-profit organisations’ projects, ranging from brand identity
and communications to digital executions. His clients include
Asics, Asics Tiger, the new Design Society in Shenzhen, China, and
Hullmark Developments.
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How do you think that the art of branding will
develop in the future?
HT: More recently, over the last generation or so,
we’ve developed these things called ‘dynamic
identities’ and in my view we’re going to need
these visual systems to organise the increasing
complexity of organisations.
If you think of a company like GE in the 2000s:
it owned a TV network, an investment bank,
a medical imaging division, a jet engine company,
a wind power R&D platform… and sold lightbulbs
in grocery stores! How can we make sense of all
of these seemingly incongruent parts? Well, for
example, we assign different brand attributes.
Each division gets a colour, or pattern, or
typeface to help organise these contradictory
parts into one coherent whole.
P R O J E C T DI AR Y
SPRING 2018
PROJECT DIARY
START-RITE: A STEP
FORWARD FOR FOOTWEAR
Jo Graham Consulting and Studio Sutherl& explain how
they breathed new life into a 226-year-old footwear brand
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STUDIO SUTH ERL & F OR STA R T- R I T E
SPRING 2018
JIM SUTHERLAND
Founder, Studio Sutherl&
Jim Sutherland has worked in design for 26 years, and launched
Studio Sutherl& in 2014. The studio was founded to be agile and
personal, building teams from the best artists, architects, writers,
strategists, fashion designers and others to suit each project.
www.studio-sutherland.co.uk
INITIAL BRIEF
Jo Graham
Believed to be Britain’s oldest shoemakers,
Start-rite is a family business that was
established by James Smith in Norwich in 1792.
It became well known during the 20th century for
supplying shoes to the Royal Family, as well as
for its iconic posters, with the tagline ‘Children’s
shoes have far to go’.
In 2016, Start-rite appointed Ian Watson as its
first non-family CEO. I’d consulted for one of Ian’s
previous businesses, and he got in touch. After
a strategic review of the business, we identified
the need for Start-rite to redefine its relevance
for today’s families.
The 226-year-old brand is known for having
pioneered the development of fitted shoes, to
conform to the unique and changing shape of
children’s feet. But today’s landscape is very
different, from lifestyles and environments to
materials and manufacturing methods.
To make the brand relevant for a new
generation of families, we needed to build on
Start-rite’s expert understanding of feet, and
look to the ways kids live and move today. This
subtle but fundamental shift helped us to clearly
define the brand’s new centre of gravity. We
wanted to go beyond ‘shoes that fit the foot’ to
‘shoes that fit the child’.
The brand creates shoes that help every
child move their own way; whatever their age,
whatever the occasion. We wanted to drive this
new brand purpose through every touchpoint –
from business culture to product strategy – and
of course, the brand identity.
PROJECT FACTFILE
BRIEF: Founded in 1792, shoe manufacturer Start-Rite has
an impressive pedigree. But as part of a strategic review of
the business carried out by its new CEO, it decided the brand
needed to look and feel more modern and relevant to today’s
children and families.
CLIENT: Start-rite, www.startriteshoes.com
STUDIO: Studio Sutherl& www.studio-sutherland.co.uk
PROJECT DURATION: 18 months
LIVE DATE: March 2018
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
SPRING 2018
JO GRAHAM
Jo Graham Consulting
Jo helps brands define their purpose and use this
to drive all they do. Blending strategic rigour with
creative vision, she advises on brand strategy,
communications strategy and brand language.
jo@joannagraham.co.uk
01-02 Start-rite is
known for its
classic posters,
which were on the
Underground in
the ’30s and ’40s.
Studio Sutherl&
wanted to harness
their sense of
exploration while
bringing the look
up to date.
03 The twins’ spirit
of adventure has
been integrated
into new
silhouetted,
wandering figures.
MARKET RESEARCH
Jo Graham
We held focus groups, carried out online
quantitative research with thousands of parents,
and conducted ethnographic studies, where we
literally followed families over several days. We
also consulted with internal stakeholders and
retailers. From a design perspective, we looked
specifically at brands aimed at children, to try
and understand how to ‘speak’ to them.
The brief for Studio Sutherl& was to inject
a spirit of exploration and discovery into the
brand. Core to the challenge was striking the
right balance between embracing the new and
being respectful to the equity built up over more
than two centuries.
Studio Sutherl& was responsible for the overarching identity and creative direction, working
with Jo Graham Consulting on communication
ideas – such as films, digital ads, brochures, and
all copy – and rolling out the new tone of voice
alongside the identity.
01
02
WORDMARK AND TYPOGRAPHY
Jim Sutherland
We started with the most iconic part of the visual
identity: the twins. These were problematic in
their current form. They reproduced badly, they’d
been badly redrawn over time, and they also
looked awkward moving away.
We decided to make them move left to
right, in a much simpler silhouette. The iconic
characters were beautifully redrawn by Rebecca
Sutherland, who has worked on a number
03
UNUSED IDEAS
SKETCH
IT OUT
Jim Sutherland on
the importance
of starting with
scribbles
All our work starts as scribbles, sketches and
thoughts caught in the moment, often on a
plane or train, and then develops through
discussion and experimentation. For Start-rite,
we made a number of early sketches that didn’t
go anywhere, including ones of various animals
wearing shoes and making noises. I love this
idea but it didn’t go very far... yet.
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STUDIO SUTH ERL & F OR STA R T- R I T E
SPRING 2018
ONE STEP AHEAD
Jim Sutherland explains the making of static ads and
a short film to promote the new brand identity
During an early workshop with the product team, they
talked about the amazing biomechanics that inform the
shoe designs. As they discussed crucial factors such as the
mixture of materials, flex points and so on, we realised that
the physical details of how the shoes are made was key.
The product team’s work enables children to run, play,
climb, scoot and skip. So the idea of the close-up shoes
becoming a playground for the twins seemed like the right
solution for the print and digital ads. Heels become a hill,
soles become a landscape, and so on, as the twins go on an
adventure around all these landscapes in silhouetted form.
We then made a short film with Shoot Media and
director Adam Clitheroe. It was another very simple idea
of following children at their level as they explore and
play. Children of all ages, in different shoes, in different
locations – walking, running and skipping – all edited
together with some playful animated typography to make
one ‘journey’, with the hashtag #keepexploring.
The campaign will run through to winter in the
lifestyle and national press, with ads appearing in Good
Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Red, Marie Claire, Hello, The
Sunday Times Magazine and The Times Magazine, as well
as on digital and social platforms.
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
04-05 The
simplified design
of the characters
has made them
much easier to
apply to a range
of packaging, such
as shoeboxes.
SPRING 2018
06 The team
created a bespoke
typeface, called
Typefeet, which
features tiny
serifs that are
reminiscent of
kids’ shoes.
07-08 Using the
founding year as a
hyphen and
seeing the two ‘R’s
as ‘typographic
twins’ were key
elements in
nailing the logo.
04
06
05
of children’s projects and books. She literally
drew hundreds of variations of the twins for us to
review and discuss.
We also wanted to set the twins free, outside
of the logotype itself, to go exploring. So we
allowed them to wander off the signs, off the
email footer, around a giant ‘S’, and so on.
This then left us with the wordmark, to which
I wanted add some personality and charm. When
I started to see that we had a pair of ‘R’s to play
with – a pair of ‘typographic twins’ – was the
moment it all started to work together.
HONING THE IDENTITY
Jim Sutherland
Honing the identity was about making sure we
had all of the small details right, for example,
by making the ‘1792’ date the hyphen, instead
of a separate element. Many of these decisions
were about simplification and stripping various
elements down to a minimum.
Once we had the walking ‘R’s, it was obvious
we could turn this into a headline font, which we
called ‘Typefeet’. The key then was working out
which letters worked as characters with feet,
and which we should leave simpler.
It’s so lovely how adding serif feet to some
characters – the ‘A’, ‘X’, and especially the ‘4’
– completely transforms them into little people
walking, standing and running around. But it was
07
important to use this technique judiciously. So
we limited it to only two characters per headline
ideally. We then drew up ‘TypeSansFeet’ to work
with the main font.
It was important to us that the logotypes and
symbols would render at small sizes, so that all
elements would appear clearly on a rubber sole,
or an insole screenprinted small – not to mention
anywhere in the digital world.
We initially did work with Jay Dingle animating
the logotype and the Typefeet face, and then we
developed this with Shoot Media as we put the
film together (see A Step Ahead on page 85 for
more on the making of the film). You only have
to tap the feet to really bring the typographic
characters to life. As with most design, it took a
lot of work and experimentation in order to make
the end product look simple.
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08
STUDIO SUTH ERL & F OR STA R T- R I T E
SPRING 2018
09 The static ads
feature close-ups
of the shoes and
tiny figures.
10 The new
letterforms of
the custom
typography are
fun and childlike,
yet give the
identity a
professional look.
11-12 Printed
material draws
on photography by
Fiona Burrage.
09
11
14
10
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12
W O RK S H OP
SPRING 2018
WORKSHOP
HOW TO ILLUSTRATE
A CHILDREN’S BOOK
Award-winning illustrator Jim Field outlines
how he captures the energy of kids’ stories
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NEXT MONTH
CREATE
PAPER ART
Mel Edwards on how she
makes her incredible
paper sculptures.
IL L USTR ATE CHI LDR E N’ S B OOK S
SPRING 2018
JIM FIELD
Illustration and animation director
Jim Field is an award-winning illustrator, character designer and
animation director, who has worked on a variety of projects, from
music videos and title sequences to advertising and picture books. His
first illustrated picture book won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011;
since then he has illustrated over 40 children’s books.
www.jimfield.me
01
01 Sketches of
Cyril, the main
character in The
Squirrels Who
Squabbled. Jim
Field wanted him
to have appeal
as the comical
underdog.
02 After trying out
lots of different
sketches, Field
settled on this
design for the
character of Cyril.
03 He then added
colour over the
pencil sketch
in Photoshop
to bring the
character to life
and provide a
taste of how the
book will look.
02
CAREER CHANGE
Jim Field
I sort of fell into illustrating children’s books.
I was working as an animation director and
a freelance illustrator for seven years; I codirected with my university pal Benji Davies
under the alias Frater. We directed commercials,
title sequences and music promos, but work
was drying up as it became so competitive in the
animation industry to win a pitch.
Then an opportunity came up when someone
responded to one of our promotional mailouts.
I was asked to illustrate a children’s book by
Peter Bently, a book called Cats Ahoy! published
by Macmillan books in 2011. This book ended
up winning the The Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and
changed my career path as a result.
LOOK AT REFERENCE
I look at lots of reference when I’m working on
a book. Inspiration might spring from a trip to a
national park, a wildlife documentary, a film, or
other illustrators’ and artists’ work. These things
all help inspire my work. Sometimes I’ll find a
reference photo of a landscape that inspires
a composition, or it might be the dramatic
03
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WO RK S H OP
SPRING 2018
04-05 Once the
key character
designs were
resolved,
Field created
thumbnails and
then a very rough
storyboard of
the whole book.
Roughs were used
to refine line work
and finalise colour
references. Colour
proofs were then
made for a final
check of the
artwork before it
became a book.
04
lighting from a movie that I’ve seen that helps
me develop lighting in a composition.
I gather lots of reference images from
Pinterest that help me create a mood board for
each book I’m working on. I refer back to these
frequently throughout the process, so my head
stays in the same place.
05
MIX ANALGOUE AND DIGITAL
I have a 2017 MacBook Pro 15-inch connected
to an LG 27UD88 monitor. I also use a Wacom
Intuos5 Pro tablet. I use Photoshop for all of
my final digital artwork and use a lot of Kyle T
Webster’s brilliant Photoshop brushes – varying
the opacity and flow to create different textures.
I hop between digital artworking at my
standing desk and a lightbox for the handdrawn elements. For the final artwork, the main
characters and overall background layout are
hand-drawn in pencil. I’ve tried to draw directly
on the computer but it never has the same feel
as by hand, it loses the energy and spontaneity.
My goal when artworking is to make my
illustrations look as hand-painted as possible.
I want to avoid them looking digital so I avoid
filters and limit my use of gradients and obvious
blending mode effects where possible.
“If there are
flaws at the
thumbnail stage,
making it look
pretty in colour
later will be a
waste of time”
MAP THE STORY
When I read a story for the first time, it plays like
a movie in my head. Coming from an animation
background, I ‘stage’ the story, following the
same process as I would for an animated film.
The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel
Bright is about two squirrel characters, who
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are intent on having the last pine cone of
the season; each will do anything to get it.
Cyril, our ‘hero’ character has partied his way
through the season and has no food left. Bruce
the ‘anti hero’ has planned ahead and has a
mountain of bounty for the winter, but still feels
he must have the last pine cone.
CREATE THUMBNAILS
I always start with a sketchbook and pencil.
While reading the story over and over to myself,
I make lots of character doodles and sketch out
thumbnail ideas. Some compositions come to
me straight away; I know exactly how I feel they
should be, and they rarely evolve much in terms
of composition. Some, however, are very tricky
and can take a long time to get right.
Once I’ve built up a collection of thumbnails,
I’ll then drop the best ones into InDesign with
the text, so I can get more of an idea of how the
book is flowing. Once I’m happy, I’ll share this
document with the team for feedback.
Getting the thumbnails right at this point
is essential. They are the backbone structure
of the book. If there are flaws in the visual
storytelling here, then making it pretty in
colour at the final stage will be a waste of time.
IL L USTR ATE CHI LDR E N’ S B OOK S
SPRING 2018
06 Field used a
palette knife to
smear acrylic
white paint on
black paper
to create a
background
texture for
this energetic
waterfall scene.
07 Field coloured
tight to the lines
and retained the
pencil work on
faces and details.
Here, he added
splashes and
bubbles using
Kyle T Webster’s
Splatter brush.
08 The final
artwork with
Field’s type and
Rachel Bright’s
rhyming verse.
06
07
08
MAKE ROUGHS
09 Field’s working
set up includes
a monitor and
Wacom Intuos.
Once we’re all happy with the thumbnails,
I work them up to roughs, again working in pencil
and paper. I then start introducing colour in
Photoshop. It’s at this stage that I start to get
more of a feel of the finished book.
Choosing the right colour palette for a book
is something I always find quite a challenge. The
Squirrels Who Squabbled is set in the last days
of autumn, so I wanted lots of lovely oranges,
reds and browns soaked in sunshine.
At this point, I also start to think about
the lighting in each spread, sketching in the
shadows, so I can be consistent with the
direction of the sun from scene to scene when
it comes to the final art stage. These elements
give the illustration a greater sense of realism.
10 Field prefers to
hand-draw many
elements of his
illustrations and
uses a lightbox.
11 The front cover
of The Squirrels
Who Squabbled,
published in
late 2017 by
Orchard Books.
09
NEW CHALLENGES
This spread in the book (see images 06-08)
is a turning point in the story. My art director
Grahame Lyus suggested we make it a vertical
spread, to make it work better with the action
and better suggest the turn of events to come
for the characters.
I think this stems from my animation
background, but I see a picture book as the best
24 images from a film. Each page must bring
the text to life, communicate the story and I try
to bring something else to the story visually.
Each book is a new challenge to develop myself
further as an artist.
10
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11
P R OJ E C T DI AR Y
SPRING 2018
PROJECT DIARY
GOT 5: THE POLITICS
OF THE EVERYDAY
MSQ Partners explains how it created the
Got 5 campaign, which promotes voter
registration in a quirky yet relatable way
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M SQ PARTNERS FOR TH E EL ECTOR A L C OM M I SSI ON
SPRING 2018
PROJECT FACTFILE
BRIEF: The Electoral Commission asked MSQ Partners to create an campaign
that targets people who have not yet registered to vote, or who need to reregister because they have recently moved house.
STUDIO: MSQ Partners, www.msqpartners.com
PHOTOGRAPHER: Nick Meek, www.nickmeek.com
CLIENT: The Electoral Commission, www.electoralcommission.org.uk
PROJECT DURATION: 5 weeks
LAUNCH DATE: March 2018
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P R OJ E C T DI AR Y
SPRING 2018
BERI CHEETHAM
Executive creative director, MSQ Partners
Beri is the creative mind behind an eclectic mix of
work that has amassed more than 150
international awards. Previously at Leo Burnett, he
has worked as an executive creative director for
more than a decade.
CREATING THE CONCEPT
01
Beri Cheetham
What stops people registering to vote is the
notion that it’s time-consuming. But in truth, it
only takes a few minutes. So we came up with
the tagline ‘Got 5?’. This was based on the idea
that you waste time waiting for stuff every day:
for a bus, a train, your washing to finish. So why
not use that time to register to vote? We created
a black-and-white storyboard and a moodboard,
and the client got it immediately.
Our idea was to generate a bunch of mundane
images, still and moving, to reflect this wasted
time. But we didn’t want them to be boring; they
needed to have their own visual charm. So we
went straight to Nick Meek, who has a wonderful
way of capturing the everyday in an atmospheric
and beautiful fashion. We had an amazing client,
and they backed our choice of Nick right away.
Normally, you’d get a TV director to make
the moving images, then commission a
photographer to make the stills. But we thought:
why don’t we get Nick to make the film himself?
It was a first for him, and a bit of a punt on our
part, but it turned out really well.
SHOOTING THE SCENES
Nick Meek
This was a new and interesting way of working
for me as a photographer. It meant that when
PROJECT TIPS
PRE-PRODUCTION PAYS
NICK MEEK
Photographer
Nick Meek is an internationally acclaimed
photographer working in fine art, editorial and
advertising. He is represented by in the UK and
Europe by Siobhan Squire, in France by Florence
Moll, and the USA by LL Reps.
we started talking about the images, we were
talking about the film and stills together, as if
they were the same thing. Rather than picking
a subject matter and a location purely on its
aesthetics and its quality of light, we also
considered how it would move and sound.
Beri gave me the black-and-white sketches
for the posters and the storyboard, and we hit
on the idea of giving each image a dominant
colour: one in yellow, one in pink, one in orange.
That’s the thing that tied the campaign together.
The Electoral Commission was keen that
the choice of colours shouldn’t be perceived as
political: so for example, we had to be careful to
avoid anything in the images that were obviously
Conservative blue, Labour red, or Lib Dem
yellow. They didn’t go over the top, though. They
allowed us, for instance, to have a yellow rubber
duck in the bath, because that’s just a natural
thing you’d expect see.
I did a lot of research into sourcing the right
locations, props and so on. For instance, I looked
at about 90 pairs of feet for the toenail painting
sequence. It was important that these scenes
spoke to a range of demographics: young people,
old people, families, basically everybody.
That’s a really difficult thing to do: there’s
a danger that the brand for everybody is the
brand for nobody. But we managed to avoid
this by creating little idiosyncrasies that lifted
everything from the ordinary. The subjects are
mundane, but we added little bits of quirky
charm to keep things visually interesting; so the
bath’s always swimming around, the toes are
wiggling, and so on.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
Nick Meek on the joys of a long lead time
The thing that was wonderful about this project was that we had quite a
lot of pre-production. Usually when I shoot print campaigns, I’ll attend a
few meetings, see the visuals, send a location plan, jump on a plane, and
go and shoot it – all in a couple of weeks. In this case, we had more than
six weeks before we even started to look at locations. So there was
plenty of time to talk to each other, surround myself with the right
people, think everything through. That’s not always possible, but if you
can swing it with the client it can really make a difference to the result.
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Beri Cheetham
What Nick was brilliant at doing during the shoot
was taking our black and white sketches and
putting them on screen, then dropping over the
colour images to make sure that everything
worked properly and together. Normally, you just
shoot stuff and take a bit of a leap of faith when
you drop it into the layouts back in the office.
But here we could do everything on set, in real
time, which is rare.
M SQ PARTNERS FOR TH E EL ECTOR A L C OM M I SSI ON
SPRING 2018
04
01 All elements of
the campaign tie
in to the idea of
using the time
spent waiting for
mundane things
like buses to
register to vote.
02
02 Photographer
Nick Meek took
charge of shooting
both the still and
video images.
03 Time was spent
getting the perfect
locations; the
bathroom scene
was shot in a
house in North
London.
03
04 The colour
palette needed to
be subtle and
avoid colours that
are associated
with political
parties – but an
exception was
made for the
yellow duck.
02
What made this project really different for
us is how we defied the conventional wisdom,
whereby you get a director doing film and a
photographer doing stills. It’s rare to see a print
campaign and a broadcast piece that look
exactly the same, but that’s what we’ve achieved
as a result. It was a ‘clenching of buttcheeks’
moment, but I believe it will be the way forward
for many campaigns.
Got 5? is going to continue to be The Electoral
Commission’s driving message over the next few
elections. What’s nice is that it feels rooted in
the everyday. Now, we’re thinking about how it
can become much more tactical. We have to try
and make this message stick.
05 Creating the
stills and video at
the same time, in
the same place,
meant that the
whole campaign
is strikingly
integrated.
05
PROBLEM SOLVED
THE RIGHT
CAMERA
Nick Meek explains how he
made sure he had the right
tool for the job
Some cameras are a bit
digital-looking and kind of
‘constrasty’, which makes
them better suited for VFX
oriented work, while others
feel a bit softer and a bit
more human. The Alexa Mini
fits into the latter, and we
chose it for this reason. It not
the most high resolution of
cameras; it’s 4K as opposed
to 8K. But it’s got a lovely
softness and depth to the
way it captures colour, which
to me means it sits very well
with the analogue way of
making a colour print out in
the darkroom.
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E EDT OG
W OR
PR HO
R APDSH Y M E E T S DE SIGN
SPRING 2018
The Association of Photographers (AOP) was first formed in 1968. It aims to
promote and protect the worth and standing of its members, to vigorously
defend, educate and lobby for the interests and rights of all photographers,
especially in the commercial photographic industry. www.the-aop.org
HOW TO BRIEF A PHOTOGRAPHER
We discover how teams can get the most from each other by talking to AOP
agent Siobhan Squire and Ben Stockley, a photographer she represents
How should art directors brief
a photographer? Siobhan Squire: It’s always nice
to have a scamp rather than just
a written brief for advertising
work. It’s also great if creatives
have some idea of the scale of the
job before briefing.
A good creative will be
available for a discussion with
a photographer. It’s crucial, not
only to gauge how a photographer
might interpret the brief and to
hear what they might add to it, but
also for a photographer to glean
any finer details that might not be
apparent and to start what should
be a collaborative discussion. For
editorial work, the joy is what is
often an open brief!
What makes a brief work? Ben Stockley: It depends on the
subject matter. For example,
in some editorial shoots you
are given a list of locations and
contacts and are left to find the
interesting angles to cover. In
advertising, the most effective
briefs are when an agency gives
you lots of space to create your
story and treatment, with time to
make it special.
Tell us about the briefing process. SS: Usually we receive the brief
either directly from a client or
through their agency. We try to
ascertain as much information
as possible before we pass it on.
For example, it’s good to see the
target demographic, the media
PHOTOGRAPHS: ©Ben Stockley
G
etting the photo you want
depends on briefing your
photographer correctly. We
spoke to AOP agent Siobhan
Squire and a photographer she
represents, Ben Stockley, to find
out the best way to go about this.
Above: From Services Project, 2016. Below: Morikawa Exterior, Japan 2016
and territories the work will
be running in, the production
team, the casting agencies, and of
course, the budget and timings.
When responding to a brief, do
you present a treatment? BS: Each client requires a
different approach. I often send
treatments for ad stills and film
shoots describing the form,
narrative and style I think would
be best for the job. With editorial
work, treatments are much less
common, although often we will
spend lots of time researching and
creating moodboards.
Do you find that briefs change?
BS: This mostly depends on when
you are brought into the project
and how much creative input
you are given. Generally in my
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 96 -
editorial and advertising work
I will push for the most input
possible, although sometimes
when you are brought in towards
the end of the process the
foundations are firmly laid.
What happens if, at the end of a
project, a client says the finished
images don’t meet the brief?
SS: I can’t think of a time when
that’s happened. Usually there
are so many people involved from
the client and agency that there is
no opportunity for a client to not
know what will be delivered. Final
post-production and grading tends
to be when our photographers put
their final mark on the work, but
usually that’s why they have been
commissioned for the job in the
first place, so again there aren’t
normally any surprises!
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Pentagram’s Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell
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D E S I G N I N S P I R AT I ON
SPRING 2018
As head of art at BMB London, Louise Sloper
oversees the creative agency’s visual output
across multiple integrated platforms. Here, she
explains how her childhood fascination with the
power of light informs her work.
LIGHT RELIEF
I have a fascination with light. How it can
mask and illuminate. How, as kids, we
chased our shadows down the street.
The excitement of a firework display, the
magic of fairy lights on the Christmas
tree, the sensory heightening lasers
in the nightclub and those kitsch fibre
optic starbursts from the ’80s! How it can
uplift and manipulate our emotions.
I remember my youthful delight at
writing out my name with a sparkler on
bonfire night, and later learning that some
of our greatest artists had that same
fascination. I studied Picasso, Man Ray
and Moholy-Nagy’s experiments with
abakography and the way they captured
light writing so purely and boldly. Recently
I saw that joy on my nieces’ faces as
they did the same for the first time. That
imprint on the retina, the magic of it all.
It’s science and art rolled in to one.
I went through a phase of almost
every moodboard at work containing
Dan Flavin’s installations. I’ve obsessed
over Alexander McQueen’s Kate Moss
hologram, Philip Treacy’s LED hats (and
all Moritz Waldemeyer’s work), and
Above: Westminster Abbey as part of Lumiere London
2017. Right: Picasso experimenting with abakography;
Louise Sloper’s nieces on bonfire night.
United Visual Artists’ awe-inspiring digital
creations. Recently, there have been
spectacular advancements in projection
mapping and creative experiments with
surveillance camera-gun lasers (known
as surveilluminescence).
This year I’m focusing on a personal
exploration of the use of light; an art
film where light plays an integral part in
creating the highly charged atmosphere
I want the viewer to experience.
I’m certainly not alone. Installations
and events are popping up in rapid
Untitled, Dan Flavin’s installation of everyday fluorescent lamps, commissioned by Calvin Klein in 1996.
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 98 -
succession across the globe, and, like
moths to flames, drawing in huge crowds.
Luminism, which according to Wikipedia
is, “an applied art form in which light is the
main medium of expression…through the
manipulation of light, colour, and shadow,”
celebrates light’s mystical quality. Over
the past 12 months, London has hosted
the hugely successful city-wide Lumiere
event, Canary Wharf’s Winter Light, the
Cerith Wyn Evan’s installation at Tate
Britain and Chiswick House’s Magical
Lantern Festival. The city is also home to
the uber-Instagrammable heaven that is
God’s Own Junkyard and the members’
club and art gallery Lights of Soho. Then
there are the many incredible events all
around the world, such as Future World
at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum.
A friend recently reminded me of the
origin of the word ‘luminary’ – a forwardthinker, lighting the way for others to
follow. Against the backdrop of fake news
and global tragedies, Luminism ultimately
brings (excuse the pun) light relief from the
worries of everyday life.
Let’s embrace our innate fascination,
and let light inspire, heal, bewitch and
leave us in eternal child-like wonder.
Make print memorable
Celloglas is the UK’s leading specialist in decorative
print finishing. Decorative print finishes can be used
to deliver innovation and added value, increase user
interaction, demonstrate brand category leadership,
enhance sensory experience and even stimulate debate
in social media circles.
To find out how our creative finishes can make your
publication stand out on the shelf, call Steve Middleton
on 0116 263 1010 for a free consultation.
Ask us about:
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Reading
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