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2018-06-01 Computer Arts

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NEW TALENT CONTEST
CREATE OUR COVER AND WIN £700 SEE PAGE 55
ISSUE 280
JUNE 2018
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THE UK
CREATE
TOP ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS
REVEAL THEIR PROCESSES
C O V E R A RTI ST
JUNE 2018
Making
the cover
We’ve been desperate to get a Hattie
Stewart original on our cover for ages,
and when the stars finally aligned for
us – a character design feature by CA
favourite Lisa Hassell and a window
in Hattie’s mega-busy schedule – we
celebrated by inviting the undisputed
Queen of doodlebombs to craft us a
very special wraparound cover.
“The Character theme of the issue
was perfect for me (obviously) so I
wanted to bring all of my characters
together on the cover for one big
happy party,” Hattie explained to
us, “as well as to showcase one of
the sections of my new interactive
illustration I Don’t Have Time
for This”.
This just happens to be the title
of Hattie’s solo exhibition currently
showing at the NOW Gallery in
London (which we’ll be talking
about next month). Needless to say,
with preparations for this show plus
innumerable other projects, it was
something of a miracle that Hattie
found time for us.
“It’s a rare opportunity to be given
free reign on such a brilliant canvas,
so I’m super grateful to Computer
Arts for this opportunity and for
their continued support of me and
my work.”
We’re absolutely over the moon
with Hattie’s cover, and delighted to
say that we have now been well and
truly doodlebombed.
Top: Early mood designs
by Hattie perfectly
addressed our thorough
brief (“Just do whatever
you want please, Hattie”).
Left: The artist and
illustrator at her London
studio, surrounded by just
a small sampling of her
vast output.
Below: Our finished
wraparound cover image.
“The characters and
motifs were all
hand-drawn and then
scanned, edited and
composited in Photoshop,
all pretty straightforward!”
If you say so, Hattie…
PHOTOGRAPH: Jenny Lewis
HATTIE STEWART
London-based artist and
illustrator Hattie is famous
for her unique graphic style,
iconic cover takeovers and
client work with – amongst
others – Adidas and Apple.
www.hattiestewart.com
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-3-
W EL C OM E
JUNE 2018
Editor’s letter
FEATURING
What a time to join Computer Arts magazine!
Having barely settled in my seat, I headed
straight out for a three-day binge of inspiration
at the D&AD Festival, and as we send this issue
to the printers, I’m eagerly awaiting the tidal
wave of talent that is grad show season.
And it’s an exciting time for the design world
as a whole. As well as a bag full of business cards,
I left the festival with a head full of questions:
what’s being done about the lack of diversity in
the creative industries; how can new blood stand
out amongst the wealth of talent that’s already
out there; and with trust (and interest) in the
establishment at a perennial low, can big brands
with a genuine commitment to positive change
in society fill the void? (That was certainly the
impression I got from Chris Moody’s brilliant talk;
Evolution of Brand Identity.)
As it’s my first issue, I could happily list all my
favourite bits, but you can turn to the contents
page for that! Whatever you navigate to first,
I hope you’ll find plenty of great ideas and
inspiration in the mag. I certainly did.
BEREN NEALE
Editor
beren.neale@futurenet.com
LISA HASSELL
As founder and director of Inkygoodness,
as well as agency director of WE ARE
GOODNESS, Lisa was the perfect person
to talk to artists and discover their
secrets to great character design.
www.inkygoodness.com
MICHAEL ALBERS
As co-founder of W12 Studios and with
over 14 years’ experience of designing
digital solutions for global companies,
Michael has witnessed design’s response
to digital first-hand. He is not impressed.
On page 20 he calls for change.
www.w12studios.com
MEL EDWARDS
Paper modeller Mel Edwards shows how
to create a retro paper robot and walks
us through her process for achieving
absolute precision when making
sculptures from paper.
www.meledwards.co.uk
EDEL RODRIGUEZ
Discover more about this fascinating
illustrator on page 56, and how his
artistic responses to the Trump
administration resulted in iconic
magazine covers.
www.illoz.com/edel
PHIL GARNHAM
Fontsmith’s type design director, Phil
Garnham, gives a fascinating insight
into how the company approached the
creation of the FS Industrie typeface. It
all happens on page 82.
www.fontsmith.com
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH…
@computerarts
/computerarts
@computerarts
/computerartsmag
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-4-
JUNE 2018
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EDITORIAL
Beren Neale
Editor
beren.neale@futurenet.com
MEET THE TEAM
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Contact the International department
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Matt Ellis International licensing director
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BEREN NEALE
EDITOR
SUBSCRIPTIONS
Beren’s had a busy month: he started work on
Computer Arts, had a hoot at D&AD, moved house and
– having got his first ever credit card – tried not to lose
his mind by the Persian rug possibilities in Ikea.
Email: contact@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk
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Operations editor
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CIRCULATION
Tim Mathers Head of newstrade
tim.mathers@futurenet.com
CREATIVE BLOQ
MARK WYNNE
ART EDITOR
www.creativebloq.com
Mark has enjoyed writing indie mag reviews for Creative
Bloq in his spare time this month, and if you’re a fan of
femminist-skewed intellectual horror analysis (who
isn’t?) check out issue one of Suspira. It’s a belter.
PRODUCTION
Kerrie Hughes
Editor
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
Ruth Hamilton
Associate editor
Julia Sagar
Ecommerce editor
SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Dom Carter
Senior staff writer
ROSIE HILDER
Aaron Asadi Chief operations 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
MANAGEMENT
Amy Hennessey
Group editor-in-chief
Will Shum
Senior art editor
Dave Harfield
Head of editorial operations
OPERATIONS EDITOR
Rosie said goodbye to Computer Arts halfway through
this issue, and has moved to its website, Creative
Bloq. She’s not moved far though, and is still within
stealing distance of Mark’s indie mag colllection.
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CONTRIBUTIONS
Hattie Stewart, Garrick Webster, FranklinTill,
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Julia Sagar, Lisa Hassell, Jo Cole, The AOP,
Mel Edwards, Rosie Hilder
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Next issue on sale
RUTH HAMILTON
ASSOCIATE EDITOR, CREATIVE BLOQ
As well as chatting to two Pentagram partners for
Studio Insight (p76), Ruth attended D&AD, where she
spent most of her time trying to find her way around
the labyrinthine venue. She is yet to return.
26 June 2018
ISSN 1360-5372
TOM MAY
Want to work for Future?
Visit www.futurenet.com/jobs
FREELANCE WRITER
Having aided the transition of editors on CA, Tom flew
off to Zanzibar, where he read about Patti Smith and
“threw things at monkeys”. He also commissioned the
two main features in this issue, which are crackers.
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COM PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-6-
CONTENTS
ISSUE 280
JUNE 20 18
CULTURE
INSIGHT
20
TAKE DESIGN OFF AUTOPILOT
Don’t sleepwalk through your
designs, pleads Michael Albers
22
DESIGN MATTERS
What do you wish you’d known when
you graduated?
23
WHY PRINT NEEDS DIGITAL
Rosie Hilder reflects on the role of
print in a digital age
24
TRIVAGO REBRAND
Three creatives weigh-in on the new
brand mark for Trivago
10
TRENDS
How technology and collaboration are shaking up
the fashion industry
14
MY DESIGN SPACE
Argentine illustrator Lucila Dominguez describes
how spirituality and travel keep her inspired
15
NEW VENTURES
Greg Durrell explains why the story of Canadian
graphic design needed to be told
16
EVENTS
Beren Neale on the prophesies and solutions
that came out of this year’s D&AD Festival
18
INSPIRATION FEED
Abi Overland shares her Instagram feed
PROJECTS
SHOWCASE
26
WONKA’S PAPER FACTORY
The coolest new work, including Ball
& Doggett’s new identity
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-8-
76
STUDIO INSIGHT
Luke Powell and Jody HudsonPowell give their insights on life
as part of Pentagram
82
CLEAR AND ADAPTABLE
Fontsmith shares the process
it used to create a utilitarian
typeface: FS Industrie
92
ANIMATING ETIQUETTE
How Art&Graft approached
presenting the Soho House rules
C O N TE N TS
SPECIAL REPORT
INDUSTRY ISSUES
64 HOW TO IMPRESS AT
YOUR GRAD SHOW
A D&AD trustee and graduate give
their perspectives on how to best
present your degree show work
BACK TO BASICS
38 CREATE VIBRANT CHARACTERS
Lisa Hassell talks to influential artists and discovers their secrets for
bringing characters to life – from concept to final design
IN CONVERSATION WITH
56 EDEL
RODRIGUEZ
How illustrator
Edel Rodriguez
took aim at Trump’s
inflammatory
rhetoric and went
viral in the process
70
CLIMB GOOGLE RANKINGS
In the fifth of our series about digital
skills, we look at how to optimise
websites so Google will find them
REGUL ARS
96
CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT
The latest part of our AOP series
focuses on this fundamental issue
98
DESIGN INSPIRATION
Joe Flory’s love letter to his vintage
Yamaha sound system
SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE UP TO 56 %
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C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
-9-
CULTURE
T RE ND S
TRENDS
DISRUPTIVE
FASHION
PEOPLE
How technology and collaboration
are shaking up the fashion industry
ommunications and computing have
already experienced transformative
disruptions. Now it’s the turn of
manufacturing and design to undergo a
similarly dramatic upheaval, enabled by
technology and in particular the
democratisation of digital fabrication tools
In fashion, where lead times are usually
specified in months, Unmade’s disruptive
technology was created in response to its
founders’ frustration at the industry’s lethargic
attitudes to mass consumption. While researching
performance clothing for UK Sport, Ben
Alun-Jones and his partners, Hal Watts and
Kirsty Emery, realised the untapped potential
of industrial knitting machines. Combining
their programming and engineering skills,
they developed a new way to control them.
"Everything is unmade," says Alun-Jones, "until
the customer chooses their design, when
machines whirr into action and knit a one-of-akind item for a similar cost to mass production."
Post-Couture Collective, founded by Martijn
van Strien, is a brand that lets customers design
their own clothing to be manufactured locally on
lasercutters and 3D-printers. Van Strien says that
because garments are "designed on the spot by
our software" and produced only when they’re
sold, his approach avoids creating the redundant
40 per cent of garments that arrive at shops only
to be discarded at the end of each season. In
keeping with maker culture, van Strien’s methods
democratise production so that all garments can
be ‘"produced anywhere by anyone."
C
EVENTS
INSPIRATION
Each month, our Trends section is curated by experienced
creative consultancy FranklinTill www.franklintill.com
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 10 -
T R E NDS
JUNE 2018
xxx
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lee Wei Swee
THE POST-COUTURE
COLLECTIVE BY
MARTIJN VAN STRIEN
CU LT U R E
JUNE 2018
IMAGES COURTESY OF: UNMADE
MASS VARIATION BY
UNMADE.COM
FRANKLINTILL STUDIO
FranklinTill is a futures research agency working with brands and
organisations to identify and activate design, colour and material
innovation to impact positive change. Editors of Viewpoint and
Viewpoint Colour, FranklinTill has recently created a new book Radical
Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future, which is published
by Thames & Hudson.
FranklinTill was founded on the shared belief that innovation in materials
and production systems is integral to sustainable design futures. Working
with brands, organisations, and creative collaborators around the world,
FranklinTill conducts, analyses and creatively communicates research,
bringing it to life through strategic insights, publications and public
experiences. Connecting the dots between cultural shifts and aesthetic
movements, FranklinTill enables long-term innovation rather than shortterm trend-chasing, giving brands the big ideas they need to drive
positive change. FranklinTill’s clients include lifestyle brands and designorientated businesses in every sector. You can buy Radical Matter from:
www.thamesandhudson.com
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 12 -
I Don’t Have Time For This
Hattie Stewart
—
16 May – 25 Jun 18
NOW Gallery
The Gateway Pavilions
Peninsula Square
Greenwich Peninsula
London SE10 0SQ
+44 (0)20 3875 0802
info@nowgallery.co.uk
NOWGallerySE10
@NOWGallery
NOWgallery.co.uk
#IDontHaveTimeForThis
NORTH GREENWICH
CU LT U R E
JUNE 2018
Lucila Dominguez is an Argentine painter,
illustrator and muralist who specialises in
botantical art and pattern design.
www.instagram.com/lucilismo
MY DES IGN S PA C E IS . . .
A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
Argentine illustrator Lucila Dominguez describes how spirituality and travel keep her inspired
he boundaries of work
and home life have
always been indistinct
for Argentine artist Lucila
Dominguez. Both her and her
musician husband have studios in
their Buenos Aires apartment, and
she often cooks or does laundry
while waiting for a painting to dry.
Now that she’s a mother, her
daughter and her toys often join
her, so she’s learning to “live with
chaos,” and be more efective in the
little time she has to work.
T
“I would describe our home
as a cabinet of curiosities mixed
with a greenhouse,” says
Dominguez. “There’s a lot of
greenery and light in our home.”
Before becoming a freelance
artist/illustrator, Dominguez worked
as a set design assistant on film sets.
“This paintbrush vase (1) reminds
me of that job,” she says. “We used
to buy second-hand objects
imagining that they were for the
characters in the films. It was really
fun. I love seeing it on my desk.”
Dominguez’s Russian dolls (2)
remind her of a trip to Russia in
2015, when she was invited to paint
a mural. “I love folk art in all
cultures, the way that colour and
flowers are used as decoration.”
“I also have an altar in my home
studio,” says Dominguez. “My
favourite elements are this hand (3)
I bought on a trip to Bali – which
changed my concept of spirituality
– and the three crystals: quartz for
harmony, pyrite for abundance and
amethyst for transformation.”
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 14 -
As well as giving thanks at her
altar, Dominguez uses incense (4)
to concentrate or “change the air”.
“It’s amazing the power that scents
have to transport us,” she explains.
Finding this second-hand book
on the history of botanical
illustration (5) was another
transformative experience. “I bought
it online in the US and it was like
finding a great, hidden treasure
because you can’t get this type of
book in Argentina,” she says. “I’m
always looking things up in it.”
P E OP LE
JUNE 2018
Greg Durrell
is one part of
Hulse & Durrell,
a Vancouverbased design firm
that develops
brands, products
and films. www.
designcanada.
com
1
N E W VE N TU RE S
CANADA’S STORY
2
The director of new film Design Canada, Greg Durrell, explains
why the story of Canadian graphic design needed to be told
aving raised almost $100,000 on
Kickstarter, Design Canada, a film
about the history of Canadian
graphic design is premiering this summer
– five years since Greg Durrell – partner
at Hulse & Durrell – and his collaborators
Jessica Edwards and Gary Hustwit began
filming. We caught up with Durrell to find
out more about the project...
H
3
What inspired you to start the project?
Growing up in Canada, I realised I was
surrounded by beautiful symbols and logos,
but I could never really find any information
about them. As my frustration grew, I
decided to make a film about it. When I
began the project I didn’t even know anyone
who had made a film before. A mutual friend
put me in contact with Jessica and Gary and
a half-decade later, the rest is history.
4
5
Did you discover any new work?
I feel like I discovered archives which had
not been seen in decades. Tracking down
Canada’s design pioneers was often a
challenge. Little information existed about
them online and when I showed up at their
homes often I would be looking through
their body of work for the first time. The
Canadian design story was not documented
in the same way as in the UK or US.
Who were you most excited to talk to?
Having the opportunity to interview Massimo
Vignelli about Canadian design two years
before he passed was a huge honour.
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 15 -
How did you keep motivated over the long
timeline of the project? And why did you
decide to delay the film’s release in 2017?
The story was something I was very
passionate about and I knew from the
start that it would take years to complete.
I believe that small daily habits can build into
extraordinary outcomes, so motivation wasn’t
a huge issue. I’ve always enjoyed long-term
over short-term projects.
The decision to delay the release was
doing what was best for the film. We had
a narrative thread that weaved some of our
stories together, and it was not working. It
was one of those situations where on paper
it sounded great but in execution it was of,
and we knew we could fix it. This resulted
in delaying our release nine months, blowing
up our timeline, reshooting new stories and
then reassembling everything. It was worth it.
Do you think the film will help boost
Canada’s design reputation?
Regardless of what it does, or does not do
for Canada’s international perception, I hope
people take away that graphic design matters
and it influences our lives every day. If we
can become more conscious of it and use it
as a tool, we can build a better country and
ultimately a better world.
How can people see the film?
Follow us at www.designcanada.com and
on social @designcanfilm to stay up to date
about screenings near you and the digital
release at the end of the summer.
CU LT U R E
JUNE 2018
E V E NT R E PO RT: D & AD FE STI VAL
KEY INFO:
Location
Old Truman Brewery,
Shoreditch, London
www.dandad.org/festival
THE FUTURE OF DESIGN
When
24-26 April 2018
o two visitor’s experience
could have been the
same for this year’s
bigger and busier than ever D&AD
Festival, such was its scope and
expertly curated schedule.
Each day brought anxious
decisions for visitors, as talks and
practical workshops teaming with
insight, character and inspiration
often ran over or parallel to each
other. Then there were the great
distractions from the main events
– portfolio reviews, impromptu
corridor chats with speakers,
and even the chance to beat up
Anthony Joshua in VR!
In its third year, and based
in Shoreditch’s The Old Truman
Brewery, the three days were
Key speakers
Sasha Markova, Debbie
Millman, Nick Eagleton,
Bruno Maag, Caroline
Pay, Tea Uglow, Chris
Moody, Ben Priest, Dave
Trott, Arif Haq and
Craig Oldham
Prophesies and solutions abound at this year’s D&AD Festival, reports Beren Neale
N
broken down into three themes
influencing the world of design
and advertising today: Human
Voices, Blood Sweat and Tears,
and Owning the Future. The panel
discussion between Google’s Tea
Uglow, Mercedes Benson, Roshni
Goyate and Sereena Abbassi on
diversity – or lack thereof – in the
creative industries was a noteworthy
example of the first, and was
crammed with ideas and debate
that dared listeners to engage with
and take on.
The festival seemed fully geared
to take an unflinching view of the
at-times uncomfortable truths these
debates unearthed. “It’s always been
the right time to give airtime to the
voices of minorities in our business,”
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 16 -
says D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay, “the
diference is that now people are
listening and – praise be – doing
something about it.” That’s certainly
backed up by D&AD’s New Blood
Shift – an initiative to tap talent from
areas and demographics other
than traditionally educated and
advantaged backgrounds. A move
that combines altruism with good
business sense. “If the social justice
arguments don’t convince you,”
Lindsay adds, “join in for the sake of
a more efective industry. The proof
that more diverse, better genderbalanced companies out-perform
their competitors is overwhelming.”
Elsewhere, Caroline Pay’s Do
Not Watch This Talk! celebrated
the rebel attitude of calling
E V E NT S
JUNE 2018
bullshit on redundant regulations
and presumed power – neatly
embodied by all attendees of the
talk. Pay’s hard, honest personality
charged the room as she revealed
the dedication, innovation,
collaboration and love of dismissing
stupid rules, which lies behind her,
and many of her esteemed colleges’
work, at her previous and current
companies Mother and Grey.
In Chris Moody’s Evolution of
Brand Identity talk, the Wolf Olins
man painted a future closing in
where old notions of brand identity
have become useless; where big
brands, already embedded in our
lives, must transform themselves to
bring messages with meaning, by
using the full gamut of tools and
techniques available – physical,
digital, visual and verbal – or be
met by the suspicion and contempt
of an increasingly wary public. A
stroll around the shortlisted entrants
in the higher levels of festival
echoed his prophesy, including We
Are Unlimited’s flip of McDonald’s
iconic golden arches and branding
at 100 female-owned franchises
in the US, in celebration of
International Women’s day.
And the push for design that
matters threaded through so much
of the D&AD award winners,
announced in the closing ceremony
on the last day. A case in point was
the only branding entry to receive
a Black Pencil – the Palau Pledge
campaign from Host/Havas, an
immigration policy that combated
the destructive behaviour of tourists
by inserting a pledge to preserve
and protect the island in their
passports on arrival.
At odds with common
sense, but in line with its goals,
D&AD intensifies its focus as it
expands, so it was exciting to hear
Thursday’s announcement of a
Clockwise
from left: The
festival returned
to the Old
Truman Brewery;
Common
Industry’s film
that accompanied
the big
announcement;
Host/Havas
picked up a
Black Pencil for
its Palau Pledge;
487 wood pencils
were awarded;
the judging
got underway
days before the
event started.
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 17 -
new partnership with the Guardian
Media Group to establish a massive
festival celebrating the power of
creativity in 2019. Director of the
accompanying “propaganda” film,
Liam Fay-Fright, revealed more:
“Building on the successful D&AD
Festival, the new event will celebrate
London and the UK as a global
centre for creative excellence. The
festival will be for all the creative
industries and in particular will shine
a light on the intersection between
creativity and business success by
focussing on the value creativity,
innovation and technology bring.”
Themes to industry festivals
often appear a bit lofty, but with the
addition of D&AD Impact awards
(entries close 18 July) rewarding
campaigns that provide real life
solutions, measurably making
positive change, D&AD continues
to invest in a future of excellent,
meaningful design.
CU LT U R E
JUNE 2018
I N SPI R ATI O N FE E D
Abi
Overland
Abi Overland is a freelance illustrator and owner of
her own illustrated ceramics and homewares business,
which focuses on products with intricately detailed
drawings of surreal organic landscapes and animals.
Overland mainly uses Instagram to promote her
work, but also sees it as a source of inspiration and
a way to keep up to date with trends. “It’s a very
positive community, which I find wonderfully uplifting,”
she says. “It’s nice to not only showcase products
but have fun and be creative with the content itself.”
Having always enjoyed photography as well
as illustration, Overland finds Instagram “a nice way
to combine the two and create fun – and sometimes
slightly magical – photographs of my products.”
She also likes to capture her work “in a more personal
setting, so potential customers get to know who’s
behind the brand,” and hopes this builds more support
for small businesses in general and promotes quality
products over quantity. www.instagram.com/abioverlandjersey
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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HAVE YOUR SAY
OPINION
MATTERS
Complete our reader survey now and receive
six design manuals worth £54
www.bit.ly/ca-survey-2018
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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INSIGHT
JUNE 2018
INSIGHT
ESSAY
Strong opinion and
analysis from across the
global design industry
MICHAEL ALBERS
FOUNDER AND
DIRECTOR, W12 STUDIOS
www.w12studios.com
Mike is the co-founder of W12 Studios and leads the
day-to-day creative direction of the agency in his
role as CCO. He has over 14 years’ experience
designing digital products and solutions for leading
global companies. Mike has received accolades from
the CHI Awards and Design Week.
ROSIE HILDER
OPERATIONS EDITOR
COMPUTER ARTS
www.rosiehilder.com
After two years bashing Computer Arts into shape,
Rosie is leaving the mag for new, online pastures.
Poised to make the move to CA’s website Creative
Bloq, on page 23 Rosie contemplates the move from
print to digital on both a business and personal level.
DESIGN MATTERS: What do you wish you’d
known when you graduated? – page 22
PLUS: We critique the new Trivago corporate
brand mark – Wabi – over on page 24
Illustrations:
Anna Higgie
www.annahiggie.co.uk
We must take
digital design
off autopilot
Don’t sleepwalk through your design, argues
co-founder of W12 Studios, Mihael Albers
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M I C HA E L A LB E R S
JUNE 2018
igital is new, design is not. In the past 20
years since the advent of commercial digital
design, nearly every part of modern life has
been transformed by the medium. Yet with so much
product in the public sphere, no design icons have
emerged, no movement-leading revolutionaries, no
digital rockstars making their mark. Digital has no
Peter Behrens, Le Corbusier or Alexander McQueen.
Instead the industry is saturated with carbon-copy
design built from best practice, not vision.
As budding designers-to-be, we begin our
education within institutions that celebrate diversity
and collaboration. Design disciplines are mixed
together within classes. Critiquing your fellows is
encouraged to ground you, push your thinking and
self awareness. There is a naked belief and ambition
that design can save the world. Entering the stage of
commercial design, we hit the ground and run
straight into quantifying deliverables, replication and
codifying ‘what makes good design’.
Design is said to be about problem solving. When
we think of truly great design, we think of work that
breaks the mould, work that champions creativity,
ideas and vision. In digital we enable our users,
expand their abilities, making technology useful
while bringing a little added joy with every
interaction. The products we design live in the world
and are part of people’s everyday lives. Instead of
approaching each brief with the passion, craft and
creativity of other design disciplines, digital often
reverts to a world of Post-it note process, theoretical
strategy, workflows and buzzwords. Research, testing
and strategy replace rather than inform ideas. The
outcome is a conveyor belt of cloned designs,
following the same tried and tested formulas. Each
iteration adding more features, more buttons, more
content and more levels of complexity.
The Dieter Rams design philosophy of less is more
could not be more apt. The process for designing a
digital experience has become elaborate and clumsy.
We have lost the focus and vision behind what
designers are here to do. What makes the great
designers great is dedication to their craft and a
resounding belief in the end product. Their complete
confidence in research or testing as well as the design.
At W12 Studios our desire is to solve problems
with beautiful and simple design. Our approach
towards digital design honours our traditional design
roots. I started my career as a furniture designer, my
co-founder, Fabian Birgfeld, comes from an
architecture grounding and we hire people that don’t
fit the design agency mould, people with differing
design backgrounds. The variety of interests, skills
D
and individual histories ignites fresh perspectives and
an excitement to be adventurous as well as build on
and transfer our collective traditional practice.
We aim to understand the context by working
with our client to define the brief and what success
will look like. We create a vision of the product,
exploring concepts, themes, patterns and the brand
narrative. We prototype the design and encourage a
culture of critique to continually refine. At the heart
of our approach is our faith in the hero moment: the
product’s reason for being; where watching video is to
Netflix as boiling water is to a kettle. We combine the
variety of our crafts, our ideas, inspirations and skills
to create a vision that puts the hero moment at centre
stage. While we are keeping our eyes on the stars, we
remember to make it real. Our designs are more than
features and interesting experiences, they want to
make a difference in the world.
We don’t have all the answers to the future of
digital design but we do have principles that are
unique to us. Be bold, cut out the clutter and take out
the noise. To be bold it is
important to have an opinion,
to criticise, debate and develop.
Be provocative and challenge
perceptions around you. Ask
what is beauty? Care about
your craft and your clients will
care too. Perfection is
impossible, there will always be
more process and more stifling
revisions. Get the product
done, get it out there to be used
as a test bed to continually
improve. Aim for Milton
Glaser’s wow. Invoking an
emotional response is what cultivates desire. Be
visionary, think about design holistically and look
beyond yourself to gain inspiration.
There is always a balance to be found between
idealism and reality, profitability and blue-sky
thinking. While I would love to be the one to say that
the design should always win and client limitations
don’t apply, that isn’t realistic as a service business.
That being said there is a unique opportunity right
now for us as digital designers to carve out the future
direction of this industry and set benchmarks for
generations to come. The only way we will achieve
this is if we start questioning the process, resist the
urge to justify every decision with data and dare to
take digital design off autopilot.
Is the creative industry lacking creativity? Tweet your
thoughts to @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
What makes the great
designers great is dedication
to their craft and belief in the
end produ; their complete
confidence in researh or
teing as well as the design
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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INSIGHT
JUNE 2018
DISCUSSION
What do you wish you’d known
when you graduated?
JOE CUMMINGS
Magazine and newspaper illustrator
cummingsillustrator.com
LANA SIMANENKOVA
Senior creative, Animade TV
http://lana.land
“Being successful is 60% making great
things and 40% being a reliable
employee and coworker. Graduates
need to understand that a gorgeous
portfolio may get you in the door, but
to move up and be someone people
want to work with, you better have a
solid work ethic and be a team player.
On my team, if you want to be
considered a valuable designer you
need to make deadlines, have a positive
attitude, be willing to learn new things,
and help out. In school, it felt like
‘rockstars’ of the oice would be the
designers coming up with innovative
visuals, but in reality the real rockstars
are also hard workers and good people.
Be the designer everyone knows they
can turn to in a crisis.”
“It has been many years since I
graduated from art school, but unless
I overslept that morning, one vitally
important lecture was missing –
Managing Your Money.
I feel that graduates entering the world
of work, especially freelance work,
need to have a basic understanding of
taxation, national insurance and even
bookkeeping. Pensions, too, need to be
understood at this early stage. It may
seem crazy to be thinking of
retirement when starting out, but the
benefits are too important to ignore.
Young creatives need to be aware of
these expenses and bear them in mind
when invoicing. I see too many struggle
to price their work. Having knowledge
at the outset may make you wealthier.”
“Don’t take on projects at low rates in
the hope of getting better-paid projects
from that client in the future,
especially if you don’t know the
company, or anyone who has worked
for them before. In my experience, they
either won’t come back to you and try
to find someone else who is equally
cheap, or will just expect you to keep
working at that lowered rate
every time.
Of course, it’s nice to have a constant
stream of work and income when you
graduate, but at the same time it can
make you miss out on bigger and more
creative opportunities elsewhere.
In short, discounting probably won’t
bring in big budget, high-profile
projects with that client.”
CHARLOTTE WEST
Senior art director
www.cwest-design.com
TWEET @COMPUTERARTS OR FIND US ON FACEBOOK
GINA RAE
To have a focus and niche. It
helps you stand out. You’ll
also be able to do more of
the things you like to do
if you strive to become
an expert in an area.
@MIDDLEBOOP
Literally anything about the
business side of running a
small studio, how to value
yourself as a creative, how
to avoid awful jobs.
@HEYLAURABELLE
That you’ve got to keep
learning, [which] is a fun
part of being a designer!
You’re never going to know
everything out of uni (took
me a while to realise this).
@HELLOMULLER
That you shouldn’t be
afraid to find your own
voice. It’s good to be aware
of trends, but developing
your own style will be what
brings you work.
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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@LETTERSBYJULIA
That hardly anyone has
their career sorted in their
20s. Graduating is the
beginning. It took me until
my 30s to figure out what
I *really* wanted to do.
R OSI E HI LDE R
JUNE 2018
COLUMN
Why print needs digital
As CA’s Rosie Hilder prepares to
move to Creative Bloq, he refles
on the role of print in a diital age
ver the last two years,
I’ve worked on 23 issues
of Computer Arts. But
by the time you read this, my
print career will be over – at least
for now. I’ll have moved to a new
job on CA’s website, Creative
Bloq. Leaving one role to start another is always exciting and scary in
more or less equal measure, and though this move is within the same
company (on the same floor, no less), I’ve got mixed feelings.
There are so many things I love about making print mags. I love
the quest for the perfect synergy of words and pictures, I love working
on covers – especially with CA’s beautiful cover treatments – and I
love being able to show people what I do by handing them the finished
product. I also enjoy getting feedback on an issue I’d long forgotten
about. For me, working in print is delayed gratification at its finest.
There are also things I won’t miss. I won’t be sad to leave behind the
four-week issue cycle, the stress of realising an error has made it to print
and the inevitable feeling of panic as (yet another) deadline looms.
In some ways, that’s why the new job is so appealing. I’ll no longer
be ruled by print deadlines – meaning taking holiday will be easier, and
instead of having to wait a month or two to get feedback, I’ll get instant
satisfaction in the way of likes, shares and page views. But best of all for
a perfectionist like me, no mistake will be permanent, and I’ll be able
to quickly update a misspelled name or an errant apostrophe.
O
My day-to-day work won’t
change that much, though.
I’ll still be in charge of fact
checking, spellchecking and
sorting out wonky grammar.
I’ll still need to concern myself
with page furniture, it’ll just
be a different kind – my headers will need to please Google, not just
the editor. And while I won’t have to worry about making copy fit in
InDesign or standing out on the newsstand, I will have to navigate the
CMS, master SEO and grab people’s attention on the internet – where
they’re arguably more distractible than they ever were at WHSmith.
These days, declaring print is dead and digital is the future is
hardly original, but it’s not as simple as that. Why do they have to be
so separate? Shouldn’t the best websites and digital campaigns rely on
print, and vice versa? Can’t both mediums learn from each other? And
don’t magazines need to go digital to survive?
That’s why I feel this is not a move away from print or Computer
Arts, but more a swing to a different branch of the same tree. Creative
Bloq both supports and relies on the six magazines in Future’s creative
and design division. So while I’ll have left print, I’ll be doing my bit to
sustain it, too. I think that’s something to be excited about. If nothing
else, it’s at least worth a ‘like’ or two.
Does print need digital, and vice versa? Or are they better off apart?
Tweet your thoughts @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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INSIGHT
JUNE 2018
REBRAND FOCUS
Focus on: Trivago
Trivago has a new corporate brand mark, created by ts own
in-house design team. Three creatives offer their crtiues…
ANNA DRUCKREY
Designer, Trivago
www.trivago.com
“Wabi is Trivago’s new corporate brand
mark. We created it to differentiate our
products and services from the corporate
side. It was a collective effort from our inhouse team: Dawn McCance, Katalin Varga,
Sergiu Lazics, Daniel Riemer, Mirija Wagener
and myself. This doesn’t replace the classic
Trivago logo. The new logo was added to
showcase our company spirit – ever-evolving,
simple, and authentic.
Wabi is a humble circle that is
approachable and engaging. A circle should
be closed but it’s not, because we’re never
done. We’re never great, which is why the
circle is imperfect. You can take so much
from that messed-up circle.
We started to develop a lot of external
initiatives, so it made sense to introduce a
corporate brand for everything happening in
our company. This separation was seen as an
opportunity to design something that really
held onto the spirit of Trivago’s culture.”
PRESCOTT PEREZ-FOX
Brand consultant and art
director
www.perezfox.com
“I don’t mind abstract symbols as part of
a logo, but it’s hard to get excited about
one that seems completely detached and
random. The type in this new Trivago logo
is essentially unchanged, and the Wabi
doesn’t seem to affect a larger visual style
on the rest of the identity system or on the
website. Without that larger design system of
patterns, graphic devices, or an icon set, it’s
just a singular blob of colour, and not even
one that’s particularly well-constructed.
The identity is new, but most visitors
to the site – not to mention the design
community as a whole – will likely forget
about it immediately. With no trace of the
Wabi on the website, we’re none the wiser.”
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OLLY BROWNING
Head of marketing,
freelance art director
twitter.com/yourolly
“Let’s just say I’m glad this isn’t a replacement
for the main B2C Trivago identity – a brand I
think has enough longevity and opportunity
as-is with its simple but effective tricolour
wordmark. Whilst the Wabi icon seems
pretty unremarkable – at first it reminded
me of my nose piercing, and when it’s printed
in mono I’m reminded of the Innocent
drinks logo – I’m now starting to understand
the idea of having this ‘unfinished’ vibe to
promote company culture.
I understand the idea of inspiring teams
to close that proverbial loop, but moreover
I’m always happy to see big players genuinely
invested in their company culture; the BBC’s
GEL team and Stripe particularly spring
to mind. At the same time, I’d love to see
some more IRL applications of the Wabi,
and some of their early iterations had some
wonderfully radical ideas too.”
T R I VA G O
JUNE 2018
With so many external
projects, Trivago felt it
needed to differentiate
that part of the company
from the corporate
side. The imperfect and
unfinished nature of the
new brand mark was
developed in-house,
capturing the evolving,
never-finished spirit of
the company.
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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SHOWCASE
Computer Arts selects the hottest new
design, illustration and motion work
from the global design scene
WONKA’S PAPER FACTORY
BALL & DOGGETT IDENTITY
by For The People
www.forthepeople.agency
In early 2017, two of Australia’s biggest paper distributors
joined forces. Design and strategy agency For The People
was tasked with building a brand for the newly merged
company that better reflected the diverse nature of its
print and production business, and clearly showed how
the company fits into today’s digital ecosystem.
“We were very conscious of trying to show the
company’s knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for their
products and the relationships they’ve built with clients,”
explains Jason Little, founder and executive creative
director at For The People. “We started exploring this
obsessive ‘geeking out’ on the products, by creating weird
and wonderful experiments that would showcase specific
material properties.”
The simplified letterforms of the brandmark enables
it to demonstrate material behaviours and properties.
But with the print collateral, it was important the materials
themselves would be the central piece. “This meant
leaning more towards utility of information, simplified
typography and a focus on making the materials do all
the talking,” adds Little. “The material is the central piece – its colour, texture, smell, weight and so. Every piece of
design is there to support it, not distract from it.”
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S H O WC A SE
JUNE 2018
By bringing a level of simplicity to the
logo, For The People was able to go
further in its execution of both the 2D
and 3D work.
Ball & Doggett’s new identity celebrates
the physical nature and tactility of its
product range.
The new logo introduces a monogram,
which uses a large ampersand to tie the
two names together. “Testing paper weight, mixing ink and
polishing foil were some elements we
put through the lens of Willy Wonka
and the materials factory, where things
are never ordinary,” says Little.
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S H O WC A SE
JUNE 2018
TALL STORIES
THE GARDEN GIANT by Fiona Rose
www.cargocollective.com/FionaRose
The Garden Giant is a magical story that
illustrates some uncomfortable aspects of
childhood: sudden body awareness, feelings
of self-consciousness and the desire to ‘fit in’. For
author and illustrator Fiona Rose, it was important
to infuse the narrative with two fundamental
questions: Who am I? Where do I belong?
“The format of the book was designed to
complement and reflect the protagonist – a
young giant. It’s therefore unconventionally tall
and probably too big to fit in most bookcases,”
says Rose, who used oil paint to convey the
sumptuous vibrancy of the garden in the story.
“I adore location drawing and it’s been
a pleasure to visit some beautiful places in
Cornwall, where the story is set,” she adds. “My
biggest challenge was adapting the storyline to
make it commercially viable. The project became
a balancing act between the commercial
constraints of publishing and my desire to speak
of internal struggle and the human condition.”
LAYERED EMOTION
HIDDEN
by Sekani Solomon
www.sekanimotiondesign.com
Hidden is a short CG film about self
appreciation. Each figure represents emotion: the
chain figure is fear; the crystal figure is love and
afection; the gold figure is greed and ambition;
and the flower figure is joy and happiness.
“The film stems from the idea that we don’t
necessarily show our thoughts and feelings
to one another – or even appreciate them
ourselves,” explains freelance C4D generalist
and designer Sekani Solomon, who created the
film between client projects over the course of a
year. “I wanted to show that these thoughts and
feelings are beautiful and make us who we are.”
The conceptualisation stage was hardest,
he says. “I particularly liked how the flower
shots came out,” he adds, “as those were the
most difficult to execute. The face at the end
turned out pretty well also – it really helped to
humanise the film.”
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S HO W C AS E
JUNE 2018
LIGHTING UP THE WORLD
MERCEDES-BENZ INFOGRAPHIC
by Kyle Wilkinson
www.kylewilkinson.co.uk
Briefed to create a map that showcased all the
countries involved in Mercedes-Benz’s Fashion Week
programme, Wilkinson&Co creative director Kyle
Wilkinson designed an interactive world made up
of thousands of connecting lines. “Fashion in Brazil
is much different to that in China, yet the passion for
it is exactly the same,” explains Wilkinson, who used
the project to illustrate the idea that Mercedes-Benz
connects the world through fashion.
“The map is pretty much hand rendered – it’s not
an algorithm or 3D model; just hand-placed lines
throughout to build it up, which was time consuming,”
he admits. “My favourite part was seeing it come to
life. It took a while and to see the results at the end
was great.”
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S H O WC A SE
JUNE 2018
SPRING
2018
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S HO W C AS E
JUNE 2018
PLATFORM FOR PROGRESS
TRAVEL>FORWARD BRANDING
by SomeOne
https://someoneinlondon.com
World Travel Market (WTM) runs industry-leading travel
conferences. To help people capitalise on the opportunities
presented by technology within the travel sector, it created
Travel>Forward, a new digital arm of WTM, and tasked London
agency SomeOne with strategically positioning the brand across
all channels for the 2018 launch.
While the travel industry is often associated with palm tree
imagery and cultural clichés, SomeOne took a diferent approach
for Travel>Forward. The new branding uses the > symbol both as a
chevron and as a graphic device to signify the brand’s progressive
nature, evoking the idea of agile, fast thinking.
Senior designer Shaun Turnbull explains: “This brand should be
seen as never standing still, continuously unleashing new ideas into
the travel industry from proven professionals and bleeding-edge
radicals. We’ve applied this thought across all applications, from
brochures to a bespoke typeface and iconography set.”
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S P E C I AL R E P OR T
JUNE 2018
JUNE 2018
HOW TO
CREATE
Lisa Hassell talks to influential
artists and discovers their
approach to crafting characters
TYPOGRAPHY: Hattie Stewart www.hattiestewart.com
Nike campaign
by Hattie Stewart
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S P E C I AL R E P OR T
JUNE 2018
W
Below
Portrait of Kanye
West for an exhibition
at Slam Jam, Italy by
Craig & Karl.
hether designing for
2D, editorial, ad
campaigns or game
design, adopting a
mindful approach to
character design is essential to fit
with the changing times we live in.
Understanding your audience,
crafting a compelling story and
knowing the limitations and
possibilities of the diverse range of
media platforms available can only
open up the scope of possibilities
for today’s character designers.
Depending on the variables, such as
the intended audience, the purpose
of the work and where it’s likely to
live – as well as whether you’re a
visual designer, illustrator or game
developer – figuring out a basic
framework early on in the process
will help inform your characters
and add another layer of depth to
their purpose.
Characters are frequently
representative of their creators,
observes Craig Redman, one half of
design studio Craig & Karl, through
both the visual style as well as how
their personality shines through.“For
us it’s the relationship to the creator
that makes it interesting. We tend
to think of Craig & Karl as a
conversation or continual back and
forth between the two of us, which
is how we operate day-to-day too,”
adds Karl Maier (the other half of
the creative duo). “As it’s only the
two of us, our personalities,
backgrounds and interests all feed
into the work we make. And as much
as there’s a visual style, we aim to
bring our perspective to things so
there’s a consistent tone or approach,
even if the form varies.”
SET PARAMETERS
Living in different parts of the world
but collaborating daily to create bold
work that is filled with simple
messages executed in a thoughtful
and often humorous way, Craig &
Karl create distinctive graphic
visuals for murals, typefaces, set
design, packaging and editorial
illustrations for a whole host of
high-end clients, publications and
brands, though it is the distinctive
character portraits for which they
are widely recognised.
“Concept is key, it’s the
foundation for what we’ll build an
idea of narrative around.” says Maier.
“All of our projects begin by having a
conversation to figure out the basic
framework for what we want to say
and how we’d like to do it. Sketching
plays a role too, but usually, it’s more
like a note-taking process that lets us
get ideas down quickly and allow
things to gestate, as opposed to a
blueprint that we’ll then work over
to create the final piece. We do like
to get a relatively clear notion of
what we want the outcome to be
before diving in,” continues Maier.
“From there, it’s all about the doing
and making, trial and error, love and
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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loathe, back and forth process that
we go through.”
CREATE A NARRATIVE
Character design is frequently driven
by story, and that remains true no
matter which platform characters
are intended for. Whether crafting
characters for print media,
advertising campaigns or animation,
giving your characters a purpose
strengthens their reason for being.
Australian born, Berlin-based
illustrator Rilla Alexander explains.
“When I am illustrating a book that
someone else wrote, I see the
characters as actors on a stage who
have to get into character, whereas
when I am working on my own
stories, I see the characters as
embodying their own emotions.
You shouldn’t be conscious that a
good actor is acting and so I would
hope that distinction is not obvious
to anyone else… but it’s what is going
on in my head.”
Illustrator Jim Stoten agrees; “You
can appeal to personality traits that
exist within an audience. I really like
how expressive hands are. You can
communicate a lot about a character
by how they hold a glass or the way
they sit. It’s a way of showing a
character’s personality.”
INJECT A PERSONALITY
Stoten, whose vast, intricate
landscapes are filled with tubaplaying elephants, dancing robots
and crocodiles eating ice cream, has
an interesting view of his characters;
“I think to a certain extent
characters that I create are self
portraits,” he explains. “Either they
have mannerisms or traits of mine,
or have things about other people
that I admire built into them.”
With commissions for an
impressive list of clients including
MTV, Habitat, Levi’s, Urban
Outfitters and The Guardian, Stoten
frequently exhibits his work in
galleries around the globe.
“Personally, I like characters that
01
1
APPLE GALLERY
H AT T I E ST E WA RT
To celebrate the 10th year of its music festival,
Apple invited London-based illustrator Hattie
Stewart to create a set of original artworks,
applying her trademark doodlebomb style over
photographs of some of the iconic performers to
have played the festival. “I think my work is
something every generation can enjoy, it evokes
the feeling childhood with its cartoonish style,
but also has themes that are more adult in
nature.” says Stewart. “It’s playful and engaging
but doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
The artworks including Pharrell, Katy Perry
and Queens of the Stone Age, hung on display in
London’s Roundhouse for the duration of the
Apple Music Festival.
www.hattiestewart.com
02
01 Singer Pharrell doodle
bombed by Hattie
Stewart for the Apple
Gallery exhibition.
02 Portrait of Katy Perry
for the Apple Gallery.
03 Stewart photographed
in her London studio.
04 Cover for Another
Magazine by Stewart.
03
04
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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S P E C I AL R E P OR T
JUNE 2018
01
2
MONUMENT
VALLEY 2
BY USTWO GAMES
02
01 Development work
for Mother & Child, by
Focusing on universal themes and conveying
the story of a mother and child relationship, the
creative team at ustwo games surprised the
world once again with a beautifully executed
sequel to Monument Valley. With a core aim to
“make small meaningful games that can be
enjoyed by everyone,” head of studio Dan Gray led
the team through an intense development and
prototype creative process to craft a game with
universal themes, following a mother and child as
they make their way through the land of optical
illusions, as architects of the sacred geometry
found thoughout each level. “Creatively our
objective is to continue to provide all the amazing
things about interactive entertainment to a wide
audience – the democratisation of game design.”
says Gray. “There’s so many incredible mechanics
and stories to tell [in gaming] that your average
person isn’t ever exposed to. With MV2 we
managed to make millions of people care about
characters in a game for the first time.”
www.ustwo.com
ustwo games.
02 Environments reflect
the narrative of
Monument Valley 2.
03 ustwo games
studio during the
development phase of
Monument Valley 2.
04 Striking visuals and
magical architecture
in Monument Valley 2.
03
04
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 42 -
JUNE 2018
have elements of their personalities
visualised in their physical
appearance somehow,” he says. “Mr.
Tweed, my children’s book character,
was based almost entirely on Peter
Ustinov. I watch a lot of old talk
shows while I am working, and Peter
Ustinov was such an amazing
character, both physically and in the
way he conducted himself.”
A sense of humour is key, adds
Maier. “I think that regardless of the
form a character takes, there’s
inevitably something human,
something of us in them. It’s a little
like holding a comical mirror up that
highlights the humour, absurdity or
diiculties of our lives,” he says, “and
because they tend to be cute or
exaggerated visually, they can tackle
ideas or situations with a lightness
that might be harder otherwise.
involved, you can’t passively watch it unfold
journey of discovery through a
stunning and impossible world.
“It’s a very rare duo to see in
gaming these days” says Gray,
distilling video games into
something that can be played by a
mass audience and diversify our
approach to uncommon stories. “We
didn’t want the mother to seem
overbearing or a burden; but
empower her. We purposefully didn’t
define the gender of these
characters.” Making a mother the
central protagonist in a game is a
really unique and striking approach
to game design. “We must have gone
through over 200 characters trying
to get the feeling right,” Gray admits.
like in film”
THE CORRECT PROPORTIONS
INTERACTIVE VS APPS
The importance of comedy is
especially true of interactive work,
into, make an emotional connection
and participate. With interactive
work you have to provoke the
audience to get involved, you can’t
passively watch it unfold like in film.”
Speaking on stage at OFFSET
Dublin, ustwo games head of studio
Dan Gray shared this view.
Reflecting on the challenges faced
during pre-production for mobile
game Monument Valley 2, he spoke
about crafting a story inspired by
universal themes. “A challenge we
“You have to provoke the audience to get
DAN GR AY, HE AD OF S TUDIO US T WO
whether you’re playing with the
characters, taking control of the
character or following them around.
Nexus Studios designed the look and
feel of HotStepper, the world’s first
augmented reality character-based
wayfinding app, centred around an
irrepressible character inspired by
internet culture, Friedrich
Liechtenstein’s ‘Supergeil’ and
Napoleon Dynamite’s infamous
dance moves, synth pop vibes, and
British eccentricity.
“An enigmatic character is hugely
important if they are the protagonist
in your narrative,” advises Alex
Jenkins, a director at Los Angeles
and London-based Nexus Studios.
“You want the audience to root for
the characters you’ve breathed life
have in the mobile space [is that] it’s
very diicult to keep people’s
attention. They’re opening a game
for 30 secs or a minute at a time
before moving on to the next thing.
So it was very important to us that
we surprised people at every turn.”
An independent mobile games
studio with a strong focus on
interactive entertainment, user
experience and exceptional visual
design, ustwo games demands a
deeper level of engagement from
players. As the team behind the
award-winning puzzle game for iOS
and Android that’s been downloaded
and played more than 30 million
times, the sequel to Monument
Valley follows a mother-child
narrative, as they embark on a
Visually, the proportions of a
character can also make a notable
difference. Alex Jenkins, a director
whose talents have been recognised
at Cannes Lions and The Art
Directors Club, says, “I’ve always
been a fan of the Japanese approach
to characters. I love the simplicity of
how they capture really strong
emotion with quite minimal detail,
just well-placed eyes and mouths
and the use of exaggeration.” Jenkins
thinks that if you have a character
with little expression, moving it into
the body is the best way to “carry the
personality and express emotion.”
It’s a sentiment shared by
Alexander, who believes that every
character should have one
distinctive characteristic that is
crucial to their very being. “You
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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Above
Artwork for Where’s
My Welly?: The
World’s Greatest
Music Festival
Challenge, illustrated
by Jim Stoten
S P EC I AL R E P OR T
SIX TIPS
FOR CRAFTY
CHARACTERS
1
Look at people. Pay aention to how they
move, how they carry themselves and look
for aspects of their personalities that are
shown through these mannerisms. Take note of
these things and combine them with your own
imagination to create mash-ups.
Jim Stoten www.jimtheillustrator.co.uk
2
Focus your energies in coming up with your
own world, tell your personal stories, unify
colours, shapes, lines, explore but also keep
on coming back to what you think is making a
strong personal body of work.
Jose Mendez www.josemiguelmendez.com
3
Keep it personal. If you can relate to your
characters then the viewer will too. For us
it’s all about creating characters based in
reality; they can be cute and cuddly but they
don’t have to live in rainbows and gingerbread
houses. It’s much more interesting when you can
re-contextualise them into the everyday realities
that we all experience.
Craig Redman www.craigandkarl.com
4
Think of characters that exist that you like,
love, hate. The Dude, Mr Creosote, James
Corden, whoever – and draw your version
of that character. You need to make sure that
you are communicating the things that make the
character who they are. Eventually, you will be
able to draw from all these when you are trying
to create your own original characters.
Leon Edler www.leillo.com
5
Trust your gut, and don’t force anything. A
great and strong style will come naturally,
you’ve just got to work hard, keep
practising, make mistakes and experiment.
Haie Stewart www.haiestewart.com
6
Create a back story. Providing a motivation
can really help you to develop characters
that possess a sense of presence. They
have a reason to exist and it can help you to
decide how to pose them and what scenarios to
place them in.
Alex Jenkins www.nexusstudios.com
JUNE 2018
should be able to gradually remove
each feature one by one until you are
left with one or two features that
you can still clearly recognise them
by,” she says. “Miffy is a very good
example of this – you can reduce her
down to her eyes and that distinctive
cross nose and still know it is her.
You don’t even need her rabbit ears!”
An established illustrator,
Alexander’s characters adorn Museo
del Prado’s ceramics and stationery,
populate Swiss Credit Cards and
sleep on the walls of a Copenhagen
hotel (she replaced the bed with a
tent). She has exhibited, spoken at
conferences, and led workshops all
over the world including the
Pictoplasma Academy in Berlin,
where she delivers a character design
masterclass every year.
“There are a lot of basic design
principles regarding composition
and proportion that apply to
character design,” says Alexander.
“It might seem obvious, but the more
cute and round a character, the more
approachable and naive they seem.
The more angular a character, the
smarter they appear. All of these
things are at play when I am
working, whether I am conscious of
them or not.”
RELATABLE CHARACTERS
For Alexander, giving life to new
characters can be an intuitive
process, and one that has been
honed and developed through her
numerous professional and personal
projects. Her alter-ego Sozi stars in
her self-authored picture books Her
Idea (2010) and The Best Book in the
World (2014), titles published by
Flying Eye Books. “Sozi is a way for
me to express what are sometimes
quite complex emotions in a
simplified way,” she reveals. “When
I was procrastinating about my first
book, it was Sozi and her struggle to
finish her ideas that I wrote about.
Looking back I can see it was the
book I had to do, before I could get
over that mental hurdle and start
making books about other things.
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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“Characters might come to me
as a clear visual but I have to dig to
figure out who they are,” she
continues. “There are others that I
only initially know from the inside
– their personality or their story
– and then the challenge is to work
out what that character should look
like from the outside. I nearly always
find that the character’s personality
or looks remind me of an aspect of
someone I know. That moment of
connection is the very thing that
makes me want to keep drawing or
writing and to discover more.”
Balancing elements and defining
the characteristics is especially
relevant in publishing, where
editorial illustrators must adhere to
strict deadlines – a couple of hours
in some cases. For Brighton-based
illustrator Leon Edler, crafting
genuine characters is a skill in itself.
“When I started out, art directors
would ask me to make the characters
in my finals closer to the original
sketch. When I’d done the original
sketch, all I was thinking about was
that character and the concept,” he
says. It’s important to make sure that
the final artwork isn’t too polished,
as there is a risk that the characters
will be less engaging. “I think if the
characters are relatable, people will
often look past the style of the work
more than they do with traditional
illustration,” he concludes.
If your characters come from an
honest, real place they will be more
relatable to your intended audience,
says London-based illustrator Hattie
Stewart. “Inevitably your work
reflects some part of your character,
so yes my characters are a reflection
of myself, or at least how I would
hope myself to be.”
ADAPT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Best known for ‘doodlebombing’
over influential magazines, Stewart’s
tongue-in-cheek artwork moves
fluidly between many creative fields,
including collaborations with
fashion brand Henry Holland. “I like
to think my work is something
CREATE VIBR A NT C HA R A C T E R S
JUNE 2018
3
01
A BEAR SAT ON
MY PORCH TODAY
BY JANE YOLEN AND
RILLA ALEXANDER
Rilla Alexander wanted to leave the character’s
gender and ethnicity open to personal
interpretation in her latest title, A Bear Sat on my
Porch Today, so every reader could imagine
themselves in that place. When illustrating a
book written by someone else, she talks of seeing
the characters as actors on stage who have to get
into character and it helps if they embody her
own emotions. “I usually name characters even if
they are not named by the author, so I can get to
know them better. I called this character Bean. I
was wearing a red beanie my mother had knitted
me and, as it turns out, so is Bean. I thought
about how I would feel if all those animals sat on
my porch and wouldn’t go away, and I acted out
those emotions through Bean.” Traditionally in
publishing, the author and the illustrator don’t
work together, and it is this aspect she finds
liberating. “You are free to focus on the story and
to read between the lines without being
preoccupied by the author’s vision, intentions,
likes and dislikes,” she says.
www.byrilla.com
02
01 Character
development for Bean,
by Rilla Alexander.
02 Extract from A Bear
Sat on the Porch
Today illustrated by
Alexander.
03 Double page spread
from A Bear Sat on the
Porch Today.
03
COM
PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
MPUTERARTS.CREATI
- 45 -
JUNE 2018
4
HOTSTEPPER
BY NEXUS STUDIOS
To coincide with the opening of its new US office
in Los Angeles, Nexus Studios launched
HotStepper, the world’s first augmented reality
character-based wayfinding app. The Interactive
Arts team at Nexus Studios built a bespoke
system that uses a combination of GPS
coordinates, your phone’s compass and vector in
real-world space (accelerometer) and mapping
data in order to calculate your location and
render HotStepper as your virtual wayfinding
buddy. “There were a lot of technical challenges to
overcome to make our character feel present with
you on the street,” reveals Alex Jenkins, creative
director at Nexus Studios in London. “We made
full use of the just launched ARKit to get away
from tracking markers, combined with geolocation and mapping technologies to keep the
HotStepper walking alongside you.” Enabling the
team to push storytelling, technology and
interaction into a new place, unique moments are
triggered in realtime to ‘live change’ the character
or story, such as his hairstyle when you walk past
a hairdresser. “We use the term ‘location based
storytelling’, we’re very excited about its future
potential,” states Jenkins.
http://hotstepper.dance
01
01 HotStepper in-app
photo designed by
Nexus Studios.
02 The HotStepper
character was
deliberately made to
be comical.
03 HotStepper character
design development.
03
02
C O MPUTERA
RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
M PUTERARTS.CREATI
- 46 -
SPRING
JUNE
20182018
every generation can enjoy,” she says.
“It evokes childhood feelings with its
cartoonish style, but also has themes
that are more adult in nature. It’s
playful, it’s engaging, it doesn’t take
itself too seriously and it’s adaptable.”
Her brightly coloured Posca pen
creations first gained notoriety when
she began mixing her drawings with
photography and they have been
featured by the industry’s biggest
names. She is a testament to the
power of DIY culture, having created
her own niche through sheer hard
work, practice and gutsy personal
projects. “I’m lucky that because I
focus solely on my own work people
tend to come to me for that, so I
rarely feel pushed in directions I feel
uncomfortable working in,” she
explains. Approaching each brief
with her sketchbook to hand, her
starting place is often decorative
motifs and symbolism that capture
the imagination, combined with a
highly expressive face. “I’ll play
around with different themes and
concepts. I’ll go back to my sketch for
underdeveloped ideas that may work
in the present. It all comes naturally,
and when it works, it works!”
KEEP DIVERSITY IN MIND
Increasingly, today’s creatives are
faced with challenges around culture
and diversity, because the public
quite rightly expect brands and
media to recognise the need for
inclusivity, and adapt their
advertising accordingly. Yet, to do so
without resorting to stereotyping
can be surprisingly diicult. “It’s
important to reflect the times we are
living in,” says Spanish illustrator
Jose Mendez. “Illustrators should
focus on creating characters that
represent people, tribes, animals that
people can relate to.”
Known for his vibrant, energetic
and fluid artwork with a mostly red,
blue and black colour palette that
has become synonymous with his
work, a recent commission for
Spotify turned this approach on its
head. Designing a large mural to
visualise the audience who use
Spotify, Mendez responded to the
brief by working on a series of
characters that tell the story – from
fitness enthusiasts to festival goers,
millennials and commuters. Set in
two different locations, the first
‘thing’ to be mindful of, it’s just life.”
And he has a firm idea of how this
can be achieved. “To break
stereotypes, diverse characters must
not be token team members, they
should be in the plot because they
matter, have a valid role, are vital to
the plot, so why not start from there?
Being of mixed heritage I do feel
aware and have noticed the
somewhat arbitrary way some
productions have plugged-in
“Capturing the energy, shapes, composition,
playfulness and expression makes a character
more appealing to people”
mural was painted during Cannes
Lions International Festival of
Creativity, followed by Dmexco
where a large-scale digital hoarding
was installed in an exhibition space.
“Sometimes I take inspiration from
my own experiences, but also street
culture,” Mendez says. “Capturing
the energy, through movement,
shapes, composition, playfulness and
expression, makes a character more
appealing to people,” he adds.
It’s an approach championed by
Nexus Studios, a company that
prides itself on creating heartfelt
stories and experiences that engage
audiences through the power of
entertainment and culture. “We
need more diversity and
inclusiveness,” stresses Jenkins. “It
has to reach a point where it’s not a
JOSE MENDEZ
diversity. Yet I think even if handled
awkwardly it can be positive, because
it brings the issue into focus and
helps us overcome biases.”
AVOID STEREOTYPES
For Craig & Karl, it’s an issue to be
acutely aware of. “We are very
mindful of diversity in our work and
always create a good balance of the
sexes and backgrounds in our
portraiture. Clients are super aware
of the importance too and mostly
request it, which is great. We’re
doing a project at the moment that
involves creating a character for
different cities around the world, so
when it comes to drawing a girl from
Paris (for example) it’s not about
drawing Eiffel Tower earrings and
giving her a beret, it’s far more
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 47 -
Above
Land of Pleasures
by Jose Mendez.
Represented by WE
ARE GOODNESS.
I N D US T R Y I S S U E S
JUNE 2018
make sure I included women and
people of colour in the finals. As I’ve
developed and my career has
progressed, I’m a lot more mindful at
the sketch stage to mix up the
characters and represent a bigger
range of people.
“If you draw a group of characters
together, I like to make sure that
their personalities interact to create
some sort of narrative or conflict,
rather than just people drawn
separately and plonked on the page,”
Edler continues. “I do have certain
character types that I go back to a
lot.” Edler also agrees that
observation of real-life scenarios
and surroundings can be an
invaluable resource to inform
character development. “I often draw
Above
Artwork from
Stewart’s new solo
exhibition I Don’t
Have Time For This,
running at NOW
Gallery, London, until
25 June 2018.
interesting and challenging to
capture the essence of a real
Parisian, someone looking awesome
going about their everyday activities.
No one wants corny representations
of gender, race or sexuality… it’s all
about creating an overall vibe.”
“Diversity is incredibly important
to me,” enthuses Stewart. “I’ve
always said my characters have no
ascended gender or race; I want
them to be universal but still unique
and inclusive. I couldn’t imagine
making characters this fun and
cheeky and them not being diverse.”
For Edler, striking a balance is
essential. “I had to represent 16
different demographics for the
Guardian’s budget coverage last year,
so there might have been a tendency
to take inspiration from stereotypes,
but at the same time we have to be
responsible – you don’t want to be
reductive.” Working almost
exclusively in editorial illustration
for leading publications, Edler
admits that it can still be tricky
sometimes. “When I started, I nearly
always sketched white men in my
concepts, and I would be asked to
Nike, Apple, Tate Modern and The
New York Times. “Visually we’re
both drawn to bold shapes and
colours composed in a high impact
and simplified way,” he explains,
“and those ideas are translated into
our work without us really thinking
about it – it’s instinctive.”
Adopting the same approach for
their portraits, whether they are
drawing a public figure or celebrity,
Craig & Karl reveals it’s all about
singling out a feature that is
distinctive to that person. “In the
case of Trump it’s pretty easy, that
orange wig/face and glum look;
when we’re drawing friends it might
be a beard or a particular piece of
jewellery that identifies them.
Whatever it is, that’s the element to
“It’s all about the doing and making, trial and
error, love and loathe, back and forth process
that we go through”
KARL MAIER OF CRAIG & KARL
an overbearing posh older lady,
a haughty, Vogue-esque woman
smoking, grubby little kids, a French
man suffering with ennui, a thug, a
sneering waiter character, someone
vaguely pleasant and someone who
is blissfully unaware of their
surroundings. These are just
characters that make me laugh
and that fit well together in a scene.”
EXPERIMENT WITH
NEW APPROACHES
Reducing the characters into simple
forms and exaggerating the features
gives you more scope to be able to
adapt the character into any
situation, whether it’s 2D or in the
real world through sculpture or
products, observes Redman.
Together with his creative partner
Maier, Craig & Karl has worked on
projects for clients including Google,
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 48 -
highlight and exaggerate, this allows
the viewer to get a quick read and
identify who the subject is.”
Taking the time simply to
experiment and try things out
generally across the board is also an
essential part of the way the duo
work, across different types of
projects.
“There’s a sort of flow of ideas
where one thing feeds into another
all of the time,” reveals Maier. “What
we develop as part of one project
may spark a thought for a character
or vice versa. I guess it acts as a little
reset when we come back to
character design, which hopefully
keeps our approach fresh.”
NEXT
MONTH
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Develop your skill set and get
paid in the process – a panel
of creatives share their tips.
CREATE VIBR A NT C HA R A C T E R S
JUNE 2018
5
01
TIME OUT COVER
BY LEON EDLER
02
01 Spot illustration for
Wired UK created by
A conceptual illustrator, award-winning
cartoonist and comic artist based in Brighton,
Leon Edler regularly contributes to The New York
Times, Guardian and other international papers
as well as publishing and advertising. “I’m
mindful at sketch stage to mix up the characters
and represent a bigger range of people. I’ve
always loved comedy and have observed and
studied people that I find funny, so they’re all
just in my head when I need them.”
Commissioned by Time Out New York to
illustrate a cover for a lead feature on New
Yorkers, he was tasked with depicting a diverse
mix of characters. His illustrated cover for Time
Out won a Merit award in The Society of
Publication Designers awards last year. “I like to
make sure that a group of characters interact to
create some sort of narrative or conflict – I often
focus on characters that make me laugh and fit
together in a scene.”
www.leillo.com
www.wearegoodness.com
Leon Edler.
02 Time Out New York
Cover by Edler.
03 Edler working in his
Brighton Studio,
photographed by
Vicky Woodgate.
04 Swiss Referendum,
Republic by Edler.
03
04
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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GR A D S H OW L I S T I NG S
20
18
M AY
UniversityofReadingArt
EducationDegreeShow
wwwreadingacuk
InstituteofEducationLG
LondonRoadCampusUniversity
ofReadingRedlandsRoadRG
EX
May-June
LeedsArtsUniversity
FoundationDiplomainArt&
Design
wwwleeds-artacuk/show
VernonStLeedsLS
PH
-
May
Thisopenshowwilltransform
theuniversity’sbuildingsintoa
large-scaleexhibitionspacegiving
youtheopportunitytoviewall
thelatestworkfromtheircreative
talentedstudents
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Havewemissedoutyour
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hello@computerartscouk
withthedetailsandwe’ll
addittoouronlinelistingson
CreativeBloq
WIN A £700 COMMISSION!
GET YOUR DESIGN
ON THE COVER
THE FOUR PREVIOUS WINNERS
Left to right: Falmouth graduate Paddy O’Hara
created a bold lemon-scented cover for issue 230;
Glasgow Clyde College student Julia Frances made
use of transparent glitter foil on issue 243;
University of Leeds graduate Krystina Chapman
used diffuser foil and blue pearlescent varnish
on her issue 256 cover, and last year Camelia Pham
used reflective Mirri board for issue 269.
SPECIAL TREATMENTS BY
Our annual cover competition, in association with D&AD’s New Blood, is now open, with
the winner bagging a £700 commission to design a Computer Arts cover.
To coincide with the forthcoming New Blood competition and our New Talent issue –
which looks at the very best creative graduates across the UK – we’re inviting students and
recent graduates to come up with a design that will stand alone and work well with our
cover lines to get the issue flying off the newsstand.
The brief is to riff off the theme ‘new talent’ in whatever way you want: be literal or
abstract, funny or clever. Just get a good idea and communicate it brilliantly!
To get started, go to the site below and download the cover template. And take note of
the list of amazing print treatments that our friends over at Celloglas offer. If one fits with
your proposed design, it could be used on the final cover. Once we’ve chosen the winner,
they will receive a £700 commission to develop their entry into the final cover. Go for it!
Be quick! The entry deadline is midnight on 24 June 2018: www.bit.ly/ca-cover-comp
COMPUTERARTSCREATIVEBLOQCOM
--
CON V E R S AT I ON
I N CONV
JUNE 2018
FIRE AND
FURY
How illustrator Edel Rodriguez took
aim at Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric
and went viral in the process
Award-winning illustrator, artist and creative activist Edel Rodriguez came
to the US from Cuba as a political refugee aged nine. He landed a job at TIME
magazine soon after college, and at 26 became the youngest art director to
work on TIME’s Canadian and Latin American editions, before going
freelance in 2008. His clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker
and many book publishers, and he won the American Society of Magazine
Editors’ Cover of the Year award for his TIME Trump Meltdown cover. See
more at www.illoz.com/edel.
WORDS: Julia Sagar PHOTOGRAPH: Deborah Feingold
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 56 -
JUNE 2018
E DE L R ODR I G UE Z
I N C ON V E R S AT I ON
Above: Edel
Rodriguez’s
alternative Fire
and Fury cover;
the artist’s fiery
Trump imagery
has appeared on
covers around the
world, including
Brazil’s Epoca.
Right: After
creating TIME’s
Meltdown cover,
Rodriguez
updated the
image for a new
issue of the
magazine, Total
Meltdown, which
depicted Trump’s
face as a puddle.
JUNE 2018
I
s Edel Rodriguez Donald
Trump’s most hated artist?
That was a question asked
by Hollywood Reporter back
in February 2017 – and the
answer is most likely yes. The Cuban-born illustrator
has unleashed a devastating
visual commentary on US
politics since Trump was
elected president. He’s imagined
Trump melting, as a baby
surrounded by nuclear warheads
and burning American flags. But it’s
his provocative covers for German
magazine Der Spiegel – Trump
dressed in a KKK hood; Trump
decapitating the Statue of Liberty –
that have ignited public outrage. Rodriguez arrived in the US as a
political refugee at the age of nine.
He didn’t speak English, so drawing
became a universal language and
over two decades later his ability to
transcend language and background
through bold, simple graphics
remains a hallmark of his work. At Cape Town conference Design
Indaba, where we caught up with
Rodriguez, he was described by
Pentagram partner Michael Bierut
as “an artist who reacts in real
time to events we see on the news
and translates them into indelible
moments of social commentary”.
Here, we find out how a small
and personal campaign of online
graphics spread to the covers of
magazines before ending up at
protests around the world – and how
Rodriguez became part of the story. You’re the most prominent
illustrator of the Trump era.
What is it about your work that
has caught the world’s attention?
I don’t think the world had ever seen
a president quite like Trump, so they
didn’t know what to do, what to
say, how to confront it. There was a
lot of shock about what was going
on. When people are in shock, they
sometimes freeze, trying to figure
out how to react. Trump’s actions
were a barrage, a constant, daily
attack on everything democracies
were accustomed to. When my visuals started to
appear, confronting this man,
I think there was a release of
emotion and outrage. It gave people
something to hold up, to throw back
at the cause of their angst. People
had had enough, and these images
gave them the weapons they needed
to fight back. The fact that major magazines
like TIME and Der Spiegel were
publishing the images raised it to
another level. Some people were
probably wondering if they were
alone, but the magazines confirmed
their outrage was rightly placed.
What drives you to create such
politically charged images? What is
it that you hope to achieve through
your work?
C O M PUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 58 -
I have very immediate, guttural
reactions to abusive behaviour. If
I’m walking down the street and see
someone being taken advantage of,
I’ll most likely do something about
it. I’ve chased down purse snatchers,
thieves, things like that. My father
is the same way. I spent a lot of my
youth on a tow truck with him, and
he taught me a lot about right and
wrong. He would talk back to shady
characters, drug dealers, etc, if
he didn’t like what was going on. I’ve witnessed a lot of wrong
things in the United States over
the last two years: the mocking
of a veteran, John McCain, and of
a handicapped journalist, insults
aimed at the parents of a dead
soldier, disgusting language about
women, and I’m just reacting to it in
the same way. My main goals are to inform
people who might not follow the
news as keenly as others, encourage
those who want to fight against
what’s going on, and to stop
this president’s behaviour from
becoming normalised.
In your view, which of your
illustrations has been the most
powerful or provocative? The America First cover for Der
Spiegel, which shows Trump
beheading the Statue of Liberty.
When the Muslim ban was
announced I was outraged. Banning
people from entering the country
E DE L R ODR I G UE Z
JUNE 2018
based on their religion, while
they were travelling – as the planes
were in the air – is the behaviour of
a dictator, of a tyrant. It’s not what
America should ever do, especially
with the country’s long history of
welcoming people who have been
persecuted because of their religion. I had a prior image that I’d done
of a terrorist with a knife, beheading
himself, a comment on ISIS’s level of
violence. As a reaction to the Muslim
ban, I took the existing terrorist
image and pasted Trump’s head on
it, along with the beheaded statue on
one hand, and the preexisting knife
on the other. I was comparing him
to an extremist, who had killed the
American Dream. I posted it online and it received
a lot of attention. A few days later,
Der Spiegel called to give me a cover
assignment on the Muslim ban. I did
a number of sketches but none were
quite there. They saw the beheading
image I’d posted and said they
wanted to run it on their cover. I
made some minor revisions and they
went ahead and published it. Before the magazine was on
the newsstands, people began
downloading it from their Twitter
feed and printing giant posters of the
image. It appeared at airport protests
that night and the next morning,
and led to a lot of newspaper articles
and television coverage. The biggest challenge was dealing
with film crews, radio stations and
journalist requests, all of that. Plus
dealing with all the angry messages
and hatred from people that
disagreed with the cover.
Freedom of speech doesn’t exist
everywhere. With horrific events
like the Charlie Hebdo attack in
recent memory, what would you say
is the biggest risk you face in your
daily work?
I don’t discuss risks or threats.
Understood. How much of your
work is driven by a desire to show
that the US is still a place where
people can speak their minds?
Most of my political work about the
country is driven by this motivation.
I believe in the ideals of this country,
and I’m thankful for all the freedoms
here. I want the world to see what
is possible here: the idea that one
person can directly confront the
president, can comment freely
on what’s happening, and isn’t
imprisoned for it. This isn’t possible
in many countries around the world.
At a craft level, how do you make
images that all people – no matter
their education, background or
language – can quickly understand
and relate to? I don’t have a specific process; it
varies according to the topic and
the assignment. Sometimes the
idea arrives out of thin air, fully
formed; other times I end up doing
numerous pencil sketches until I
find the right direction. I do want my images to
communicate to everyone,
regardless of their visual education
level. Sometimes I feel that designers
are making things to be seen or
appreciated by other designers.
The visual language becomes very
abstract, or multi-layered, and the
point – or the communication – is
often lost. For me, communication is
key, communicating to everyone
directly. The art is in the service of
the idea. This is why the images are
so graphically simple, why some
elements repeat from one image
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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Left: Following the
Charlottesville
tragedy, Rodriguez
depicted Donald
Trump wearing a
KKK hood for Der
Spiegel magazine.
Above: Rodriguez’
Newsweek cover
on sexism in
Silicon Valley had
people tweeting in
shock; while Hate
In America, for
TIME, captures
the aftermath of
the Charlottesville
tragedy.
I N C ON V E R S AT I ON
to another. I’ve now created
a familiarity within the visual
language, and want to get to the idea
as directly as possible.
Tell us about your alternative cover
for Fire and Fury… When the book came out, the cover
visuals were very flat. I started
getting messages from people saying
I should have been asked to do it,
or wondering what I would have
done with the cover. I don’t like to
have questions hanging out there – I
wondered what I would have done
with it myself. So I made a book cover design
from an idea I had after the neo-Nazi
torch march in Charlottesville. The
original sketch had a large Trump
fire coming from the tiki torches,
which I removed and replaced with
a landscape of Washington DC. I
posted it on my Twitter account,
expecting a small reaction. Instead it’s the most shared image
I’ve made – more than the magazine
covers. Many people downloaded the
JUNE 2018
image and pasted it on their books
because [they] didn’t want to look at
the existing one.
Fire is a recurring theme in your
Trump illustrations. What does it
symbolise for you?
He’s like a wildfire: unpredictable,
jumping from one place to another,
dangerous to the country. I’ve used
fire in a lot of my work going back
many years. I grew up in Miami
around race cars, pin striped flames,
paint and body shops, and so on.
My family was in the used car and
junkyard business, and I loved hot
rod races. I think that has something
to do with the visual.
How does working in such a
politically and socially charged
environment affect your mental
health or outlook? Do the negative
comments bother you?
I have a fairly even keeled and
content personality. Not much
affects me or brings me down. I have
an ability to stay calm throughout
all of this; it’s my nature, I guess. I
also value free speech greatly and
respect another person’s right to
have an opinion, even when it’s full
of vulgarities or insults. I’ve never been involved in an
ongoing project where I felt [like] I
was on the right side of history more
than I do now. I have no doubt about
it. This is about what is right and
just. When you have justice on your
side, nothing affects you. You just
move forward.
What advice would you give to
someone who wants to get into
creative activism and has real
passion to encourage change, but
doesn’t know where to start? If you feel a calling to speak up about
topics that move you, then just go
for it. Don’t ask for permission;
don’t wait. Put it out there and see
what happens. Have empathy for
others and speak for those who can’t.
Make work at the service of others.
You may be surprised at how many
people will connect with it.
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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Above: An
illustration for a
New York Times
article on gun
control and gun
violence in the US
titled Do We Have
the Courage to
Stop This?
01/06/18
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Enter the Brand Impact Awards 2018:
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For a full list of categories, entry instructions and previous winners visit:
www.brandimpactawards.com
I N DU S T R Y I S S UE S
JUNE 2018
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C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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H
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U
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O
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G R A D SHOW S
JUNE 2018
A D& AD trustee and
a graduate give their
perspectives on how
to present your degree
show in the best way,
win plaudits and wow
all potential employers
raduate show time is upon us
again. And if you’re among those
frantically preparing to showcase
your work to the public, the pressure will
be well and truly on.
Leading design agencies and noted
design leaders are known to peruse the
summer shows to keep an eye out for new
talent – and this is possibly your best
opportunity to impress them. So how
do you make the most of it, and make your
work stand out?
To get some answers, we asked two
D&AD experts to share their honest and
unfiltered views. First up, New Blood
trustee Tom Manning addresses the issue
from the point of view of someone who
himself graduated (relatively) recently.
Then we hear from someone more senior
– L A Ronayne, D&AD trustee and creative
director at Stink Studios – who regularly
visits grad shows with thoughts of
recruitment in mind.
Both, in their different ways, offer a
fascinating insight into how the people
who matter will view your show, and
reveal must-read advice on exactly how
to please them.
G
I N D US T R Y I S S U E S
01
02
“ I ’m gl a d
I gave my
graduate show
some love and
attention”
01
Brighton’s graphics and
illustration show, Twofold,
used London’s Bargehouse
to give each piece the
space it deserved.
02
The website for Kingston
03
Graphics’ show, Made You
Look, designed by Olly
Bromham. Olly’s offer to
build the site also gave him
a portfolio piece; www.
madeyoulook.show.
Tom Manning develops
campaigns as a creative at Havas
London agency. He also helps
newcomers enter the industry as
New Blood trustee for D&AD.
03
Graduate’s business
cards – another chance to
showcase your creativity.
MPUTERA
RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
COM
PUTERARTS.CREATI
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G R A D SHOW S
JUNE 2018
he private view of my graduate
show marked a significant moment.
In the space of one evening, I
broke out of the cocoon of arts education,
emerging as a fully-developed professional
designer. Well, that’s how I feel looking back
on it now. But the significance of a graduate
show can easily be overlooked when
juggling multiple projects, preparing to
submit a portfolio, pulling all-nighters, and
fending off an existential crisis about life after
uni. These were all serious concerns as I
wrapped up my degree, but in hindsight
I’m glad I gave my graduate show some love
and attention. It wasn’t just a symbolic
milestone. It jump-started my career and it
can do the same for you too. Here’s how.
T
SELECT YOUR BEST
PIECE OF WORK
This sounds like a no-brainer, right? But
when I say best, I mean best to help you
stand out on the night. Often you only get
to enter one piece, so you’re asking a lot of it.
It has to represent you: showcasing your
character as a designer, as well as laying out
your intentions for the type of work you want
to make. After all, submitting a piece of
conceptual photography when you want
to do UX design is likely to leave people
scratching their heads.
Also think about how easy it is to ‘get’. If
the work feels like an esoteric in-joke, then I’ll
just assume it’s not for me and keep moving.
But if a piece makes an immediate visual
impact or subverts something familiar, I’m
forced to lean in and take a second look. As
a result, I’m much more likely to understand
the underlying concept and jot down the
designer’s name.
PRESENT WITH PRIDE
Remember at school when teachers would
tell you to tuck your shirt in and make your
tie another three inches longer? Well, you
need to give your graduate show piece the
once-over of a strict headmistress. Make sure
your images aren’t pixelated. Your show
might be the first time you’ve chosen to print
at A1 instead of A3 – so make sure the image
can stand up to what you’re asking of it.
Once it’s printed, mount it well. There’s
always someone on your course with magic
hands when it comes to applying
SprayMount without bubbles or creases.
Bribe them with a drink and get them to do it
for you. Look after it as you bring it to the
gallery space, and mind the corners! Get
someone to proofread your caption – you’re
a communicator, that means verbal and
visual. So check for typos, and try to write
like you talk, as if you’re explaining this idea
to a friend in the pub.
VOLUNTEER TO SET
UP THE SHOW
Ofering yourself up for extra work may
seem like madness in your final term, but
having a say in how the show is branded,
promoted and laid out, helps you get a sense
of the event before it happens. Not to
mention you’ll get your pick of the spot to
display your work. Somewhat less selfishly,
this is also your chance to sacrifice for the
greater good of your coursemates.
When it came to organising his show,
designer Olly Bromham knew he wanted
to be a part of the show from the beginning.
“I’ve always been a fan of graduate show
websites as they usually reveal something
about that year and the way they work.
Organising and branding a show was a
bigger project than any of us had worked
on before and I learnt a huge amount from
being part of a larger team.” Better to be
remembered as that team player who always
had a spirit level and tape measure to hand.
After all, you never know who you might end
up working with one day.
SEND OUT SOME INVITATIONS
An empty graduate show is the worst. A
graduate show full of proud (or confused)
parents is better, but still not ideal. Your show
is the perfect reason to reach out and make
yourself known to industry professionals that
you admire. Physical invites could be a good
way to go. It’s rare to get a beautiful piece of
physical mail these days, and odds are it’ll do
a better job of getting them to attend. But
maybe for a more personal touch, why not
slip a short handwritten note into the
envelope too?
Once you’ve sent the invitations,
remember to look out for your guests on the
night. Just imagine being invited to a party
and then getting blanked by the person that
invited you – crushing, right? So introduce
yourself, thank them for coming, help them
find their way to the bar, and then let them
know where you are so that they can swing
by your work.
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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TRADING PLACES
On the night it can be tricky to know where
to stand. Do you stay near your work? Do
you roam around? Do you talk to everyone
or no one? I recommend thinking of yourself
a bit like a shop assistant; you want to be
helpful, friendly, but not overbearing. Don’t
put people under pressure to buy. A simple
trick to try is swapping places with a friend
that has a piece of work nearby. If someone
likes your piece your friend can point them in
your direction and vice versa. This can help
you feel less ‘in the spotlight’, making
conversations more relaxed and informal.
FOLLOW UP
Business cards; they’re as essential as they are
old fashioned. Don’t be afraid to hand them
out if you have a good chat with someone.
Also, ask if they have a card. There’s nothing
worse than enjoying a beautiful encounter,
then spending the next day by the phone,
waiting for them to call.
When the show’s over, always follow up
with an email. Nothing complicated. Just, “it
was great chatting to you last night, I hope
you enjoyed the show, here’s a link to my
online portfolio, I’d love to get your thoughts
if you get a moment”. Casual and simple.
And on that note, make sure you have a
fully-updated website or PDF portfolio ready
to send to them.
CELEBRATE (AFTER THE SHOW)
You’ve secured an alcohol sponsor for the
show, hooray! There’s a free bar on the night,
hooray! It’s 7:30pm and you’re already drunk
on artisan gin – shit!
Like I said, the graduate show marks a
significant moment. It’s a time to celebrate
your achievements, drink the last of your
student loan, and plot how you and your
classmates are going to take over the world,
or at least the design industry. But please get
drunk after the show’s over. I’ve attended
private views with students falling over,
chasing each other, and only just stopping
short of sliding around on their knees like it’s
a school disco. Trust me, it’s not a good look.
The morning after the private view,
through the fog of your hangover, feel free to
congratulate yourself. You’ve done it. You’re a
graduate, a currently-out-of-work
professional, and if you did your very best to
shine on the night, I doubt you’ll be out of
work for long.
I N D US T R Y I S S U E S
JUNE 2018
01
“ Yo u r w o r k
needs to play
to the people in
the cheap seats”
01
L A’s love letter to cursing,
as featured in issue 7 of
Reposte magazine.
02
02
Lady takes a photo, D&AD
New Blood Festival 2017.
03
The Ad Job Wall by Young
Creative Council bringing
interactive connection
at D&AD New Blood
Festival 2017.
L A Ronayne is creative director at
Stink Studios London, contributing
editor of Riposte, trustee of D&AD
and president of the 2018 D&AD
New Blood Burger King jury.
03
G R A D SHOW S
JUNE 2018
old onto your five panels, it’s hirin’
season! For the discerning creative
director, this means the everyday
mania of life plus the following: meetings
about internship programmes and hiring
budgets, spreadsheets with names in YES,
NO and MAYBE columns, the first icey-cider
clinking intros outside pubs, that weird
heatwave day that comes but once a year
and – somewhere amongst it all – your
graduate show. So how are you going to
stand out?
If I was beside you right now, this is the
advice I would be whisper-shouting in your
ear like a slightly judgemental, but well
dressed aunt.
H
STOP RIGHT THERE – DO YOU
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT?
Consider, if you will, the bigger picture.
What is it that you want? I’m going to go
ahead and assume ‘job’. But where? There
is a mosh pit of agencies and studios and
brands out there and we’re all completely
diferent. Before you touch even one single
VELCRO Brand Heavy Duty Stick On Strip,
research who it is that you want to impress
and why. They are the target audience in
your bid to get hired. Your show is one thing
that could get their attention.
NEPOTISM
Not all senior people go to grad shows and
none of us make it to them all. We might
favour the places we studied (What’s up,
Central Saint Martins?), or the organisations
we are involved in (<3 you, D&AD New
Blood); but largely and lazily we rely on
trade press to let us know who we should be
paying attention to.
GET READY TO SHINE A LIGHT
ON YOUR BEST SELF
You should figure out who’s attending from
the fine likes of Computer Arts, Creative
Review and It’s Nice That and woo them with
your creative peacockery. But also think
about what you’re showing in terms of a
headline in your book. “Just some stuf from
my degree year” won’t have them storming
the arena.
‘THE SPACE’
Now focus on ‘the space’. Calling rooms ‘the
space’ is deeply unsettling and shouldn’t be
encouraged; but for those of you used to
working on computer screens, I’m afraid you
must adopt this line of thinking. What looks
nice on a laptop isn’t necessarily going to be
beautiful and visible from 20 paces in a
packed out ‘space’. Your work needs to play
to the people in the cheap seats.
THE AGE OF INSTAGRAM
BLACK, LEATHERETTE
PORTFOLIO CASES
They make me so sad. If I am backed into
a corner with one I feel like I am going to
relive every not great scamp of a not great
idea I’ve ever seen. Absolutely nowhere does
it dictate that this is how you should show
your work. Find a way to do something
fabulous instead. Please, do it for me.
THE BUSINESS OF
BUSINESS CARDS: PART ONE
Oh we as a species do enjoy sharing pictures
that demonstrate how rich and varied our
lives are, don’t we? Think about what you’re
going to display that will compel people to
take their phones out and select a filter. The
person whose attention you want may not
be there on the night, but if lots of their pals
take pictures they may as well be. Here’s a
handy series of keywords to greatly inspire
your thinking: Big! Eye-catching! Provocative!
Noisy! Opinionated!
Going to grad shows is like going through
a carwash. One emerges on the other side
dizzy and glistening with the possibility of
renewal, but hard pressed to namecheck a
specific bristle. Put something smart and fun
on a card and hand them out. Also, go easy
on the gimmicks. I’m all for treats, but I’m all
good for a haiku whittled into a bit of a tree
that won’t fit in my handbag.
ADVERTISER’S TEARS
If someone gives you your card, think
carefully about the follow-up email you send.
You’ll likely be asking for more of their time,
so try and do so with as much charm as
possible. Personal anecdote: I only take one
or two of mine along to these things and
only hand over to folks who are sound as
well as talented.
Fashion, photography, illustration, design and
film all look wonderful in galleries. If you’re
not a craft-driven creative, pure ad ideas
– no matter how brilliant – are a harder
thing to show of. ‘Big thinking’ is green juice
to this industry, an essential dietary
requirement. You just need to find a way to
make yours look appealing.
SIDESHOW
One of my favourite parts of the D&AD New
Blood Festival is a mini event where industry
types are invited to listen to creatives do a
five-minute presentation. In 2016 I was there
with my friend/mentor/former boss, the then
D&AD president, now CCO of Deloitte
Digital UK, Andy Sandoz. We were still
working together at the time. And we were
hiring. A chap from Leeds called Lyndarn
Harrison got up and told us a tale about
being good at swimming and one about
being bad at making beer. “We should talk
to this guy” Sandoz WhatsApped from the
back of the room. And within the week
Lyndarn signed his first contract. The moral
of this story is, maybe try and put on a
similar event at your show.
C O MPUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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THE BUSINESS OF
BUSINESS CARDS: PART DEUX
THERE IS NO TEAM
IN “I GOT THE JOB”
I’m sure your friends are all very nice and I
know you take pride in your alma mater, but
if the show identity isn’t your own sweat and
blood, go easy on themes and group
activities. Show us what you (singular) have
got. We can’t hire everyone.
ALL EYES ONLINE
Your exhibition is the party side of your
portfolio. It’ll be a brilliant experience, but the
ultimate place to show of how ace you are
is the internet. Plan how you’ll steer people
to your Instagram, Twitter or site. That’s
where you’ll really make ‘em fall for you.
Good luck. I hope to be reading rave
reviews about you soon.
BA CK T O B AS I C S
JUNE 2018
_ D I G I TA L D E S I G N S K I L L S
HOW TO CLIMB THE
GOOGLE R ANKINGS
In the fifth of our series about digital skills, Tom May looks at
how to optimise websites so Google and people will find them
S earch Engine Optimisation (SEO) is both
an art and science. It’s about ensuring
that when people search for a relevant
term online – for example, ‘cheap hotel in
Birmingham’ – your website appears high up
the results page, in a way that grabs attention and
encourages click-throughs.
PA R T 5
In the penultimate
part of our series
on digital design, we
reveal all you need to
know about SEO.
You might think SEO is something you can
hand over to someone ‘technical’ once the website
is designed. But rather than being bolted on after
the event, it’s increasingly baked in to the design
process from the start.
“For brand new websites, SEO is definitely
something clients want to discuss straight away,”
says Mark Stringer, managing director of
Manchester agency AHOY. “And for those
undertaking a refresh, it’s usually the next
question after the UI discussion.”
Exactly what’s requested will vary from client
to client. “Smaller businesses and sole traders tend
to ask about marketing in general, or maybe even
how to get on Google,” says Eji Osigwe, head of
design and development at Cedarwood Digital,
also in Manchester. “Larger businesses seem more
aware of the terminology and the kind of work
involved, and so may ask for very specific work.”
HOW SEO WORKS
There was a time when SEO was a dark art
involving tricks like ‘keyword stuing’, which
meant visitors were often greeted by the mindless
repetition of a phrase like ‘cheap hotel’ through a
site. Thankfully, in 2018, search engines are more
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 70 -
sophisticated, and so nowadays the most
fundamental building block of SEO is, quite
simply, to create a quality website people will love.
“Strong, quality content that keeps visitors
engaged – especially content informed by an
up-to-date keyword strategy – will help you move
higher in search results,” says Eric Johnson,
director of experience design at 50,000feet.
“Think of the winning formula as visitor time
spent + high-quality content + keywords.”
TECHNIQUES FOR BOOSTING SEO
Specific techniques can also boost your SEO
further. One is to structure the information
on your site so it can be displayed as a separate
section within your main listing. “Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) is a good example
of high-quality, useful content that will get
included,” notes Johnson. “The next time you
search on Google, check out the ‘People Also Ask’
module, which displays questions that are similar
to your search; this will help you get an idea of
questions to include in your FAQ.”
Another important thing to consider, especially
when it comes to refreshes and rebrands, is 301
redirects. These little bits of code send both site
visitors and search engines to a different URL
when, for example, a temporary campaign ends
and you want people to visit the main site instead.
Broken links will get you penalised on Google, so
a solid 301 redirect strategy is vital to good SEO.
SEO is not an exact science, though, because
the algorithms used by search engines like
DIG
ITA L DE SI G N SK I LLS
DIGITA
JUNE 2018
CASE STUDY
EVERY WORD COUNTS
ADAM INNES EXPLAINS HOW 50,000FT MADE THE SAPPI ETC. WEBSITE
SUPREMELY SEARCHABLE BY BOTH HUMANS AND ALGORITHMS
“Once you become the industry
leader, the real work begins. For
designers and printers the world
over, Sappi sets the standard for
fine-coated paper. Through
integrated campaigns, creative
strategy, educational materials,
online tools and more (which are
delivered via print and digital
channels, of course), we help
Sappi tell its story.
Sappi etc. (www.sappi.com/
sappietc) is an education, training
and consulting website that gives
people access to more than a
century of its rare historical
documents, detailed case studies
and expert technical advice.
The site offers a wealth of
knowledge, is free and fully
searchable in crystal-clear 600ppi
resolution, and brings everything
online that design and print
industry professionals need in
order to work smarter, faster and
more effectively.
Sappi wanted this site primed
to support both topical browsing
and targeted keyword searching,
and so we did front- and
back-end development to make
that possible, particularly in the
use of optical character
recognition (OCR). This meant
that every word on every page
would be searchable.
From the Sappi website, users
can sort results by list or gallery.
They can shelve complete
selections or individual pages to
read later, or share now via social
media. They can also download
PDFs, watch the latest videos,
browse event calendars and
curate a personal library.
In short, we have created
a website to support different
user needs, speeds, styles and
preferences, which puts Sappi
and search right at the heart of
the experience.”
C O MPUTERA RTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
- 71 -
Sappi Limited, a South
African pulp and paper
company with global
operations, asked
Chicago creative agency
50,000ft to build it an
education, training and
consulting website, on
which every word on
every page needed
to be fully searchable.
BA CK T O B AS I C S
JUNE 2018
RICH SNIPPETS
“Impro Quo is an improvisational
comedy group based in Manchester
that also offers workshops to teach
people their skills. As part of our
work for the group, Cedarwood Digital
worked to improve its website’s SEO.
This mainly involved research into what
people are searching for, considered
copywriting, and good use of headings.
I also think taking advantage of rich
snippets [structured data markup that
helps search engines better understand
what information is on each web page]
helped push up the rankings, while
also giving us a bit more space on the
results page. See schema.org for more
information on rich snippets.”
EJI OSIGWE
HEAD OF DESIGN
A N D D E V E L O P M E N T,
C E D A R W O O D D I G I TA L
F I V E G R E AT R E S O U R C E S
FOR LE ARNING ABOUT SEO
These five blogs do a great job marshalling the latest trends
_T H E G O O G L E S E A R C H B L O G
www.blog.google/products/search
Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s where you can read all the official
announcements from the world’s biggest search engine about how it’s updating its
algorithms, and what that means for your website’s position in the rankings.
_SE ARCH ENGINE JOURNAL
www.searchenginejournal.com
This blog brings you a ton of news and comment on the latest developments in SEO.
The analysis is always incisive and the site also features some great how-to guides.
_SE ARCH ENGINE L AND
www.searchengineland.com
Search Engine Land is an institution in the SEO community, and takes a deep dive into
the latest developments in the field. It’s always well-researched and is never afraid to
get technical where necessary.
_ S E A R C H E N G I N E WAT C H
www.searchenginewatch.com
Running since 1996, Danny Sullivan’s blog offers excellent coverage of the latest SEO
news, and categorises everything in an easily navigable way, including sections for
examples on local SEO, mobile SEO and video SEO.
_MOZ
www.moz.com/blog
Running since 2004, Moz’s blog is a great repository of SEO news, articles and
interviews, from some of the industry’s leading experts. Elsewhere on the site you’ll find
some excellent beginner’s guides and SEO tools.
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Google to rank sites are both secret and
constantly changing. For this reason, optimising
the SEO of a site is not a ‘one and done’ deal,
but something that needs constant attention.
Thankfully, it’s easy to gather data on how your
strategy is working, and tweak accordingly.
“SEO is very easy to measure with analytics
tools such as Google Analytics and a range
of other platform tools,” explains Adam Innes,
technical architect at 50,000feet. “Insights gained
from these tools include key search terms, visitors
by type of device, and duration of visits – all
of which are vital in continuing to optimise the
experience for engagement and performance.”
It’s also important to keep an eye on trends.
For example, Google has made it a priority to
measure the speed at which web pages load, with
slow-loading sites getting demoted in the
rankings. Google also puts huge stock on whether
your site adapts seamlessly to mobile.
Innes, meanwhile, believes other factors will
become important in future. “With a growing
awareness of fake content, there will be more
emphasis on a website’s TrustRank and user
security,” he predicts. “Google has already taken
steps to include a small bump in preference to
sites using HTTPS. Providing not only quality
and engaging content but also truthful and secure
content will become more and more important.”
BEATING GOOGLE
Regardless of the specifics, one thing is clear: SEO
is something all creatives need to be aware of. So
how can designers develop their awareness of it?
DIGITA L DE SI G N SK I LLS
JUNE 2018
B O O ST YO U R S EO
FIVE TIPS FOR IMPROVING SEO ON
YOUR WEBSITE DESIGNS
1 LEARN BY DOING
“All designers need to understand how SEO
works and second-guess how Google and
other search engines, are moving the
goalposts,” says James Huckle, head of
technology at digital agency Mirum UK. “In
the short term, the best way to do this is to
get your own website that you can control,
add some content, social links and analytics,
then do some tests and see what happens.”
2 KEEP EXPERIMENTING
“Don’t be afraid to get out of the sandbox!”
says Evan Fraser of GraphicSprings.com.
“Try on-site optimisation techniques on your
live site, to see how search engines respond.
There are tons of resources online, but you
won’t know what works for you until you try.”
3 USE FREE RESOURCES
“Rand Fishkin and his Whiteboard Fridays
are an absolute must for anybody learning
SEO,” says Fraser. “SearchEngineJournal and
the GSQi Blog are also very informative. And
in general, the MOZ community has been my
go-to for many years.”
4 BUILD BACKLINKS
ROOT AND
B R A N C H U P D AT E
“London-based wealth
management firm Edison
approached us at the creative
marketing agency Fireworx to
help redesign and rebuild its
website, and SEO played a key
role in the project. Competing in
the ultra-competitive financial
services sector in the economic
centre of Europe, it was crucial
for Edison to preserve its current
link equity with a comprehensive
plan for 301 redirects. Following
this process, we also carried out
a site-wide audit, keyword research
and reviewed the site’s information
architecture to ensure it was
targeting the correct audience,
using optimal terminology through
its revised structure and content.”
DANIEL SMITH
CEO, FIREWOR X
Firstly, says Stringer, know your limitations.
“Understand that this is not your forte, and it’s
hard enough for SEO specialists to keep up with
Google’s changing algorithm let alone a graphic
designer.” But at the same time, the more you can
learn about SEO the better.
“Take responsibility and get up to speed so
you have a rough understanding of best practice,”
Stringer urges. “It’s better for your career, your
sanity and the team. I’ve always found that
learning from your peers is the most useful way
to gain new skills, and the digital sector is
probably one of the most community focused
sectors out there, so you’ll never find a shortage
of people willing to help,” he continues.
“If you are lucky enough to work in a team that
has a search specialist in house, or that comes in
to help, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and
don’t let the account manager or project manager
do all the work for you,” says Stringer. “As the
sector grows, there will always be more and more
people you can call upon for a skills swap.”
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Backlinks from other sites to yours will boost
a site’s SEO considerably. “So my tip would
be: Find out where relevant online
conversations are happening, and join them,”
recommends John Atkin, head of PR at
Affinity. “But make sure you stick to the spirit
of the community: don’t go wading in with
blatant commercial plugging. Nudge
conversations, don’t ram them. In time, you’ll
build relationships which will result in links
and mentions,” he continues.
5 FOCUS ON SECURITY
“Search engines will continue to prioritise
security and mobile compliance and will
reward websites that conform to these
standards with improved rankings,” says
Anthony Miroballi, front-end developer at
Chicago-based 50,000feet. “Google is
already giving large bumps to sites that
utilise its AMP platform, and a strippeddown mobile version of your site with
enhanced mobile UX will pay dividends.”
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on upgrading your skills. We also
reveal the 10 hottest indie mags
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Discover the top 25 illustrators
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and get pro portfolio advice from
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Have your best year ever with our
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P R OJ E C T S
JUNE 2018
PROJECTS
Computer Arts goes behind the scenes with world-leading
designers as they reveal their working processes…
76
STUDIO
INSIGHT
THE ETERNAL STUDENTS OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN
Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell give their insights on life as part of Pentagram, and why they still like
to take the long way round on projects
82
FS INDUSTRIE
With its latest offering, Fontsmith set
out to create a utilitarian typeface with
its own unique character that works no
matter your message or medium
88
92
MAKE YOUR OWN RETRO
PAPER SCULPTURES
ANIMATING ETIQUETTE FOR
SOHO HOUSE
Paper modeller Mel Edwards explains
how she achieves absolute precision
when making sculptures out of paper
How design and animation studio
Art&Graft took on the challenge of laying
down the Soho House rules in a fun way
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S TU D I O I N S I G H T
JUNE 2018
STUDIO INSIGHT
THE ETERNAL STUDENTS
OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN
Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell give their insights to
Ruth Hamilton on life as part of Pentagram, and why they still
like to take the long way round on projects
uke Powell and Jody HudsonPowell’s approach to design has
been to come up with a great idea,
then teach themselves the skills
they might need to bring it to life.
This willingness to explore and embrace new
technologies has led to an incredibly diverse
portfolio of work, and often sees the brothers
melding together different processes to reach
their final outcome.
In late 2015, the brothers became partners
at Pentagram, where they’ve been able to apply
their unique approach to bigger projects and
higher-profile clients. We caught up with the duo
after their talk at OFFSET Dublin to find out how
life has changed since joining the world-leading
design consultancy.
L
Since joining Pentagram, you’ve worked on
the identity schemes for a couple of seasons
of London Fashion Week (LFW). Where do you
start with each season?
Luke Powell: When the project came about they
had this need to unify all three of the events
[LFW, LFW Men’s and LFW Festival] because
they were becoming more and more separated
– yet they needed their own individual identities.
Then we have these loose themes that get
us kick-started on an idea. Last season was
‘discovery’ and this season is a bit more about
gender equality.
PENTAGRAM
Pentagram is the world’s biggest independent design consultancy,
and the only major design studio where the owners of the business
are the creators of the work and serve as the primary contact for
every client. Jody and Luke became partners in 2015, and together
run their own creative team in Pentagram’s London studio.
www.pentagram.com
Above: For 10 years Jody and Luke successfully ran their own
studio, Hudson-Powell, taking on everything from branding and
motion graphics to immersive experiences and art pieces.
Jody Hudson-Powell: It has to be fairly loose
because it’s an umbrella of so many people doing
so many different things. It’s about an energy
more than being too topical.
That branding extended across lots of different
touchpoints. Were there any applications that
worked particularly well?
LP: After doing the first one we understood that,
‘Yes you guys have lots of screens, it’s really
worth pushing how motion works within this
identity’. This season it was part of the way we
thought about the whole identity right from the
start. We actually threw ideas out early on that
we really liked because we realised that they
weren’t going to be successful in motion.
What do you think motion brings to an identity
that a static scheme can’t?
LP: You could say it only adds something if it’s
necessary, and if there’s a place for it to live.
When you’re working with something like LFW
and a very large amount of our opportunity is
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P E NTA G R A M
JUNE 2018
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S TU D I O I N S I G H T
JUNE 2018
“Motion can become
part of a palette for
expressing something
about a brand”
with screens, motion can become a behaviour
of that identity. It becomes part of a palette for
expressing something about that brand.
JH: You can infer a lot by the way something
behaves and moves, which allows you to not be
as brash with the other elements you’re showing.
We work quite hard with figuring out what the
pace of the brand is, what’s right for it. Would it
move in a very fast and quick way or is it soft and
fluid? If you start to land those kind of things,
then you can just use a bit of motion and fewer
of the other elements and you’re still making it
feel that it’s come from that brand.
This page: Luke and Jody
have created identity
schemes for two seasons
of London Fashion Week,
with two more to follow.
The aim is to unify the
three events while giving
each their own individual
identity, and reflecting
the umbrella theme for
that season. The number
of screens at the events
means motion plays a key
role in the schemes.
For your Graphcore branding, you built a shape
generator the internal team could use to create
assets. How did you feel about handing over
control of the identity like that?
JH: Graphcore didn’t have any internal design
resource – they’re a bunch of engineers trying
to do something really fucking complicated. So
in that moment it’s necessary to create useful
things they can work with and they can generate
themselves. If you don’t do that they end up not
knowing how to use this expensive thing they’ve
just bought from a design company, and finding
Creative Commons imagery to use in its place.
The shape generator is partly random and
partly weighted. Did you feel a risk in leaving
some of the identity scheme up to chance?
JH: That’s great for us. We love it. We initially
created the tool internally to allow us to work
with the pattern we’d conceived. It’s actually
quite hard for humans to iterate with lots
LUKE POWELL
Partner
Luke studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins before starting
his career at London design studio he Kitchen. During his time at
Hudson-Powell, he also consulted at branding agency Wolff Olins,
helping it develop dynamic identities for brands such as Price
Waterhouse Cooper, the London 2012 Olympics and EE.
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P E NTA G R A M
JUNE 2018
TEACH YOURSELF
NEW SKILLS
Luke and Jody share their tips
for smoothly introducing new
technologies into projects
1. Use research time wisely
While you can’t spend hours of clientbillable time on teaching yourself
something new, there is scope to do some
learning on the job. “There’s always a period
at the start of a project where you are
testing and coming up with ideas,” says
Jody. “In that period of time we will do that
experimenting.” At this point, try to get
some idea of the scale of the new process,
and make the call if it’s something you can
realistically take on yourselves, or if you
need to outsource it.
This page: For machine
learning firm Graphcore,
the pair created a partly
weighted, partly random
pattern generator that the
client could use to create
its own brand assets.
“We’re very aware of trying
to use technology to make
things easier,” says Luke.
“There shouldn’t be
instructions with anything
– you should just be able
to use it.”
2. Get help from experts
If you’re working within an agency where
there are people with the skills you need,
take advantage of that fact. “Because
we have people that are working in so
many different fields, there will always be
somebody that goes ‘I know somebody that
can do that level of type refinement; I know
somebody that knows that area of coding…”
says Jody.
“We’re not scared to realise our limits
and reach out for help and collaborate,”
adds Luke.
3. Don’t worry about knowledge gaps
When you’re picking up a new technology
or tool, don’t try and become an expert from
the start. “We learn enough stuff to allow us
to make that one thing,” says Jody. “We don’t
necessarily learn the entirety of it. You do
it enough times and you learn all the bits inbetween eventually, and you become better
in whatever language or technology.”
JODY HUDSON-POWELL
Partner
Jody studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins before doing an
MSc in Virtual Environment at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture.
He began his career at Nokia, focusing on motion and generative visual
identity development. He also served as a design director at Wolff Olins
from 2010, where he worked on the creation of the brand of EE.
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4. Work out the possibilities
A key aspect – especially if you’re in
charge of other designers – is to be able
to understand how a new tool or techology
might slot into a project. “A lot of our
learning is learning to the level at which we
understand possibilities within a medium,
as opposed to actually being able to do
every single bit of it ourselves,” says Luke.
“It’s understanding it so you understand
what the limitations and the opportunities
are,” adds Jody.
S TU D I O I N S I G H T
JUNE 2018
This page: The pair have a
history of pushing
boundaries in print.
Watch This Space is a
book by Francesca Gavin
that explores the impact
of screens on society.
Luke and Jody used an
innovative print process
that added violet into the
CMYK profile, as well as
adding a 2mm thick
plastic over the cover,
giving the book the feel
of a VHS or iPad.
of randomness, so it was taking a long time
crafting every single piece. There’s a lot of things
that are very considered about it, like shapes
and colour and how small the grid can get and
how big the grid can get, but within that very
prescribed set of parameters there’s a nice
texture that comes from random; there’s a kind
of unconsidered consideredness.
The other thing is when it doesn’t work the
user just doesn’t save it. There’s still a human at
the end of the process who’s gauging whether it
feels right or wrong.
On a number of projects you seem to take a
complex route to quite a simple final outcome.
Do clients ever question your efficiency?
LP: I suppose we pick our clients for those sorts
of things! That’s one of the fantastic things about
Pentagram – as long as we’re turning over what
we need to be profitable, there’s a freedom
to work on whatever project we would like to.
There’s also this creative responsibility to be
doing interesting work.
JH: A lot of the time we kind of take the hit on
that. Sometimes we’re just doing that stuff in
the background and the client doesn’t need to
feel it, but it means we’re working in a way that
feels interesting, and that we’re pushing our
ways of working.
You’re also pushing boundaries in print…
LP: We’ve recently done a really interesting
project on a book called Watch This Space. It
started with our relationship with a printer called
Boss Print, who had this idea floating around
of adding violet to CMYK to get a five-colour
process. The book’s about screen-based art and
obviously RGB has a wider colour gamut than
CMYK does, so this was a really interesting print
process to use.
On top of that the book has this 2mm thick
plastic on the front and the back. The whole
thing feels like a VHS or an iPad, to represent
the materiality of the hardware.
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P E NTA G R A M
JUNE 2018
“At Pentagram we can do
the great idea and stay
really involved with the
client and see it through”
When you’re working with cutting-edge tech,
does it worry you that the speed of progress
might mean your designs date quicker?
JH: We use a lot of technology as a vehicle for
a larger creative thought, which hopefully means
we don’t fall into any of the obvious trends that
can accompany new pieces of technology.
We slightly had that worry with Graphcore,
because we’d been playing with some machine
learning stuff and we could have gone down
that route to create the identity. But the field is
moving so, so fast that anything we could make
with our rudimentary understanding would
feel dated within a nanosecond. So we took a
different position which is: it’s reflective of the
technology but it’s not born from the technology.
Your portfolio is very diverse in terms of
disciplines. Has it always been like that?
JH: It’s funny, when we first started we had
probably three different folios: a design folio,
a digital folio and a motion thing. It was only
through us taking the long road round – where
motion and interactivity could feed into print,
and so on – that we had proof [it] was the right
way of doing work. Over time we’ve blended all of
these things together.
What do people come to you for as a studio?
JH: Sometimes we still have to put on our
design hat or our digital hat, but for the most
part we quite quickly try and move into a more
comfortable position where we can use all
our skills, and we’re just having a creative
conversation and trying to solve something.
LP: We very much think the only responsible
way to be as a design practice is to be able to
think about all the possible mediums. Without
considering all the places something might exist,
you’re cutting off options for what might be the
best solution. So many students are coming out
of college with these great, mixed portfolios,
which is fantastic because it feels like that didn’t
really exist when we were leaving college.
JH: For us it’s really important – it’s the way that
we feel comfortable working, across all of these
different mediums. [At Pentagram] we’re working
with bigger clients and it allows us to reach the
edges of what that business does. We don’t
need to hand it over to a third party or find other
agencies, we can do the great idea and stay
really involved with the client and see it through
to all those points at which it’s actually going
to meet somebody.
LP: We might just be control freaks actually.
JH: I never thought about it like that.
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This page: The Garden
Museum is dedicated to
gardening and the culture
surrounding it. The pair
created a visual identity
that felt organic. “We don’t
always distinguish
between moving or still
things,” comments Jody.
“We think even the still
stuff should reflect
the behaviours that
happen through time.”
P R O J E C T DI AR Y
JUNE 2018
PROJECT DIARY
CLEAR AND ADAPTABLE:
FS INDUSTRIE
With its latest offering, Fontsmith set out to create a
utilitarian typeface with its own unique character that
works no matter your message or medium
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F ONT SM I T H
JUNE 2018
PHIL GARNHAM
Type design director, Fontsmith
Phil has over 15 years of
experience in the design, build
and engineering of fonts for global
brands, working in collaboration
with leading design studios, ad
agencies and clients worldwide.
He creates original type designs,
oversees the studio design team,
and also helps to manage
THE CONCEPT
Phil Garnham
Today’s brands want to speak in a very succinct
and direct way across a huge range of media,
and one of their tools in doing so is the
typography they use. We wanted to create
a typeface reflecting a no-nonsense attitude
and clarity, that was also capable of adapting
to the vast range of platforms brands now use
to communicate. With FS Industrie, we set out
to create a typeface with an eye on the future
that reflects emerging technologies.
One of the key challenges we set ourselves
was coming up with a type design that could
adapt to a broad range of widths and weights
without compromising its tone of voice. It had
to be clear in all its guises, whether it was
being used for interface menus or variable data
advertising, and it needed to reflect the ‘now’
in every sense. What we set out to create was
not just a typeface, but a type system with five
widths and seven weights. With italics, that
makes for 70 variants for each character.
With that sense of directness in mind, our
immediate inspiration came from the rationalist
fonts of the 1930s, mainly originating from
Germany, some of which are not available in
digital form. These include Reform-Grotesk,
Industria, Aurora and DIN 1451. We filled
our heads with the idea of utility and the
unapologetic approach to decision-making
conveyed by these fonts. We wanted to make
PROJECT FACTFILE
BRIEF: here has been a lot of talk about adaptive typography
for the last couple of years, where designers are able to vary
a font’s weight and width axis for true flexibility. Fontsmith
set out to create a typeface inspired by classic German fonts
of the 1930s that offered true flexibility while sacrificing
none of its character when used at different weight, widths
and type sizes.
FOUNDRY: Fontsmith, www.fontsmith.com
PROJECT DURATION: 16 months
LIVE DATE: March 2018
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
JUNE 2018
FERNANDO MELLO
Senior type designer, Fontsmith
Fernando joined Fontsmith in 2008, after completing
his MA in Typeface Design from the University
of Reading. His background in architecture,
typography, graphic design and illustration
influences his search for creating original
yet functional and well-constructed typefaces.
BRENT COUCHMAN
Founder and creative director, Moniker
Brent is a designer and illustrator working at
Moniker, a branding and strategy agency based
in San Francisco. His work has been recognised
by the Art Directors Club, the Eisner Museum of
Advertising Design and ADC Young Guns 9.
www.monikersf.com
an uncompromising typeface, one that was
honest and sincere in any design system.
01 FS Industrie is a
utilitarian sans-serif
typeface in the
modernist tradition
of 1930s German
typography, but gains its
character from the hand
drawn forms of the
lettering at each weight.
THE DESIGN
Fernando Mello
Our process usually starts by putting together
moodboards with visuals and aesthetic
references of what we consider relevant and in
tune with the brief or spirit of the project. After
that, we start sketching ideas, either on paper
or digitally using vector-drawing software. This
is where our creativity comes into play. With FS
Industrie we sketched digitally with the goal of
creating a clean, direct and versatile family.
We started with the condensed width, and
then extended our sketches to cover the wider
versions that the typeface would need. Instead
of using software interpolation to stretch each
character, we crafted each letter in each width
individually. We decided to give the narrower
variants quite closed shapes, with the terminals
tight to the body of each character, then to
gradually open the terminals and overall
forms out as the widths extend. This certainly
increased the complexity of the job, but it was
something that we knew was crucial to the
success of FS Industrie.
Starting with the inspiration we took from
1930s utilitarian typefaces, it was also important
to add some contemporary ingredients to
the system and to give FS Industrie its own
character. Adding details such as the flick on
the lowercase L, a spurless lowercase U, and
alternative shapes for lowercase A and G
02 From Thin
Condensed through to
Black Extended,
character forms
throughout the FS
Industrie typeface
change with their weight
for a truly adaptive font.
01
02
CASE STUDY
SELLING
A FONT
Brent Couchman of
Moniker talks about
the 3D-inspired
letterpress print
he designed to help
promote FS Industrie
The idea for this execution came from the
Mies van der Rohe quote, “Build, don’t talk.”
It seemed appropriate to illustrate the idea
with physical objects, hence the threedimensional effect. The halftone shadow was a
recommendation from the printer who thought
it would be the best way to achieve the effect.
It’s not a traditional letterpress print in that
there’s no assembled type. The printer handled
the manufacture of the block, in conjunction
with Believe In, who commissioned us. It’s
printed on Colorplan Tabriz Blue.
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F ONT SM I T H
JUNE 2018
01
03
02
04
FROM DRAWING
BOARD TO RENDER
Senior type designer Fernando Mello explains the
main steps that led to FS Industrie…
01 Here you can see concepts for the lowercase A in
Narrow and Extended extremes, in Thin and Black styles.
Take note of the changes in the bowl shapes as in the
terminal at the top.
02 We tested outline compatibility using the software
Glyphs, then hand crafted each letterform across all
styles, with consistency in node and handle structure.
This method of drawing enables you to be flexible when
planning a large family.
03 This shows consistent node and handling construction
of the lowercase A in the final versions, in Condensed Thin
and Black styles.
04 Using Superpolator we built up a font ‘design space’
using the Extreme and Intermediate font weights. This
enabled us to plan, test and dial-in on our proposed final
font family styles.
05 The Medium weight uppercase S across all available
widths, showing the transition on the design of the
terminals, from closed in Condensed to open in Extended.
06 A printed test sheet showing the design notes we made
during the creation of the Narrow Black style.
05
06
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
JUNE 2018
CÉCILE NANJOUD AND ROGER GAILLARD
Founders, Cécile + Roger
Based in Geneva, Cécile + Roger is a graphic design and art
direction studio whose work is driven by poetry, experimentation
and humour. hey collaborate closely with a range of clients
creating identities, promotional material and typography.
www.cecile-roger.com
03-04 Fontsmith
has printed 1000
individual type
specimen
booklets for FS
Industrie, the
pages of which
demonstrate the
flexibility of the
typeface.
05-07 The cover of
each type
specimen has
been laser cut
with a unique
punchcard
pattern, with a
brightly coloured
limited edition
letterpress print
of artwork using
the typeface
inserted behind it.
03
05
04
help make the design more ownable. But we
didn’t go too far, it doesn’t need to shout about
itself. Perhaps the best expression of how the
typeface grows through the weights is seen with
the letter S, as it transitions from a very tight
form in Condensed into something a lot more
open in Extended.
We used the Glyphs software to build our
font, which is common throughout the industry.
We also used Superpolator to experiment with
interpolating and extrapolating the weights and
widths. This wasn’t used to draw the characters,
but it certainly helped us plan and test our
proposed structure.
THE VERDICT
Phil Garnham
At Fontsmith we’re big fans of print, collecting
designed objects and studio collaboration. To
spread the word about FS Industrie we decided
to do something special that combined all
three. Working with the brand design studio
Believe In, we’re sending out 1,000 personalised
type specimens – completely unique editions
created using the typeface that demonstrate its
flexibility. Each of these will also come with one
of 10 limited edition letterpress prints, which
Believe In commissioned via 10 different graphic
design studios around the world.
“We underestimated how
much work it would be
to create such a bespoke
data print specimen”
I was a little apprehensive when we briefed
this part of the project, but each letterpress print
has been approached with an individual mindset,
with constrained and rational typesetting sitting
alongside emphatic and emotive designs. We’re
really pleased with the results.
With every project you learn something new
and with FS Industrie there are certain technical
aspects about the production I would rethink
to make the process smoother. I think we
underestimated how much work it would be to
create such a bespoke data print specimen. The
family itself is a behemoth, but it was created by
a relatively small team.
In terms of the outcome, there is a real sense
of accomplishment among everyone in the
studio. I’m sure that feeling will be magnified
when we spy it out in the wild. [When] creating
fonts, you become so close to them that they
become your extended family. I’m confident FS
Industrie will make us proud.
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06
07
F ONT SM I T H
JUNE 2018
08-09 Each
letterpress print
was designated
its own brightly
coloured paper, to
heighten the
impact of the
laser cut type
sample covers.
10-13 Limited
edition letterpress
artwork to
support the FS
Industrie launch
was created
by studios, who
were art directed
by Believe-In.
In order, these
images are
by Quadradio,
Futurebrand, Toko
and Fraser
Muggeridge.
08
10
11
12
13
CASE STUDY
FORWARD/REWIND
The inspiration behind the letterpress print created by
Swiss studio Cécile + Roger
Our piece is called Forward/
Rewind. Graphic designers
need to keep an eye on the
past and the future. This mix
is symbolised by traditional
letterpress and digital work.
The two words are placed like
arrows pointing at the future
and the past.
First we laid the two
words out to have a balanced
composition, using a gradient
for the word Forward. The
gradient was transformed into
pixels in Photoshop. To ensure
the best quality letterpress
print we created a pixel grid
in Illustrator, reproducing our
Photoshop image in vector
squares. Everything was merged
into one. We used debossing in
the printing for the word Rewind
to symbolise the past.
09
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W O RK S H OP
JUNE 2018
WORKSHOP
MAKE A RETRO
PAPER SCULPTURE
Paper modeller Mel Edwards explains
how she achieves absolute precision when
making sculptures out of paper
NEXT MONTH
NANCY
LIANG
Create an atmopheric
mood in a motion
illustration
C O M PUTERARTS.CREATI VEBLOQ.COM
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CREATE PA P E R SC ULP T UR E S
JUNE 2018
MEL EDWARDS
Mel Edwards is a recent graduate of the University of Leeds. She
specialises in making paper sculptures, which are used in sets, displays
or stop motion animations and photographed to produce images for
advertisements, magazines and books. In 2015, she won a Wooden Pencil
at the D&AD New Blood Awards.
www.meledwards.co.uk
02
START PLANNING
MY LOVE OF PAPER
01
Mel Edwards
Having only graduated last summer, I’m still
pretty new to the world of freelance illustration.
My style and process, however, are things that
I’ve been developing for quite some time now.
I dabbled with paper during my A-levels and Art
Foundation, but university was where I truly fell
in love with the material.
Initially, I cut everything using a scalpel
and produced a lot of layered, two-dimensional
illustration. This process was extremely timeconsuming and the end result always looked
very handmade. As I progressed, I started
working with a laser cutter – this gave me the
advantages of speed and precision but it burned
the edges of my paper. Now, I cut my papers
using a plotter. The plotter also facilitates
speed and precision but, instead of a laser,
it cuts with a blade, which eliminates the
unwanted burn.
The first stage of every project is planning; in
this stage I make lots of rough sketches and
notes. However, paper (like any material) has
properties that sometimes pose constraints.
These constrains don’t always become apparent
until I begin making my creations; so I keep
my initial designs loose, and leave space for the
paper to make some of the decisions.
Once I have a basic idea of what I want to
create, the visual research begins. I usually
start by looking on Behance, Instagram and
Pinterest. That being said, I don’t like to get all of
my inspiration from other illustrators and paper
artists. Though I am inspired by and admire
their work, ultimately I want to create something
different, so I like to look for other sources of
inspiration too, for example using architecture,
fashion and still-life photography. I collect all
of this research in a file until a style or theme
begins to emerge. I then print off the relevant
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01Precision is the
name of the game
for Mel, and don’t
even get her
started on the
gluing process!
02 It’s all in the
planning, and
when the idea
comes, the visual
research follows.
W O RK S H OP
JUNE 2018
04
03
“People often
assume that
cutting is the
trickiest part,
but for me,
it’s gluing”
images and put them up on the wall in front of
my table, which is where they stay until all of the
models for that project are complete.
05
the net, I can then scale it up or down.
This stage can be relatively quick and easy
or very long and challenging. It depends on the
project, the scale and the level of complexity.
CHOOSE COLOUR THEME
In this stage, I also put together a colour
palette. I love the colours used in Toilet Paper
Magazine and in the work of Jessica Walsh or
Aleksandra Kingo. Their use of bold tones and
unexpected combinations is very striking and
as a result, their work often features heavily on
the inspiration walls for many of my projects.
Once I’ve decided upon a colour palette I then
buy the papers. For personal projects, 210gsm
multipack card usually works fine, but it does
limit my colour options. When I need something
more specific, I order it from Arjowiggins, which
has a great selection, and I can order as little
as one sheet at a time. This is useful for smallscale projects or one-off models.
MAKE A MODEL
With my colour palettes chosen, illustrations
planned and paper selected, I take to Illustrator.
The artwork is made up of paths split between
two layers – one layer has the paths I want to cut
out, and the second has the paths to score/fold.
Since most of my work is three-dimensional,
I begin by designing nets. In my mind, I visualise
how the net will fit together and then artwork
that vision using the paths and layers described.
Once I have the basic design, I cut out and test
it, but the first draft is rarely ever perfect. So
then, I use a process of trial and error until the
net is exactly how I want it to be. For this part of
the process, I use cheap card and work on a very
small scale to limit waste. Once I’m happy with
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WORK OUT THE DETAILS
Now the detailing. I take the faces of the net
and work out which details will go onto them.
Then I cut the details out and stick them to the
unassembled net using all-purpose glue. Finally,
I stick the pieces of the net together to complete
the model.
People assume that cutting is the trickiest
part of the paper process, but for me gluing
requires the real patience. The glue is extremely
runny when it first comes out of the tube so I
have to remain focused to ensure it doesn’t get
on to any exposed sections of the model. Once
it’s dry, the glue leaves an unwanted shiny stain
on the paper so if it does run, I have to discard
and re-cut all of the affected pieces. This is both
time-consuming and wasteful, which explains
why precision is so crucial at this stage.
TURN PHYSICAL TO DIGITAL
A lot of the time, the digital elements of my
process can take just as long as the physical
ones, and if I’m working on an animation, then
sometimes they take even longer.
Photographing the models is the first
step towards turning my models into digital
artwork. Though I am keen to work with more
photographers in the future, at the moment,
I shoot most of the models myself. To do this,
I use soft box lighting, and a camera set up on
a tripod. Then, to complete the process, I edit
the images in Photoshop.
CREATE PA P E R SC ULP T UR E S
JUNE 2018
03-05 Having
chosen her colour
palette, Mel fires
up Illustrator and
plans the paths to
cut out, score and
fold. After a few
test runs, she’s
ready to scale
up – or down –
and then go for a
finished attempt.
06-08 Mel finds
the gluing part
of the process
trickier than the
cutting – far too
runny and prone
to stain! Once the
model is dry and
stain-free, it’s
photographed
and worked on
in Photoshop.
06
07
PERSONAL PAPER PROJECT
PAPER ARTICLES
Mel has been doing the project Paper
Articles for a few years now. She began
by choosing a section of he Guardian
(science), taking one article from every
month of 2016. She then illustrated each
one in paper art. She is now just finishing
her review of 2017, where she has done the
same with the economy section. Below is a
recent example from the project.
08
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
JUNE 2018
PROJECT DIARY
ANIMATING ETIQUETTE
FOR SOHO HOUSE
Art&Graft took on the challenge of laying down
the Soho House rules in a fun and engaging way
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ART&GR AF T FOR SOHO HOUSE
JUNE 2018
01 Art&Graft
developed main
character Tim,
and other extras,
via character
sketches for the
client to approve.
02 A sketch
mocking up
the bar scene
composition,
with setting
and character
positional.
MIKE MOLONEY
Founder and creative director, Art&Graft
Having worked in design and animation since graduating from
Camberwell College of Arts in 1999, Mike began his career at the
legendary Deepend. He then set up his own production studio, and later
founded the motion house Art&Graft in 2010.
01
THE CONCEPT
02
PROJECT FACTFILE
BRIEF: With an increasingly global membership, private members’ club Soho
House wanted a fresh and appealing way of communicating its house rules
to new members, without the need for an on-site induction. he brief was to
create an animated film introducing them to Soho House and its etiquette.
STUDIO: Art&Graft, www.artandgraft.com
CLIENT: Soho House, www.sohohouse.com
PROJECT DURATION: 2-3 months
LIVE DATE: April 2018
Watch the film at www.artandgraft.com/project/soho-house
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Mike Moloney
Soho House is a private members’ club that
started in London but now has locations and
members around the world. It draws people
mainly from the creative industries including
film, fashion, advertising, music, art and
technology. Because of its increasing number
of international members, Soho House wanted a
refreshing way of communicating its house rules
to all its new members, without the need for
an on-site induction. The brief was to create an
animated film to outline the key house rules.
Our ambition was to create work that
communicated the information not just
effectively but in an entertaining way. We didn’t
want Soho House to come across as straightlaced, heavy-handed or patronising, and tonally
it had to feel consistent with the quality cues of
the establishment, and also feel appropriate for
the target audience.
Given that the membership is mainly made up
of creative professionals, we felt the film should
be creative in itself. Humour was key, because
we wanted people to feel embraced and
informed, not lectured. So, while Soho House
takes its members seriously, it shouldn’t take
itself too seriously.
We wanted to use a central character to
demonstrate the various house rules – or rather,
what not to do. He’d be a member of Soho
House; likeable and generally responsible but
also someone who occasionally forgets the
etiquette. The viewer would see him in different
but relevant situations, either demonstrating or
contravening the rules in a humorous fashion.
P R O J E C T DI AR Y
JUNE 2018
JIM WHEELER
Designer and animator, Art&Graft
Since graduating from UWE with a degree in animation, Jim worked for
various design and animation studios in Bristol before moving to
Art&Graft in London four years ago. He specialises in character and
motion design.
The key thing was that he wouldn’t come
across as obnoxious or wilfully inconsiderate;
just as someone who is a little forgetful and
doesn’t think about things quite as much as they
really should.
Oh, and we wanted to give him a name,
so we decided to call him Dick. We proposed
the tagline ‘Don’t be a Dick’ and considered
peppering each scene with childish but funny
dick jokes. For example, when we first saw Dick
at the start of the film he was going to be reading
a magazine with a huge cockerel emblazoned
across the cover and the title ‘Cock’ written
above it. Unfortunately, after initially loving that
idea, the client eventually got cold feet and we
changed the character’s name to Tim, a bit like
the Harry Enfield character Tim Nice-But-Dim.
THE EXECUTION
Jim Wheeler
We wanted the design to feel sophisticated
and elegant but also playful – a clean and
contemporary approach with subtle pops of
colour and typography, influenced by the Soho
House brand guidelines. Using traditional
2D animation amped up the tongue-incheek nature of the character’s actions and
03
03 Keyframe and
in-between
animation plans
that demonstrate
the exaggerated
motion of a
character enjoying
themselves a bit
too much.
ANIMATION ADVICE
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Jim Wheeler talks about balancing the amount of time you have
with the detail in each frame
Working with time-consuming,
hand-drawn character animation
to a tight deadline, we tried to
minimise the amount of movement
in the secondary characters. This
also works well to focus your
attention on the main character. It
was a slight creative challenge
finding a neat balance for the
personality traits of the main
character. We wanted him to be
likeable and fashion conscious,
but not too try-hard or trendy, as
well as portraying a humorous
nature through the animation.
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the environments, allowing for humour and
personality. The pared back pen-and-ink
style was inspired by classic publications like
The New Yorker and its illustrations. Using
a minimalist style allowed us to cherry-pick
fashion items and furnishings from Soho House
properties without drawing too much attention
away from the character.
Rules are often boring, so we had to come
up with a simple and effective platform for
engaging storytelling. Tim was the answer – he
would encapsulate the typical member and the
brand’s effortless style. A lot of consideration
was paid to his style and the accessories he
uses. He’s conscious of these things but in an
unfussy and cool way. Unlike some characters
we’ve created for past projects, we stripped
back the slick and he went from being a
Hollywood actor type to someone we’d just like
to hang out with in a pub.
As Soho House is a major international brand,
we wanted the film to reflect this through the
settings. Props and interiors from the actual
facilities are included – the pool is based on
Chicago, the restaurant is from Shoreditch and
the bar is in Barcelona. The backgrounds and
characters were designed in Photoshop, using
a nice pen brush to bring a hand-drawn feel
to the line work. We used Flash to animate the
characters and After Effects to edit and comp
the piece together.
Expanding the scale while doing the line work
gave a clean line when scaled down to final size.
We wanted to use a hand-drawn line without
adding too much of a Boil It plug-in effect to
focus on certain characters.
Soho House is very happy with the final
film and the feedback has been great. All new
members will receive it as part of their induction
through the Soho House website.
ART&G R AF T F OR SOHO HOUSE
JUNE 2018
04 To keep the
tone just right for
Soho House, Tim’s
transgressions
are more silly
and careless
than malicious.
05-06 Actual
locations were
used as models
for the scenes.
Here the
reference is Soho
House in Chicago.
07-08 The
poolside setting
seen in the
animation is also
based on the
Chicago location.
09 Art&Graft
cropped in on the
action for key
scenes, which
makes the
message easier
to absorb.
10 The animation
was created in
Flash and then
it was comped
in After Effects.
05
04
07
09
06
08
10
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P HO T OG R AP H Y M E E T S DE SIGN
JUNE 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
CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT
T
he Association of
Photographers (AOP)
celebrates is 50th birthday
in 2018 and we remain as
passionate about promoting
and protecting our members
as we did when the association
was first established in 1968.
We fought tirelessly for the
Copyright, Designs and Patents
Act that thankfully came into
force in 1988. But what does
copyright actually mean for a
commercial photographer today? Copyright underpins
the nature of how nearly all
photographers make a living. As
a form of intellectual property
and enshrined in legislation
(the aforementioned Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988), it is
a property right and gives creators
the ability to generate income
by licensing the use of their
endeavours, as opposed to selling
‘units’ of photography, as if they
were factory owners shifting boxes
of widgets. The words ‘copyright’
and ‘licensing’ are equally
applicable to all forms of creative
output, not just photography.
This notion of selling use
not unit is vital to making our
businesses sustainable as well as
maintaining and safeguarding
the industry in which we work,
not just for ourselves but for the
next generations of photographers
who seek to carve out a living
as we have done. Contrary to
what some might believe, most
photographers, with a few rarefied
exceptions, do not make huge
incomes and in fact year-on-year
since the advent of digital imaging
and the widespread use of the
internet, these incomes have
shrunk overall. It has become
harder than ever to generate
enough to pay for the business
overhead and a decent enough
salary to enjoy a reasonable
lifestyle – nothing fancy or overthe-top, but some holiday time and
a few bells and whistles that make
life more comfortable. It’s true
that we are very lucky to be able
to earn from something that most
enjoy as an activity and would do
regardless of whether we were
getting paid for it, but that is not
the point. The moment you’re a
professional, the scene shifts and it
becomes necessary to think about
the bottom line and the future.
Copyright – or, the right to
prevent and control copying –
gives us flexibility and gives our
clients and buyers protection over
the use of a creative piece of work.
It is the case, however, that not
enough of our clients and buyers
understand that this creator’s
right is enshrined in law, was
hard-fought for, and that fees paid
to us do not automatically confer
ownership or title in the work
to them. This is no different to if
you were to buy a music track or a
book; you do not own the content
but have purchased the right to
use a copy for yourself. You might
own the paper the book is printed
on, but you do not own the words
themselves, likewise, you might
own the hard drive or media the
image sits on, but you do not
own the image itself. The fees
PHOTOGRAPHS: © Nick Dunmur 2018. All rights reserved.
In the fifth part of our AOP series, Nick Dunmur examines
how copyright enables creators to safeguard their work
Above: Copyright should establish a system that benefits both creator and client.
we charge cover our investment
in skills, training, equipment,
insurance, some profit (we’re in
business, after all) and generally
also include some element of
licensing. This helps keeps costs
to the client lower than they would
be if the client wished to own the
work created outright.
Unless a photographer
assigns the copyright in their
work in writing to someone
or has accepted the terms of a
contract that contain a copyright
assignment, the ownership of the
intellectual property rights, or
copyright, remains firmly vested
in the creator.
Sitting alongside the economic
element of controlling copyright
is a set of moral rights, equally
enshrined in the same legislation.
These are there to help protect
us, in terms of reputation (and
hence our ability to earn), as
well as affording the client
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or commissioner some protection
in the form of the right to
prevent publication in certain
circumstances. They are what’s
called inalienable rights, so they
cannot be sold or assigned, but
they can be waived and often
we will see contracts that seek
an assignment of copyright as well
as a waiver of moral rights.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning
that there are several exceptions
to copyright law, instances
when the law does not apply to
certain uses of works protected
by copyright. We might consider
these to be important to balance
the rights of the creator against
the needs/desires of a potential
user of a piece of work. Suice it
to say that the copyright regime
in the UK is one of the best there
is. Although there is room for
improvements, overall it is a
system that’s emulated across
the world.
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D E S I G N I N S P I R AT I ON
JUNE 2018
Joe Flory is a design director at the Portland,
Oregon office of FINE, a brand agency. For more
than 15 years, he’s worked with digital and
branding clients across fashion, architecture,
home, hospitality and everything in between.
THE VISUALS
OF AUDIO
I’m by no means an audiophile. I can’t
discern between a lossless FLAC audio
file and a compressed MP3 audio file.
However, I’ve always been obsessed
with good design. Like that of an obscure
vintage stereo device.
At some point in the mid-2000s, when
I was living in New York City, my partner
introduced me to the world of estate
sales. The concept at first was a little offputting. Leafing through the belongings of
a recently deceased widow or widower felt
invasive. But there were often treasures
to be found for great prices, like a rusty
Bertoia chair that we found on a back patio
and brought back to life. So I eventually got
used to the idea.
When we grew tired of the hustle and
bustle of New York City, we moved to
Portland, Oregon, where estate sales are
more abundant. One Saturday afternoon,
we drove to a house in a neighbourhood
of mid-century ranch homes. There I
discovered a 1970s Yamaha amplifier
and tuner in mint condition, looking like
someone had purchased it in 1978, stuck it
on top of their teak credenza, and left it.
Up to that point, I wasn’t particularly
interested in vintage audio equipment.
Sure, I had a number of new, modern
receivers over the years that were
perfectly functional, but something about
the Yamaha gear struck me.
It radiates with a high-quality build.
Made from materials like metal and
wood, the design contrasts the synthetic
materials in today’s electronics. The
amp; heavy and built like a tank. The
knobs; shining metal. Switches and
toggle buttons adorn the components
with bouncing VU meters giving visual
feedback. Design flourishes – like the
weighted volume and tuning knobs, or
the power switch that makes a satisfying
thunk when flipped – are experiential in
their aesthetic.
Above: The achingly cool appeal of the Yamaha stereo is a reminder that good design is timeless
I became obsessed with finding a
matching cassette deck and turntable.
After several years, I completed my
mission. It’s so satisfying to put on some
old-school vinyl after working all day in a
digital context.
The mid- to late-1970s was the
height of the ‘golden age’ of hi-fi, when
competitors were putting out increasingly
gaudier, over-the-top audio components
to try and outdo one another. Garish
lighting, questionable finishes and an
overabundance of, well, everything
contributed to making them look like the
dated relics they are today.
Yamaha, however, took a completely
different approach – one that was more
restrained and sophisticated, both in
terms of visuals and audio engineering.
The lighting of the amplifier, tuner
and tape deck is a soft, subtle yellow
green. The typeface used on the metal
faceplates, tuning dial and meters is
an elegant, stoic sans serif, akin to Aldo
Novarese’s typeface, Novarese.
Meanwhile, the sound is natural and
true-to-life. To achieve this, engineers
would initially present their prototypes to
a panel of musicians, and if the musicians
believed the sound quality represented
a natural reproduction of a musical
instrument, the device got the green light.
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The equipment was built differently
from any other maker at the time.
Engineers employed simple, uncluttered
layouts, allowing for tight control over
the audible design and resulting in fewer
service issues down the road.
Obsessing over this 40-year-old audio
equipment reminds me that to conceive
meaningful, original work, look backward.
Or even forward. Just don’t hang your hat
on whatever is currently trending.
Whenever I start a design project, I
step away from my computer to gather
inspiration. I have a stack of design history
and fine art books on my desk, as well as
a collection of vintage ephemera. Recently,
an obscure book jacket design from the
early 20th century sparked an idea, and
informed the look and feel for a website I
was working on. It’s important to look for
sources outside of design for inspiration,
whatever that may be. For me, that means
travelling, observing architecture and
history and documenting these details
with my camera. These experiences feed
my work and inspire an original voice.
They’re also a reminder to ask myself:
will the work I’m doing now stand up
to scrutiny in five years? Ten years? As
a designer, I focus on creating work I
believe in, with the hope it lasts for other
generations to believe in too.
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:
- Lamination
- Foil Blocking
- Varnishing
- High-Speed Coating
- Mirri
- Die Cutting
- Folder Make-Up
- Special Effects
- Embossing
Reading
Leicester
Leeds
T 0118 930 3003
F 0118 932 3256
E thealefactory@celloglas.co.uk
T 0116 263 1010
F 0116 263 1111
E leicesterfactory@celloglas.co.uk
T 0113 249 0056
F 0113 235 1530
E leedsfactory@celloglas.co.uk
www.celloglas.co.uk
9001
9000
ISSUE 280
PRINTED IN THE UK
£6.99
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