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2016’S bRAND IMPACT AwARD wINNERS SHARE THE SECRETS OF THEIR SUCCESS FEATURINg
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a b o u t t h e c ov e r
Now in their third year, Computer Arts’ very own Brand Impact Awards celebrate the very best branding from around the world. This issue’s cover feature reveals the winning and highly commended projects, and the secrets of their success. The four projects featured on the cover are all winners this year, and represent a broad range of different clients and market sectors – the common factor being, of course, that they are all world-class pieces of branding craft. Dear World... Yours, Cambridge (01) was victorious in the Education category, while SomeOne’s rebrand for skincare specialist D.Thomas (02) triumphed in Professional Services. In Culture, SB’s work for The Brutalist Playground (03) was praised by the judges, and North’s much-discussed rebrand of Co-op (04) picked up a coveted trophy in Retail. Full coverage of all the winners starts on page 47. Computer Arts regularly experiments with special finishes, with past covers featuring ‘scratch and sniff’ lemons, heat- and light-reactive ink, pearlescent varnish, transparent glitter foil and more. To see a selection of videos about these innovative treatments being applied at our print finishing partner Celloglas, visit www.bit.ly/ca-printfinishes
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W EL C OM E
How do you measure your success as a designer? There’s no set answer to this, although the feeling of delivering a project that exceeds all expectations and delights both the client and its target audience speaks for itself. For some, surviving and thriving through tough times and growing a business in the face of adversity might be the ultimate achievement, or if you’re a freelancer, balancing a steady cash flow with work you love is no mean feat. But for many studios, design awards are one of the best benchmarks to put a stamp of approval on a strong year’s work. In 2016, our very own Brand Impact Awards enters its third year and the core of this issue is dedicated to the projects that rose to the surface. It all starts on page 47, where we explore all the shortlisted, winning and highly commended projects. Elsewhere, we pay a visit to johnson banks, one of the most consistently successful agencies at the BIAs – and this year’s best of show – to explore the exhaustively thorough (and self-confessedly “ferocious”) creative process that produces such compelling work time and time again. The highlights from our video interviews start on page 76. Of course, some of the best-respected agencies choose not to enter awards on principle. Next month, we present another way to measure success, as the results of our thirdannual UK Studio Rankings are revealed. Following an extensive nationwide survey of 75 creative directors, our top 30 list is entirely based on peer reputation. It makes for an essential guide to the very best companies in the country, and as ever makes for an unmissable issue. See you then! NIcK cARSON Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
tony pritchard tony is a member of the istD and is course leader of the postgraduate certificate and diploma Design for visual communication courses at london college of communications. He shares his wisdom on spacing in part three of our typography series on page 70. www.arts.ac.uk/lcc
sara barnes sara is a freelance writer specialising in arts, crafts and DiY. she has an mFa in illustration practice and documents the latest and greatest in the field via her blog. on page 40, sara discovers how to succeed in illustration at icoN9. www.brwnpaperbag.com
lee young lee is a digital designer, developer and producer currently based in auckland, New Zealand. in his column on page 24, he explains why he thinks young creatives should follow his lead and up sticks and move abroad. www.leeyoung.co.nz
Keep in touch with…
bruce is founder and joint creative director of turner Duckworth. as of 22 september, he is the new president of D&aD, and on page 18, he shares the story of how design has moved up the agenda, and why he thinks now is a great time to be a designer. www.turnerduckworth.com
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michael is an artist and designer currently living in brooklyn, New York. He explains how he created a geographic-inspired identity for electronic musician bonobo’s new outlier project on page 82. www.michael-boswell.com
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editor after an enjoyable afternoon at johnson banks, Nick spent a long weekend camping in cornwall to eke the last out of the summer sun. He also took his final british sign language exams, results pending.
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pete took his family on holiday to cornwall this month, so while Gareth Jones was filming at johnson banks, he was cycling on the camel trail. He arrived back to work just in time for the edit.
14 October 2016
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ISSUE 258 Oc t Ober 20 16
why design is imporTanT Incoming D&AD president Bruce Duckworth talks about design’s journey to the top of the agenda
design maTTers How do you judge your success as a designer?
rebrand focus A trio of perspectives on the recent rebranding of Subway
why you should fly The nesT Digital designer Lee Young tells us how now is the perfect time to try working abroad
Trends The potential of human hair as a design resource is tapped, along with primary colours and strong diagonals
my design space We take a look at the bold and bright Montreal space of graffiti-inspired design duo Scien and Klor, aka 123KLAN
new venTures Gavin Strange opens up about the shop he now runs with his jewellery designer wife
designed for life Pantone’s new app puts a river of colours at your fingertips, enabling a whole spectrum of colour play
snaskified Snask gives advice on how to get ahead as an illustrator
design icon Non-Format’s Jon Forss fondly recalls his family car from the 70s
ouTlier idenTiTy Michael Boswell explains how he created an identity reflecting the experimental nature of Outlier, Bonobo’s latest project
animaTe in afTer effecTs Sara Barnes shares tips from Richard Borge’s IcON9 workshop, where she learned to animate in AE
inks pinball app State of Play’s new app with an artistic twist sees players create unique splat art while playing pinball
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johnson banks We visit this year’s Brand Impact Awards best of show winner to discuss the power of copywriting, and why it pays to take your time in design
c o n te n ts
40 illuStration SecretS A career in illustration isn’t just about drawing. Sara Barnes talks to industry professionals about the secrets to freelance success
bACk to bASICS
47 Brand impact awardS
The world’s best branding is revealed as the winners of computer Arts’ very own Brand Impact Awards share insights into their working processes
A Series of Visual Conversations 12 December 2012 10:00 – 18:00
The besT new design work This month’s showcase includes Anagrama’s rebranding of a beauty supply company, and illustrative musings on the fear of flying
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Tony Pritchard from the London college of communication shares his advice on tracking and kerning
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TR EN DS : EmE Rg i Ng
While the world's finite resources rapidly dwindle, designers look to the ultimate renewable material
arth Overshoot Day – the date when humanity exhausted nature’s 'budget' for the year – fell on 8 August this year. As the Earth’s finite resources continue to deplete, designers are increasingly turning to the abundance of waste materials in order to reinvent them, creating new precious artefacts and useful products. One such waste material proving to be an extraordinary resource is human hair. With the population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, hair is one of the few materials that is increasing globally. Hair Highway by Studio Swine explores hair as a natural composite. By combining hair with natural resin, Studio Swine has created beautiful solid surfaces with an aesthetic evoking tortoiseshell palettes and a grain resembling exotic hardwoods. Growing at a rate sixteen times faster than the trees used for tropical hardwood, which can take up to 300 years to reach maturity, Asian hair generates the fastest. And with the planet’s natural resources diminished by relentless deforestation, hair holds the potential to
become a sustainable alternative to the paper and hardwood industries. It's no longer being used in design simply for its shock factor, either. Not only are the traditional aesthetics of hair being challenged to create new solid surfaces, patterns and textiles, designers are also harnessing the potential of its tensile strength, lightweight and recyclable qualities to produce innovative and useful products. Hair has also been used as a visual tool to create type. In Hair Typography by Monique Goossens, for instance, characters are formed using hair's natural curl and springiness. The New Age of Trichology by Material Futures graduate Sanne Visser (featured here) explores the potential of human hair as a design resource, utilising the inherent properties of the material to create an array of utilitarian products such as rope, bungee cord and netting. By using hair instead of more traditional non-renewable materials, Visser relieves the pressure on the world's finite resources and reduces the levels of harmful waste entering the environment. www.sannevisser.com
InsPIrATIon each month, our Trends section is curated by experienced creative consultancy FranklinTill www.franklintill.com
cu lt u r e
TREN DS : S TiL L f R ES h
PrimAry PALETTEs se of colour in packaging and branding has been widely simplified to the most basic colours on the colour wheel – red, yellow and blue. Primary colours have long been used to attract attention and create impact, and as they are traditionally used in children’s toys, these colours create a sense of play, familiarity and honesty.
Cannes lion survival Kit by Phoenix (www.phoenix.cool/project-cannes-lions)
Hernesaaren ranta by Werklig (www.werklig.com/solutions/hernesaaren-ranta)
Mercht branding by robot Food (www.robot-food.com/work/mercht)
TRE N D S: m Ai N STRE Am
DiAgOnAL DiViDEs he use of diagonal colour in packaging, styling and still life photography brings a fresh, bold and clean aesthetic to graphic communication. The kinetic energy and apparent movement of a diagonal divide creates a sense of action and excitement, and gives brands a dynamic and modern look and feel.
elements branding by dn&co (www.dnco.com)
Amperian branding by Büro Ufho (www.ufho.com/work#/amperian)
Timeless graphic design and branding by laura Gordon (www.time-less.org)
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CU LT U R E
French couple Scien and Klor’s studio specialises in branding and logo creation, character design, art direction and graffiti. 123KLAN also has an in-house brand BANDIT1$M, which sells items such as clothing, posters and toys. www.123klan.com
o ur des ign s pa ce is . . .
SYMBOLIC OF OUR STYLE Husband and wife duo Scien and Klor, better known as 123KLAN, take us through their studio’s eclectic mix of styles et in an old brick building near to the famous Jacques Cartier Bridge, 123KLAN’s Montreal studio is ideally located. It’s close to where the couple live, and there are various good spots around the block for lunch or snacks. As much of the studio’s work fuses graphic design and graffiti, every inch of it – the walls, shelves and the studio’s own branded items scattered about the place – symbolises this mix of styles. “Our studio is where the magic happens,” says Scien. “It’s where we create and conceptualise everything from meetings to parties, designs to samples, and sketches to canvases or murals. It’s our mothership, it’s the centre of
123KLAN.” As 123KLAN is known for its unique, digital graffiti, having the right workspace (1) is extremely important. “Our desks had to be perfect for our line of work,” says Klor. “We have one from Ikea which is made of glass so we can use it as a light table as well.” Other essentials are the usual stuff for designers – paper, pencils, markers, rubbers, a scanner, printer, Illustrator and Photoshop – but Klor highlights that having music on is also important for getting into working mode. Another important part of 123KLAN’s optimal working conditions is coffee: “A good coffee is essential to starting a creative day, especially Mondays,” says Scien, and the studio’s coffee mugs (2)
have not escaped the duo’s creative process. “It’s probably a graffiti thing,” Scien explains, “but we can’t help but want to appreciate every single thing we touch.” 123KLAN also runs BANDIT1$M, a brand through which Scien and Klor create and produce a range of their favourite items – allowing them to have the financial freedom to focus on their creativity. The brand includes everything from cushions and posters (3) to hoodies and beanies. “We’ve always loved streetwear since day one,” says Klor. “We’re like big kids who don’t want to grow up, and we still love to rock our brand new items once they’re released.” One downside of having moved from France to Montreal
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is the Canadian winters, which Scien describes as “pretty rough and cold.” This means that the duo can’t paint walls outside during the winter and instead like to turn their attention to canvases (4), such as the one Klor painted for the studio’s most recent solo show at 1:AM Gallery in San Francisco. Scattered around the studio are various throwbacks to the couple’s youth, such as a variety of brightly coloured toys and trainers (5). “These things remind us that we realised our childhood dream of having a studio,” says Klor. “We now have a studio that is first and foremost for us to create whatever we like, but another great aspect of it is that we get to be surrounded by all the stuff we love.”
p e op le
Strange is a contemporary company that creates and sells beautifully designed and made items from its online shop. www.strange bristol.com
1 n e w Ve n tu re s
STRANgE BEdFELLOwS 2
Designer Gavin Strange describes how he and his wife Jane decided to set up shop together, and why they decided to name it after themselves ith a full-time job as senior designer at Aardman and an array of side projects run via his alias JamFactory, gavin Strange already has a lot on his plate. But that hasn’t stopped him from setting up a new online shop with his wife Jane. Launched via a pop-up store in Bristol in August, Strange sells an array of carefully curated products.
How did Strange come about? My wife Jane, who designs and makes jewellery, has always wanted a gallery/ store. We always knew that if she went ahead, then I would handle the design side of things. It was nothing more than a nice idea until we returned home from The DO Lectures all inspired, and we thought: ‘Let’s just do it, together, as a joint venture.’ We didn’t have any capital or a business plan, just an excitement to make it happen. In between preparations for our wedding, we were also floating ideas for a name for the store and then it hit us. Strange is my surname and soon would be Jane’s. It felt like the perfect fit. If you know us, then it means something, and if you don’t, it’s just a word. How do you envisage the Strange project fitting into your already busy schedule? You can never have too many side-projects! I adore my job at Aardman Animations, so Strange is in no way conflicting with that. Before the launch, I spent a lot of evenings c o mputera rts.creati vebloq.com - 15 -
designing the identity, the branding, the website and so on, but now it’s all managed by Jane full-time, with us working together on curation of products in the evenings. what products should we look out for? We have a curated list of artists and makers called Strange Friends, and then we design and produce our own products under the banner of Strange. Our first collection – which includes a mug, cushion, tea towel and necklace – is called the Rockmount Collection. It uses the silhouette of our adopted rescue racing greyhound, whose original name was Rockmount, and we felt it was the perfect way to celebrate him and the graphical shape of greyhounds. what’s it like working with your wife? How do your skill sets complement each other? It’s great! And she didn’t tell me to write that, promise. Jane works in silver and gold, and with precious stones, while I tend to work mainly in pixels, so to collaborate with Jane on physical items works really well. We both approach the work from a different viewpoint but with the same end goal – to create well-crafted things. what’s next for Strange? Building on the success of our pop-up shop, and the great reaction we’ve got so far, we’ll continue to build the store, the brand and the products, and support it with pop-ups.
Cu lt u r e
DES IGN ED F OR L IF E
FIND YOUR TRUE COLOURS With Pantone’s new app, all the colours of the rainbow are just a swipe away very designer dreams of owning the full Pantone swatch book collection. Pantone Studio – a digital version of the iconic colour palette – means that you can now carry as many hues as you like in your pocket. The new app, made in partnership with Rokkan Los Angeles, allows users to explore different colours, create their own palettes, and sample colour in the real world. Those inspired by the shades around them – be it the soft brown of an autumn leaf or the metallic shine of a new car – can now incorporate these colours into their digital workflow. By taking a picture in the app, users can find out where the captured colours sit on the Pantone swatch, and discover their RGB, CMYK and Hex values. These colours can then be stored in a personal library, used to curate colour selections and visual palettes, and tested on graphics or interiors in the app’s ‘studio’. Colours and palettes can also be imported into Creative Cloud, shared with friends on social media or even sent to a client via email.
Price: Free download, but in-app purchases include $7.99 for a one month subscription or $59.99 for an annual subscription. Free trial periods are available. Platform: iOS www.pantone.com/studio
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I n sI g h t
Strong opinion and analysis from across global design industry bruce duckworth incoming d&ad president www.turnerduckworth.com Bruce is founder and joint creative director of Turner Duckworth, which has studios in London, San Francisco and New York. As of 22 September 2016, he is also president of D&AD.
lee young digital designer www.leeyoung.co.nz
Lee is a digital designer, developer and producer currently based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has over 10 years’ experience in digital, and has founded his own design agency.
DESIGN MATTERS: Designers debate how they judge their design success – page 20
Why design now matters Incoming D&AD president Bruce Duckworth reflects on the growing importance of design
PLUS: Subway’s latest rebrand is critiqued from a trio of perspectives – page 22 Illustrations: Louise Pomeroy www.louisezpomeroy.com
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br uc e duc k w or t h
his feels like a fantastic time to be a designer. When David Turner and I started Turner Duckworth 24 years ago, advertising was at the top and design – our kind of design at least – was near the bottom. We’d get briefed by junior brand managers, interns and advertising agencies. Design was a world of backrooms, basements and briefs on cigarette packets. But times have changed and brand owners are taking design seriously – putting design at the centre of the brand, and at the centre of their strategies for cultural engagement. Design has entered the boardroom. Why? It’s a design company cliché, but Apple changed everything. Apple took design seriously. From the subtleties of a radius on the corner of an iPhone or carefully chosen, beautifully set words such as Designed in California, to the most empathetic and intuitive UX design, Apple put great design – and the full gamut of design – at the centre of the brand, and at the centre of advertising. People loved it, they took it into their lives and talked about it – and Apple became everywhere. I think brand owners saw what Apple was doing, and saw something new and really powerful. Certainly every one of our clients – from Coke to Coors Light to Burger King – have come to us with briefs that owe a lot to the Apple model. Apple proved that design was really the key to gaining attention in an attention economy. In an age of diminished attention spans and infinite distractions, it’s design that turns people’s heads and holds their imagination, it’s design that cuts through and makes things memorable. Consumers now also reject the anti-social, the interruption and the sell, so it’s design that gets things liked, shared and taken into people’s lives. Because of all this, it’s design that makes modern brands famous. This is something for designers to get excited about and to be proud of. Every day, designers across the world create things that endure long after the invoice has been settled: true business assets. We designed the Amazon logo twenty years ago, since then it’s been printed on packaging over one hundred billion times. Think of all those desks and doormats Amazon’s boxes have turned up on and think of the feeling you get when something arrives, and how the logo comes to stand for that. All that value is in something as simple as a logo. People also like design in a way that they don’t like other kinds of marketing. We’ve just redesigned Miller Lite, which is one of America’s biggest beers, but one that had been slowly losing share until our client released a ‘throwback’ can as a promotion.
People then started to literally fill their fridges up with it and post pictures online. There was no advertising, no nudging, people just loved the look of it and the values of it. So we built a whole visual identity on the back of what they loved. Like with Miller Lite and our project Brawny, screens have become something of an acid test for us – they are the supermarket aisles of the 21st century. More than ever, design has to have an immediacy, a photogenic quality and a social quality. Design opportunities are now everywhere from ring pulls to festivals to pop-ups, and today’s brands are more productive and more creative than ever. Design is the glue that holds all this in place, but we have to work together. There’s no way one discipline can do everything, and the best creative work comes about when we do work together – when filmmakers get together with lettering artists, when art directors get together with UX designers and when all of these people get together with activists, sculptors, biochemists, and so on. That’s where the magic is. But this is all contingent on design excellence and on creative excellence. Consumers expect creative excellence and so do our clients. I have a client whose ambition is to win a D&AD Black Pencil for design. How things have changed. As I get ready to take my mantle as D&AD president, my agenda is not only to elevate creative excellence, as is the D&AD way, but also to elevate great design and to strengthen the relationship between D&AD and the design community. I want to give design an even louder voice. I’ve got various ideas about how I want to do this, but one is a putting in a programme of professional development to help creative people of all kinds, but particularly designers, become better business people. We also need to make D&AD a hub for our creative community, a place where different types of creatives come together. Do you agree with Bruce’s agenda? Tweet your thoughts to @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
In an age of diminished attention spans and infinite distractions, it’s design that turns people’s heads and holds their imaginations. It cuts through and makes things memorable
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I N SI G H T
How do you judge your success as a designer?
staNley ChoW Freelance illustrator www.stanleychowillustration.com
“When my kids, who are four and seven, recognise my work. I took them to see Paddington Bear at the cinema and unbeknown to me there was a scene that featured an illustration for an ad that I did for McDonald’s. When the camera was panning around Piccadilly Circus, my illustration popped up on the cinema screen – both my kids stood up in the cinema and yelped, ‘Daddy, I saw your picture!’ Also, there are a few posters and marketing campaigns that I have done dotted around Manchester. My kids frequently spot them before I do, and ask me, ‘Daddy, is that your picture? Are you famous?’”
Ross BaRBeR-smith Owner and web designer, Electric Kiwi www.electrickiwi.co.uk
BRiNley ClaRk Senior designer, GBH www.gbh.london
“When a client’s reply blows me away. I’ve had clients tell me they cried with happiness and excitement when they got the draft design over, because it captured their vision exactly. I’ve also had other clients come back to me after their site has been live for a while, telling me how much it’s helped them grow and enabled them to book more gigs across Europe. Hearing feedback and stories like that makes me feel great, and like I’m succeeding.”
“Success is many things. In sports, it’s trophies; in politics, it’s votes; and in design, it’s impact. I think you’ve got to ask yourself a few questions. Has the work has changed people’s perceptions? Has it made a positive impact on both the end user and the company implementing it? And perhaps most importantly – has it inspired other designers? ”
tWeet @ComPUteRaRts oR fiND Us oN faCeBook
@MrAlvArEz13 “Selling yourself and acquiring new clients while working on projects and dealing with deadlines.”
MAttHEW WIllSOnE “there is no better feeling than seeing your hard work in a public space.”
@MAGEnDAAlIEu “Success for me as a designer is all about producing great work that influences others. It’s about passion and innovation.”
jErEMy KnEDlEr “When the sales team comes back and tells me that the client loved the presentation and we’ve got the deal. At the end of the day, that’s my job.”
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GEOFF DAvIES “If I can pay the rent at the end of the month.”
I N SI G H T
Focus on: Subway rebrand Subway has seen various incarnations of its brand over the last half century. Here, we critique its latest look from three perspectives... Suzanne Greco President and ceo, Subway www.subway.com
“We are on an exciting journey to meet the changing tastes of our guests. The Subway brand is recognised throughout the world, and this new look reinforces our commitment to staying fresh and forward-thinking with a design that is clear and confident, without losing sight of our heritage.”
Kevin TucKer creative director, collide creative www.collidecreative.com “Subway has wisely taken the best elements of its brand equity, and remixed them into something contemporary, essentially taking its pre-2002 logo and refining it, with variations on the post-2002 colour scheme. This gives the company the opportunity to shed some of the more negative aspects of its current reputation (which it’s hoping is as forgettable as its current logo), while symbolising a refocus on what originally made the brand successful. This is just one component of the major overhaul to the business announced last year, and only after Subway has started implementing the new logo can we fully gauge its success.”
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rohan nanavaTi Founder and art director, roar Studios www.roarstudios.net “Even though it operates as the largest global fast food brand today, Subway’s food has maintained the right balance between health and taste. With the rebrand, I feel that the company missed an opportunity to reposition itself with a better identity that builds on the earned merit of the name and the unique product offering. With a more strategic approach, the brand could have further catered to unexplored segments, reached new consumers and uplifted its brand perception.”
I N SI G H T
Fly the nest, while you still can Digital designer Lee Young tells us how now is the perfect time for young creatives to try working abroad
illennials like me are incredibly lucky. The interconnected world we live in provides tangible global opportunities unlike anything any generation has ever experienced. I’ve spent the last decade living and working in the lovely seaside town of Bournemouth, and in that time I’ve watched the town go from sleepy old seaside haunt to heavyweight contender on the global digital scene. Achieving the accolade of being the fastest-growing digital economy in the UK, a country that is itself a world leader in this area, is certainly no mean feat. The high standards of innovation and creativity in the UK digital sector are internationally recognised, and having a UK degree or UK experience is currently in strong demand worldwide. With this in mind, at the end of last year I said goodbye to friends and family, sold most of my possessions and headed off into the wild blue yonder, armed with only a backpack and my laptop. My first destination? New Zealand, or Aotearoa, which in Maori means ‘land of the long white cloud’. Why the land of the long white cloud? For one thing, it’s a country I’ve always been drawn to due to my love of the outdoors. And then there are the other pulls. When you couple the jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery and high quality of life with the fact that the digital economy here is currently growing by 10 percent every year, it was an easy decision to make. The fast-
growing digital economy and low population means that job opportunities in design are abundant – with a wealth of positions available and not enough talent to fill them. Within my first week in Auckland, I was offered six different roles and went from initial application to starting a contract in less than seven days. There are similar opportunities in major cities across Europe and the rest of the world right now, and with the recent UK referendum result and Brexit looming on the horizon, now could be the perfect time for British designers to live and work abroad while the option is still available. If you feel like you’re not reaching your full potential in the UK, then get out there – buy the ticket, take the ride. It is a life-changing experience, and really isn’t that difficult. Working holiday visas are readily available in a lot of countries, and they are inexpensive and simple to apply for up until the age of 31. Conversely, Europeans who want to move to the UK should do so now while free movement persists if they can, although at the moment their future right to live in the country is by no means guaranteed. As for me, how long I’ll stay here remains to be seen. Will I ever return to the UK? Who knows. Where will I go next? I have no idea. But then again, that’s kind of the point. Have you experienced life as an expat designer? Would you recommend it? Tweet your thoughts to @ComputerArts using #DesignMatters
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S HO W C AS E
SHOWCASE Computer Arts selects the hottest new design, illustration and motion work from the global design scene
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more than skin deep Sally Beauty by Anagrama www.anagrama.com Sally Beauty Supply is a global company that has been around since 1964, so creating a big impact rebrand without changing the brand’s personality was a challenge. “The most important thing for us was to grasp the essence of the current brand and translate it into something new in line with the company’s current needs,” says Mike Herrera, creative director at Anagrama. Various elements add to the casual and fun brand personality, including the textures drawn with lipstick, and the condensed typographies that appear in a playful mix of hierarchies and sizes. “The packaging is our favourite part,” says Daniela Garza, art director. “These pieces project the brand identity via simple features.”
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The brand collateral contrasts muted greyscale tones with bright red.
Anagrama took inspiration from fashion brands when creating the Sally Beauty brand identity.
The boutique bags combine simple yet effective photography and typesetting for a truly striking look.
The stationery set employs the distinctive lipstick smear, now emblematic of the brand.
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Sally Beauty's bold, clear all-caps logotype punches clearly out of the red brand colour.
This double-page spread ad places the primary focus on the photography.
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maGiC inGredient Macondo chocolate co by A-Side Studio www.a-sidestudio.co.uk Tasked with creating the brand identity and packing of a new range of single origin chocolate bars, A-Side Studio wanted a concept that fused both artisan aesthetics and unashamed shelf impact. Neasdon Control Centre’s magical illustrations inspired by the name Macondo – a fictional town in Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude – were just one element that helped to achieve this.
Drawing influence from the country of origin and highlighting the differing characteristics of each bar, the bars form a consistent and collectible set, each with its own personality. Creative director of A-Side Studio, Ross Imms, puts this down to “the satisfying marriage of typography, composition and colour,” adding that: “The packaging has an immediate, unfiltered quality to it, which in turn is a strong reflection of the product.”
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VintaGe VoLtaGe VoltalaB Sound StudioS by Fieldwork www.madebyfieldwork.com As huge music fans, digital agency Fieldwork jumped at the chance to develop a visual identity for Manchester recording studio Voltalab. And as the newly formed studio is built in a space where the likes of New Order, Joy Division and The Stone Roses recorded, it was crucial to capture the energy of the building. “We needed to create an authentic brand that brought the old and the new together,” says Fieldwork designer Eve Warren. “We achieved this by blowing the dust off old recording equipment, cassettes, gig posters and photographs to gather an array of resources that formed the brand aesthetic.” Tradition also played a part in making the letterpressed printed ephemera. “Like many digital studios, we don’t often get to do a lot of print work, so visiting our local letterpress studio was a real treat,” remarks Warren.
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AO I p re s e n t s t h e
WORLD ILLUSTRATION AWARDS 2016
i n p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h D i re c t o r y o f I l l u s t ra t i o n
Wia 2016 pro Winner ProMenade by Jungho Lee www.leejungho.com This year's World Illustration Awards judges were impressed byÂ the techniques and imagination that went into Jungho Lee's handdrawn book illlustrations, created with dry materials on hot pressed paper and then coloured digitally. Lee was inspired by many different sources, ranging from classic surrealist paintings to contemporary illustrators such as Quint Buchholz. "The joy of surrealistic imagination is my most powerful motivator," he says.
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Wia 2016 neW taLent Winner the SeVen hourS itch by Jimin Kim www.jiminkimpicturebook.com Jimin Kim's World Illustration Awardwinning project is based on both the fear and the boredom involved in flying, which she says could "involve psychological and
physical itching." Kim used the deep black colour of an etching print to evoke the sense of unease, anxiety and never-ending nightmare portrayed in the pieces.
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hUman ConneCtion Between riVerS, wordSworth by Mojo www.mojowang.com Inspired by Wordsworth’s poem Lines Written in Early Spring and some images that came to him while he was out walking in his native Shanghai, Mojo, aka Chaun J Wang, had no real notion of how the series would end up when he started. He describes the beginning of his creative process as “kind of like the feeling you get when you are trying to cook something without a recipe, the only thing you know is what kind of smell this dish will have.” Once he began refining the sketches, something kicked in and the idea became clearer. Mojo is quite critical of his finished piece, saying that he doesn’t think he achieved the contrast of emotions he wanted, but he does admit to being pleased with “those gesturing hands.”
fine tUninG Jeudi recordS by VSM Studio www.vsmstudio.com When the founders of JEUDI asked their friends at VSM Studio to help them reposition their brand as a record label and lifestyle brand, the team at VSM Studio found it a little odd to be changing a brand they had known since its humble beginnings. But they soon learned to detach themselves from the former identity, and the new brand incorporates some of the basic shapes
of the old designs, while also bringing a more upscale and timeless quality to the table. "Our goal was to create a simple, modular graphical system that could be easily recognisied while remaining creatively diverse," says Jan Stein, founder of VSM Studio. "It was great to work with JEUDI," he adds. "They understand the value of design and never hesitate to implement our ideas."
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reVoLUtionarY aLphaBet the aBcS of SocialiSM Design by Remeike Forbes, Jacobin magazine Illustration by Phil Wrigglesworth www.philwrigglesworth.com “It was a privilege to play my part in this project,” says illustrator Phil Wrigglesworth, explaining that the book came about “through a new energy in both the US and Europe for socialist thinking, with both Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn leading the way.” The book shows a series of questions and answers, which are designed to debunk common ideas about socialism and each have an accompanying illustration.
“Traditionally visual communication on the left has been very loud and shouty,” remarks Wrigglesworth, on the design and colour scheme of the book. “Jacobin has a softer, more persuasive approach.” The illustrations are played out in a mirror image of the front and back cover of the book. “As the figures and setting are quirky and fun, the book is less a lecture and more about being fun and educational,” he adds.
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il l ust r at i on a dv i c e
become a more successful Illustrator
Forging a career in illustration isn’t just about the quality of your drawing. Sara Barnes talks to industry professionals at ICON9 about the secrets of freelance illustration success
IllustratIon: ICon9 speaker and board member James Yang on new methods of education, for new Jersey Monthly magazine
he ninth gathering of the Illustration Conference (ICON9) took place in Austin, Texas, where illustrators gathered to share ideas, swap tips, and generally talk drawing. Held once every two years, ICON9 featured speakers and workshops that identified prevailing industry trends and imparted indispensable knowledge to help attendees in both their present and future careers. Because most illustrators are freelancers, it’s vital to be organised and plan ahead – thinking not just about how something will affect you in six months, but how it may affect you in years to come. Staying relevant is the obvious answer for having a lasting career. The path, however, is different for everyone. Some commercial artists establish an iconic style and visual language that carries them through decades of work. ICON9 speaker Anita Kunz has worked since the 1970s on a bevy of illustration projects – including the cover of The New Yorker – with an approach that’s a mixture of wit, realism, and political savvy. Her advice for fellow artists transcends generations and style to reflect a mindset that can help anyone who wants a thriving career. “Work hard,” she shrugs. “Perseverance is critical to success. Often, the most talented people I’ve seen have fallen by the wayside to those who might have less talent, but make up for it in tenacity. Simply work harder,” she implores. A bit of soul searching can also provide answers:
“Nurture your uniqueness,” she adds. “Speak from the heart, and be authentically you.”
Invest In rel atIonshIps The tools for success might be within us, but practical advice always helps. Creating a portfolio is just the first step to becoming an illustrator – you might have some amazing drawings, but you’re more likely to get consistent, paid work if you learn how to market yourself properly. Getting clients also goes hand in hand with maintaining good relationships. At its core, illustration is a collaboration between illustrator and art director, so preserving this bond is vital. Alex Mathers, who began Red Lemon Club in 2009 as a way to help creative professionals be successful in the industry, pointed this out in his talk.“Though technologies are changing all the time and the tools we have access to are widening and changing constantly, the core approach to promotion, networking and marketing has not changed,” he points out. Use emails, postcard mailings and social media posts as a way to support your goal: relationship building, rather than as the focal point in your marketing. Tweeting a ton of art directors with the same message feels inauthentic. It’s better to take interest in what a couple of them are tweeting about and get to know them – offering advice or making them laugh, for example. “Making
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i n d us t r y i s s u e s
illustration about demographics by James Yang
A l e x M At h e r s alex is an illustrator, writer and consultant from london. He specialises in digital vector maps and landscapes, and writes about running a creative business on red lemon club. He also often works with creative businesses to help them improve their marketing strategies. www.redlemonclub.com
giusePPe cAstellAno Giuseppe is an award-winning designer and illustrator, as well as executive art director at penguin random House. He is also the founder of the illustration Department, an online school for illustrators. His popular blog (below) gives tips on running a creative business. www.gcastellano.com
connections with relevant people over time and becoming familiar and memorable is what works to get clients,” Mathers explains, adding: “All the tools at our disposal work to support this network and connection building.” After you’ve worked hard to make these connections, it’s important to stay in contact and create opportunities for potential jobs. Letting contacts know you’re available is just one email away. “Many jobs take a while to mature,” Mathers advises, “so you want to have done the work yesterday to get the jobs today.”
money matters j A M e s yA n g James is an award-winning illustrator who has taught and lectured at a variety of institutions in the united states and beyond. currently, he lives in brooklyn where he works for various book publishers and animators, while also serving on the executive board for the icoN conference. www.jamesyang.com
Ashley Pinnick ashley is an artist, developer and storyteller living in los angeles. she makes games at her studio california rex, teaches vr at artcenter college of Design and has worked with tiFF, paramount, lionsgate and Disney. Her work has been recognised at acm siGGrapH. www.ashleypinnick.com
Financial planners advise diversity in investing, and the same is true for your illustration career. Having multiple streams of revenue will help keep you fiscally afloat if budgets dry up or creative initiatives change. “There are many ways to make additional income streams on top of illustration commissions,” Mathers adds. He is proof this approach works; he has used his experience as an illustrator to help sell books, run courses, teach, and sell stock illustration. The key to turning your talents and interests into paid work is assessing what you’re interested in and finding its financial opportunities. As a child, Kyle T. Webster loved combining art and technology and created greeting cards on early Apple computers. This prolonged fascination has served him well; in 2013, Webster launched a website called www.KyleBrush.com. The site sells digital tools to emulate natural media and at a workshop for ICON9, Webster explained how his Photoshop brushes mimic watercolours, oils, and gouache paints. The brushes have absolutely exploded in popularity and, in 2014, earned Webster an additional $100,000 on top of his other endeavours. This might sound like the dream, but you do still need to make sure you’re prepared for the c o m putera rts.creati vebloq.com - 42 -
inevitable dry spells. Mathers recommends having a few months’ worth of savings in the bank. “Even if you have plenty of potential clients, contracts in place and an agent, you’ll never know what avenues may cease to exist in the future,” he advised. “You’re wise to always have a financial safety net.”
engage wIth the future Identifying your interests and passions can inform future work, and doing so is as simple as keeping a sketchbook. Illustrator Gemma Correll is well-known for her drawings that poke fun at popular culture. Her most amusing pieces combine two seemingly disparate (and often ridiculous) subjects and are the result of careful research, such as travelling, museum hopping, and countless Google searches. They’re all present in her sketchbook, which acts as her own personal encyclopedia that she can draw from at any time. “The more you know, the bigger the pool you have to draw from,” she reflects. When you’re trying to come up with an idea, take a concept and examine it. Some of it might seem silly, but these are things you have to embrace. “Often,” Correll explains, “the stupid things I come up with will often spark a new idea.” Correll has specific tips for those who want to start their own sketchbook. “Don’t start on the first page. Start in the middle so it won’t feel so precious.” She also suggests working as if no one will ever see it, and avoiding thinking about the end result. Instead, strive to get your observations and thoughts down as soon as possible, because you probably won’t remember them later. “Don’t overthink your sketchbook,” Correll cautions, “and step away from the internet.” In fact, her computer is her final step when coming up with ideas:“In a sketchbook the possibilities are endless, but the computer seems final in a way.”
il l ust r at i on a dv i c e
takIng control JAMes YAng fIrsT becAMe InTeresTeD In The busIness sIDe of IllusTrATIon AfTer he begAn MAkIng bIg MoneY, buT founD he wAs sTIll lIvIng MonTh To MonTh. he hAs sInce goT conTrol of hIs fInAnces, AnD Is now offerIng ADvIce To oThers what’s the first step an illustrator should take in setting up the business side of their studio, and how do they build on it? You have to have a monthly budget for your expenses and your life, and also know what percentage of your income will go to taxes. You can then figure out how much you need to make. The best way to build up your business, especially at the beginning, is to keep your expenses as low as possible and build up a cushion of six to 12 months’ worth of expenses. Don’t freak out about the number, it’s just a goal that will help you ride out the ups and downs of your career. As we all know all too well, clients don’t always pay in a timely manner, and you need to be prepared for that. what are your tips for budgeting? My biggest tip is figure out your budget as a number that you can live on each month. I’m not really a believer in living a spartan lifestyle, where’s the fun of that? You also have to be realistic about how much you can really earn. I also suggest putting 10 per cent of everything you make into a savings account. It’ll probably be a small enough amount that you’re not going to really miss it and, before you know it, you will have more savings than you can imagine. Then you’ve got a cushion.
Do you have any suggestions for saving money and making sure you have enough for retirement? An artist’s career is probably like an athlete’s or an entertainer’s, so you need to start saving as much as possible if you’re lucky and have some great years when you’re younger. save 10 per cent, especially when you’re in your 20s, put money into your retirement fund on a regular basis, and learn the basics of investing. on the bright side, investing can be very simple, it’s a very long-term game and you can definitely have enough to retire if you are consistent. A simple investing plan is good enough.
01 illustration for scientific american about the structure of language. 02 table of contents and curtain for Nautilus magazine, the year 2050. 03 illustration for plansponsor magazine on the theme of searching for answers,.
Do you use any particular software to help you track your incomings and outgoings? Personally, I use fileMaker Pro to keep track of clients and invoices, and banktivity for the business and financial side. There isn’t one ultimate answer, but it’s good to find a program which makes you feel comfortable. any other tips? It really helps to put aside one morning each week to record all of your transactions and expenses. The more this becomes a habit, the less stressed you will feel about the business side of illustrating. The goal is to make this accounting part as painless as possible so that you can concentrate on the fun part of being an artist.
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James Yang’s cover for the Journal of the Norwegian medical association, on the concept of a mentor carrying a student.
12 common mIstakes Illustrators make AvoID These errors To geT More work AnD IMProve Your DesIgns Art director giuseppe castellano has supervised the illustration and design of over 200 children’s books. In 2015, he wrote a list of the top 10 mistakes that illustrators make, and recently added two bonus blunders. 1. surprising the client – in a bad way Make sure you are clear about what you’re going to deliver, and when you can deliver it. 2. lack of consistency Particularly if you’re drawing a series, check that your illustrations are consistent. 3. not abiding by the project spec If the spec isn’t clear, ask for more direction. once you have the spec, follow it. 4. being unable to accept notes listen to your client. You might even find their feedback informs the project. 5. poor composition composition can make or break a drawing; think about what you want the viewer to see. 6. the cropping is off follow cropping rules: never crop at a joint and avoid placing objects on the trim. 7. forgetting the point of view Point of view is key for engaging the reader. use it to guide your viewer. 8. not exploiting the colour palette Think about your colour choices and how they affect the overall tone of the piece. 9. using the wrong colour space not checking the colour space can cause multiple problems and waste a lot of time. 10. submitting the wrong file type This is a basic but irritating mistake. Always check your file type before you send work. 11. worrying about style focus on developing your personal visual handwriting instead of panicking about style. 12. overthinking the details remember that it’s your art and the story you want to tell that’s important, not the details.
Correll’s off-screen approach to creating illustrations is a stark contrast to virtual reality (VR) developer Ashley Pinnick’s work, but they do share a dedication to curiosity. Influenced by her father, Pinnick grew up learning about making electronics and has now carved herself a niche in VR: “It wasn’t until I was at university that I started to see there was a connection between my technical and creative sides,” she recalls. “I struggled to find my voice for a long time but when I started making VR, I knew I was home.” University courses, including one about exhibition design, helped her to think spatially. “There was a lot of learning I had to do outside of class as well,” she explains. “I did a ton of tutorials and Lynda courses on the software I needed to learn, revisited some of my favourite games and comics, researched theme park design, environment and level design, and dug into learning about programming.” She also kept up with VR news and made sure she actively participated in the VR community. While not everyone will design games in VR, Pinnick’s attitude is applicable to any illustrator looking to learn something new. “Don’t let yourself be intimidated by what you don’t know,” she encourages. “We’re lucky to live in an age where there are so many experts who share their processes online.” Illustrators can translate their skills into other realms and you’re more qualified than you think. “Media like VR also benefit from having artists who understand visual storytelling, spatial organisation and seeing connections where others may not,” Pinnick says. “That’s powerful.”
become a better freelancer: We talk you through the five most common challenges freelancers face, and how to make your life easier by dealing with them.
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“Don’t let yourself be intimiDateD by what you Don’t know. you’re probably more qualifieD than you think” ashleY pInnICk
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stud i o b uye r s’ g ui de
Best BRANDING the woRlD’s
2016’s BRAND ImpAct AwARD wINNeRs shARe the secRets of theIR success The great and the good of branding filled London’s Ham Yard hotel in September for the third-annual Brand Impact Awards, Computer Arts’ celebration of the best branding from all across the world. One of the things that sets the BIAs apart from other design awards is that work is judged in context. As well as a strong concept that’s beautifully and consistently executed, judges were asked to consider whether the project stands heads and shoulders above the rest of the market sector for which it was designed. Over the next 22 pages, we’ll showcase all of the hugely inspiring projects that have won or been highly commended at this year’s BIAs,
exploring how each of them solved a unique challenge in its market sector. The first section, starting on page 48, reveals the 12 winners in alphabetical order; then from page 60, we delve into 19 more that were awarded a highly commended trophy. BIA judging is uncompromising, and being shortlisted is an achievement in itself – judges were free to cut categories altogether if entries didn’t meet their exacting standards. To reflect this, on page 68 we also showcase the 21 highquality projects that made it that far. Read on to be inspired by some of the best branding in the world, and gather insights that may help you win your own BIA in the future...
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s p ec i al r e p or t
Argos simple VAlue Winner: reTAiL by The Partners www.the-partners.com
“our biggest challenge was to maintain consistency across 140 products. the simplicity of black and white imagery and simple witty copy meant that less became more” MARK WOOD design director
“stick to the idea. you need to cut down the idea to its simplest form. the best packaging is simple-minded and has a singularity of thought” MARK WOOD
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With 33,000 products, 130 million customers and 840 UK stores, Argos is the UK’s leading digital retailer. In the wake of an ambitious overall rebrand that won a Brand Impact Award in 2015, The Partners was tasked with rebranding the Argos Value Range packaging, consisting of 140 simple household products. The packaging reflects the simplicity of the goods, but also shows that simple doesn’t just mean basic. By adding a twist to the product descriptions, the copy elevates the conversation, and increases empathy and customer engagement. The honest tone of voice also reflects the products’ solid quality and great value.
br an d im pa c t awa r ds 2 01 6
BirminghAm hippodrome Winner: CULTUre (sPonsored by onLinePrinTers) by Purpose www.purpose.co.uk Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent arts charity that is dedicated to staging unforgettable live performances. Over time, the Hippodrome’s identity had taken a back seat and its lack of clarity and consistency meant that the productions and not the venue were taking the lead. The Hippodrome’s story needed to be brought back to life through an engaging and robust brand identity that would connect with audiences now, and in years to come. The idea of ‘a stage for life’ informed the new visual approach, and the bold consistent logo mark can adopt different colours and visual assets to reinforce communications and messaging. This helps convey the Hippodrome’s story and bring it back into the limelight.
“the core thought of ‘a stage for life’ helped bring clarity to the hippodrome’s purpose and inspired a brand identity that would enable the theatre (rather than the productions) to take centre stage” stuARt yOungs creatiVe director
“a good idea can spawn a thousand others” stuARt yOungs
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s p ec i al r e p or t
BrAwny Winner: FMCG by Turner duckworth www.turnerduckworth.com
“packaging is part of a broader system that communicates the brand. it shouldn’t haVe to communicate eVerything about that brand or product” BRuCE DuCKWORtH creatiVe director
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Brawny is a much-loved American brand, which has an iconic brand character and loyal following. However, an array of competitors meant that sales of the brand’s paper towels were declining. The brief for Turner Duckworth was to create a breakthrough and flexible packaging system that embraced the brand’s heritage and drove consumers’ reconsideration of the product. The agency chose to focus on the product’s toughness by working with an illustrator to refresh the Brawny Man as a strong, capable giant. The character was then cropped to ensure that he remained both mysterious and appealing. Since the rebrand, the new packaging has engaged consumers and promoted sharing on social media, with people holding the packaging in front of their faces to ‘become’ the Brawny giant.
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social impact highly commended.
British heArt FoundAtion CAre lABels thAt reAlly CAre Winner: noT-For-ProFiT by The Partners www.the-partners.com Every second counts during a heart attack, but many people lack the confidence to step in and help when it’s most needed. Briefed with designing a fundraising T-shirt for the British Heart Foundation, The Partners soon realised there was an opportunity to do something more important. The idea was that if you have care instructions for your clothes, why not have them for your heart? The care labels created serve as a daily reminder of the steps to perform CPR. As a result of The Partners’ work, every branded piece of clothing sold by the British Heart Foundation now carries a label explaining step-by-step CPR and there are currently ongoing talks about introducing the labels in school uniforms and high street fashion, with the aim of spreading the life-saving message even further.
“if your idea is strong enough, stick to it eVen if it goes off brief. this project came out of a brief to design a single t-shirt, and now it’s in eVery piece of clothing the charity sells” MARK WOOD design director
“we hope that the label will reinforce what cpr now stands for: call-push-rescue, so that someone will recall the label and know what to do in an emergency” MARK WOOD
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the BrutAlist plAyground Winner: CULTUre (sPonsored by onLinePrinTers) by sb www.sb-studio.co.uk
“stay true to the idea. our identity was outside of riba’s comfort zone and it was a risk to pitch it, but the marketing team saw the impact it would haVe, and how it would change perception” BEnJI HOLROyD creatiVe director
“our challenge was to create an identity to attract younger Visitors and families while maintaining riba’s typically older regular audience” BEnJI HOLROyD
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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) approached SB to develop an identity for The Brutalist Playground, an immersive new commission by Turner Prize nominees Assemble and Simon Terrill. Reimagining a trio of post-war playgrounds from three London housing estates, the exhibition recast the strange concrete structures in reconstituted foam to create a climbable landscape. The challenge was to create an identity that would achieve RIBA’s objective of involving everyone in architecture. The bespoke typeface built out of suitably brutalist-looking blocks and Tetris-like pieces was juxtaposted with the marbled turquoise and pale pink of the installation, and moved playfully across animations displayed on the large welcome screens, online and as part of gallery way-finding. The exhibition and its identity received widespread acclaim, some of the RIBA’s highest audience figures, and positive coverage in several major publications.
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Co-op Winner: reTAiL by north www.northdesign.co.uk Following investigations into creating a completely new identity and extensive research into the Co-op’s rich history, North decided to propose a move back to the Co-op’s past. Based around the symbolic cloverleaf from 1968, the identity serves as a visual reminder of the company’s roots and at the same time engages with customers in a modern context. The new logo is distinct, recognisable and dynamic, and signals a shift back to the ideas that originally made Co-op special for its customers. The logo was redrawn from archive material, and the colour scheme designed to both enhance and modernise the 1968 colours. A new typeface was employed to work across traditional and digital media. The visual identity has been positively received – for older generations it evokes nostalgic memories of local shops and divi stamps, while to younger generations it suggests a modern brand of the future.
“look into history, respect the past. eValuate the equity and merit in things that haVe come before. don’t write off someone else’s designs and consider more than a brand new solution” stEpHEn gILMORE creatiVe partner
“resurrecting the 1968 logo was a risk. the client expected a new creatiVe solution, but we proposed and proVed its ability to work across all channels and still look powerful and releVant” stEpHEn gILMORE
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best in show winner.
“most of the philanthropic campaigns run by uniVersities now follow a pretty well-trodden path. we looked hard at what eVeryone else was doing, then aVoided it as much as we could” MICHAEL JOHnsOn
“the biggest strength of this project is its inherent flexibility. you can place an idea, a concept, a picture, a 100-word poem, a film, anything, between those Verbal ‘bookends’ and it seems to work” MICHAEL JOHnsOn CREATIVE AND STRATEGIC DIRECTOR
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deAr world... yours, CAmBridge Winner: edUCATion by johnson banks www.johnsonbanks.co.uk To help create a coherent theme for the University of Cambridge’s alumni and development fundraising campaign, johnson banks focused on Cambridge’s profound impact on the world, and the impact it will have on its future. The idea of putting this concept in the form of a letter to the world, a letter that begins ‘Dear World’ and ends ‘Yours, Cambridge’ verbally and visually demonstrates what the university has, and will, achieve. The University of Cambridge is over 800 years old, and this theme helps position Cambridge as an asset belonging to, and in service of, the world. It shows it is outwardfacing, not inward, and sets up a unique ‘conversation’ with the world by inviting in new thoughts and ideas. This is quite unlike any other university messaging in the sector.
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deBBie thomAs Winner: ProFessionAL serViCes by someone www.someoneinlondon.com Debbie Thomas is a skincare brand with a focus on problem skin. As the company specialises in finding solutions to improve the impressions its customers give to those around them, SomeOne’s rebrand focused on these superficial and deeper impressions. The new visual brand identity consists of simplified descriptions with an elegant set of graphics and typography, and is underpinned by a set of images that help showcase the brand’s key procedures and the areas of the face and body they are aimed at. These images were created with the idea of first impressions in mind. SomeOne took 100 bags of flour and set up ‘impression tanks’ to press mannequins’ faces, hands and bodies into. The resulting forms were then photographed and now form the core brand photoset. With its lack of traditional spa images and complex descriptions, SomeOne’s rebrand is a radical departure in the sector.
“projects with potential need not be few and far between. don’t settle for the obVious, celebrate the unusual and striVe for the unique” sIMOn MAnCHIpp EXECUTIVE STRATEGIC CREATIVE DIRECTOR
“the skincare industry is a sea of beautiful faces and flawless skin. we created a mould-breaking look that reflects the skin treatment, without following stereotypical beauty cues” sIMOn MAnCHIpp
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inVesteC JournAl A tAle oF good Fortune Winner: CoLLAborATion AWArd by The Partners www.the-partners.com
“the only way to bring content to life is to understand it. the greater your understanding, the more engaging and accessible the idea can be” stuARt RADfORD creatiVe director
“the single-minded idea, inspired by the content of china’s markets, runs through eVerything from indiVidual illustrations reflecting specific facts, to a theme uniting all nine chapters” stuARt RADfORD
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Investec Asset Management’s journal focuses on the single market of China. This collection of white papers offers unique insight to investors about the history, changing landscape and potential rewards of investing in the Chinese market. To convey the potential rewards of investing in China, The Partners wanted to reflect the journey of good fortune through the journal. The agency commissioned Lorraine Nam, a paper-cutting artist, who created and hand-cut a series of nine illustrations, one for every chapter divider in the book. Each illustration is cut from red paper, as the colour red has represented good fortune in Chinese culture for centuries. As you read through the journal, each chapter divider becomes increasingly more red – representing a journey towards good fortune. However, viewed individually, each illustration features intricate details that reflect the narrative of each chapter.
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soCiety oF experimentAl Biology Winner: edUCATion by Purpose www.purpose.co.uk The Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) is a membership organisation dedicated to supporting and inspiring extraordinary connections within the biological community. In order to keep the society relevant and distinctive, SEB needed a brand identity that would stand out and appeal to both established and younger scientists. The new identity has a bold network of lines and shapes, which contrast with beautiful biological illustrations and striking colours. The dynamic ‘E’ element within the logo emphasises the experimental nature at the heart of the organisation and these elements work together to capture the unique spirit and vibrancy of the SEB’s connections and its expanding network. The result is a distinctive logo, and a brand identity that feels alive with science.
“take the client through the process, hold their hand and work collaboratiVely together to get the best results” stuARt yOungs CREATIVE DIRECTOR
“it was really refreshing to see a client who is braVe enough to do something different, and to stand out in a sector which is often broadly predictable” stuARt yOungs
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rAVensBourne Winner: edUCATion by nb www.nbstudio.co.uk
“in a creatiVe enVironment like ours, inVolVe eyeryone – the work is better for it” nICK fInnEy director and designer
“the biggest strength of this project is its flexibility. all the assets can keep changing and adapting, and eVeryone is making it their own” nICK fInnEy
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Forward-thinking design institution Ravensbourne aims to become an independent university with degreeawarding powers and needed a new identity to reflect these aims. With the question ‘What does a creative university look like?’ in mind, NB revisited the idea of a crest. The studio developed a simple mark that opens up in application to become a flexible framing device that is brimming with energy – just like the ‘creative village’ of Ravensbourne. The new identity represents a departure from the previous architecturally-inspired mark. It is less about an iconic building and more about what goes on inside the building. Boldness was a key theme in the identity, and a unique typeface was developed for NB by Kostas Bartsokas and specially drawn for improved clarity, legibility and accessibility.
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olympiC heritAge ColleCtion Winner: sPorTs by Hulse & durrell www.hulsedurrell.com The Olympic Heritage Collection is a comprehensive and authentic collection that makes the art and design of past Olympic Games available to international licensees. For the first time, these materials can be used to create products and merchandise inspired by some of the most unforgettable Games. Beginning with the core elements of each Games’ identity (emblems, pictograms, mascots and official posters), Hulse & Durrell set out to find authentic sources, visiting the Olympic Museum archives in Switzerland, Olympic historians and past Games design directors around the world. Design manuals originally intended for use with protractors, compasses and paintbrushes became blueprints once again – this time with a digital toolset in mind, and physical artefacts were referenced against the modern Pantone colour matching system to ensure tonal authenticity.
“authenticity was both a challenge and a strength in this project. we had to make sure eVery key design element from eVery olympic games since 1896 was accurately digitised” BEn HuLsE PARTNER
“unifying all art and design from all olympic games under one brand, with one set of guidelines, in one year, was a challenge” BEn HuLsE
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Appy Fizz HigHly commended: Fmcg by Sagmeister & Walsh www.sagmeisterwalsh.com Appy Fizz, a carbonated apple juice drink sold in India since 2005 by family-owned drinks company Parle Agro, has a new identity from Sagmeister & Walsh, fronted by Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra. The branding visualises carbonated bubbles through a dynamic graphic language of spheres and circles. From the print campaign to the television commercial, this circular language in the bold red, white and black colour palette unites the various media with a distinct look and feel, while Chopra ‘sheds’ the sweeter tone of the brand’s past for a strong, bold, sexier tone.
“a big-scale campaign like this needs design for various media. keeping the visual language simple and illustrative helped the project translate well across multiple platforms and conditions” jessica walsh partner
Arjowiggins HigHly commended: PRoFeSSionAl SeRViceS by north www.northdesign.co.uk North was tasked with making Arjowiggins, makers of Conqueror paper, the go-to brand for designers, printers and luxury brands. Arjowiggins has been making fine papers since 1770, so North wanted to build an authentic brand relationship by demonstrating reliability and trust. A new brand positioning – ‘International standards for creative papers’ – was created. This core idea demonstrates a level of quality in paper-making that is the benchmark of the industry – the international standard in colour, innovation, textures, finishes, quality, consistency and distribution. North also introduced a new visual identity system, a new comprehensive website and a unified family of products across the entire business, and the existing Arjowiggins symbol – a literal representation of folded paper in use since 1991 – was redrawn to improve its visual balance and reproduction.
“spend time looking for the real ‘difference’ and focus on it. what makes the world a better place because of this uniqueness, and what creative territory can you own? sTePheN GilMORe creative partner
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Arts University BoUrnemoUth: one piece oF Advice HigHly commended: edUcATion by Bond & coyne www.bondandcoyne.co.uk
“make sure your rationale for a particular communication approach is clear, and that your ideas are made manageable – and not tempered by – reality” MiKe BOND co-founding director
BreAst cAncer now HigHly commended: noT-FoR-PRoFiT by The clearing www.theclearing.co.uk When Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign merged, they needed one powerful, unified brand to help them achieve their shared ambition: to stop women dying of breast cancer by 2050. The new brand would need to appeal to both supporters and scientists. The Clearing’s system achieves this by connecting the humanity of the cause with the science behind the brand. The result is an adaptable, easy to use, identity and messaging system. Research revealed that the artificial magenta usually associated with breast cancer was disliked, so a softer shade that’s more merchandisable while still being synonymous with the cause was chosen. The tone of voice mirrors that of breast cancer bloggers, and is focused on togetherness and progress. The new brand launched in June 2015, and within the first year campaigner numbers have doubled to 40,000. A million people have engaged with content on Facebook, and more than a million have visited the website.
Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) needed a way of engaging with its alumni network; but with a small marketing team and limited time, this needed to be manageable. Bond & Coyne encouraged the university to ask its alumni for the one piece of advice they would give to the present graduating year. The studio also commissioned illustrations that would bring these nuggets of advice to life. Advice and illustration then formed a set of One Piece of Advice prints that were handed out at the graduation ceremony – the start of engagement with the next wave of alumni. This then became the concept behind a magazine-style publication that would feature stories about, and by, university alumni. The magazine developed into a publication with an appeal that stretched much wider than the AUB community. It’s also lead to the launch of a set of speaking events and a podcast.
social impact winner.
“speak to as many people as possible. we held a workshop, carried out surveys, did interviews, and even asked for name recommendations. this steered a lot of our decisions” aNDY hOwell creative director
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chicken town HigHly commended: noT-FoR-PRoFiT by Peter & Paul www.peterandpaul.co.uk
“getting teenage kids through the doors with a limited marketing budget and being economical with our resources meant we had to understand the community that the restaurant aims to serve” PeTeR DONOhOe managing director
Chicken Town was devised as a socially responsible business idea. Obesity levels in Tottenham were high among schoolkids and a lot of them were frequenting fast food outlets, so a better alternative was needed. Something they still loved (fried chicken) but healthier. Herb fed, steamed, then flash-fried and served with healthy side dishes. The people who work for Chicken Town are trained to world-class standards, can gain qualifications, and have the option to move on somewhere else amazing in the thriving London food industry. Peter & Paul tried to capture all of this in a brand identity for the restaurant. The project expanded to online, social, print, signage and interior graphics. Turner Prize winning architect Assemble was responsible for the design of the space itself, and Peter & Paul’s ongoing work is in expanding this into the experience once you’re there.
d&Ad new BLood: FLy on the wALL HigHly commended: edUcATion by Alphabetical www.alphabeticalstudio.com The Fly on the Wall project was designed as part of this year’s D&AD New Blood Festival. The workshop and online resource aim to give young designers invaluable advice for the next step of their careers after securing a job by giving them fly on the wall insights into the workings of real design studios. In the run up to the festival, Alphabetical released a fictional D&AD fly via Twitter to visit some of the top design practices around the world. Along the way, the fly picked up advice and tips from influential creatives on the realities of working as a professional graphic designer. Insights from the UK and beyond were collated into a website to bring the ‘fly on the wall’ view to life, and give young designers the benefit of all of the contributors’ collective experience. A set of posters capturing some of the more direct advice submitted was designed to promote the project.
“the time after graduation can be very scary. there’s so much that figures from the industry can do to help guide and support young creatives, so if you can – please do” BOB YOUNG creative director
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eir HigHly commended: TecHnology & TelecomS by moving Brands www.movingbrands.com
“the telco sector is in flux, so if you’re working with a telco and you’re doing something safe, you’re part of the problem. and it sounds obvious, but if you have a killer idea, fight for it”
Ireland’s largest telco Eircom had invested in the most extensive network and fastest broadband in the country. But as competition moves into Ireland, coupled with a poor perception tied to a less progressive era, the business needed to signal a change. Moving Brands proposed that the company become ‘eir’, a name that conveys lightness, optimism, and has a linguistic link to ‘Eire’. It was the largest brand transformation in Ireland in over 20 years. A simple yet bold brand enables this complex business to create and deploy a range of vibrant, larger than life expressions. It conveys a shift from a supplier of infrastructure and services to one that is more approachable, human and positive.
MaT heiNl chief executive officer
Fine ceLL work: A stitch in time HigHly commended: noT-FoR-PRoFiT by The Partners www.the-partners.com Fine Cell Work trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells in order to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem. Doing needlework in this way replaces the monotony with something meaningful. The Partners was asked to create a calendar for supporters to purchase alongside the prisoners’ needlework to help fund the charity. The supporters’ calendar will be available to buy alongside the creative needlework sewn by the prisoners. Items such as cushions, bags and quilts are sold by organisations such as the V&A, English Heritage and National Gallery.
“create some form of action that will engage your audience and create a memorable, emotional connection. this piece was designed not only to function as a calendar, but to engage supporters” MiRaNDa BOlTeR design director
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LoUis vUitton AmericAs cUp HigHly commended: SPoRTS by gBH www.gbh.london
“the simplicity of this project allows the graphic language to be adapted to the different dockside environments, while making the partnership between two prestigious brands recognisable”
The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sporting history. Louis Vuitton has a 32-year history of sponsoring the race, and for the 35th America’s Cup it required an elegant branding programme befitting such an esteemed partnership. The logo and visual language were born from the iconic Louis Vuitton Gaston marque. The Gaston was deconstructed, and the existing triangular forms used to represent the competing sailing boats. The marque comes to life in animation, where two boats go head to head. The marque is used in a celebratory product collection, and is unpacked across the race village to provide an artful pattern across the event. The graphic language also extends across the TV graphics.
DaVe wOOD design director
mAnomAsA HigHly commended: Fmcg by Pearlfisher www.pearlfisher.com Humble yet proud, Manomasa was born on the back streets of Mexico but seeks to become symbolic of all that street food can be – the most honest and raw expression of taste expertise. The rich yet contemporary pack showcases the depth of creation behind each variant. A montaged illustration style celebrates the unique layers of taste, and a bold, graphic language of expertise deconstructs each detail – such as the shape and the 52 attempts it took to get the right texture and taste – to illustrate the best way to eat the crisps.
“while we have designed brand rules, we’ve focused more on creating an eclectic, vibrant brand world and visual identity system that can be added to and drawn from in the future” jONaThaN fORD creative director
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miLLer Lite steinie HigHly commended: Wine, BeeR & SPiRiTS by Turner duckworth www.turnerduckworth.com
“if you are bringing a piece of a brand’s heritage back to the market, you need to stay true to the principals of the original, but then be original in reinterpreting the design for today’s consumer” BRUce DUcKwORTh creative director
To celebrate Miller Lite’s 40th anniversary, Turner Duckworth was briefed to reintroduce the original Steinie bottle from 1975. The colour palette saw an increase in the use of gold that is set against white to give a clean, contemporary finish. This is balanced by the mix of design elements, from the roundel that appears in various sizes to embellishments such as the subtle stripe detailing on the bottle and graphic illustration on the display cartons. The six-pack carry case uses an image of the bottle with typography defining the label edges and a blown-up roundel from the label on the side to add contrast. The shipping carton, in comparison, uses a flat graphic illustration of the bottle, which when stacked, forms a larger bottle through tessellation. The poster uses illustration to visually communicate the ‘cheers’ moment, while also displaying the Steinie bottle shape in the negative space.
notA Bene HigHly commended: BARS / ReSTAURAnTS by Blok design www.blokdesign.com Top Canadian chef David Lee was relaunching his restaurant with a new look and menu, and needed an identity that would work cohesively within the interior space created by award-winning multi-disciplinary design studio +tongtong. The concept is inspired as much by a marriage of natural and contemporary elements as by Lee’s philosophy of cooking. To highlight the differences between the bar and dining spaces, Blok Design created a sub-brand: NB Bar. In the logo, the NBs dance with themselves, conveying the lively energy of the space, while a palette of three colours, inspired by the interior’s tonalities and chosen for their contemporary hues, unites the identity’s diverse elements.
“through the marriage of contemporary and natural elements, we were able to authentically mirror the chef’s own love of food, and meticulous process of cooking” MaRTa cUTleR partner
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roBert wALker: the FiFth continent HigHly commended: cUlTURe (SPonSoRed By onlinePRinTeRS) by The chase www.thechase.co.uk
“don’t think about showcasing how clever you are. think about promoting how clever your client is. in this case, we needed to complement rob’s photographs without overpowering them”
Photographer Robert Walker approached The Chase to develop an identity for his exhibition The Fifth Continent. Designed to reflect Walker’s images of the barren, and often starkly linear, landscapes of Dungeness in Kent, the identity uses muted colours and lines of varying thickness to echo the palette of Rob’s images and the linear elements contained within them, such as telegraph poles, railtracks and wires. The word ‘fifth’ is visible, but you have to look to see it, a bit like the beauty in Rob’s images. The identity was used across invites, posters and within the exhibition space.
RichaRD schOleY creative director
the met HigHly commended: cUlTURe (SPonSoRed By onlinePRinTeRS) by Wolff olins www.wolffolins.com The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a New York icon and major global tourist attraction. Wolff Olins was asked to define a brand and experience that would help proactively expand its reach and relevance, and drive its ambition to be the world’s most dynamic and inspiring art museum. Two key decisions guided the creative work. Firstly, the ‘common use’ name – The Met – was adopted, to be more immediate and welcoming to people around the world. For too long, the museum had been overrelying on a single symbol, and lacked a robust system to express itself. Secondly, The Met’s super power – ‘making connections’ – directly inspired the logo design and the wider identity: bringing to life the museum’s ability to connect ideas, stories, and people across 5,000 years of art, from every corner of the world. The system was built to celebrate both the authority and openness of The Met.
“creating a connected visitor experience outside means unifying people inside. bring people into the process early, build alignment around a strategy and solution, and arm them with tools, not rules” chRis MOODY global CREaTIVE DIRECToR
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workcenter méxico HigHly commended: PRoPeRTy by Bienal comunicación www.bienal.mx
“make it different. do not simply repeat the same type of projects you always do or pursue design trends you see elsewhere. you should be generating trends, not following them”
A shared workspace seeking to create a community of entrepreneurs, businessmen, students and professionals from multiple disciplines, Workcenter México required an identity that reflected its collaborative spirit. As part of the brand identity, Bienal Comunicación created a grid that is inspired by the architecture of the building and helps to transmit the versatility and expressive capacity of the project. The firm Lavalle+Peniche was in charge of the architectural and furniture design of Workcenter México. The spaces adapt seamlessly to the needs of the community, and convey a sense of cosiness.
caRlOs MaRTíNez TRUjillO creative director
jUdging dAy insights six of the bia judging panel discuss what defines great branding WHAT iS modeRn BRAnding? Turner duckworth’s Bruce duckworth (pictured) and mark Bonner of gBH on the state of branding, how the field has evolved and what agencies need to do to survive and thrive.
HoW To engAge conSUmeRS duckworth and Bonner (pictured) reflect on how modern brands need to maintain a dialogue with consumers, with a consistent tone of voice across all touchpoints.
WHy cRAFT mATTeRS Sunita yeomans of SSHy (pictured) and crabtree & evelyn creative director Kate Shaw argue the case for embracing beauty and ornamentation in branding, across all sectors.
THe FUTURe oF BRAnding Wolff olins’ Ben gibbs (pictured) joins curtis Baigent from manvsmachine to debate whether motion graphics and interactivity are the future of branding.
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Also shortlisted Being shortlisted for the Brand impact awards is an accolade in itself – standards are unfalteringly high, and if judges felt that no projects suBmitted in a category met the criteria, it was cut altogether. these projects made up the rest of this year’s shortlist...
SHORTLIST: TRANSPORT & TRAVEL by Landor Associates www.landor.com
SHORTLIST: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES by Supple www.supplestudio.com
SHORTLIST: SPORTS by The Clearing www.theclearing.co.uk
BBc iPlAyer Kids
Brighton FestiVAl: 50 yeArs
SHORTLIST: SPORTS by SomeOne www.someoneinlondon.com
SHORTLIST: ENTERTAINMENT by Moving Brands www.movingbrands.com
SHORTLIST: CULTURE by johnson banks www.johnsonbanks.co.uk
SHORTLIST: WINE, BEER & SPIRITS by WPA Pinfold www.wpa-pinfold.co.uk
SHORTLIST: WINE, BEER & SPIRITS by interabang www.interabang.uk.com
SHORTLIST: WINE, BEER & SPIRITS by Turner Duckworth www.turnerduckworth.com
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escAPe the city
i Am my mtV
SHORTLIST: EDUCATION by Article www.articledesignstudio.co.uk
SHORTLIST: NOT-FOR-PROFIT by The Allotment www.theallotment.co
SHORTLIST: ENTERTAINMENT by VIMN Domestic www.viacom.com
SHORTLIST: AUTOMOTIVE by CBA Paris www.cba-be.com
SHORTLIST: ARTISAN by DewGibbons + Partners www.dewgibbons.com
SHORTLIST: FINANCIAL SERVICES by SomeOne www.someoneinlondon.com
run For AmericA
SHORTLIST: FINANCIAL SERVICES by Music www.music.agency
SHORTLIST: PUBLIC SECTOR by The Partners www.the-partners.com
SHORTLIST: NOT-FOR-PROFIT by Supple www.supplestudio.com
the glenliVet ciPher
the inVestment AssociAtion
SHORTLIST: WINE, BEER & SPIRITS by NB www.nbstudio.co.uk
SHORTLIST: FINANCIAL SERVICES by Jack Renwick www.jackrenwickstudio.com
SHORTLIST: EDUCATION by Thunderclap www.thunderclapcreative.com
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BA CK T O B AS I C S
in the third part of our series on the art of typography, we’ll be exploring how to best use spacing as we cover three essential elements of typography – tracking, kerning and leading. a member of the international society of typographic Designers (istD) and course leader of the Design for visual communications courses at london college of communication (lcc), our guide tony pritchard is the ideal person to show you the way...
tyPograPhy: use sPacing effectiveLy PHOTO: Alys Tomlinson
In the third part of the ISTD’s four-part series on typography skills, Tony Pritchard explores how designers can use tracking, kerning and leading for optimum results
P Tony Pritchard MISTD Tony is course leader of the postgraduate certificate and diploma Design for Visual Communication courses at London College of Communication. He has over 30 years’ professional experience working as an associate with design consultancy Root 2, and within his own freelance practice. www.arts.ac.uk/lcc
aying attention to the detail in typography is extremely important for the professional designer. It is the job of the designer to ensure that adjustments are made to the spacing of letters, words and lines of type to create good typography.
Default settings System preferences and software settings have been established to enable most people who are unconcerned about fine typography to set type effectively, but these settings cannot ensure that all text will be displayed to
its optimum level. There is little in the way of a formula that can be applied to create good text setting, each situation must be judged individually. Most raw typesetting on the Apple Macintosh delivers a reasonable starting point for making adjustments to the overall letter or word spacing. Typefaces are different and the fit of the letters varies accordingly: certain typefaces benefit from tighter or looser letter spacing or tighter word spacing, for example. Graphic designers must also consider the medium in which
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the typography will be delivered – for screen, print and spatial environments. Scale also plays an important part.
Letter spacing (tracking) Letter spacing in a block of text can be adjusted to have an overall looser or tighter spacing, and this is known as tracking. Particular typefaces benefit from a tighter setting, others a looser approach. The amount of tracking used is to an extent down to personal preference – most settings will require slight adjustments and can be quite subtle.
ISTD T YPOG R APHY M A ST E R C LA SS
in issue 259 of computer arts (on sale 14 october), we conclude our series by exploring how working with grids can take your typography to the next level.
issue 256 saw an outline of fundamental typography considerations, plus a handy guide to some technical terminology. see back issues on page 74 if you missed it.
01 Care has been taken with Tony Pritchard’s poster so that the visual space between lines is not less than the space between words.
part two contained a refresher session on the rules regarding size, weight, style and hierarchy. read all about it by downloading back issue 257 (page 74).
02 Root 2 Design chose to extreme track the number 100 in order to align the two zeros above the two ‘o’s in London in this image.
03 In this piece by Peter Gill, Gilles has been tightly tracked to emphasise the condensed nature of the letterform.
There is little in the way of a formula that can be applied to create good text setting, each situation must be judged individually Words set in capital letters benefit from a looser setting. This helps both with the fit of the letters and the overall readability. Some words will have awkward combinations of letterforms. Consider the word RAILWAY. The R and the A slope away from each other creating space, whilst the I and the L as two verticals
side by side have less space. The capital letter L followed by a capital letter A such as in LAND or LABOUR creates a large space, which is difficult to equalise amongst the following letters. This creates unevenness in the spacing of the letters in a word. The role of the designer is to make optical adjustments to create that
evenness of spacing. Care also needs to be exercised when setting in capitals as words are recognised by their shape, and words in capitals are more uniform with a less distinctive shape. When setting type large, say on a poster, it’s possible to minus track the letter space of lowercase letters (close but not touching). Conversely, many designers feel that too much spacing, particularly of lowercase, can break up the word shape and therefore the word’s recognition. Frederic Goudy famously intimated this should be a hanging offence with
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his oft quoted ‘anyone who would letter space black letter would steal sheep.’ Erik Spiekermann later borrowed this idea for his book Stop Stealing Sheep (and find out how type works).
Letter spacing (kerning) Within phototypesetting, manufacturers of typefaces have established an overall kerning for each of their typefaces. Kerning is the adjustment of space between two specific characters. The overall kerning of most typefaces is reasonably good, however, there will always be
BA CK T O B AS I C S 04 This visually engaging poster by Tom Hornby challenges what is traditionally thought of as well-considered spacing. The capitals are relatively loosely set to even the spacing in the best way possible.
05 Letterpress – which can be difficult to set and space correctly – was used by Carolina Scarpetta to create the textured effect in this piece. The type was scanned in and manipulated to create the specific alignments.
06 In Peter Gill’s work, subtle tracking enables the ‘s’ of Nicolas and the ‘s’ of Staël to align. There is no need for a space between de and Staël as the change of colour signifies the split.
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combinations of letters that do not fit very well together. Kerning is most crucial in display setting, but it is a good idea to scan your text setting and adjust the more noticeable instances. Aligning numbers tend not to be kerned (they are set on an even body), as when they are set in tables they should line up underneath each other. Numbers that do not appear in tables, such as years, need to be kerned. Consider 1991 before kerning – the two nines cling together, while the ones move away at the front and end of the year.
Certain letters, such as a capital ‘T’, need to be undercut by the following letter – as in the word Telephone. Software manufacturers such as Adobe have built in kerning options such as auto, optical and metrics. Experienced designers will want to determine their own kerning, while novices may prefer using optical (available in the Character palette in Illustrator and InDesign) as a starting point.
Word spacing Word spacing for most typefaces being set in text tends to be quite
The overall kerning of most typefaces is reasonably good, although some combinations of letters do not fit well together acceptable. Occasionally, the word spacing of a typeface will look wide in comparison to its letter spacing, and in these cases it is advisable to close up the overall word spacing Contemporary setting favours a tighter word spacing than in the past, and can now be as small as the width of a lowercase i. As with other types of spacing, there is an
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element of personal preference. Word spacing can be altered in the Paragraph palette within Illustrator and InDesign. Justified setting should be avoided, as the variance in, and control over, the word spacing can result in unfortunate changes in word spacing between lines. In justified setting, you should
ISTD T YPOG R APHY M A ST E R C LA SS
07 The display setting for this college project by Helen Taranowski has tight minus tracking that allows for the size of the type to be increased and bleed off the sides of this School of Life poster.
08 In this piece, Margot Lombaert has set the letters tightly, and not always evenly, so that they overlap creating windows through which light pours.
09 The choice of type faces and their relative spacing has been considered in relation to the meaning of the words in The Length of Life by Yael Tur-Shalom.
In order to carry the eye from one line to the next, the visual space between lines should not be less than the space between the words not alter the letter spacing to compensate for poor word spacing, and should take care of selective hyphenation also.
Line spacing (leading) A general rule in text setting is that the visual space between lines should never be less than the space between the words. The eye needs
to be carried from one line to the next – lines that are too close or too far apart interrupt reading. As the column measure increases, so should the interline spacing. Typefaces with larger x-heights can require more leading than those with small x-heights, as is also the case with faces that have long ascenders and descenders.
In display setting, the frequency of ascenders, descenders and capitals can have an influence. A skilled designer, in unusual circumstances, may set each line with a different leading.
Paragraph spacing The space between paragraphs should be carefully considered. Most designers will relate the amount of spacing mathematically proportionate to the overall leading. Some designers prefer a full line space while others will opt for a half line space. If you are setting 8pt type size on a 10pt line
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feed, a full line space will measure 20pt from the baseline of the last line of a paragraph to the baseline of the first line of the next paragraph. A half line space will result in a 15pt measurement. The visual advantage of a line space is that in a multi-column setting, the baselines will always line across. Also, where there is some show through in the paper, the text will be aligned on both sides of the paper. With half line spacing in a multi-column setting, the baselines within paragraphs will come in and out of alignment in every other paragraph.
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p r oj e c t s
82 OuTlIER IDEnTITy
computer arts goes behind the scenes with world-leading designers as they reveal their working processes…
Michael Boswell explains how he created an identity reflecting the experimental nature of Outlier, Bonobo’s latest project
hOW TO gIVE DEsIgn ThE TIME IT DEsERVEs
With CA’s UK Studio Rankings 2016 due to be revealed next issue, our final video profile with last year’s Top 30 visits johnson banks – also this year’s Brand Impact Awards best of show
anIMaTE In afTER EffECTs
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V I D E O I NS I G H T
Watch the videos on our YouTube channel: www.bit.ly/ca258-johnsonbanks c o m putera rts.creati vebloq.com - 76 -
j ohnson b a nk s
HOW TO GIVE DESIGN THE TIME IT DESERVES our videos with the top 30 in ca’s uK studio rankings 2015 concludes at johnson banks, the small but perfectly formed outfit that scooped best of show at this year’s brand impact awards
F jOHNSON baNkS Founded in 1992, johnson banks has a towering reputation in the charity and cultural sectors, with clients including Cystic Fibrosis, Science Museum and Disasters Emergency Committee. The studio recently began a brave ‘open source’ rebrand for Mozilla, and won best of show at the Brand Impact Awards for its University of Cambridge campaign. www.johnsonbanks.co.uk
erocious is the word johnson banks founder Michael Johnson chooses to describe his multi-award-winning studio’s creative process, in which all ideas are pasted up on metal walls to be pulled apart by the rest of the team. “the cleaner could have a great idea, i don’t care,” Johnson shrugs. “a placement’s ideas are just as valid as the creative director’s. there’s this design carnage, like piranhas eating each other’s designs, but also working collaboratively. We use these walls as a kind of hive mind.” it’s an environment in which the right kind of designer can thrive: “one who has fantastic ideas, and is flexible and nimble,” he continues. “they must be able to collaborate, and share, and willing to say to their creative director: ‘i’m not sure, michael – you’ve got that wrong.’” equally, this approach is not right for some, and in its 24 years in business, johnson banks has never grown above 10 people. its a small operation that attracts complex branding projects involving months of strategic planning. While the studio specialises in cultural, education and not-for-profit clients, a few bluechip clients have also bought into its cerebral process. “When people come from outside our core sectors, they want a type of thinking,” adds Johnson. “We attract insightful, thoughtful clients, and have some great discussions.” We spent an afternoon filming in johnson banks’ clapham-based studio to get to the heart of how its unique process works in practice. You can watch all the video interviews on our Youtube channel or play them from our digital edition, but below, we’ve shared some of the highlights... Is there a certain methodology or ethos that makes a johnson banks project recognisable? michael Johnson: When we first started, we were just trying to stay alive, make a name for c o mputera rts.creati vebloq.com - 77 -
ourselves and do good work. We spent most of the 90s as a graphic design company doing predominantly print, and some identity and brand. then at the turn of the century, the way we worked started to change. For the last 15 years, we’ve been almost completely branding. For quite a while, we were perhaps similar to other design companies in london in that there was a classic twist to our work, a lot of humour and whatnot. that was johnson banks a, if you like – the first period. in the second half of our life we’ve been doing much more serious projects, so there’s less wit and less twist but we’re still looking for something that makes a project unique, that gives it that little edge. We’re committed to doing good work – who wouldn’t be? – but about 10 years ago i started to think about also doing work that does good and makes a difference, using these skills that i’d acquired, painfully, over a 15–20-year process, for the betterment of society. Another thing that makes johnson banks distinctive is the value placed on great copywriting, how did that come about? MJ: i was always interested in how words and pictures interrelated. before starting johnson banks, i often used them together. i just thought: ‘these words would help this piece of comms, or that picture needs a great headline.’ it slowly dawned on me that a lot of people didn’t do that. When we started the studio, we continued to use words and pictures equally – in fact, we nearly called the company Words and pictures. When we ‘graduated’ to doing big branding projects, we did a lot of work on the strategic side, writing verbal brand narratives. it seemed a waste for them to then be buried and lost. some of those words started to seep out of our narrative stage into our design stage, and that all started to mull together into this
V I D E O I NS I G H T
Below: in a brave move that throws the entire process open to public critique, johnson banks’ ongoing mozilla rebrand shared seven different routes, dubbed the
eye, the connector, the open button, protocol, Wireframe World, the impossible m and Flik Flak. Johnson hopes the project will lead to more overseas work.
big unholy mulch of verbal and visual and something in between. it was never our explicit intention to be ‘the guys that use words’, but if you don’t, you’re literally missing out on half the communication. How much copywriting is done in-house – do you collaborate with external specialists? MJ: Words start to come as we’re doing our research stages, and we sum all that up in proposals and documents. then we move on to the creative, narrative stage. sometimes the overall route comes from the client or somewhere else in the studio, but 80 per cent of the time, i’ll start off these verbal thoughts. sometimes we develop them in-house, but occasionally it gets difficult and we go through multiple rounds of development – we might be six months in, and still in meetings talking about the words. people have no idea just how much is involved in this kind of thing. so let’s say we have three different routes. i started bringing in copywriters a few years ago to help me with the crafting of those, and that can be really helpful. copywriters who are honing words every hour of every day can come in and take it to another level. that doesn’t happen on every project, but there’s a willingness certainly on my part to say: ‘okay, i’ve got to a bit of a wall here, i need to stop, draw back a bit and let someone else have a go at this.’ i’ve got a kind of game with one of my copywriters where i send them something and say ‘i know this is a bit shit, but you can make it better, i’m sure.’ Nearly every time it’s better. johnson banks spends months – sometimes years – on each project. Does it frustrate you when people don’t appreciate the process? MJ: the lack of knowledge about the branding process is substantial. many people still say, ‘oh, branding equals logo design.’ i understand why they say that, and it’s been a long haul getting people to understand differently. at the level of project we’re now working on, it takes somewhere between three to six months just to work out what the brief is. that’s not really understood out there in the ether. i’ve just finished a book about the branding process. it’s about the steps you go through, and step three is design. and 163 pages – i’m not really sure, i’ve just made that up – are about research, strategy and narrative, before you get anywhere near getting the magic markers out. i’m going to try and explain it to people, and hopefully i’ll be successful.
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MICHaEL jOHNSON Founder, creative and strategy director Since founding johnson banks 24 years ago, Michael has won an impressive haul of awards, including a D&AD Black Pencil. His latest book, Branding in Five and a Half Steps, is out in October.
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HARNESS THE POWER OF WORDS In our first video, Michael Johnson reveals why words matter as much as pictures at johnson banks, and how the studio’s “ferocious” design process can be a baptism of fire for new recruits.
j ohnson b a nk s
Left and below: a prime example of the studio’s unsurpassed copywriting skills, johnson banks’ Dear World... Yours,
cambridge campaign scooped best of show at this year’s brand impact awards (see page 54 for more details).
FOUR WayS TO INTEGRaTE DESIGN aND STRaTEGy Katherine Heaton and Michael Johnson on how johnson banks caters to clients’ strategic needs 1 Don’t rely on jargon “We’re in the business of communication, so why use complicated jargon when talking to people who are not familiar with the industry?” reasons Heaton. Johnson adds that not-for-profit clients may not have archetypal stanford mbas. “they’re more straightforward, down to earth,” he says. “if we talk about things like ‘inherent brand positioning perception’ we’re met with blank faces.” 2 blur the lines Fluidity between the stages of the design process is key. it starts with research, through interviews, audits and workshops. Next comes strategy, including positioning and brand narrative. “technically our design stage is third, but we often blur stages two and three,” says Johnson. “it’s an issue for many companies: how to go from where they are verbally, to visually how they’re going to look.”
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kaTHERINE HEaTON account director Katherine joined johnson banks four-and-a-half years ago, having worked with the studio from the client-side on a major rebrand. She’s now the primary account management contact.
GREAT DESIGN IS WORTH THE WAIT In our second video, account director Katherine Heaton joins Michael Johnson to discuss how the studio’s immersive creative process works, the role of strategy and how to keep plates spinning.
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3 Help the strategy bed in stage four includes guidelines and implementation, and for bigger clients, this is followed by ‘embedding’– or as Heaton puts it, “communicating the new brand to staff within the organisation, and helping them figure out their launch plans.” “We don’t just finish the manual and run away,” insists Johnson. “if a brand doesn’t percolate down, it’s not going to work. it’ll be one of those stuck-on brands that people often criticise.” 4 Remember: tough is good “the politics of a rebrand are far more complicated than straightforward new brand projects,” admits Heaton. “We have lots of experience dealing with the politics now, which is why many clients come to us.” “people say: ‘that project must have been difficult,’ and if we say, ‘Yes it was,’ they say: ‘Good! You’ll be able to do ours.’ that happens again and again. You’d be amazed how many clients need to know you can handle the personalities in the boardroom.”
V I D E O I NS I G H T
Left: a slightly unusual project for the primarily branding-focused studio, this 300page book for the v&a gave design director Julia Woollams a rare chance to dabble in print design.
HOW TO CONVINCE yOUR CLIENTS THaT DESIGN TakES TIME Branding projects can take a year or more to be honed to fruition at johnson banks – Michael Johnson reveals why clients embrace that 1 be upfront about it “many clients are new to a branding process as deep as ours,” Johnson admits. “We’re open about the way we work. if someone goes: ‘oh no, we can’t handle that,’ they simply won’t give us the job. and if they just want a paint job, we won’t get it either. “We tend to get projects where it’s not clear what the issue is,” he adds. “there are all sorts of strategic problems. the first half is more akin to management consultancy than traditional graphic design.” 2 Explain why it pays to get it right “Doing a great bit of work that started in the wrong place is an awful place to be,” reflects Johnson. “the reason we spend between four months and a year – a year and a half recently! – on the first half of a project is because it’s so important. Without that bedrock, you go forwards in the wrong way. everything gets messy.”
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jULIa WOOLLaMS Design director Julia joined johnson banks as part of a creative duo with Kath Tudball (now design director at The Partners), and has worked her way to her current role over the past 15 years.
DESIGNER’S EYE VIEW In our third video, design director Julia Woollams discusses her role as an experienced creative in a small studio, and reveals the thinking behind two of the studio’s recent projects.
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3 Get your design time blocked in “some places try to do stuff in three days, where we’d insist on four weeks,” says Johnson. “You might have a brilliant idea in three days, but you can’t then edit it, change it, come back a week later and go: ‘actually, that wasn’t very good – we could do better.’ “most of our clients are more akin to project managers than creatives. they just want to know the key stages,” he continues. “as long as we protect those – two months for this, two months for that – generally speaking things are fine.” 4 Work with the right people “people who want something in eight weeks, not eight months, generally don’t come to johnson banks. You can’t have insight, strategy, verbal, naming, design and implementation in eight weeks,” says Johnson. “if we explain our process, and give examples – our impact stats are pretty significant – and they think, ‘eight months? No way!’ then fair enough. but often people appreciate you taking the time to explain it, and think they’ll get something great.”
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
Outlier identity: A musicAl prOject ApArt New York-based designer Michael Boswell abstracted maps and warped topological markings to echo the experimental nature of outlier, an ambitious project by beat-maker bonobo
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M ich ael b osw e ll for b onob o
michAel BOswell Artist and designer Michael is an artist and designer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. His independent and collaborative work spans identity and brand systems, animation, illustration, photography and art direction. He received a BFA from MSU Denver and a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
the design BrieF
prOject FActFile BrieF: Electronic musician Bonobo asked Michael Boswell to develop a geographic-inspired identity for his Outlier project, which consists of a new gig series, radio show and record label. client: Bonobo, www.bonobomusic.com creAtive: Michael Boswell, www.michael-boswell.com prOject durAtiOn: 10 weeks live dAte: Spring 2016 (ongoing)
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the initial conversation was just a discussion about the outlier project with the management team for simon Green, aka the musician, producer and DJ, bonobo. at that point, the project involved a few international bookings, but the plan was that it was going to evolve into a radio show and record label, plus whatever simon envisioned it becoming later on. simon’s team had found my work online and thought that it was a good fit for them, and i felt it was almost too good to be true because i’m really inspired by bonobo’s label Ninja tune. the team needed a logo and an identity developed right away – i had just four days to bust out the initial seven different concepts. the largest show on the tour was at the tobacco Dock in london, and there were gigs in paris and berlin too. the idea was to to have a common thread between the gigs, especially in terms of colour palette, but they also wanted each show to have its own personality. the team gave me a mood board of visual cues, but the main brief was more influenced by what they were trying to achieve with the brand. they were very inspired by the word ‘outlier’ – in terms of outcrops or islands in relation to a larger mass – but they also liked the idea of interconnected shows around the world that bring like-minded people together to share a common experience. this definition made sense with the geographical aesthetic that had already been established with simon’s albums the North borders and black sands. the artwork for the latter features elevation maps and contour lines. i thought this was a beautiful interpretation of geography, and related to the idea of interconnectedness – that was the launchpad for the idea we went with.
P R O J E C T DI AR Y
wOrk in prOgress
a lot of festival posters have one hero illustration and then a lot of copy below it, but i wanted to create a more flexible system, which could be developed over time and where names could be added in the lead up to the show to generate hype. i started by designing posters for the three shows, as they were the first iteration of the identity needed by the client. inspired by the contour markings from simon’s albums, i started sketching lines and shapes on paper. i always draw on paper first as it’s faster and you can easily document everything as you go, then i use illustrator to develop ideas. each poster had a different iteration of the contour concept. For the berlin show, i evolved the vector versions using cinema 4D (see right). the abstract forms create a nice energy that relates to the experimental nature of the music. i also developed a monogram featuring stylised versions of the poster designs, which was used for stickers, tote bags, flyers and online teasers. i wanted a punchy colour that would tie everything together regardless of the application, and picked Klein blue with a secondary palette of yellow and red. although Klein blue works really well digitally, it can be quite difficult in print, so i developed designs with greyscale to allow for more flexibility
01 boswell was inspired by bonobo’s past releases featuring topographic markings and maps. 02-03 boswell experimented with drawing forms without thinking too much about shape. 04 some early ideas included the latitude and longitude coordinates of the gig venues.
05 tote bags were designed in order to experiment with how the new identity could be used.
gOing tOO FAr Out michael Boswell reveals the ideas that didn’t make the grade
this initial direction explored the idea of outlier in quite a literal way. it was inspired by space, interplanetary relationships and gravitational forces. We felt that this system wouldn’t work as well as the chosen direction when executed in the real world.
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this direction represented different cultures coming together for the shows by including different types of illustrations with loads of colour palettes put together. it was quite dynamic, but it had too much going on and was oddly mixed.
M ich ael b osw e ll for b onob o
boswell used cinema 4D to take the vector line into 3D.
michael Boswell reveals how he translated the Outlier contours into 3d my process for making 3D designs was very similar to how i developed the vector version in illustrator, but instead i used cinema 4D. in cinema 4D, you have multiple coordinates, so you can draw into space as well as up and down, left and right. For line-based work, the best way to create an interesting form is to try not to think about what you’re doing, but let your unconscious be the guide. i drew quite freely using a Wacom pen and grabbed pieces of the illustration that i thought worked well – i didn’t want it to be too literal in terms of referencing the contour maps. i also didn’t want the texture to feel too slick, i wanted it to be a little bit dreamlike, so you’re not quite sure whether it’s underwater or in space. post rendering, the material feels organic, but the use of grain means it also has a vintage feel. i experimented with different executions of directional lighting to make the piece feel as close to a real environment as possible. lighting is so important when you’re using cinema 4D, it’s what really brings out the dimensions and the materials too. if i’d added another light at 45 degrees and a top light, i’d have lost a lot of the character – you have to know where to stop.
it was important to work out how the text would sit on the shape without looking crowded.
Different iterations of the 3D poster allowed boswell to experiment with light and colour.
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P R O J E C T DI AR Y
06 the designs for the outlier business cards split the identity over two sides.
within the printing processes. i also tested the designs and colours on plotter paper to see how they would translate when using low-cost production methods. i picked avenir condensed for the typography – it’s a clean sans serif with a lot of negative space, which works well when fully justified. Justification can be a little bit awkward, but here it tied in perfectly with the outlier concept. to bring some organisation to the chaos, i drew holding shapes around the text to distinguish each individual act.
07 boswell tested various greyscale iterations on plotter paper to simulate cheap printing conditions.
08 the client asked boswell to show how the brand system could be applied to various different assets.
i designed everything to around 90 per cent, then handed it over to the in-house team as a lot of the acts weren’t even signed at that point. to show how the identity would work, i also developed a full set of assets. For the business cards, i experimented with splitting the logo over two sides, and for the letterheads i justified the type across the whole page. it was interesting to demonstrate how the logo can still feel dynamic even when it’s static. the client was really happy and bonobo’s fans also responded well. How the system will progress very much depends on what simon does with the outlier project next, but it’s probable that it will carry forward into other avenues this year. that was something that was always at the back of my mind when i was working on the project and also definitely influenced the direction. i’d really like to develop some motion work using the identity – there’s a lot of room for it to come to life in that world and the identity i’ve already created would really lend itself to something audiovisual. in many ways, outlier was a dream project. i come from corporate branding so it was an opportunity to be less strict and develop ideas further. i think it was particularly interesting because it involved a whole brand system rather than a poster series or a logo. thinking about it in those terms definitely pushed the project into more unusual spaces, that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach with a more ephemeral event identity.
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M ich ael b osw e ll for b onob o
09 Flyers for the first set of shows featured different patterns made from the line identity.
10 Designs for the outlier website make use of the flexible identity when stretched across the screen.
11-12 boswell suggested other ways the identity could be used, such as for passes or wristbands.
“I’d really like to develop some motion work using the identity – there’s definitely a lot of room for it to come to life in that world” 10
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a f t e r e ff e c t s
create animations in after effects Sara Barnes shares her tips from Richard Borge’s icoN9 workshop, where she experimented with animating illustrations in after effects
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get more from gifs animate for the web in our final icon9 workshop
W O RK S H OP
richard Borge illustrator and motion designer Richard Borge is a Brooklyn-based creative who works primarily on editorial and corporate illustration, as well as animation and motion design. His client list includes G4tv, Sony Music, Vampire Weekend, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Coca-Cola.
Sara Barnes Adobe After Effects might be a complex program, but once you grasp some basic concepts, you’ll be able to create a range of animation styles. Richard Borge, who ran the illustration conference ICON9 workshop on using After Effects, trained as an illustrator before teaching himself the program. He took attendees through the following basic concepts and, after just three hours, we had each created an animation. Borge has some key advice for anyone using After Effects: “Keep everything organised and split into pieces,” he says. “This means that when you have to change something, it won’t require you to deconstruct the entire animation.” USINg KEyfRAmES after effects allows you to incorporate photoshop files into your composition (comp). When you import these files into a project, the layers will retain their individual qualities – simply drag one onto the comp and it appears on the animation timeline. clicking the triangle next to transform will show position, scale, rotation and more. each of these aspects are keyframes – a location on the timeline that marks the beginning or end of a transition. to add a keyframe, select which characteristic you want to alter and click forward on the timeline. the position, for instance, can change from one keyframe to another by dragging it along the comp. When you play the animation, it will travel along the path you created. easing can make transitions between keyframes look less choppy by organically speeding up or slowing down the animation. Find the Keyframe assistant menu under animation to incorporate easing. easy ease does what the name suggests by easing the element on both sides of the keyframe. CONNECTINg ElEmENTS parenting synchronises the changes of one layer with another layer’s transformation. the wheel of a car, for instance, would be the child layer of a vehicle’s body, which is the parent. in this case, every time the car is moved, rotated or scaled, the wheel goes with it. to assign the parent/child relationship, first make sure that your anchor points are correctly aligned. think about it like the skeleton of a figure – what are the joints? When something rotates, where will it rotate from? Drag the anchor point to change its position. once these points are determined, select the intended child element and click the spiral icon under parent.
then, drag it to the parent element and release – the two are now paired and any changes you make will affect both parts of your new element. AddINg mOTION the puppet tool adds natural motion to a rasterised image. a snake can bob its head while its tail shakes, for example, all with the placement of a few pins. First, click on the triangle next to effects and select puppet. under it, you’ll see mesh 1. click on the triangle next to it to bring up the Deform menu. You’ll now be able to click on the areas where you’d like to to add puppet pins – you can experiment with this until you get the effect you are looking for. once you’ve finished placing your pins, click forward on the timeline and use the transform property to stretch or distort each individual pin. Your puppeted subject will be moving in no time.
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a f t e r e ff e c t s
01 click on the child element (symbolised by a spiral) and drag the icon to its parent.
04 use the puppet pins to assign movement to different parts of the same image.
07 once separate elements are paired together, they move as one unit.
02 use the position attribute to move the element during keyframes.
05 once the pins are in place, drag to stretch, push, or distort the puppet.
08 puppeting and parenting an animation will help it to move more convincingly across the composition.
03 adjust the anchor points to ensure that individual parts rotate in relation to one another.
06 to export an animation into a movie, go to File > export > add to render queue.
Workshop info detaiLs: Motion designer Richard Borge explained the basics of animating in After Effects, including exercises on keyframes, parenting elements and more. Location: Hilton Austin, 500 East 4th Street, Austin, Texas duration: Three hours numBer of attendees: 22
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P R O J E C T di aR y
INKS pINball app: a SplaSh of colour State of Playâ€™s new app iNKs has an artistic twist, as players create unique splat art in the process
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stay of p lay’ s i nk s
luKE WhITTaKEr co-founder and creative director, State of play Based in London, Luke worked freelance in art, animation, illustration and game design before setting up State of Play. He still creates a lot of work by hand, including the design and model making of game Lumino City, which won a BAFTA for Artistic Achievement. He was also named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2015.
proJEcT facTfIlE brIEf: Challenging themselves to develop accessible digital pinball, London-based game and animation studio State of Play mixed analogue paint tests and slow motion player footage to develop a realistic yet artistic take on the classic game.
STudIo: State of Play www.stateofplaygames.com proJEcT duraTIoN: Four months lIVE daTE: May 2016
ThE dESIgN brIEf
Luke Whittaker in our previous game, lumino city, we made a pinball table, and this concept was something we thought we might explore further. most pinball games on the app store try to exactly replicate old pinball tables, which means they’re quite lurid. We wanted a new take on it. We also wanted to create a game that wasn’t intimidating to new players. a lot of people think that pinball is complicated and we wanted to break the game down to its fundamentals. the project also fitted well with our personal aims and interests. steffan [Glynn, the game’s artist] has long been interested in the process of making an interactive art program, and how that could be incorporated into a game. the idea of making a pinball app that incorporated an element of art seemed like a great opportunity.
WorK IN progrESS
04 01 part way through the project, the state of play team stripped back iNKs’ levels, transforming each into a playable canvas of increasing difficulty.
02 after experimenting with watercolours, and reading various papers about fluid motion simulation, Dan Fountain worked on code to copy how ink behaves when dropped onto paper.
03 the branding for iNKs marries the fast-paced energy of pinball with the artistic side of the game.
04 initially, iNKs featured target objects, but soon the team decided to make the wall playable, with an ink splat marking a successful hit.
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Dan Fountain iNKs was the first game we built in unity, and we started off prototyping very early on. We developed our first physics engine in about two weeks, starting with the moving flippers. because of its tools and interface, unity means you can mess about and rapidly work things out. it’s much easier to grab a point, move it, modify the curve and hit play, than having to modify the physics and underlying code each time. at the beginning, we started with a sort of mechanical look, partly inspired by screenprinting and partly by circuit boards. as we progressed, luke experimented with watercolours, and at the same time steffan was designing levels that had much simpler goals. He had stripped away all the fake electronics to make it just about hitting a set number of targets. We needed a binary way of showing whether a target had been hit or not, and we decided to make that an ink splash. as we had a lot of different paths that we could have potentially explored further, we started playing the game with friends to work out what made a fun puzzle. eventually, we
P R O J E C T di aR y
05 the physical version of iNKs for Now play this 2016 at somerset House was a fullsized pinball table with the game projected onto the surface from above.
06 the pinball table for the somerset House exhibition was cNc cut from timber at a friend’s workshop.
daN fouNTaIN lead developer, State of play Dan joined State of Play in 2012 soon after graduating from Bournemouth University. He plays a key role in bringing State of Play’s games to reality, using technology to blur the boundaries between the real and the digital. With INKS, he worked on creating the realistic physics and dynamic ink effects in Unity. His other talents include being able to complete a Rubik’s Cube in under 30 seconds.
07 the state of play team stand with the physical version of the iNKs pinball table, just a few weeks before the launch of the game.
aNoThEr lEVEl artist Steffan glynn explains the challenge of player progression one of the key problems that we had was the application of levels. at the beginning, you had to hit a certain number of elements to open a door, then you have to hit another thing to move on. the series of situations was too long and complex, so we stripped it back by going through a process of really understanding the fundamentals of our game. We got rid of all the peripheral stuff, and just kept the raw materials – the table, the wall and the ball. Now, with each game, the more confusing elements are slowly added one by one, so you are eased into the game as you build confidence and skill.
came to the conclusion that everything should just be colourful and hittable. We also wanted to use the limits of the screen – if there had to be a wall, the wall might as well be the target. Halfway through the project, we rebuilt the physics engine. We had a friend with a pinball table and we filmed him playing in slow motion. Watching the video of him playing helped us understand how the velocity, direction, timing and position of the ball affects where it goes. then we realised we had to make sure that our algorithm was working in the same way. there are a couple of academic papers about simulating fluid motion, but running on mobile meant that we had to make a simpler model. the mixing and blending were replicated with custom shaders and the metal api. in our simulation, a splat lands paint in 30 different areas, then it draws a curve around them, so that every splat’s shape is completely different and every time you play you create something new. every pixel on the screen has a colour, but it also has an amount of wetness. this means that where something is only slightly wet, it will actually suck moisture and colour from the wetter areas. We could have done it with lots of photoshopped images of ink, but it wouldn’t have felt the same. c o m putera rts.creati vebloq.com - 94 -
crEaTINg INK arT
Luke Whittaker the colour palette was quite tricky. all the vibrant colours needed to merge well, and be distinct enough from each other for easy gameplay. the artistic influences happened quite accidentally, in that what we were doing started to look a bit like Jackson pollock or miro. it inspired us to create a screenshot function, so that people are aware that they’ve just made a piece of art. later, when we needed a solution for the traps that the ball can get sucked in to, we started looking at bridget riley’s work, which features concentric circles. rings gave the illusion of depth, and also looked dynamic, without having to be animated. our final concept was the idea of having the gold, silver, bronze and black balls. these are trophies that you are given right at the beginning and try not to lose. the ultimate gamer challenge is the star ball, which you get for completing a level in the fewest number of moves. the project won an apple Design award, and has been very successful on the app store. apple really supported it – we think this is probably because it’s made specifically for ios. it also makes the most of the features built into apple devices, drawing attention to them.
stat e of p lay’ s i nk s
STEffaN glyNN artist, State of play Kingston School of Art graduate Steffan joined State of Play in 2014. He designed the levels in INKS, and also played a part in the ink effects, splatting ink onto paper to watch how it flowed and blended.
08 the team redesigned the physics engine halfway through the project to better mimic a real table. the trail of the ball helps players reassess missed targets second time around. 09-11 the artistic influence of miro and Jackson pollock appeared almost accidentally from the game mechanics, but the team intentionally turned to brigit riley’s concentric circles. Watch the demo video here: www.vimeo.com/163252793
in terms of getting feedback on the game, building in screenshots really helped because you get to see the points where people are really enjoying the game. some fans of real pinball have also said that they really like the game, and we even made a physical pinball table for a prelaunch event as part of Now play this 2016 at somerset House. the game was projected from above onto the surface of the machine, and went down really well. i think we’ve managed to keep some of the great things about pinball, even though we’ve deliberately changed some of the tropes. it wasn’t about dumbing the game down, it was about about making it more accessible for everyone, and merging the idea of gaming with the creation of art.
oN ThE ball
The State of play team share tips on game creation
1. hoNE your SouNd make sure your audio matches the visual reward. in iNKs, each level has a progressive key change – all the button sounds match that key too. this means you feel like you’re constantly improving.
2. lISTEN To your doubTS if you’re unsure about an approach, abandon it. We got hung up on the circuitry idea for a long time, whereas we probably should have let it go earlier and gone in a different direction.
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3. mErgE ThE ElEmENTS the art and the game mechanics should be one and the same thing – so don’t sacrifice the game for the visuals. We achieved this by all working collaboratively from the very beginning.
SNASKIFIED o you’re an illustrator, and you want to succeed in the industry from hell. A bit harsh maybe, but our industry is extremely tough. The competition as a freelancer has never been this hard. At the same time, however, there are now more opportunities than ever before as the whole world is now your potential client. How can you get ahead? Well, we can offer you some advice from our point of view as an agency that works with freelance illustrators. the single most important thing is to maintain a network of contacts – that’s both existing clients as well as potential future customers. this means selling yourself as a person as well as a freelancer with excellent services. During our eight years in the industry, we’ve come to realise that many freelance illustrators are particularly bad at this.
Why? We don’t know. as a freelancer you are always representing yourself, both to get new clients and keep the old ones. even if you have an agent you still need to network if you want to succeed. the next thing to think about is having a great portfolio. of course, you have to be talented or your services will be a hard sell, but you also have to think about what kind of portfolio you’re showing, since it’s likely to contain the type of work you’ll end up doing. almost every job you get will come from a client seeing something in your portfolio and wanting you to do something similar for them. so don’t put any work in there that you don’t want to do again. also make sure you show different parts of the process, not just the final art but also sketches and storyboards. clients get a feeling of security from knowing that you have a professional process. Finally, brand
yourself. We’ve written so much about this that it’s getting repetitive. but just think about usain bolt and how he is a brand, and not simply a fast guy.
SNASK OFF! snaskified is a recurring column by snask, the internationally renowned creative agency that strives to challenge the industry by doing things differently. snask worships unconventional ideas, charming smiles and real emotions, and sees the old conservative world as extremely tedious and as the world’s biggest enemy.
Fredrik Öst www.snask.com
E NEmy o f Th E mo NTh
CA N Dy
fi lT h
Non-replying pitch people If you invite people to work for free by pitching for a job, at least have the decency to reply and tell them you didn’t choose them. Just stopping communication is both rude and ignorant.
What’s the most disgusting thing at Snask? Just before the holidays, Jens ‘forgot’ a bucket of sliced pineapple in the studio. Four weeks later, we got a surprise welcome from a smelly monster that was basically alive.
Dream job It must be great being a design book publisher. You ask for photos and text and then you press print, sell copies and earn a living. Who said it had to be hard to ‘write’ (Cmd+C and Cmd+V) a book?
Tall tale This month’s filth is as visually filthy as it is simple: Rat King. Google it and don’t forget to check out the pretty pictures!
T hu m bS u p !
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T hu m bS D oW N!
revealed: THe UKâ€™S TOP 30 STUdIOS IN 2016 INDUSTRY ISSUES
Five classic challenges that freelancers face every day, and how to overcome them BACK TO BASICS
our istD typography skills series concludes with an expert guide to using the grid Plus: inspiring projects, current trends and expert analysis from the global design scene
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D E S I G N I C ON
This month, Jon Forss, one half of transatlantic design studio Non-Format, discusses his love for retro automobiles, and why he wants to see a publication focusing on his passion
Jon Forss’ mother poses next to the family’s beloved Ro 80 in a car park, where it makes a striking statement alongside its 1970s counterparts
ONE FOR THE ROAD More than anything, this is a plea for help. Maybe I’m simply looking in all the wrong places, but there’s a particular design history book that I just can’t seem to find anywhere. To make matters worse, it’s quite possible that this book doesn’t actually exist. let me start right at the beginning. back in the 1970s, my mother used to drive a spaceship. this was a vehicle so advanced that even its engine was pretty incredible. but it wasn’t the motor that fired my young imagination, it was the styling. its sleek lines, all gleaming chrome and metallic blue paint, were a thing of wonder. the only clues to its origins were the letters Nsu on the front, accompanied by one of those beautiful typographic clusters on the back that read ro 80. the most astonishing thing about this extraterrestrial car is that it launched all the way back in 1967. take a look at what Ford were making back in 1967, or vW, bmW or mercedes-benz for that matter.
sure, lamborghini had its miura, which has pretty much been the template for sports cars ever since, but i don’t really care that much about sports cars. i’ve always been far more interested in the cars you see parked in people’s driveways. these are the day-to-day workhorses of the common people. i mentioned that the ro 80 had an incredible engine. unfortunately, it was a rotary engine so prone to catastrophic failure that owners of ro 80s who passed each other on the roads of europe would wave at each other by raising fingers denoting the number of engines Nsu had replaced for them under warranty. of course, it wasn’t long before this most visionary of car companies ran into financial troubles and was eventually acquired by vW audi. one look at the original 1982 audi 100 and it’s pretty clear, at least to me, that the spirit of the Nsu ro 80 lives on. this pleases me. i’ve always had a passion for car design. someone from coventry poly paid us a visit while i was doing my foundation studies at cheltenham art school. For a fleeting moment, i seriously contemplated a life of automotive design, but settled on graphic design in the end. i figured c o m putera rts.creati vebloq.com - 98 -
designing vehicles would involve an awful lot of drawing and sculpting, neither of which i excelled at. every few years, cars seem to undergo something of a transformation. most recently, i’ve noticed headlamps shrink to almost a slit of light, leDs transforming rear light shows, and crisper, more expressive lines of pressed steel in between. each generation gets its own point of automotive expression, and whenever i see a new car bucking the prevailing trends i get just as excited as when i was a child of the ’70s. all this brings me to my plea for help. can someone please recommend the definitive history of car design? i want a book that digs deep into the moments that really paved the way from year to year. i know a bit about the bertonis, the pininfarinas, and a few others of the automotive styling glitterati, but i want to discover how their innovations impacted car design for the rest of us. in detail. if there is no such book, maybe Yorgo tloupas (whose wonderful intersection magazine has paved the way) and a willing publisher could do me a solid. Can you help Jon with his car design quest? Tweet your ideas to @NonFormatTypes
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