Archives for category: Branding

Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

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Oh, experimental typography… how we love thee. Perhaps it’s a case of design envy, or we’re just taken with pretty things in general, but when done well, experimental typography can stand on its own, out of context. This is definitely the case with the work of Hamburg, Germany-based motion designer/illustrator Alex Schlegel. Schlegel’s visual explorations on the typographic treatment for DirecTV’s Super Saturday Night lead to these impressive pieces. The forms, lighting, and textures achieved with Maxon Cinema 4D are not only purposeful but also beautiful. Designers can sometimes use such powerful tools gratuitously, but Schlegel’s steady hand and keen eye for composition and color elevate this client job for corporate giant AT&T to works of art.

Via Behance

In an effort to pay homage to some superb Italian design manifested widely through consumer goods, Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini conceived this series of fictional co-branded sneakers. Looking at Gimini’s body of work, particularly this imaginative series, appropriately titled “Sneakered”, it’s clear that Gimini operates on a creative plane not easily defined. At a time when consumers (very broadly speaking) seem to be steeped in the marketing of nostalgia, Gimini capitalizes on that trend and also taps into a youth culture that holds footwear, specifically sneakers, in high regard. Think of it as an exercise in mashing up historical examples of excellent product design with a vehicle that has global youth appeal (sneakers). Brilliant.

Via Behance

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Believe it or not, for being such a simple, uncomplicated product, Lego has some particularly clever and thought-provoking advertisements (here and here). Already three years old, this campaign celebrating 55 years of the Lego brand is basically a series of 55 visual riddles, fittingly featuring little more than the iconic bricks. The great minds at Swiss agency Cavalcade are behind these fantastically clever designs, which, much like Legos themselves, inspire a great deal of imagination. We must admit, we’re still struggling to solve many of these, but it’s so satisfying having solved the ones we did. Answer key to the few ads featured here at the bottom of this post. No peeking, try to figure them out for yourself!

Via Behance

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Answers (in order of images): Yellow Submarine, Alice in Wonderland, Three Little Pigs, Purple Rain, Jaws, Spider-Man, The White Stripes, Hunger Games, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jackson 5, King Kong, Titanic, Stairway to Heaven, I Walk the Line, The Beatles, New Kids on the Block, Little Red Riding Hood, Clockwork Orange, Men in Black, Rolling Stones

Tourism marketing is not something that we think of as terribly design-y. We just assume the process involves input from many people and interests, and therefor gets boiled way down from the designer’s original vision. But in the case of a Smoky Mountain Tourism campaign from several years back by Tennessee-based designer/creative director Shayne Ivy, that vision seems to have won out for the most part. We love Ivy’s style here, which lends itself really well to the concept and is beautifully executed. It’s even a bit reminiscent of other multiple exposure work (here and here), and most notably that by the great Olly Moss (here), which is certainly the highest compliment. It appears that Smoky Mountain Tourism has since shelved this campaign, but a resurrection may be in order… Ivy’s double exposure silhouette concept and treatments are far superior in our mind.

Via Behance

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We are thrilled to announce that the Barbour collection of awards has seen significant growth with the addition of several prestigious recognitions.

See live announcement with links here

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You must admit, the “pumpkin spice” phenomenon that has taken over in recent years may be getting bit out of hand. We find premature pumpkin spicing particularly offensive (as does this guy)… we do not need pumpkin spiced anything in August! In any case, with the autumnal flavors creeping in, so do all the colors, textures and visuals of the season. We love food-related typography (here and here and here), so when UK designer Daniel Coleman pulled back the curtain on his process for this fittingly delicious take on pumpkin spiced typography, we were immediately intrigued. In his own words, Coleman discusses the project: “Esquires’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the coffee chain’s hero product for Autumn 2016. We were asked to produce a key visual that captured the Esquires brand points of being artisan and handmade, whilst conveying the products ingredients as authentic (and not just a syrup shot). We designed a visual that captured those standpoints, with a particular focus on the authentic ingredients. By creating the type out of cinnamon, we could emphasise the flavour in the latte. To further set the mood, we added leaves and key ingredients around the typography. We experimented with various ingredients, looking at what gave the greatest clarity, colour and perception of flavour. Given the nature of the product we decided to work with cinnamon. The type was created by adjusting a font named ‘Beyond the Mountains’, making sure it had no complete bowls, eyes or loops. The next step was to laser cut it out onto card to create our stencil. The final result took a few experiments, using varying amounts of cinnamon to ensure the best detail and legibility.”

Via Behance

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We have a certain fondness for Scandinavian design; what’s not to love when functionality and simplicity converge? These characteristics extend through many facets of design, including architecture, furniture, household objects, and, of course, photography and graphic design. So it’s no wonder we’re so taken with this series of photographs by Danish photographer Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj. Commissioned by iconic, high-end Danish housewares brand Eva Solo, Hvilshøj captured these fantastic “visual recipes” in such a way that they could honestly stand on their own based on artistic merit. Hvilshøj’s work elevates marketing photography to another level. We not only love the concept, but it’s executed brilliantly.

Via hvilshoj.com

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No matter what you think of CNN’s new corporate font, aptly named CNN Sans, CNN’s investment in not only the font itself, but this humorous, highly-produced video touting its attributes seems like a win for those of us who hold the value of typography in the highest regard. As far as we’re concerned, increased awareness of the importance of typography can only be a good thing. Albeit, there are some haters who consider CNN Sans to be a blatant ripoff of Helvetica (CNN even acknowledges the, um, resemblance between the two). In case you’re wondering about possible copyright infringement, no worries… CNN Sans was developed by type foundry powerhouse Monotype Imaging, who has brought us ubiquitous typefaces such as Times New Roman, Gill Sans and Arial. Oh, and they own the rights to Helvetica.

Via cnncommentary.com

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Just this week, Uber unveiled a global rebranding that not only strayed a bit from its recognizable logotype, but also introduced a rather detached set of app icons. Can’t say that we suffered from extreme design envy over the previous Uber logotype, but it was fine. While their new logotype seems like a step in the right direction (thicker letterforms and tighter composition for maximum readability), the highbrow concept behind the app icons and larger identity seems rather misguided, and will surely be lost on most. Yes, Uber’s official statement references “bits and atoms” (“The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology but technology that moves cities and their citizens.”) In theory, the thought process behind the concept, which is customized identities for specific markets that aim to draw colors and patterns from “art, architecture, tradition, old and new fashion, textiles, the environment”, is a thoughtful one. But from a branding perspective, it seems to dilute the impact of the Uber brand as a whole. And that doesn’t even address that larger concern that the icon itself is not identifiable in any way as Uber. Though we had issues with the previous icon employing a dissimilar “U” letterform from the Uber logotype, at least it was just that, a letter U. This icon, or rather set of icons – one for riders, another for divers – make no effort to resemble the new Uber logotype in any way. Why abandon the “U”? Our view is not the basis of some pretentious design theory, but simple human nature. In our estimation, the biggest stumble here was not hiring branding experts for the task. We are not knocking in-house designers… they are often immensely talented with an invaluable familiarity and investment in a given brand. But this was surely not a 12+ months-long task meant to be spearheaded by a non-designer CEO. There are experts in the field who do this sort of thing, we are among them. We hear the cry among our peers: “Help us help you!” Sure, the presentation of Uber’s new identity is slick, but the principals behind the design concept as a whole indicate a lack of design leadership. An unfortunate case of just looking pretty, but not meeting a brand’s true potential.

Visuals via Uber

 

 

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New look. Same ride.

A post shared by Uber (@uber) on

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