D&AD New Blood 2014

For the past week I’ve been spending my time as a D&AD New Blood Festival Guide – this gave me the opportunity to meet some lovely people, attend various D&AD events and have a good old nosy at the Festival and the work on display. As always, there was an abundance of great work and I was really pleased I got the chance to have a really thorough look around the stalls as the exhibition can, at first glance, all be a little overwhelming and some clever ideas are lost behind other more attention-grabbing pieces of ‘eye-candy’.

I thought I’d share on here a selection of the work I admired and a bit of an insight into the events I attended during the week. (I was keen not to take too many business cards as I figured students would potentially rather them go to a future employer than some graduate fanny-ing around with a blog but hopefully all of my accreditations will be correct!)

Aside from Falmouth’s stand (of course!), it was Norwich’s that I was possibly most interested in seeing. They churn out fantastic packaging work year after year and I was really intrigued to see if this trend had continued – spoiler alert, it had!

I really liked this popcorn packaging from Joshua Miller, which combined the simple idea of a cinema ticket with popcorn to create a really nice result. I can imagine these working well in a supermarket experience as they would stand away from the shelf.

Joshua Miller Butterkist

Helen Mak’s work also caught my eye on Norwich’s stand – although really I shouldn’t be promoting her as she pipped me to the post to win this year’s jkr juice award! Again, I felt her work was effective as it combined the idea of oatcakes and Scotland to create neat packaging and promotion for Nairn’s oatcakes.

Helen Mak Crackers

 

I was also drawn to Abbey Hennebry’s work for Bassetts Allsorts which plays on their iconic look and heritage to create a unique range of packaging and set of posters that are sure to make you smile. I think I would almost prefer the packaging if each one just created a whole sweet but I guess she was playing with the concept of ‘allsorts’ and showing the variety, which makes sense!

Abbey HenneburyAbbey Hennebury

Moving on from Norwich now I really liked a series of posters by Anders Kristofferson and Michael McCallum from Southampton Solent University for the D&AD Sky Brief. Each poster plays with the idea of abstracting an element of a film’s plot and comparing it to a very different film and was deservedly given a D&AD In Book award.

Movie Mashups

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 18.08.44

 

Another clever poster I enjoyed was by Steph Hamer (I think! Please correct me if not) and is a clever observation that links drawing with football.

It's a draw

A final set of posters that I liked were created by Hannah Hughes and Tiffany Trethowan in response to a YCN Brief for Standard Life. These posters take the idea of saving with Standard Life and depict an exaggerated scenario of what happens when people choose not to save.

YCN Standard Life YCN Standard Life YCN Standard Life

There were some great examples of photography on display too. I really loved this one from Patrick Kelly, particularly the confidence of composition and the dreamy quality the photo has.

Patrick Kelly

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 21.46.34

 

I also loved Tereza Cervenova’s Photography and she was even kind enough to give me a postcard of one of her shots (Right before she won a Yellow Pencil so I should’ve got it signed!). Her work is hugely varied exploring emotions, light and just plain beautiful compositions.

terezacervenova terezacervenova

In terms of cute-ness, I just couldn’t resist Stephanie Morgan’s work for Save The Bees. I really like the simplicity of the pack and the illustration style and I want one of the little ones on my window sill!

Stephanie Morgan

 

Another sweet bit of illustration was this cactus Jessy Morris from Plymouth University:
Jessy Morris

 

I also liked Abi Sambells‘ illustration work, she turns a lot of her images into animations and I like the way she documented her character development.

Abi Sambells

Abi Sambells

 

Moving onto Falmouth now, we had a range of different work on show from the illustration, graphic design and advertising courses. It’s always hard to be subjective when looking at the work of your friends but I thought I’d include a small snapshot of the work on display.

From the advertising courses (that’s BA(Hons) and MA) I liked Miranda & Pat ‘s campaign for Dove for Men, playing with the simple premise that ‘It takes someone special to be a daddy’.mirandaandpat mirandaandpat

 

I also liked the work of Tom Dixon and Jo Griffin who took phrases and completely changed the meaning with the simple addition of a polo ‘o’. These just stood out as really simple and clever, working particularly effectively as animations which can be seen on their website.

Jo & Tom

 

The illustration course was particularly strong this year with fantastic work from a number of different students.

Key pieces for me came from Josh McKenna:

JshMck

David Doran:

David Doran

Rachel Saunders:

Rachel Saunders

And Fiona Rose:

Fiona Rose

I think the thing that sets Falmouth’s illustration course apart is just how well developed each person’s style is. Walking around the full degree show felt almost like looking through an agent’s book with each student demonstrating clearly what you would get from them if they were commissioned.

Finally we come to the Falmouth Graphics show. I won’t dwell too much on this one as I’m very biased towards various bits of work but I thought I’d pick out a few pieces that really stood out.

Firstly, I loved Adam Peacock’s posters for the Syrian Appeal, cleverly changing war paraphernalia into child-like drawings.

Adam Peacock

There was also some nice branding work from Adam Chescoe for a gift shop for the Forestry Commission. I particularly liked the way he’d changed the bar code to resemble a forest and used tree rings to create markers for his map.

Adam Chescoe

Adam Chescoe\Adam Chescoe

Another stand out piece was April Temlett’s silver prize winning entry for the Design Bridge rebranding competition (Coincidentally she also got the gold prize but I happen to prefer this entry). She chose Florette and played with the idea of lettuce creating french girls’ skirts.

April Temlett

It was also nice to see a small selection of my work up on display, a branding project for an immersive theatre company. You can read a bit more about this project here.

Maisie Benson

 

Finally, it wouldn’t be right to write a post about the New Blood Exhibition without a nod in Craig and John’s direction. They created the signage and branding for this year’s festival and it looked brilliant. The outer walls of the festival were full of great gems of copy and it really got people excited and curious about what was inside.

IMG_0043 IMG_0042 IMG_0046 IMG_0047

 

I did plan to write a little more about the events I attended but I think that may have to wait for a future post! I hope this did the festival some justice and reflected the incredible quality of the work on display. See you again next year!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Branding as Conversation

This is a bit of a different article for today and is a little taster of my university dissertation. I was exploring the theme of Branding as Conversation and looking at how brands are beginning to use copy on packaging and digital conversations as an integral part of their branding.

This surge in chatty branding has created an influx of blog posts with differing opinions on whether or not brands should be our friends. There’s a host of absurd terminology arising from ‘wackaging’ to ‘branter’ and right now there’s almost no one I envy less than those entrusted with a brand’s social media persona.

I am a 90’s child, and have spent a good portion of my life now on social networking sites. I have also spent almost half of my time on Earth surrounded by ‘chatty’ copy on packaging. However, somehow, despite all of this, if someone asks me who my best friend is (although I have to say that trend stopped in around year 7) I would not instantly declare ‘Tesco Mobile’ or ‘Innocent’ or even ‘Waterstones Oxford Street’. I realise this information may not come as a shock to you but brands are not actually trying to be our friends and we do not really see them as such. Just because they post an entertaining picture or tell us to ‘pop round to say hello’ doesn’t mean we’re instantly mates – they’re simply trying to break up the monotony of introspective, un-engaging and frankly dull messages and information that surrounds us all.

Whilst I am generally in favour of brands having personality and a unique tone of voice, the emphasis of this sentence needs to firmly be placed on ‘unique’. Brands need to find out who they’re talking to and what these people want to hear. It’s no good seeing a brand post a picture of a cat with a moustache and decide that that’s the best route for another brand because, 99% of the time, it is not. I think a lot of brands fail to acknowledge that the section of people they are talking to changes constantly and they need to be personified to such an extent that they can adapt to these changes in the same way that humans do. I have seen no end of articles dictating that brands need to create a ‘consistent tone of voice across all platforms’ when in reality it is not consistency that brands need, but instead, coherency. There is a huge difference between posting a tweet that will primarily be seen by individuals who have chosen to engage with a particular brand and creating an advert due to be aired on prime-time television; and the brand’s tone of voice needs to reflect this.

Back in 1967 Marshall McLuhan declared that, “Propaganda ends when dialogue begins” and I believe this quote applies well to the state of branding today. If brands can find a way to create conversation and dialogue with their consumer then the idea of them being ‘propaganda’ is lost. They stop becoming spam and filter themselves almost seamlessly into our lives. However, the minute disconnect arises (potentially through the wrong choice of media or audience) and the conversation becomes stilted or unreciprocated they instantly become propaganda once more, and seemingly devious propaganda at that.

This is an extremely fine line for any brand to tread and with such continuous public feedback and criticism it is not a task to take on lightly, however if it is done well, then they can gain almost unlimited access into their consumers’ lives and, more importantly, minds.

fruit-towers14

Dram good design – 25 years of Stocks Taylor Benson

As some of you may know, one of the ways I was first introduced to graphic design was through my Dad. He is the co-owner of Stocks Taylor Benson, an agency based in Leicestershire and they’re currently celebrating their 25th Birthday. (Anniversary? Whichever you prefer!) Now I don’t tend to talk about their work much as I don’t want this blog just to become a promotion for them, however their recent project to commemorate this momentous passing of time is one that I’m really quite a fan of.

Even Better With Age-1

Stocks Taylor Benson 25 years

I can put this appreciation down to a number of key features, the first and main one being the plethora of witty word play and puns they’ve managed to incorporate throughout the packaging, this, as well as the level of detail (even down to the year the typeface was made coinciding with the year the business was formed) and the lovely tactility in the orange foiling really makes it a stand out piece of work in my opinion.

Stocks Taylor Benson 25 years

The entire concept is based around the idea of 25 years, whisky was chosen as 1988 was a good year for whisky and the specific whisky they have packaged is Glenfarclas – a 25 year old single malt. As well as this, the boxes were produced in a limited run of 250, which were hand numbered, no less!

In their own words, ‘Once the box is opened the recipient is invited to share in a wee toast, “Here’s tae 25 years of spirited graphic design”, foiled onto a heavyweight board flap that hides the contents and builds the sense of anticipation.’

STB design, whiskey

Beneath this there’s a booklet to tell you all about the business (and the whisky) which features some lovely bits of copy such as ‘That’s the spirit” and “Like a good whisky we’ve become even better with age” further reinforcing the link between the company and whisky.

Stocks Taylor Benson 25 years

The bottles themselves (one is whisky, the other water) are simple but beautifully crafted. Beyond the initial word play on the products, they feature some neat details such as ‘Still – designing with passion’ on the water.
Even Better With Age-6

STB packaging

I love the way they have treated every element in the package as an opportunity and the entire thing is beautifully considered and thorough. A great celebration of their work.

You can find out more about this project here.

Oh, and also you can vote for this to be featured in The Drum via this link. You just have to click ‘Like’ next to their pictures.

Copy Cups – Waldo Pancake’s brilliant copywriting for Puccino’s Coffee Shop

Right then, time to dust the cobwebs off this here blog again!

I’ve got a post brewing about my latest uni project (All about tax, so that’s one to get excited about!) But in the meantime I thought I’d mention some brilliant copywriting that Smith & Milton introduced me to on my latest placement.

Jim Smith, or Waldo Pancake, as he has become known has been working for Puccino’s Coffee Shops since 1998 creating some of the funniest packaging I’ve ever read. I’d mistakenly believed that copy with personality had been a very recent phenomenon, with Innocent leading the trend, but instead it seems as though the best stuff has been around long before this current popularisation.

I’m a bit in awe of great copywriters, it’s a skill I really want to have and I think getting just the right tone and level of common knowledge is a really difficult knack to master.  Jim’s work is clever enough to make you laugh, but is also easy enough for you to engage with and doesn’t leave you feeling as though you haven’t quite ‘got’ the joke.

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Coffee Cups Copy

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Biscuit Copy

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Coffee Cups Copy

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Coffee Cups Copy

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Sugar Copy

Waldo Pancake, Puccino Sugar Copy

Jim Smith, copy, water, puccino

A full collection can be seen on his Flikr set here.

Branding & Packaging to be Jealous of

I love the work of B&B Studio, all of their projects have an individual wit and personality to them that very few other companies manage to achieve. Their latest redesign for Jealous Sweets is a great example of this.

Jealous Sweets B&B StudioB&B based their design around the concept of ‘covetable candy’ represented by a magpie on top of a variable jewel which corresponds to each set of sweets.

B&B studio Jealous Sweets

The design is simple and elegant – positioning the brand clearly in the premium market. This is accentuated by the use of gold foiling, embossing and die-cutting for the jewel, creating a lovely contrast between a clean crisp outside and a juicy, colourful interior.

B&B studio Jealous SweetsI think the easiest way to see just how great the new branding and packaging is, is to compare it to the original design, which falls into almost every cliché out there:Old Jealous Sweets Packaging

B&B Studio Jealous Sweets

The brand has also been transfered seamlessly across into their website, creating an elegant, easy-to-use page that highlights the lovely colours and variants of the sweets and jewels.

B&B Studio Jealous Sweets Website

I’m lucky enough to be spending some time with B&B Studio over the summer and I can’t wait to absorb even a tiny portion their brilliance!

Falmouth Unversity: Final Year Show 2013

This year, as always, the Falmouth University Graphic Design show boasts a plethora of brilliant and varied ideas and solutions. I’ve selected a few of my favourite pieces of work to try and capture a glimpse of the talent but I would fully recommend seeing the show over the next few days. All the work will also be available to view here from the beginning of next week.

Chulley Evans

Douwe Egberts Campaign

Douwe Egberts Campaign

One piece of work that really stood out to me was Chulley Evans‘ poster campaign for Douwe Egberts. The brief was to advertise Douwe Egberts to a younger target market and Chulley decided to focus her campaign on the relationship between coffee lovers and their coffee. She showed this loyalty with a really simple visual play on a coffee cup handle becoming a wedding ring. This is reinforced by her choice of copy which works really nicely in both the context of vows and for coffee.

Emma Chilcott

L'Artisan Parfumeur - L'Art de L'Emotion

L'Artisan Parfumeur - L'Art de L'Emotion

L'Artisan Parfumeur - L'Art de L'Emotion

I love Emma Chilcott‘s response to the D&AD brief to design the packaging for four scents from L’Artisan Parfumeur, each capturing a different emotion. Emma created L’Art de L’Emotion – a range of perfume paints that can be mixed to express your emotions using colour and scent. I think her solution is a really elegant outcome for quite an intricate brief.

Trevor Thompson 

 The Big Sleep Cover

The Big Sleep Back Cover

Trevor Thompson‘s book cover design for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep also caught my eye. I think this cover achieves a good balance between engaging the viewer without giving away too much of the plot. It gradually acquires further meaning as the book is read – whilst some women in the book may prove to be key to unlocking information in the case, others may be concealing far more deadly secrets.

Anthony Goodison

Feel Good Drinks Company CampaignFeel Good Drinks Company Campaign

One really simple but effective solution was Anthony Goodison‘s campaign for the Feel Good Drinks Company. Anthony took well known positive phrases and used the urban environment to engage with viewers and bring a smile to their day.

Conor Dorsett

Urban Honey Packaging

Urban Honey Campaign

Conor Dorsett decided to tackle the jkr juice competition to brand and package a global urban beekeeper’s products. Conor focused his branding on how urban honey is shaped by the city it is created in, this he showed very simply by forming city skylines out of honey drops. I think this outcome would be really effective on shelf as the skylines would align and create the impression of an entire city.

Sarah Knight

Douwe Egberts Packaging

Douwe Egberts Packaging

Douwe Egberts Packaging

Sarah Knight tackled the same Douwe Egberts brief as Chulley, above, but with a completely different outcome. Sarah focussed on redesigning the coffee’s packaging to bring it, quite literally, into the home. I think Sarah’s designs work really nicely as a set and would be really hard to resist!

Paul Ransom

Paul Ransom Duracell

paul ransom duracell

Along the same lines as being hard to resist, I really liked Paul Ransom‘s Duracell redesign. Paul has created a different personality for each battery type based on their size and nature of use.

Josie Evans

Josie Evans Falmouth

Josie Evans Falmouth

Josie Evans Falmouth

Josie Evans‘ self initiated brief was to create a campaign to highlight issues surrounding food wastage as well as providing cheap and easy solutions to the problem. Josie created a clever sleeve to fit over various products to show just how much is wasted out of each item bought. Each sleeve contains a recipe that could be made using the potentially wasted product, if all of the sleeves are collected they can be arranged to create a full poster with various facts and information about food wastage. I love how many different levels there are to Josie’s outcome think it is a really effective and practical solution.

Urban Honey – Packaging Design

I thought it was about time I updated you on what I’ve been up to this term! We’ve had two projects, one live brief and one competition brief which is the one I’m going to focus on today.

The brief I chose for my competition was the jkr Juice brief to brand and package a Global Urban Beekeeper’s Company. We had to consider what products would be in the range and begin to look at ways the products could be marketed. It was aimed at 21-35 year old men and women and would be a quality brand, as they would be paying more for the benefits of city honey.

I decided not to over-complicate my brand, the product already had a number of benefits from being a natural energy boost, to each city having a distinct flavour, to a wide range of medicinal properties so I decided the strongest thing to do would be to simply combine the idea of city/urban with honey!

The brand name of Urban Honey seemed the most appropriate, and it seems to be unregistered, so used that and focused more on creating an impactful visual for the packaging which could become synonymous with the brand.

My final identity was based around road markings from various cities. By replacing the orange / yellow lines with the honey it very simply created a graphic that combined urban with honey and would stand out on shelf.

Below are the final boards I sent to jkr, you can click for a larger image and read more about my concept:

JKR juice 2013 urban honey packagingJKR juice 2013 urban honey packagingJKR juice 2013 urban honey packaging
JKR juice 2013 urban honey packagingI really enjoyed the brief and I’m pleased with the final result. I think they are striking bottles that work as a range but also individually.

Let me know what you think!