Year 3 Industry Project: Anyways

Another of the agencies involved in the third year Industry Practice unit were Anyways. The brief set by Anyways was developed from the work they had done with the Tate Modern and Uniqlo collaboration that resulted in London Dreaming.

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Brand collaborations between mainstream companies or products and cultural institutions or artists are increasingly popular throughout the world. Uniqlo linking up with Tate Modern might seem unlikely, but often it is the spaces between quite different organisations or disciplines that interesting connections or concepts are found.

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For LondonDreaming, designed in 2016, Anyways discovered that it was the 500 year anniversary of Utopia, a term and concept coined by philosopher Thomas More in 1516. Within it, he suggested that the only true way of achieving such a place was to ‘dream in the now’. Anyways used this idea to invite Londoners to dream of a more creative future. In Uniqlo’s nine London stores, Anyways concept saw the exhibition of 200 artworks from young artists who, as part of Tate Collective, were invited to respond to the brief ‘Future’. At the Tate Modern, an interactive installation enabled visitors to choose one of six different futures that they were most inspired by.

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For the third year students the brief was to develop a collaboration between a high street brand a cultural institution in a way that was productive for both parties. This led to some great ideas:

Becky Campbell developed a collaboration between Sharpie & The Cartoon Museum that centred on people being able to design cartoons and animations for London’s most well known buildings and landmarks, which would then be projected onto the buildings to animate the city.

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Lauren Berger developed a collaboration between Ikea and the Saatchi Gallery called FÄRT—Flatpack Art—which encouraged people to engage with making sculpture using Ikea products. The concept draws from art movements such as those started by Marcel Duchamp’s urinal and the idea of ‘ready mades’, as well as Sol LeWitt’s work that is a series of instructions for people to produce the artwork themselves.

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Jordan Mitchell developed a collaboration between Transport for London and Palace streetwear. This resulted in the development of an idea for a Palsport ‘oi sir’ card which would give skaters access to underground stations out of hours in order to ‘take back London’ and reclaim the city as theirs.

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This project was an amazing opportunity for students to work alongside Anyways, visit their studios and get feedback from their creatives. Callum Green, one of the creatives at Anyways had this to say about their experience of working with our students:

We were blown away by the breadth and quality of the ideas and executions on Friday.  Your students were complete pleasures to work with. They reacted well to feedback, presenting themselves in a professional manner, and had some very exciting ideas. (I think we’re all going to spend our Christmas making Ikea furniture art!) You’ve got a very exciting course on your hands here!
As the project has been so successful for both Anyways and BA (Hons) Graphic Branding & Identity we hope to develop further collaborations in the future.
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Year 3 Industry Practice Project: Landor

Year 3 students on BA Graphic Branding & Identity start the year with a unit called Industry Practice. The focus of this unit is to give students an experience of working in an industry context on a brief that has been set by each agency. This year one of the agencies students worked with was Landor.

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Landor are a global company, and have offices in over twenty five cities throughout the world, including London. They have worked for some of the biggest global brands like Nike and BMW, along with smaller brands like 20/80 and brands that are less well known in Europe like M&G—a Chinese stationery brand (see image below, but also click on these links and see full case studies from Landor).

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The Landor designers and creative director met with students every other week, taking them through the brief in the way they would do in their own studio.

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Students had to present their ideas on a regular basis and give a final presentation in the Landor boardroom overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge. This was an incredible experience for the students and really helped them develop their understanding of branding, their design process and their confidence.

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Josh Bailey who took part in the project said:

Personally, I really enjoyed working alongside people in the industry because they offered me insight into what goes on in their office and the design industry as a whole. Getting to see the work they had made for the same brief was a unique experience, helping me to understand more about what I’d be doing after uni and where I could take my work further if I was to go back to it.

The students worked on a brief Landor had previously completed, and as this hasn’t been released into the public domain yet, we can’t tell you much about it. However, when we can, we’ll post some of the students’ visual responses to the brief in a further blog post.

 

Guest Lecture: Nick Sims, Saffron

Nick Sims from Saffron gave the first years this week’s guest lecture. Nick graduated around eight years ago, and since then has worked internationally before returning to the UK three years ago to take up a position at Saffron. Describing himself as ‘an ideas man’ since leaving college, it was arriving at Saffron that he realised he was a ‘brand designer’. The great thing about being a brand designer is that it allows Nick to get involved in a huge range of different aspects of design, including user experience, user interface design, typography, tone of voice, photography, motion, layout, colour, sound and even smell. Nicks advice for young creatives is to:

TAKE RISKS
SEE NEW THINGS
MEET NEW PEOPLE
KEEP LEARNING
HAVE FUN

At Saffron, Nick is able to continue to follow this advice himself as Saffron have offices and clients throughout the world and designers often work across projects together, so he is very often out of the UK. Nick showcased a range of projects he has worked on, a recent one being the rebrand of Tiger. Also known as Flying Tiger and TGR and originally  established in Copenhagen, the brand’s visual identity and tone of voice wasn’t really communicating their personality, with many people assuming that the shop sold cheap, low quality products. The design team have taken a really playful approach to the rebrand, focusing on the idea of Everyday Magic. They also developed a visual system that enables the three different names to function very clearly under the one brand.

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The logotype was formed by cutting the letterforms out of card, with the outlines then being slightly refined digitally – as Saffron describe, ‘carefully crafted to look uncrafted’. It was great to see that studios still use these hands on methods to think through ideas in a range of ways. The branding now communicates much more of a sense of Tiger as a playful, quirky company – one that conjures up some everyday magic for the customer. The simple satisfied smile that is an integral part of the branding ‘represents the smile Tiger put on customers’ faces as they discover things they need, things they want, and things they didn’t know existed — all at a price that surprises’.

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Guest lecture: Anoushka Rodda, Templo

Last week Anoushka Rodda, Managing Director of Templo, came in to give a guest lecture to the second year students. Temple are a really interesting agency, with a strong ethical perspective on design – only working with clients and on projects that reflect their own values and contribute to some form of positive change. Anoushka talked through a range of case studies, including work for the United Nations which enabled the organisation to tell their story in a way that created a more relevant public image.

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She also showed a project for the International Truth & Justice Project that focused on human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The solution here cleverly integrated the two local languages Tamil and Sinhala, along with English, thus resonating within Sri Lanka, but also connecting with a global audience. The two ‘brother and sister’ logos fused the Sinhala and Tamil words for ‘stop’ with English. This enabled them to dual brand everything and create a sense of balance from both perspectives.

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The campaign launched in June 2014 and will continue into 2016. It has built momentum online through the main campaign website, the white flag incident website and social media. A celebrity event, chaired by Jenni Murray BBC journalist and presenter, helped raise further global awareness for the #StopTorture campaign. Cara Delevingne, M.I.A., Bianca Jagger and Maryam d’Abo read survivor testimonies from the report.

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The campaign and the report provided a basis for advocacy and lobbying to be carried out in both Geneva and New York. The Stop Torture campaign persuaded United Nation countries to vote for an international, independent inquiry into human rights violations in Sri Lanka. As a result of the campaign William Hague stopped deporting victims of torture back to Sri Lanka. Having a bilingual branding system helped to connect with two distinct audiences and provided both communities with the opportunity to read the campaign in their own language. This a real testament to the power of design.

Alongside the case studies, Anoushka also gave students an insight into the design management side of the business, including areas such as liaising with clients, developing briefs, costing projects and pitching ideas. This gave the students a real insight into how Templo works as a studio, and what else goes into the development of a project beyond the design.

Guest lecture: Priyjah Paramasivam, Rufus Leonard

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Some more great advice for first year’s this week from Priyjah Paramasivam who is a mid-weight brand designer at Rufus Leonard. She shared her journey from graduation to date which included a stint at Beyond, before starting at Rufus Leonard three years ago. The agency describe themselves as creative problem solvers, and it was evident from how Priyjah talked through her case studies, that concepts are key to the Rufus Leonard approach. During her time at Rufus Leonard, Priyjah has worked on a range of high profile accounts, and one she talked through in detail was the Odeon cinemas brand refresh. Whilst the Odeon logotype is a classic on our streetscape, the traditional experience offered from mainstream cinemas has been challenged by smaller brands such as Curzon or Everyman that offer the cinema goer a more bespoke experience. The challenge with Odeon was to retain their diverse audience, but refine their approach to encourage greater engagement with their offering. To do this, the design team focused on the immersive experience of truly great film. They used the iconic O of the Odeon brand as a design motif, positioning it as the ‘portal’ through which viewers’ imaginations are transported.

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Priyjah also discussed how the different teams at Rufus Leonard work across projects, so in the course a project that might require a visual identity to be developed across print and screen, the brand designers will work in collaboration with motion graphic designers, UX designers and coders. She also talked about the great studio culture at Rufus Leonard, where designers regularly discuss ongoing projects, share ideas and pin up work in progress for feedback. They also have SIX(!) studio dogs and regularly finish the week with doughnuts and drinks. It sounds like a great place to work to me!

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Guest Lecture: Tom Hardy, Manifesto Studios

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The first year students received a really insightful guest lecture this week from Tom Hardy (not that one!) from Manifesto Studios. He gave the students some great advice drawn from his fifteen years in industry working for agencies such as Sea, The Partners, and Radley Yeldar. Five years ago, Tom decided to set up his own agency, Manifesto-Studios, based in East London. He describes his business model as the most naive ever, but basically wanted to work with clients who are passionate about what they do and work with talented creatives who feel the same.

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Manifesto have worked on some great projects recently. One of the case studies Tom talked about was for Suya, a Nigerian food brand being launched in London. The brand needed to connect with Nigerians as well as non-Nigerians who knew nothing about the country’s rich culture or food. The brand idea was to ‘Create the bridge between Nigeria and London with a rich food and cultural experience’. The studio used Pidgin English (a hybrid of native language and English spoken across Nigeria) for key statements with Queen’s English translations beneath. These bridged both cultures with playful messaging. Hand drawn signage is common in Nigeria so both a typeface and illustration style were developed to reflect this. The logo has an extended ‘Y’ to represent the skewers the food is cooked on. The colour palette is bold with an accent of gold – a premium colour in both locations.

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Another client Manifesto have worked with recently is healthy drink brand Savse. The drinks market is saturated but consumers have lost trust in so-called ‘healthy’ options due to the addition of so much sugar and artificial ingredients. Savse’s offer was counter to that, and genuinely nutritious, but they didn’t have a way of telling people. Manifesto developed a brand idea which built on their authentic story. Nina is the founder’s mother who left a lasting impression on her family by creating fresh smoothies as an alternative to pharmaceutical medication. They drew on this rich heritage by developing ‘Nina’s Story’. The brand identity and marketing materials celebrate the natural imperfection of fruit & veg and spirit of making drinks at home.

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Guest Lecture: Kate Bones

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As part of their current motion project, the second year received a guest lecture and tutorials from Kate Bones. Since graduating from UAL in 2013, Kate has begun to gain a lot of design press attention as a gif artist. Starting out as a photographer, Kate has really developed an individual style and technique that initially captured the imagination of the alternative music, fashion, festival and queer scene, but is now attracting the attention of some big mainstream brands like Nike, Rimmel and Missguided.

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Kate generously shared her experience of leaving college and building a network of collaborators and clients alongside developing her ideas and practice to the point she is at today. Often she’ll just be given a couple of hours working with models and photographers at a shoot to come up with ideas, sometimes she’ll have two weeks. Brands are starting to contact Kate because of her individual style and technique developed through continued experimentation. However, Kate also knows that fashions change and whilst stereoscopic GIFs and cinemagraphs are in vogue now, something else will replace them. So, outside of her commercial work she is continually experimenting with new ideas that will enable her work and approach to remain fresh.

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You can read more about Kate’s work in a recent Creative Review feature.