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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