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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 10.27.44

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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