Another year and another fantastic collection of entries to our annual Student Awards, a.k.a. The Dog’s Bollocks – and what a competition it was. Year on year we are seeing the quality of work surpass our expectations making the judging incredibly tough. So, how could we pick a winner?
Well, we were lucky enough to have a helping hand from our first ever guest judge Angus Montgomery, editor of Design Week. He joined our panel and together they spent an afternoon debating and deliberating until they agreed on a talented shortlist of winners and three runners up. The standard was so high this year that we awarded three top spots of gold, silver and bronze.
Thanks to everyone who entered this year, it was a pleasure and a privilege to see such great work – we look forward to seeing you at D&AD New Blood.
Click any image below to view larger size.
Gold: J2O by Morgan Swain, NUA
“Judging the Design Bridge Student Awards wasn’t much different from judging professional work, both in terms of the quality of entries and the rigorous selection process. Almost every entry we saw had considerable merit, so the winner had to be something pretty special. And Morgan Swain’s J20 rebrand was just that – witty, clever and compelling, it is also a brilliantly executed piece of branding.”
Angus Montgomery, Editor, Design Week
“The solution for J2O completely changed our perceptions of the brand for the better. The design wittily references the alchemy-like feeling of the brand name whilst also elevating its natural credentials. The result is an idea that feels completely own-able and is executed beautifully – leaving the judges left wanting to try the product! We were also impressed by the way that the idea was carried through into ambient media and other intriguing applications.”
Asa Cook, Creative Director
Silver: Aislinn Toye, Blu Tack, Falmouth University
“Blu Tack was an inspired choice; this famous brand desperately in need of the makeover it deserves. I loved the single mindedness and humour in this design solution: where a simple, memorable and definitive brand identity sits appropriately on the back of the rich seam of imagery and nostalgia forever associated with the brand – unlocked via an insightful understanding of this brands unique behaviour and role in our lives.”
David Annetts, Partnership Creative Director
Bronze: Max Neilson, Millets, Nottingham Trent University
“Millets for me has always had the whiff of disappointing camping trips in the ’70s… Shoddy nylon tents and skinny bendy tent pegs! As the UK’s largest outdoor retailer, it is incredible it still projects such a disappointingly bland identity, with no emotional engagement to the outdoor life! This entry challenges all the negative perceptions of this generic high street store, and finds inspiration in the true story of the brands roots, founded in 1893 (rather than 1973) by Mr J M Millet. Projecting a cooler heritage feel, the brand can now really connect to its music festival-going consumer (and probably its biggest source of summer income) and can now compete with imported American heritage clothing and rucksack brands with an authentic and desirable image. An insightful choice of brand and category, a thorough and rigorous understanding of the job at hand and attention to detail made this entry a definite finalist.” – Graham Shearsby, Executive Creative Director
Cholula by Morgan Swain, NUA
“I like how you just ‘get it’. It’s simple and leaves a smile on your face!”
Sapphire Wosko, Designer and previous runner up.
Cholula was loved by the entire studio, for its clear graphic thought and exceptional execution. The real hand-painted label and package communication made this concept sing. Amazingly, Morgan found the time to enter our competition twice. As we conduct blind judging she ended up being awarded both gold position and a runners up place.
Mikado by Sam Bristow-Bell, NUA
Our judges were drawn to Mikado because of the fun integration of product and branding, bringing to life the table top game of the same name (better known as pick-up-sticks). Different sticks earn more points and are coloured and named accordingly. The lone Mikado or ‘emperor’ is worth the most and other sticks are known as ‘guards’. This story is brought to life, among others, around the pack.
Ginsters by Charlie Davis, Falmouth University
Ginsters was another studio favourite. The ‘fun lorry’ hoarding, celebrating Cornish heritage in a quirky way, was a winning factor for us.
All the work was judged by the same criteria in which we judge our internal awards:
- The brief: Our final interpretation of the challenge
- Insight: The big idea or creative spark from consumer or brand truth or Eureka moment
- Confidence: Sense of purpose, strong point of view Inspirational: The Wow! Factor
- Craft skills: Typography, photography, illustration, attention to every detail
- Breakthrough in category: Challenging the category rules
The Dog’s Bollocks Student Competition gives us the chance to showcase and recognise the fantastic new talent that is emerging from art colleges and universities today. With so many inspiring entries, judging is becoming tougher every year. Congratulations to our winners, who have won internships in our London studio, plus a cash prize, and (how could I forget) a trophy that really is the mutt’s nuts (we’ll share more about the making of this soon..).
Congratulations also to the runners up and thanks again to everyone who entered as without you this wouldn’t be possible. A special thanks is also due for Angus Montgomery, our guest judge.
In: Advertising, Awards, Brand communications, DB Student Awards, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Innovation, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design · Tags: DB Student Awards, Dog's Bollocks, Featured News, Students
Frank Nas, Managing Director at our Amsterdam office, will be one of the speakers during the Marketing and Design Congress in Amsterdam next week. In run-up to the event, which focuses on design accountability, Frank wrote a column about design effectiveness which was published on Dutch marketing website Marketing Tribune.nl. Here’s a translation of the full article:
Design Effectiveness is the bridge between the creative vision and the bean counting. It’s what separates great design from good packaging design.
It’s what we want all our work to be, and why it’s built into our approach from start to finish (and beyond project delivery). We’re in the top 10 most effective agencies in the world because we take effectiveness very seriously.
Design is not just about creativity, it’s a careful balance of creativity and effectiveness. If it doesn’t sell, then it’s not effective.
And that’s why it’s so important to our clients, the marketers. Raymond Turner describes it as “the biggest single expenditure that the board knows nothing about”. Which is why we see it as our responsibility not just to help clients understand where their money is going, but to demonstrate why it is so important an expenditure and to do better work as a result.
We believe that great design has a big idea at its heart, and delivers a distinct personality consistently over time (and through every touch-point). This is the platform for effective design; design that delivers impact and communicates relevance – and advantage – with conviction.
The 4 principles of an effective packaging design:
- It can be seen on shelf (impact)
- It engages shoppers (relevance)
- It communicates key messages and/or a point-of-difference (advantage)
- It sells (conviction)
But in many ways, truly great design starts long before the designer starts sketching. It starts with the very first conversation with the client, where the brief is fleshed out (or challenged) and we don’t just agree that we “need a new design” but we agree what the design needs to do, and what the right answer will look like.
And it’s that kind of integrated approach that can really help to convince a management that wants proof of design effectiveness before they invest. By demonstrating that we understand their business and market, we can demonstrate our ability to translate their business and marketing objectives into consumer drivers and clear design objectives, the foundation for measurement.
Of course, it’s always impossible to promise guaranteed results with any creative solution, impossible to prove it before you’ve done it, but by demonstrating your solid understanding of the principles, through your approach, you go a long way to convincing them. And a few case studies don’t hurt; being able to demonstrate how you’ve done it before for another client makes life a lot easier. For example, we recently helped Hoogesteger reposition themselves from own-label supplier to consumer facing brand by finding and expressing their compelling brand truth and story. Sales increase of +42%, a 10% increase in market share and distribution in +300 new outlets less than 8 months after launch demonstrate that we know how to be effective.
But if you don’t have the awards or results, then you can at least demonstrate a solid understanding of the successes and failures (e.g. Tropicana’s renowned u-turn) of other branding stories – the DBA website has loads of great case studies of awards winners to reference.
It’s important to reassure and continue to convince during investment too; to continually review and assess your objectives, but also to see the design through shoppers eyes, by looking at it in sales context and by speaking to consumers – rigorous qual and quant research provides a wealth of guidance that can help to reduce risk and increase effectiveness.
So how does the investment pay back? Fundamentally, we will see a positive uplift from getting each of the 4 principles right (e.g. increased brand impact means more people see and are more likely to consider the brand) and in some cases we see an immediate uplift in sales and market share.
In an ideal world we’d see this instant improvement, and sometimes we do, but it generally takes 2-3 months after launch to see a positive effect, allowing for full distribution to be reached. Sometimes it is a slow burner related to improving perceptions and getting into people’s consideration set; when we re-designed KFC’s UK menu boards with consumer navigation in mind, we increased sales of high margin key products by 40%. But not straight away – we had to wait to see the improvements over time. Sometimes the impact might not be on the bottom line, but on the softer side of the business; e.g. internal engagement and staff retention.
And these improvements need to be traceable to design. Turnover is a great measure, but we need to strip out comms and promotional spend, so focus on the time before this kicks in (there’s usually a bit of a lag). We can also look at last year’s spend which is sometimes the same or more, which gives us a good idea of how hard the design is working.
Top tips for effective packaging design
- Begin with the first client conversation to determine clear objectives before you start, and follow up beyond design delivery to track performance and results
- Establish which measures work with your objectives: sales, listings, units, revenue, margin, engagement
- Be creative about determining the impact of design. Look for reduced PR or online / marketing activity and pre-campaign shelf sales
It’s important that design yields measurable results because design is an asset. It’s an investment that’s worth a lot of money to the business. In the language of our clients, we need to ensure that we are getting the most out of our assets and equities and maximising ROI.
In the language of the design world, we’ve only done our job when we can demonstrate that the design has been effective.
In: Awards, Events, Graphic design, Insights, Marketing, Seminars/talks · Tags: dbn, Design Effectiveness, Featured News, marketing and design congress, Marketing Tribune, Talks
Surf’s up, Dudes.
In a move that shifted Apple from its long-held tradition of naming its operating systems after cats, the company announced last week that it’s latest OS X would be called Mavericks, an intense big wave surf spot in California.
Here’s the new operating system from Apple, named after a place famous for making big waves. See what they did there? You have to trawl through the features to even find “OS X Mavericks is the best way to surf”, because they don’t really need to make the connection with poor puns, do they? Apple are above that sort of thing.
I didn’t know that Mavericks was ‘a winter destination for some of the world’s best big wave surfers’ where only a select few are willing to risk the hazardous, sometimes deadly, conditions.
‘Woah Dude, I mean, brilliant and deadly, that’s what I want out of my operating system.’ It’s an elite club of thrill seekers, enter the water only if you dare. Who wouldn’t want some of that?
So Apple have managed to find a different kind of dangerous cat as a thread for their naming: surfers and thrill seekers living on the edge. This has to be more interesting for their audience and, of course, these are the people in the know, so no one will need to spell out the alternative, high energy, surfer connection to them.
The name works on a number of levels, especially as Apple are currently pushing ‘Designed by Apple in California’; weaving products into a cool, calm and clever Californian mindset – a lovely piece of joined up thinking. The name also demonstrates that Apple haven’t lost their sense of humour or their ability to be creative with naming, having been criticised by phone users for being unimaginative and sticking to numerals for new models. But this is a different audience and a different mindset; the people engaging with operating systems will be way more discerning than mobile phone users.
There are also some great definitions for what ‘maverick’ means, which adds even more depth, Dude. Urban Dictionary cites a maverick as ‘someone who refuses to play by the rules…isn’t scared to cross the line of conformity…their unorthodox tactics get results’. This just adds more exclusivity to the OS X club. I want to be a maverick too, where do I sign up?
Where does the name actually come from? A Texan land baron, called Samuel Maverick refused to brand his cattle, so his name became associated initially with unbranded range animals and then with being ‘an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party’. That would be me, Man. (I have no idea if Californian’s or surfers speak like this, but it’s a stereotype I’m happy to milk for a while longer).
So the new name has a big wave full of daring and alternative thinking and makes all the right sorts of associations Apple might want to develop about itself.
And how about Mavericks, the destination that Apple say they took inspiration from (rather than the cantankerous, strong-willed politician)? Apparently, three surfers dedicated the place to one of their dogs, Maverick, a white-haired German Shepherd, after he tried to join them in the water, and the name stuck.
Now, that’s a dog with real OS X attitude and I want to be in his gang (okay, maybe it isn’t that exclusive after all).
The last element is that Apple aren’t necessarily saying that they are the mavericks in this equation, it’s the audience, the ones who think differently and will be challenging and put the system through its paces. They are the true mavericks who won’t be told how to think, even by a soft spoken Californian. Hats off to you, you proud rebels, let’s stick it to the man. Nice one, Dude.
So when you’re asked why you prefer to use Mavericks; you can tell people that it reflects your rebellious nature, or that you like to live dangerously, or it suits your laid back attitude.
Or you can simply tell them you’re a dog lover. Your choice.
Summer’s here, let’s catch some waves.
More about Apple’s new OS X Mavericks on Gizmodo.
In: Brand communications, Brand Strategy, Naming, Technology, Viewpoints · Tags: Apple, OS X
A couple of lovely projects from The Glue Society have caught my attention lately, both of which were part of the Sculpture by the Sea project. This melted ice cream van, entitled ‘Hot With a Chance of a Late Storm’, was installed on Bondi beach, Sydney, oozing seductively onto the beach next to sunbathers.
For some reason this work, entitled Once, reminded me of Chris Bracey’s collection at God’s Own Junkyard, which we blogged about not so long ago. According to the article on Beautiful Decay, they took the contents of an entire theme park and crushed it into a 13 foot cube, but exactly how many rides, or stalls it contains is unclear. Remnants of the rides, tickets, prizes and light fittings can be seen poking through the structure, reminding us of what was once a place of joy and excitement, but is now irretrievable. Once was situated by the sea in Aarhus, Denmark.
Thanks to Hannah for spotting Design in a Nutshell is - great new animation series from the UK’s Open University to promote design courses. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, they explain the history of certain design and art movements in a quick and engaging way, picking out the ‘best bits’ of each to keep it simple.
Without wanting to look like too much of a superfan, this is the third time I’ve mentioned Zim and Zou’s work on Friday Favourites. But, they do keep coming up with great stuff that just has that wow factor, so I can’t resist sharing the pretty, immaculately made paper things. I have no idea exactly what this paper barbecue was made for - it mentions Factum on their site, but it’s not clear if this is Factum Finance, or Factum art projects, or if it was for a particular campaign. Do leave a comment if you can shed light on this. Found via Trendland.
Thanks to Holly for finding these Ads With a Purpose, by Ogilvy and Mather, for IBM’s Smarter Cities campaign: “I thought they were a great twist on ‘interactive’ advertising – really genuinely beneficial and un-corporate – neatly bypassing all the cynicism and commercialism that can be associated with this industry. Simple, straightforward and clever, and one of those campaigns that makes you wonder why someone didn’t do it before.” Found via Dezeen.
Just up the road from our Clerkenwell office, by Old Street, is a rather clever installation by Greg Shapter. Stand on the spot on the ground marked X, and you can see a face on the side of the derelict wall behind their building. When you move, the image breaks up to reveal the illusion created by layers of tiles.
The image is of local architect and journalist Peter Murray. Peter has worked on famous projects in London such as Broadgate, Union Square in Hong Kong as well as launching a number of industry magazines. Greg Shapter’s work, Who Am I? was commissioned by Domus, a local tile company that has worked with several artists on installations and promotional pieces. Greg’s intention was to ‘design a piece of art that rewards the viewer for effort’.
In: Advertising, Architecture, Art, Brand communications, Film & Animation, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Ooh that's nice, Structural design · Tags: Friday Favourites, Installation, Outdoor, Paper, Paper cut, Paper sculpture, Sculpture
I was quite excited to discover these beautifully crafted, hand made building blocks for children, by US company Uncle Goose. This particular set is inspired by type foundry House Industries’ original logo, with each block featuring various fonts and symbols from their collection.
I hadn’t heard of Uncle Goose before; it looks like there is just one stockist in the UK (and the whole of Europe according to their website), but I can imagine many of their products being a hit with new parents within the design industry. Check out more blocks produced by House Industries here. Found via If It’s Hip, It’s Here.
Thanks to Audrey for sharing City Churned – Ben and Jerry’s latest flavour innovation. A unique flavour combination will be created for five different cities across the US, based on consumer voting, using various fun methods. Votes can be cast for your preferred flavours that sum up either Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle using online voting, tweets, Foursquare check ins, or actual voting booths in those cities. Some votes are cast more randomly – for example, which dog drinking bowl is more popular, vanilla or chocolate? Or if a jogger runs North it means they’re voting for Marshmallow. If you ride a fixie it means you’re voting for Fairtrade Coffee flavour. Confused? I was, but in spite of the rather unscientific crowd sourcing methods, the whole look of the campaign is irresistible, and the online tools are cute and fun to use.
At the end of the voting, however, it looks like the ice cream flavour combo is on sale for one day only. I’d love to see the same initiative for cities in Europe or Asia to compare the results.
Thanks to Dan for sharing these carved wooden sculptures (yes, really) by Tom Eckert: “Really impressed with the level of craft in these pieces. Yes, they do look a bit like an invisible magician is showing off – and alright, they may be lacking a bit of purpose or idea behind them. But come on, how impressive is that level of skill? Very impressive, that’s what. Maybe just because I’ve seen how painstaking it is for our Realisation team to create the stunning mock-ups that they do out bits of resin and paint, but I think it really is an awe-inspiring level of finish. I particularly like the contrast between the denseness of the raw material and the incredibly soft and sometimes transparent effect that’s created, and I love the way he plays with the material to reveal the true grain of the wood in the surface of the paint.” Found via Colossal.
This is a lovely piece of collaborative work to promote the Cartoon Network. They briefed a number of illustrators from around the world to submit their animations, which were stitched together, exquisite corpse style to create a wonderful mix of illustration and animation styles for their summer ident. Each team was given 10 seconds of music, a set of colours and a load of Cartoon Network characters to play with to create this playful, energetic result. Thanks to Dan B for sharing this one.
Last week we mentioned the splitting Coke can, this week Wendy spotted another interesting packaging innovation from Coca Cola in Colombia – the Botello de Hielo - a bottle made entirely of ice. It looks somewhat impractical to hold, even though it comes with a band around the bottom, but I’m guessing it would make a very welcome (and short lived) treat on a hot Colombian beach. A great idea for minimising plastic waste too. Found on various blogs, including Fast Company.
In: Brand communications, Brand Experience, Film & Animation, Fonts, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design · Tags: Cartoon Network, Coca Cola, Friday Favourites, House Industries, Ice, Ice cream, Ice sculpture, Kids, Sculpture, Soft drinks, Toys, Typography, Wood carving
There’s something very appealing about these edible gelatin letters, created by designers Aranxa Esteve and Lucía Rallo from M-Inspira in Spain. You can almost smell the jelly flavours, I just wish there was a film of them showing their wobble. Found via Colossal.
Thanks to Lisa T for spotting this fabulous installation, which was found at Craft Central, just around the corner from our London office. Cloud Leopard by Nahoko Kojima is an intricate hanging paper sculpture, originally shown at last year’s Saatchi Collect exhibition. What’s incredible is that the whole thing was cut by hand, taking about five months to complete. Nahoko Kojima is one of a handful of artists to have won this year’s Jerwood Makers Open prize. For this exhibition she is making a life size, paper cut swimming polar bear. Check out her paper cutting workshops here in London, or more about her work on this video.
This is a lovely campaign for The National Trust, by The Click. Turning on its head the usual stern signage you find in public places, this delivers a playful message with a great tone of voice. In my view it takes the National Trust away from the somewhat stuffy perception associated with it, making seem like a younger person’s brand with a sense of humour. They launched it with the hashtag #NaturesPlayground to encourage people to share their National Trust experiences online.
Comments from Dan P: “I love a little double take and these definitely make you stop and think – it would be great to see how they work in real life, but I assume they’ll be as effective as they look – in encouraging people to stop being so bloody English and get stuck in… Isn’t it great when Design (with a big D of course) does more than just make things look nice, but actually encourages positive behavioural change?” Found via Creative Bloq.
I loved the dream-like warped quality of Bae Sehwa’s wooden furniture – it looks so beautifully made. Each piece is planned digitally, then hand crafted from strips of hardwood, which is steamed for several hours and then bent into shape. Found via Beautiful Decay.
Thanks to Wendy for finding (and sharing) this new packaging innovation from Coke – the can that splits in two. Created as a collaboration between Ogilvy & Mather’s France and Singapore offices, this idea assuages the guilt in downing a full fat Coke in one go. However, it’s not quite how it looks – it’s actually a small can and a cup rather than two cans joined together, but still a great sharing idea for packaging, tapping in nicely to Coke’s brand message, Sharing Happiness. Shame about the environmental impact but it’s an interesting promotional ite
In: Advertising, Art, Asia, Brand communications, Brand Experience, Brand Strategy, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Innovation, Marketing, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design · Tags: Copywriting, Friday Favourites, Furniture, Paper, Paper cut, Sculpture, Signage, Tone of voice, Typography
Maybe it’s because it’s been such a drab start to the year, with each month seemingly the wettest / coldest / windiest on record, and absolutely no sign of summer (missing – last seen in 2008, at least in the UK anyway) but we seem to be craving light here on Friday Favourites.
With the close of the awesomely inspiring Hayward Light Show earlier this month (captured nicely by FastCo.), and the weather remaining sullenly unresponsive, the design community has come to the rescue with a series of creative endeavours that play with light and shade in time and space.
These long-exposure shots of fireworks from Davey J Photography capture a perspective that we can never normally see with our human eyes. Fleeting flickers of light and smoke gain previously hidden depth and body and become textured and almost floral, chrysanthemum like.
Elsewhere, lighting designers are playing with shadows and perspective to transform interior spaces.
This beautifully filigree, almost Burton-esque sculpture from Hilden & Diaz stands alone as an intriguing and visually appealing structure. But it really comes to life when the switched is flicked (like any good lamp really). The difference with this lamp is that the real impact comes not just from the light and the glowing structure, but from the resulting thrown shadows that wrap the room with a dramatic forest of gnarled limbs and roots, and “Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness”. Probably not one for the kids’ room, but there are rumours of a kickstarter campaign to fund production, so you may well be able to lay your hands on one soon. Found via Twisted Sifter and the Hilden Diaz site.
While Hilden and Diaz bring the outside in, Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock bring the inside out, creating chandeliers from recycled bicycle parts, structural steel, and custom LED fixtures for the Ballroom Illumninoso installation in San Antonio, Texas.
These shadows make you feel like you’re inside some sort of Baroque machine, perhaps a Jules Verne timepiece. The combination of intricate shadows and bold colour washes transform the exposed and slightly bare overpass into a space that’s almost interior and certainly more intimate, perhaps even transforming “a forgotten space into one that connects the community”. Found via Laughing Squid and Beautiful Decay
It’s not all grand shadows and installation work though; lighting is of course a major component of this week’s Clerkenwell Design Week exhibitions, though focused more on achievable small scale transformation of a space. Here are just a couple of nice examples we found at the House of Detention exhibition, just around the corner from our London office:
Donna Bates is an Irish designer who grew up on a dairy farm. Inspired by this, her Parlour Lighting uses the wonderfully named ‘milking parlour receiving jars’ which are used to collect the milk. We were asked to guess what the receptacles were and, like many others, wrongly guessed ‘scientific equipment’ or ‘brewing/distilling equipment’.
This Ka’pii r-endy lighting (meaning ‘grass-lit’ in Tupi) is created by Fellicia, a Brazilian product design company with an interesting sustainable focus. The products they sell are part of the Culture in Focus project, working with local artists in conjunction with the Institute of Research, Technology and Innovation.
In: Art, Exhibitions, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design, Sustainability · Tags: Chandeliers, Fellicia Brazil, Fireworks, Friday Favourites, Interiors, Lighting design, Long exposure, Photography
King Adz is on the front line of creative culture. He’s an art director, writer and photographer constantly pursuing the leading edge of the zeitgeist. Whether it’s hiding in the heart of Durban or exploring the outskirts of Tel Aviv, King Adz is looking for the ‘stuff you can’t bottle‘ – the subject of his latest book. We were his audience for an evening ‘At the Bar‘ – one of the regular inspiration talks we have at our studio in Amsterdam.
He kicked off with a film to introduce his work, immediately grabbing everyone’s attention when he explained that “Brands need the youth to sell to the youth.” Over 15 minutes the film bombarded us with raw creativity alongside interview snippets from Adz’s peers and youth on the streets. Of note; a young girl wearing an Obey sweatshirt who’s not ‘into’ brands. She sees the extensive marketing brands carry out in a negative light. Adz points out that Obey could be considered a brand, but she seems to see Obey in a different way. Another clip presents a couple of boys talking about youth as vehicles for advertising – we may use the cringe-worthy term “brand ambassadors” for them, but the boys feel they’re being exploited. Despite the youth doing the work to start something original, it’s the brands that get the pay off by ‘hijacking’ the trends.
Adz’s current line of work is a mixture of writing about, publicising and connecting talented artists and designers on the streets with brands who will sponsor and support them. He sees roots movements grow using company money. It’s a nice position to be in. It has taken his whole career, in a round about way, to get there, but it was only after he left advertising in 2006 when things started going in this particular direction in earnest. He released 100proofTRUTH – 1percent: an online pdf magazine that was jam-packed with the things he loved – culture that wasn’t about the money, it was about finding the real up and coming talent from the streets. 100 Proof TRUTH only released a couple of issues before it was noticed by Jamie Camplin, MD of Thames & Hudson, with whom he went on to publish a series of books.
Adz became truly engrossed in street culture. He co-wrote a book that unveiled the now infamous Blek le Rat to the world and also worked up his own project The Urban Cookbook - a book that plays match maker to vibrant street cultures and fresh local cuisine.
While he has been successful as a result of his investment in street culture (working with giants such as Lacoste, Levis and Smirnoff) he explained there is a Catch 22: The problem of roots culture drying up the second a brand touches it. The real stuff is on the street, not online; it’s not born from some branding ‘big wig”s office or studio, even. A funny analogy he gave is “if you’ve read about it in The Guardian, it’s over”. He believes people are not involved in a movement simply by buying something. That’s consuming – not contributing or building.
As the global community expands, brands look to the emerging BRIC markets for their next audience. It’s in these parts of the world that he is looking for his new talents. One of his ventures will see young fashion designers from South Africa (a place very close to his heart) taken to Germany for the Berlin Fashion Trade Show.
So can brands expand in these emerging markets without corrupting the local sub-cultures? Can they work with the youth to bring something fresh to their own enterprise? Adz suggested that brands could be more effective than established charities in helping 3rd world communities. There are a few companies that are making moves to become truly involved, who are starting to live their brand messages. Notably Diesel’s Only The Brave Foundation is having positive effects throughout Mali, but it feels like the tip of the iceberg. King Adz continues to investigate the future of branding vs culture in the largest emerging markets. It’s something we should all be paying attention to as our world gets smaller and the sustenance of genuine local cultures becomes more important.
For further info about King Adz and his exploits have a read of this interview on Slamxhype, and check out the video below to promote Stuff You Can’t Bottle.
In: Advertising, Art, At the Bar, Brand communications, Brand Experience, Brand Strategy, Fashion, Innovation, Insights, Marketing, Ooh that's nice, Seminars/talks, Viewpoints · Tags: atthebar, dbn, King Adz, youth culture
Germany agency Kolle Rebbe has created the world’s first Tea Calendar for Hälssen & Lyon. Tea leaves have been pressed into wafer thin pages of a calendar that can be torn off to brew a fresh cup of tea for every day of the year. Found via Neatorama and Junk Culture.
Being a bit of a fan of paper sculptures, I couldn’t resist sharing these animals by Brooklyn-based artist José Suris IV. Some of them are based on specific characters from cartoons or games such as Pokemon or Zelda, made into either masks or mounted heads; others are sculptures of the whole animal. They are built from a mix of different papers, paper clay, wire and styrofoam, and the intricate work involved to create the fur, feathers or fins is just incredible. Found via My Modern Met.
Illustrator and designer Si Scott also uses 3D paper sculptures in some of his work, but I was initially drawn to his pen and ink illustrations of insects, found via Colossal. His Resonate series of animal illustrations was created for Silent Records, but he has also worked on projects for Nike, Dove and Coca Cola to name a few.
Photographer Beth Galton teamed up with food stylist Charlotte Omnès to show us what popular dishes look like on the inside. The food cut in half project was inspired by a photo shoot where they had to cut a burrito in two. As food photography usually focuses around appetite appeal, it was interesting to explore a different perspective by shooting a cross section the interior of certain products instead. Found via Feel Desain.
I have stumbled across a number of artists recently whose work involves the alteration of portraits, often changing the face dramatically to give a slightly jarring effect. Julie Cockburn and Henrietta Harris are a couple that spring to mind. One of the nicer examples found was Nandan Ghiya’s work on NYC Arts, where he manipulates not just the image but the structure of the frame too. It reminded me of tools like Glitche, mentioned in a previous Friday Favourites, used to corrupt pixels in digital photos.
In: Art, Brand communications, Brand Experience, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Innovation, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design · Tags: Food photography, Food styling, Friday Favourites, Illustration, Paper, Photography, Sculpture, Tea
“What is the world’s most beautiful compost bin?” Yes, that’s what I typed into the search engine.
Why? Because last week was Compost Awareness Week (who knew). Plus, if we’re all about good design, then surely we should be looking at the stuff that is well designed, helps us live a more sustainable lifestyle, and in a more rewarding fashion.
In the UK composting has had a considerable uptake because of our obsession with gardening, along with government schemes encouraging more homes to compost in order to divert waste, so you might think that an article on composting might seem a bit Brit-centric. However, when I typed in my search criteria, scrolling past all the typical formats, I discovered an unlikely composting ally in Southern India: that’s right, it’s all the rage in Hyderabad. And I think Hyderabadis do it better. Look at this:
Okay, so they might not be to everyone’s taste, but as gardens are increasingly a considered part of the home in design terms, it certainly makes you think differently about the notion of a what a compost bin should be. It doesn’t have to be morbid statement of dark plastic looming in the garden that literally chews up waste; instead, something that feels a bit more in keeping with a natural environment, whilst delivering great functionality in its everyday context. Also available unpainted:
Check out Hyderabad Goes Green for more interesting ideas.