The Amsterdam Away Day

Summer Away Day

Amsterdam life usually involves water in some form, whether it’s an afternoon boating along the canals or just the normal Dutch rain! Luckily for us, the clouds held off on our Summer Away Day this year but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t get very wet!

Summer Away Day


We were sorted into our teams (water based residents including the Vikings, Dragon Boats and Venetians) and set about deciding names, stories and making props for our challenge.  The mission: build a raft that can carry your team across the canal and stay dry doing it. Just 2 barrels, 6 planks of wood, 8 pieces of rope and 0 knowledge on raft building… challenge accepted.

Summer Away Day

Summer Away Day

We all got to work puzzling over the best way to use what we had been given (and a few pilfered extras), but it soon proved obvious that it was harder than we thought. Balance and floating were primary difficulties, partly due to the rafts capsizing and subsequently falling apart!

With all but one raft completely failing, we realised that the ‘staying dry’ part of the task was never going to happen. Some embraced the murky brown canal water and if you weren’t quite wet enough, water pistols were always on hand to soak a rival team.

Summer Away Day

Beers of course followed to warm up the sailors and toast the victorious, as well as Frank’s unforgettable Ice Bucket Challenge. We certainly worked up an appetite for the huge BBQ that we had at Roest (or Rust in English), the industrial and quirky event space complete with beach and retro caravans in the garden.

Summer Away Day

Summer Away Day

As day turned to night, drink tokens were swiftly spent on refreshing cocktails and the hippie atmosphere continued. While some attempted to play the piano in the bar, others made a 70’s revival relaxing in the caravans. As it started to get cold – it was September in Amsterdam after all – we gathered around the huge campfire soaking up the ‘gezellige’ atmosphere with warm memories to cherish for the impending winter.



Summer Away Day
Posted on Oct 20th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Friday Favourites

Ralph Steadman illustrates Breaking Bad

British illustrator Ralph Steadman is no stranger to bringing troubled characters to life – his highly influential warped drawings famously provided the manic imagery for Hunter S Tompson’s writing. When you hear the names Walter White and Jessie Pinkman the phrase ‘troubled character’ definitely comes to mind, so it was utterly brilliant this week to see what Steadman made of these guys after he was commissioned to illustrate the cartoons for a limited edition Blue-ray release of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad. I would not mess with these guys.

Walter White

Jesse Pinkman

Saul Goodman

Hank Schrader

Gus Fring


Timelapse in the Big Apple

Thanks Natasha for sharing this great video from Timelapse Media. After exploring New York City by taking thousands of photos, these guys produced this film and managed to capture the spirit and energy of the Big Apple in just two minutes, which is quite an achievement. Put your headphones on and enjoy – I can smell the hot dogs from here.

#NYC from Piotr Wancerz / Timelapse Media on Vimeo.


Penguin Drop Caps

Make some room on those bookshelves and take a look at this gorgeous book series from the typographic talents of Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley. The Penguin Drop Caps is made up of of twenty-six hardcover collectible literature editions and they’re are on sale now. The collection is a stunning rainbow spectrum from Austin to Zafon, each with an ornate drop cap lettering design – it all begins with a letter.

Jane Austin

Madame Bovary

Kazuo Ishiguro

John Steinbeck


Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Take a look at the whole series here.

Posted on Oct 17th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Friday Favourites

San Francisco Purple Bay

Thank you to Robin White for sharing these mesmerising aerial photographs from Julieanne Kost. These vivid images are not the result of filters or tricky, nor are they stills from a David Lynch dream sequence – what you are seeing are trillions of colourful microorganisms thriving in the shallow salt ponds of San Francisco Bay.






In the process of turning water into salt and brine, the microorganisms change their hues as the salinity increases due to variable algae concentrations – blimey, that was a mouthful. We’re just lucky enough that they decided to turn cosmic purple – don’t you just love nature sometimes.

Eoin Duffy’s Oscar-nominated The Missing Scarf released in full online

Eoin Duffy is a great of example of why graphic design and animation can be the best of friends. The Irish born, Vancouver-based film maker’s short animation The Missing Scarf got the serious thumbs up from the film industry back in 2013, including an Oscar nomination – a serious thumbs up. Finally, the full version has been released online, which is great news for us and Albert the squirrel.

Missing Scarf



It’s a fantastic piece of animation with more to it than just a missing scarf, so do give it watch. Oh, and Captain Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek narrates it (aka George Takei) – what more could you ask for?


The Missing Scarf from Eoin Duffy on Vimeo.

Recycled paper insects

Stumbling across these beautiful bugs on Fubiz was a real treat. These critters were all delicately hand crafted from recycled paper as part of an advertising campaign to promote the paper trading society IGEP, by Belgian agency Soon. I may get the glue gun and dried pasta out this weekend after this crafty bit of inspiration.








Take a peek at how they did it here

IGEPA – making of from Soon on Vimeo.

Neon Books by Airan Kang

And like a moth to a flame, or a paper insect to a neon book, this week I was drawn to the seriously cool work of South Korean artist Airan Kang thanks to our friends at Fubiz.  The series is comprised of various luminous book covers and pages that have been created with transparent synthetic resin and glowing LED lights – forget a lighted dance floor, I want a lighted book shelf!








Airan Kang, Light Reading, 2010 at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery from Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery on Vimeo.


Posted on Oct 10th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Triumph in Tokyo at the Pentawards

We’re incredibly proud to announce that we picked up three trophies and a nomination at the 2014 Pentawards – the only worldwide awards to exclusively celebrate packaging design.

This week Asa, Laurent and Birgitte jetted 5,936 miles across the globe to Tokyo to attend this year’s ceremony – the lucky bunch. After taking in some of the sights, sounds and sushi that Tokyo had to offer, they had the pleasure of picking up three awards at the glamorous evening event. We took home two Gold trophies and one Bronze – and of course they celebrated in true Design Bridge style, with a well deserved Sake or two.

Pentawards Tokyo Win

Here’s what our Graham had to say about the brilliant news …

“Incredibly proud to have received these 3 Pentawards in the 2014 8th annual competition. Each one is a testament to our belief in brand storytelling, original thinking and a passion for craft and detail. So well done to all the Design Bridge teams and of course our client brand teams; as always, the best work comes from the best partnerships.”  


It was fantastic to receive a Gold award for our iconic Art Deco inspired design for Tanqueray No. TEN gin. The new bottle is designed to ‘let the citrus shine’, and tell the story of Tanqueray’s gin heritage, channelling the spirit of the Jazz Age.


Our second Gold award really made the sun come out to shine as it was scooped up for our work on the new Lipton Ice Tea bottle. Our uplifting and energetic redesign is focused around natural revitalisation and wellbeing – an exciting win for us.

White bottle_FRONT

We’re also delighted to have won Bronze for our new Smirnoff White packaging.  True to the brands glamorous past, Smirnoff White is sexy, elegant and edgy. The marriage of glass with the white porcelain-esqe finish is beautiful and jarring – a striking look for this revolutionary, freeze filtered Smirnoff White vodka.

KFC buckets x3 crop

It was also great to receive a nomination for our work on the world famous KFC Bucket. We wanted to treat this much-loved piece of packaging as the icon it is, leaving behind the old graphics to make way for an appetisingly new bold typographic design that really celebrates the brand.

If you want to see more of our work please check out it on our website. Congratulations everyone, and have a safe trip home Asa, Laurent and Birgitte.

Posted on Oct 9th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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The People Network


Over the years we’ve gotten to know TNT pretty well and so when they came to us a few months back it was a welcome project with a quick turnaround. They had one thing in mind: to capture the dynamic of who they really are as a brand. So we set about defining their brand position with a tagline and refreshing their identity to reflect this.

TNT - LongLogoLockup

TNT holds its people at the heart of their business. And so the tagline – The People Network – was born. It’s not just a simple sign off either, it felt natural, evolutionary and in a way, celebratory. It’s an integral part of who they are, so it makes sense that it runs throughout the roots of our final design.

With this key message in mind, we were in a fantastic position to splash new life into TNT through the brand world. Wherever the TNT brand goes, is an opportunity to capture its story.

TNT sketch book 600x450

There’s nothing quite like a good sketching session and so satisfyingly for us, a lot of the discussed concepts and ideas drawn by hand throughout this project, are the ideas that have remained an integral part of our final design.

TNT - CircleLongLogoLockup

We wanted to keep that story of how TNT connects businesses and people together around the world so we introduced the circle to maintain a sense of movement and illustrate global connection. Our strap line sweeps through dynamically, showing that at the heart of our identity, we are grounded through our people.

TNT editorial

Strategically, we have kept everything simple – and that’s where the strength lies. The fonts, colours, icon designs and layouts are simple without being simplistic.

TNT cutting matt

TNT mock ups

Since the advertising campaign launched there has already been a fantastic buzz from its employees. For TNT’s workforce we are conjuring up their challenger spirit – so far, so good. And for the consumer the new brand identity will resonate positively and powerfully, connecting with TNT’s people around the world with a clear story – the brand holds people at its heart.

We’re excited to announce that over the next 36 months the new corporate identity and brand expression will be rolled out across TNT globally so keep your eyes peeled.



Posted on Oct 7th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Design Bridge celebrate The London Design Festival with exclusive ‘ginstillation’

 No.Ten at No.18

As part of this year’s London Design Festival, here at Design Bridge we’re celebrating Clerkenwell’s rich and historic relationship with gin, as well as the iconic new bottle design for Tanqueray No.TEN.


Until this Friday 19 September, festival-goers can visit our Design Bridge studio and explore our special ‘ginstallation’ to learn more about Clerkenwell’s famous gin trail, and the story behind the most famous man associated with the spirit – master distiller, Charles Tanqueray.


Mixologist Barrie Wilson shows us a thing or two behind the bar at our opening party.


The No.18 cocktail – lovingly created by Barrie Wilson… and drunk by us. We’re a lucky bunch.

Our exhibition uses 10 sections (celebrating No. TEN of course!) to tell the story of gin in and around our beloved Clerkenwell. We begin with a look at the first gin distilleries, then journey on through to the decadent age of Gin Palaces, Jazz, and Art Deco, when the famous Gin Martini brightened the post-wartime gloom and became a symbol of freedom and glamour.


Come and explore our story which includes behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, mock-ups, beautiful illustrations, and models – everything that went into creating the new Tanqueray No. TEN bottle and bringing the brand to life. Guests to the ‘ginstillation’ will also be dazzled by a glittering display showcasing the new Tanqueray No.TEN bottle design and glassware. Inspired by art deco drama, the cocktail shaker, and the liquid’s extraordinary citrus taste, the new bottle truly lets the liquid shine and celebrates a striking gin with striking craft and storytelling.


The party got into full swing.

We’re easy to find, just come along to the Design Bridge reception at 18 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R 0QN. Our exhibition is open Thursday 18th September 2014, 11am – 7pm and Friday 19th September 2014, 11am – 4pm.

We look forward to seeing you.

Posted on Sep 18th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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TripTrap: Handmade beer from under the Bridge

TripTrap_Crate 600px

So why design our own Design Bridge beer?

Well, we have designed for lots of fantastic brands, from Super Bock to Tiger to San Miguel, so we like to think we know a thing or two about what makes a great beer design.

In a city known for its artisanal brewing, and given how much we all enjoy a cold one at the end of a hard day’s work, it felt even more apt to turn our skills to creating our very own Design Bridge Amsterdam brew.

Trip Trap Beer

Where to start? Naming? Design? Back-story? Our Creative Director Claire felt the best way to get our creative juices flowing was to bring out our healthy rivalry streak. An office-wide competition was launched, with the brief given: “Bring the true spirit and heritage of Design Bridge Amsterdam to life.”

Some entries dug deep into the rich history of our office building, others told a truly original Amsterdam tale, but it was our love of great storytelling that won through.

00000001 2

The chosen route was based on the classic tale: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Creating our very own legend was truly appealing, but it was Trip Trap (based on the sound the goats hooves made crossing the troll’s bridge) that was chosen to be the name.

Trip Trap Beer

We had our direction, so next elicited the skills of entrepreneurial young brewers – Brewhemoth for collaboration on the project. Dutchman Robert Muijzert (a Project Coordinator in our Client Services Team with a furious passion for brewing great beer) and South African Etienne Marais met during their uni years and saw eye-to-eye on two things: beer and metal.

Their ambition is to create bold, full-flavoured, artisanal handcrafted beers. Unimpressed with the selection offered to the masses (the commercial, easy-going pilsners and lagers) they desire to help people realise the potential of beer and the plethora of flavours that can be created.

Trip Trap Beer

After sampling a selection of their wares, we were blown away by two different brews and ended up choosing them both to showcase what Brewhemoth’s beer is capable of: a fruity, hop-forward India Pale Ale (IPA), and a malt-focused, robust, dark Red Ale. This dual approach also allowed us to utilise our integral Design Bridge brand colours of black and white. Trip Trap’s Pale Ale and Dark Ale were born.

Trip Trap Beer Brewing_2

While the two beers slowly fermented, and waited to be bottled in their traditional Dutch long-neck brown glass, we took the final label design to local screenprinter Paul Wyber. Based in an Amsterdam town house in the Jordaan district, his attention to detail and knowledge of techniques, added another dimension to the label printing. The ground mother-of-pearl mixed into the printing of the white label, makes the ton-sur-ton illustration shine beautifully as it catches the light.

Trip Trap Beer

Trip Trap Beer

Once bottled and labelled, Robert numbered every one of this small-batch brew by hand.

Trip Trap Beer

The end of our tale culminated in a fantastic edition of our monthly “At the Bar” Evening, where the design team of Sam and Alex introduced the process, followed by Etienne and Robert from Brewhemoth, who gave a rich and entertaining insight into their world of artisan brewing.

Trip Trap Beer

Trip Trap Beer

They shared their passion and stories as they have grown from a kitchen-top operation to an impressive backyard Brewhemoth!

Trip Trap Beer

The audience (comprising of the office, friends, family and even a few beer-loving clients) were able to sample the two ales, while getting the story straight from the goat’s mouth. Seeing how an entire product and brand were created, from a simple competition, through design development, to brewing of the beer, the production and finally the launch.

Trip Trap Beer

Trip Trap Beer

Every step of the process has been hands-on, from the milling of the grain to the illustrated goat motif. The craft involved is truly reflected in the final product.

Trip Trap is made by hand, and designed to be drunk.

Trip Trap Beer bottle shots

TripTrap captures the spirit of the studio brilliantly; our joy of storytelling and an irreverent sense of humour. We are truly proud of our first step into the world of beer making… just be wary of the troll-like headache it might induce!


*No goats were harmed during the making of this beer.

*Pictures by Richard Rigby




Posted on Sep 11th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Fantastic awards from Red Dot and Starpack


After the success at this year’s FAB Awards, we’re delighted to have won a flurry of new awards over the past couple of weeks. We won three Red Dot Communication Design Awards for our outstanding work on Tanqueray® No. Ten, Smirnoff White, and Walker’s Tiger Nuts – its second award win after last year’s Platinum Pentaward. The Red Dot Awards has been running since 1955, awarding agencies for excellent international product and communications design. We’re looking forward to picking these up and celebrating with a drink (or three) at the Red Dot Awards ceremony on 24 October.



Awards book spread

Smirnoff White is an exclusive new variant of Smirnoff, specifically designed for the Global retail travel market. Our design was inspired by the brand’s glamorous past, and the story of the founders’ son, Vladimir Smirnoff, a supplier of vodka to Tsar Nicholas II.
In addition to the Red Dot award, our Smirnoff White design also picked up a Gold Starpack Award, as well as a nomination for Best in Show, which will be announced at the awards ceremony on 30 September. The Starpack Awards are the UK’s premier annual awards for recognising innovation in packaging design and technology. The judges’ comments about the Smirnoff White design were simply: “Gorgeous, all design elements work together.”




Tanqueray No. Ten picked up its fifth award this year, a silver Starpack Award. Now in its 56th year, The Starpack Industry Awards scheme is the UK’s premier annual awards scheme recognising innovation in packaging design and technology.  Our new Tanqueray No.Ten bottle is designed to let the citrus shine, and tell the story of Tanqueray’s gin heritage channeling the iconic influence of Art Deco.  The judges’ comments on our design were: “Shouts 1920’s cocktail. Lovely!”

Tanqueray No Ten seal





Fingers crossed for the Pentawards in October!!!

Posted on Sep 3rd 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Friday Favourites


Famous movie characters in LEGO

Stunlock Studios have teamed up with master LEGO builder/designer SuckMyBrick to create these beautifully designed 3D movie characters out of LEGO. See if you can guess each film based on the figures. Found via FastCoCreate - check out the whole range here.



The Unstealable bike

Thanks to Jade for sharing this fantastic design innovation, for the ‘world’s first unstealable bike’. The Yerka Project is about comfort, design and safety, creating a bike with a frame which folds around to become the lock. So if you break the lock, you break the bike. No more carrying heavy locks around! According to their website: “Unlike any other solution to this problem, like foldable or rental bikes, the YERKA® technology maintains the slick design of an urban bike and it’s applicable to any frame shape.” You can sign up to support this design here.



Dan Rhatigan on Type

If you’re a lover of type and interested in the stories behind typographic design, you’ll love these two films featuring Monotype director Dan Rhatigan, that he created with Grey London. He manages to talk about type in an engaging way, and describes the sustainability angle of certain font designs, as well as talking us through his typographic tattoos. Thanks to Jo H for sharing this one, via It’s Nice That. 



Woven portraits by David Samuel Stern

I love photography that has been altered using a different craft (see stitched photographs by Maurizio Anzeri and Mana Morimoto to get my drift). These digital photographs of creative types by David Samuel Stern have been printed, spliced and woven together to create eerie, textured portraits. Found via Ignant.



Uncomfortable objects by Katerina Kamprani

Thanks to Iona for sharing these frustrating, almost anti-designs for everyday objects. The Uncomfortable Project is an ongoing project by architect/3D modeller Katerina Kamprani – her goal being “to redesign useful objects, making them uncomfortable but usable and maintain the semiotics of the original item.” Found via Laughing Squid with more images here.




By the Silent Line by Pierre Folk

For the past few years photographer Pierre Folk has been documenting a fading, disused railway line in Paris – the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture – that circled Paris between 1852 and 1934. Thanks to Robin for sharing this one:

“Maybe it’s the changing of the season but I’ve started feeling a little nostalgic about Highgate – the place I used to live in North London. The feeling was certainly amplified after I saw these images taken by Pierre Folk on Colossal.  There’s something magical about the abandoned, more industrial structures you can find, especially when such places are surrounded by the everyday hustle and bustle of a city such as Paris. So much potential in such a unique space – it really kick starts the imagination.




So back to Highgate: there is a similar abandoned railway line that runs through the boroughs of Islington and Harringay – I can highly recommend a Sunday stroll, with regular pub breaks, for the perfect autumnal day.”

Posted on Aug 29th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Leaving after 20 years: Olof on the best bits of Design Bridge


All good things come to an end… Olof ten Hoorn, Design Director, is leaving the Netherlands after spending almost half of his life at Design Bridge in Amsterdam. Olof will leave us to embark on an exciting venture – he will be emigrating to Australia where he has accepted a job at Cowan and live with his family in his wife’s homeland. We decided to interview him before he left, to find out about his experience of Design Bridge and what life is like as a Design Director.

Olof ten Hoorn

Olof’s career at Design Bridge started in 1994 being a Studio trainee, gradually growing to become a Design Director in 2006. In 2007 he was the proud winner of a Diamond Pentaward for Swinckels (Bavaria) and in 2008 he was awarded Best of Show at the Mobius Awards for the work he designed for Farm Frites.

Swinckels winner of a Diamond Pentaward in 2007

Swinckels winner of a Diamond Pentaward in 2007

Farm Frites winner of the Mobius Award Best of Show 2008

Farm Frites – winner of the Mobius Award Best of Show 2008

Olof also created the new visual identity for dance4life and was a member of the Pentawards jury for many years.



Q: How did your Design Bridge career start? 

A: Design Bridge kind of chose me. I was on a Studio internship at Motion Creation, a Dutch packaging agency, in 1994. At that time Design Bridge wanted to open a Dutch office and the initial plan was that they would merge with this Dutch agency. Things didn’t go quite as planned. Motion Creation ceased to exist. Design Bridge took over some of the staff including the intern. In 1996, after I graduated at the Graphic School of Amsterdam, I got offered a position as a Junior Designer at Design Bridge. And the rest as they say is history.

Q: How would you describe working life at Design Bridge?

A: At Design Bridge you work hard and play hard. I have seen so many people come and go throughout the years but for some reason the spirit of the company has always remained the same. Its a pleasure to work with so many different people from very different cultures (14 different nationalities within the Amsterdam office!) but there is one thing we all have in common: the love for design and the constant drive to be the best in what you do.  This dynamic creativity, coupled with strategic insight, has helped us to win international creative awards such as the Pentawards, D&AD, Clio and Mobius.

Q: What’s a day in the life of a design director?

A: Generally very busy. There are lots of different (local and global) projects to oversee but  you have to be hands on at the same time. Being a Design Director means you have to make sure the team are always creating their most inspired design work every day, keeping us ahead of the game as an agency. Each day is different, but it can include anything from attending a client briefing in Dubai or kick off workshop with the rest of the team, to working in small groups or one to one, to crack a particular creative challenge. I also worked closely with the studio planning and operations guys to ensure that my team had sufficient time to work on projects, so they could dig deeper and get inspired, to deliver their best work for clients.

Pentawards 2007 with Brigitte and Jean Jacques Evrard

Pentawards 2007 with Brigitte and Jean Jacques Evrard

Q: What projects are you most proud of?

A: You would think I’d choose the projects I have won awards with. I realised the other day that I am probably the only Packaging and Brand designer in the world that has won all the different Pentawards. Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. But I’m actually much more proud of the projects that have really made a difference. Because of our successful designs many brands have been able to open up new factories providing lots of new jobs in their regions, for instance.

Q: What will you miss most from Design Bridge, besides all the people of course?

A: At Design Bridge they sure know how to party, I will really miss the Christmas parties and Summer Away Days.

Summer Away Day 2013

Summer Away Day 2013

Q: If you had to pick one, what’s the funniest story you could tell while working here?

A: Working for Design Bridge means travelling a lot as well. One day I went on a business trip to Saudi where I had a traditional lunch in a sheep barn and we all had to take off our shoes. Unfortunately the smell of my client’s feet literally brought tears to my eyes.

Q: Any advice for our next Design Director?

A: Work your ass off and don’t be an asshole ;-)


Inspired by Olof’s story? If you’re as passionate about the power of ideas as we are, and you’re after a career rather than just a job, we’d love to meet you. We’re constantly growing, so there’s a good chance you might just have the skills and talent we’re after. Check out our website and the link to the current jobs we have available. We might be looking for you!

Olof, Bonny

Olof, Bonny, Aiden and Jimmy

Posted on Aug 13th 2014 by · Permalink · Leave a comment
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