Creative business cards
For those of you that have seen the film American Psycho, you will know the importance of the business card – Off-white. Egg shell. Name centered. Embossed in black. For years, it has been the pocket sized marketing tool that connects people and businesses across the globe – and with so many about, it’s a pretty good idea to have one that gives a lasting impression. So if you’re in the need of some inspiration have a gander at Twisted Sifter’s collection of top creative business cards. They are brilliant. Just imagining whipping one of these out from your wallet.
3D Geometric Masks by Steve Wintercroft
With Halloween only a week away, you may need a little help picking a costume – don’t worry as there’s still time and this may be right up your street. Designer Steve Wintercroft was in the same predicament a few years back, when he didn’t have anything to wear for a Halloween party. Thankfully he didn’t opt for the loo roll Mummy option; he got crafty with some old cardboard, scissors and tape and produced a fox mask and now he sells all sorts of masks for you to make at home.
“I’ve drawn up the templates, written instructions and made them easy to follow. The goal is to create a set of masks that could be built by anyone using local materials removing the need for mass manufacturing or shipping and with the minimum environmental impact.” Steven Wintercroft
So if you’re into your arts and crafts why not give one a go – spooky.
Bookshop for the 21st Century
A good book is delicious food for the soul, so spending an afternoon in a good bookshop will definitely be a good helping of just that. After stumbling on this gem, if I had an afternoon free in São Paulo, I would definitely be heading straight to this bookshop designed by Studio MK27. It’s been designed to encourage customers to spend time with friends and create the perfect environment to read your purchases – and all next to beautiful walls clad in books. It’s super cool and anything that inspires more reading is definitely fine by me.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
In: Uncategorized · Tags: amsterdam, dbn, Roest
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.
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.
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.
Take a look at the whole series here.
In: Art, Film & Animation, Graphic design
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.
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?
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
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!
In: 3D & Product Design, Art, Film & Animation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In: Corporate & Brand Identity, Design Bridge Amsterdam, Naming & Copywriting · Tags: brand identity, dbn, redesign, tnt
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.
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.
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.
In: DB Events, Exhibitions, Uncategorized, What are we up to? · Tags: Featured News
So why design our own Design Bridge beer?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once bottled and labelled, Robert numbered every one of this small-batch brew by hand.
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.
They shared their passion and stories as they have grown from a kitchen-top operation to an impressive backyard Brewhemoth!
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.
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.
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
In: Brand Experience, Brand Strategy, Competitions, Corporate & Brand Identity, DB Events, Design Bridge Amsterdam, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Naming & Copywriting, Uncategorized, Viewpoints, What are we up to? · Tags: brewhemoth, Trip Trap Beer
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.
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!”
Fingers crossed for the Pentawards in October!!!
In: 3D & Product Design, Awards, Food and Drink, Graphic design · Tags: Red Dot awards, Starpack awards
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”