Art Director

Rich's Blog

Sagmeister on beauty

I just wanted to highlight this excellent interview by Creative Review with Stefan Sagmeister, talking about beauty in creativity and why he thinks it's been lost and why it deserves to be prioritised. He echoes a lot of themes from his talk I caught at D&AD Festival earlier this year and has genuinely got me thinking differently about my work now. 

Everyone should give it 10 minutes to have a read.

Wit wins again

There are many amazing projects that come out of Cannes every year. This one particularly tickled me for its creativity and just plain fun. 

The “Portraits Completed” campaign by Ogilvy Chicago for Kiwi Shoe Polish won a gold Lion and a bronze Lion. As well as the excellent print work, the campaign expanded into experiential, digital and AR. 

It's so nice to see really creative work win big, especially ones filled with a bit of wit.

Watch the video of the entry below and read more on Adweek here.

Do you C the Q?

Consortiq a drone supplier has had a new visual identity designed by Salad Creative. All in all it's very smart and well-executed. The identity has a good selection of photography, all from above (of course) and some nice clean typography and colour choices. It feels quite corporate, but that seems about right for the sort of business they do. The detail I particularly like is the use of the framing device which is a C and a half a Q that forms a Q when brought together. The framing device is not overly original but works here when drones are essentially equipment that 'focus' and take photographs and video. A very enjoyable solution!

Typeface follows icon

I do love seeing brands designing their own custom typefaces. It can be an expensive time-consuming process, but it gives your brand a unique edge, something they own unequivocally.

YouTube Sans which will be used in product and marketing communications specifically for YouTube themselves. All the edges and curves have been inspired by the now ubiquitous YouTube play button, which is now also included in the typeface as a glyph. 

Overall it's a really nice and personality-packed piece of work by Saffron. Read and see more here

Men In Progress
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I have only just come across this video series from Lynx called "Men In Progress". It's a really compelling watch. Split across (at time of writing) 9 episodes, tackling everything from relationships to body image, the films aim to challenge the perception of what makes a modern man. 

It's clearly reminiscent of 'Like A Girl', but still very well executed and thought provoking. The art direction is really nice and the mix of humour and emotion, especially so in the most recent "Boys Don't Cry" is brilliant. Worth watching.

Shopping at Sainsbury's is living well

A couple of months back, W+K London revealed their first piece of work for Sainsbury's. The TV spot along with supportive in store comms, led with the line "#fooddancing is living well" and showing people cooking, dancing, shaking food about. 

I loved the art direction. The fun playful typography. The black and white people with only a pop of orange was genius. And featuring seemingly home-made footage with a big poppy track made the whole campaign, fun, energetic and life-affirming. The only bit I didn't get was what it was trying to tell me. That line. Should I dance with my food? Start a food fight at dinner time? It was particularly confusing when I saw the in-store comms before I saw anything on TV.

However today I spotted two recent extensions of the campaign. One for Easter on a billboard as I cycled past (so, sorry no picture) and one for Mother's Day. The art direction still intact, but with lines that made much more sense: "staying young is living well" and "making for mum is living well".

It was really good to see how the bigger thought of "living well" and can extend, flex, expand and evolve, alongside some great art direction. 

Some seriously hard working design

I love this case study for Graft's redesign by The Engine Room. The problem was that their bland products were disappearing in the noise of competitors on the shelf. And they solved this through design by practicing the age-old attitude of "less is more". Removing and simplifying product packaging with some bright colours to boot gave the brand a huge boost in sales and proved that design really is effective in solving business problems. 

Read more about the award-winning project on Creative Review or on The Engine Room's own site.