Monthly Archives: April 2019

Doing something different- Audi new ad

Agency: BBH London
Creative Director: Psembi Kinstan
CCO: Ian Heartfield
Creatives: Freya Harrison, Gina Ramsden
Production company: Independent Films
Director: Johnny Hardstaff
Artist: Faultline featuring Rina Mushonga

In a world of generic car ads featuring shiny new vehicles and (usually male) good looking drivers, it’s often hard for car brands to stand out from the crowd.

Audi is one car manufacturer that has actually managed to make more of a lasting impact with its campaigns. BBH London’s Clowns spot for the brand, was a masterclass in how to turn something rather unsexy – safety features – into an emotionally compelling story.

Directed by Johnny Hardstaff, the campaign film takes place in an empty swimming pool, where the Audi A7 and the smaller A1 model take on the role of synchronised swimmers.


Agency: BBH London
Creative Director: Psembi Kinstan
CCO: Ian Heartfield
Creatives: Freya Harrison, Gina Ramsden
Production company: Independent Films
Director: Johnny Hardstaff
Artist: Faultline featuring Rina Mushonga

Art or garbage?

Can a plastic bag ever be art and not garbage?

Sho Shibuya, the founder of Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary brand design studio PLACEHOLDER, thinks so. One of his most cherished pieces of art is a framed plastic bag, and while there are probably stranger things you could hang on a wall, for Shibuya, it kickstarted a project that’s been long in the works for him titled PLASTIC PAPER.

This project focuses primarily on a 144-page book stacked with gorgeous photography of plastic bags with the hope of raising awareness about the waste created by single-use plastics as well as the importance of reusing and valuing these items.


Design your team kit

Rapha has teamed up with tech startup Unmade to create Rapha Custom, a platform allowing customers to design their own team kits

Rapha’s understated apparel has become a favourite with design-conscious riders. But now, the brand is handing over control to its customers, allowing cyclists to create bespoke team kits via an online platform developed in collaboration with London tech startup Unmade.

Customers can choose from eight standard layouts and over 40 colour combinations, along with graphic patterns which can be rotated or scaled up and down. They can also add their own team logos. Once the design is complete, customers can view photographs showing the kit on a model and share a link to the design with their teammates before placing an order. They can also book a kit fitting appointment and view fabric swatches and brochures at Rapha stores. Designs are digitally printed on demand, and delivered within eight weeks.

“Trade Gothic was our primary brand typeface. It was really utilitarian and reminiscent of European advertising in the mid 20th century … and it really spoke to the cycling vernacular of that time,” Ed Clifford, Head of Rapha Custom, explains. “Rapha Sans Condensed speaks to those same principles – it’s very usable and versatile, but speaks subtly to cycling’s history.”

Rapha Sans provides a more versatile alternative to Rapha Sans Condensed (as Wylde-Mafham points out, condensed typefaces are great for headlines, but not for smaller text). The sans typeface was also created to reflect Rapha’s new focus on technical innovation: when Rapha started out, it appealed largely to ardent cycling fans with a knowledge of the sport’s past, and its aesthetic was rooted in the 1960s and 70s, with products and communications inspired by team kits and ephemera from the era. Now, however, it is aimed at new as well as experienced riders and has created a wide range of pro team products, including the skin suit worn by Team Sky in the Tour de France.

Mothercare campaign

A mother holding a newborn baby is one of the oldest and most enduring subjects in art, a staple of religious iconography and a classic dramatic trope.

But – from the Renaissance through to the glossy magazines of now – the physical effects of childbirth on a woman’s body have always been an aspect of motherhood hidden from public view. 

Even in our more open times, frank discussions about the sometimes brutal impact of birth are rare, and instead are still largely dealt with in private, with the media actively celebrating those women who bounce back quickly to their pre-birth figures.

Now, a new advertising campaign from Mothercare that is being trialled across 30 tube stations on the London Underground is bringing a more honest depiction of new motherhood into the spotlight.

Mothercare said in a statement: “Body Proud Mums boldly seeks to normalise mothers’ experiences, spark a positive conversation and help mums feel confident and proud of their bodies. At the heart of the campaign is the belief that all mums are beautiful. After all, their bodies have just performed a miracle.”

Shot by British photographer Sophie Mayanne, the campaign comprises of ten celebratory portraits of women who have very recently become mothers. They’re shown holding their babies close and smiling as the kids laugh, gawp at the camera in bemusement, or, in some cases, scream their heads off.

The photographs have apparently been published without digital retouching, and the effects of birth are evident, yet the scars and stretch marks are not the focus of the portraits. But, equally, they’re not hidden. Each portrait is accompanied with the simple phrase: ‘Beautiful, isn’t she.’

Greg Gilbert’s illustration though cancer

Artist and musician Greg Gilbert put pen to paper after his cancer diagnosis, creating a series of ink drawings that express some of the “fragments and scenes” that went through his mind.

“These images arrived fully formed and were almost immediately set down without any finessing. They show fragments and scenes which began to come to my mind at the time of my diagnosis. They weren’t dreams or fantasies, but stills that occur unpredictably.”

“It felt so necessary and the whole sequence came in a great rush,” he explains. “The darkness that comes over in the images undoubtedly reflects the fear I was experiencing at the time, but I also find them comforting. I didn’t question their meaning, and just trusted that they were expressing something about my condition.”

The sequence of illustrations are featured in solo exhibition A Gentle Shrug Into Everything, on display at Southampton City Art Gallery until May 6; His poetry collection Love Makes A Mess of Dying is published by Smith|Doorstop, priced £7.50

All 4 rebrand

All 4’s redesign is part of a wider project to unite Channel 4’s various brands – last year, the broadcaster rebranded its digital channels to incorporate the ‘4’ logo created by Lambie-Nairn in 1982.

“The purpose of that was to strengthen the Channel 4 brands and create a greater visual connection between them all,” explains Alice Tonge, ECD and Head of 4Creative. “At a time when there are lots of different places to consume content, it’s really important for us to unite all our different brands, and the All 4 logo was the final piece of this puzzle.”

DixonBaxi created a new logo for All 4 based on the 2D version of Lambie-Nairn’s design. At the centre of the logo are two horizontal bars – one yellow, one teal – representing the progress bar and the play button which appear within the platform. These bars are used throughout the new branding alongside a extra bold, italic weight of Channel 4’s headline font, designed by Neville Brody for Channel 4’s rebrand back in 2015.

Olympic pictograms

Next year will see Japan take up the mantle again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japanese designer Masaaki Hiromura, who specialises in branding and signage design, has been tasked with creating the pictograms this time around.

Hiromura drew inspiration from previous editions of the games, including the 1964 Tokyo edition, to create the final designs. “I have tried to express the dynamic beauty of the athletes through these pictograms, while respecting the legacy bequeathed by the pioneers of the Japanese design industry in their designs for the Tokyo 1964 Games,” he says.