Monthly Archives: April 2020

Can mouldy food sell food?

In a bid to emphasise its fresh food credentials, Burger King is showing the world exactly what happens when a Whopper is left to age for over a month.Moldy Burger King ad

Between the growing market for vegan, unprocessed or organic foods and the increased backlash in the face of the obesity crisis, it’s safe to say fast food chains are facing an uphill battle. While brands in this space have shown inventive responses to such quandaries, Burger King US has taken an unexpected punt at demonstrating its credentials as a producer of ‘real’ food. The move comes as the chain begins to remove preservatives from its recipes, apparently steering away from the additive-laden products most have come to expect from burger chains.

Built around the tagline ‘The beauty of no artificial preservatives’, the new campaign centres on a time lapse that begins with a meticulously assembled Whopper burger, staged M&S-style against a dramatic black backdrop. Before long, however, we see what happens to the burger as the days and weeks go by – insert mould, fluff and all manners of scuzz – to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s What A Difference A Day Makes.

The accompanying print ads follow a similar format, capturing the state of the Whopper on different days late into the decomposing process. The campaign was the creation of three agencies – David Miami, Publicis, and INGO Stockholm.

An image of a moldy burgerAn image from Burger King's new ad campaign

Identity in a week

Oak National AcademyIn the space of a week, Johnson Banks delivered the branding for the new educational platform, which uses an acorn as a metaphor for how learning works.

Teaching has taken a surprising turn amid the coronavirus pandemic. Juggling kids, work and home-schooling is a new reality for many families around the country, while teachers are having to adapt lesson plans and structures to keep children educated remotely.

In response to these new circumstances, a group of teachers and educators formed Oak National Academy, a free ‘online classroom’ and resource bank designed to support teachers and help create lesson plans. Given the pressing nature of the situation, Oak National Academy needed a quick turnaround – a week, in fact – and enlisted design studio Johnson Banks to get the brand up and running.Johnson Banks pulled together a team of designers, coders, animators, writers and illustrators, who collaborated across the brand identity, helpful icons, lesson plan templates, and the website at the heart of it all. The brand logo – a floating acorn – draws on oak iconography, which is subtly reinforced by woody tones of rich green and dark violet used across the plaform.Oak National AcademyOak National Academy

The website design is clean and simplistic, allowing the team to fully realise the project in such a short amount of time. However, the visual design of the platform also makes it straightforward and unintimidating for the vast number of users already recorded – 23,000 lessons were started on the day of the launch, and the website attracted over 200,000 unique visitors within its first few hours.

“We’ve done small identity projects fast before – but creating a nationwide brand across multiple channels, in a week? Very, very testing,” says Michael Johnson, creative director at Johnson Banks. “But very rewarding to do something which is already proving so useful to thousands of teachers, parents and families.”


The organisation provides free cancer support and information for people with cancer and their family and friends from support specialists, psychologists, nutritionists, therapists and benefits advisors in centres across the UK and online.

“Maggie’s was looking for a brand identity that was more visible than before, and would help them stretch from just campaigning to caring and supporting,” says Willer. “They needed to express their point of difference more clearly from lots of other voices in the charity world.”

The team started the identity project by “helping define or articulate the unique perspective a client brings to the world” – in Maggie’s case, being the “everyone’s home of cancer care”, says Willer. It then helped Maggie’s to create a new website and explored how the brand could work across multiple platforms – from print to social media and internal touch points.

“The colours are inspired by the spaces themselves,” says Willer. “Instead of the clinical lighting or materials that are often found in a clinical environment, the centres have very warm natural colours, tending towards tones of orange. In the same way that the new house logo has multiple shapes, we felt that a range of warm colours was more suitable to represent a family of spaces than just one. Each centre is quite individual, but all are extremely welcoming and ‘home-like.’”

A bespoke typeface was created, along with a “human and practical wordmark” set in entirely in upper case to resemble an architect’s handwriting (and avoid any possible confusion with the charity’s founder’s personal signature). Pentagram also redesigned Maggie’s magazine to give it a more lifestyle-like feel – and avoid the “institutional and unappealing” feel of many charity publications. The redesign extended to communications for hospital noticeboards and Maggie’s centres, which are again designed to feel human – rather than cold, clinical or impersonal.

Annie Atkins pandemic posters

From avoiding hairdressing disasters to single-file romantic walks, the designer has created a new series of posters offering some lighthearted lessons for getting through lockdown.

Annie Atkins postersAnnie Atkins postersAt first glance, her latest project looks as though it could have fallen out of a wartime archive, however make no mistake – it is very much of the current times. Atkins has created a series of ‘fake’ posters in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which are designed to encourage people to stay at home and hopefully help lift spirits as much of the world endures lockdown.

LSO Campaign

Superunion has been working with LSO since 2017, when it launched a new brand identity for the orchestra inspired by the movement of conductor Sir Simon Rattle’s baton. Previous campaigns have featured CG artwork based on Rattle’s hand gestures, but for LSO’s 2020/21 season, Superunion opted for a different approach, teaming up with Found Studio and dancer Ella Robson Guilfoyle to create a dramatic live-action dance film.

The campaign takes inspiration from the theme of LSO’s upcoming programme, ‘Dancing on the edge of a volcano’, which will see the orchestra perform work created in Europe in the first half of the 20th century. According to Rattle, the phrase was used by Austrian composer Alban Berg to describe the atmosphere in 1930s Germany and captures the mood of an era that produced “some of the darkest music possible”.

For the first shoot, Superunion filmed Robson Guilfoyle performing a series of short dance sequences based on Rattle’s movements (which were recorded using motion capture) while wearing colourful clothing. Footage was captured from above at 50 frames per second using 5K cameras. Guilfoyle then performed a series of movements with flares, sparkles, smoke grenades and chalk dust, which was filmed at 100 frames per second.

Gigitt the new chips

Editorial photographWidarto Impact recently unveiled their work for Gigitt, a new brand of vegetable chips. In order to stand out from the rest of the pack, they chose to rely on type rather than images of ingredients or the food itself.Editorial photographWidarto Impactdeliberately do not display photos of vegetables, as this is too commonly used in snack packaging. We replace the role of food photos with wide typography, which is to strengthen our impression of displaying bright packaging colors. We help clients start with the Gigitt logo design system, system design, brand guidelines, typography, and packaging design.Editorial photographEditorial photographEditorial photograph

These boots are meant for walking

Editorial photographFor Canadian Tracey Sloga, the struggles of keeping her fashionable boots clean were all too real. After one particularly bad winter, she set out to create a solution that would be easy-to-use while keeping her shoes, boots, and other leather products such as handbags looking good for longer, using all-natural ingredients. Her company Boot Rescue now makes a line of products that includes protective waxes, spray cleaners, and wipes.

“If you were to take a brand new pair of leather boots and walk straight from the store home in them, through slush and salt, and then leave it to dry and soak into the leather, there’s a good chance that the leather would buckle and possibly discolor,” Tracey says. “Yes, even after that one wear.”

“So if someone wasn’t doing anything to care for their footwear before, using BootRescue products could extend their life by many years,” Tracey adds. “This would mean spraying boots when new, waxing from time to time, and always wiping salt off as soon as possible with the wipes.”Editorial photographEditorial photographEditorial photograph

British Red Cross spread Kindness

British Red Cross is putting goodwill at the centre of its new campaign by VCCP, titled Kindness will keep us together, which features poster designs from a number of UK-based creatives including Anthony Burrill and Supermundane’s Rob Lowe.

Rob Lowe

To help spread the message and drive donations, 100 limited edition prints are on sale on the Red British Cross website, while black and white versions of the posters are available for children (and adults) to download, colour in, and share on social media or in their windows.

Cajsa Holgersson

Rob Flowers

“Today as our nation faces this virus, we want these inspirational artworks to encourage people to take action and join our kindness movement. Remember that though you may be anxious and uncertain, you are not powerless and you are not alone.”

Bett Norris

I am Lewisham

Designer Jamie Paton chose a pair of contrasting typefaces for the identity, mixing a relatively sober sans serif with a more expressive line-drawn style to pick out the ‘I’ and ‘am’ of Lewisham. According to him, the combination reflects the energy and spirit of the area. It’s also expressed in the colour palette, which features purposefully clashing shades of primary blue, red and yellow, alongside pink and grey.

A collage of illustrated patterns and graphics create a sense of spontaneity, designed to make the brand feel as if it was created by the local community.

The identity appeared in posters and flyers across Lewisham in the run up to the bid presentation, to encourage locals to support the effort, as well as a booklet left behind for the selection panel. Studio Raw and Jamie Paton’s efforts clearly made an impact as well, with Lewisham just named London Borough of Culture for 2021 – which will see the area awarded over £1m in funding for cultural events for the local community.

Totm redesign

Editorial photograph

TOTM wanted to be a disruptive femcare brand that stops you dead in your tracks when you see them on the shelf. So, for their redesign, they turned to Marsden/Mee to pump up the volume with these gloriously executed patterns.

“TOTM makes awesome, organic sanitary products for women. Right from the start, TOTM set out to be a disruptive brand, aiming to change the attitudes and behaviors of its target audience. We were initially brought on board to undertake a brand review and look at how the overall identity could better represent the mission and values at the heart of the brand.

The TOTM packaging instantly communicates the key aspects of the TOTM brand proposition: organic, bold, proud. It challenges conventional stereotypes of what an organic brand should look like, using vibrant color combinations and contrasting patterns inspired by shapes and patterns found in nature. Individually, each product is distinctive, and, as a collection, it has stand-out shelf-appeal. The packaging is designed to drive new online dialogue between TOTM and its customers, intentionally bold, and suited to social sharing, making a powerful statement about the values and attitude of the person sharing it.”Editorial photographEditorial photograph