Monthly Archives: December 2020

Spotify 2020 wrapped campaign

With its annual campaign, Spotify recognises and celebrates the stories from the artists, creators and listeners who helped us make it through this year.

The music industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic this year, with strings of cancelled gigs, venues struggling to stay open and live performances having to adapt to the virtual world

For 2020, Spotify’s flagship annual Wrapped campaign aims to honour this struggle, and “recognise and celebrate the human stories of the year”. From artists to podcasters, families to frontline workers, plus the playlist creators who’ve beavered away, this year Wrapped is all about gratitude and resilience, with a little bit of its trademark humour thrown in too.

As well as the personal rundowns of most-listened tracks and stats that individual users can tap into, Spotify is splashing the campaign across social and outdoor advertising to find “beauty in the chaos” and say thank you to those who made it happen. The campaign’s visuals include a salute to Cardi B’s “invaluable wisdom and philosophies” for her track WAP with Megan Thee Stallion, as well as billboard placements in artists’ hometowns, like Glasgow where Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved was streamed over 706,000 times. 

Best book cover designs of 2020

During the eight months since the UK declared the first of its nationwide lockdowns, writers have still written, publishers have still published and book designers have continued to produce an ever-varied range of covers for new titles. Yet there’s no denying that, as with pretty much every job in every sector across the country, the worlds of design and publishing have had to change and adapt accordingly throughout most of 2020.

Pentagram identity for a new craft platform

Maker Mile by Pentagram

Astrid Stavro’s team at Pentagram have unveiled the new typographic identity created for Maker Mile, which launched as part of Venice Design Week 2020. The new platform (not to be confused with the east London initiative of the same name) aims to promote the tradition and development of craft in the platform’s home city of Venice, with subsequent editions set to spotlight cities around the world.

Although the identity appears simplistic at first glance, the execution is quietly playful. The horizontal bar of the L is dramatically elongated, cleverly containing linear detailing within the wordmark itself that stretches along posters, signage, book spines and even adds an enticing spin to wayfinding.

The concept is brought to life in animations, where the L is stretched out like a tape measure, shunting the E along to the edge of the image. Another variation sees the horizontal bar form the outline of various objects that allude to the platform’s spirit of all things craft.

Expanding the wordmark evokes the idea of forward-thinking direction, while also creating the sense that, like a physical strip or ‘mile’ in many cities around the world, the platform is a destination worth visiting.

Maker Mile posters

New Identity for wine connoisseurs SommSelect

While the world of wine, and particular sommeliers, has traditionally been characterised by stuffiness and exclusivity, SommSelect is making it more accessible via its subscription service and an ever-evolving online wine shop.

The rebrand comes off the back of huge growth amid the pandemic and the forced closure of bars and restaurants, with SommSelect’s wine club subscriptions up by 300% in the last six months alone.

Saks brought in Deva Pardue, formerly of Pentagram and The Wing, to lead the rebrand and draw in a new generation of more adventurous wine drinkers.

The refreshed visual identity nods to the sophistication of the sommelier experience, while also looking to elevate it to a more modern and approachable place.

A new logomark leverages the prominence of the letter ‘S’ in the company’s name to create an elegant, corkscrew-like letterform.

The wordmark is based on a customised version of the primary brand typeface, Canela by Commercial Type.

Design Manchester 2020

For all the obvious reasons, the festival is taking a more digital approach this year, and has partnered up with institutions and creative hubs from around the world to celebrate creativity and design in difficult times.

This year, Design Manchester’s annual celebration of creativity and design is going online and is set to feature virtual reality events and 3D exhibitions as well as some in-person activities for those based in the city. DM20 has embraced the challenges lockdown and the pandemic has brought on and decided to collaborate with partners all over the world to help bring the festival to life. 

The project will culminate in an auction of all the pieces on display on December 10, with proceeds going to the artists and makers and the We Love MCR Charity, which supports disadvantaged communities.

Finally, in collaboration with Design Manchester and Dutch Design Week, Manchester-based design studios Playground, Ben Clark Design and Barney Ibbotson Illustration are set to create a virtual gallery of the competition they collectively ran during the first lockdown. Called Playhouse, the competition kicked off in April and set the brief to design something to enable people to play at home during lockdown. Open to creatives from all disciplines from all over the world, Playhouse received entries from over 40 countries, and a selection will not only appear as part of the 50 Windows of Creativity commission but also in a special 3D room open to everyone. 

Ikea Christmas ad

Traditionally a time of extravagance, more people are beginning to consider the balance between indulgence and wastefulness as they celebrate the festive season.

Ikea Russia is tackling the issue head on this year with its new campaign, as it encourages a more considered approach to Christmas consumption.

Directed by Ilya Naishuller, the film starts out innocently enough with a typical Christmassy scene of a young boy playing in the snow, soundtracked by festive classic Carol of the Bells.

Virgin Money rebrand

There has been a movement among traditional financial institutions to adopt a more human persona in recent years – largely thanks to younger, cooler challenger banks like Monzoand Starling snapping at their heels.

Virgin Money approached Pentagram’s Luke Powell, Jody Hudson-Powell and Domenic Lippa to create a fresh look to go with its new proposition, as a brand that shares Virgin’s core values but happens to be in banking, as opposed to a financial brand that happens to be part of Virgin.

The new identity looks to move the brand firmly away from the often faceless, corporate look favoured by many financial services companies, and reflect a customer-focused approach to banking.

The design team created a bespoke mono-linear wordmark, with the wider Virgin Money headline font family being built from this geometric logo.

“The overall construction is a balance of geometric curves, nuanced humanist forms, and hard edges and angles, creating a visual form that references Virgin Money’s functional and pragmatic side while embodying its people-centred approach,” says Pentagram.

The instantly recognisable Virgin red is used as the brand’s primary colour, alongside a secondary colour palette of bright blue, purple and white.