Monthly Archives: May 2021

Kodansha rebrand for first time in 112 years

The Tokyo-based publisher Kodansha owns several literary and manga magazines, and first published much-loved manga series Akira in the early 1980s. It also released some of Haruki Murakami’s earliest novels, as well as manga series Attack on Titan, which was published in 31 serialised volumes, 100 million copies of which have been issued.

The new identity and logo is Kodansha’s first brand update in over 100 years, and is themed around a fresh statement of purpose: inspire impossible stories. Gretel’s work is reminiscent of art gallery or cultural institution branding, featuring an elegant new logo made up of intersecting lines in a square – a nod to the layout of comic book pages.

“The brand logo represents Kodansha’s position at the crossroad of all cultures, where many ideas, voices and stories intersect,” says Gretel creative director Sue Murphy. “It’s also inspired by Japanese hankos, acting as a stamp of quality on Kodansha’s content, as well as a monogram.”

Kodansha CEO Yoshinobu Noma describes the rebrand as an opportunity to “communicate who we are on a global scale”, suggesting it’s an attempt to help spread Kodansha’s profile outside of Asia.

Hotel Arcadia House Wine

2 AM Agency was contracted to develop the label’s design and packaging. The notion of simplicity, authenticity, and luxury were combined to create a simple, yet sweet face for the bottle. A brown paper is used for the label, extending up the length of the bottle, unlike a traditional bottle whose label typically makes up about a quarter of it. The typography is curved and eclectic, drawing attention to the otherwise completely blank label. The paper provides a tactile experience, while the hand written font identifying what type of wine it is, adds a sense of personalization. 

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ARCAD is a specialty wine sub-brand of Hotel Arcadia in Slovakia. Producing wine from the grapes they grow in their own gardens, they offer their clients/residents a bottle of wine to enjoy their evenings in a luxurious atmosphere. 

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Zoomin gets a rebrand

Zoomin is a personalized photo printing service, that prints up your memories into beautiful products – prints, posters, mugs, frames, etc. They had been around for a long time now, and it was time for a packaging refresh. The packaging design goals were to come up with something – – Beautiful. – Economical. – That would print well on eco-friendly Kraft paper. – Consistently on-brand, that could be applied across their variety of products. – Fresh and fun but not loud i.e something that would appeal to their wide user base with varied tastes. – That also conveyed the love and care that Zoomin put into fulfilling their customer orders.

We fulfilled these goals with a cheeky typographic design that speaks to the customers directly, combined with a seamless custom pattern for flavor. After experimenting with some patterns, we decided on a zentangle-inspired pattern that appears to zoom in – a subtle reference to the brand name. The design works because it can be applied across envelopes, boxes and tubes alike, and can easily be customized to suit the product being shipped, while being consistently on-brand.

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Sound Sparkling Beverages Rebrand Gives Off The Right Vibe

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The economic disruption due to the pandemic created ripples across every sector. Some suffered more than others, notably in entertainment, hospitality, and foodservice. Restaurants having to close on-site dining bore the brunt of the impact, but less seen were the ancillary businesses relying on the same on-site dining, such as suppliers and purveyors. Sound, a sparkling beverage company, was one of those firms.

Primarily focused on the foodservice industry, Sound saw their monthly sales drop from 6 to 4 figures in March 2020 and were faced with shifting its business to e-commerce and retail. As part of the change, Sound refreshed the brand and the packaging to stand out in retail.

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Before and After

The previous packaging was attractive but restrained. Sound’s cans and labels have just enough color to stand out in a cafe cooler but perhaps too reserved to grab consumers’ attention in the crowded sparkling beverage space. The previous visual identity broke out a lot of the label space with stark and contrasting boxes with ingredient labels and graphics. 

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Child food poverty campaign

No child should have to go to bed hungry, but the UK’s latest statistics on child food poverty highlight a systemic problem that urgently needs tackling. Pre-Covid, 30% of all children across the country were living in poverty, while food insecurity in families with children has increased dramatically in lockdown.

Launched in response to the government’s new Healthy Start voucher, Rashford has joined forces with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge on a new national campaign, Full Time: Get Cooking with Marcus & Tom.

The campaign, which aims to equip children with vital life skills to support their navigation into adult life, is supported by Facebook and Instagram and aims to eliminate stigma around the use of Healthy Start vouchers.

Kerridge has created 52 simple, family-friendly recipes as part of the 12-month-long programme, which encourages parents and carers to enjoy one hour of valuable time each week cooking with their children, and puts emphasis on recipes that use limited equipment and longer shelf life goods.

Recipes will be available to pick up in various forms from selected supermarkets every Sunday morning. Each recipe will feature a QR code linking through to the Full Time Instagram page, where users can access short-form tutorial videos hosted by Tom, Marcus and a selection of celebrity guests.

London-based design studio The Clearing was brought in to lead on the branding for Full Time, with a brief to develop the campaign’s visual identity, name and strategy.

The result is a colourful take on home cooking, which swaps off-putting, health-focused language for more casual phrases such as ‘Get stuck in’ and ‘It’s time to fill up’.

Casual Look For Dutch C&A

C&A is a Dutch international fast fashion brand established in 1841 by the siblings Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer. The brand maintains presence in 22 European countries, in addition to Brazil, China and Mexico. C&A arrived in Mexico in 1999 and expanded quickly establishing their largest headquarters positioning itself as an accessible fast-fashion brand.”

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Collins Modern Classics gives some much-loved books a new look

These new editions bring a fresh set of covers to well-known titles, wrapping them in clashing two-colour palettes and featuring graphics inspired by the contents of each title.

Jo Thomson, deputy art director at 4th Estate and William Collins, says the art department was briefed to create jackets that would look nothing like other classic book editions, but still be timeless enough to stand apart from current trends.

Drawing on her love of typography, Thomson began playing around with designs that used huge lettering and decorative fonts, paired together with graphic images or photos. The real breakthrough for the design came when she shifted the authors’ names away from the centre of the cover and off to one side – allowing the type and imagery to do the heavy lifting. The graphics have also been given a print grain filter to add some extra texture.

Each book has its own unique colour palette, with Jung Chang’s Wild Swans wrapped in mint green and neon red, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides enjoying a forest green and bubblegum pink.

“One of the key things that we wanted to do was open these books up to people who haven’t read them before,” Thomson. “For books that are older, we wanted to give them a new lease of life with a cover that’s more vibrant and modern than previous classics have been.”

Zoopla rebrand

As part of the rebrand, independent consultancy Zag and Zoopla’s in-house design team worked on the creation of a new logo, colour palette and overall design language. The new visual identity system is joined by updates to the products and services across both the Zoopla website and app, including the launch of a new homeowners hub called My Home.

The new design and brand experience aims to “connect more deeply with homemovers and bring back the joy and excitement in what can be an otherwise stressful, or at worst, transactional experience,” according to Neil Cummings, ECD and partner at Zag.

The rebrand feels somewhat familiar yet it brings energy and personality to a process that is painful for most people moving home, while the messaging comes with a certain warmth and sentimentality that has worked so well for the likes of B&Q during the pandemic.