Monthly Archives: April 2022

Here’s comes the Sun

Created by Base Design, the new campaign for the eyewear brand Ace & Tate puts the emphasis on why you need sunglasses, rather than what they look like.

It’s a bold move for an eyewear business to create an ad campaign featuring absolutely no specs or shades, but the campaign is surprisingly evocative. It features pleasingly unretouched portraits of people screwing up their eyes as they’re caught in a beam of sunlight, accompanied by a simple tagline: Bring on the sun.

Base Design’s partner and ECD Thierry Brunfaut says the posters embrace a “universal feeling” of being dazzled by the sun. According to him, the campaign is the next stage in Ace & Tate’s ‘brand evolution’, as the eight-year-old business faces up to an influx of new competitors.

That’s not to say its personality-free, however. “The visuals speak for themselves; they embody a sunny spirit and cheerful mood,” says Brunfaut. “The brand strikes that ‘Dutch Design’ balance: be thorough and serious about what you do, but stay offbeat.”

And Base Design’s approach seems to be paying off, with the campaign widely praised on social media, and also apparently winning Ace & Tate its second best sales day the weekend after launch.

Seed Library Visual Identity

Magpie Studio has created the branding for cocktail bar Seed Library, creating a visual identity to match the ‘lo-fi analogue’ vision for the bar.

Seed Library, which is based in the basement of One Hundred Shoreditch (Formerly Ace Hotel), is run by Ryan Chetiawardana — better known as Mr Lyan — who Magpie says is “often referred to as the world’s best bartender”. His first bar, White Lyan, opened in London in 2013 and explored sustainability and waste-reduction through using no perishables, fruit or ice. He then went on to launch a series of bars around London, as well as in Washington DC and Amsterdam, including Super Lyan, Dandelyan, Cub, Lyaness, and Silver Lyan.

Magpie has previously worked with Chetiawardana on projects including theidentity for Dandelyan and Super Lyan, which scooped the agency a D&AD Pencil in 2020. The studio worked closely with Mr Lyan and hospitality company Lore Group on the Seed Library project, starting work in September 2021, with the bar opening in late February this year.

The small copy that intertwines the patterns is an excerpt from a section about black holes found in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, a nod to Chetiawardana’s scientific background. The wordmark uses the typeface Ambit by CoType, a modern take on classic sans serif fonts. “It felt fitting with the modernisation of the patterns, it felt like it had just enough character,” says Christie. The vibrant orange colour palette was chosen to amplify the warmth of the interiors while also feeling fresh and modern, and standing out in the low lighting. The interiors for Seed Library were designed by architect, designer and Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss.

The power of Typography

Sarah Hyndman has been exploring how typography influences us for the past decade or so; setting up experiments and studies around its effect on our moods and senses and demonstrating how letterforms have powers far beyond mere legibility or decoration. 

Hyndman, a designer and founder of the Type Tasting enterprise, published the book The Type Taster: How fonts influence you back in 2015, and her interest in the subject hasn’t waned since. Now, with the help of an Arts Council grant, she’s created an innovative new ‘exhibition’ of sorts: but one which comes to you, in a small box.

Within each box is a series of three zines, as well as three small bags, each containing a different scent-giving object (one takes the form of dried plant matter; others are more like perfume sample sticks). Each scent corresponds to different exercises within the zine’s pages, which also include sensorial cues such as textures to feel, typographic trompe l’oeil and links to sound pieces including a collection of audio recordings from open-source NASA data, as well as ASMR cues and online kinetic type examples. 

It’s a smart take on the exhibition format in a post lockdown world: obviously, you can ‘wander’ round the exhibition from your own home (or wherever else you fancy taking the box); and it also makes good use of QR codes, taking them out of the realm of track and trace and into something rather more enjoyable. In addition, Elixir plays with the idea of the hybrid format: while it’s a gorgeous piece of print, the experience only becomes possible thanks to its online elements.

Elixir: Mood is available to buy at

Packaging Makes A Statement Through Muted Tones And Type Driven Design

Typography and muted tones take precedence over Domaine Gélinas’ gin bottles. Designed by maubau studio, these gin bottles are highly crafted and almost feel like an antique in the best possible way. Instead of following design trends in the footsteps of other liquor companies, maubau studio is carving a path for Domaine Gélinas to stand out through outstanding design and a new perspective.

While the recipe let’s us taste the Gélinas know-how, the bottle lets us touch the place where it came to be. The wooden cap evokes the family land and the fauna that inhabits it; the embossing personifies attention to detail. The very shape of the object revives the memory of an ancient pharmacopoeia. It is a narrative object, a window into history.

Grand National rebrand

Thisaway has designed a new visual identity for the annual racing event, using big, mud-splattered type to evoke the energy of the race course.

To mark its return to normality, the Grand National is launching its first standalone visual identity – previously, the horse race was branded and promoted under racing organisation the Jockey Club. The event has been running since 1839, with some of its 30 fences, for example Becher’s Brook, considered iconic.

Thisaway has tapped into the event’s “grand proportions” for its type-led branding, using it to reflect the huge audience – 10 million people watch the Grand National in the UK, and 600 million around the world – and epic race course. 

“We gave the brand a bold typographic feel that aims to reflect their stature and immediately speaks to what the race is known for,” said the studio in a press release.

Watercolor-Inspired Gradient For Superbloom

Designed by HATCH DESIGN, Grover Collaborative’s skincare line’s packaging is based on the powerful natural ingredients found within. As a result, the watercolor-inspired bottles instantly brighten and give a glimmer of brilliance.

Brighten, tighten, and protect your skin with some of the most powerful plants on earth. Watercolor was used to create an ethereal feel. This is meant to highlight the power of the plants to help transform the skin into one more beautiful and radiant. The bottles and containers share the same colors as their boxes. The two colors used to merge. As the material is made primarily of glass, it allows for light to pass through which gives it an inner glow. Details from product form to the unboxing experience aimed to harness the power of delight that naturally comes with a super bloom.

Jade Purple Brown Collaborated With Clinique’s 

Jade Purple Brown, a New York City-based artist known for her vibrant colors and lively illustrations, recently worked with Clinique to design the limited-edition packaging for the brand’s well-loved fragrance dubbed “Happy.” With energetic colors, lovely hearts, and a feminine box, the fragrance packaging is sure to give everyone a sliver of optimism.

Custom-drawn wordmark

Ryan Bugden, a co-founder of R&M, led the type and graphic design for the project, creating the Strawberry Western wordmark in Latin and Katakana. There’s three optical sizes, ensuring it works when used in display environments, as well as in small details – for example, leather debossing.

Strawberry Western is a new fashion label that describes itself as “anti-waste”. It was set up by New Yorker Kisa Sky Shiga, and focuses on handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces created using unwanted clothes and post-consumer waste and scraps. The brand appears to be in the early stages, with garments for sale in some stores in New York, but the Strawberry Western website is yet to launch.

“Japanese identity design has a formidable history in rationalised geometry,” explains the designer. “I took inspiration from many classic Japanese wordmarks and twisted the logic to fit the Strawberry Western vibe.”