For many years, classical music has suffered from an ongoing PR problem, which portrays it as unchanging, old-world and elitist, and therefore unable to appeal to new audiences.
San Francisco Symphony decided to tackle these preconceptions head on with its recent diversity- and inclusion-focused organisational overhaul, following the appointment of conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its new music director.
“It’s true that the origins of classical music are hundreds of years old, if not more, but the general population doesn’t tend to realise that it has been in a constant state of flux since its inception,” says Collins creative director, Louis Mikolay.
“It has been defining and redefining itself with each generation – even woven into movie scores, video games, and beyond. Classical music has an incredible amount to offer all of us, especially in such a stressful time. We have been honoured to work with the multi-talented teams at The San Francisco Symphony to help broaden its relevance in the modern world.”
The posters are the latest in a long running series of ads from McDonald’s that have taken a simple, minimalist approach, making clever visual use of its iconic branding or its products to send a message to its audience.
In this set of images, one half of the golden arches logo is shown beaming into homes, with the simple statement ‘We Deliver’ below. The houses featured include a range of architectural styles from modern tower blocks to a Victorian terraced house.
The new campaign appears the week that a rebrand of McDonald’s’ packaging was released, which also uses a simple, illustrative approach. Both the rebrand and these minimalist ads reveal a confidence in just how well known its branding is to both its regular customers and the wider world, and that McDonald’s is not afraid to use these assets in a powerful and striking way.
Credits: Agency: Leo Burnett London CCO: Chaka Sobhani ECD: Mark Elwood Creative directors: Andrew Long, James Millers Creatives: Andrew Long, James Millers, Will Rees Designer: Sam Kallen
McDonald’s has teamed up with independent design agency Pearlfisher to redesign the brand’s global packaging system. The focus is on a bold graphics system that aims to “bring a sense of joy and ease”, and uses vector style illustrations to represent different items on the fast food chain’s menu.
Pearlfisher has ambitiously designed a “single visual framework for the brand’s portfolio of products” by highlighting hero ingredients on the packaging, to create something instantly recognisable to its customers.
On the Big Mac sandwich box, for instance, layers of the famous burger are captured in a cartoonish cross-section, the McMuffin wrapper is simplified with a big yellow yolk in the middle of a crinkly white background and, although the fries packet remains relatively similar in its red and yellow colourway, there is now the addition of pointy fries on the inside of the box.
Sia says the team tried to bring personality through simple illustrations to allow the packaging to be functional, easy to identify, aesthetically minimal and emotionally joyful. “Everything in this system has a purpose and helps activate McDonald’s’ brand positioning to make delicious, feel-good moments easy for everyone,” he adds.
The online exhibition features a mix of famous names and less-heard voices, who all use letterpress techniques to express their feelings on a range of contemporary issues.
“Our idea was to unite everyone in a letterpress show where the emphasis was on the message of the work, rather than just the technique,” continues Ardagh. “The special collaborative print editions we produced were our way of making sure that the voices we were representing were diverse. This had begun early last year when we worked with a talented group of adults with learning disabilities who had clear ideas about the issues they wanted to communicate. We wanted to do something similar with a group from the local homeless community but the virus made that impossible. We did manage to connect with a Senegalese asylum seeker and produce a poster based on their sketches but didn’t manage to broaden this out as being associated with speaking out put their application at great risk.
The mortgage company has worked with Uncommon on an unexpectedly psychedelic rebrand, which lives in a “euphoric dreamscape”
The world of finance and mortgages aren’t the first place you’d look for fantastical branding, but Habito’s new identity is shaking off the stuffy typefaces and restrained colour palettes in favour of what Uncommon describes as “phantasmagoric” visuals.
The studio has introduced a new logo and series of graphics – designed in partnership with New York artist Saiman Chow. The brand’s former word mark – which was very much part of the geometric sans serif movement – has been replaced with a chunky ‘winged’ typeface, which apparently speaks to the ease of getting a mortgage via Habito.
It’s also part of a mortgage heaven vs hell narrative the brand has set up, which includes animated TV adsdepicting towering stacks of paper and grasping tentacles as the nightmare alternative to Habito.
But while it’s great to see more brands using expressive typefaces, where the identity really shines is in the swirly dreamlike textures and graphics that form the backdrop.
Burrill worked together with multidisciplinary studio Bread Collective, street art initiative In Good Companyand property business King & Co to bring the mural to life. The first ideas for the piece came in mid-2019, though In Good Company founder and curator Laura Wellington says the design “couldn’t feel more relevant for the current time”.
“From the start, the plan was that this piece will be here for the people of Leeds for centuries, but I think it’s the perfect message of unity to start 2021 – a year when continued connection and community will be so vital,” she explains.
Burrill studied graphic design in Leeds, and says the city left a “powerful imprint” on him and his artistic practice – something he’s been able to pay back with the piece. Its big type and simple message is characteristic of the artist’s work, but does feel particularly resonant in a time when togetherness can feel like a distant concept.
The design for Woodlot Skincare puts the relationship we have with the world on display. Utilizing a striking sans-serif typeface that is both earthy and modern, as well as jewel colors highlighting the variety of nutrients this world provides us, Woodlot is a decidedly feminine skincare line that doesn’t alienate the consumer who loves skincare. My favorite design element has to be the flecked patterns on the side of each product variant, a beautiful reminder of everything that makes up the Earth and allows it to give back to us.
Arithmetic’s packaging program for Woodlot Skincare is an ode to this love story. One of patience, of whole love for the earth and in that, self-love. The myriad of metallic fleks and muted jewel tones adorning the boxes are inspired by Mother Earth’s jewelry box of minerals and stone.
A personal conversation written about a woman’s journey from the vanity of human desire to the purity of self love. In a world of heavily marketed cosmetic and skincare brands on perfectly adorned models, our idea of beauty and youth can be skewed, even when we claim to have a healthy reflection of what we see in the mirror, the inner critic speaks loudly at times.
“Graphic designers always look out for interesting examples of ‘found’ design, but there is something extra special, and relevant, about this new graphic language that has appeared over the past few months,” says Intercity creative director, Nathan Gale.
“I think it’s the bold, graphic shapes made from brightly coloured or chevroned 2-inch tape – combined with the heavily textured and well-worn flooring that it’s being stuck to. The contrast makes for striking visuals that I imagine designers all over the world have been documenting.”
Gale says the studio first created a grid, then digitally drew every character before committing them to tape. Some letters, such as the G and A, have stylistic alternates, and Intercity also created a set of eight oversized arrows – to reflect on the many pictures they’d collected of these in tape, out in the wild.
One Way is first and foremost a display face, and aimed mainly at shorter words being used at larger sizes – potentially paired with more elegant type.
“At a time when lockdown has given many people the opportunity to try new things and spend time ‘making’ at home, a handmade typeface seems fitting for the situation we currently find ourselves in.”
If you’re into fancy candles—and you should be—the name diptyque is top of mind.
From queens and kings like Bey and LeBron, the Paris-based scent experts have satisfied clients with coveted and renowned candles for 60 years. With six decades of delivering the highest quality scented essentials under their belt, the fragrance house has now released a commemorative series of candles celebrating their graphic and olfactory legacy in a striking collection worthy of the French firm’s heritage.
diptyque’s Graphic Collection includes a series of four classic scents – Berries, Fig Tree, Tuberose, and Roses, with throwback labels and geometric designs that are just as hypnotizing now as they were 60 years ago. Thousands of laid-out lines in different kinetic patterns dance around the organic flame when the candle gets lit for a transcendent, multi-sensory experience. The marrying of fire and graphics change depending on your vantage point, creating infinitely new occurrences for those discerning enough to light the very best.
The original logo was monochrome, cast in a serif typeface, which felt a little old-fashioned. To update it, the agency has redrawn Waterford’s icon and work mark, inspired by the brand’s signature Lismore cut, which references the battlements and windows of Lismore castle in Waterford. The new logo uses these cuts as letterforms as a nod to its craft, with the original Waterford cross section of the W still retained.
The clean cut of logo creates a contemporary interpretation and this was one of Identica’s biggest tasks: to reframe the brand as “desirable and relevant to a younger audience”. In the past the brand has actively built the perception of being saved for special occasions, but now wanted to create the idea that Waterford is a beautiful product that can “transform everyday moments to make them truly special”.
The new colour palette also helps to modernise the brand, as it combines a dark moody green with a molten orange. The combination is a tribute to the “elemental starting point” of each crystal piece. Waterford’s famous seahorse also got a makeover, with Identica redesigning the character to feel like a “modern shorthand” of the brand.
“The brief was one that many established brands have faced; how do we retain the essence of Waterford’s rich history, craftsmanship and Irish heritage but ensure that these feel relevant, compelling and desirable for a younger audience?” says Richard Clayton, Identica’s creative director. “I was hugely inspired by walking around the workshops, in awe of how the craftsmen were shaping the molten crystal using simple wooden paddles, how the crystal cutters manipulate small and huge crystal pieces over the diamond cutting wheels creating complex and delicate patterns.”