Poetry typography

Pentagram has brought a new typographic look to the Poetry Foundation and its long-established magazine, Poetry, which explores the visual possibilities of this unique written form.In a project that unites the look of the Foundation, Poetry magazine and the organisation’s online presence, Pentagram New York designed a new grid-based identity which allows for the name to be displayed in myriad different ways and emphasises the place of graphic design and type in shaping our appreciation of this written form.‘We considered a number of different directions, but this was the only direction where the focus was on visual treatments of the word ‘Poetry’. We found ourselves thinking of everything from the radical Futurist poetry of Marinetti to the idiosyncratic punctuation of Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings. From that we took license to divide up the word into its 2 x 3 grid and to experiment with different kinds of letterforms and mark-making.’ Michael Bierut

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Top Girl Studio

Graphic designer Anna Potter addresses female empowerment, internet culture and our obsession with social media through witty Instagram posts and zines. Her iGIRL project – described as “the burn book of Instagram” – captures the millennial’s quest for the perfect feed with a series of statements inspired by real-life comments on the platform.Potter studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins. She is based in Bournemouth and has been working under the name Top Girl Studio since graduating in 2015. Explaining her decision to go freelance, she says: “After finishing uni, I realised I didn’t want to end up producing work that I wasn’t in love with or vaguely interested in.” She set up an Instagram feed and began sharing self-initiated projects – a strategy which led to commissions from Nike and Missguided.Potter recently collaborated with Nike and fashion blogger Girl on Kicks to create a series of images promoting Air Max Day. She also created a limited edition poster celebrating International Women’s Day for Riposte magazine. Potter was one of six female artists asked to create a poster – along with Lakwena Maciver, Tracey Ma, Paula Scher, Lynnie Zulu and Sonya Dyakova – and proceeds were donated to humanitarian organisation Women for Women.Nike x GIRLONAIR

Potter’s Instagram feed is carefully curated. She sees the platform as an opportunity to promote not just her work but herself and her interests, with photos of her favourite brands alongside recent work and images of things, people and places that have inspired her. “I’m a designer, but I also look at myself as a brand. I don’t want people to just buy into the product or idea I create, I want people to buy into me,” she says.

She hopes her account – and the success she has had with it so far – will inspire others to forge their own route into the industry. “I really do believe that social media gives us a unique opportunity where there are no rules to abide by. You don’t have to ‘do that’ or ‘do this’ because it’s normal or what everyone else does. Do what you love, show the world what you’re good at and make money doing something you’re passionate about. Take Instagram seriously. Follow everyone and start the conversation,” she says.

I just love typography as the main element of brand design. LOVE has just designed packaging for LA fashionista and socialite, Peri Arenas.With a new fashion boutique opening on California’s Robertson Boulevard, Peri briefed LOVE to design packaging that would create standout and match her ballsy personality.

Taking cues from the playful fashion labels Peri loves – as well as her straight-talking style – LOVE developed the PERI.A brand identity and rolled it out on the packaging. Brought to life with punchy copy and attention grabbing type, PERI. A sets out to shake up the American fashion-scape which Peri felt had become “boring and safe”.

Chris Myers, senior creative director, who headed up the project explains how LOVE was approached: “It’s not often that you’re recommended to a client in a Beverley Hills hair salon – but that’s how we ended up on a call with Peri.

if you like this, here a brand I created using type. Design Museum Rebrand

 

Grek Tea packaging

This modern approach to tea packaging has stolen our hearts. Interabang designed the packaging for GREK, a new tea company that is located in Greece.

“Interabang have completed the branding and packaging for GREK: a new tea company importing high quality herbs from Greece where they thrive – loaded with essential oils, solar energy and aromatics. Bringing that vitality to an infusion is something of an art and GREK have focussed on finding the perfect proportion of the right varieties from the right areas of Greece.

The founder’s tales of childhood trips to Pyrgi during the immersion phase of the project proved inspirational – the mono, geometric Xysta tiles synonymous with the island being a perfect representation of perfection, clarity and simplicity. These tiles not only became the flavour signposts for the front of packs, but also offered a distinctive visual richness when used as a pattern across touchpoints.”

Holmen Paper new identity

Swedish paper manufacturer Holmen Paper has a new identity designed by creative agency Volt. Unusual for a paper company this identity is clean and modern, making use of a bright colour palette and bold typographic layouts. They’ve also created an animated icon suite that will be used across brand communications.

Unchanged and perfect

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Marshall McLuhan called it “an icon” and it remains virtually unchanged after over four decades in use: Allan Fleming’s 1960 ‘worm’ logo for the Canadian National Railway Company was the overwhelming favourite among our design experts when we polled them for their favourite logos. Fleming had just turned 30 and was working at typographic firm Cooper and Beatty when the opportunity arose. CN had carried out a survey in 1959 revealing that people thought it an “old-fashioned”, “backward” organisation, hostile to innovation. Dick Wright, CN’s head of public relations commissioned New York designer James Valkus to study the problem. Valkus proposed a complete overhaul of CN’s visual image with a new logo (replacing its staid maple-leaf based design). He gave the job to Fleming.

One of Fleming’s sketches for the Canada national logo - Carrying a note from art director Jim Valkus: “Allan, make thinner &; we’ve got it, Jim” (image: National Archives of Canada)

The Canada National logo’s proportions explained - From the current CN corporate identity guidelinesAs happens so often, the idea came to Fleming when he was on a flight from New York and he sketched his idea quickly on a napkin. With Valkus, he then worked it up into the future classic we know today (there’s a wonderful image in Fleming’s archive of an early version with the following note from Valkus: “Make it thinner & we’ve got it.”)

The continuous flowing line symbolised “the movement of people, materials, and messages from one point to another,” Fleming said. “The single thickness stroke is what makes the symbol live. Anything else would lack the immediacy and vigour.” Abolishing the R for Railways also made the logo bilingual (‘Canadien National’ as well as ‘Canadian National’), an important plus-point in Canada, and made it more suitable for the many non-rail businesses CN ran at the time such as hotels, telecommunications, and ferry services.

the canada national logo on a train

“I think this symbol will last for 50 years at least,” said Fleming of his work. “It don’t think it will need any revision because it is designed with the future in mind.”

Fifty-seven years on, it’s still going.

CBS logo

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On Saturday October 20, 1951, CBS Television unveiled its new logo in station breaks voiced by a range of the channel’s stars. Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, George Burns and Gracie Allen each intoned that the viewer “keep your eye on this eye”. The new symbol epitomised clean, modern design but the inspiration for its creation harked back to the superstitions of 19th-century America. MORE