M&S Christmas ads

The store ran a pre-campaign, #whoispercypig, to tease the new voice of Percy, which has been revealed to be Spider Man actor Tom Holland. Meanwhile Dawn French – a fairy on top of the Christmas tree – takes on the role of Percy’s companion as the two scamper around the M&S store after hours. The two characters conveniently stumble across the Christmas food range in a clandestine escapade in the style of Night at the Museum.

Agency: Grey London
Creatives: Sam Haynes, John Gibson
Directors: Dom & Nic

M&S has simultaneously launched a Christmas spot for clothing and home created by Odd, which builds on the brand’s Anything But Ordinary strategy. Directed by Autumn de Wilde, the ad is a far glitzier and more choreographed offering inspired by musicals.

Agency: Odd
ECD: Nick Stickland
Creatives: Turhan Osman, Emma Jordan
Director: Autumn De Wilde
Production Company: Anonymous Content

Starbucks Christmas cups

“For the start of our campaign, we typically come up with a mood board that centers every piece of the creative for the full season, and so this year, we came up with the centering point around gifting and the elements that surround it, as well as elements that are really celebratory,” said Suzie Reecer, associate creative director at Starbucks.

Throughout each of the four holiday cup designs, these factors of wrapping and celebration can be seen visually throughout the entire campaign. From commercial to coffee bags to—obviously—the holiday cups, every aspect gets centered around celebration and the celebration of gifting. 

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

For example, the first design found inspiration in a perfectly wrapped gift, featuring a circular pattern in holiday hues. The next cup features delicate ribbons encircling the cup, creating a joyful dancing movement, and it’s a design near and dear to Suzie. “It really makes me think of when I wrapped presents with my mom, and you finish all the wrapping, and you look down, and there are ribbons all over the place in the most beautiful way,” Suzie added. 

The other designs are more typographically based yet still tie into the gift-giving motifs through ribbons, stripes, sparkles, and, of course, the classical holiday hues. 

And while each of these cups is innovative and refreshing from the past cups, there’s a new design element that, quite literally, wraps up the entire design. “We do have a major change and shift in our design system this year, in the best way, which is bringing forward a gift tag on each of our cups,” Suzie said. Baristas will now have a dedicated spot to write customers’ names or even a note so that each drink sincerely feels like a specially gifted treat. 

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Zagat rebranded

In the late 70s, two Americans living in Paris found themselves wishing for a restaurant resource that reflected the opinions of their foodie friends rather than those of professional critics or mystery reviewers.

The couple, Nina and Tim Zagat, ended up creating the guide they’d always wanted themselves. The subsequent success of what became the Zagat Restaurant Guide introduced people to the idea of user-generated content and helped to democratise restaurant criticism forever.

The Zagat team brought in Brooklyn-based studio Franklyn to create a new brand system and campaign assets that would better represent the review site’s history while also feeling contemporary.

Franklyn started by giving the brand’s existing wordmark a typographic polish, shifting from Helvetica, which was used for its original 1979 iteration, to a more modern and digital-friendly cut of Neue Haas Grotesk by the Commercial Type foundry.Video Player.

While the new logo has a modernist sensibility rooted in the late 1970s with its strong grids, clear hierarchies and simple compositions, the studio introduced more flexibility in the rest of the brand system.

Key design elements include a digital-forward approach to colour, iconography, hierarchy and animation, along with a more fluid typographic palette featuring Avant Garde, Cheltenham and Tungsten.

Geltor’s identity by &Walsh 

The company has a new visual identity designed by creative agency &Walsh that draws on cells and nature for inspiration. While the existing logo remains, &Walsh fleshed out a new visual language around it, from typeface and colourways to illustration and imagery.

The 3D visuals are crisp without feeling overly clinical, and pop against the royal blue palette. The key assets involve orbs containing a smorgasbord of natural ingredients that inspired Geltor’s proteins. The result is like a Björk video frozen within a snow globe, complete with the surreal art direction we’ve come to expect from &Walsh.

The team also developed an iconography system and a set of line-based illustrations to help distil complex information and make the company feel warmer and more approachable.

A slick bike motif for Lyon’s 

At its heart is a bike-shaped monoline motif that blends together the infinity symbol, which has been repurposed as tyres, with a set of handlebars.

“The goal is for everyone to be able to recognise, reuse and draw the design with ease,” says the studio. “It evokes cycling, cycling routes, openness and freedom.”

According to Spintank, the identity offers a “positive, friendly and inclusive vision of the change we need to make in mobility”. It features in a teaser ad campaign that appeared across Lyon, as well as on social media, encouraging residents to participate.

London Olympia complex

Originally opened in 1886, Olympia London is undergoing a major redevelopment designed by Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC Architects, which aims to position the new area (known simply as Olympia) as a hub for creative arts in west London.

On top of the existing Olympia London events and exhibition spaces, there will be seven new buildings, including a new theatre, a live music arena, office and studio spaces, eateries and two hotels. The development is due to open to the public in 2024.

The branding for the area has been led by the London arm of SomeOne, with a brand strategy built around the idea that “it’s showtime”.

The Olympia wordmark, developed in collaboration with Miles Newlyn, follows a curve that draws on the arches of the historic Olympia Exhibition Halls. The primary typeface is Right Grotesk by Montreal-based foundry Pangram Pangram, and appears in various styles and weights as a nod to the venue’s vintage exhibition posters.

Meanwhile the letter ‘O’ has inspired a ring-shaped motif that appears across accompanying visuals. The circular band is made up of elements alluding to the area’s future attractions – musical instruments, office tables, food and drink – rendered in CG with the help of weareseventeen and 3D artist Ingrid Tsy. While reminiscent of the BBC One circle idents, the circle works nicely as a framing device, particularly when animated.

Express yourself

Marta Veludo Studio is based in Amsterdam and often pulls influences from folk art, pop culture, bright color, and inspiring movements into her designs. In her most recent creation, Marta Veludo created the visual identity and packaging for Golden Apple’s new makeup line. The products infuse classic design elements with stereotypically GenZ inspiration, making for a line that inspires consumers to tap into new ways of expressing themselves. Each product is packaged uniquely but makes up a cohesive set with bold typography and punchy colors.

Editorial photographEditorial photograph

Elegantly Playful Wine Label

Jocelyn Tsaih is a Taiwan-born, Shanghai-raised artist currently based in Oakland, California, and, recently, the artist collaborated with Dom Maria, the Brazilian Sparkling wine brand. Tsaih’s designs are essentially blank canvases, allowing consumers to create a custom wine label that suits all the occasions they could need. Plus, even if you choose not to decorate the bottles further, the illustrations are lively, playful, and innocent enough to leave plain. 

Insurance firm Next get new branding by Collins

Next’s new branding and tone of voice are designed to steer clear of the clichés surrounding insurance companies, which “are either your overly earnest protectors from doom, or rely on the absurdity of animals and athletes to help you remember them”, according to design agency Collins, which led the brand redesign.

The team took an illustrated approach to the brand visuals, which feature bright palettes and a cast of friendly, motivational characters, including a toolbox and a chef’s hat.

The new branding includes a tagline imploring small business owners to ‘get going’ and messaging that focuses less on risk and more on opportunity.

Next has also commissioned small business owners and creators around the US to contribute to its corporate apparel and gift items, photography and videography, and custom on-hold music.

Scouts new Squirrels

The Squirrels programme aims to support young people in deprived communities most affected by the pandemic and also bring in families that may be new to Scouts. Its branding is bright, playful and fun and features its own logo, featuring a squirrel as the ‘S’.

The logo will eventually be used alone, when the Squirrels brand is more established, but initially will be used alongside the distinctive Scouts symbol to show it is part of the same family. The colours of the brand are also an extension of the main Scouts colour palette of red and yellow, with a number of woodland-themed colours added.



“Our approach to the Squirrels brand idea was to go back to the beginning of the Scouts story – Brownsea Island,” says Jamie Ellul, creative director at Supple Studio. “It felt appropriate to use the island’s flora and fauna as inspiration for the visual language and colour – especially as Brownsea is home to a brood of rare red squirrels.