Tag Archives: Ceative Review

Park Lane Hotel’s new identity

Park Lane, the luxury hotel in New York City, has launched a new identity designed to emerge from a “sea of old-world sameness” according to Mother Design, which was behind the new look.

“The previous branding, rooted in 70s luxury design, was in dire need of an update; not only from a visual perspective, but also to feel more inclusive,” Mother Design says. “We brought seasonality into the design, a super rich colour palette, and most of all brand language that’s both elevated and invitational; the poetic language entices locals as well as travellers.”

These ideas are central to the updated Park Lane wordmark, which taps into the appetite for Art Nouveau lettering at the moment. It features straight, architectural lines set against swooping, ornate curves designed to evoke “wandering paths” or “botanical tendrils”, according to the agency. The new wordmark has been condensed down into an icon (so far used minimally) in which the initials P and L are stacked on top of one another, the softness accentuated with ribbon-like detailing.

Lego and Yinka Ilori reimagine the humble launderette

Known for using vibrant colours and bold patterns, Ilori’s work injects joy into everyday spaces and tells stories that nod to his British-Nigerian heritage. The installation draws on the artist’s childhood memories of visiting the local launderette on Essex Road, north London, with his family, with help from a group of current students from his former school, St Jude & St Paul’s C of E Primary School.

On a visit to a local launderette, Yinka asked the young students how they would rebuild the space for the better and bring people in the community together. Their playful ideas shaped the transformation of elements typically found in a launderette from the banal to the fantastical.

The installation features a number of interactive experiences, including a giant mural wall that can be built, unbuilt and rebuilt by visitors, kaleidoscope laundry drums and vending machines that dispense Lego toys instead of soap. All of these experiences aim to demonstrate how children use play and creative problem-solving skills to turn everyday experiences into adventures.

BBC Christmas ad

“As we know, all families are unique and in many ways that’s what the BBC’s Christmas film is all about – how we are united by our differences,” says Paul Jordan, ECD at BBC Creative. “The BBC is a unifying theme that runs through the heart of the film, bringing us together, and if you look carefully, you’ll notice it’s always there, like a golden thread of tinsel running right through our Christmas.” 

Agency: BBC Creative
ECDs: Paul Jordan, Helen Rhodes
Creative Director: Susan Ayton
Creatives: Jules Middleton, Andy Parkman
Director: James Rouse
Production Company: Outsider

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.

Mozilla rebrand

Mozilla announced it would be rebranding after inviting feedback on possible themes for the new branding – the company announced seven possible design routes. Of these, four have now been scrapped, two have led to new ideas and one has been developed further.Possible design routes for Mozilla's new logo and visual identityTim Murray, head of Mozilla’s creative team, says the final four concepts were chosen based on feedback on the seven initially put forward, as well as “principles of good design” and Mozilla’s overall brand strategy. Protocol 2.0 is the only surviving option from the previous round – it uses a colon and two forward slashes as a reference to Mozilla’s role as a ‘building block of the web’.

Protocol 2.0


“By putting the internet http:// protocol directly into the word – Moz://a – it creates a typeable word mark, and by doing so alludes to Mozilla’s role at the core of the Internet (and hence the ‘Pioneers’ positioning). We’ve also beefed up the blue to the classic RGB #0000FF (as used by Netscape) to further enhance its ‘roots of the web’ credentials,” writes Johnson.

The typographic word mark could also be expanded into a typographic and pictogrammic visual language with characters swapped out randomly for other fonts and emoticons.Protocol 2.0 features a typeable word mark

The Flame

The Flame merges an 'M' and a pixellated flame

The Flame is a new design route which combines a pixellated flame with the letter M. Johnson says the flame acts a symbol for Mozilla’s “determination to remain the beacon for an open, accessible and equal internet for all [one of the key aims of the rebrand is to better reflect Mozilla’s internet advocacy work] and something that a community gathers round for warmth.” Pixels can be swapped out for code and the flame can be adapted to incorporate flags from various countries.Possible applications for The FlameThe Flame could also be adapted to incorporate national flags


Burst is also a new concept. Jonson says it is inspired by Mozilla’s role in “recording and advocating the health of the internet” and experiments with data-led ideas. It is also loosely inspired by Wireframe World – one of the initial design routes put forward.

“As we looked harder at data sources we realised that five was a key number: Mozilla is collecting data around five key measurements as we type (and you read), and there are five nodes in a capital ‘M’. So we combined the two thoughts,” he writes.Burst is a colourful design based around a capital M

Dino 2.0

The final option, Dino 2.0, provides a link with the company’s now defunct dinosaur logo (a design that is no longer used externally but one that Johnson says there is “still a lot of love for” among the Mozilla community). The design builds on initial design route The Eye (pictured top), which has since been discarded, and uses a chevron and white type to suggest a ‘zilla’. The eye can blink and jaws can chomp, adding animated elements to the design scheme.

Dino 2.0The Dino mark can be used to create a range of symbols for sub-brands

Royal Mail releases Agatha Christie stamps with ‘hidden clues’

The set of six stamps were created by Jim Sutherland of Studio Sutherl & and illustrator Neil Webb and include elements that react to UV light and heat.

One of the six Agatha Christie stamps by Royal Mail
And Then There Were None: A poem, key to the plot, is the moon’s reflection, and the mysterious U.N.Owen appears at the lit window.

Miss Marple investigates a body found in the library.
Miss Marple investigates a body found in the Library

Agatha Christie stamps by Royal Mail
There’s a killer in the shadows, and Poirot looks on from the flames

One of the six Agatha Christie stamps by Royal Mail
Murder on The Orient Express: Don’t be distracted by the red kimono character, she distracts the viewer from the killer hidden behind a heat sensitive ink curtain. The curtain disappears when the stamp is touched, and names of suspects are written along the train track in micro text.

A Murder is Announced
Murder is Announced

Agatha Christie stamps by Royal Mail
The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Poirot and Hastings investigate the crime scene – forming the skull, as the murderer used poison. The whole stamp is then reproduced in miniature on the poison bottle.

Each stamp also has a hidden letter, which combine across the set to spell ‘Agatha’. The presentation pack for the stamps is like a bookshelf packed with original objects, photographs, book covers and a timeline of the the author’s life.

Agatha Christie Royal Mail

Mozilla rebrand

In the next stage of its unique ‘open’ redesign process, Mozilla and design studio johnson banks have released seven possible design routes for the group’s rebrand

Route 1: The Eye

Route A: The Eye. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

The verbal theme has been translated into a graphic route named The Eye. “Even though Mozilla’s old Dinosaur logo is only used internally, not externally, there’s still a lot of love in the community for all things ‘Dino’. What if we could find a way to use just part of a reptile in a dynamic new design?” say johnsonbanks.

Route A: The Eye. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute A: The Eye. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute A: The Eye. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

Route 2: The Connector

“Typographic experiments with the ‘Mozilla’ name led to this route – where the letters are intertwined around each other to create two interrelated marks, inspired by circuitry and tribal patterns,” johnson banks say.Route B: The Connector. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute B: The Connector. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute B: The Connector. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute B: The Connector. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

Route 3: Choose OpenRoute C: Choose Open. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute C: Choose Open. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks“Mozilla stands for an Internet that’s open to all on an equal basis – but most people don’t realise that certain forces may divide it and close it off. How could we communicate ‘open’, quickly and simply? Could we find a current symbol or pictogram of ‘open’ and adapt it to our needs?” johnson banks say.Route C: Choose Open. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute C: Choose Open. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute 4: The ProtocolRoute D: The Protocol. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute D: The Protocol. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute D: The Protocol. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute D: The Protocol. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

Route 5: Wireframe World

Wireframe World looks at “a way to hint at the enormity of the internet, yet place Mozilla within that digital ecosystem”.Route E: Wireframe World. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute E: Wireframe World. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute E: Wireframe World. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

Route 6: The Impossible M

“We wanted to show the collaborative aspect of the maker spirit in a simple typographic mark. Inspired by both computer graphics and optical illusions, an ‘impossible’ design developed that also revealed a cohesive design approach across all applications.”Route F: The Impossible M. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute F: The Impossible M. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute F: The Impossible M. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute F: The Impossible M. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks

Route 7: Flik Flak

This route was developed in parallel with The Eye “as we searched for animalistic solutions, but built characters out of consistent isometric shapes,”johnson banks say. “The more we experimented, the more we realised we could construct a character that also spelt out the words, Mozilla.”Route G: Flik Flak. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute G: Flik Flak. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute G: Flik Flak. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banksRoute G: Flik Flak. Mozilla identity proposal by johnson banks


Three exercises to unlock your creativity (whatever kind of organisation you work in)

Rod Judkins’ Developing Your Creativity course explores techniques for generating ideas. Rachael Steven talks to him about why everyone from surgeons to bankers want to get creative

appear on Creaive Review blog on 14th September 2016

Creativity is often thought of as something innate and spontaneous – something that can’t be taught. Directors, designers, artists and writers often speak of Eureka moments and unexpected flashes of inspiration – an idea coming to them seemingly out of nowhere, when they’ve just stepped out of the shower, say, or are out for a run.

But even the most successful creatives need help coming up with ideas from time to time. Most have practical systems or processes that can help on the days when those Eureka moments are nowhere to be found – whether it’s scouring books and blogs and magazines for inspiration, brainstorming or carrying out physical exercises that encourage creative thinking.

Rod Judkins is a painter and art and design tutor and has spent the past few years running workshops to help people be more creative. His Developing Your Creativity course at Central Saint Martins explores some of the techniques artists and designers use to get ideas.

In each workshop, Judkins examines a different method for creative thinking and asks students to apply that method to a particular subject or project – students might be asked to apply Barbara Kruger’s technique of cutting out words and pictures and arranging them to create thought-provoking visual displays.

53417956_illustration [Converted].eps

Sparking ideas

“Rather than creativity being thought of as something to do with inspiration and gut feeling, I wanted to show that it was more down to earth,” explains Judkins. “We look at a certain artist or designer’s process, analyse it, try it out on different projects and see how it works,” he explains. Judkins has since been asked to teach it at The London College of Fashion, Royal Free Hospital and companies including Microsoft and last year, published a book, The Art of Creative Thinking, which compiles various exercises from his classes.

If you’re an artist or designer, you can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration. It’s your job, your career – you need to walk in in the morning and start work

There’s often a certain scepticism around workshops or guidebooks claiming to help with creative thinking. But practical techniques that can help spark that initial idea – a fleeting thought that can be developed into something much bigger – can be a valuable tool for anyone in a creative role.

“If you’re an artist or designer, you can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration. It’s your job, your career – you need to walk in in the morning and start work,” says Judkins. “Most of the people I look at [on the course] have some way of keeping a constant flow of ideas – some kind of technique that means they can always be generating thoughts.”

Little Girl Looking to the Side

Judkins has also been asked to teach creative thinking to people in professions from medicine to accounting. He has recently been working with advanced medical science students at the Royal Free Hospital, encouraging them to think creatively about how medical tools or processes could be improved. “The surgeons there want to see more creative thinking among the medical students – instead of them just using equipment and being taught methods and medical processes, they want them to think about how they can be improved – if they see a piece of equipment isn’t working very well, to think ‘how can it be made better?” he explains.

This way of thinking is often a departure from what students on less creative courses are used to – but Judkins says workshops have helped them think up ways to improve surgical instruments and even redesign artificial liver devices to make them more efficient.

58100932_illustration [Converted].eps

Linear thinking

“When I go into a bank, or I’m teaching medical students, they’re much more linear in their way of thinking [than art and design students] – they’ll learn something and they’ll apply it in the way that they’ve learned. That’s not a bad thing – if you’re a doctor, and someone has a pain in their heart, there are certain processes you have to follow … but it means that students aren’t as used to thinking creatively.

“Before I started teaching at the Royal Free Hospital, one of the surgeons said: ‘a lot of our students come here and want to learn medical science and then apply what they’ve learned in a job, but there are others who want to do something different, they want to change things’. That’s where creativity comes in, because they’re going to have to think creatively to do things differently,” he adds.

At Central Saint Martins, Judkins teaches people from various fields, including advertising, writing, accountancy and law. 

“I usually set them a project, but if they have something they’re working on and it hasn’t gone well, I encourage them to bring it in and we’ll have a go at it as a group, to see if we can apply some of the different techniques we’ve learned throughout the workshops,” he says.

51799504_illustration [Converted].eps

Clamouring for creativity

“We had someone bring in a project a while back – he had been asked to advertise a vodka from Kazakhstan – and we ended up renaming the project and repackaging it,” Judkins says. “He took it back to the client, pointed out some problems with the existing project and they relaunched it.”

In the time he has spent teaching, Judkins says he has noticed a growing interest in creative thinking workshops among people and businesses in various fields – with more and more companies understanding the value of helping staff be more innovative.

“It’s definitely a growing area – I think banks and all sorts of industries have realised that if they’re got creativity and innovation [in their organisation], it really helps move them on. It can give them a real advantage. A few years ago, they would have been very sceptical about the idea – a lot of them couldn’t see what the purpose was – but now, they’re really clamouring for their employees to be more creative,” he adds.

For more on Rod Judkins, see rodjudkins.com. The Art of Creative Thinking is published by Sceptre

Perplexed Woman With Book


Switch roles

When starting a project with a team it is essential to start off on the wrong foot. Give the members of the team different roles. This prevents them from falling into familiar patterns of work. I was asked to help a TV station develop a new soap opera with the team of cameramen, scriptwriters, soundmen etc. They had become stuck and so had called me in to help. I found they were very fixed in their ways. They had the attitude ‘I’ve been doing this for years’. That’s why they were not coming up with ideas. They wanted to do things the way they’d always done them. I swapped their roles – I asked the cameramen to write the scripts, the costume designers to write up characters and so on. Fear of failure vanished because the weight of expectation had been lifted and they no longer had a reputation to protect. They were exploring new territory instead of repeating what they knew. They improvised and played around. New ideas poured out.

I employed the same technique recently when I delivered a creative workshop at a bank. In that case it helped to break up the hierarchical structure. By reducing everyone to the same level l was able to free them of their inhibitions and they suggested ideas more readily. Even if you’re working alone, switch tools. Use the wrong equipment for the task. It breaks up expectations and opens your mind to new possibilities.

A project is not a problem.

Often when I am helping a team with a project I find that they think of it as a problem they have to solve. That can be useful, but to start off in that frame of mind is very limiting. I ask them to create a game or game show based on their product or subject. With large sheets of paper and thick felt tips we quickly create a rough set. They have to work out a format for the show and devise a game based on their subject – maybe with teams, a competition, an element of chance. Thinking of the project as a game creates a positive mood. But it’s not pointless play. The game may involve asking questions based on their subject so they search for unusual information. They learn more than if they researched in the standard way. Research from psychologists has proved that people solve problems more easily when they are in a playful mood. It helps the team to work together and kick ideas around better than if they thought of their project as solving a problem.

Don’t brainstorm in a group

When working with a team I try to avoid the standard methods of brainstorming. It becomes a social event rather than an idea generating event. They feel under pressure to appear clever, people start to worry that a ridiculous idea might be laughed at and tend to suggest sensible, reasonable ideas and someone usually starts to dominate the group. I send everyone off to work alone. I instruct them to go away for half an hour and return with a ridiculous idea. By asking them to produce an idea that seems impractical, I free them up and enable them to explore unusual concepts. When they get back together we display all the strange ideas and we see if we can apply them to the task. It’s easier and more fun to look for ways of making a ridiculous idea work in practical terms than try to make a dull idea radical. Recently I was working with shoe designers and gave them materials they wouldn’t normally have used to design and make shoes such as wire, bubble wrap and other unusual materials. It forced them to think differently.