Tag Archives: creative review

San Diego Zoo & Safari Park brand

Pentagram partner Michael Bierut has brought all of the organisation’s work under a single brand, which is now known as the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Today, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are two of the largest zoos in the world, and Rex the lion lives on in the form of the Rex’s Roar statue that greets visitors at its entrance.

Together, the zoo and safari park are home to more than 15,000 rare and endangered animals, are part of a non-profit conservation organisation that is committed to saving species worldwide, and boast one of the largest zoological membership associations in the world, with more than half a million members.

Last updated over a decade ago, the zoo’s previous identity treated its non-profit arm San Diego Zoo Global, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as separate brands with their own visual systems.

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and his team were briefed to create a new brand identity that could connect with the broadest audience possible – from the families who visit and support the zoo and safari park to the scientific community who contribute to its research.

Creating a new name for the zoo was the first step in a two-year collaboration between Pentagram and the parent organisation, which has been rebranded as the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA).

The reimagined mark brings together three animals that are important to the history of the SDZWA: Rex the lion; a California condor, a species brought back from the brink of extinction in a signature achievement by the organisation; and a white rhino, which is currently undergoing one of most successful managed breeding programmes in the world.

Combined as part of one singular circular mark, the three individual animal images play with positive and negative space as a nod to the interdependence of all living things on the planet.

Continuing with this theme, the use of positive-negative space hints at the ongoing threat of extinction in a series of Saving Species Worldwide posters, which feature animal illustrations in silhouette.

The identity also extends to a system of sub-brands for the various components of the organisation, which are further differentiated by an animal-themed colour palette. This includes Habitat Green for the main alliance brand, along with Bumblebee Yellow, Macaw Red and Elephant Gray.

Otta rebrand

Founded in 2019 by Sam Franklin, Theo Margolius and Xav Kearney – all of whom previously worked at estate agency Nested – Otta offers a decidedly different take on the drudgery of job hunting.

Rather than displaying users long lists of jobs, it tailors recommendations according to what people are actually searching for – taking into account desired salary, size of company, industry and so on. Otta also offers extra details about companies actively recruiting including a profile, the amount of funding they’ve received, company values and benefits.

“We wanted these to be really bold, expressive and exaggerated, and have that sense of being warm, soft and enveloping but also bright and a bit lairy. We wanted to get people’s attention and send a signal that this was something that was the complete opposite of some of the other experiences.” Ragged Edge

Every little helps.

Maisie Benson and Holly Kielty have designed a set of guerrilla stickers that pop up in strategic locations around supermarkets, reminding shoppers to add a few items for their local food bank.

The pair had the idea for the Think Food Bank project after noticing that most donation stations are placed, unhelpfully, by supermarkets’ exits – meaning many people only see them once their shop is done and paid for. To encourage shoppers to remember food banks while they’re still browsing the aisle, the two designers created a set of illustrated stickers that can be stealthily stuck around the store – each tailored to the colour scheme of a different supermarket brand.

Some offer a generic message encouraging people to add items to their weekly shop, while others are designed to go in specific parts of the supermarket – for example ‘don’t forgetti, donate spaghetti’.

“We want our stickers to be wherever a shopper might simply think to donate – it’s too easy for people to forget food banks until after they’ve checked out and it’s too late,” says Maisie Benson, who’s a senior designer at B&B Studio in London.

“We were inspired by Marcus Rashford – he showed that every individual can make something truly positive happen,” says Kielty, a creative strategy director at Design Bridge. “Design has the power to do so much good and we just saw that there was a simple solution to a wider problem.”

The campaign is “guerrilla in style” as the pair describe it, but it’s hard to imagine any supermarket actively removing the stickers – 120 sets of which have been sent out, ready to find new homes in supermarkets across the UK.

San Francisco Symphony’s new identity brings classical music up to date.

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.”

McDonald’s ads promote home delivery service

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 redesign packaging

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.

Reverting to Type exhibition features protest posters.

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.

Fakt/Fake by Erik Spiekermann
Boris_Johnson by New North Press and Stewart Lee
We Got Brexit Dumb by John Christopher, Flowers & Fleurons

“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.

Fairness by New North Press and Extinction Rebellion Art Group / Paris68redux
Ladies! Being Singled Out by Gender vs. Ability is a Confidence Boost! by Jennifer Farrell, Starshaped Press
No Safe Place by Anthony Burrill
Our Solidarity by Dave Darcy, One Strong Arm
What a mess by Dafi Kühne, babyinktwice

Reverting to Type can be viewed online at revertingtotype.comnew-north-press.co.uk

Habito’s new identity

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.

Anthony Burrill 7-storey-high mural for Leeds

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.

Typeface based on sticky tape

“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.”

One Way is available for free, via Intercity.