I hate football, but even I love this branding.
New type foundry launches with twelve fonts inspired by the capital, its buildings, language and traditions
Its first collection features fonts designed by the founders and a London Dingbat set by designer Peter Grundy. The set combines famous London landmarks, iconic designs and symbols with a set of London door numbers (added by Harpin).
In his new exhibition and book Cartographic Colour, photographer Giles Revell deconstructs flowers to reveal the beauty and the complexity of colour in nature. Working at Kew and the RHS Wisely garden, Revell photographed a selection of blooms which, using a grid placed over each image, he then set about analysing.In each square, Revell created graphic representations of the constituent colours of the flower concerned, revealing that what we might see as one strong colour, is often actually a combination of many. Cartographic Colour is divided in two. A series of ‘palettes’ reinterpret the colours of well-known flowers, abstracted to eliminate the distraction of form. Petals and stems are reduced to accurate graphic examinations of their constituent hues. “The plants were stripped of identity through the process of mapping, with the aim of creating a series of images where engagement is purely through scale, shape and position of colour,” Revell explains. “I was hoping to make arresting interpretations without the necessity of structure and form.”
In the 1970s and 80s, artist and designer Biman Mullick distributed thousands of posters highlighting the harmful impacts of smoking and passive smoking. With his work featured in a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection.
In the 1970s, Biman Mullick was teaching at an art school in England when he became concerned about the dangers of passive smoking. At the time, smoking indoors was commonplace and almost half (45%) of the UK’s adult population were cigarette smokers. Doctors had already established a link between smoking and lung cancer but little was known about the consequences of inhaling second-hand smoke.
Mullick was not a smoker but became concerned that if smoking was bad for you, then passive smoking might be too – so he created a set of posters asking students not to light up in his classrooms. He printed them out in black and white and put them up around the college but was quickly asked to remove them by the prinicipal. “There was no law against smoking in the classroom … and he said that smoking was a part of British culture,” says Mullick.
He sent his posters to newspapers and public health authorities, who immediately took notice. “Health operatives had started noticing that smoking should not be permitted in hospitals and health buildings, and they started buying my posters,” explains Mullick. Within a few years, his posters were in use throughout the country and by 1984, he had distributed 186,000 of them.
Most were distributed in hospitals, schools and colleges. They also appeared in the background in several TV shows.
Mullick’s designs are striking: the influence of Indian visual culture is evident in his work and his posters combine bold colours with hard-hitting phrases and playful illustrations. One reads ‘smoking is slow motion suicide’ and features an image of a deceased turtle with a cigarette in its mouth while another warns that ‘passive smoking kills’.
JKR’s new branding for The Diana Award sees an uninspiring silhouette replaced with a 3D likeness of the Princess.
Its previous logo was an uninspiring – and not immediately identifiable – silhouette of Princess Diana. This has been replaced with a 3D likeness of the Princess created using photographs of her taken from different angles.
JKR worked with an illustrator to create the likeness after struggling to find a suitable photograph of Diana. The agency searched through hundreds of photographs (Diana was once the most photographed woman in the world) but found few that were taken side-on and decided to create an image instead.
The illustrator combined photographs to create a likeness of Diana’s head and shoulders. “We pieced it together from some photographs and used a little bit of artistic interpretation,” explains Sean Thomas, creative director at JKR.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
As 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.
“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.