Tag Archives: creative review

This is me, Full Stop.

Written by Here Design’s Philip Cowell and designed by the studio’s co-founder Caz Hildebrand, This Is Me, Full Stop gives voice to 12 everyday punctuation marks and has them explain the jobs they do in helping us to communicate. 

Alongside the writing, the marks are used illustratively across most of the pages, while at other times they form the basis for a range of patterns and designs using a wide variety of typefaces (these are listed at the end of the book).

Despite its sparse text, the book also manages to cover a bit of grammatical history, too: from the Ancient Greeks’ aobve-the-line use of the full stop, for example, to the theory that it was a monk who designed the first question mark after copying the shape of a cat’s tail.

This Is Me, Full Stop is a fun celebration of how a handful of little marks have been helping us to communicate with each other for hundreds of years – and a reminder that each one is a beguiling piece of design in its own right.

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Cruz Novillo

Online bookshop and publisher Counter-Print has released several graphic design books, covering everything from social media icons to crests and East Asian book covers.

Novillo was born in 1936 and was a cartoonist, artist and sculptor before specialising in corporate identities. He went on to create logos and icons for art galleries, construction companies, schools, festivals, banks, laboratories and the Spanish Socialist Party as well as designing Peseta notes.

Writing in the book’s introduction, Counter-Print’s Jon Dowling praises the timeless aesthetic of Novillo’s work and his lasting influence on graphic design. “The influence of his use of geometric shapes, simple, strong line-work and a playful, illustrative aesthetic can be seen in the work of many contemporary designers and has helped in keeping his legacy alive.”

The book contains over 300 pages of logo designs. It also includes a Q&A with Novillo in which he discusses his creative process, his inspiration and what makes a great logo.

Explaining his process when crafting logos, he says: “I strive to have a powerful semantic idea, I try to draw it in the best possible way … then I review it so that it acquires a pragmatic quality.”Cruz Novillo: Logos is published by Counter-Print and costs £19.50. You can order copies here

McDonald’s minus the food

Many of McDonald’s recent campaigns, particularly those for France, have had a stripped-back, minimal aesthetic. Now TBWA\Paris has revealed a new set of minimalistic posters, which follow the popular sparkly Open Late campaign, launched just last month.The three posters in this campaign feature just the packaging of the brand’s three archetypal products – the Big Mac, the Nuggets and the French Fries. The brand takes minimalism to a new extreme with these posters which are devoid of any text, or even the actual product; just a few lonely crumbs.

Typefaces of London

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).

Other fonts include London CircleLine, which Harpin says was inspired by the Post Office Double Line typeface designed by John Miles (who Harpin used to work for), the London Underground Roundel and Nancy Wyman’s designs for the Mexico Olympics in 1968.
London CircleLine by Paul Harpin
London Hoxton Square by Paul Harpin
London Fatface by Paul Harpin
London Modern by Paul Harpin
London Bloomsbury Old style by Paul & Patricia Hickson
London Belgravia Pro by Paul Hickson

Photographer Giles Revell

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.”

Smoke free Britain

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.

Anti-smoking poster by Biman Mullick / Cleanair. Images courtesy of the Wellcome CollectionIn 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 rebrands The Diana Awards

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.

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.