Tag Archives: creative review

OpenWeb rebrand

OpenWeb’s mission is to build an ‘open, healthier web’ by providing publishers with a framework for productive – and moderated – commenting and conversation. Or, as Collins describe it, to “de-troll digital discourse”.

The platform, which launched in 2012 and was previously known as Spot.IM, is used by the likes of Hearst, News Corp and Yahoo!

OpenWeb’s new identity is the latest example of a company to adopting a purposefully less ‘techy’ approach to branding – Mailchimp, which also worked with Collins in 2018, being another obvious example – signalling that branding’s reliance on the geometric sans serif might finally be tapering off.

The Circle’s rebrand

The branding marks a clarified mission statement from The Circle, and a new strapline: ‘global feminism in solidarity and action’. UnitedUs has designed a new logo, colour palette and series of circular motifs, as well as a typographic framework that lends the organisation a more prominent, activist tone of voice.

Annie Lennox set the NGO up in 2008, with the aim of supporting women and girls around the world by bringing together a network of women who can campaign for equality.



With the appointment of new chief executive Raakhi Shah, the organisation decided to focus its mission statement around economic empowerment of women, and ending violence against them. The language The Circle was using to talk about itself had been developed “piecemeal over the years” says Natalie Burns, partner and strategy director at UnitedUs, and needed to offer a clear direction for its network of supporting women.


UnitedUs looked at protest placards for inspiration, to understand how to bring “that sentiment of solidarity and strength in a way that feels empowering and is not an anarchist movement”, says UnitedUs creative director and founder Luke Taylor.

The ‘amplified’ typography comes with clear brand guidelines, so The Circle can continue to recreate it without an in-house team. And the “culturally agnostic” circle motif is used as a framing device for photography, in combination with other symbols.

Visa new brand identity system

The new system capitalises on Visa’s recognisable colours, and aims to show that it’s “more than just a credit card company” with a new focus on brand purpose.

Based on 200 hours of stakeholder conversations, the agency also developed a new mission statement for Visa that leans into brand purpose: “We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere.” This philosophy is tied into the brand symbol, an equals sign, which has been extracted from the recognisable bars that were historically used in the Visa logo lock up prior to 2005. “The symbol has always been there – we just dialed into the opportunity to use it in a creative way,” said Mucho creative director Rob Duncan.

Key to the new branding system was establishing consistency worldwide while helping the existing design elements – such as the Visa wordmark – work harmoniously in digital environments, adjusting colour palettes to work better on digital touchpoints (namely small mobile screens) as part of this.

The agency developed an iconography and illustration system, brought together by the Visa colours (shown below), and worked with Commercial Type on a new typeface, Visa Dialect, which was designed with legibility in digital executions in mind. Mucho also focused on enhancing Visa’s B2B standing with a sleek range of assets using motion design, made with the help of creative studio Field.io.

Saga’s rebrand

Saga serves customers over 50 years old across insurance, finance, holidays and cruises. However, the brand’s own survey revealed that the majority of people in this age range find their age defines how they’re represented, and value brands that emphasise the idea of experience rather than age.

Off the back of this insight, SomeOne overhauled Saga’s visual and verbal identity geared towards ‘generation experience’, which is no mean feat given you could argue the over-50s category is just as varied as the under-50s. The agency found a unifying theme among Saga’s broad customer base to be the idea of quality and care, which it has aimed to weave into the new identity.


The agency enlisted London-based marbling specialist Lucy McGrath to create new prints for the visual identity, steering it more towards a luxury setting. During research, the marbling approach was seen by Saga customers as “a compelling way of connecting the brand offers with the enduring value, quality, and high levels of service delivered by Saga,” says Dawson. The marbling is achieved by combing patterns into coloured inks, which are added to the surface of water containing seaweed, ensuring the inks float.

&Smith creates a “creative, curious, happy” identity

GuestHouse’s identity revolves around a striking wordmark, rendered in a retro-inflected serif with the kind of flourishy ball terminals that suggest that the era of the geometric sans serif is finally winding down.

This forms the umbrella branding for the hospitality group, which plans to create a unique sub-logo and palette for each of its hotel openings. So far, GuestHouse has opened two hotels – one in Bath and one in York. A seafront location in Brighton is set to follow in the new year.

&Smith has applied the branding across some of the business’s more unusual offerings, including cargo bikes that help bring guests’ luggage from the station and in-room papers that offer hyper-local tips.

In an attempt to create a more homely kind of hotel experience, GuestHouse also offers a tipi in every room, on-site dog walkers and help-yourself pantries. The hotel brand plans to draw on local creative and craft talent to make hangers out of “regionally relevant” materials.

Coca Cola real magic

Described as the ‘hug’ logo, the new wraparound appearance of the identity was inspired by its positioning on packaging including cans and bottles. The new campaign was created by Wieden + Kennedy London with KnownUnknown, a global network of independent talent, brought in by Coke to craft the visual look, including all photography, animations and illustrations.

It is part of a wider launch by Coca-Cola of a new tagline, Real Magic, the first change for the brand in five years since the arrival of its Taste the Feeling tag in 2016. While it links to the brand’s most famous line, It’s the Real Thing, the new copy also aims to highlight the need to connect in troubled times.


This is perhaps a lot to ask from a soft drink, but the simple but striking new posters, combined with the bold use of upbeat illustration and photography makes the work stand out.

Alongside the print campaign there is also a TV spot, created by BETC London and directed by Daniel Wolfe, which stars three well-known gamers: DJ Alan Walker, Team Liquid’s Aerial Powers and Average Jonas.

Cult’s palate cleansing new identity

Designed by London-based studio Output, Cult’s new identity system nods to the wine sector with clever details, like the letterforms in the new wordmark. The curve of the C reflects the bowl of a wine glass, while the base and stem are contained within the negative space of the letter. The way that curves and cutaways have been applied in the wordmark is carried through subtly to the primary typeface, which has noticeable angular ink traps.

Illustration is central to the new visual language developed for Cult, putting a fresh and fun spin on wine investment, and wine more generally, where traditional luxury tropes might ordinarily be expected.

The team at Output acknowledge that the category is “marred by misconceptions” and that “it can feel complicated and intimidating – even a bit old school”, so they set out to help Cult “revolutionise the category and excite audiences through a new brand proposition, and an inspiring visual and verbal identity”.

SK-II colourful new packaging

Manchester creative agency Love was tasked with designing the concept, visual identity and packaging for the new limited-edition release by the skincare brand and its latest collaborator: The Andy Warhol Foundation.

Known for having an impressive assortment of ointments and lotions, Warhol had a unique point of view on beauty, which he expressed in statements such as, “If everyone isn’t beautiful, then no one is.”

The agency opted for a design aesthetic that tapped into another of the artist’s passions: broadcast media. He was at the vanguard of developments in television, for instance, even having his own MTV cable shows, and would regularly question the relationship between art and mass media.

Only Studio creates new branding for BIRI

The new logo from Only uses modern serif forms, which were chosen to “balance a feeling of historic permanence and enduring relevance, with the unique forms of the ‘I’s inspired by the Doric order that has influenced so much of the region’s architecture,” says Only co-founder and creative director, Matthew Tweddle.

A new marque was also created, which aims to form a “symbol of collaboration and connectedness”. This is formed from eight points, representative of the eight founding institutes, with a star shape created in the negative space. This references BIRI as a “leading light in arts, humanities and social sciences research,” says Only.



The new branding has helped to unite the leaders of the eight different institutes “behind a shared vision for the future”, according to Only. The studio adds: “Most significantly, the brand has inspired BIRI leadership to launch a joint bid to become a ‘Independent Research Organisation’, a move that if successful will enable the BIRI to compete with universities for research grant funding from the seven major research councils of the United Kingdom. A successful bid to become an ‘IRO’ would help to ensure the future of the Institutes for many years to come.”

Giorgia Lupi tells her life story using hand-stitched data

The project, titled Book Of Life, was created for the Moleskine Foundation and is made from three notebooks that Lupi disassembled and then stitched back together into an accordion-esque book. She then set about adding a single white stitch for every day of her life since birth, adding second stitches in coloured thread to mark out milestones.

A colour code, shown at the start of the book, offers a guide to the significant moments the designer chose to mark. Yellow stands for a life achievement, red for love, pink for world events that had a significant impact on Lupi, and blue for big trips. Black and red crosses mark out losses and breakups, respectively.

“At the time I was about to turn 40 and I decided to use the notebooks to reflect on my life so far … I wanted to capture the totality of my life in paper and thread – both key events that I felt were pivotal to the trajectory of my life, and the mundane of the day-to-day.”