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 brief, which is being managed by Talenthouse, calls on agencies, creative communities and individuals to come up with “iconic and visually arresting” content spanning illustration, audio, video and copy. The content can be related to any of the UN’s key messages around the actions that the public can take to help combat the virus, which include personal hygiene; physical distancing; knowing the symptoms; kindness contagion; myth busting and do more, donate.
“This is the first time that we are fighting a war where everyone is on the same side,” says Clare McKeeve, CEO of Talenthouse’s parent company, TLNT. “Looking back at how the famous Rosie the Riveter and Your Country Needs You posters galvanised the public into action during wartime, we believe the creative community can create today’s iconic posters, images and artwork to impact all communities across the world as part of this global mission to help save lives.”
Image by Kaiq
The open brief is running until 9 April, and submissions will be made available for local authorities, organisations, brands and the public to download from Talenthouse’s website. A panel of industry experts will also be selecting a number of winning submissions to be shared more widely across a range of media channels.
To read the full brief and submit your work, head here
The exhibition, at the Crypt Gallery in Norwich, features the work of five design agencies – Spin, A Practice for Everyday Life, North, Muir McNeil and Graphic Thought Facility – that have each contributed a poster design for the show, as well as a piece of graphic design work that best illustrates each agency’s individual practice. The exhibition was organised by Andy Campbell of Norwich School.
Share is something of a rarity by placing graphic design in an exhibition format. While such shows do sometimes crop up at design-focused galleries, graphic design all too often only makes the walls of an exhibition space in the form of promotion or wayfinding. Campbell suggests that because graphic design is commonly set to a brief, it tends to remain framed within that context, rather than as a standalone piece of creative work.
However, he believes graphic design is worthy of an exhibition in how it slows it down and makes us look at the work with a different focus. “I think this is true of all the design-based subjects,” Campbell says. “Some work better than others in the exhibition format. [It] allows one to cherish the design of the work, in a way it takes the viewer closer to the creative part of the process, so they can take time looking at the use of colour, the feel and form of the typography, the format and the material, the things that the designers will have cared for and about.”
Jake Newbury’s interests are broad, though it’s clear he’s naturally inclined towards underground scenes. Having recently graduated from the Design for Publishing course at Norwich University of the Arts – where he specialised in editorial design and illustration – the designer has created eye-catching spreads based on streetwear brands like Carhartt WIP and Stone Island, as well as experimental producer Aphex Twin.
Newbury’s penchant for distressed visuals comes through in these projects, but his wider portfolio demonstrates an eye for sleeker styles.
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“My work is inspired by an ongoing observation of the situations happening around me, from the larger, shared experiences of our current events down to the more personal and intimate moments. I look at these experiences not in isolation from each other but as connected and often informing a larger conversation of how we are all connected. Through my work I reflect and distill those insights in an attempt to preserve those times or feelings during them. Because of this, I often see the final works as artifacts or reminders of what is taken away, and have come to use this perspective as a guide in my work — to create something worth being reminded of.
A large portion of my work focuses on typography through an abstracted perspective. In various ways letterforms are disguised or intentionally camouflaged to shift the viewer’s focus to the individual shapes within the characters, their relationships to one another and the overall mood of the work before uncovering the legibility of the message. It is intentional to not have the viewer read, but explore the ideas through more visual languages.” Scott Albrecht