Tag Archives: Illustration

Jamie Oliver’s pasta brand

Otherway was enlisted to create the design identity for Pasta Dreams – a partnership between TV chef Jamie Oliver and Taster, a company comprised of food sub-brands which are all focused entirely on home delivery.

According to Otherway, the aim was to step away from what people might traditionally associate with Italian food, with an emphasis on retro design details.

The playful identity comes to life in a set of animations. Blobs of olive oil float through the air, and in the Pasta Dreams logotype, they rise up to form the counters in the letters A and R.

The psychedelic imagery carries through to the packaging, which highlights the “shapes, swirls, and splashes” people come across when cooking pasta and features a warm palette of peach, orange and brown.

The Pasta Dreams design concept seeks to appeal to younger customers rather than Oliver’s “traditional audience demographic”, yet there was an important balance to strike between unexpected and on-brand.

Zero waste supermarket Good Club as Dizzie

As Good Club has grown and its ambitions have changed, the team commissioned Nice and Serious to find a look and feel that was more upbeat and eye-catching, and the updated visuals are certainly hard to ignore. A bold primary colour palette of pink and red gives the brand a sense of fun and friendliness, while secondary colours, such as blue, purple and yellow, add extra vibrancy to packaging and imagery.

This palette is accompanied by an array of endearing illustrations by artist Anthony Orozco that include silhouettes of refillable food items on pot labels, and a cast of playful brand mascots composed of the pots themselves. Encouraging potential and existing customers to utilise Dizzie’s refill options – a core part of the company’s mission and a bigger focus this time around – was one of the main objectives for Nice and Serious.

Speaking of the challenge, the agency’s creative director, Peter Larkin, says, “We wanted to elevate the experience out of the eco-clichés, and onto the shelves of everyday customers across the UK…. From the simplified product illustrations through to the Dizzie ‘whoosh’ and brand mascot, we created an identity full of movement and character.”

Finally, to reinforce the idea that refills can be fun, rewarding, and hassle-free, the agency developed an upbeat tone of voice to reflect this: “For the tone of voice, we set out to conjure up those little joyful moments that are totally unique to the refill experience,” explains Larkin. “So whilst being familiar (and sometimes frank) was important, it also meant using words to surprise and satisfy. Our motto was to channel ‘written ASMR’.”

The Olympic brand gets a refresh

Every four years, the world watches on as the next host country of the Olympic Games is announced. The anticipation surrounding that announcement is closely followed by the reveal of the design identity for each Games – an occasion that gets designers talking as much as the general public.

The design heritage for the Olympic Games is so illustrious that it’s easy to forget that the Olympics has a brand of its own to look after. And since the last development of its identity, in 2011, the organisation’s needs have evolved, explains May Guerraoui, the IOC’s head of brand management. So began an extensive process to evolve the brand, which has been revealed through a gradual rollout, and is expected to be implemented in full by the Paris 2024 Games.

The Olympic colours – second only to the iconic interlocking rings in terms of recognisability – have been “subtly optimised” to have more impact and flexibility, she explains. These have been joined by an extended palette of complementary colours reflecting the gold, silver and bronze medals, to be used for cases like data visualisation and infographics.

Illustration by Abbey Lossing

“Art and creativity have played a big role in Olympic history, and not only in the iconic Olympic Games’ design. From 1912 to 1948, art competitions were held alongside sport – with Olympic medals awarded to architects, poets and artists,” Guerraoui says. “We wanted to bring this idea of championing the arts back into the brand identity.”

Olympic Sans was designed by Fabian Harb; Olympic Serif was designed by Seb McLauchlan
Image: Naoya Suzuki

“For example, we have put the athletes at the heart of the evolved identity system with the Field of Play (FOP) design, a graphic system that expresses the Olympic brand through colour and geometry inspired by the Games,” Guerraroui says, from courts to tracks to lanes. “It was a way to incorporate the Games into the brand in a timeless way, without featuring a specific athlete or moment in a way that a photo would for instance.”

Light and springy new brand for Aevi

To cement its positioning as a payment partner, Anagram was tasked with updating Aevi’s branding – which had previously featured a bendy, only semi-legible wordmark. The studio focused on the ways the platform can set payments free, and built its new branding around that.

As such, the identity embraces what Anagram describes as a “light and springy” feel, focusing on loose rather than linear shapes. This is expressed via squiggly motifs and icons, as well as a new custom typeface, Aevi Basis – created by Colophon – that echoes the forms of global currency symbols.

Anagram has adopted a new colour palette as well, foregoing the “sea of blues that wash over the fintech space” for a mix of bright green, forest green, pink and coral.

Aevi’s new identity fits squarely into a burgeoning camp of finance brands embracing new approaches to design and branding, kickstarted by the likes of Monzo, Starling and Revolut in the 2010s and continued by a wave of new businesses such as Keebo and Everything.

Morag Myerscough’s artwork in the sky

Her colourful set of banners marks the first time the flags along London’s Oxford Street have been handed over to an artist.

The installation consists of 105 individual four-metre flags, which have been created using recycled marine plastics. Stretching from Tottenham Court Road on the east side of Oxford Street to Marble Arch in the west, the rows of overhanging flags reveal the message ‘Time for Clean Power’. It’s the first time the flags have been curated by an artist, and the first time they’ve been used to champion an environmental cause.

“My work is synonymous with bold colours and powerful positive messaging. It is so wonderful to see Europe’s busiest street filled with colour and hope,” Myerscough said of the project.

“With this work I wanted to put out an optimistic approach towards our future, if we work together we can help make the changes we need to happen. The oranges, greens and blues represent the sun, sea and air that we need to power ourselves to a renewable future.”

Africa best design work

Art and design publisher Counter-Print has released From Africa, the seventh book in its popular From series, which has so far brought us work from Japan, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Switzerland and South Korea. Each book is a celebration of the design culture belonging to the different countries and regions.

The book emphasises Africa’s cultural diversity, and huge mix of design influences. As Counter-Print co-founder Jon Dowling writes in the book’s intro, “its many, diverse countries are sources of vibrant design and African influences are seen in art and culture around the world. However, there is no one ‘African style’ and we should refrain from generalising a continent of such vast scale.”

In his introduction, Dowling also comments on the tendency to stereotype the stories of the continent, which extends to its design output which has too often been represented by “ethnic prints, earthy colours and textures”.

McDonald’s continues its minimalist mission in new print ads

Created by Leo Burnett London, the latest UK campaign for McDonald’s features the fast food brand’s distinctive products – including the Big Mac, a gherkin, a strawberry milkshake, and fries – in a stripped-back illustrative style.

It is a look that we’ve come to expect from the brand, and which follows campaigns including its previous work for McDelivery and also its packaging redesign, introduced last year.

In this new campaign, the posters feature subtle location pins to emphasise the home delivery service, accompanied with copy simply stating ‘we deliver’.

The continued use of bold, elegant illustration certainly stands out in a sea of fast food brands showing close-up images of burgers etc, and unsurprisingly is appealing to the creative teams working on the brand, according to ECD Mark Elwood.

JKR redesigns Magnolia Bakery

First set up on Bleeker Street in New York’s West Village in 1996, Magnolia Bakery played a significant role in the boom in popularity for cupcakes in the 90s, which has endured pretty much ever since.

After experiencing a pop culture moment when Carrie and Miranda were shown chatting about their love lives over cupcakes from the store in season three of Sex in the City, the brand has expanded to other sites across the city, and the world, and now plans further growth as well as giving greater focus to its direct-to-consumer business.

To mark these developments, JKR has created a new brand identity, which draws on Magnolia Bakery’s original, somewhat whimsical styling though refines it for more coherence, especially in digital.

“The new logo is inspired by the bakeshop’s trademarked cupcake swirl – which takes up to 40 hours to perfect! – and the live theatre of the bakery; mixers spinning vanilla cake batter, cupcakes being iced and banana pudding being scooped.” says JB Hartford, group creative director at JKR.

The updated core brand colour is inspired by the iconic green of the bakery’s walls, while other colours are drawn from its desserts and colourful sprinkles. 

The brand’s West Village roots are still firmly evident in illustrations, though the wider system allows the brand to grow across different channels, particularly digital. Magnolia Bakery will roll out the new design elements over the coming months, beginning with its digital platforms, followed up by packaging and store refreshes. The brand will also continue to add new products to the D2C channel in the coming months.

Custom-drawn wordmark

Ryan Bugden, a co-founder of R&M, led the type and graphic design for the project, creating the Strawberry Western wordmark in Latin and Katakana. There’s three optical sizes, ensuring it works when used in display environments, as well as in small details – for example, leather debossing.

Strawberry Western is a new fashion label that describes itself as “anti-waste”. It was set up by New Yorker Kisa Sky Shiga, and focuses on handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces created using unwanted clothes and post-consumer waste and scraps. The brand appears to be in the early stages, with garments for sale in some stores in New York, but the Strawberry Western website is yet to launch.

“Japanese identity design has a formidable history in rationalised geometry,” explains the designer. “I took inspiration from many classic Japanese wordmarks and twisted the logic to fit the Strawberry Western vibe.”

r-and-m.co

Sproutl’s new branding is bursting with life

Sproutl sells plants and gardening accessories, as well as offering jargon-busting advice to anyone that’s less than an expert in the field of plant care. The marketplace was set up in 2020 by former Farfetch execs Anni Noel-Johnson and Andy Done, and has already received millions in seed funding (insert gardening joke here).

Omse’s branding revolves around the idea of “growth as the glue behind the identity”, says studio founder James Kape. They’ve designed a very charming seedling symbol – which works particularly well when animated – as well as a set of ‘overgrown’ versions of the Sproutl sans serif logo.



“With the illustrations, we wanted to get a bit of a spectrum to show the different styles and ways that [gardening] can get a bit messy,” says Kape. “It can grow in all sorts of ways.

“We came up with a very graphic system for how Sproutl could communicate in different ways … it was important to have a strong idea in the core elements – how do our growth animations work? How can the idea of growth start to manifest itself through page loads? How can it happen through something as simple as the loading symbol so your sprout grows into something you’re about to look at?”

Omse has plenty more ways for how the ‘sprout’ symbol could come to life, with images of it used in packaging, in digital environments, and even as the cut-out for a seed card showing how versatile it could potentially become.

omse.co