June 29th, 2012
New logo design for British Gymnastics

We really like the new logo design for British Gymnastics. Using bright bold colourful graphics the swirls track the motion of a gymnast.
There is also a video that accompanies the logo design, check it out on our facebook page.

Via the Creative Review website

And strangely enough in the comments someone has linked to this website, the go to wall for in-situ visuals.

 

February 20th, 2012
Branding the Red Cross

Red cross logo design

Here’s a great example of an evolving brand, which shows how subtle design can make a huge difference.

The American Red Cross are a globally recognised organisation, thanks in no small part to their iconic logo.  When tasked with updating such a well-known brand identity, Turner Duckworth showed how design flare and ingenuity can garner fantastic results. Inspired by the image above, they produced sophisticated new versions of this historical logo, solidly grounded in the integrity of the brand.

Their designs are made up of:

the “Button” logo – “for marketing purposes”;

the “Classic” logo  - for use “in disaster situations, as well as times when a marketing-oriented button logo is not appropriate”; and the conceptual ‘cross pattern’ yet to be implemented.

Turner Duckworth’s use of light and shade, texture and typography have really tightened up the identity of the American Red Cross, achieving that ‘approachability’ factor that’s so important for charitable organisations. Interested in learning more?

Check out the website here.

 

June 9th, 2011
Crafty Branding

Craft: A word that might once have conjured up images of frilly pillows, scrapbooks and cross-stitched cats playing with balls of wool. But, as we recently learnt, not anymore.

Thanks to the Birmingham based charity Craftspace, we’ve spent the last five weeks working with a brand new social enterprise called Shelanu. Designing their branding package with a logo, website and marketing materials meant we were lucky enough to watch their delicately handmade jewellery take shape, which is special in itself. But what makes this group really important is the people who belong to it.

The enterprise is made up of migrant and refugee women. Together, they’re a diverse cultural collective, creating intricate, ornate jewellery inspired by their experiences in Birmingham. To celebrate and share that creativity, Shelanu is exhibiting at the prestigious Bovey Tracy Craft Fair at the end of this week. And with these guys, Bovey Tracy better watch out! Not only are they a talented group, they’re also vibrant, energetic and fun loving – all the qualities apparent in their sparkling jewellery design.

We think you’ll be seeing a lot more from Shelanu – check out their website for more information at www.shelanucollective.co.uk. And if you’re interested in learning about more up and coming craft projects take a look at www.craftspace.co.uk. They’re one of the few charities that have succeeded in winning Arts Council funding and they’re not wasting time in putting it to good use.

 

June 8th, 2011
Superbrands: It’s a Battle of Hearts of Minds

Lately, we seem to be hearing a lot about brands being a bit like religions: Apple store openings have been likened to evangelical prayer meetings. And only recently we learnt that our brains recognise our favourite brands the same way we recognise close friends and relatives.

So if brands are becoming such an integral part of how we function as human beings, what exactly are these superbrands doing to achieve this?  Alex Riley is the man with the answers, as he goes on the trail of the world’s biggest brands and comes up with some fascinating insights.

Perhaps most obviously, the one thing superbrands seem to have in common is longevity. But that aside, the forefathers of these global brands display a startling ability to market their businesses at a time when even the term ‘marketing’ had yet to be coined. Their brand strategies were way ahead and whether you’re a big fan of fast food and soft drinks or a fully fledged fruitarian – 1.5billion servings of Coke a day can’t be wrong.

Riley’s documentary also surprisingly illustrates what a pivotal time for developing brand loyalty World War II was: Heinz became known as an affordable and nutritious staple food during rationing while Coke shipped its bottles to troops overseas for a dime a bottle.

Then there’s Red Bull, which is one of the most unique branding models around. Forget sponsorship – Red Bull weren’t playing second fiddle to anyone. They own their own sporting teams for Formula 1, they also own Salzburg football team and even invented the now famous Red Bull Air Races.

They’re all impressive examples. But ethical? That’s for you to decide. With Coke aiming to double their marketing share by targeting teenagers, and Red Bull erasing the historical culture of their football team, some might argue that they’re ruthless industry machines. But then business ethics are a whole different blog post…

If you didn’t catch it the first time, check out Alex Riley’s ‘Secrets of the Superbrands’ here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011fjbp

 

December 28th, 2010
Comedy Central. Branding

Comedy Central have recently undergone a re-brand. And unlike the recent re-brand of Gap this one is not a disaster. What are the main differences between this new Comedy Central logo and the one for Gap? This logo and the new brand are a well considered outcome for a tough client – Comedy Central already has its strong consumer base who are going to be hard to please, so not only does the re-brand have to please the clients who run the channel but it also has to appeal to the audience.

There are some similarities between the Gap re-branding and the new Comedy Central design. They both used San-Serif fonts, with a simple geometric shape. Both are re-brands of much loved companies. But the Comedy Central branding does not look sloppy, it is well considered. The old logo had a lot going on in it, huge buildings, on a small planet, with huge type screaming “COMEDY CENTRAL IS HERE, WE ARE FUNNY, WE ARE OUTRAGEOUS”. The new logo whispers, it is quietly confident. It chooses not to scream, instead it gives us a witty comment. The old logo is more South Park, while the new logo is more Frasier.

There are complaints that the new logo is boring. Far from it in my opinion – the new branding fits in with our lives a lot better. From the video above it gives us an idea how the new brand will fit into our digital and social media lives. Something the old logo would have never been able to do to such an extent as this new brand. It is a fact that the new logo is so simple and well executed that the general public will use it more. People are also saying it looks like the Copyright, and Copyleft icons. Yes it does look like these logos, I am sure a big graphic and branding design agency such as The Lab (the graphic agency who created this logo) also recognised the similarities between the logos. And Comedy Central will be using their new icon in much the same way as the copyright symbol. This in itself is fun and a lot more subtle than using giant buildings and small planets.

The new branding and logo graphics have sparked much debate on several blogs such as Brand New. The following statement from Alicia Johnson, co creative director at the Lab was taken from Fastcodesign — ‘Thelab stands by its design, so don’t expect any sheepish surrenders.’ Johnson says, “It’s really more about making the content king than trying to be the content. The network has genius programming. The mark’s job is not to be the loudest, the wackiest.” Hal Wolverton, co-creative director at thelab, elaborates: “It’s an empty container that can take any form the comedy requires. …Brands are becoming more about how they behave than how they look static. Because static, well, that’s just boring.”

If the Gap re-branding is the much deserved winner of Worst Identity of 2010 then I feel the Comedy Central re-brand should be the winner of the Best Identity 2010.

For more information and people’s comments on the ne re-brandings check out the BrandNew website at: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/comedy_central_still_funny.php

To read more from Alicia Johnson interview and more views on the re-brand check out the Fastcodesign website here: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662866/comedy-central-unveils-ironic-new-logo-and-nobody-gets-the-joke

 

October 8th, 2010
how to get people talking about your brand

Gap should conduct a master class in how to get people talking about your brand.

Two days ago Gap launched what they claim is their new logo. A really badly designed logo that had no personality and just looked bland. Since then Blogs from around the world have lit up with mentions of the company, their brand ethos, images of their newly designed logo and theories as to whether it is a PR stunt or if it’s for real. There are even blogs out there where people have sent in their own versions of the logo (check out the web site: http://blog.iso50.com/2010/10/06/gap-redesign-contest/).

It’s worth bearing in mind that this new logo design has relatively crept into existence. There was no real mention of it in the press until its launch. There were no big re-branding parties, no real mention of what they wanted to achieve with the new logo. According to other blogs out there Gaps store fronts still have the old branding and logos on their shop fronts. Why would a company as big as they are do this? I can’t imagine Coke going through such a big change to their logo without the big parties and press release, and the new advertising to back it up.

So what did Gap do? They got people talking. They got the public to pay attention to their brand and logo once again. They created a social media storm of people claiming to be able to produce a better logo (many of them have). They recently came out saying their new logo will be part of an open source project and will be looking for public submissions. In order to get public submissions you must get the public’s attention. They created an awful logo that will fuel public debate, that got their name and logo in Blogs and on graphic design and logo design websites. In essence, that got a load of free advertising!

I feel it must be a publicity stunt for many of the above reasons. But I am left asking the question, does this kind of stunt do more harm to graphic design and logo design than it does good? What does the general public and potential design clients think of this logo? Can the general public and people not involved in graphic design see that this is a badly designed logo – or will they simply see the free publicity Gap have got from this re-brand?

 

September 25th, 2010
mario is 25. packageing design

Super Mario, the greatest game character ever designed, is 25 years old. It seems the whole world is gone Mario Mad, and with good reason. You can buy all sorts with the Mario Bros logo on it. And these iPad cases are just beautifully designed. Nice crafted, simple, minimal design.

Check out the website where you can buy them here

Found these via the website http://technabob.com

 

March 4th, 2010
logorama. a movie about logos.

This short animation uses famous logos and designs as backgrounds and main characters. It really does illustrate how brands and logos have become an everyday part of all our lives. How many different brands do you know?