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Creative round-up April 2023

April has been a great month on the design and branding news front with a good dose of humour thrown in! Here is a selection of happenings from the last few weeks that have caught the eyes of the Ingenious team…

Best April Fools hoaxes

April 1 has become a day for brand hoaxes of all kinds when we need to keep our wits about us and our gullibility in check! Here are some of the best…

Thorpe Park launched a ‘Lost Souls’ pop-up vintage footwear store to sell shoes lost on rollercoasters; Babybel temporarily turned square to change its image from being ‘too fun’ to something more mature; the iconic Dulux Old English Sheepdog mascot was replaced by a King Charles Spaniel ahead of the Coronation; Waitrose introduced ‘Merlonay’, a mix your own red and white wine; Pizza Express offered a limited edition savoury Easter egg – the 3D Pizza Egg – and Modern Milkman produced green milk, where the cows’ diet of seagrass turned the milk to a delicate shade of pistachio!

British Airways Cityflyer campaign

This humorous campaign by Uncommon Creative Studio uses ‘windswept passport photos’ to demonstrate the speed and ease of flying with BA from London City Airport. The images were shot with a playful approach by portrait and fashion photographer Emily Stein, with models blasted by a leaf-blower to give their faces a distorted, comedic look. These are used on passports which feature further subtle details that play into the speed concept, such as passport numbers which read ‘WHEEEE’ and illustrations of people impacted by a gust of wind including a family clinging to a lamppost and a barrister with wig blown away!

Ikea is 80!

Preparations have been afoot for Ikea’s 80th birthday party to be celebrated during Milan Design Week, featuring two giant Allen keys suspended from the ceiling, one golden and the other a disco one positioned where the DJ will be. However, the Allen key may become an icon of the past as bestselling items such as the Billy bookcase are now constructed with a wedged dowel developed by the design team, which allows people to click furniture together and take it apart multiple times. This points to how Ikea is considering its past, present and future as it celebrates its 8thdecade.

New identity for Pets at Home

As the business has grown, Pets at Home have introduced and acquired multiple brands including Vets for Pets and Groom Room. Nomad Studio have created a new visual identity which aims to unify these sub-brands with a bespoke logotype and two new custom typefaces. The ‘Pets’ wordmark has been crucial in uniting the main and sub-brands – the letters have been joined to represent the close relationship between pets and their owners, and a subtle tail flick has been added to the P to give ‘an animalistic angle’.

A series of illustrations by Hannah Warren add ‘unexpected moments of humour’ and a new graphic system features shapes inspired by paw prints and fingerprints, again reinforcing close owner-pet relationships. Photographer Roo Lewis has shot a suite of images of ‘real people and their pets’ to ‘pack an emotional punch’ which feels ‘more genuine’ than the stock imagery previously used.

Natural History Museum Titanosaur exhibition

This life-story of one of the biggest creatures ever to live, the 57-tonne Titanosaur, has been designed by the NHM’s in-house team and unfolds ‘like a pop-up book’. Angled walls with folds and layers of scenery give a sense of ‘an opening door’ to entice visitors ‘to go into the next chapter’ says Eleanora Rosatone, NHM design lead and exhibition design manager. The combination of illustration, animation, real fossil specimens and interactive spaces culminate in an impressive, full-scale 2.67 tonne cast of the Titanosaur at the end. Well worth a visit!

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