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Creative round-up June 2021

A selection of design and branding news items that have caught our eye over the last month…

Ben Sherman Team GB Olympic uniforms

Iconic clothing brand, Ben Sherman, have created Team GB’s official Olympic uniforms, to be worn for the opening and closing ceremonies of the coronavirus-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games taking place 23 July to 8 August. Launched during London Fashion Week, the collection looks back to the styles of the last Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

The outfits include Ivy-League inspired chinos, Harrington jackets and button-down Oxford shirts incorporating red, white and blue elements with 1960’s-informed Team GB lion’s head details. A section of the Union Jack as a repeated stripe runs along the sleeves of the Harrington jackets. According to Ben Sherman Creative Director, Mark Williams, the designs go ‘back to our brand DNA’ whilst implementing ‘contemporary ways to introduce a British twist to the team’s uniform’. We love the designs…and also the fact that words of encouragement are woven into every item to inspire the athletes and give a little feel-good factor.

Identity for V&A’s Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

Tom Hingston Studio has designed a suitably imaginative identity for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s summer show which explores a variety of interpretations and themes present in Alice in Wonderland. The character of Alice is shown in the identity only as a silhouette from behind, allowing the audience to retain their own image of her, and instead a bold typographic system is the key focus of the identity. Referencing vintage fair posters and the book’s exploration of perspective and shifting scales and size, the typography is ‘squeezed, shrunk or stretched to interact with the space it occupies’. The typography needed to be fluid to work in digital and printed formats and for the super-graphics which appear on site at the museum. Hingston was interested in the ‘idea that the type could have an elasticity which allowed it to stretch horizontally and vertically to fit the space’. The imagery was created working with puppeteers Jonny and Will. Needless to say, this immersive and magical exhibition is well worth a visit – hurry though, tickets are selling fast!

A very unique ice cream van

Artist Annie Nicholson, aka The Fandangoe Kid, has made a career creating colourful, fun works from a serious preoccupation with grief and mental health. This summer she is touring the UK in a customised ice cream van, dishing out not only ice cream, but conversations about grief and mental health during Covid. Fandangoe Whip is a colourful mobile installation and workshop space using the comforting and familiar icon of an ice cream van as a conduit to encourage open conversations about our collective mental health, personal experience of loss and ways of processing grief. Nicholson has worked with young people and marginalised communities for many years, actively setting out to engage those not comfortable going into galleries and institutions and reluctant to talk about difficult subjects. The ice cream van is a fun, safe space and the ideal platform from which to reach out to diverse audiences.

Design Museum student challenge

Design Ventura is a free annual design challenge for students in years 9, 10 and 11, run by London’s Design Museum and supported by Deutsche Bank. Taking a competition format, students are challenged to design a new product for the Design Museum Shop. Teachers deliver the project in schools, giving students the chance to tackle a real-world design brief, develop creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork and enterprise skills aligned to the National Curriculum. The top ten shortlisted schools will pitch their product ideas to a panel of experts and the winning idea will be made and sold in the Design Museum Shop, with proceeds going to a charity of the team’s choosing. Since its launch in 2010, Design Ventura has seen 108,200 students from 2,400 schools participate and £14,600 has been raised for charity.

One step closer to life on Mars

The BioPod is a self-sustaining food production system which will be able to generate and recycle food, water and air not only on Earth, but potentially on the Moon and Mars too. The BioPod is an inflatable dome created by research company Interstellar Lab. It has been designed to revolutionise food production by combining advanced crop cultivation technology with predictive monitoring to grow a diverse array of crops and plants that would not otherwise survive in a traditional indoor farming set-up.

Using Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, its performance is being simulated and tested in a digital environment, enabling the creators to ‘integrate technology into the product development and accelerate the product lifecycle from concept to certification’…bringing us all a step closer to life on Mars!

Guerrilla Girls Art Night commission

The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous US-based activist group who use facts and humour to confront racism, sexism and corruption in the art world. Art Night is a contemporary art festival previously held across London but this year it has gone nationwide, running in different locations across the country between June 18 and July 18.

The title of the Guerrilla Girls commission is The Male Graze and explores themes of bad male behaviour and the idea of men historically devouring women. It is the group’s largest public commission in the UK to date and consists of a series of billboards across the country, a website and live online event. We have two of the eye-catching, Covid-safe billboard installations down the road from our Ingenious office, in Lewes and Eastbourne. They can be seen by anyone in the street and encourage people to think and take action!

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