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Creative round-up November 2023

Here’s an interesting selection of design and branding news from the last month for you to enjoy, as selected by the Ingenious Design team…

Cat’s Protection logo redesigned

The UK charity has a new logo as part of a sleek rebrand, transitioning to a more cool and contemporary identity which also features a clever animated design. Created by lukecharles agency, its previous blue and yellow colours have been replaced by a rich purple shade. The design of the new CATS logo uses height and flow to create a curved shape that transforms into a feline silhouette. The curve of the C translates into a cat’s tail and the curves of the S create the dynamic structure of its body. The bold line work is simple but extremely effective, creating a visually striking design.

As Nicola Brand, the charity’s head of brand and marketing stated in a recent press release ‘We are seen as smaller than we are, old-fashioned and less expert than we know our team of volunteers and staff to be’…we have ‘moved to a more eye-catching and modern look which will help us reach new audiences, raise more money and increase our impact and influence so that we can help as many cats as we can.’ Here at Ingenious, we think the new branding is purrfect!

Who chooses Pantone Colour of the Year?

Leatrice Eiseman has been executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute since 1985 and each year she is tasked with overseeing Pantone’s Colour of the Year campaign which is unveiled in early December and attempts to sum up the world in a single colour. Effectively turning colour into a ‘celebrity’, the campaign has a huge influence across the fashion, interior design and cosmetics sectors.

Pantone is the company that developed a consistent language for how designers and manufacturers identify, create and replicate thousands of shades of colour. The first Colour of the Year campaign was back in 2000, when Pantone’s CEO asked Eiseman to pick a colour to represent the new millennium. She chose cerulean, because ‘no matter where you live, everyone looks forward to seeing a beautiful blue sky’. The selection was announced and the campaign exploded, solidifying Pantone’s position as an international colour authority and turning the company from a designer’s darling into a household name.

Eiseman’s research for Colour of the Year involves travelling the world meeting designers, culture detectives and trend forecasters to analyse up-coming colours across fashion, art and film as well as sporting events and TikTok themes. The colour is a closely guarded secret until it is revealed the first week of December.

AONBs rebranded to National Landscapes

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been rebranded by Nice and Serious studio with a new name and identity. There are currently a total of 38 areas nationally and all are protected by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. To attain their status, they must meet certain governmental criteria and all are scenic, peaceful and wild. Examples include the Cotswolds, Kent Downs and Norfolk coast.

Low awareness has resulted in the network merging under a shared design system and according to Nice and Serious creative director, Peter Larkin, the new identity is ‘a living patchwork’ where each square is as essential and unique as each of us. The squares system is filled with patterns and images of people and places representing different landscapes and biodiversity, which stylistically work in harmony when patched together. The colour palette reflects colours that dominate each National Landscape, for example Cornwall is represented in shades of blue, and design work was informed by collaborative consultation with various groups throughout.

PepsiCo uses AI in campaigns

2020 saw a new member of food giant, PepsiCo’s team – Ada, an AI tool. Named after 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace, who is credited with writing the world’s first computer programme, three years on Ada has informed highly successful campaigns for PepsiCo Walkers and Pepsi brands.

Ada is PepsiCo’s equivalent of Google, a centralised digital platform which has four main tasks: to explore new product ideas; source, sort and connect millions of consumer insights; increase collaborative capabilities among colleagues and to help TV and digital ads become more effective. All data and insights required by creatives, strategists and marketers is now in one place and each time the company uses the internal platform it becomes smarter. So when it comes to advertising for a plethora of brands, the company can compare and analyse areas for improvement more efficiently. Ada is a learning tool providing the ability to home in on specific markets and consider nuances of different regions to gather data. The success of recent campaigns is largely due to Ada providing faster identification of opportunities resulting in a clearer, more cost-efficient direction – although human insight still continues to play its part.

2023 Booker Prize winner cover design

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch has just won the 2023 Booker Prize and depicts a dystopian and authoritarian vision of Ireland. Published by Oneworld, the front cover was designed by Dublin-based Jack Smyth. Inspired by the brutalist imagery favoured by oppressive regimes, the cover depicts the hostile environment inhabited by the characters in the book, with ‘sharp and aggressive’ geometric shapes juxtaposed with ‘organic, hand-drawn human figures’.

Author and designer collaborated closely and their shared interest in mid-late 20th century jazz record covers influenced the cover’s blocky shapes and bold but restricted colour palette. The Orleans typeface by Commerical Type is ‘more delicate’ in contrast to the bold visuals, reflecting the fragility of the Irish state in the book.

Banksy’s identity revealed?

Long the subject of much speculation, a 10-part podcast, The Banksy Story on BBC Sounds, has unveiled an early 2003 interview where the street artist and political activist seems to reveal his real name as ‘Robbie Banks’. The episode of the podcast released on 21 November includes another early clip featuring Banksy’s ‘Bristolian’ voice expressing thoughts on vandalism and street art.

Back in 2008 the Daily Mail suggested Banksy was a former public-school boy from middle-class suburbia, a claim denied by the artist. He has also been linked to Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja and Gorillaz creator, Jamie Hewlett. No doubt speculation will continue but here at Ingenious we would rather not know – it would be a shame to shatter the mystery surrounding his true identity!

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