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Creative round-up October 2022

It’s been another busy month on the design and branding news front and here’s a selection of items and happenings that have caught the eyes of the Ingenious team over the last few weeks…

Halloween trees are a thing!

Celebrating Halloween with some trick or treating has long been a tradition at this time of year, but the latest trend for Halloween enthusiasts is to dust off your artificial Christmas tree and give it a spooky makeover! Decorate with cobwebs, spiders, bats, ghosts and the like, add some orange lights, Halloween themed baubles and top it off with a witches hat!

It gives the kids plenty of scope for getting creative over half-term and if you prefer to keep it sustainable, you can opt for more natural decorations, bringing in autumnal foliage and leaves, fruits and berries alongside some creatively carved gourds and pumpkins!

New Stamma campaign

Stamma, the British Stammering Association, has released a new campaign to help tackle some of the damaging clichés surrounding stammering. By VMLY&R and entitled ‘It’s How We Talk’, the campaign features a stop-motion film voiced by members of the stammering community and a series of OOH ads photographed by David Vintiner. The photographer explains that his bold, face-on portraits of people mid-stammer, combined with witty and punchy statements such as ‘It’s not a dramatic pause’ and ‘I haven’t swallowed a wasp, I stammer’, are designed to encourage non-stammerers to ‘stop and not look away’ as they often do when speaking with someone who stammers.

We think the campaign definitely hits the mark in raising awareness and promoting greater understanding of the many challenges faced by those with a stammer.

Creative collaborations

Following the acquisition by Adobe of Figma, a collaborative interface design tool, Figma has teamed up with design company, COLLINS to explode the myth of the lone genius and show ‘How Nothing Great is Made Alone’. After developing the first web-based group design tool, Figma is keen to extol the virtues of teamwork and have worked with COLLINS to create a brand story which articulates this by deconstructing the creative forces behind the Mona Lisa, one of the most famous and recognisable works of art of all time.

The aim is to encourage non-designers, for example, developers, writers, producers and managers to work together and create better, collaborative work.

NSPCC Helpline gets new identity

Created by Baxter & Bailey, the new look for NSPCC’s Helpline features illustrations by Jonathan Calugi and running throughout the identity is a fluid ‘graphic lifeline’ which according to Baxter & Bailey designer Lydia Fisher, represents ‘a constant, ever-present source of help and support’. The new look aims to raise awareness about the service, where adults can report concerns about children’s safety and wellbeing and sets it apart from Childline which is specifically for children.

Baxter & Bailey had to work ‘creatively and flexibly within existing brand guidelines’ as the service forms part of the wider NSPCC charity and have made good use of the charity’s recognisable green colour to create a cohesive identity.

Microsoft rebrands Office as 365

Office 365 was renamed to Microsoft 365 in 2017 but is only now fully leaving its office associations behind as increasing numbers of us work flexibly from home. The old Office app will automatically update with the new name as well as a fresh new emblem in November. Replacing the deep orange, square shaped ‘O’ is a semi-flat, folded ribbon icon with blue/purple gradient. There has however, been some confusion as the new emblem still forms an ‘O’ shape. The Microsoft Office brand has become so familiar it would seem that although fewer people are actually going to the office, not everyone is ready to let it go!

Booker Prize winner cover design

Every year a book is selected by a panel of judges to win the Booker Prize. Founded in 1969 it is the world’s leading literary award. This October, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka’s book, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, was chosen as 2022’s winner. Set during the Sri Lankan civil war, it follows the afterlife of photographer, gambler and closeted gay man Maali Almeida, who has ‘seven moons’ to find out who killed him and to lead his loved ones to a hidden cache of photographs.

The striking and colourful front cover was created by Peter Dyer who drew inspiration from Sri Lankan ‘devil masks’ known as Raksha masks, which are used during festivals to ward off evil. Dyer chose an illustrative style to ‘convey the magic realism of the book’. Starting with a stock image of a Raksha mask, and further inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painted heads, he abstracted the image using Photoshop to ‘overlay different abstract paint textures’. With the title and author’s name in TT Chocolates typeface for ‘clarity and readability’, the end result is a bright and bold design which, although it was obviously not judged on its cover, ensures the book is set to become a bestseller!

Plastic: Remaking Our World

If you find yourself in Scotland over the next few months you may want to visit this exhibition which has just opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee. Plastic has shaped our lives like no other material, used in everything from packaging, footwear, household goods, furniture and cars to architecture. After a 150-year history, consequences of the global plastic boom are now painfully obvious. This exhibition, with items from the V&A, Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and other collections all over the world, features prototypes, new technologies and cutting-edge materials as designers grapple with a material in need of change, that has changed our world both for better and for worse.

Moonage Daydream

Released last month, this amazing film is still doing the rounds. A few of the Ingenious team have enjoyed US director, Brett Morgan’s kaleidoscopic collage of David Bowie’s life, a dazzling mashup of elegy, celebration and intimate portrait. A montage of Bowie’s life, work and thoughts from glam-pop culture to timeless matters of life and death, it’s set to a soundtrack of his hits over the years together with fascinating interview footage. Essential viewing for Bowie fans, you can’t fail to be wowed by his incredible creativity.

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