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Creative round-up October 2023

October was an interesting month on the design and branding front. Here’s a selection of happenings from the last few weeks that caught the eyes of the Ingenious team…

Disney turns 100

In its centenary year, Disney’s share price recently dropped to its lowest level in nine years as the company faces challenges in the age of streaming, but adapting to the times is not a new challenge for Disney and has been necessary throughout the company’s history. Walt Disney wanted animation to be believable and receive the same respect as live-action films. To achieve this, the company adapted to new sound and colour technologies early on. Observation of the real world was essential and actors and comedians were brought into the studio and filmed as reference for personality and movement. The ‘12 Principles of Animation’ were established and closely adhered to and coordination between movement and sound was paramount. The Ink and Paint department was important in bringing drawings to life and use of the multiplane camera added 3D realism.

Disney led the animation industry for decades but the tables turned with CGI. Disney’s solution was to buy Pixar in 2006 showing it was not afraid to move with the times. It will be interesting to see how the company deals with challenges posed by streaming and what they may pull out of the bag for their 100-year celebrations.

Pentagram creates new Liberty beauty brand

Pentagram partners Harry Pearce and Jon Marshall have designed an elegant new beauty brand for Liberty, launching with five gender-neutral fragrances. Inspired by the discovery of ‘typographic shorthands’ in the Liberty archive, a new LBTY logotype was designed to adapt the main Liberty identity, also created by Pearce and team in 2020. Letterforms are taken from the main Liberty logotype which was created from lettering in the original store sign above the Great Marlborough Street storefront.

Different big-name perfumers are responsible for each scent which come in clear glass bottles with understated black and white labels. Oversized lids showcasing different Liberty prints chosen to represent each fragrance can be turned upside down and used as a stand for the bottle.

Typographical identity for Fluffle

Fluffle is a Hong Kong-based company providing hand-crafted accessories for dogs. They turned to Oddity Studio, also Hong Kong-based, for a fresh and playful new look. Rather than relying on illustration like much pet branding, the design team played with typography to create animated wagging dog breeds. Extra tight kerning on the logotype is intended to convey the idea of a ‘tight hug’ and the love humans have for their canine companions. Squished further with glyphs jumping up and down, the wordmark cleverly resembles various dog movements and a colour palette featuring warm browns and oranges is inspired by real leather accessories in the product range.

London will host 2025 World Design Congress

It’s official! On 29 October, London was announced as the host city for the 34th edition of the World Design Organisation’s biannual World Design Congress, due to take place 17-19 September 2025 in conjunction with the London Design Festival. Held in Tokyo this year, it is the first time the UK has hosted the event since 1969 when it was held at the South Bank Centre. Open to the design community and general public and including exhibitions, workshops, talks and more, the Congress will champion design from all areas of the UK and showcase the UK’s thriving design economy.

The theme is ‘Design for Planet’ in a bid to highlight the crucial role design plays in addressing the climate crisis. London mayor, Sadiq Khan says the World Design Congress is ‘“an excellent opportunity to showcase the talents of [the UK’s] creative community, as leaders from across the world unite to put design at the heart of our efforts to address climate change’.

Exhibition for skateboard fans

A new Design Museum exhibition, Skateboard, elevates the object to a design classic. Skateboarding hasn’t always been taken seriously – next year is only its second appearance as an Olympic sport and only in recent years has it been seriously considered as an object of design. Co-curator, Jonathan Olivares, a skateboarder himself, wanted to tell an untold design story to ‘put the skateboard on the same level as a Dieter Rams clock’.

Looking to treat the subject as comprehensively as possible, ‘what is very much a developing history’ has been arranged chronologically ‘to give the step-by-step evolution’. Together with the skateboards arranged in vitrines is a large photo gallery hanging from banners above, as well as supporting artefacts, film, sounds, music and installations including a purpose-built half-pipe from local London-based skate park company, Betongpark which can be used by visitors!

The exhibition runs 20 October 2023 – 2 June 2024.

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