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Creative round-up September 2023

September may be done and dusted but it was a lively month on the design and branding front with the London Design Festival a real highlight. Here’s a selection of happenings from the last few weeks that caught the eyes of the Ingenious team…

London Design Festival

The importance of design and creativity in our lives is exemplified by the 21st London Design Festival which took place 16-24 September with exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks and workshops across the capital.

Just a few of the highlights included Aura at St Paul’s Cathedral, an installation by Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena transforming sounds in the cathedral into a pulsating line of light projected at architectural scale; Japanese studio Hayatsu Architects presented an installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, featuring 50,000 paper cherry blossom flowers handmade by makers in Japan and added to by visitors to the V&A throughout the summer; the Material Matters fair explored innovative materials that can contribute to a circular economy, showcasing products made from food waste, paper, aluminium, rubber, porcelain and more, and The Lego Piece Garden comprised immersive installations inviting visitors to play with the collection, alongside artworks using the Adults Welcome collection made by local artists.

CRUK brand refresh

Cancer Research UK has just had its first rebrand in a decade by Design Bridge and Partners. The logo has been refined and optimised for animation and digital use with original bold hues of magenta, cyan blue and navy retained but the old grey hues no longer feature. Circles have also been retained and given more significance in the new identity, used to tell both personal and scientific stories. The new font, a slab serif/sans serif hybrid ‘has the gravitas for research based serious messaging’ as well as a ‘human and quirky’ presence for positive messaging says Design Bridge creative partner, Dave Roberts. Photography shows ‘genuine, true, authentic moments’ from people’s everyday lives with a ‘sense of quirk, wit or honesty’. These visual changes coincide with implementation of a new strapline and strategy devised by CRUK.

New marketing campaign for The Guardian

The Guardian has long prided itself on the fact that its journalism is not influenced or controlled as the newspaper is reader-funded and not owned by billionaires or politicians. Rather than putting articles behind a paywall, the paper asks the public to donate what they can to keep the business going and articles are open to all whether or not they contribute.

A new marketing campaign leading with the statement ‘Not For Sale’ emphasises this unique ownership model and strong tradition of editorial independence. A brand new ad has been directed by New York based duo Rubberland and created by Lucky Generals, together with a range of bold and bright digital and OOH posters which run alongside each other proudly proclaiming The Guardian to be ‘Loved’, ‘Hated’, ‘Attacked’, ‘Defended’, ‘Trusted’, ‘Feared’, ‘But Never Controlled’.

Non-linguistic identity for Denver neighbourhood

Sun Valley is a neighbourhood in Denver, Colorado, USA where many residents live below the poverty line and 29 different languages are spoken, with English as a second language for many. A new identity designed by Colorado-based agency Wunder Werkz, is part of a bid to regenerate the area which includes new housing, parks and gardens, job training centres, markets and other public amenities.

Using non-linguistic icons which take inspiration from textiles, basket patterns and tilework across the broadly Hispanic population and which can be understood by all inhabitants, the community has been heavily involved in the project, with the idea of ‘community as a tapestry or mosaic’ central to the new iconographic system. Icons are grouped into categories – culture, heritage, nature, community, structure/architecture – and are constructed on a grid which can be added to as amenities in the area develop.

Charleston in Lewes

Charleston Farmhouse, home of the Bloomsbury group of artists, has long been a visitor destination in East Sussex. Now you can experience Charleston in a new space in nearby Lewes. Launching with two exhibitions: ‘Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion’ and ‘Jonathan Baldock: through the joy of the senses’, the new space has a shop, café and a free programme of community projects, workshops, gallery activities and learning programme for local schools and colleges.

The initial season from this September to January 2024, marks the first step towards achieving a long-term goal of opening a permanent Bloomsbury gallery, that will bring 100 of the most important Bloomsbury works back to Sussex with support from the National Portrait Gallery, Tate and the V&A. The vision also includes housing the growing Bloomsbury archive in a central location that is accessible to researchers and visitors. The Charleston Trust is using this season of programming to talk to the local community about how the vision for a permanent cultural centre in Lewes could take shape.

Shaun by the Sea

A fun art trail has launched in Brighton and Hove with 40 individually designed sculptures of Shaun the Sheep displayed around the city between 9 September and 5 November 2023. Raising funds for Martlets Hospice, the bold and colourful designs form a flock of Shauns which represent the individuality and diversity of Brighton & Hove as well as shining a light on the life-changing impact of hospice care. Local resident and Martlets ambassador, Fatboy Slim led a half-marathon community walk around the sculptures on 27 September to raise funds.

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