Once a month our design team gathers over coffee and breakfast to each share something creative. Whatever they share must be linked to the chosen theme and the response is always varied. This is a chance for us to inspire and educate ourselves and often we learn about new techniques and styles which influence our work.
February’s Creative Breakfast was the first of the year and the theme was ‘Adaptability‘.
Take a look at what we discovered:
Ricardo Gonzalez – It’s a living
His work crosses the boundaries of script/cursive lettering and graffiti/ spray/tagging.
‘It’s a living’ is his life philosophy incorporating his exploration of creative lettering. His work ranges from huge murals to simple stickers. Emily, one of our Middleweight Designers, loves the way he uses spray paint like a pen/brush – keeping one single line to create words and letters which have a really nice pace and flow to them.
Do chameleons work in RGB or CMYK?
Middleweight Designer Jack delved into the world of colour, exploring how chameleons are able to adapt to match their environments and the more important question of whether they use RGB or CMYK. Leading on from this, Jack looked at how the millions of colours we see on our televisions are created.
Jack’s chameleon was also the inspiration for this month’s Creative Breakfast design and this great little animation by Emily:
Middleweight Designer Sam looked at how structures can be adapted from their original use over time. Whether this adaptability is built in (like the Ikea Billy bookcase with its interchangeable parts) or how existing objects can be re-purposed to avoid landfill or demolition.
The High Line (below) is a perfect example of this. A 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail which has been created along a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan. If you look closely, there are still traces of the railway line but now interwoven with the foliage.
Here, a pair of disused pylons is to be converted into ‘picnic towers’ by the Swedish architect Anders Berensson. Utilising the properties of a pylon e.g strength, height and lattice structure, the architect has found a really nice way to salvage the structure and provide a way for the public to soak up the surrounding scenery.
Revolutionary Furniture Design
This youtube video, discovered by Senior Designer Tim, shows examples of designers bringing adaptability into the home in the form of some mind-blowing pieces of furniture and product design.
Ikea has been in the spotlight recently due to the sad news that its founder Ingvar Kamprad passed away in January. Ikea is famous for its adaptable, reasonably-priced furniture, but upon reading some recent articles about the company and its founder, I discovered they’ve been highly adaptable in their marketing practices over the past decade too. Here are some examples of how they’ve cleverly utilised available and unusual media to cut through the noise.
Ikea Russia Instagram ‘webpage’: Each photo of an interior had items within it tagged – the tagged items corresponded to other accounts, set up especially for each item. Simple, low cost, perfect use of social media.
The BookBook™ advert, 2014: The famous Ikea catalogue is presented in a new light thanks to the iPhone 6 TV spot. 18 million views.
Easy to assemble web series. 2008-2009 – 10 episodes: A branded web series marketing experiment sponsored by Ikea. Easy to Assemble follows Illeana Douglas as she quits her Hollywood career and goes to work at IKEA Burbank in an attempt at a ‘normal life’. Included celebrities such as Illeana Douglas, Jeff Goldblum and Keanu Reeves. Resizable banner ad Resize the banner and watch as the space is filled with IKEA furniture. If you like the look of an item, clicking on it takes you to the Ikea website so you can find out more.
Apartment in a box: experiential Promoting the opening of the new Brooklyn store. This campaign used iconic Ikea boxes that were put out alongside peoples recycling, playing on the ‘nosy New York neighbour’ behaviour of looking at other people’s rubbish to see what they bought. An apartment in a box was built in the centre of Brooklyn that people could enter to view the show apartment inside, cutting through the noise and hussle of an incredibly busy New York borough.
Adaptive Architecture – Skýli mountain shelter
Adaptive Architecture is a multi-disciplinary field concerned with buildings that are designed to adapt to their environments, their inhabitants and objects as well as those buildings that are entirely driven by internal data. Junior Designer Jordan finds this a totally fascinating as a concept.
Called Skýli, which means shelter in Icelandic, this conceptual cabin was designed by Stockholm-based Utopia Arkitekter to withstand the extreme weather conditions of Iceland’s mountain landscape. Built from both steel and cross-laminated timber, it would sleep up to 15 mountaineers, with additional space to cook, dry clothes and stow gear. Large windows in the gables would offer views out over the landscape.
Senior Designer Sarah showed us a concept for recycling plastic into new roads. Imagine that constructing a road would take days instead of months. That roads would last three times as long. That maintenance and traffic disruption are things of the past. And that cable and piping problems, as well as urban water problems, are solved overnight.
Every component of the PlasticRoad is being designed to make its application completely circular, with the goal of using recycled plastic as much as possible. The PlasticRoad is a road made of recycled plastic. It is prefabricated and features a hollow space that can be used for various purposes. This includes water storage, the transit of cables and pipes, heating roads, generating energy etc.
Do chameleons work in RGB or CMYK? This is the question raised by our Designer Jack (and the inspiration for our blog design this month). He delved into the world of colour, exploring how chameleons are able to adapt to match their environments. And, the more important question of whether they use RBG or CMYK to do so.
Leading on from this, Jack looked at how the millions of colours we see on our televisions are created.
Ikea has been in the spotlight recently due to the sad news that its founder Ingvar Kamprad passed away in January. Ikea is famous for its adaptable, reasonably-priced furniture, but upon reading some recent articles about the company and its founder, Senior Designer David discovered they’ve been highly adaptable in their marketing practices over the past decade too. Here are some examples of how they’ve cleverly utilised available and unusual media to cut through the noise.
Ikea Russia Instagram ‘webpage’: Each photo post of an interior had items within it tagged – the tagged items corresponded to other accounts, set up especially for each item. Simple, low cost, perfect use of social media.
Experiential apartment in a box: Done to promote the opening of a new Brooklyn store in 2008. This campaign used iconic Ikea boxes that were put out alongside peoples recycling, playing on the ‘nosy New York neighbour’ behaviour of looking at other people’s rubbish to see what they bought. An apartment in a box was also built in the centre of Brooklyn that people could enter to view the show apartment inside, cutting through the noise and hussle of an incredibly busy New York borough.
William Shakespeare’s plays are among the most enduring products of the English language. This is in no small part due to their adaptability. Surviving from Elizabethan England to the present day has been achieved chiefly by Shakespeare’s ability to tap into universal facets of the human condition. He crafted characters and conflicts as relatable today as they were 400 years ago.
UX Designer Will looked at some contemporary examples of how these words on a page can be radically interpreted by creatives. Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet features a more ‘traditional’ take on Shakespeare’s Verona, whereas Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo and Juliet is an abstract adaptation utilising 20th Century fashions, weaponry and music scores to augment the words and emotions of the Shakespearean source material.
A picture tells a thousand words
“Photo-journalism isn’t just about documenting what you saw – it’s capturing the experience or gravitas of a moment”
Brent Stirton is a South African photojournalist, who specialises in issues regarding wildlife, culture, sustainability and conservation. This year he won the Grand Title Prize for Wildlife Photographer of the year, for an image depicting a Rhino killed commercially for the value of its horn.
Senior Designer Jenny was so moved by this image, that she began looking at more of his work – and photojournalism as a profession. What struck her with much of Brent’s work, was the sheer power that each image has – how each one was able to tell its own story – without words. His photographs are thought-provoking, surprising, evocative and real.
Looking deeper into photojournalism, Jenny found that there are three core principles which are widely used and followed. She wondered if these principles could be translated into our world of marketing and advertising, to perhaps aid and inspire future image searching for our project work:
Objective – The situation shown in the image is accurate in context and tone (…never staged, and not always about beauty. Its always about portraying a reality).
Narrative – Images are relevant to their audience. They help communities connect with one another (…or in our world, brands connect with customers).
Timely – The images have meaning (…they tell a story)
Wetherspoons Pub Carpets
Creative Artworker Dan chose J D Wetherspoons for his look into adaptability. Each pub, across the country, is each designed in keeping with the buildings local surroundings. The history of the town and the building that the chain is refurbishing when opening a pub is considered in order to retain it’s unique character, even though you still know you are in a Wetherspoons. This even comes down to the carpets, which are all apparently a bespoke design for each and every pub, to reflect the individuality of that establishment. The subject even has its own blog and is discussed on the JD Wetherspoon website too!
Matt Rudd – Rudd Design
Our Creative Artworker Jayne chose this months word ‘adaptability’ with designer Matt Rudd in mind. He created the ITV colour picking logo.
Matt developed the final logo design and its ‘colour-picking’ behaviour with this in mind. ‘Colour-picking’ means that five parts of the logo take colours from their environment. The logo becomes an intriguing and enjoyable addition to the imagery. The ‘colour-picked’ logo is used on ITV promos and idents so that these key parts of the channel do not become repetitive. The mechanism requires little post-production and many idents can be made, creating variety and the opportunity to reflect events or seasons.
So there you have it. Our exploration of the theme of Adaptability. Let us know what you think and we’d love to hear your take on the subject.