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  • A New Wales. Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands a nation


    “A feeling as much as a graphical kit of parts – the brand provides a platform for the Welsh nation across a wide range of sectors; seeking to engage, inform, invite, challenge and support in equal measure” says Smörgåsbord Studio of their stunning rebranding of a nation. “It draws together disparate strands of activity, creating a ‘glue’ that unites the great people and places of Wales: digitally, physically and culturally”.

    “We addressed every brand touchpoint – from core marque to a bespoke typeface, from tone of voice and photography guidelines to experiential initiatives. A unified brand approach brought to life with creative excellence and transformative ideas – with the power to create a confident new way of thinking and behaving” adds Smörgåsbord of the Welsh rebranding which incorporates a bespoke typeface.

    Developed by Colophon Foundry, Cymru Wales Sans, “whilst takes cues from the Welsh typographical heritage” does not wander into the territory of pastiche or parody. “Our research informed the look, feel and personality of several of the consonants (d, h, l, m, n, u) and crucially 5 of the 8 diagraphs that are wholly unique to the Welsh language, Ch, ch, dd, Ff, ff, Ll, Th, th. These forms comprised the infrastructure for the more expressive, headline cut of the type family, Cymru Sans (Welsh for ‘Wales’), while Wales Sans acted as the more staid (and indeed, English-language) counterpart. A unifying cornerstone of the new Nation brand that puts the provenance of the Welsh language front and centre” comments the Studio. As for the feedback of their rebranding for the Cymru Wales Sans here are the results: 45% increase in Visit Wales’ social media followers (taking the total close to 1m) and 5 million unique visitors to the Visit Wales website in the past 12 months, furthermore North Wales was voted as the 4th ‘top location’ in the world to visit in 2017 according to Lonely Planet’s annual ‘Best in Travel’ list. Oh Wales!

    Check more here

  • Riposte's limited girl power posters are a collector's item

    "The silencing of (Senator) Elizabeth Warren was really shocking and it was representative of a man in a position of power using his influence to silence a woman when she was saying something he didn’t agree with”, says Riposte founder and editor, Danielle Pender on the idea of the series of posters commissioned to six female artists in celebration of International Women’s Day. "Back in February Elizabeth Warren was silenced as she read a letter from Loretta Scott King on the senate floor in criticism of Senator Jeff Sessions being nominated as Trump’s attorney general. Warren hit back – taking to Facebook Live to finish the letter in full. The gesture has since become a symbol of persistence in the fight against inequality" reports Dazed.

    "‘Persist' seemed like the perfect word to base the commissions on and the designers and artists involved have created brilliant works in response. It is a word that very much sums up the times we live in. For me, it's a reminder that things don't come easy no matter what you're trying to do – whether that's a life's work of activism for people like Gloria Steinem or something on a much smaller scale like making a magazine. To achieve anything you’ve got to persist and get past the things that will no doubt challenge you" she adds.

    Lakwena Maciver, Lynnie Zulu, Paula Scher, Sonya Dyakova, Top Girl Studio, and Tracy Ma have each created a poster that interprets the word ‘persist’ – with proceeds going to Women for Women. Check them out here and purchase yours before it's too late.

  • TwoPoints.Net's multi-layered visual identity for VGL speaks volumes

    “When we started out, in the late 90s, multi-layered design and competing aesthetics were considered bad design, unnecessary noise in the communication process. Good design had to be coherent, efficient and effective. Then internet came along and our information sources and communication channels changed drastically” says TwoPoints.Net aka Lupi Asensio and Martin Lorenz in the intro of their latest project that took Internet by storm, the one and the same world wide web, which once was “one big (visual) mess”. “Around 2003 our perception had changed. What had been terribly confusing at first, became wonderfully diverse. A voyage through the many layers of our world at once. A few years later multi-layered and multi-aesthetic design became a trend in Graphic Design. We documented the change in our book Pretty Ugly, published by Gestalten in 2012. Now, in 2017, we feel that multi-layered and multi-aesthetic design has become something we have got used to.”

    For the Vertical Geopolitics Lab, a non-profit think-tank and speculative design studio TwoPoints.Net created a multi-layered and multi-aesthetic flexible visual identity. “Based on the fundamental belief that institutions are not able to prevent what they cannot imagine, the lab is focused on the logistics of large-scale landscape architectural choreographies as potential source for as yet unimagined change in how we understand nature, society, jurisdiction, sovereignty, stereotomics, tectonics, and matter itself. The visual identity creates a space framed by VGL and filled by VGL’s projects. The visual system adjusts to different formats, but maintains its aesthetics. Conversely, the sub-identity of each project may change in aesthetics. There is no limitation in color, typeface or imagery. The structure provided by VGL makes VGL identifiable” say design studio TwoPoints.Net which was founded in 2007 with the aim to do exceptional design work... and yes there is no doubt that they do deliver just that.

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  • The Academy of British Cover Design’s best designs of the year


    Committed to making the awards as inclusive as possible The Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD) proved itself a fest of versatility in graphic design with the announcement of this year’s (and its fourth annual) cover design competition.

    Featuring work that traditionally gets overlooked by other competitions despite being highly original, well executed and relevant, the Academy’s ten judges  - Richard Bravery, Sinem Erkas, Greg Heinimann, James Jones, Johanna Neurath, David Pearson, Nick Stearn, Sophie Stericker, Jo Thomson and Clare Turner - shortlisted the numerous entries that are an inspiration to many.

    Final judging took place at the ABCD's awards night on March 2, with each person present able to vote for an overall winner in each category. A small prize was presented to each of the ten winners.

    Here’s who won what:

    Children’s: Dominica Clements, Anna Nillson and illustrator Oliver Jeffers —The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

    Young Adult: Sinem Erkas —The Memory Book by Lara Avery

    SciFi/Fantasy: Nathan Burton —Radiance by Catherine M Valence

    Mass Market: Jack Smyth —Girls on Fire by Robin Wassermann

    Literary Fiction: Suzanne Dean and illustrator Marion de Man —The Start of Something by Stuart Dybek

    Crime/Thriller: Blacksheep —Maestra by L.S. Hilton

    Non-fiction: Jack Smyth —The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

    Series Design: Suzanne Deane and illustrator Aino-Maija Metsola —books by Virginia Wolf

    Classic/Reissue: Jamie Keenan —The Birds and other stories by Daphne du Maurier

    Women’s Fiction: Kris Potter —Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

    The, free to enter, competition is now looking for next year’s entries. The shortlisted work in each category can be seen on the ABCD website here.



  • Introducing Solide Mirage, the world’s first open source font/album

    Here is a little inspiring story of music and graphic design. “In the begining, Frànçois asked Jérémy Landes to design a logo for his band. This band, Frànçois And The Atlas Mountains, needed a sign to be used in replacement of their long name tag. Bodoni faces appeared to be an obvious inspiration as it was used in several versions on all the band's medias” explains Velvetyne.

    “As the fonts always were set in caps, Jérémy decided to draw a unicase, allowing the band to mix different shape families by stirring lowercase and uppercase together. If the caps remain quite classical, the lowercase show a stronger temperament. All the lowercase that should have ascenders or descenders, as the b, d, p or q are the most surprising, with their compressed shapes and long serifs”.

    Solide Mirage “began as a squared monospaced typeface, for practical layout reasons, quickly followed by a proportional companion, a more narrow design to allow subtler text layouts. Both typefaces have ornamental alternates A, O and V inheriting the zig-zag spirit of the album cover created by the visual artist Tatiana Defraine. A small set of ornaments have been drawn too, widely used in the album leaflet. During the creation process, after a lot of talks, both Frànçois and Jérémy decided that the Solide Mirage fonts would be free and open-source”. The decision was meant to allow the typeface to have its own life while the band fans would be able to seize the sensible world conveyed by the album and the fonts altogether.

    Solide Mirage, the album, and Solide Mirage, the type family, was released on March 3rd.