The inaugural Network Ecologies 2015 symposium, hosted in Scarborough UK, brought together a host of diverse speakers from across the world to address the role that artistic producers (authors, film makers, poets, photographers etc.) can play in raising awareness of environmental problems within contemporary culture.
The purpose of the 3-day symposium was to explore the relations between art, science and politics, in an attempt to identify innovative approaches and methodologies with the potential to transform how environmental discussion could be represented in the social imagination.
With this in mind, creating a logo and visual identity that would embody the ethos of the event was a challenge, but one that I was happy to be tasked with.
After sketching a selection of iconographic and overlapping ‘Venn diagram’ inspired ideas, I was struck by the recurrence of the letter ‘o’ within each word. Further experimentation with this formed the foundation of the final logo, built upon with geometric letterforms and stacked alignment to create a triangular formation.
Negative space within each ‘o’ reinforced the triangle even further, and custom rotated counters within each ‘e’ continue to mirror the angle. The perfectly circular bowl and loop of the ‘g’ are also intended to resemble the infinity symbol and connote the ongoing relationship between the three categories.
Lastly, the triangular tittle/dot of the ‘i’ selected for the strapline and supporting text continues to echo the triple theme. Three really was the magic number!
This will be an annual event, so my next task is to design a supporting website that will enable delegates to discover more about the key themes, programme calendar and keynote speakers, as well as to register interest and/or attendance.
This is the (long overdue) follow up to my previous post about one of three books that I designed and co-authored with environmental activist and photographer, Conohar Scott, and environmental scientist, Will Mayes, that is part of the work of our publishing collective Environmental Resistance Press. All 25 copies of this, along with two other books, have now been distributed to various academic institutions and libraries throughout the UK and Europe to promote and provoke debate.
Mynydd Parys & Afon Goch ‘Parys Mountain & Red River’ | 13” x 11” 50pp and perfect bound book printed on Revive 100 Silk
The large format of this book is designed to accommodate six spreads with throw-outs that, by their sheer scale (they are too big to fit on a double page spread), communicate the disparity between the recommended levels shown in the key on the left and measures of the elements, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Cadmium and Arsenic, discovered to be present in the water or sediment samples gathered on location at this Welsh mine, and shown with the photographs on the right.
At the back of the book, three pages are also presented with French fold in order to represent the unbroken flow of data compiled from analysis of the Afon Goch ‘Red River’ by the Environment Agency over the last decade.
Scott’s photographs capture the dramatic and surprising beauty created by the unnatural orange and red hues of the Mynydd Parys landscape – colours that are more closely associated with images of the Australian outback than north-west Wales – but also closely document where remediation is required in order to repair decades of damage caused to the environment by open-cast mining.
I’m particularly proud of what this book communicates, but also for the time, energy and attention to detail I have given to getting this book to press. I hope you find a copy one day (if enough people request it, more will be printed) and enjoy learning about this strange and unusual place.
Enigma Broadcast is the sister company of Tech-NicSmart (an independent digital technology specialist that I have worked with in the past) offering an innovative range of professional broadcast quality LCD monitors.
I was briefed to create a logo that would receive its first official viewing alongside the very latest tech product launch at the IBC Expo in Amsterdam. The only stipulation was that it should complement the existing visual identity of their sister company, and with enigma as part of the name, I wasn’t short on inspiration; quickly gathering visual reference and research with which to generate a selection of ideas.
The logo idea is based on a stylised broadcast symbol that emanates from the centre. The font used is Gill Sans, a sans serif frequently used to recreate the look and feel of the WW2 ‘KEEP CALM…’ poster, and a pertinent connection to the time of Turin’s invention of the code breaking Enigma Machine. To bring it all together, I used the existing colour palette of sky blue, metallic greys and magenta, with the addition of a metallic texture to create a visually interesting and 3D effect for the business cards.
The other options I presented are more typographic, as certain characters have been replaced with numbers, mixing both upper and lowercase – much like we are now advised to do in order to create a stronger and more secure password online – or a combination of numbers and alpha characters replacing the more familiar patterns, but still retaining legibility. Notice that the ‘B’ in Broadcast is actually a 1 and 3? There are a few other enigmatic touches too…
The outer shape for third logo option also references the outer shape of the Enigma Machine badge, but with a slightly updated aspect to better suit the typographic alignment. My client liked all three, but ultimately the simplicity and badge-like quality of the broadcast symbol won the day.
After a little more development and decision-making, these are the final items for Mossarti. The final logo continues to feature the love heart shape, but now the ‘A’ has been further refined with the addition of a crossbar and open base.
The bold lime green and hot pink perfectly embody Beverley’s confident personality and the overall identity has been easily translated to online communication channels too.
This project was actually completed at the end of last summer, but I admit that I’ve been a little lackadaisical in keeping my blog updated. I promise to improve this from now on and you’re likely to see more from me again very soon.
There have been several subtle but effective developments in the design of this logo and visual identity for Mossarti. It’s usually the client’s prerogative to like parts from each of the original designs and to request something that is a combination of these. This can sometimes result in a tricky and unhappy compromise, but in this instance I think you’ll agree that the current result is a success. There’s still more to do before a decision is reached, but it’s nearly there!
These are also alternatives that were developed when the potential for expansion in to other business areas was discussed.
Tech-nicSmart specialise in offering very large format monitors (70” to 82”), digital information displays and the very latest innovations in screen-based equipment for a wide variety of sectors from education to retail. Their rapidly expanding customer base operates within both B2B and B2C markets, so this is one of the key factors I applied to my design rationale.
Both of these options take a lot of visual inspiration from mathematical and scientific reference – one with more subtlety than the other as I think you’ll agree. The first also has a distinctly fun retro-tech look and feel that was inspired by 1950s science fiction and our rapidly burgeoning obsession with science and technology from that time.
At this early stage in development both ideas are visualised as business cards (an ever popular device at any trade show) and how the website could look on a standard desktop. The next stage will be to apply the chosen identity to a suite of business literature, as well as produce a simple, effective and responsive brochureware site. Tech-nicSmart may not deal in small screens, but their customers certainly will.
Based on early feedback, the retro-tech version appears to be the winner, which is great news. It also means that it’ll soon be time for me to brush up on my CSS build skills – wish me luck!
Mossarti is a slightly unusual business name, but one that my client Beverley Moss and I spent a lot of time discussing and debating. What we hope it captures is the spirit of fun and energy that she invests into every one of her handcrafted felt creations – as well as including a more obvious connection to her name, of course.
These crafting skills alongside the love and enthusiasm that Beverley invests into each piece were also the starting point for my idea generation, where I have referenced a variety of textile stitching and fabric effects. The symbolic love heart shape is also everywhere in the space where Beverley works, so after compiling research and mood boards, they kept appearing in many of my initial sketches too! The colour palettes chosen are also designed to reflect her energetic personality.
This project is a work in progress, so watch this space for future updates.
I should cocoa in Belper is a wonderful place to visit for the most delicious and indulgent hot chocolate and other treats to eat and drink-in or to select artisan chocolates and other gifts to take-away. Run by husband and wife team, Sid and Lisa are as passionate about chocolate as they are about quality and customer service.
Back in September 2012, what began as a small brief to design customer loyalty cards, soon evolved into the requirements to design a whole suite of items for this small, but perfectly formed business. The asset list has now grown to include chocolate menu cards, table menus and simple solutions for two of their biggest sellers – hot chocolate flakes and 100-gram artisan bars in white, milk and dark chocolate. Each edible item is lovingly made and then packaged by Sid and Lisa, so I needed to ensure my packaging design solutions were elegant and sophisticated, but also cost-effective and relatively easy to fulfill.
It’s been a pleasure to evolve I should cocoa’s visual identity and I look forward to creating many more assets in future – oh, and of course, enjoying their chocolate.
Vintage Blue Dawn is a new boutique-style furniture and interior accessories company, which is launching this April just in time for the Spring/Summer season of country fairs that take place throughout the UK each year. VBD won’t be creating a traditional shop, but are instead concentrating on bringing their stock directly to their customers.
My brief was to create a visual identity that could be used on business cards and letterhead, staff uniforms and online, so I have suggested different ways that these could be printed – including a custom-made rubber stamp that would provide infinite colours and surfaces to apply the logo to.
All of the options presented are designed to evoke a feeling of nostalgia and authenticity combined with a contemporary twist. I have my favourite, but I shall have to wait and see what the client decides…