Friday Roundup – 20th February 2015

20th February 2015

As a graphic design studio in Newcastle we always take note of what’s happening in the wider design world. Lots can happen in just one short week so here’s a quick roundup of some of the bigger stories we’ve followed from the past seven days.

Use our quick links to read about:

Effective Design Awards Contagious Murals / Red Nose, Red Logos 

Effective Design Awards

The DBA Effective Design Awards are notable in that they recognise the actual, quantifiable impact that the design nominees have had on the businesses involved. In that sense, this isn’t necessarily about the best looking or most original. Instead, the awards give an idea of the true effectiveness of well-implemented design across a range of disciplines, from branding to advertising, packaging to product design. This week, the winners were announced and the Grand Prix was picked up by Alloy for their work on the BT Home Hub 5.

What is most interesting about the awards is discovering the measurable outcomes of the designs. In the ‘Identity Design: Over £100,000’ category, a gold award was won by Elmwood for their branding work on Heck Sausages. The identity and packaging designs have turned Heck into a £3.5m brand in just one year, and have put the company on track to meet sales targets three years ahead of schedule. And in the ‘Packaging: Own Brand’ category, Newcastle-based Decide‘s work for Fortnum & Mason Teas also won a Gold Award. Their packaging designs for the speciality teas saw an increase of 103% in like-for-like volume sales and an increase of between 41% and 1240% for individual tea blends.

To see the full list of winners check our the DBA Effectiveness Design website.

Contagious Murals

The small, hitherto anonymous town of Huija in Taiwan has become a bit of a talking point and tourist hotspot recently. In a perfect show of the power of art to uplift and revive, the town has been transformed by an explosion of vibrant murals that have drawn interested visitors from neighbouring Hong Kong, China and Japan. This isn’t some homogenous gentrification project but rather a genuine communal artistic development by the residents.

The rash of building and wall paintings was sparked by the visit of three sisters to their grandmother’s house in the village. Intent on bringing some life to the drab earthy colours of the house they took it upon themselves to paint the sides of the building with their favourite cartoon characters. This inspired the nearby residents to do likewise with their own homes and the mural craze spread throughout the village.

The murals themselves offer a broad range of styles (pixel art, stencilling, realistic and expressionist) and an eclectic mix of subjects, from traditional Japanese Daruma Dolls to Angry Birds and Optimus Prime. The artistic outbreak has enlivened the urban landscape of Huija but also unexpectedly excited a growing tourist trade for the village, which now entertains tours of the murals for its visitors. A great example of art and community working together with amazing results.

Red Nose, Red Logos

As part of the countdown to Comic Relief’s ‘Red Nose Day’ (Friday 13th March), MultiAdaptor has set up Red Logo Associates, a “fictional, hyper-egotistical Mad Men inspired agency”. It’s a project employing the cumulative talents of many designers and illustrators to devise 100 logos and raise money for the charity. As well as accepting requests from the public for logo designs, they are also uploading a new red-nose-style logo for well-known celebrities to their website every day up to the 27th February.

As with all things Comic Relief, its a fun, tongue-in-cheek idea – the pompous self-aggrandising rhetoric of the website is particularly enjoyable, mocking the obsession with the cult of celebrity and its often vacuous efforts at branding. Of course there are routes to donation; if you supply a creative brief for your own logo via the website you will need to make a contribution – but the deadline for requests is today so you’ll need to hurry! The whole enterprise will culminate in an exhibition of Red Logo Associates’ ‘Wall of Fame’ at The Proud Archivist from 14th – 20th March.