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Crisp Feel of a Magazine

Crisp Feel of a Magazine

washington dc/beverly hills ca

The yearly Academy Awards gala is one of the film industry’s most highly anticipated events, but much of what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accomplishes occurs behind-the-scenes. While conceiving and executing the creative direction for the Academy’s 2014 Annual Report, Design Army sought to shine the spotlight on the other 364 days of the year, highlighting the organization’s activities and advances. Inspired by the crisp feel of a magazine, the design firm created a visual representation of the Academy’s most exciting highlights and achievements from the past year. Each spread is a month-by-month journey that pays homage to keynote events: the first-ever Oscar Concert in February, October’s Hollywood Costume exhibition, and, of course, the television extravaganza. The overall design subtly incorporates the Academy’s familiar mark: first as a die-cut on the cover, and again as a series of tessellating, abstract forms throughout the report. Playful patterns, eye-catching infographics and typography, and a distinctive color palette that ties into the Academy’s graphic standard give the report a playful dynamism. Overlaid quotes from honorees, press, and members represent the Academy’s long reach and impact.
app.oscars.org/our-year-2014

Spotify Faces the Music

Spotify Faces the Music

new york ny/stockholm sweden

Collins has shifted Spotify’s brand from its roots in tech and engineering to the music service embraced by millenials today. To achieve this, the New York design firm sought to visualize the visceral feeling and emotional “burst” that people feel when they connect with a song by developing a series of bursting shapes that can sit behind, or in front, of content. (The initial insight is said to come from a YouTube video of a baby who rocks her car seat to Katy Perry’s Dark Horse.) To add more energy, the palette is expanded from “Spotify green” to dozens of approved colors. And to address the challenge of using photography from thousands of musicians and bands ‒ Spotify releases up to 20,000 songs a day ‒ the designers reached back to the duotone look of album covers and concert posters of the 1960s. Collins’ executive creative director Leland Maschmeyer notes that duotones are so much a part of the identity that Brett Renfer, director of experience design, created a software program to automate the process. Explains Maschmeyer: “It draws from a very robust but select color palette and every image you output is always on brand. Not only is it fun, but it addressed another problem: Spotify has so much content to process that to have software do the heavy lifting was fantastic.” Collins’s co-founder Brian Collins says the project represents “our ideal, to work with brands that move faster than culture.”
www.wearecollins.com

Changing the Conversation

Changing the Conversation

seattle wa

When Lane Bryant’s new CEO and president Linda Heasley came to Hornall Anderson last year, she brought a strategic vision intended to revitalize the brand. The initial results: a branding initiative that is helping to change the conversation for the national clothing chain from “plus-size” to “her size,” celebrating the larger-sized woman. After creating materials to support the release of the client’s runway-inspired Sixth & Lane Collection, Hornall Anderson was again asked to tackle a challenge for Lane Bryant: create a sub-brand for a fashion-minded, multi-use activewear line, a sort of Lululemon or Athletica for the same “her size” spirit and market. The design solution features a name, Livi Active, as well as a brand identity system inclusive of logo, visual graphic assets, and a brand architecture that articulates overall benefit and ingredient information for specific garments.
www.lanebryant.com/Livi

Staying Ahead of Tomorrow

Staying Ahead of Tomorrow

new york ny

MBLM has launched a new branding initiative on behalf of AllianceBernstein, the global investment management firm. The client has evolved and expanded across asset classes and markets in recent years, and retained MBLM to create a brand that reflects its focus on keeping clients ahead of the curve. Among the elements is a brand promise and platform “Ahead of Tomorrow” from which to drive all marketing efforts; segmented messaging guides; and a transition of the brand from AllianceBernstein to AB. The yearlong initiative involved the agency and the firm’s executive leadership and global offices, and focused on ensuring that AB’s focus on the future plays a key role in building the brand. The program is comprehensive, extending into new identity systems, internal launch events, marketing collateral, a responsive web presence, and an advertising campaign across print, digital, and video.
mblm.com/case-studies

A More Literary New York Times Magazine

A More Literary New York Times Magazine

new york ny

A “graciously spaced” logo drawn by Matthew Carter announces a comprehensive redesign of The New York Times Magazine. Under the guidance of design director Gail Bichler and art director Matt Willey, the venerable publication has been redesign to have a more literary and writerly quality, with heavier paper stock, a new suite of typefaces, new interior page designs, and, says editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, “new ideas about the relationship between print and digital.” The fonts, by Henrik Kubel in collaboration with Willey, include slab serifs for headlines and block elements, as well as modern sans serifs and elegant serifed fonts. The interior layout, designed by Anton Ioukhnevets of GQ fame, is cleaner, with the number of columns reduced from 12 to 7 to create more white space, less symmetry, and allow the content breathe. As for its digital life, this also plays into the magazine’s more literary approach; the magazine content, paired with the new typefaces, are expected to make the magazine more attractive and readable as long-form content on the web. Heightened interest in the redesign, introduced in a recent special edition called “The Global Issue,” generated 120 print advertising pages, more than any issue since late 2007.
www.nytimes.com/pages/magazine/index.html

Chicago Bikeshare Rolls Out

Chicago Bikeshare Rolls Out

chicago il

IDEO Chicago and Firebelly have developed the branding for Chicago’s Bicycle Sharing Program. The clients are The City of Chicago and Alta Bike Share. IDEO led the research and naming, and Firebelly the design and branding. The project required a name, trademark, visual identity and roll out in less than three months, as well as a standards guide that encompasses 40-plus touchpoints from bikes to stations to vans to stationery to events to website and more. The brand solution ‒ Divvy ‒ is intended to send a simple good natured message that bicyling is “practical, painless and convenient.” The double-V ligature indicates direction and motion, and in many streets across the world symbolizes the shared use of bikes and cars on the road. The primary typeface: GT Pressura. Says Firebelly’s Will Miller: “We wanted this project to honor the great civic pride in the people of Chicago. In the identity we do this with the row of four six-pointed stars found on the bike's chain lay and through Divvy’s primary color. These elements are derived from Chicago’s iconic flag.”
www.behance.net/gallery/21107895/Divvy-Chicagos-Bikeshare

Popular Banks on Brand Union

Popular Banks on Brand Union

madrid spain/new york ny

Brand Union has strengthened the brand of a leading Spanish bank. Key elements include simplification of the bank’s name from Banco Popular to just Popular; a new tagline to Firmly Forward; and a new positioning and visual identity symbolizing the mission of “boosting companies, people and society.” Pilar Domingo, Managing Director at Brand Union in Madrid says: “From the strategic platform to the visual and verbal identity, the new brand drives the future of the organization, strengthening its differentiation as a solid, experienced and professional bank, a bank to grow with, as the country grows again.” The identity itself takes on a typographic form in a bid to express the determination of an expert bank; the upward line device is said to reflect evolution and growth; and a graphical system of illustrations, pictures and type are intended to bring versatility to the visual language. The branding is being rolled out across all touchpoints, including a new commercial web presence and modernization of over 2,000 branches throughout 2015.
www.brandunion.com

Breakthrough at Tiffany’s

Breakthrough at Tiffany’s

new york ny

Brides and grooms have long been the focus of Tiffany marketing. But the uber-jeweler’s new campaign for engagement rings shows how far the culture is changing. Collaborating with agency Ogilvy & Mather New York, the spring campaign features a same-sex couple, along with heterosexual couples of diverse backgrounds, for the first time. In one print ad, a male couple sits on the steps of a brownstone, with the pair sharing an affectionate touch on the knee and a smile. That image is one of several scenes shot by fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh with the tag line “Will You?” Also included is a video which is described as “diving deeper into the love story of the real-life gay couple” as well as showcasing a diverse group of modern day couples and wedding proposals. Creative credits include CCO Ogilvy East Chris Garbutt; Worldwide CMO Lauren Crampsie; Group Creative Director Debra Fried; Creative Director John Doyle; Executive Producer, Content Production Maureen Phillips; Producer, Content Production Lauren Ziffer; and Executive Producer of Music Karl Westman.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7pp_4d01ls

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