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Animation, branding, typography, campaign

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Solo project
2018

Here's to the Brave

[image description] the word "Welcome" pasted over an arrow, on top of an image of a metallic, multi-coloured melting shape, accompanied by information for an event called "Here's to the Brave: has tech made branding lose its bite?"

The information features speakers (mentioned later on this project page), the instagram addressed @wolffolins and @LDNtechweek, as well as the hashtags #ltw and #herestothebrave.

“Here’s to the Brave” was a panel event hosted by Wolff Olins for London Tech Week 2018. The main question up for discussion was whether the conventions of digital-first branding discourage creative bravery in those responsible for constructing them.

The panel featured Chris Moody (Chief Design Officer at Wolff Olins), Alexis Jakubowicz (Director of Story at Galleries Lafayette), Catharina Rijstenbil (Director of Marketing & Communications at Native Instruments), Cass Forsyth (Head of Google-for-Startups) and Andrea Magdelina (SheSaid.so founder), with input from the audience throughout.

[image description] Wolff Olins CEO Sairah Ashman announcing the start of the event.

[image description] Chris Moody, Alexis Jakubowicz and Catharina Rijstenbil holding a discussion on stage.

[image description] Catharina Rijstenbil speaking to the audience after the panel discussion.


When it came to developing the visual identity, the starting point was found in the inoffensive, tech-friendly forms of the geometric sans serif, paired with simple, round-cornered shapes. What ways could these be distorted and subverted? Perhaps the answers could be found in digital tools themselves.

[image description] A round-cornered square morphs into wild and distorted shapes.


In Blender, I recreated the round-cornered square found in most user interfaces by default, but pioneered by Apple's famously user-friendly design principles.

Using a combination of mesh modifiers not designed to be used together and object physics with wildly fluctuating collision parameters, the simple object was distorted and deformed into an array of erratic forms.

[image description] Three images of melting metallic objects, reflecting multi-coloured light.


The intent of this was not to provide a definite alternative, but instead take the safe design conventions of contemporary tech-first design trends and create something chaotically amorphous. After all, the aim of the discussion was not to define how tech companies should present themselves, but to question the repeated usage of established visual tropes, language and policies.

[image description]: Three more images of melting metallic objects, reflecting multi-coloured light.

[image description]: An assortment of mismatched white letterforms on a black background.

In a response to the common use of geometric sans serif typography found in a lot of digital brands, I developed a rough, hand-drawn typeface, designed specifically to make it difficult to typeset. Again, this wasn’t as a proposed solution to the problems in the field, but rather to excite viewers by giving them the opposite of what they might expect from a Tech Week event.

[image description]: A board on a easel reading "Here's to the Brave: Has tech made branding lose its bite?" and the names of the speakers. The words are written in white over one of the irridescent patterns. In the background are rows of out-of-focus seats before the panel had begun.

I put together a series on animations to promote the event on social media. These showed the starting rounded-square going through various transformations and corruptions. These were also projected on the walls of the stairwell leading up to the event.

[image description]: A series of animations depicting metallic squares morphing into different shapes. One animation has the word "tomorrow" written over it, denoting the date of the event when posted and other features the letters "L" and "R" switching between the words "Brand" and "Bland"

After the talk had ended, a spectrum was pasted along the wall of the exit, posing the question: has tech made branding lose its bite?

Visitors could then use the name sticker they were handed when they arrived to vote on their position, post discussion.

[image description]: A ban places a yellow sticker onto a spectrum pasted onto the wall, with a blue/green/yellow gradient running from left to right. The top of this spectrum asks "Has tech made branding lose its bite?". Below this is a segmented chart, with "yes" at the left and "no at the right". The man is placing his sticker just left of the centre.

[image description]: A woman is placing her yellow sticker on the far left of the same chart.