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MAKING CREATIVE MATTER FOR AFRICA
Rule29 has created a coffee-table book to help raise funds for the organization Life in Abundance which serves some of the poorest parts of sub Saharan Africa. The mantra at Illinois-based Rule29 is “Making Creative Matter” and that, says Founder and Creative Director Justin Ahrens, goes beyond just their day-to-day work. “We feel we have an obligation to serve our community as well,” he said, explaining how he first became interested in helping Life in Abundance to get its word out, starting with a rebrand of the organization. Ahrens visited Africa and, he says, “left a piece of myself there as I fell in love with the people, but also felt crushed by the intense need . . . So we have adopted this organization as our pro-bono project.” For Rule29’s annual self-promotional piece, Ahren’s and his team created a coffee table book of photographs and experiences from the trip. In addition, the firm has collaborated on a fundraising letterpress poster for the organization. This project came to fruition when Donovan Beery and Nate Voss from the design podcast, Reflex Blue, drew together Rule 29, Steve Hartman of Creativille and Christine Taylor of Hallmark for a weekend of design and idea exchange. During the weekend, the group came up with “Touch”, a spiffy letterpress poster printed by Spark Stationery on paper donated by Neenah Paper.
Contact: www.urbanandruralhope.org regarding the coffee table book and www.alastingimprint.org for the full story behind the poster. See also www.rule29.com
HERMAN MILLER SETTLES ON SETU
Minneapolis Design and branding firm Capsule looked to the Hindi language for the right name for Herman Miller’s latest chair design. The chair follows in the footsteps of iconic furniture fixtures including the Eames and Aeron chairs. The chair needed a standout name because of its unusual design, and so Herman Miller went with Capsule’s recommendation, Setu, the Hindi word for bridge. The chair sports a kinematic spine which bends and flexes with each movement, without any effort on the part of the individual. “A bridge allows you to move freely, connects you, and takes you to a place never before possible,” said Aaron Keller, Managing Principal at Capsule. He said Capsule delved into many cultures and philosophies to find just the right name. “Setu is simple, visually strong and intriguing,”Keller adds.
ANDERSON’S CALL TO GREATNESS
NEW YORK NY
Gail Anderson has designed an ambitious promotional campaign for the School of Visual Arts, a series of five posters that combine her signature blend of innovative typography and elegant composition. Marking recent political history, the 2008 AIGA medialist uses a quote by President Barack Obama from his Inaugural Address — “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is not given. It must be earned” — which then leads to a call to action from SVA for self-improvement through education. Anderson may be best known for her 15 years as art director at Rolling Stone, as well as her Avenue Q subway-inspired logo for the Broadway musical. The poster series is part of SVA’s 50-year practice of commissioning leading designers such as Paul Davis, Paula Scher and Stefan Sagmeister to create thought-provoking campaigns that celebrate the power of art in contemporary society.
Contact: www.sva.edu or schoolofvisualarts.edu
THE NEWEST PRIDE OF THE YANKEES
NEW YORK NY
When the first pitch was thrown at the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankee brand experience was apparent in every aspect of the venue. C&G Partners captured the origins of the 1923 stadium in a contemporary setting through signs, murals, architectural graphics, wayfinding systems, and a museum. The program includes reproductions of the original medallions over the main entrance gate; typography from the 1923 landmark stadium forged anew for contemporary signage; 3,000 signs throughout the stadium; and the 6,000-square foot Yankee Museum. Among the focal points is a sculptural depiction of the only perfect game in World Series book ended with statues of pitcher Don Larsen and catcher Yogi Berra on either side and a curving ball wall with 1,000 autographed baseballs from Yankee legends. Keith Helmetag, served as Partner-in-Charge and Exhibit Planner. Amy Siegel was Associate Partner and Lead Sign Designer, and Craig Gephart was Senior Designer and Content Developer.
PINKBERRY GROUPIES UNITE ON THE WEB
LOS ANGELES CA
Ferroconcrete has launched a new website for Pinkberry, intended to build and unite an online community among frozen yogurt lovers. The LA-based firm developed Pinkberry’s initial brand when there was just one store; some three years later they are at 75 stores and counting. Jumping on the social networking bandwagon, Pinkberry groupies can go to the website to create profiles, submit photos and stories and share their own goodness with one another. The new site also links to Pinkberry’s Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages, encouraging user traffic and merging with other networking communities.
Contact: www.pinkberry.com or www.ferro-concrete.com
YARDLEY AWASH IN LUSH ILLUSTRATION
NYACK NEW YORK
Little Big Brands has created soap packaging for Yardley of London that is a mix of old and new. The design firm utilized detailed botanical illustrations to evoke the feel of a classic English garden for scent, but with contemporary typography to keep the look fresh. Sides, top and bottom feature a wrapped band print that add emphasis to the Yardley story and its history of royal warrants. There is also a surprise inside each box: the illustration on the outside carries through to the inside, and there is a special message under the top flap that corresponds to the scent. “When you look at the natural soap category you see a lot of clinical packaging,” says Little Big Brands creative director John Nunziato. “We chose to celebrate the beauty of nature with lush illustrations and details that honor natural ingredients and the rich heritage of the brand.”
VOLUME TURNED UP ON YBCA PROMO
SAN FRANCISCO CA
Volume Inc.'s new campaign for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) has hit the streets of San Francisco, with surreal illustrations hijacking stock advertising images to spread the word that art is cool, so visit YBCA. The edgy guerilla campaign spans city streets, transportation hubs, and even the sides of buses, operating much like street art and sending the message that art is subversive, approachable, even fun. San Francisco-based Volume brings the campaign to life with vibrant color and cheeky character illustrations slapped against the flatness of various black- and-white scenes; humorous dialogue, pasted into cartoonish bubbles, disrupts the dull routines of daily life, from a guy vacuuming to suburbanites barbecuing. “I am very excited about this new campaign and the way it communicates the essence of YBCA,’ said Ken Foster, YBCA Executive Director. “We strive to be both provocative and fun, and through that approach we hope to encourage people to see how contemporary art can also relate to their own lives.”
PACKAGES TELL BREAD-TIME STORIES
Silver Hills Bakery has upped the ante in the sliced bread aisle, tapping Karacters Design Group to rebrand bags of its sprouted whole-grain breads. The revitalized packaging offers unique “bread-time stories” and is designed to appeal to a broader range of health-conscious bread buyers. The concept was prompted by an insight discovered during brand strategy development — that the bakery’s Squirrelly bread had higher brand recognition and recall than Silver Hills’ parent brand. Karacters Design Group, which designed the bakery’s original packaging more than a decade ago, counseled Silver Hills to rename its breads with quirky names such as: The Kings Kamut, Little Big Bread, Hardy Hearty Harvest, Mack’s Flax, Radiant Raisin and Steadie Eddie. Using sold matte colors, which are unusual for the category, the colorful, biodegradable bags include witty illustrations by Robert Hanson. The illustrations evoke the new names and incorporate windows to display the product. “The sliced bread category is very dull and one dimensional with most brands sharing the same visual wheat sheaf cues . . . our goal was to breakthrough the homogeneity and connect with consumers in a humanistic way,” said James Bateman, creative director at Karacters Design Group. The new image is being extended to all Silver Hills Bakery’s communications, including logo, signage, stationery and website.