Unearth International is a group of companies who identify local opportunities and aims to unlock the potential of rural communities. Aspiring to uplift locally relevant economies, Unearth targets people, making them aware of the environment that they so diligently reply on. Unearth does this by creating sustainable and locally relevant commercial partnerships.
We were challenged with clarifying the way the group communicate their structure and the value that they deliver.
Unearth – Focuses on Community Development
Unearth Experience – Focuses on Travel & Tourism
Disruption Capital – The Finance Arm
In order to bring this to work graphically, we needed a brand that allowed each company to build off the success of the others but still allowed for differentiation. Our work needed to function for all 3 companies and leave room to expand into future companies or even sub-projects of Unearth (Schools, Businesses, and Farms).
We created a dynamic and adaptive brand by creating an icon based on “U”, a grid based on nature, and colours based on Africa.
To work on multiple formats from websites to game drive vehicles, we created a flexible relationship between the “U” and type mark. The relationship can change dynamically as and when needed.
To bring the brands together, we executed bold and striking collateral that reflects the personality of each company.
British modern craft beers take pride in their unique and bold artistic design – simplistic, bright and brave labelling is the new face. Craft beer has brought better-tasting brews – and created very exciting opportunities for designers and illustrators to show what they are capable of. Here you can look over the wonderful work of designers, illustrators and agencies at the forefront of British craft beer label design.
40 Little Things You Can Do to Break Your Creative Block
Stuck in a rut? Beat your creative block with these few tips
Step Away from Your Computer
Yes, really. Do it! Go for a Walk
If you only do one thing to get your ideas flowing, go for a walk. Studies show that people have more creative ideas when they walk. After walking for 30 minutes, your creativity is increased by an average of 60% and your creative boost extends long after you have returned to your regular activities. Since you don’t have to devote much attention into the effort of walking your mind is free to wander. This is precisely the kind of mental state that studies link to innovative ideas and sparks of creativity. If you take up walking you’d be sharing a daily creative routine with history’s most famous creative geniuses such as Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Ludwig van Beethoven, Virginia Woolf and Steve Jobs. Do Something Different
Albert Einstein said that “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. It can be easy and comforting to go into autopilot, but when you do something new, your brain actually creates new pathways. When you look at things from a new perspective, or learn something new, your brain literally remodels itself based on your new experiences. The brain loves being stimulated and it adores novelty. Maybe you can take a different route to work. Or change the music you listen to or sit at a different spot at the table. Just do something to switch things up, and you’ll rewire your brain, enhancing your capacity to be creative. Solitude
Take a moment to listen to your own thoughts. Go within. Reflect. Find focus. Unwind. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea in your garden. As artist Pablo Picasso put it, “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
Take active part in life around you. Spend time with family and friends. Read. Be curious. Ask questions. Notice the small details. Pay attention to what’s going on in different areas of art like street art, magazines, packaging design, fine art, fashion, dance and film. Be present in your life. Travel
Travelling lets you see the world from a new perspective and is an effective way to broaden your perspective. You also tend to notice even the smallest details more clearly when you travel, so being in a new environment can heighten your senses. But you don’t have to go far. Perhaps you could explore a different neighbourhood close to you or carve out a little mini retreat for yourself. Collage
Grab a stack of magazines, newspapers, glue and a pair of scissors and make a collage. Since the images and text already are there, you can focus on curating, making shapes, combining and creating something new. If you like you can scan your collage and add some finishing touches digitally. Collaging makes a great break from working on a computer and is an easy way to start working more off the computer. Add Doodling to Your Daily Routine
Did you doodle at school? Research shows that doodling can help you stay focused, grasp new concepts, retain information and even increases your daydreaming. As a kid you draw without any thought. You just enjoy it. But when you go to art school or become an artist chances are that it becomes serious business and that the playful part goes missing. Take up doodling as a daily practice. Brilliant ideas often start as a scribble on a cocktail napkin or envelope. Meditate
It expands your mind, boosting creativity and innovation.
David Folkman and Craig Jones quit their jobs at Innocent Drinks to start Elderbrook Drinks last year. Their new brand, created by & SMITH and We All Need Words, calls out the over claims of big sugary soft drinks and squash and gently mocks the latest health fads.
The identity showcases the work of young YCN illustrators Enrica Casentini, Ana Jaks and Quentin Mongue. Elderbrook has plans to champion new illustrators as the company grows. Touted as a ‘better-for-you-cordial’, Elderbrook doesn’t pretend to be full of your five-a-day, turn you into a yogi in one sip, or give you Popeye’s muscles. But it does taste good and it is better for you than most spoonfuls-of-processed-sugar soft drinks.
Scroll down for a selection of the work or head here for more from &SMITH
Designer Sara Marshal, has created a set of famous logos which have been reimagined in hand written lettering.
Corporate graphic design has been steered towards a flat minimalistic style, where few colours and large areas of negative space are used. Alongside this minimalist movement, hand lettering has risen in popularity, which in contrast is characterised by imperfections, texture and embellishment.
Brand by Hand is a combination of these two trends by introducing the personal nature of hand lettering into the cold corporate world.
After nearly 9 years we have decided to take our old logo down off the shelf and replace it with a new and shiny one. This was not an easy decision because our logo is near and dear to us. It has stood us through good and bad. It never judged us when we went off and opened clubs, sold t-shirts or rented a wheelbarrow for R10 000 (true story). Our logo has been with us from day 1. So we needed a really good reason to rebrand.
What in our humble opinion are the really good reasons for a company to rebrand? We think there are only a select few, the rest are more influenced by vanity. In no particular order they are:
You have something new to say
You need to distance yourself from a bad reputation
There has been a change of ownership
Your brand does not fit your product mix anymore
You need to be more distinctive
You started with a really crappy brand
We have moved into the space where we have something new to say, we have evolved over the last 9 years. Our original focus was on design and animation. Over time, we have become more and more interested in delivering actual impact with our work. One of the big things holding us back was getting our executions in line with the strategy (or in most cases, the lack thereof) of our clients. We were often not being used for the most important or high impact executions. We came to the realisation that execution was not enough anymore. We have grown more and more into helping our clients sort out the underlying problems in their communications. Often that involves figuring out who we are speaking to and what their pain points are. So the long and short of this is that our brand no longer suited the message we want to put out. After a process of evaluation our vision, mission and values we have realigned our focus and found a new logo and positioning to communicate that (drum roll please):
The next step was to look at what we wanted to retain from the old brand. We wanted to keep our playful tone, the to quote one of our clients ‘interesting’ images in our image bank. and we wanted to distill the old logo /\/\/\/ down to its very essence and ended up with the new Nicework / (We gave it a very fancy name “slash”).
In this mobile and internet age what we wanted was an identity that was unique and flexible. We wanted to open ourselves up to a world of different executions across a variety of platforms. So we paired the / with a clean modern font “Founders Grotesk” a grotesque sans-serif typeface designed by Kris Sowersby of the New Zealand-based Klim Type Foundry. We did some customisation of the letter “R” to match our / and give us a personalised typeset that is ours to own and love.
Where would we be without a killer logo animation? This is also part of our new Showreel.
Our next step was to take this simple logo mark that we had created and fill it with all the fun, personality and passion we approach our work with. We let the team loose on what colours they thought encapsulated them as a person. We also explored what the potential of the Nicework /. We see it as a window to all the potential that our creativity and design solution can offer. In terms of colours, we are normally very strictly bound by what colours we can and can’t use. So we have opened up our brand to experimentation with colour and colour combinations.
The final step was to give over ownership to our staff. We have built in a level of customisation for each of our team with their own imagery, colours and a personalised message on each card. We think this is important because each designer adds a piece of their personality to the work they generate out of the studio. The accumulation of these little elements of personality has shaped and defined the work Nicework is known for. We wanted the new identity to encapsulate this in a small way. We are also able to mimic the colours of our clients so our brand can seamlessly partner with theirs. We wanted to infuse our new messages with some of the Nicework quirk and fun.
The end result of all of this is a brand we are really proud to fill with meaning and purpose over the next 9 years of Nicework. To all our clients and friends, thanks for coming along for the ride with us.
Most often than not, the fear of going to the dentist is instilled in us from a young age. It’s a fear that doesn’t really seem to go away. Mikhail Esipovich’s dental clinic approached the SHISHKI Branding Agency with a brief of creating a visual identity for the clinic focussing on the main goal of standing out among their competitors demonstrating kindness and softness which is otherwise over-run by the fear of visiting the dentist.
The design team decided to create a minimalistic identity which would showcase not only the serious and professional side of the business but also the kind, playful side that can be trusted by terrified little children.
Thinking you’d like to improve your brand? Have a look at our branding article to see how we can create something unique for your brand.
RETROVIRAL IS AN ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY THAT WORKS WITH YOU TO ENHANCE YOUR PRESENCE ON THE WEB. THEY APPROACHED NICEWORK TO REBRAND THEM AS THEY HAD OUTGROWN THEIR CURRENT LOOK AND WERE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE EXCITING TO REPRESENT THE COMPANY THEY HAD BECOME.
When we spoke to Retroviral, one of the biggest challenges for Mike and his team was the fact that because the company grew so quickly that their branding had been cobbled together piecemeal over the years. There was no consistency or unity in their vision or message. They had grown very quickly as a company, and their look didn’t match the what they wanted to become.
This job presented a few interesting challenges. Firstly, Mike really loved his logo and wanted us to rebrand without changing it at all. Secondly, Retroviral is a young, dynamic company that’s always changing and adapting to the market, so they aren’t in a position to have a design firm on permanent retainer to create all their assets. In other words, everything we did had to be set up in a way that was easily adaptable, customisable and extensible. Our final handover would be to a group of people who would know enough about design and the Adobe Creative Suite to not be a danger to our precious brand.
There was some really great insight and brand positioning that we did have room to play with. We had the concept of “retro”, which encapsulates the idea that the fundamentals of communication has not changed with the advent of new digital channels. Additionally, Retroviral had quickly built up a reputation in the market that we did not want to abandon, and we wanted to capitalise on this to facilitate the transition to the new brand.
The initial brief contained the words “do NOT change the logo” – so, being designers, we decided to completely ignore that. We took the “V” element from the old logo content, which was enough of “the old” to use as our starting point and set off.
We approached the rebrand with a fluid identity – an identity made up of a kit of parts. When all the parts are used together, they create the language of the company. So, instead of looking for a list of design deliverables, we worked toward a set of guiding principles. These principles would create a golden thread to tie everything together, and allow us to create an infinitely expandable approach to creating collateral for Retroviral.
We grounded the new identity with a clean modern look, and then came up with a few simple principles to allow Mike and his team to expand the identity across any media:
Principle 01 – Retroviral is clean and modern, but knows how to have fun
The basis of the identity is simple and modern, but there is a lot of room to have fun and introduce new elements. We really wanted Retroviral to have something that, at its core, could stand with them for the next few decades of business. We still wanted room to have fun, play and adapt to all the new and exciting things that come to life in the world they operate in.
Principle 02 – Let’s make it colourful
There is a basic colour palette consisting of light beige, dark beige and black. Each division is extended with one bright complementary colour. We wanted to reinforce the idea of “retro” in our colour palettes, and stuck with the original Retroviral red.
Principle 03 – New > old.
In everything we did for Retroviral, the graphics are mostly new, but always offset with an old world element. We wanted to be very sensitive to not making Retroviral look too old school. Our solution was to use modern elements as the main graphic, and vintage elements as an accent. In our use of vintage illustration, we always recontexualise by deep etching and using colour overlays.
We set the logotype in Avenir, in which we customised the curve of the v, and used Hoefler as our retro accent font.
Principle 04 – We Own The Circle But We Have Friends.
The V from the old logo has been set into a simple red circle. All of our illustrations and graphics use the circle, but it’s not the only graphic we use.
By embracing executional inconsistency, the sum total of all these elements coming together over time will give Retroviral a distinct look and feel. It will allow Nicework, Retroviral or any other designer to extend the brand into new places. (We are still waiting to get our hands onto the Oculus Rift so we can extend our design into VR.)
Most of all, we enjoyed how fun and free the process was. Mike and the team really let us do our thing.
As a nod to the digital bones of Retroviral, we created a responsive logo that could adapt to any print, screen or digital platform. Have a look how the website turned out.
So far, we’ve rolled out the new look across a range of mediums.
Thinking you’d like to improve your brand? Why not take a look at our whitepaper?
I’m here today to show you some sizzling work from someone who is relatively new to the design world. I say this because he’s a student. Yes, I will say it again. He is a student. Seth Gale is currently studying graphic design at Portland state university, kicking ass and taking names while he does it too. Here is a little teaser of some branding that he has produced. I would highly recommend that you go to his personal website to feast your eyes on more of his illustrations, poster/t-shirt design and all round fantastic visuals. Maybe you could take a gander at his online store while you’re at it.
If you would like to learn how to brand like this guy then we could definitely help. Click on lovely little link below and begin the journey
Independent Russian branding agency, Welovescience, loves science, common sense and good system solutions. Their recent branding project for Issma, a high-quality interior decoration and DIY goods store, captures all the intricate details that go into creating a unique and conceptual brand identity. We love how they presented the project to showcase their research, concept development, crafting and scope of work. If this brand doesn’t make you want to initiate a new DIY project, what will?
Nicework revels in unpacking all the elements that make up a good brand – why not take a look at how we approach our corporate design projects?