What makes great advertising and design? The answer lies with the winners of this year’s Applied Arts Creative Excellence (AACE) Awards, all profiled in this issue. They’re deemed AACE winners for receiving the most amount of votes from our judging panels in their respective disciplines (Photography, Illustration, Design, Advertising, Interactive and Student) during our 2013 awards season. The winners, announced at a gala event in November 2013, range from big-name agencies creating immersive multi-platform campaigns to emerging student artists…Read more.
Vancouver’s design scene just got a lot cooler with the addition of Brief Studio, run by husband-and-wife graphic design team Thomas Albrighton and Banafsheh Pourpezeshk.
The couple met while attending OCAD University, which remains one of their clients. Albrighton and Pourpezeshk worked at several agencies before opening their own practice. They now offer a range of services including brand identity development, digital experiences, art direction and packaging.
Brief’s minimalist promotional pieces, pictured below, are studies in the hypnotic use of neon colours. Business cards are textured with the studio’s blind-embossed logo, and screen-printed promo calendars employ a graphic, linear scheme.
Check out the brand identity project Brief completed for Goo Media, a digital creative agency based in Vancouver.
If what’s happened in war-torn Syria had taken place in a Western country, would we have taken more notice?
That’s what the harrowing new ad from Save the Children UK suggests. UK agency Don’t Panic developed the charity’s “Most Shocking Second a Day Video,” which has reached over four million views in 24 hours. Save the Children aims to bring awareness to the plight of children affected by the Syrian Civil War, which has killed over 100,000 people and displaced more than four million residents. The spot shows one-second snippets of days in the life of a London girl over the course of a year. She celebrates her birthday with family and enjoys carefree moments at the playground before the video slowly starts to show her in the war-torn streets of London, bombs exploding around her. The girl ends up starving and without a father, ringing in her next birthday as a refugee in a tent.
The spot ends with a chilling message: “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”
We have another digital experience for you on The Wire today, this time from the Royal Canadian Mint and marketing agency Cossette, for the Mint’s “Au Coeur de l’Arctique/Heart of the Arctic” website commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first Canadian Arctic Expedition.
The interactive site features a game aimed at kids aged 6 to 11, with superb visuals that possess a hand-drawn quality. The site’s launch coincides with the Mint’s release of four limited-edition quarters celebrating the expedition, which took place from 1913 to 1916. During this period, two parties set off into Canada’s northern and southern arctic to discover new land and record data about the regions’ topography, wildlife and people.
In the online game, users become explorers who need to restore the balance of daylight and twilight in the Arctic by hunting for the Mint’s four commemorative coins hidden throughout the interactive Arctic landscape. Along the way, kids can collect dozens of artifacts scattered throughout the game; each artifact is clickable to access additional information and history.
The Mint also revamped its popular Catch-a-Coin mobile game, available for iPhone and Android, to tie in with The Heart of the Arctic.
Avid readers know it’s easy to get lost in a book. Now they can continue that immersive experience long after turning the last page with The Echo Project, a page-by-page digital companion to Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel And the Mountains Echoed.
The massive online effort, administered by Penguin Canada and Toronto digital agency DARE, includes an interactive screen for each of the 402 pages in Hosseini’s book. Some pages are animated interpretations of events in the novel, some include puzzles, and still others contain historical facts or video reenactments. Hosseini himself provides exclusive audio content on select pages. On every screen, users can find the “page inspiration” button, which highlights a relevant passage from the book. An interactive table of contents allows users to search by page, chapter, contributor or type of media without having to move through the book chronologically.
Several pages are still unfinished, allowing for fans to submit their own ideas on what they’d like to see included. Media personalities, magazine editors and artists visualized the concepts for other pages — see CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi’s interpretation on page 104, and an idea by Chatelaine’s Laurie Grassi on page 233.
Gone are the print ads with milk-mustachioed celebrities asking if we’ve “Got Milk?” as the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) unveils a $50-million print, TV and digital advertising campaign called “Milk Life.”
The California chapter of MilkPEP retains the familiar “Got Milk?” phrase, popularized in the mid-1990s. The remaining branches of the American organization — which is funded by milk companies — have partnered with New York agency Lowe Campbell Ewald to develop new branding focused on how milk fits into our everyday lives. The new ads highlight the importance of milk as a protein source (there are eight grams of protein in every cup).
“We love that ‘Milk Life’ has a powerful double meaning,” says Julia Kadison, the interim CEO of the Milk Processors Education Program in a release. “It’s about wringing every last drop out of every single moment, and it represents a way of living where milk helps power you to be your best.”
The ads feature active kids and adults performing their daily activities, which are enhanced by the contents of a glass of milk. A milk cape billows behind a child jumping off the couch; a break dancer leaves a trail of milk in his wake.
In an effort to build a more relatable brand for a younger audience often swayed by the multitude of dairy-free options on the market, the online portion of the “Milk Life” campaign encourages social media interactions through story sharing, recipes and tips from dietitians.
By Suzanne Pope
Any competent art director or designer understands of the importance of white space, of not cluttering up a layout just because the space is there. Good writers understand this, too. If a headline thought can be expressed in eight words, they won’t write fourteen. And if a radio script is too long to allow for moments of silence, a decent writer will know that it’s time to start trimming.
But there’s another kind of white space that deserves at least as much respect. It is a space that exists purely in a consumer’s psyche. It is the space that can be successfully filled only by that consumer’s desires, fears and ambitions. It’s the space that invites consumers to be participants in a message, rather than mere audience members.
To be clear, “participation” in this context does not mean forwarding a viral video or clicking “Like” when a corporate brand page asks, “Aren’t you glad it’s Friday?!” (It’s far from certain that all the clicking and forwarding translates into business success anyway).
Coming up with a brand identity was a measure in opposites for Umbra Telegraph Pictures, which provides financing to independent producers for commercial films, documentaries and TV series (look for Umbra’s most recent project, Our Robot Overlords, starring Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, out later this year).
The company called on marketing agency Zync to develop a “vintage futuristic” look for its business cards, website and vanity plate, which is the industry name for a movie’s opening production logo sequence.
To achieve the desired animation for the vanity plate, Zync opted for an Old Hollywood–style font, an antique-coloured Earth landscape and a propeller-equipped rocket ship blasting off into a vibrant celestial sky — a stunning visual of old meets new.
Check out the collateral and vanity plate below.
Here’s a straightforward, effective campaign from Montreal agency Les Évadés. If you had any worry about the state of the printing industry, fear not — it’s alive and thriving, as evidenced by these ads for The Printability and Graphic Communications Institute.
Printing is all around us, says Jack Latulippe, the creative director at Les Évadés. He says the purpose of the campaign is to promote the printing industry as a viable field for trained professionals — the hype surrounding the “death of print” has had a negative effect on the number of people considering printing as a worthy career.
“The proof is that we tend to forget the presence of printed material in our daily lives, even though we are constantly surrounded by it,” says Latulippe. “The campaign clearly expresses that these ordinary items have much less value without proper packaging.”
For five years, Montreal design shop lg2boutique has partnered with La Vittoria, an annual gastronomic gala in Montreal that raises money for a different charity every year.
In 2013, that charity was the Regroupement de Cuisines Collectives du Quebec and its Hochelage-Maisonneuve and Montérégie locations. The “collective kitchen” concept is prominent throughout Quebec; the province has 17 RCCQ outposts dedicated to “food autonomy” — also known as access to healthy, affordable food. These collective kitchens show members the basics of cooking and how to share ingredients to keep costs down.
The collateral for the event included signs, programs and a website, all highlighting the theme “Racines” (“Roots”). The idea of back-to-basics cooking and food sourced from the ground is reflected in the use of root vegetable graphics. In keeping with the theme, the programs illustrate the French origins of Quebec cooking by highlighting chefs César Troisgros and Éric Gonzales.