Yesterday, I stopped by Fresa's on Lamar to grab lunch with a friend. While there, I couldn't help but notice how great their branding is. Every detail is beautifully designed, from the signage, to the stickers, to the typography on the window. I love the use of bright colors that capture the freshness of the food they serve, along with the vibrance of Mexican culture. It's bright and fun, but still modern and clean. Both the delicious food and beautiful branding will keep me coming back to Fresa's for more.
Thanks to some great branding throughout the years, Red Bull has become synonymous with all things extreme. In another stunt that's perfectly consistent with that image, they fulfilled three extreme skateboarders dreams by giving them the ultimate playground: an empty waterpark. For one day of the year, the Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, shuts down for maintenance and all the water is turned off. This year, Red Bull got permission for the skateboarders to take over, while creating some draw dropping content that they then pushed out on their social channels. Red Bull is a great example of a brand that's loved because it sponsors people doing what they love to do.
Target's Market Pantry line of groceries recently got a much needed facelift. They have taken their entire line of products and updated the packaging for, what I would say is a much improved, more interesting look. The previous packaging was extremely bland and uninteresting and never made me excited to buy Market Pantry products. As explained by someone on the Target team, "Although the previous design system for Market Pantry was effective at delivering strong value cues and high brand recognition, it lacked personality and was perceived by our guests as generic, boring and low quality. By updating the brand’s positioning to better align with the evolving needs of our millennial guest, our goal was to shift the perception of the brand from a compromise solution to a preferred choice." Target is a brand that consistently produces well-done, interesting design in their advertising and branding, so I think it's great move to elevate all of their products to that standard.
Sonic is preparing an on-site campaign for Coachella later this month, where it will sell completely square shakes that were designed for Instagram and will be available for purchase and instant delivery at the music festival through Instagram. GS&P enlisted chef Christine Flynn (@chefjacqueslamerde on Instagram) to take the Creamery shakes, deconstruct them and put them back together in adorable square shapes. "We wanted to be the first brand, and especially the first food brand, to have a product that was designed for Instagram, offer it exclusively for sale on Instragram, and then deliver that product within minutes of your order on Instagram," says Sonic's president and chief marketing officer, Todd Smith. "We're using the platform to really drive the quality story [of these shakes] in a different way." I love that they are playing off something everyone does, takes pictures of their food on Instagram, and took it to the next level. Everything about the shakes are square, from the glass to the square cherry on top. I love the way these are art directed, with the shots taken from both above and the side angle and the use of color-blocking. It all works together to create a super fun, aesthetically pleasing campaign.
My new favorite account to follow on Instagram is 36 Days of Type. This project is a yearly open call that invites designers from all over the world to contribute their creative interpretations of the letters of the alphabet. I love seeing each creative solution and how many different people get involved. It is some well-timed inspiration as we are working on our type project. It's cool how typography takes something as basic as the alphabet and transforms it into something creative and inspirational.
Created by agency Ogilvy New York for The Webbys anniversary project "The Internet Can't Be Stopped," TypeVoice marks the April 5 open of voting for the People’s Voice award. Users can create their own bespoke font with the sound of their voice, then share their custom words and typeface through animated GIFs as well as download the vector art. Essentially, it's a web application that leverages the best that Chrome and Firefox has to offer, grabbing audio data from your microphone to manipulate the custom-made typefaces in real time. "Using volume, pitch, and other audio parameters we’ve created algorithms around this data to animate each character and make the text come to life," says Rowson. "Because we use different parameters, you get a number of results when you interact with our experience. Yell, laugh, and whistle into TypeVoice and you’ll find yourself surprised."
A Tunisian-French artist known as eL Seed created an intricate mural stretching across more than 50 buildings in a part of Cairo inhabited by garbage collectors. By the time the painting was finished two weeks ago, it stretched across more than 50 buildings, making it the largest public work of art here anyone can recall. The mural, a circle of orange, white and blue in Arabic calligraphy, quotes a third-century Coptic Christian bishop who said, “If one wants to see the light of the sun, he must wipe his eyes.”
The artist said he intended to change popular perceptions of the district, too narrowly associated with squalor, and to celebrate decades of unsung work by its residents who sort and recycle tons of the city’s waste. He has painted large works of distinctive calligraphy in other countries over the past few years, including in Brazil, France and Tunisia, but he said the experience in Egypt, and the reaction, were “overwhelming.”
Snapchat recently released a series of billboards with large graphics that each represent a geofilter for that specific area. Users of the app will immediately recognize these geofilters, so they kind of serve as a little inside joke that only its users will understand. They do a good job of showcasing this fun feature and also giving credit to the people who made the filters. They are also very visually striking. While in San Francisco for spring break, I was in the Mission district and drove past the billboard above. It caught my eye immediately. I didn't realize it was for Snapchat at first, I just thought it was a cool piece paying homage to the neighborhood, but later I recognized the filter while using Snapchat. I like that they kept it subtle; it makes them a lot more intriguing and peaks your curiosity, while also adding to the environment. It's like they are giving the neighborhoods their own unique brands, all powered by Snapchat.
A few years ago, someone showed me this video and it has stuck with me ever since. There are a lot of things I love about it. Not only is Ira Glass' description of this "gap" that creatives face extremely accurate, but the presentation of the video is super interesting. I love how Daniel Sax uses all different mediums to add emphasis to each word, from a floating balloon to a sweaty chest, each scene is inventive and well done. It is also inspiring and comforting as someone who definitely recognizes this feeling of being in this gap where you know you want to create really good work, but your final products don't always match up with your expectation. It is definitely worth a watch and something I think a lot of people can relate to.
As exciting and unique staying in an Airbnb can feel, it also comes with a little bit of risk. As nice as it may look online, the neighborhood can be iffy or it might feel quite as clean as it seemed in the photos. So how could you get the dependability of a hotel with the adventure of an Airbnb? Hyatt asked exactly this question and has created The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Unbound Collection is a curated list of what Hyatt calls "stays," which for now means boutique hotels that are co-branded with Hyatt. A few include the Driskill and a restoration of the Hawaiian resort made famous by Elvis Presley, Coco Palms. These hotels will both advertise and operate as themselves, but they’re presented in marketing as "by Hyatt." The hotels pay a percentage of their revenue to be involved, while Hyatt offers them a customer base, a booking back end, and the sort of purchasing power a business the size of Hyatt can get. Not only is the idea interesting, the branding is too. The release video and website feature these simplified line drawings that are very popular these days, which help contribute to a modern, clean look for the brand. It feels updated and fresh and interesting, which helps elevate this idea of curated stays to the next level. The logo also does a nice job incorporating that same feel with the use of open double lines. To me, design is such an important part of what draws me to a hotel. I think that is one reason users are so drawn to Airbnb, because all the design feels modern and clean and hip, all things you want in a place to stay as well. It will be interesting to see how the Hyatt Unbound Collection develops and if it will impact the large share in the market Airbnb is holding onto currently.