Exchange of ideas
Founder of Moving Brands, Ben Wolstenholme, and Simon Browning have been discussing the Brand for London project. Simon was a founder of North design studio in London where Moving Brands collaborated with him on identities such as Telewest, Carat and Land Registry. Later he left for Japan to start his own studio Hester Fell who are doing great work. Simon is our good friend and neighbour in our Tokyo studio.
On involving the community:
SB: Unsure as to why any designer/group would wish to overly engage the general public. However, I understand you are ‘demonstrating’ a new methodology to a brief that is ‘theoretically’ about society/community – so as long as the community component is used to ‘inform’ the design process rather than be ‘shaped’ by it then your approach works.
SB: Regarding design don’t confuse ‘simplicity’ for ‘singularity’ – I believe what is required is the latter – finding a method to ‘retire’ the other GLA identities and substitute them for a common image would in itself help communicate the notion of a single body backing a single goal and at the same time provide effective focus for a PR story.
BW: Great idea, step one reduce to one identifier, clean the system out – be confident – do we need a logo, we know what London is.
SB: Not sure buses/taxis/underground symbols/buildings are a good template to move forward from – they are only iconic because of time and context – the reason designers and more specifically ‘design directors’ start from ‘familiarity bases’ is because they want to win the project – if MB develop an approach of not winning I guarantee an increase in creativity – I respect the London Olympic identity for it being non referential – that doesn’t mean to say I like it.
BW: With you again. Also have high regard for the Olympic departure from both city aspects and previous Olympic marks – sporty figures prancing around etc – and the interest in this is thanks to how contentious the 2012 logo is.
However I was thinking about the big difference between a logo on a sign and what people want to wear as London tourists buying merchandise e.g. I love NY is great for t-shirts, hence my sketch this morning, ‘Love’ …v cliche and potentially meaningless (bar The Beatles) but could be a cool t-shirt.
SB: Had the same thoughts – ‘where would people actually engage with this’ – a logo, a campaign, or just a mechanism to unify – I guess that’s where I Love NY works – suspects it also works as fashion kitch cool – a visitor to the city buys the t shirt and takes a way an authentic little piece of NY as a memory – very difficult to replicate ‘authenticity’
SB: With enough exposure you can communicate anything – I touched on this with Aki (Creative Director of MB Japan) – with enough media coverage (such as Obama Campaign) its a lot easier to improve awareness of the identity – the unconventional design of Britain’s Olympic logo was perhaps its strength since its public awareness increased hugely
SB: I think you shouldn’t overlook some of your great work – you created this with strong creative teams, working to briefs and I don’t feel you really need ‘public engagement’ to do what you do best – for me MB should just do what MB do best – imagine you have a client and you like them, and they trust you and they want something not seen before – try that
BW: Thanks, we could rock through this one given a remit and some trust
SB: For me this is it in a nutshell – your absolutely right, and it would be great too – LOOK TO YOURSELVES!