This May, WMH’s Design Director Mark Nichols visited D&AD’s new swanky offices as part of the D&AD New Blood jury. He was a judge on the Arjowiggins Creative Papers brief which set out to unite print and pixels, asking how print and digital platforms might form a new, symbiotic, relationship.
The task was to create a campaign, product or service for Sony Music, Facebook or Instagram that reminds digital customers of the power of paper.
Mark was joined on the multidisciplinary jury by Jack Renwick, acting D&AD President, Rob Newlan, Facebook Creative Shop’s EMEA Director and Sean Perkins, Director at North Design, along with a wide range of other creatives from advertising, design and paper artistry.
The work well received, but did it break the mould?
The provisional online round of judging saw 265 entries from across the globe, some underwhelming and well wide of the mark, some entertaining, but off brief, some ‘good’ and a handful that stood out as being truly great.
On the day, the Arjowiggins jury awarded two wood pencils, three graphite pencils and one yellow pencil.
WINNER of the Yellow Pencil: Colorgram is a concept for Arjowiggins Creative Papers that engages Instagram users in real life. It identifies shapes and colours in Instagram posts and transforms them into minimalistic die cut art. Congratulations to Jack Wellesand Danae Gosset, from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.
So what tips does Mark have for creating a winner?
“To start with, it’s imperative to interrogate the brief fully. Not only must your work answer the brief but it must stand out, stretch the brief and turn it upside down and look at it from a new, and relevant, perspective.
It’s unlikely your first answer will be the winning answer (no matter how good you think it is). Chances are, if it comes easily, many other people will have thought of the same solution. Trust me, we saw a lot of the same ideas regurgitated and skinned slightly differently. You have to persist until you’ve created something you’ve never seen before.
Having a proper grasp of the latest technologies, creative platforms, relevant social issues and a thorough and un-biased understanding of the target audience, will also help elevate your entry.
Once all of the above is in place you’re in with a chance. Now, to test if your idea will translate, can you easily and confidently describe it in no more than two short sentences? If it takes an essay and tons of boards to explain your ground breaking creation, the chances are you’ve overcomplicated it and got lost in your own genius.
Of course the one thing all the winners had in common was a great and original idea at the heart of the work.
To get to the higher pencil levels the work had to be well executed and commercially achievable – it’s a lot easier to have a great idea without thinking of its practicalities.
To win you need to have the jury arguing over who’s going to employ you first and be nervous that they’re going to be left behind by the next generation of creative mega minds! Easy right? No. Design is and will remain a challenging discipline, but with the right amount of blood, sweat and ideas your work just may get rewarded with the coveted D&AD pencil”.
This January, WMH senior designer Mark Nichols returned to Norwich University of the Arts as a visiting lecturer. He was teaching on the 2017 D&AD New Blood briefs, one of which he will be judging at this year’s New Blood Awards in April. Mark advised on work across seven different briefs over the two days, as well as finding time to give portfolio reviews on other work created by Norwich’s top students.
“It’s always a pleasure to return to such a great creative institution and not just for the student nostalgia…this year’s New Blood briefs are as exciting and challenging as ever. The brief I will be judging brings into question how print and paper can be used effectively to promote digital platforms. Such involved, topical, subject matter should be the catalyst for some truly pioneering work. It will highlight how design can help the analogue and digital worlds coexist or, better still, form a new symbiotic relationship”
Mark turned student once again, when he was lucky enough to catch David Pearson’s lunchtime lecture highlighting the joys of book jacket design. It further evidenced the recurring theme that print is not dead and, used innovatively, won’t die anytime soon.
Author: Mark Nichols – Designer at Williams Murray Hamm
WILLIAMS MURRAY HAMM DESIGNS STATE OF THE ART INNOVATION CENTRE FOR LAMB WESTON.
Following the creation of a new brand purpose and visual identity for Lamb Weston’s global business, WMH was asked to design the interior of an innovation centre where possibilities become reality.
Lamb Weston, a ConAgra Foods brand, has more than 60 years’ experience as one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products to restaurants and consumers. An industry pioneer, the company planned a new, state of the art, innovation centre with co-creation spaces, fully functioning kitchens, pilot line, interactive areas and a resource for employees; in short a place where possibilities could become reality.
Having already started the building phase for the project, Lamb Weston approached long time collaborating agency WMH in March 2016 to create the overall theme and interiors. The Centre opened to employees on 24 June and to Lamb Weston customers soon after.
WMH had previously helped Lamb Weston relaunch its new global positioning and identity: to be the most inventive potato company in the world. The Innovation Centre would express this purpose and help find new, more inventive ways of collaboration between customers and Lamb Weston staff.
Intended as a flagship Lamb Weston US building, the Innovation Centre needed to be a place that captured the imagination and be worthy of the claim ‘if you dream it, you can make it here’.
Deborah L. Dihel, Ph.D. Senior Director Research and Innovation at Lamb Weston said:
“Our new Innovation Centre is absolutely incredible. WMH was the perfect partner to help us communicate Lamb Weston’s brand promise throughout the building in a distinctive and memorable way. The design elements set the stage as soon as our visitors see us from the street, and their experiences are enhanced further as they enter and work in the space. WMH’s design communicates our history of successful innovation, yet at the same time, inspires all who enter to be futuristic, be inventive and make their potato dreams a reality.”
Using the playful design it had created for the brand identity, WMH produced a fully sensory experience for the many spaces in the Centre. Bright and light, visitors encounter witty and striking wall graphics at every turn. Interactive areas have been created to bring to life the history of the business, its vision and values and to relate employee stories. Breakout rooms inspire new and innovative ways of working together.
On the experience, Garrick Hamm, Creative Director of Williams Murray Hamm said:
“We love working with Lamb Weston. Once again, WMH has been there to help them bring their Innovation Centre to life. Their strength of purpose, reflected in the Innovation Centre design, really encourages their employees and customers to be as inventive and imaginative as they like – the possibilities are endless”.
Since the Brexit vote of 23 June, the press has served us a diet of cascading bond yields, frozen property funds and sliding sterling: a daunting menu, beyond the comprehension of most consumers. But in these times of change, I wanted to reflect on a more palatable subject. One that is a little closer to home for us all – food.
Opportunities in adversity!
Seventy-five years ago Britain faced another crisis, finding itself isolated as an island nation while battle raged across Europe. Prior to the Second World War, the country imported two thirds of its food by sea, approximately 55 million tons a year. But by 1940 the threat posed by German U-Boats, which succeeded in sinking 728,000 tons of produce that year, had reduced imports of food to just 12 million tons. Britain was forced to retool its whole food supply and re-educate its population.
Though Brexit doesn’t pose such a dire and direct threat, Britain still imports over half its food and so remains vulnerable to the vagaries of international trade. Given the Brexit news, this situation is unlikely to improve. A recent study by the National Farmers Union predicted that by the mid-2040s, the country would only be able to produce enough food to feed 53% of its population.
The famous patriotic posters of WW2 told Britain to ‘Dig for Victory!’, ‘Don’t Waste Food’ and ‘Doctor Carrot’ will guard your health. As we consider our next steps in the Brexit flux, maybe there are lessons for action here on how we source and consume our food. Lessons that could help not only improve our own health but also that of the British food industry as a whole.
I’m not advocating the kind of control Lord Woolton, Minister of Food during WW2, had. He had free reign to create and issue ration books whilst managing the UK’s food supply; “making him the envy of nutritionists, dieticians, and indeed anyone interested in the health of the nation, before or since.” But, we could use these economically challenged times of change to improve in three areas:
1) Reducing food waste
The economy is already softening and there is a very real chance we will go into recession. There is a horrible disconnect between the estimated 3 million people in the UK thought to be living with malnutrition or at risk because they do not eat enough, and the 1.9 million tons of food waste the UK is estimated to have created in 2014-15 alone.
In this respect, the Grocer’s “Waste not want not” campaign to reduce food waste is laudable, as are Asda’s £3.50 wonky veg boxes, Waitrose’s policy to ensure none of its food goes to landfill, and the cooperation of many supermarkets with food banks.
Manufacturers too have a responsibility to sensibly apply ‘best before’ dates and consumers need to make better judgements on both the quantity purchased vs eaten, as well as when a food in the fridge is genuinely ‘past it’.
A concerted effort by all parties could drastically reduce the nation’s food and financial waste, but it will take both coordination and education.
2) Buying British
The weakened pound and a general desire for all of us to support the country in our new ‘solo’ quest represents a golden opportunity to celebrate British-grown food and boost our nation’s self-sufficiency whilst reducing our food-miles.
This need not be akin to the somewhat masochistic support my father gave in the 1970s to our failing motor industry by buying a succession of Triumphs & Rovers that simply fell-apart. We have our own delicious cheeses, seasonal fruit, meat, and vegetables together with an explosion of alternative British food & drink brands (think Dorset Cereals, Charlie Bigham’s pies and Fever Tree drinks) that deserve to be more locally and widely consumed as well as exported to our neighbours, near and far.
Food that is produced in Britain should shout it loud(er) and producers should strive to collaborate to create more of the ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ – PDO or ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ – PGI that the EU had previously helped us to sustain.
Clearly buying British will not only keep the money in Britain but may even help insulate British consumers from potential future trade tariffs and a continued weak pound.
3) Improving Food Education
A 2015 study by the ONS (Office for National Statistics), showed that of the £530 the average UK household spends each week, 20% goes on food & drink (including eating out, alcohol and tobacco). While much of the other 80% of the spend (from gas bills to holidays) has a physical impact on us (breathed in as fumes from transport or felt as fibres on the skin), the food budget physically enters our bodies.
In the age of convenience and fast-food, I think we have a lot to learn from our continental neighbours. The perennially slender French take meals very seriously, spending more time eating than their fellow Europeans; two hours, 22 minutes per day in 2010, 13 minutes longer than in 1986. French meals are also treated as a shared experience, with 80% eaten with others.
In contrast, the NHS spends £6 billion a year on diet-related diseases. Britain is “…sleepwalking into a major health crisis because of poor diets among young children” according to a coalition of restaurateurs, food manufacturers and medical experts. The change needs to start with children, as food habits are formed in childhood and a child’s weight and diet has a big impact on their adult health outcomes. This is a cause already gaining momentum thanks to celebrities like Jamie Oliver and his ‘Food Revolution’, but it needs concerted backing and funding to roll it out across the country and to save future generations from a lifetime of poor eating habits and diet-related disease.
Times are very different to the crisis felt during WW2 when only about 2% of households owned a fridge and the country was under a real siege. However, the next few weeks, months and years could see us under a ‘virtual’ siege of pressure to sign the infamous Article 50 and formally sever links with the EU. I personally struggle to see a lot of positive from these turbulent and uncertain times ahead, but if we become prouder to buy and responsibly consume quality British food, well, maybe there’s a little silver lining after all.
Giles Atwell started his career as a graduate trainee with Unilever in 1996 and moved to Cadbury in 2002. He has led commercial, innovation and marketing teams in Australia, Brazil, Singapore and the UK. His most recent successes include Cadbury/Milka Bitesize rollout, two years of double-digit growth in Brazil and Halls Candy global turnaround.
Having lived on 4 continents over the past decade, Giles’ children were becoming a little too well travelled. And so at the end of 2015, he and his family decided to return to the UK and their home in Oxford. He left Mondelez in June and is looking forward to the next UK-based challenge.
When not working, Giles is a keen tennis player, amateur photographer, whisky and wine enthusiast.
With today’s business pressures, we’re so busy dealing with what’s in front of us, that we rarely get a chance to talk about wider matters. This is particularly true of our clients and friends of WMH. They’re a fascinating lot, but we only dig deeper with them when we are socialising or having one of our sporadic events. A lunch with Giles Atwell, during which he spoke about food with such conviction, led to a request for him to write our first guest blog. We’re hoping it will become a regular event on our site. Giles was the kind of client we warm to. During his time on Cadbury’s at Mondelez, he was brave to appoint us to a significant innovation project and we loved working with him and have always stayed in touch. He knows the food industry inside out and we’re flattered he’s written for us.
WILLIAMS MURRAY HAMM WINS D&AD YELLOW PENCIL FOR UK EROTICA BRAND, COCO DE MER
Tonight, WMH was awarded a coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil for its packaging design work for Coco de Mer.
D&AD (Design and Art Direction) is a world renowned British educational charity that promotes excellence in design and advertising. The annual awards as regarded as one of the major events in the creative world and a ‘Yellow Pencil’ is the equivalent of a gold award.
On winning the award, Garrick Hamm, Creative Director of Williams Murray Hamm said:
“I dedicate this pencil to Dick Murray. Once asked, if his house was burning down what would he grab, he said ‘just his yellow pencil. ‘Jelly Man’ would have been out tonight for sure. Also, a huge thank you to Coco De Mer for being such a wonderful client”.
This award continues WMH’s extraordinary year. Having won Gold in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards in January for its work on soft drink JuiceBurst, WMH’s Coco de Mer design has won a Mobius award, ‘Best in Book’ in Creative Review and a Drum Design award.
Luxurious, enticing and empowering, Coco de Mer is where you “explore the exhilarating limits of your erotic imagination”. Online and in their London boutique, they collect and curate only the finest erotica to “inspire exploration, excitement and enjoyment”.
WMH’s new identity for Coco de Mer involved a gently recrafted logo and a changed, more exotic colour scheme of gold and deep red derived from the successful and eclectic store interior.
The most talked about aspect of the redesign was the creation of packaging for a new ‘signature’ range of luxury toys and lubricants inspired by history’s Grandes Dames of seduction.
These feature erotic images of nude women, botanical prints and portraits of three historical figures whose sex lives were notorious: Catherine Howard, former Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, who was beheaded for adultery; Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, whose affairs were portrayed in 2008’s film ‘The Duchess’; and Nell Gwynne, the long-term mistress of King Charles II.
Inspired by the legendary peephole in the original Covent Garden store’s changing room, a small hole in an outer sleeve offers a teasing glimpse of the seductress behind, who looks back knowingly at the viewer.
Lucy Litwack, Managing Director at Coco de Mer said:
“It was an enjoyable and captivating journey to develop our new Pleasure Collection packaging with Williams Murray Hamm and we are delighted that the work has been recognised with so many awards. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with an agency which truly understood our values and developed designs that embraced our vision. Well deserved congratulations to the remarkable team who worked with us on this project.”
The product range is available online and in Coco de Mer’s Covent Garden flagship store.
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As a recovering awards addict, I’ve judged, chaired and entered most creative shows around the globe, but the one closest and dearest to my heart is the D&AD Student Awards.
I was thrilled to be asked back to judge this year’s category ‘Make Your Mark’ and was so impressed with the work that I decided to give up our window space (usually reserved for talking about ourselves) to showcase this year’s nominations. We’ve called it ‘Tuned in to the Future’.
In many ways the Student Awards are more important than those for the professionals. The Pro awards are ‘post’ the event, a pat on the back from your peers. The Student Awards are about the future.
They remind us how to look at life in a different and original way, with a smile, tons of enthusiasm and a spirit that only bright young things can bring.
With more students graduating this year than ever, they need our support and we’re proud to be ‘Tuned into the Future’.