Daniel Weil likes to take overexposed objects and look at them afresh. His latest design for cashmere label Oyuna is Cashmere To Keep, a gusseted container bag with a folded closure that is secured with elastic. The shopping bag format has been automatically produced for over a century but Cashmere To Keep reinvents that format, removing handles and adding a foldover crease, allowing customers to open and close it like a box but carry it underarm like a bag. The crease is angled to reflect the angle of the ‘y’ on the Oyuna logotype.
Domenic Lippa and his team have designed a unique luxury Christmas gift for Glenmorangie, the single malt scotch whisky.
The gift celebrates the tradition of “First-Footing” practiced by households across Scotland and the north of England on New Year’s Eve. The “First-Foot” refers to the first person to cross the threshold of the home after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay as it is know in Scotland. Traditionally the “First-Footer” brings gifts of coal and whisky; the coal symbolises the desire for the receiver’s home to be warm and safe for the coming year and the whisky is for toasting the future.
“Lang may yer lum reek” is the accompanying toast, meaning “long may your chimney smoke” to wish prosperity for the coming months.
Can good design rescue fast food? That’s one of the questions posed in The New York Times Magazine’s fourth annual Food & Drink issue, out this week. This year’s issue is themed “Everything You Wanted to Know About Food (But Didn’t Know Whom To Ask).” Times business reporter David Segal asked Pentagram Austin’s DJ Stout about his recent rebranding of Popeyes and how graphic design can change the perception of fast food.
From the Times:
In late 2008, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits changed its name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. One by one, its more than 2,000 franchises worldwide are ditching their bright blue-and-yellow color scheme in favor of richer shades of red and orange. The new takeout box features those hues and a new, more refined logo, which includes the fleur-de-lis, which is ubiquitous in New Orleans.
The company has said the changes were made to emphasize the brand’s Louisiana heritage and to appeal to younger diners, but the makeover also had the effect of making the food somehow seem more healthful. Was that a goal? “Yes,” says DJ Stout, who oversaw the rebranding for the design firm Pentagram. “At the beginning of any redesign, you have lots of conversations with the owners, and a big part of the packaging assignment was to make the food look healthier.”
Pentagram has performed this trick for more than a few chains, including Ruby Tuesday, Chicken Now and Bobby’s Burger Palace. In each case, the design consultancy favored uncluttered surfaces, strong colors and bold lettering. The results leave diners with the sense that there’s something intelligent about the packaging, and by extension, the restaurant and its food.
Greg Vojnovic, Popeye’s vice president of development, says, “We wanted to convey freshness, authenticity, real food, fresh food.” And it seems to have worked. Since 2008, Popeyes says, the company’s share of the fast-food chicken market has risen by three percentage points, to 18 percent.
Saks Fifth Avenue has long been a destination for sophisticated shoppers. The store’s new fall campaign, which launched last week, emphasizes Saks as the place to go for fashion, both at physical locations like its New York flagship, and online. Organized around the tagline “@ Saks”—the store’s Twitter handle—the campaign highlights messages directing shoppers to Saks’ website and social media platforms.
Working with Terron E. Schaefer, Saks’ group senior vice president for sales and marketing, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona have created a stylish identity and series of shopping bags for the campaign. The team developed a signature “@” symbol that evokes the Saks brand identity previously developed by Pentagram—and uses the only piece of punctuation in MoMA’s permanent design collection.
For the last 10 years Pentagram’s Angus Hyland and Cass Art have worked together to shake up the traditional art materials retailer with a completely different approach to selling and design. Cass Art are now launching their first product range of pads. Their immediate and aspirational styling exemplify Cass Art’s mission to ‘fill this town with artists’.
Harry Pearce and his team have worked with Sk:n, the experts in skin health and beauty, to develop the packaging for their new range. The central approach behind the packaging style is the establishment of the efficacy of this range of beauty products.
Like many designers, Pentagram’s Daniel Weil uses sketching to visualize, generate and refine his ideas. Weil has, by his estimation, more than 375 sketchbooks, going all the way back to 1978. In a new short film directed by Nicolas Heller, Weil shares some of his recent notebooks and talks about how drawing helps him link ideas from subjects as wide-ranging as Kandinsky and vacuum cleaners, inspiring new forms and objects like his recent Clock for an Architect. Seen in the film are sketches for Weil’s work for Mothercare, Benetton, the Israel Museum, United Airlines and the Savoy Hotel.
“In a way the books become both a diary and record for my thoughts: the things I see, the things I think about, and the designs I’m designing,” says Weil. “Drawing is a designer’s most fundamental tool; it is design thinking made visible.”
This week culminates in the shopping free-for-all known as Black Friday, the kickoff to the holiday shopping season that accounts for over half of annual retail revenue. This fall, facing a challenging and somewhat uncertain economic climate, retailers have looked for novel ways to encourage shoppers to visit their stores. For its fall campaign, Saks Fifth Avenue has launched a promotion that declares—in a characteristically straightforward New York manner—“I’m Going to Saks,” and makes the trip to the store an occasion.
Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Jennifer Kinon worked on the campaign with Terron E. Schaefer, Saks’ group senior vice president for sales and marketing. The team previously developed the store’s spring campaign, which playfully asked shoppers to “Think About…” offerings in various product categories like shoes, jewelry and outerwear. The new campaign is one of action. In advertising and on catalogs, the tagline “I’m Going To” appears in stylish black-and-white arrows pointing the way to the Saks logo, accompanied by declarations like “I’m going to Saks… because some biker chicks have a soft side” and “I’m going to Saks… for everything I want and nothing I need.” These appear alongside photographs by Anders Overgaard of models in motion using all forms of transport: taxi, skateboard, ski lift, hang glider and even crutches. (The fall catalog features supermodel Karolina Kurkova on a Segway; a dog sled appears on the cover of the holiday catalog.) On special shopping bags created for the campaign the arrows appear in a pattern inspired by the identity Pentagram designed for the store in 2007.
Angus Hyland and his team have designed a limited edition box set of Cass Art gift vouchers each including a hidden free gift. The vouchers are emblazoned with the Cass promise alongside their value and will make an ideal Christmas present for London’s artists. The box cover features a quote by Emile Zola. Gift voucher boxes are available from any of the five Cass Art stores.