A few of bd2′s staff been through the doors of Wigan College, indeed our two latest recruits Joe and Josh recently graduated with top-up degrees from Edge Hill and Salford respectively following a year or two at Wigan. Over the years we’ve built up an excellent relationship with the graphic design course leader David Beattie, who took it upon himself to approach us several years ago looking for any help from local agencies. Obviously we’re more than happy to support the College and its undergraduates so we’ve set briefs, attended the end of year shows, provided placements, given advice and critiqued work. Of these, critiques are without doubt the most rewarding and enjoyable.
I’ve just been through a two stage process with five groups who’ve been given the task of re-branding a leading brand. Their choices included BP, Easyjet, Puma, Wetherspoons and Boots Shapers. A few weeks back we had initial meetings in which we discussed the outline briefs, areas for consideration and general direction for each re-brand. Then I’ve spent the morning reviewing presentations of their work. The presentations combined visuals and mock ups with on-screen Powerpoints and videos talked through by each group member to explain their thinking and ideas – which is all good practice for the professional road ahead. And they were all very professional, both conceptually and in execution with some really good ideas across the board. BP introduced a great strapline ‘being positive’ which relates to the brand and tries to redress the recent damage caused by the Deep Water Horizon disaster through a CSR campaign. Wetherspoons sought to bring local identity to the chain by emphasising the pub first, using traditional fonts, woodcut illustrations and some nice ideas for customers. And the Puma brand was extended with ‘P-class’ a new street wear sub-brand fronted by Pharrel Williams and delivered with a striking new Puma head logo which was delivered with some very dynamic graphic treatments.
I was particularly impressed by ‘ESM Creatives’ [Emma, Simone and Melissa] obvious hard work and strong ideas for Easyjet in which they’d tried to move the perception of a budget airline from ‘cheap and nasty’ to ‘good value’ with a positive user experience, no easy task. A striking new logo was consistently and considerately rolled out across branded marcomms, liveries, uniforms, online and even boarding cards. And some fresh ideas to improve the experience for customers were proposed such as ipads for rental during the flight and a simple bag with water bottle, biscuit, pen and pad to bring back a little charm to the passenger’s journey. A series of really excellent bus stop adverts were proposed which used cutaway posters on the glass to suggest locations and travel.
Top of the class though has to go to ‘Three Peas’ [Hayley, Rachel and Heather] who decided to look at Shapers, Boots’ low calorie meal deal brand which seems to have become very tired and forgotten. The team approached the project very thoroughly carrying out in-store research before deciding on a complete re-brand as ‘Hello delightful’. The brand, logo, typography, illustrations, treatments, packaging, advertising and POS are all, well, delightful and would enhance any store shelf. The execution is exceptional throughout with near production level quality across many examples demonstrating real flair, professionalism and a lot of hard work. They even provided my lunch in the new packaging.
Recognition, as ever, has to go to David Beattie for both his mentoring of the groups and his infectious enthusiasm for engaging with industry, which I know is of his own volition. As is his customary ‘thank you’ Chateauneaf Du Pape!