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No. 165: A NASA-powered Astrology App, Rad Mexican Beer Branding, Pentagram London Fashion Week Work + More

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five fab projects from across the world that have impressed us this week. 

For more creative gems along these lines (and so many others) follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

1
London Fashion Week branding, by Pentagram

More dynamism from bright young things Hudson and Powell

“It’s big and it’s bland/Full of tension and fear/They do it over there but we don’t do it here,” quoth David Bowie, speaking on fashion. What does that mean? Only the late great man himself really knows, but heck, we still celebrate it; no more so than twice a year when London Fashion Week hits the English capital.

For its last iteration, in September just gone, the event organizers, The British Fashion Council, turned to Pentagram London partners Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell to create the identity.

Pentagram was tasked with developing a solution that connects three events: London Fashion Week,  London Fashion Week Men’s, and London Fashion Week Festival. That’s no easy task considering that the first two are “primarily aimed at industry professionals where in contrast, London Fashion Week Festival speaks to consumers, looking to engage the general public at large in a celebration of fashion,” as Pentagram explains.

“A key focus while developing the identity was to create a system that provides a coherent voice for the series, whilst retaining the individuality of each event,” the agency continues. “The concept devised by Pentagram employs the use of a graphic system—bespoke and tailored to each season—that utilizes a repeating motif which serves as a linking device between events, evoking a sense of shared DNA.

“This dynamism was woven into the event experience itself, where Pentagram introduced a series of digital touchpoints. These were curated in a way that encouraged visitor interaction with the event space, in the form of selfies and social posts, whilst also serving a series of practical applications. For instance, London Fashion Week’s holographic treatment, which was represented digitally by replicating the identity’s motion behavior, was brought to life on digital wayfinding systems and banners that dominated the event space.”

2
Jijibaba, by Atlas

Futura + Geometry save the day

From all the way over on the little island of Mallorca, the superb studio Atlas has created the identity for a new fashion brand with a rather mystical name: Jijibaba. The label, which launched last month, is the result of a collaboration between British designer Jasper Morrison and Spanish designer Jaime Hayon.

Atlas creative director Astrid Stavro describes the process of creating the identity, communication strategies, and art direction elements as “stimulating, insightful, and challenging”. She adds: “It was more than designing a logo. What we were designing was an ecosystem of designers, each with their own distinct personalities and ways of thinking. One of the brand’s characteristics is precisely that it is a growing community of designers, something that we wanted to highlight visually. It was about finding Jijibaba’s voice—a visual language that would accommodate different styles and names under the same graphic umbrella.”

So what did that mean for the design? Something that aims to achieve timelessness and “unpretentiousness” through a geometric approach—and by using that design stalwart, Futura. “We started tweaking the typeface, shortening the ascenders and descenders, modifying the uppercase letter ‘J’ and making the dots smaller and more circular,” Stavro explains. “This subtle typographic intervention highlights the three ‘tittles’ of the letters ‘i’, ‘j’, and ‘i’, a visual nod to the concepts of community and collaboration. The result is simple and unpretentious yet subtly distinctive, geometric yet warm and playful, functional yet pleasant and joyful.”

3
POMO, Fornasetti website design

Imaginative, elegant, and wild

When is site design like a weird Victoriana kaleidoscope? When it’s designed by POMO, an art direction and graphic design studio from Milan, Italy, that’s when. The studio’s latest project is the website redesign for Italian luxury home furnishings brand Fornasetti. According to POMO, the whole website is “displayed as a theater… designed as an immersive experience, a digital beauty that surprises and conquests.” A site that conquests is a pretty unusual concept—just like the design itself.

Pattern, color, and swirls abound, aiming to be a “perfect web translation of Fornasetti’s eclectic spirit,” POMO explains. “The homepage emphasizes the imaginative and elegant style of the brand through a unique combination of the latest technologies with a touch of the artisanal values that characterized Fornasetti’s production for decades.”

4
Olympica, by Futura

“An emblem of monumentality and achievement.”

For those readers lamenting the loss of our weekly booze branding-focused Happy Hour column, here’s a littler snifter of great alcohol designs for you. Mexico-based agency Futura has created these bold monochrome identity and packaging designs for Olimpica, a new artisanal Mexican beer. According to the agency, the designs are “centered on showcasing the product as an emblem of monumentality and achievement.” It adds: “In both its tap and bottle presentations, we’ve used monolithic elements to convey empowerment and heroism throughout every effort in the design and communication of the branding.” Looks and presumably tastes delicious.

5
Co—Star

The AI astrology app is finally here!

“Millennials no longer believe in religion, in marriage, in bar soap, in Applebee’s,” posits Banu Guler, the co-founder of an app that is so gloriously up our street that it’s right in our kitchen. What IS that app, I hear you wail? Well, it’s Co—Star, a new astrology app that taps into our collective quest for meaning and spirituality, with added input from NASA.

“We use data from NASA to get the precise position of all planets, which lets us deliver very accurate horoscopes as the planets move,” co-founder Anna Kopp explains. According to the developers, the app “uses a natural language generation engine to produce dynamic content personalized to a degree unattainable elsewhere.” Stellar. 

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