Warriors studio, Graphic Design Festival Scotland posters

Plus, a cute Matisse-leaning festival identity, Warriors studio’s identity for Graphic Design Festival Scotland 2019, and new branding for Duolingo. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

  1. KesselsKramer and Anthony Burrill, No Amazon, No Air

As the fires decimating the Amazon Rainforest rage on it can be easy to feel helpless. In the UK at least, with the news dominated by Brexit and the unmentionable men with the blonde barnets (you know who we mean), it seems the issue isn’t getting the attention it deserves. So creative agency Kesselskramer and letterpress wizard and all round superdude Anthony Burrill took matters into their own hands, creating No Amazon, No Air.

The tome is a single page e-book (no trees were harmed in its making) sold only on the other Amazon (which has its own ethical issues, of course, but we won’t delve into those here). The book discusses the “illegal and indiscriminate burning of the Amazon forest,” say its creators, including “short explainers about what is happening, why it is happening, and how you can help…By purchasing this book you are sending a message that the ecosystems of our planet must be safeguarded.” Royalties from the sale will be split between four different groups working with the indigenous tribes of the Amazon.

2. Graphic Design Festival Scotland 2019 identity

The identity for Graphic Design Festival Scotland 2019 is here—one of our absolute favs when it comes to the design event circuit—and takes on a very, very bold theme: “The meaning of life, the concept of value, and the established mechanisms used in corporate advertising to influence our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” How on earth to communicate that in a visual identity? Pints of beer of course, irony-laden depictions of sunsets and beaches, and a cute dog in a party hat. See what we mean? Cool festival.

According to its organizers and the identity design team Warriors Studio, this year, “the festival is shedding mass and growing into something bigger through the removal of things which are unnecessary or impractical. It’s becoming a lean machine which led us to discussions around utilitarianism.

“While exploring the true meaning of utilitarian we discovered that it means useful or practical rather than attractive, while “maximum utility” means producing the most happiness for the greatest number of people—which seems like a contradiction. This contradiction created the foundations for the 2019 identity.”

3. Sofia Pusa, Ruisrock identity

The last time we dove into the gorgeous work of Sofia Pusa, a multidisciplinary designer based in Helsinki, Finland, was to discuss a rather lovely book by Sami Tallberg, chef, forager, and “biohacker,” Villisienikeittokirja (The Wild Mushroom Cookbook)Now, she’s just completed the visual identity for Ruisrock, the oldest music festival in Finland. This year, the event—sited on Ruissalo Island—celebrates its 50th birthday, and to mark the anniversary Pusa was commissioned to create a new logo design and a set of illustrations for the festival.

“The illustrations draw on the beautiful festival setting in the National Park of Ruissalo and celebrate the closeness of nature and hot summer days at the festival,” says Pusa. The rhythmic logo design with geometric letterforms that still evoke the idea of a calligrapher’s pen plays with the collision of man-made spaces and nature, urban and organic, all inherent in the Ruisrock Festival experience.”

4. Plaey Workshop, Jeremy Deller, and Fraser Muggeridge Studio: record dolly for Hot Chip’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy Album

Plaey Workshop, Jeremy Deller, and Fraser Muggeridge Studio: record dolly for Hot Chip’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy Album

Superb album artwork and type by artist Jeremy Deller and graphics and type wizards Fraser Muggeridge Studio have been used to adorn a new, pretty rad limited-edition record dolly. The dolly was created by Yorkshire-based furniture design studio Plaey Workshop, which collaborated with the band Hot Chip to mark the release of their new album A Bath Full of Ecstasy. Matt Kelly at Plaey Workshop got in touch with the band through Instagram with the proposal, and the project was born.

The design is inspired partly by the “classic Isokon Penguin Donkey, and partly from your everyday record collector’s need to store, access, and display their vinyl,” says Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, who describes it as “simple, functional, pleasing and unique-looking.”  Kelly adds, “Hot  Chip are dream collaborators. Through shared aesthetics and love of color it was a perfect fit. We already have some more Hot Chip-related collaborators in mind for  future Dolly designs—so I hope this will be the start of a beautiful creative process.”
Plaey Workshop, Jeremy Deller, and Fraser Muggeridge Studio: record dolly for Hot Chip’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy Album
The piece previewed at Design Junction at London Design Festival. It can house around 40 records, and will be available for general sale from November.

5. Duolingo rebrand by JohnsonBanks

Agency Johnson Banks has designed new branding for language learning app Duolingo, including creating a new brand narrative, tone of voice, logo, font, and photography style. The London-based studio worked with the Duolingo team in Pittsburgh, and the work is now being rolled out across all physical and digital touchpoints.

“The brand’s visual elements had been built for an on-screen environment and weren’t always coping with the needs of a rapidly expanding product line and growing list of sub-brands,” says Johnson Banks. The team began by drafting new narrative and trial messaging around “what Duolingo makes happen, and makes possible,” says Johnson Banks, through internal workshops, arriving at the tagline “everyone can Duolingo.”

The owl mascot (named Duo), color palette, and illustration world were updated, and a new bespoke font created by foundry Fontsmith, Feather Bold, was introduced. There’s also the logotype, which drew “inspiration from Duo’s feathery form to reflect the company’s quirky personality.”