Category Archives: Articles

London Underground: Typeface redesigned

Monotypes font Johnston is redesigned for the first time since 1979.

Way back in 1916 when it made its debut, ‘Johnston’ has had a number of redesigns and adaptations over the years. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary since Edward Johnston created the typeface.

Its done its job amazingly well, its provided an instantly recognisable face to London’s transport system – but with the ever onward march of technology and increasing demands for use across a multitude of applications, there’s been a need to give it a ‘face-lift’!

Transport for London (TfL) commissioned Monotype to update the typeface without compromising the unique, distinct style that millions of people around the world instantly recognise. A tall order with huge dollop of responsibility, but the need has been there for some time.

Alongside the existing station signage, posters, and importantly the map, digital applications now play a large part in communicating information via a multitude of devices and screens. So Monotype have created two entirely new weights, ‘Thin’ and ‘Hairline’, and additional characters (not originally included when the typeface was created by Johnston) are, you’ve guessed it, the ‘Hash’ and ‘@’.

Overall, the work carried was to include more space in and around the characters, and to include some of the quirkiness, which London is known for, but which TfL felt has been lost through the changes through the years.

The new ‘Johnston100’ typeface will be used across all new brand material, and the new Cross Rail / Elizabeth Line / Purple line which is due to open in 2018 (please hurry that up!!).

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CoOperative identity returns to the 60’s

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The CoOp has re-branded(?) back to its form created in 1968. Design Studio ‘North’ have taken the CoOp back to their 1960s roots.

A number or brands are stripping back their identities, some more successful than others. We’ve recently posted the hugely successful reissues of the NYTA (New York Transit Authority), British Rail, and NASA original identity manuals. So there seems to be a wider move to look at the legacy of brand identities, and peoples emotional ties to the brands, and the trust they had in them in years past. It’s well worth leveraging that trust, and recognition, when in current climate of ‘instant mega-companies’ with huge valuations coming and going in what could be considered a blink of the eye.

The ‘new’ identity and branding will roll out across over 2,000 Co-op stores, and will look to be fully adopted the identity by 2018, with the new design in use across the wider group including the funeral home division by May 2019.

We think this reissue, and return to form should help the business and certainly add value back to the brand. What are your thoughts, and do you think this is a step forward or back?

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Are Clip-Art ‘design crimes’ returning?!

Microsoft offered up ‘bitmap art crimes’ to ‘design-challenged office workers’ from their built-in clip-art library for nearly twenty years – before being pulled… But now they’re back! 

Microsoft killed the library back in 2014, discontinuing Clip’Art’ and pointing people to search for images using Bing instead. This meant an astonishingly high percentage (an estimated 85% of all images used in presentations are stolen from the internet) weren’t even legally available for use! Now 2016, Microsoft have just released a statement saying that they’ve just integrated clip art back into Office and Windows 10 via Swedish image bank Pickit.com…. so users can bring their own individual ‘style’ to Marketing, PowerPoints and Office docs once again!

It goes without saying that clip-art has no place in business. It sounds simple enough, but take care to ensure your business avoids wreaking visual havoc.

Don’t: use inconsistent/generic clip-art, wreck your brand identity with bad imagery, or hope that the picture of a ‘dog in a hat’ will be understood by everyone, even if it is ‘smiling’!

Do: Think about who’s viewing your content, look to visually engage your audience at the business level. Make sure imagery used is relevant, and that it reinforces both your messaging and your brand identity.

We’re here to make sure all of your communications are presented at the highest quality, targeting the right audiences in the right voice. 

Did clip-art in your business ever leave? Any horror stories from the past? Let us know in the comments below

NASA’s Visions of the Future?

NASA’s ‘Visions of the Future’ illustrated poster series:

In its search for Earth-like planets throughout the deepest reaches of space, NASA wonders what it would be like to visit distant worlds. The JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) design studio has extended its initial release of these fantastical posters, additional designs showing what it might be like when visiting them in the future.

Each of the posters is themed using the characteristics of the featured planet, ‘Enceladus’ for example, showing the enormous geysers which cover the surface.

As with many of the series we’ve found, there are favourites – Enceladus, Ceres, and Europa being ours from this set. Let us know which you like the most, and why, in the comments below.

Hi-resolution versions can be downloaded for personal printing on the following link.

Identities in a spin

Laser cut wood logos have been dipped in paint to create exciting in-camera fluid logos, adding a literal spin to existing brand identities.

Photographer Manuel Mittelpunkt and set designer Matthias Grund have collaborated to create a photo series using high-speed photography and some laser cutting expertise.

The collection of ‘liquid brands’ looks to add dynamic motion to well known and instantly recognisable brand identities.

All images are courtesy of Manuel Mittelpunkt and Matthias Grund.

BAFTA Awards 2016 Poster Series

‘Human After All’ creatively directed and designed five posters for the BAFTA Awards 2016. Beautifully styled image-filled silhouettes were created by Hungarian designer Levente Szabó.

Content was inspired by some of the BAFTA nominee films. This must have added some difficulty in choosing which films to use, as some were winners, and some weren’t, all were clearly deserving.

Levente’s illustrations were used across a range of the print material on the night, from tickets to car passes, and brochures to banners.

There’s also this YouTube video which shows how the illustration for The Revenant poster was created. A great series altogether, the team here at Flyte London thought The Bridge of Spies and The Revenant posters were the two stand outs for us. Which are your favourites?