If you've been in the neighbourhood recently, chances are you've stopped by our #conkerkingwindow installation, and hopefully you've had a go too. If not, here's your chance to glimpse how it works in all its sweet 8-bit action.
W+K placement team Adam & Will were given a brief to create a new window installation for our office. Since it’s autumn and all, they decided to bring back everyone’s favourite schoolyard game (conkers!) with a deliciously retro twist. They write:
Do you remember the good old days? When games came with bruises. When everything was in black and white. And everyone wore a hat.
Do you remember the old school days? When games came with joysticks. When the killer app was a Filofax. And the Tories were selling off everything (for the first time).
No, neither do we. But that hasn’t stopped us enjoying our new window installation. We’ve updated the classic British school game of conkers for the modern age (well the 1980s at least), turning the window of our Hanbury Street office into a celebration of an old game and old school gaming.
We’ve taken the hard work out of it and strung hundreds of conkers up on ribbons, ready for passers by to claim. No hunting around in the woods, no wrestling with squirrels; these conkers are ready for war.
There's no downloadable app, augmented reality quirk or projection mapped widget thingy, just good old-fashioned conkers with dashes of 80’s 8-bit glory. Ok, there's also a hashtag #conkerking, but that's only there to help you share your Conker King conquests on conker aficionado forums (and Twitter).
If you’re in our neighbourhood, come down to our office on Hanbury Street and play a game. Feel the energy and exhilaration in every hit, experience the terrible emptiness of near misses, and live every moment on the edge of Conker King glory, knowing defeat is a conker crack away.
The window is open for the next two weeks. Grab a friend, an enemy, or even a safe-looking stranger and get out there and play Conker King.
Play more games.
Massive thanks to all involved. Thanks Iain and Tony for believing in the power of conkers. Thanks Miles Niblett, Victoria Kochowski and David Brodie for pushing 8-bit design to the limit. Thanks Mike Wineck for cornering the eBay conker market and generally just making it happen with the help of new producer Will Smith. Thanks Jason Scott and Joris Philippart for getting us in here to make the thing.
When Chinese design magazine 360 Design got in touch about featuring the W+K London HQ in their Designer at Work issue earlier this year, they took a particular shine to our Real Life at Work window from last year. Thanks to the talent of photographer Paul Barbera, who captured our office on camera earlier this year, our real-life office also manages to scrub up pretty well.
A beautifully bound tome landed on our desks this week. Good to see Blender Man made it in there too.
We've installed a giant fruit machine in our window space that lets you gamble for juice.
For the next month, Lucky Juice will be giving you 'sexy fresh life changing juice' on Hanbury Street.
It's £3 A PLAY (so you don't need to be a high roller), and you WIN EVERY TIME.
But like all good fruities, it's a gamble what you get…
It's simple: Cash in, watch the ingredients line up and DING-DING-DING! Its your juice hit for the day.
Ali Baba Juice + Matcha of Peckham fame are powering the machine, so all the juice is fresh, healthy and 100% delicious. The fruity visuals were designed by illustrator Sam Coldy, the films and photography are courtesy of Oskar Proctor, the sweet sound design by Wave and the animations were the handiwork of Hans Lo. Big up to the W+K Lucky Juice crew of Laura Barker, Toby Treyer-Evans and Laurie Howell for giving us a healthy antidote to all that Easter chocolate.
Come on down to 16 Hanbury Street and take a spin, and spread the word on Twitter and Instgram: @wkluckyjuice #wkluckyjuice
Here's what W+K creatives and window curators Toby & Laurie had to say about the whole thing, "Round here, just like gambling, buying a juice can cost you your life’s savings. So we wanted to make the addiction healthy by creating a fruit machine that, for a few quid, makes getting seriously good juice a big game of chance - pushing people’s taste buds and giving them something to talk about. Our pals Lady Luck and Ali Baba Juice +Matcha couldn’t have been better companions…"
And here's a sweet little bit from Chris Abitbol and Sienna Murdoch, the brains behind Ali Baba Juice: “We're so stoked to be collaborating with W+K as we share a vision of fun and flavourful juice vibes - not just health, cleansing and alkalise - yadda yadda. The idea of fruity gambling paired with Sam's rad illustrations totally hit the nail on the head."
Here at W+K we love optimism, we love chocolate and we love Christmas. So when we were planning this year's Christmas installation for our Hanbury Street window space we thought, why not bring all our favourite things together and share them with our neighbours?
With a bit of elbow grease, a pinch of magic and a lot of copper, we installed a Chocolate Coin Factory in our window space as a way of rewarding our local community for doing a good deed and to bring a bit of festive cheer to our neighbourhood. All proceeds from the installation will go towards a new playground for Millfields Community School, a primary school in Hackney with the smallest outdoor space despite being one of the largest schools in the borough.
The machine, named Dan & Dave's Chocolate Coin Factory after our founders Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, magically transforms a £1 coin into pure optimism – a traditional Christmas chocolate coin with a special W+K twist. When a £1 coin is inserted into a slot, the peculiar copper and brass machine comes to life in a symphony of hoots, stamping and whirling wheels, and a specially designed Wieden+Kennedy gold chocolate coin pops out at the other end.
So if you're coming to the area, empty all those £1 coins from your piggy bank and help these kids get a new playground. Here are a few of the adorable kids from Millfields, who came down to launch the window in style and sing us a few carols:
Millfields Community School is also raising funds for its new playground by releasing a single, "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S", available on iTunes. You can find out more about their fundraising effors on their regularly updated Facebook page.
Thanks go to everyone at W+K who put their time and love into making this machine happen, especially Toby Treyer-Evans, Laurie Howell, Will Hooke, Amy Leach, Vikki Kottler, Nico Engelbrecht, Dannie Stewart, Michael Bow, Karen Jane, Kevin Macey, Rhonda Gardner, Ben Hutton, Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth and Neil Christie.
They invited three agencies (Brave, our fellow 'ditch buddies Mother and yours truly) to collaborate with three feminist figures on a brief to rebrand feminism.
We partnered up with Vagenda, a witty and incisive feminist blog founded by Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett out of frustration with the way women are portrayed in – and expected to conform to – stupid and outdated stereotypes. We'd like to think we know a little bit about the modern woman too, especially through our work with Nike, and together we wanted to do more than just give feminism a shiny new identity. We wanted to turn the issue over to ELLE's readers and open up a debate.
Our idea is simple: led by Vagenda's Sod The Stereotypes manifesto, our call to action encourages readers of the magazine to tear out the corresponding page and write their own statement declaring how they define themselves as a woman, take a snap and spread the word using the #imawomanand hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. The benefits are twofold – readers have an opportunity to state their point of view on an important issue and ELLE has a chance to learn a little more about its readers and their interests.
The conversation also translates to our interactive window display here at 16 Hanbury Street, which naturally features a giant apple. It's inspired by the first line of the manifesto: "I'm not an apple shape...". When users outside the window tweet #imawomanand followed by their statement, they receive a fruit label inspired sticker with their tweet printed on it (thanks to a bit of magic by our creative technologist, Will Hooke), which they're invited to stick to the window, take home, use to change the world – it's up to them. Our installation will run throughout October, while the November issue of ELLE will be on shelves.
A huge thank you to everyone at ELLE, Vagenda and the W+K team: Sanam Petri, Beth Bentley, Karen Jane, Kelly Satchell, Amy Leach, Katie Harrison and Will Hooke.
Ladies: get ELLE, get your marker pens, get down to our window and get involved.
People sometimes mistake our office for a shop, and try to get in so they can buy some of the crap we have littering up the reception area. We have a new sign to deter the shoppers, as Tony demonstrates below.
Have you ever wondered what we really do all day long at W+K HQ, other than shuffling bikes around in our lobby and enjoying alfresco lunches with our clients?
Well now you can see it for yourself through the gloriously monochromatic lens of our latest window installation, Real Life at Work.
Our Hello Neighbour team Karen Jane, Maya Roberts and Amy Leach have collaborated with graphic artist Emily Forgot and Laurie D to create Real Life at Work, a new living, breathing workspace specially created for our window to give the outside world a look at the way we work.
Emily says of the project "I'd been wanting to get a cheese plant into my work for a while so W+K's window proposal provided the perfect opportunity ... which office doesn't have a cheese plant! That aside, I enjoy playing with scale and pattern in my work as well making the mundane slightly surreal, so its was nice to incorporate all my aesthetic leanings into the brief. It was also fun to work with Laurie D who not only brought mechanical elements to the mix but collaborated with me on bringing the space to life. "
Check out Mr Tony D, our 'agency runner', coming up with some pure creative gold in the window.
You can keep an eye on who's working in the window on our live video feed over at www.reallifewk.com, made possible by the industrious Will Hooke, who can be seen here in a very accurate portrayal of the office at the moment – enjoying an ice cream.
If something particularly entertaining catches your eye in our window, take a little snap or a screengrab and think of your wittiest caption, tagging your Tweet with #helloneighbour. The best caption each week will win something truly special: the chance to say you've worked at W+K London (well, at least in our window).
Hello Neighbour is a creative initiative in which W+K extends a friendly handshake to our infinitely inspiring creative community. We regularly collaborate with local talent to create inspiring, jubilant and occasionally spine-chilling installations in our Hanbury Street window.
If you work or live within a one-mile radius of the agency and would like to collaborate with us, the Hello Neighbour team would love to meet you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, it's time to take down our most recent HELLO NEIGHBOUR installation. This was our collaboration with the team at Inventory Studio and in partnership with the Truman Brewery. For those of you who didn't get to see the marvelous fusion of balance and typography in action, here is a little 'making of' film, made for us by James Ward.
So, what happens to the installation now?
Well, each letter will be returned to the source of its inspiration: In January we'll present each establishment whose typeface we have used with the foam letter itself. It really is great when things come together.
In the meantime you can still download The Truman Brick Face font. For free. From here.