On the side, after hours, when his two adorable kids are asleep, W+K designer Greg art directs, designs, art works and pretty much completely produces an art culture magazine called VNA (Very Nearly Almost).
[Greg with Shepard Fairey, Cleon Peterson and VNA's Roly]
Last Saturday, Greg and another member of the VNA team hopped over to sunny LA to launch the latest issue at Subliminal Projects on Sunset Boulevard, the gallery owned by artist Shepard Fairey.
The cover artist for the new issue is Cleon Peterson, the lead designer for Shepard/Obey, who is blowing up in his own right these days with art fans and collectors alike. Cleon, Shepard and a handful of LA artists made the trip to the launch and helped make it a memorable event.
Sound like fun? You’re in luck – the VNA team will be launching the issue in London at Number Six Dray Walk (in our 'hood, just off Brick Lane) next Thursday evening, 26th February. All are welcome... come on down!
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers don't work at W+K, but if they did, today they could be singing that song, because on this hot Thursday, our very own ice cream van turned up to relieve us of the heat.
Here's how it works: 1. You pick up your ticket from reception.
2. You go to the van.
3. You experience ice cream joy.
So who's behind all this goodness? None other than the newly founded W+K Culture Club, who chose this much appreciated stunt to announced its arrival into agency life today with the sweet sound of ice cream van chimes.
This is just the beginning though, with live music events, quizzes, a good dose of dressing up and lots of other surprises in the pipe line, the CC crew plan to add to the already infamous Founders' Day, Summer and Christmas events and see more smiles on WKers' faces all year round.
The Culture Club is open to input from all so let us know if you have an amazing idea and if it rocks, we'll make it happen.
Monday saw a day of celebration for our Forever Curious project. Following an inspiring series of 'my creative spark' card creation sessions and spark card workshops with pupils from Millfelds and Newport primary schools, we held an exhibition of the work we've been creating together over the past couple of months, at The Rag Factory, just off Brick Lane.
The photos that follow were taken by our talented WracK Edit Assistant, Lainey Richardson.
Our buddies and their teachers joined us in the afternoon to check out their very own private view of the exhibition. We all sat down to share our stories of creativity after exploring installations of spark cards, robots and super hero drawings created by the kids and W+Kers, as well as photographs documenting the workshop day. The schools were also treated to a special screening of a short film we created to capture a day bursting with creativity, naturally accompanied by some popcorn to really set the cinema scene.
At the end of each session, the participating children were given an official certificate celebrating their "sparkiness" and a scrapbook to help keep those creative sparks burning brightly.
We loved having the chance to spend some time with our buddies again and see the exhibition through their eyes.
The feedback we received from pupils and adults alike was a testament to the incredible thought, energy, care and passion that the Forever Curious team have dedicated in to the project over the past month.
We'll leave you with the delightful manifesto that accompanied the exhibition, crafted by Creative Directors Dan and Ray.
On Friday, two groups of W+Kers reunited with schoolchildren from Milllfields Community School and Newport Primary School at Chats Palace, Homerton, for the next installment of our Forever Curious workshops.
Over the course of two carefully crafted sessions inspired by some of our Spark Cards, kids teamed up with W+Kers to explore a series of workshops designed to encourage them to think creatively and let their imaginations run free. We created superhero versions of ourselves, played with parachutes, arranged flowers and created play dough sculptures.
It’s safe to say we W+Kers were humbled by the talent, insights and enthusiasm of our young buddies, who schooled us in rainbow looming, 80s hip hop and YouTube bloggers, amongst many other things.
The sheer amount of creativity, fun and joy we all experienced is hard to capture in words, so here are a few pictures from the day.
We’re really excited to see the results of our workshops come to life in an exhibition later this month. Watch this space!
Last Friday the sun shone down as the whole agency set off to have some fun and raise some funds in memory of a very dear colleague and friend, Cheryl Rogers.
Cheryl was a huge part of Wieden+Kennedy, working with us for 12 years. She threw herself into absolutely every thing that she did with passion from her early days on Nike, to her time spent in the Shanghai office, touching pretty much all our clients in one way or another during her time with us. She contributed a huge amount personally and professionally to W+K and helped make us the agency we are today.
Cheryl joined as an AM and was a Group Account Director by the time she passed away, growing up with us as the agency grew in size. Her positivity, kindness and enormous sense of fun made her much loved by everyone around her and made lots of us incredibly proud to call her a friend.
We wanted to get together as an agency to do something to celebrate her life, to get everyone together and have some fun; just the way that Cheryl would have organised.
And we also wanted to do something useful. Cheryl was cared for exceptionally well by St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney. We were humbled by the work they do every day for so many people and wanted to raise some cash to help them continue to deliver such an amazing service to those in need of it.
So last Friday we launched the first annual W+K WALK – setting off around the East End where Cheryl lived (and visiting some local pubs) for a 10 mile walk in the sunshine. We donned specially designed colourful T-shirts and set out in the bright spring sunshine to explore Hackney a bit. We are proud to say we raised over £24k in doing so.
We were touched by the number of donations we received from friends and family, clients, partners and even people who passed us on the street. We are pleased to have created an event which has raised so much and also felt so fitting - Cheryl would have loved every minute of it – we hope it's the first of many.
Thanks very much to every one who donated and everyone who took part. If you would like to donate to St Joseph's, so you can here:
A post on the excellent Spitalfields Life blog (which, as the name suggests, covers aspects of life in the area local to our office in London’s East End) caught my eye and I thought its contents might be of interest to readers of this blog.
The Gentle Author writes:
The London of Borough of Shoreditch existed from 1899 until 1965. Yet although it ceased to be a political entity long ago, thanks to the official guides preserved in the Bishopsgate Institute, we may do our Saturday shopping there – especially if we are in line for some quality cabinet-making, upholstery or bedding.
Here (below) are some of the ads reproduced on Spitalfields Life. Interesting to see the kind of work that was being produced back in the day by local agencies in ye olde Shoreditch.
Normans have some lovely British made shoes:
Nice art direction with a hint of art deco (below) for BBB. Prams and "motors"? I wonder what kind of motors.
Kumfysprung upholstery is available in " a fine range of velours".
This one (below) gets creative with typography: see what they did there? Also loving the obsequiousness of the phrase, "we should like the opportunity of quoting you in order that we may prove the truth of our statement".
The Uriah Heepitude of the copywriting continues in the example below with the splendid phrases, "I would esteem it a favour to receive your enquiries... Get my prices first, it will be to our mutual benefit". I'd love to see language like that being used by We Buy Any Gold.
Great strapline (below) from Hobdays, "It's better to oblige than to apologise." For when you really can't wait for your motor, cycle, radio and electrical supplies.
"One quality only - the best." You can't argue with that.
Nor can you argue with the sentiment, "beer is best".
Here at W2O we have in the past referred to the old rhyme that provides advice to agencies struggling with difficult clients.
When the client moans and sighs Make his logo twice the size If the client still proves refractory Show a picture of the factory Only in the gravest cases Should you show the clients’ faces
The agencies of olde Shoreditch apparently had some refractory clients, as quite a few of these ads show pictures of the premises. Look at these impressive glass works:
Here are some splendid tea warehouses, should you need to avail yourself of warehousing for your tea supplies.
This one (below) uses an interesting shot. There’s a suggestion that B. Webber was so proud of his car that he went for an odd crop of his shop so as to include his motor in the picture.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the digital world suddenly jumped out of our screens and became physical? If you could "like" street art or watch the unread mail count ticking over on a letterbox? Enter Real Life Notifications, a new art project by W+K creative Artur, which translates the iconography of notifications from popular social platforms into the real world.
Artur and a few of his friends got together and posted notification icons around town – from Gmail to Instagram and from front doors to street art, the simple idea cleverly blurs the line between our digital lives and our physical ones.
Artur tells us a bit more about the inspiration for the idea:
"This idea came to me one day when I was looking at ROA’s Street Art in East London and I wondered what was happening with it on social media? How many people took a picture and shared it on Instagram? I shared the idea with a couple of friends and we decided to make it happen and push it further to other digital platforms and have some fun."
Look out for some notifications when you're out and about in Shroreditch, and keep an eye on the Tumblr page for more: www.reallifenotifications.tumblr.com. You can even share photos of them on your social channels and get notifications about your notifications. Meta!
Oh look, it's our office! Yikes, looks like it's time to tackle those LinkedIn requests...
Living in the (post?) digital age, the lines between real life and digital are getting fuzzy. How many times have you tried to unlock a door with your Oyster card, swipe through a magazine or wish you could Google something you've misplaced? Well W+K placement team Guus and Tayfun have brought the digital and analogue worlds together for real, with a clever new street art project that gives a little wink to design geeks.
Their new 'Street Eraser' project sees Guus and Tayfun 'erasing' London with a real life Photoshop eraser. Anyone who's used the software will recognise the grey and white checkerboard pattern, and we rather like the idea that it's hiding under the surface of everything around us.
Now if we could just erase the clouds, do a blue paint bucket job on the sky and tweak the colour temperature a bit, London would look mighy fine all year round.
Keep your eyes peeled if you're out and about, there's a lot more set to disappear in London.
Artist Phlegm has a solo show in an empty shop / gallery just round the corner from WK Towers. The space has been filled with depictions of odd beasts and bizarre experiments. Like Where The Wild Things are meets The Island of Dr Moreau. Worth a look.