We had an agency meeting last night to catch up on various announcements. Above: Head of Planning Paul Colman congratulates Dude of the Month Guy Featherstone, who was recognised for services to Design and Craft above and beyond the normal call of excellence.
(Guy is taking all this very seriously and turned up at the office today in the Jacket of Honour. He gets it.)
Back to last night, we said good bye to a couple of agency stalwarts: creative directors Chris 'Impossible Dream' Groom and Stuart 'Write the Future' Harkness. Between them they've been responsible for some of our very finest work. Which means they've done some of the best work in the world. They are part of the fabric of this place. Chris has been here 13 years and Stuart has a Wieden + Kennedy tattoo on his leg. We are gutted that they're leaving but we're delighted about where they're going. They're leaving London but they're not leaving Wieden + Kennedy: both will be taking up CD positions at our Portland office.
Chris smashed the leaving speech: he made us laugh, he made us cry.
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe."
He was a very hard act for Stu to follow. But the big fella had prepared a few words.
Following the emotional scenes there was a send-off of epic proportions. During which, in the bottom left of the pic below, you can see another of our departing stars: talent manager Rory Hill, who is leaving us for W+K New York.
Here's Rory from last night again, introducing crowd-surfing to the saloon bar environment.
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.
Oh hi, Hello Neighbour here. You may have seen we’re back again. Yet another pop-up. With another visual treat in our Hanbury Street window.
This time we’ve partnered with local design studio Inventory to celebrate the variety of typography under our neighbourhood noses. The installation showcases, through balance and design, how great it is WHEN THINGS COME TOGETHER.
Spelling out this phrase, Inventory sought out twenty-two letter forms – all visible within a one mile radius of Wieden + Kennedy. They feature on local shop facades, building fronts, pubs and street signs. Some are hand-painted, others made in plastic or carved in stone. In our mobile sculpture, they are beautifully re-crafted and cleverly displayed. Just like our neighbourhood, the installation is eclectic, balanced and ever-changing. The only drawback is how difficult it is to photograph. Here's our latest attempt:
But we didn’t think that was enough. We wanted to do more. So we decided to make something that will live longer than our pop-up initiative will allow. A sort of local, typographical legacy. So Inventory created a bespoke font based on the lettering on the Truman Brewery’s 19th century chimney.
We’ve cut the typeface, Truman Brick Face, now available to all of you, free of charge. You can download it here: www.trumanbrickface.com.
The window is still live and, if you do download the font, why don’t you send us some examples of how you’ve used it. You never know, we may even post one or two on this very blog.
In addition to our Hello Neighbour agency team (KJ, Sophie, Laura, Alex and Brodie), a very special thank you goes out to Inventory Studio for their marvellous brains and beautiful handicraft and to the Truman Brewery for their wonderful letterforms.
HELLO NEIGHBOUR is a creative initiative in which W+K
collaborates with local talent to create installations in our Hanbury Street
window. This Halloween we are launching our first spine-tingling interactive installation, inspired by East London’s dark past.
Whitechapel was once a sprawling slum,
described as “perhaps the foulest and most dangerous in the whole metropolis”. To discover more,
we visited Bishopsgate Institute, which boasts a library full of wonderful
history, with insights into every corner of the area. Here we discovered that Wieden + Kennedy's building stands on the site of a former sewing school for women set up by
Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts.
When her father, founder of Coutts Bank, died in 1822
Miss Coutts become England’s wealthiest heiress. Appalled by the foul conditions
of the East End, she set her sights on improving the area. One of her first great works was to establish
the sewing school for young women who had “turned aside from a path of virtue”.
Here they could be taught, fed, and provided with work. Whilst her work was of notable success, sadly, she could not save them
The ghosts from this area have dark histories that still haunt the streets to this day. The Hello Neighbour Halloween Window evokes the atmosphere of a time much darker than ours but that can still be found, if we just look hard enough.
Founded in 1895, Bishopsgate Institute is a hub for culture and learning. The original aims of the Institute were to provide a public library, hall and meeting rooms for people living and working in the City of London. Today the Institute welcomes people with a thirst for knowledge on the local area with access to their library, collections, courses and cultural events. You can find out more HERE.
Developed in-house by our Creative Technologist Will
Hooke, the instillation is built using OpenFrameworks and uses
Kinect sensor to track the movement of people in front of the window.Working with musician Rose Dagul of Rhosyn, we created a soundtrack to
evoke a haunting atmosphere and entice passersby. As you approach the window,
you might get a glimpse of our ghost.
Come for a closer look, if you dare.
A huge thank you to Willam Hooke, Katie Harrison, Laura Vent, Ben
Hutton, Nico Engelbrecht, Lucy Pearson, Rose Dagul, Alex Rogers, Sophie
Bodoh, Karen Jane, Tony and Kim and all at the Bishopsgate Institute. A special thank you to our resident ghost, Chloe Roseman.
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: email@example.com.
There's a huge climbing wall in the car park across the road from WK Towers. It's part of a campaign for Walkers Crisps. Naturally, various Wieden + Kennedy folks have been compelled to climb it. Because it's there.
Matt, Sophy and Jen today braved the wall in a race.
Matt ended up with a slight overtake over Jen (far left above) and Sophy (far right), but heroic effort by all. These two champs, Jen and Matt, scaled the ridge and survived to wear some rather fetching t-shirts.
Jen was so proud she wore the shirt back to the office.
A quick tour of Wieden + Kennedy's offices in Hanbury Street, London. Shot on iPhone using ToonCamera app. It was early in the morning, which is why no-one's around. Music is East St Louis Toodle-oo by Duke Ellington.
If you're interested in the old buildings of the area, I can also recommend the BBC documentary 'Ours to Keep: Incomers", which is currently available to view on iPlayer. First transmitted in 1985, this film looks at the decaying Georgian houses of London's Spitalfields, the work of local enthusiasts who were (in 1985) carrying out restoration work, and the clash between the preservationists and other, less well-off residents. The house on Folgate Street belonging to Dennis Severs, who is featured in the film, is now a kind of art exhibit/museum that is open to vistors. More info here.