The whole agency set off in bright t-shirts last Friday for our annual walk in memory of the lovely Cheryl Rogers. One of our GADs and long serving W+Ker, Cheryl played a huge part in agency culture and we miss her terribly since she passed away from cancer in January last year.
Every year we take a Friday afternoon to get out of the agency, get to know each other a bit better, drink some pints and take a stroll round the east end where Cheryl lived. Something she would have loved doing. We were touched to be joined this year by Cheryl's dad, step-mum and some family friends; some of whom made the journey all the way from New Zealand to be with us. The sun shone, we got a bit drunk, we had fun. It felt like Cheryl was smiling with us every step of the way.
It was the second time we've walked for Cheryl and once again we did it to raise some funds for St Joseph's hospice. They are a truly special organisation who took brilliant care of Cheryl in her final days. Every year they help look after over 1,500 patients as well as offering much needed support to family, friends and the wider community surrounding the hospice. The work they do there is humbling and we're so pleased to be able to do something practical to help build awareness of it and generate donations to help fund it.
Big thanks to everyone who walked, everyone who has donated and the Approach, Crate Brewery, The Peoples Tavern, Royal Inn on the the Park, the Pub on the Park and of course the Golden Heart who looked after us brilliantly and were kind enough to act as collection points; letting us put posters up and collection tins on the bars. It was a brilliant day Being More Cheryl.
We were all devastated to learn of the recent earthquakes in Nepal, but we're pleased to hear that a few members of our Portland family have come up with a fantastic way to put their creativity to use and help people donate to relief efforts.
You can do your part to support by purchasing some beautifully designed posters from a dedicated site. All proceeds will go to Mercy Corps (although the posters were developed independently of the organisation).
Take a look at the beautiful posters designed by nick Ostini and Raina Jungat at W+K Goodness and support the relief fund if you can. It's a really lovely way of donating and receiving a token of appreciation, and the great news for all of us abroad is that the posters can be shipped internationally.
A few months ago, W+K creatives and animal lovers Jason and Joris had an idea for using social media to help save endangered species. So we put together a crack team of W+Kers and picked up the phone for a chat with WWF, an organisation we've always admired for its incredible conservation work.
Thankfully, WWF loved it and even agreed to change the organisation's iconic panda logo to a panda emoji. Fast forward to today and we're proud to announce the launch of our global social campaign with WWF and Twitter, created with technical partner Cohaesus.
Launching just ahead of Endangered Species Day this Friday, #EndangeredEmoji is an emoji-based Twitter fundraising campaign designed help support WWF’s work to protect precious species and their habitats.
The idea was sparked by the discovery that 17 characters in the emoji alphabet we use each and every day represent endangered species. Emoji have been used over 202 million times since they were integrated into Twitter in April 2014, and the number is increasing daily; we wanted to translate their ever-growing popularity into vital funds for WWF.
W+Ker Ellie has been getting properly stuck in to our Forever Curious project, helping out with this year's brilliantly hands-on workshop. She wrote us a story about our latest FC day which, fittingly, was all about telling stories:
Magical morning mayhem. That's the title I gave the morning I spent being ‘Forever Curious.' Let me explain….
I’m still a bit of a newbie to W+K, but one thing I have heard mentioned since day one is ‘Forever Curious.’ Being a curious soul, I was intrigued to learn more. I found out it involved helping children and being creative, so I took the leap into the unknown and signed up.
On Friday 27th March, I found myself at Chats Palace in Clapton at 9am. The workshop was called ‘My Creative Story’ and we were joined by 16 children from Newport school in Leyton, aged 8-10. I didn’t know what to expect, slightly fearful of having to stand up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself.
We were paired off, one adult working with one child, although I was fortunate enough to be paired with two boys. They were brilliant.
The idea behind ‘My Creative Story’ is for children and adults to use our imaginations and create our own stories. We were each given a sheet of paper prompting us to describe a character, what happens, what prevents them from achieving what they want, etc. This became the outline of our story.
From our story outlines, we could develop the story in more detail. There were four activities on offer, with each adult/child combo completing two activities. The activities were Puppet Corner, My Story Den, Act it Out and Inside Out. My team completed My Story Den and Inside out.
Over the past few months, we've been working with our friends Nice and Serious, an ethically-driven creative agency, to create their new brand identity.
Designed to be an adaptable and sustainable identity that can react in response to new developments in the field and work across all brand communications, the rebrand reflects the agency’s nice and serious values: creating beautiful things to solve serious issues.
The new brand system, which encompasses a new logo and identity concept, will be applied across the company’s website, social media channels, end frames, signage and stationery, and carried through to the brand’s tone of voice.
The new brand identity system creates a simple and flexible visual connection between Nice and Serious’ values and each project’s narrative. This identity represents the nice and the serious, and the relationship between the two.
Whilst the typography stays constant, the central area, where the two elements overlap, is an ever-changing window, a live area allowing Nice and Serious to visually showcase what the company is all about. It’s a space to tell a story through illustration, showcase a piece of work, or educate people in the form of a beautiful infographic.
We’re also collaborating on a redesign of Nice and Serious’ offices – watch this space!
We've been fortunate to work with some incredible directors over the years, and we always love seeing what they create outside of adland.
Take Daniel Wolfe, the super talented director of the interactive film we made for Honda, The Other Side. He's been getting a lot of buzz for his debut feature film Catch Me Daddy, a suspenseful thriller about a girl on the run from her family. It was a massive hit at the Cannes Film Festival last summer and has critics fired up about new British talent. It's even managed to reach a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a pretty amazing feat in itself.
Catch Me Daddy is out in cinemas across the UK today, so you can finally see it for yourselves. In the meantime, read an interview with Daniel on Film4's site and check out the trailer:
Yesterday our Director of Communications and Behaviour Planning, Danni Mohammed, visited the School of Communication Arts to mentor some of its students.
Here, she shares what the students taught her:
Inspiration point 1. The building
The school occupies St Matthews Church on Brixton Hill, a fully functioning church used by the local community for worship and as a place for gathering. SCA found its residence up wide spiralling church stairs to the 4th floor. (Thinking of setting up a school? What better place than a Grade II listed church in the heart of Brixton?)
Inspiration point 2. The classroom
Unlike a typical lecture hall or tutorial classroom, the SCA has pulled together a ramshackle of tables, chairs, sofas, together with a mini stage for talks and what looked like some makeshift awnings to create its home high up in the church.
The philosophy of the SCA is to learn through collaboration and mentoring from within the industry. Each day, students attend 'school' and actively work on live briefs, from D&AD New Blood to industry briefs from the likes of Metro. The diverse range of the tasks set help students decide where they want to focus.
Some examples of the D&AD New Blood live briefs they’re currently working on include:
Pantone - Reimagine your hometown through the language of colour
WPP 'Their World' – brand a global movement to change girls’ lives through technology
Monotype – Use the power of type to create a new visual language for film advertising
Nationwide - Position Nationwide as a future-facing brand.
Inspiration point 3. The students
I managed to get around three teams in the three hours as well as a chat with an ex-D&AD student of year who came back to do a talk about how to approach the D&AD awards. What was inherent in the students' need to create was their underlying ambition to solve real problems in a purposeful way. The approaches they took all varied and showed glimpses of their future professional selves. Ideas were insightful, fresh and relevant.
What most impressed me was one student who decided on his briefs because of his passion for the topic, and even when advised against them by the Dean. You couldn't help but get carried along with his logic (because he knows what he's talking about) and most importantly the broad and insightful ways he came to his ideas.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet a group of polite, ambitious students with no shortage of ideas. If you get the chance to be a student, go for it, and if you get the chance to be a mentor, go for it. You’ll come out of that church more inspired than when you first stepped upon it.
Finally inspiration point 4. The Dean
Is it just me, me or does he look like Alan Rickman?
On Thursday we held the final of our first live placement brief in partnership with the Young Creative Council, and what an epic night it was. After a chaotic start, the top nine laid out their books and took it in turns to pitch their ideas to our creative department. Just like their entries, their presentations were awesome. Nobody showed a single shred of nerves, despite standing up in front of 50-odd strangers. One team even marched around the crowd handing out homemade signs like a punk band. Pretty rad.
Next, everyone mingled for a few minutes while the votes were cast and the Creatives pored over portfolios, umming and awwing. The conversation died out. Tension filled the air. Someone spilled some wine. The crisp bowl emptied. And we finally announced the winners. It was very X-factor.
In the end, The Howling Desmond won the placement by a single vote for their virtual bath, which had the room in stitches. In fact it was so close that we gave a second placement to team NoOne, for their very clever ‘Index of Good’. We’re looking forward to both of them coming to hang out with us on Hanbury Street.
To be honest, all the entries were so strong that we’ll definitely stay in touch with those that came by. Even the ballsy team from Lincoln uni who crept in and put their book amongst the winners, getting a lot of feedback and a few free drinks for their bravery*.
After the back-patting and high-fives we all moved on The Golden Heart for a few well earned drinks and some City High on the jukebox. Despite next morning’s creative department hangover, everybody is excited for the second one.
For those that are interested in references for what we were looking for, here are the entries:
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!
A couple of weeks ago, we asked you all to use your internet powers for good and ‘make the world a better place from your bedroom.’
It was the first time we’d done anything like this, and we expected a few emails to trickle through. We were totally unprepared for the absolute torrent that hit our inboxes.
We were massively impressed by how much effort you all went to, as well as the variety and creativity of your entries. There were people helping the homeless, raising thousands for charity, tackling Britain’s food crisis, rallying armies of Lord of The Rings fans, making physical products and donating their own bodies to good causes. Some people built up a social media storm. Others made it on to the BBC. An honourable mention goes out to the peppy Russian team who used a single hoover to set up a cleaning empire in their university halls.
We spent days wading through your work and we’ve finally put together our ultimate top favourite entries. Even though there were some awesome speculative ideas, this brief was all about doing so we’ve only selected those that have physically done something to make the world a better place.
We would love to have included more, but the Wieden+Kennedy London office is squashed enough as it is. So, in no particular order, and with a couple of examples:
Damian & Alex – Give To View. Joel Buckley – Go:Zone Wireless Leash Sandy McIntosh – Martin’s Worldwide Collection Cup Marcella & Elin – Hack Valentines Day NoOne – Index Of Good Adam & Jack – No Purchase Necessary Jack & Joe – Control Joe Zac Mehdid – Body Donation Simone Mascagni – One Dollar Xbox
You're all invited to an event we're hosting next Friday in partnership with the Young Creative Council. We'll follow up with the deets.
To everyone else, thank you so much for your entries. We’ll definitely be running this competition again soon, so you can all have another crack.