National Storytelling Week

We are right in the middle of National Storytelling Week here in the UK, and this got us thinking how important narrative is to our work and how important it is to ANY brand. It also highlights just how much story telling has changed over the years. Long gone are the days of old wives' tales and folk stories, we are in the new age now. Reading is done on screens, stories are told in 146 characters or less and thanks to Instagram stories, videos and images truly due speak a thousand words.

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Narrative in the context of design is one of the most important parts of building a brand.  There are so many businesses and products out there, how do you stand out? The most important commodity for any business IS the story. It's what makes a product go beyond just a product, and allows brands to speak to people on different levels beyond the item they are selling. It also allows for greater, more meaningful content to be produced and, as we know, in the days of the infinite scroll, content is most definitely King.

National Storytelling Week focuses on promoting the by gone days of story telling, a personal face-to-face interaction, something we all do everyday at work over a coffee break or at the water cooler. I don’t think this is a lost art, we all tell tall tales of big weekends or messy night outs, so long as we keep the conversation going whether its online or in person, that’s all that really matters.

The True Cost

My perfect weekend could consist of nothing more than spending many hours (and quite a few pennies) strolling through Selfridges or one of London's other fine department stores. In short, I am a clothes horse. The folks here at Strudel towers could attest to this. Not a month will go by without a number of parcels arriving at my desk with further stylish delights inside. And so it is with a rather heavy heart that I have been exposed to the other downright immoral side of the ‘stylish cool’ that I so crave.

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It's no secret to anyone that there is a deep sense of exploitation within the fashion industry, but it is very disturbing to discover just how deep this goes. The fashion industry is now the 2nd most polluting industry in the modern world. It has also been responsible for the loss of life to many of those in developing nations, working in unsafe conditions, with no choice but to put themselves in harms way in order to make a decent living and produce clothes for the west. The Neflix film ‘The True Cost’ highlights these issues as well as documenting the sheer amount of clothes being produced and destined to end up in landfills, creating man made landscapes of waste and pollution. As someone with far more than a passing interest in fashion, it does leave me feeling rather uneasy about the situation.

There is, however, a slight glimmer of hope on the horizon with some designers starting to take note. Stella McCartney and Dame Viv (to her mates ;) two of the most prominent British designers are very active in not only campaigning for change but being an advocate for these movements as well. This issue, as with many, is also the responsibility of us (or ME) the consumer, ‘BUY LESS BUY BETTER’ should be the new fashionista battle cry.  Seeing your clothes as an investment rather than a commodity could go a long way to reducing our waste footprint and hopefully boost our self-esteem in the clothes we do choose to buy. 

Further reading

https://www.racked.com/2017/3/15/14842476/fashion-climate-change-environment-pollution

https://truecostmovie.com/

http://www.thefashionglobe.com/stella-mccartney-sustainable

 

Beauty in Brutalism

As with many forms of art and expression, once a style has become adopted by the masses and saturated into normal everyday life it is usually the desire, dare I say duty, of the creative community to explore and search out new and exciting ways in which to push the discipline forward, so as to evolve the media. As with art, The classical painting styles were followed by the abstract expressionists, In graphic design skeuomorphism preceded flat, material design and now the flat, minimal world, that widely populates our visual landscape, is being shaken up by a far more rough and ready challenger.

Brutalism is a direct form of aesthetics created as a backlash to the airy, subtleties of minimal design. Born of a generation of YouTube watching, iPhone photographing, DIY creatives, It moves away from the perfect and polished and embraces a more edgy, sharp, direct, and well, brutal form of communication and expression.

While this style is still in its infancy and exists in a raw form it can be seen creeping into the mainstream consciousness. Big players in the youth and fashion market, such as depop and drop box, are already well and truly on-board, so who knows, it may not be long before we all start getting a bit more ‘brutal’ with our online experience.

Further Reading
https://dropbox.design/
https://the-brandidentity.com/feed/depop-by-designstudio/
http://brutalistwebsites.com/
 

New Inclusive Employers brand launches

After five years of building inclusive enterprises across the UK and abroad, Inclusive Employers has retired its playful start-up branding for a more refined, yet still friendly, approach.

We're excited to unveil their refreshed brand along with evolved logo, its circular emblem taking centre stage across all design elements. We enjoyed reflecting on their status as the leading membership organisation for inclusion in the workplace.

Happy 5th birthday, Inclusive Employers! View the full case study here.

Reinvigorating the shared ownership brand

Strudel recently worked closely with East Thames on the award-winning ‘Quality Homes Made Affordable’ campaign which scooped the ‘Most Innovative Marketing Campaign' at the First Time Buyers Awards. 

With the success of this campaign, Strudel and East Thames will be speaking at the Affordable Home Ownership Conference 2016 to discuss the campaign and what made it so successful. The talk will focus on how by simplifying the information provided on advertising you can achieve cut-through in a crowded market place and why in some instances, good design is as little design as possible.

If you'd like more information or to attend the event, click here. We look forward to seeing you there.