During last Fridays lesson we started to look at design and visualisation by creating case studies of different design and brand elements that help to bring a concept to life. In a sense getting inside the head of the designer that created it and looking at all of the key elements that create a strong brand. A vital part of this is exploration, observation and analysis
“Visualisation aims to bring key ideas and narratives to life. Artwork and design play a key role in this process by placing primary design materials into realistic environments”
As my main focus is café and bakeries as I continue researching for my brief with Oh Gee, Pie! I looked at local places in the area around the uni (Luckily East London is a fantastic place to find great cafés!) I started my search there.
One of the first places I visited was Exmouth Coffee Co, they had a really rustic feel to their establishment, which I loved. They made use of wooden menus and boards re enforcing the rustic, country feel to the café. They also sold different coffees in pastel coloured paper packages and the back wall was completely covered in small drawings and messages left by customers and stuck to the wall with their own branded stickers.
Bellboi is another small café with a selection of coffees and cakes. What first struck me about this hidden gem was the outside if the shop, which is beautifully illustrated (I’m told the artwork is by a local artist) and the matching coffee cups with the same design! A great way of advertising the café and keeping a consistent and cohesive design concept.
My favourite place was definitely Dark Sugars Chocolates, as you walk through the door you are greeted by a beautifully illustrated botanical menu on a chalk board. The design concept for the shop is definitely natural with the importance on the cocoa plant (one of two shops on Brick Lane BTW J) The walls are different shades of brown and gold and just ooze luxury whilst the handcrafted chocolates are displayed in enormous sea shells on wooden stands. I was also thrilled to see artwork on display and for sale by local artists in the area!
Chocolate, coffee and artwork… What more could you want?!
For our first project we have been given the opportunity to work with live briefs from three different companies that are looking for a brand identity. We started out by looking at each company and getting to know their products, we then listened to some pitches from each company to help us make up our minds.
The first company makes healthy smoothies and is called BUI. BUI has a really unique product creating healthy smoothies by using a super food called the baobab fruit from Gambia. The Baobab fruit itself is really intriguing and using super foods in commercial products is really popular. You will find plenty of products boasting their health benefits in many health food shops and supermarkets but the Baobab fruit is one I haven’t seen much before.
The next presentation was from a skin care company called Scrub Up Your Life (SUYL) this company has a really cool product creating a face scrub from recycled coffee grinds as well as other skin care items. Recycling Is really important and I love companies that try to be kind and fair to our environment. Creating a new product by reusing another product, like coffee, is great and really appeals to my inner environmental warrior.
Last but certainly not least was Oh Gee, Pie! This is a company that creates beautiful, handcrafted American style sweet pies! (Be still my beating heart…) Not only is this company creating incredible food but they also have an aspiration of giving back to the community by creating a network of mentors, work skills projects and a safe space for young people to achieve their future dreams.
This company immediately appealed to me, food is something that evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia for me, reminding me of times sat round the dinner table, sharing food, chatting and feeling a part of something. It reminds me of my grandmother, mother, family, friends, love and being loved.
I would really like to create a vibrant, warm and comforting brand identity to showcase these fantastic products and I feel like a brand identity like this could also be used in a slightly different way to create a lively and supportive place in the heart of the community.
Three cheers for pie!
Abby Vickers is an artist, graphic designer and photographer using a range of different mediums in her work. With a strong link to the past Abby’s work references historical events with a bright view to the future. Now in the final year of her degree I took a moment to ask Abby a bit more about her creative practice…
Abby Vickers ‘Planet’
Abby Vickers ‘Planet’
Can you tell me about your relationship with photography and how this informs your work?
I’m mostly a self-taught photographer although I briefly studied it at college. It’s a big influence on my work, it’s given me skills In photo shop which I often use for digital illustration.
A lot of work references historical events, is there a particular time period that inspires you?
It kind of depends on the brief or idea I’m working on but I tend to look at the Second World War or just after it, there was so much change during this period that there’s always a story to be told
Abby Vickers ‘The Battle of Bow’
How has your creative practice evolved through university?
It’s been a bit all over the place in terms of style but what’s really developed for me at university is my design choices. At the start of year 1 my work was very superficial, I kinda designed things that looked nice, now I really spend time thinking about why I’m making those design choices which overall has made me produce better work
“I tend to look at the Second World War or just after it, there was so much change during this period that there’s always a story to be told”
Abby Vickers ‘Renew’
Where do you see your see your creative practice going in the future?
I honestly don’t know right now, I enjoy working digitally the most so I hope to be improving those skills, I’ve never really had one big goal in mind it’s more of a bucket list of things I would like to try.
If you could spend a day learning from another artist (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Sandra Dieckmann, she’s an illustrator currently working in a studio called Studio Mama Wolf. I love the texture and fantasy element her work has, I’ve been inspired by her work for ages and would love to see her process of turning drawings to digital illustrations.
You can explore more of Abbie’s work on her blog here!