19 August 2022
Author: The Future Laboratory
Tapping into the revival of the vinyl music market, storage company Symbol has updated its branding to broaden the appeal of its home products. The company has hired creative studio High Tide to develop a brand identity that reflects the timeless, hand-crafted quality of its vinyl storage solutions, positioning these items as alternatives to ‘fast furniture’.
To create the visual identity, High Tide looked to heirlooms – items that are passed down from one generation to the next. The rebranding takes inspiration from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s while avoiding the obvious design tropes associated with any one of these eras – aiming to prevent looking overly nostalgic. The result is a visual identity that combines bold graphics and striking imagery to create an appearance that conjures feelings of both nostalgia and forward thinking.
Ushering the vinyl market into a new era, Symbol is offering an alternative to disposable furniture design by using its visual identity to communicate a sense of longevity and heritage. In the Avant Abodes section of the Innovation Debrief, we explore how design companies are attracting younger consumers with visual rebrands.
US – Nike may be famous for its ‘Just Do It’ slogan, but with its (M)ove Like a Mother campaign, the sportswear company is encouraging a gentler attitude to exercise. The workout regimen, which has been developed for post-partum mothers, rejects punishment, guilt or comparison in favour of a more mindful approach to movement.
Fighting harmful societal expectations, the programme is designed to help women create a healthier relationship with exercise, eliminating the unrealistic narrative that women have to get their ‘pre-pregnancy’ bodies back quickly, if ever. Instead of high-intensity workouts, the company encourages taking a stroll outside, celebrating post-partum physical differences, and even skipping a workout entirely if it does not serve mothers in the moment.
Encouraging new mothers to ditch the idea of bodily perfection that is all too pervasive in society after giving birth, Nike is becoming an advocate for Pregnancy Wellness. By creating a programme that focuses on the challenging transition from pregnancy to parent, it’s also securing its status as a Life-stage Brand.
Mexico – Seventy years after coming to the US to establish margaritas as the nation’s favourite cocktail, Jose Cuervo is bringing its signature spirit to the digital frontier with the launch of the first-ever metaverse distillery. Opening on the 3D virtual world platform Decentraland, the ‘metadistillery’ will play host to virtual experiences for over-21s, be a source for education on all things tequila, and act as a platform for limited edition product launches and entertainment activations.
Designed by Mexico-based Rojkind Arquitectos, the structure of the virtual building is based on the roots of the agave plant – the central ingredient of tequila. Jose Cuervo also worked alongside agency partners Ache and Tangible, as well as multi-sensory experience designers Bompas & Parr, to shape the aesthetic of the virtual world and the visitor experience. Each zone invites visitors to take part in tequila-based games that illustrate a different part of the process of making tequila.
With consumers increasingly interested in interacting with brands in this emerging digital world, we're seeing the rise of Metaverse Architecture, as a growing number of brands and institutions tap prestigious design and architecture firms to help elevate their virtual presence.
Australia, UK – Single-use plastics remain a major issue for the medical industry, which has struggled to discover planet-friendly materials to make test kits and equipment. In response, Australian company Hoopsy is creating a paper pregnancy test that challenges the sector’s over-reliance on environmentally damaging substances.
The Eco Pregnancy Test is composed completely of paper and comes in cardboard packaging that can be recycled at home. Only the pouch that the product is delivered in is made of soft plastic, but it too can be recycled at the grocery store. With its new product, the company wants to replace the 12.5m plastic home pregnancy tests that are completed each year in the UK before being discarded in the rubbish with a more planet-friendly alternative.
While the pandemic opened the door for advances in at-home medical testing, most kits rely heavily on plastics that are harmful for the environment. Now, consumers are looking for more sustainable solutions that are made of materials besides plastic.
New York – The toy manufacturer is partnering with artist Hebru Brantley to create an immersive play space in the heart of West Harlem, inspired by the creativity of local children. Brantley and Lego invited children to use Lego bricks to build ideas for spaces that would help members of the community to play together more. The colourful designs they created – including rocket ships, volcano pyramids and island stepping stones – were used as a starting point for Brantley to bring the children’s imagination to life.
Named Fly Away Isles, the inclusive installation comes in response to Lego research that found that a third of US parents say they don’t play together enough as a family, and that 82% of children in New York wish for more play. ‘I wanted to create something that offered the local community a chance to come together regardless of their background or culture, leave the pressures of the busy world we live in behind and explore what the work looks like through the optimistic eyes of children,’ explains Brantley.
The installation highlights how a new raft of pliable playscapes are seizing on an energetic and vibrant visual language to reflect the rising Alpha generation's confidence, optimism and passion for change.
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