27 : 05 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: A snobby wine subscription, Microsoft reduces their carbon footprint, a navigation platform for the visually impaired, bringing nature to the web and Asian counter culture comes to a luxury hotel.

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27 May 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Cash App, US


Stompy. Identity by &Walsh, US

1. Stompy takes on snobby wine subscriptions

US – The personalised wine subscription service is undergoing a visual refresh in a bid to open up the concept of wine connoisseurship. With the aim of removing the stuffy and snobbish stereotypes associated with the sector, the new identity champions wine novices through its bold typeface, bright colours and humorous illustrations. Its typographic logo also captures a sense of play, referencing the art of grape stomping.

Designed by creative agency &Walsh, the rebranding also provides functional cues, with different colours signifying wines that are organic, natural and vegan. By combining a sense of fun with branding for easier navigation, Stompy and &Walsh are diversifying the wine sector for broader audiences. ‘In the brand direction, we explored visual cues that challenge the stuffy, snobby stereotypes surrounding wine and instead open up great wine to more great people,’ explains Jessica Walsh, founder of &Walsh.

We previously identified how micro-winery Plot Wines is also seeking to subvert wine stereotypes, using vibrant branding that builds on the ideas we explore in our Frivolous Foods design direction.

The WiLD Network by Guy Mills, UK

2. Microsoft reduces the carbon footprint of the Cloud

Washington – The multinational technology company is helping businesses reduce the environmental impact of their operations by releasing the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability.

The new programme helps companies streamline their data management, build more sustainable IT infrastructure, reduce the carbon footprint of corporate activity, and create planet-friendly value chains from top to bottom. Available from 1 June, the programme tackles the environmentally burdensome nature of data storage, which is energy-intensive and a key concern for global heating.

According to the press release, ‘Organisations can reduce their environmental impact and increase business value when they replace tools, systems or activities with more efficient options. Moving workloads to the cloud, for example, can increase both carbon and energy efficiencies.’

Consumers and businesses alike are realising that data storage, unnecessary files and even just open tabs in a browser all have a carbon impact, something which we explored in the Decarbonising Digital section in our Sustainability Report.

Dot Go, Germany

3. A platform helping the visually impaired navigate the city

Munich – For years, object recognition apps have assisted visually impaired people to navigate the city by using the camera on their phones to identify the objects and buildings they encounter while walking in the urban environment. Taking it one step further, Dot Go is a platform that not only assists with object recognition, but connects identification with actions.

A user of the platform that encounters a bus stop, for example, can use their phone camera to identify the object and then buy a ticket or have the timetable of the service read out to them. Similarly, users who are visiting a museum can point their phones at an artwork and have the corresponding Wikipedia page read to them.

The platform goes well beyond mere identification to connect recognition to action, helping the visually impaired ‘navigate the world, find objects and automate daily tasks which enable them to lead a more independent life’. As a result, the project is giving everyday tech an inclusive overhaul.

4. Freetree is bringing nature into web browsers

Portugal – With its graphic identity, Freetree, a browser extension that allows online shoppers to plant trees while making purchases, is aiming to bring the tactile sensation of nature to the digital landscape.

The brand identity, which was designed by agency How&How, took the word ‘fuzz’ as its starting point. This word is used to capture the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from doing a good deed, as well as the leafy foliage that will be planted as a result of using the extension.

Instead of using downbeat imagery to illustrate the climate crisis, the branding agency opted to emphasise joy and optimism. As a result, trees are depicted in bright colours like pink, yellow and orange, and motion is used to give the platform a dynamic and empowering feeling. ‘A lot of climate emergency marketing is bleak,’ explains Cat How, creative director at How&How.

In a further bid to promote positive environmental action, the branding agency asked to be paid for the visual identity with 60,000 trees instead of financial compensation, highlighting how designers can respond to climate change.

Freetree. Branding by How&How, Spain
Electric Pawn Shop, UAE

5. Asian counter culture comes to a luxury hotel

Dubai – The H Dubai Hotel is welcoming the Electric Pawn Shop to its hospitality venue, with the aim of blending underground music with innovative drinking and dining experiences. Envisaged by influential DJ Lobito Brigante and Beirut bar owner Lynn Lin, the concept seeks to augment conventional nightlife experiences in the Middle Eastern region.

Notable design elements include fragmented concrete island bars, an indoor amphitheatre and a sci-fi style cocktail lab, while drink highlights include experimental cocktails with playful names such as ‘Shanghai Superfly’ and ‘Strait Outta Malacca’. Here, the bar subverts the traditionally luxurious aesthetics commonly associated with Dubai hotels. By doing so, the bar is likely to attract a younger, more alternative crowd to the UAE.

Lynn Lin, co-founder of Electric Pawn Shop, says: ‘We’re challenging the status quo of bar lifestyles one shop at a time, starting with Electric Pawn Shop,’ highlighting this could just be the start of a wave of new hotel bars that are becoming destinations in their own right.



To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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