Monday, 22 April 2013

OUGD501 // Theory to Practice // Iconic Brand

1. The brand is bigger than the individual

No one person supersedes the Coca-Cola brand. There have been multiple marketing directors, brand managers and country managers across the globe for the brand over the years. When each takes up the job, they do not fall into the trap of looking to stamp their authority by changing the brand, its communication or overall message and tonality. These are set in stone and have not changed for many a year.

2. Coca-Cola knows what it stands for

They don't change this because it resonates as a human truth and, as long as it continues to resonate, there is no reason to change. Pio Schunker, Head of Integrated Marketing Communications, highlights the guiding principle they abide by: "Coke brings Joy".

It's simple and clear, but is also defined a little further by always ensuring that any communication is always "filtered through the brand's core values of happiness, refreshment, optimism, fun, simple moments of pleasure, authenticity, coming together and uplift." These values are the pillars upon which the brand is built and they are not negotiable.

3. Clearly expressing these values through the consistent use of core brand assets built up over time

Coca-Cola is without a doubt the finest exponent of understanding what its core assets are and building these through all communication points. The red colour is consistent and is clearly linked to happiness and refreshment - it's not a randomly chosen colour. In 1931, the brand took a huge leap and popularised Santa Claus with the Coca-Cola red colour as a pure embodiment of fun, coming together and uplift. This is an incredibly bold move that worked, but it was very much a calculated decision, which would have been filtered through whether or not Santa Claus embodied the Coca-Cola brand values.
The bottle shape, sponsorship of the Olympics (started in 1928) and happiness factory are all products of understanding the brand values and identifying new and engaging ways to express the simple statement, "Coke brings joy". The Coca-Cola logo has famously hardly changed since its inception as they rely on the deliberate building of other brand assets to carry its message.

Coca-Cola possesses one of the most recognised brand designs in history. It's not only the trademark design of that white typeface on that particular shade of red that makes it so iconic, but also the equally famous bottle.

Now almost over 120 years old and selling in more than 200 countries, the brand is regarded as the biggest in the world and has come top of an Interbrand poll of all global brands for the fourth time in a row. It is now estimated that Coca-Cola's brand is worth a whopping $67.5bn (£39bn).

Invented in 1886 by John Pemberton, the drink started life as Pemberton's French Wine Coca. But in response to local prohibition laws, a non-alcoholic version developed and a new name was created by Pemberton's partner Frank Mason Robinson.

Robinson had the prescience to see that Coca- Cola's two C's would stand out in any ad campaign and it was him, too, who chose the logo's distinctive cursive script. The typeface used, known as Spencerian script, was developed in the mid 19th century and was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.

Urban myths
The logo's fairly casual beginnings are very much at odds with the rumours that have since surrounded it. One concerns the supposedly anti-Islamic phrase that appears in Arabic when the logo is reversed, while another suggests that when viewed on its side the logo depicts a man snorting cocaine. Widely debunked though these rumours are, the power of the brand makes it an easy target for such mythology.

Cocaine, though present in trace amounts in early patent medicines including Coca-Cola, was drunk in the 1880s and not imbibed as a powder, so the image would not make sense even if Robinson had attempted to incorporate it. The anti-Islamic myth, however, was so pervasive and potentially damaging that in 2000 Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's most senior religious authority, ruled in an official statement that the trademark did not injure Islam or Muslims directly or indirectly, and in fact such rumours would sorely impact on the livelihoods of the thousands of Egyptians employed by the company.

The whole package
Possibly as famous as the logo's typeface is the bottle, itself a registered trademark. Initially there was no set branding, but in response to a flood of imitations, a distinctive bottle was needed to make the product stand out. The original design brief stated that the bottle should be recognisable even by its component pieces if broken, and that its shape should be easily recognisable by touch in the dark or even when submerged in a bucket of ice.

As a result, a bottle design competition was launched in 1915 and won by Earl R Dean of the Root Glass Company in Indiana. The designers were inspired by the cocoa bean and transplanted its vertical grooves to the glass.

Georgia Green glass was used to create the bottle's trademark curves and the green-tinted contoured bottle was embossed with the Coca-Cola script. After several patent wrangles, the bottle's trademark status was eventually awarded in 1960.

But it is the ubiquity of Coca-Cola that made the design so recognisable across the US. By 1895 the drink was sold in every territory in the United States. So when the company ramped up its branding strategies during the thirties and forties, each component of the Coca-Cola design quickly developed into the superbrand we know today.

The brand's colour, the now familiar Coca-Cola red, remains a highly important component of this design classic. White cursive text sat on a bright red background has since been used for almost all of Coca-Cola's rival brands (with the notable exception of Pepsi), and recently Quibla Cola and Mecca Cola, drinks targeted primarily at Muslim consumers as an alternative to the US-based Coca-Cola, have traded on the brand image for more political reasons.

Did Coke inspire Santa? 
Perhaps one of the most enduring legends of the power of the brand has been the suggestion that the modern version of Santa Claus was a by-product of Coca-Cola's advertising. However, depictions of a red-suited and white-bearded Father Christmas have been evident in the UK since the 17th century. In the US, too, the likes of American Civil War artist Thomas Nast drew the figure from the mid-1800s, with no standardisation of colour, features or stature.

Coca-Cola first featured Santa Claus in its advertisements in the twenties, which were drawn in a style faithful to the Germanic Nast Santa. It wasn't until the thirties, when the artist Haddon Sundblom took over illustration duties at Coca-Cola, that the marketing began to make any sort of impact. Happily for Coca-Cola, Santa's red and white colour combination went well with its own logo and Sundblom's highly popular Santa merrily toasted contoured green bottles for 35 years thereafter.

"The curvy script, roll-off-the-tongue name, bright red colouring and iconic bottle shape have made Coca-Cola the most famous brand on the planet," says James Wheatley, creative producer at Swamp. "It's certainly the most easily recognised logo ever, as proved by the 2000 billboard campaign, which featured close cropped sections of the logo and no other branding at all. A flash of red and a curved white line proved enough to get people thinking about their favourite fizzy pop."

“A brand is a promise. A good brand is a promise kept.” 

"Coca-Cola is more than just a drink. It is an idea, it’s a vision, a feeling. It is about great connections and shared experiences. It is one of the truly common threads that bonds the world together."

Brand personality

Coca-Cola ads depict human experience in two primary ways. First, long before global branding was the trend it is today, Coca-Cola was embracing diversity. This can be clearly seen in its long-running “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” series of ads, depicting people from all over the globe joining together in Coke and song.

Further, Coca-Cola has long been available in one form or another in countries all across the world and it’s even rumored to be the most recognizable brand, logo and even word on the planet (the latter with the possible exception of “ok”).

When Coca-Cola ads aren’t targeting worldwide diversity, they still possess a strong sense of community and overcoming differences and hardship through universal similarities such as a love for Coke. Click on the image below to see a recent Simpson’s-themed Coca-Cola commercial using this tactic.

The second way that Coke has leveraged the human experience throughout the years is through a strong emphasis on families. Pepsi always stayed aimed right at children but Coke seems to know that Mom does the shopping and to get her you have to use an emotional appeal that makes Coca-Cola not only something that the whole family desires, but something that is literally an integral part of the family’s life experiences.

This occurs all over Coca-Cola’s advertising throughout the years but is never more evident than in Coke’s Christmas ads. Whether its an endearing scene of a father and son watching the Santa Coke truck go by or a family of polar bears consistently being brought together by Coke, the Christmas ads are aimed right at the hearts of American consumers.

Coca-Cola is as American as Thanksgiving day. It has been around since 1886 and has since become impressively tied in with the American identity through its massive growth and worldwide adoration.

Though many will tell you that the Coca-Cola logo has been the same since day one, it has in fact undergone a few major overhauls. In fact, the original method of writing out the brand name was much less ornate than the script we now know:

In the same article as the Pepsi logo evolution shown above, also published a Coca-Cola logo evolution. As you can see, the Coca-Cola script (which is simply a form of Spencerian Script) began life quite thin and irregular, then became much thicker and didn’t thin again out to the refined version we’re now familiar with until around the 1940s. Notice that it wasn’t until the 60s that the ribbon below the letters made its way onto the scene and its presence has since been a little inconsistent.

It’s interesting to note that Coke also followed the same evolutionary path that we saw from Pepsi, though to a less extreme degree. By 1987 a hint of shading had made its way into the Coca-Cola swoosh and by the mid 90s we had gradients, gloss and water droplets, sound familiar? This was of course followed by a period of dramatic simplification in the early 2000s which was taken even further in 2009.

It’s important to remember that alongside the logo, Coca-Cola has always had an important piece of brand history in its contour bottle, which despite taking many shapes early on eventually found stability and became a major icon for the company that persists even to today.

Coke Simplifies
By now you can probably see that one of the main themes of this article is to showcase the major design trends in the past twenty years, which are clearly represented in the brand evolutions of both Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

In the early 2000s, Coke underwent a process very similar to Pepsi’s rebranding project that we saw above. Like Pepsi, Coca-Cola would undertake a branding project that would essentially undo the clutter that had made its way into the brand identity and strip it down to a meaningful and simplified version.

In a case study released by San Francisco design firm Turner Duckworth, the problem with Coke was clearly portrayed:

The Turner Duckworth team responded to this problem in a drastically different way than the Arnell Group handled the Pepsi refresh (for starters, their logic actually made sense and wasn’t a bunch of circles). Arnell did in fact simplify the Pepsi brand, but in the process they redefined it into something that it has never been before. On the surface, this sounds great but as we saw, the execution felt more like a gunshot to the heart of the brand.

Turner Duckworth on the other hand, didn’t attempt to redefine the most valuable brand on the planet, they simply brought it back to its roots. The result was a strengthening of the core features of the logo and product imagery.

As a designer, you might laugh at the idea that someone could get paid to produce such a simple result. However, they didn’t stop there. Turner Duckworth realized that the heart of the brand didn’t just lie in the logo itself but something physical that we had all experienced in a very real way over the years: the coke bottle.

This idea of leveraging something physical is very important. We’ve all had Coca-Cola from a can, paper cup and plastic bottle before, but there’s something magically nostalgic about that old glass bottle. Not only did they apply their newly simplified look to the glass Coke bottle, they made the silhouette of that bottle the new brand hero and began using it in new and innovative ways. Below we can see the awesome Coca-Cola aluminum can bottles and the application of the Coke bottle silhouette onto other representations of the Coke brand such as paper cups and door signs.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

OUGD503 // Hellfire // Inspiration

For the bottle design of the beer, i am either going to go with the idea of printing onto a label which will be two separate labels, one for the front and back, or to print direct onto the bottle. 
Both these design ideas will have the same aesthetic look and feel for the bottle, but the approach will be slightly different for each idea.

I have looked into bottle label designs, looking at both label designs and printing directly onto the bottle. I have seen that the majority of the designs are based around using a label instead of printing direct to the bottle, this is because it wil be more cost efficient to use labels with such a mass production needed. 

With the style of the labels i prefer the ones which have a more illustrated design to them, these look more eye catching and i think if it was on a shelf in a store or supermarket, someone would be more inclined to see that sort of design over another.  

Looking at these designs has given me some ideas for the design of my own label, and the way in which the label should be designed in the first place. With the visual aids from the concept idea, ic an now start to work on the label.

OUGD503 // Hellfire // Concept Research

The natives honor eagles for their opportunistic ways. They depicted this as work smarter not harder, this as a message and symbol would fit in well for a creative network, targeting young creatives.
An eagle also represents masculinary, dominance, power and ruler which all have a relevance to the beer itself - its a masculine beer as it is as bitter, dominance shows through in the strength of the beer and power and ruler are reperented by it being the best on the market.

The eagle also stands for opportunity, freedom, community, skill, inspiration, determination and vision.

These are some simple illustrations of a double headed eagle, which i can use as a visual aid in order to illustrate my own logo for the hellfire beer label.

OUGD503 // Secret 7" // Research

For my secret 7" design, i want to focus on using image and the artwork up by using layers of images, textures and colours to create the final design. 

I have looked at various designs that have this sort of style, either using image or colour as the main focus within the design. 

I want the sleeve to have a older style look and feel to it - 'vintage' if you like. Basically to have a distressed look. 

Looking at these designs have given me some ideas on the style to the design that i want to create, i have also looked at some designers which work inspires me for this sort of design, using the two research approaches i will be able to create the design.

OUGD503 // Threadless // Research

For the design of the t-shirt i am going to do, i want it to be based around illustration and be a full bleed image within the t-shirt itself. I want the artwork to take up most of the space within the t-shirt and be very prominent on the design. 

I have looked at some designs to get some ideas on the style of design to do for the t-shirt and the placement and proportion of the design within the t-shirt. 

Even though i have only looked at a limited amount of designs, i feel that this has informed me on the sort of design that i should do for the t-shirt. I still want a strong illustration, but seeing these designs have shown me what proportions and placement it should be within the shirt.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

OUGD503 // UK Greetings // Stationery Range

In order to expand the range of products to make this brief into more of a project, i have thought of the idea of using the illustrations and patterns and applying them to stationery. Stationery seems a logical range to use as this is very similar to greeting cards and you would often see them together. 

To get a better idea of what stationery i could apply the illustrations to, i have had a look online at some stationery ranges:

For the stationery that i will design, i will mock them and create a simple illustration to represent what the item would be. This will work inline with the illustration style of the product and also be easier way than having to print the actual products out. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

OUGD503 // UK Greeting // Looking at the competition

I have looked at other greeting cards brands to see what there card designs are like, focussing on the blank cards as this is what i am producing.
Looking into the other brands has given me ideas of what are already out there.


Clinton Cards

Looking at the two brands i can see a distinctive difference between the two brands. With paperchase there is illustrative style with the cards but these are very different across all the cards and they dont have any sort of pack or collection of cards that are similar or work as a range. 

With the clinton cards there cards aren't illustrative at all, all the blank cards use photographs are humorous cards. This again shows a gap in the market in which i can work my cards into. 

With both of the brands there are very limited blank cards, which works in advantage for me, like i said before neither of them offer a pack of cards or have any cards which are within a range. This makes my cards different from the competition. The Paperchase cards are the closest in style to the ones that i will be designing, but they still are only illustrations and dont use any sort of patterns which i will be doing within my cards. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

OUGD503 // UK Greetings // Inspiration

after deciding that i was going to take an illustrative route for the greetings cards, i have looked into some greeting card designs. These have the style to which i want to design my own cards. They also have a hand made / screenprinted look to them. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

OUGD503 // Wedding Invitations // Research and presentation

I was given from my sister (client) a presentation of research that she had done herself, this consisted of wedding invites which she had looked at and liked. 

This was a great opportunity for me, as it gave me a starting point of the sort of designs she liked and the style she was wanting, it also gave me ideas of what to do and how to get the ball rolling on this project. 

Combined with my own research in the previous post, i have a good amount of visual research to get some ideas flowing and start to design the invites.

Friday, 5 April 2013

OUGD501 // Theory to Practice // Publication Front cover

After starting on doing designs for the publication and looking into the editorial design of the publication, i started to think about the publication front cover. I want this publication to be of quality and look like a collectable - i want to produce a professional looking publication. From looking into different ideas for the publication i decided on a style for the front cover

This is the style that i want to go with, and the design that i gone with is similar in style to the first image. Having a second front cover, that wraps around the spine of the publication - this is also the width of the publication. 

As i want the publication to show it is about Coca Cola, i have used the iconic colours, the second loose front cover is going to cover the design on the main front cover, because i want to colours to identify with the communication of the publication, then when it is lifted up you will see the design and see it about coca cola, obviously the title of the publication will be printed onto the second front cover and give this away, but the association of the colour should hopefully work too. 

The main front cover, this shows the coca Cola bottle and the iconic white wave, this obviously shows what the publication is about, with the added information at the top and bottom which says 'coca cola advertising case study' this again tells the user what it is, but the placement of the text makes it look more informative and takes on a modern twist of a case study. 

This was the initial design for the second cover, the top two lines work well together as they overlap with the line width and fit together nicely on page, giving a good look to the design, the Analysis running off the page on the top line also reads well with it coming back in, in the line below. But then the coca cola section of the design doesnt work, because the word length is short there is alot of white space around these words and doesnt balance with the top section of the design, also the coca cola doesnt run on from each other. The design looks empty and though it is missing something. 

After working on the design more, i have spaced the lines out better and worked on the line spacing to make it look more balanced throughout the design. Also correcting the coca cola section making it look as though it runs on from each other, these now reads better. To make the design look better and have more of a design to it, i have added the lines to each line of text, this is meant to represent that each line leads onto each other and is a way of connecting them together, it makes you read on and see that each line is part of the same sentence. Its like a replica of .... within a sentence. 
Below i have done more variations of the design with using different colours. 

These are the second cover which will be stitched into the publication when bound together, i wanted to type to be big, bold and stand out, the idea of the text being oversized and coming off the page is to make them first of all be attracted to it and for it to catch their eye, but then to make them read it and actually try and piece it together, beneath the title is in full but smaller, so this isnt seen as much. 

I have tried a variety of colours because i didn't know which would work the best. I am in two minds wether to print this on white stock or on trace, the trace would be printed in full black and the white stock would have the design that is black with red lines. the red lines associate it with the red colour of coca cola, i think having the type in black makes it more bold and standing out, but it needs to be in this colour otherwise there would be too much red within the publication front cover. 

I also tried doing the second cover over the full double page spread, this would be spread around the front and back page, and work as a wrap around the full publication, but compared to the first design, i dont like the aesthetic of it, it doesnt read that well and doesnt have that good a structure or design to it. I think using the designs above will give a better result. 

Here i have mocked up the designs to try and show how they would look when printed in the two different ways, this was to help me try and decide which way to do the front cover. This image above, is to show using trace stock, the tope design would be printed all in black, as the red would disappear into the red of the main design. I do like this but it goes against trying to hide the design below, so you only see it when the second cover it lifted, also the overlaying type doesnt fit in with the coca cola on the bottle, so i think i am going to use the design below. 

This one is the same except will be printed onto white stock. I think this works better as a publication front cover, when you fist see it here, the colours work btter together and the white stock fully covers the design below. The initial look of the publication looks quite formal and professional which is the look i wanted it to have, but then when you lift up the white cover, and see the illustration below it adds the fun back into the design with the illustration and you see the real coca cola brand. I think using the red lines works the best too, as this links back the red in the main design, if it was to all be in red, it would be too much red. The black and red work well together too. 

OUGD501 // Theory to Practice // Ideas and concepts

From the beginning I wanted to link publication in with the my essay which was looking at 'The Gaze' in Advertising. As i thought this would be quite specific and couldnt think of something i could relate this to for a publication subject, i have broadened the subject to advertising.

I have two ideas which i came up with that i though would be viable to do:
1. Produce a case study on one big brand. This will breakdown the brand and look at all the aspects of advertising and how they are developed over the years.

2. Compare like brands. Comparing how brands that sell the same product advertise differently and advertise to different audiences. This will work in vs each other throughout the publication.

Out of the two ideas i went into the last crit we had for the ideas and work we had done so far on this module, with the intention of doing the second idea, because i thought this had more to it as a project and would be more relevant.

But when i was looking through design sites for inspiration on doing this idea and ways to present it i found this project on behance, which is pretty much the same idea:

This is pretty much the same idea and concept as to what i was intending on doing, i was planning on doing in more detail and looking at the ad campaigns of each one, but i don't really want to do it anymore because it looks like i would of copied off this project. 

Also i started to look into the idea more and find the campaigns of different brands, which did prove to be really hard to get hold of information and images of them. 

When i was looking into this one of the brands i was looking at was Coca Cola, now there was alot of information on their website and i found alot of ad campaigns on various sites that they had done, once i had started to look into the company more it was really interesting. So i thought this would link back to the first idea.

Final Idea 

I finally decided to do the case study on a brand looking into the advertising campaigns throughout the years. I am going to do this on Coca Cola. The case study will cover a breakdown of the brands advertising - what it is, how its done, and who created it. I will look back into the history of the advertising and do specific case studies of ad campaigns that i can find more information about. 

This will be presented in a publication, the publication will be focussed on quality and be produced at a high standard to fit in with the brand, i will use the iconic colours and style of the brand throughout the publication. As Coca Cola have alot of TV commercials and i am going to create a digital reference document to hold all the videos and show them within a pdf document.