8 September 2015
Hello the MLE,
Just came across this news item from the world of branding… The city of Shima in Japan, excited about hosting the G7 economic summit in May 2016, has created a new mascot for the town.
The city is most well known for its ama divers, who famously do not use oxygen tanks to plunge to the ocean floor to catch various fruits of the sea. This is a highly skilled and dangerous profession that dates back thousands of years. Of course, in modern times, ama wear diving masks, wetsuits and flippers, though oxygen tanks are still forbidden. The industry is still mostly women, and the average age is about 60 and above (see some real ama divers above).
Naturally, everyone expected the Shima mascot to be an ama diver – but what they got was somewhat of an insult to them instead. The new mascot, Aoshima Megu, is introduced on the city website as a “17-year-old girl wanting to become a cute, fashionable ama, who is hoping for a boyfriend, and admires her veteran diver grandmother.” She wears a traditional “isogi” costume that has been shortened up to the thigh and tightened around her predictably big boobs.
Over 170 ama divers have signed a petition against the character and has asked that the city consider changing the mascot to something that shows respect and appreciation for this important part of Shima culture and heritage. So far, the city has no plans to change its mascot.
Suzan xxPosted in: branding
20 August 2015
Ever had a moment in your life when you wanted to say something to someone, but didn’t?
The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid is a collection of those moments: testimonies donated by members of the public. The Archive Custodian takes the utmost care to edit, index and record new testimonies for inclusion in the Public Index. You are invited to browse the Public Index and choose one testimony to experience in full. Receiving a testimony is an intimate experience in which you will need 5 minutes undisturbed, and headphones on.
Visit the archive here:
Created by Rhiannon Armstrong
Design by MOTHandRUST
Constructed by Rob Grundel
A Battersea Arts Centre production co-commissioned by The Space.
We love to do work with Rhiannon, she is such a talented artist. Let me know what you think!
1 July 2015
Another hot day in London - 33° C! It's always 30° C (or more) - for days on end in Eastern Canada in the summer. In the winter it's always -30° C (or more) - for days on end. Yes, that's a huge 60° difference between summer and winter. And Canadians just put up with it and don't really take much notice. British people are not as accustomed to extremes of weather, unfortunately. The Evening Standard says, "The Met Office is expected to issue a level 3 heatwave alert tomorrow - one level below a national emergency."
Anyway, as you know, I am away for the month of July, in 2 days. Going to Canada to see my family. Can not wait obviously. Thought I’d send you a quick post before I’m off.
This is an identity we created for Common Wealth, a Canadian company. It is a specialized advisory firm dedicated to improving pension systems and strengthening retirement security for ordinary people. They bring positive change and innovation to the pension sector. We need more companies like Common Wealth.
The logo features a professional, yet approachable, sans serif font in bold and regular. A slight adjustment of the ascendants suggests positive results, growth and innovation. Pulling out the two letter “M’s” highlights the “common” aspect of the group working together. We are very pleased with the result and to work for such a lovely client.
Many thanks to the talented designer Georgina Cranstoun who worked with us.
Speak soon my friend, though the next post won’t be until August!
SuzanPosted in: logos
18 June 2015
Hope you're doing well over there in Stockholm. Everyone must be excited about the big Swedish Midsommer tomorrow right? I wish I could have come this year!
Today I am very happy to officially announce the launch of a new site we built for Step Into Dance, a partnership project between the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance. It is the UK's largest fully inclusive secondary school dance programme, providing dance classes in a variety of styles to over 200 schools across all London boroughs and Essex. It also provides a number of performance opportunities (including their annual showcase at Saddler's Wells), workshops, integrated projects, events and courses for dancers and teachers throughout the year. Students showing particular dedication also have the opportunity to audition for the Step into Dance Youth Companies who train weekly at the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as performing regularly throughout the year.
The site was created as a hub, integrating Step Into Dance's busy Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Flickr - all in one place. The design reflects the energy and excitement of the programme and is geared their young London audience, without being patronizing. I wish they had a programme like this in my school!
Many thanks to our great designer, Marianne Nicolas; our amazing dev team, Halo; and our intern, Daniel Pearson.
29 May 2015
Hope you're having a nice Friday afternoon. I am very pleased to say that the Wilton's Music Hall site we have been working on the past few months is now live!
Wilton's is a very unique Grade II listed building here in East London, comprising a mid-19th Century grand music hall attached to an 18th Century terrace of three houses and a pub. It is one of the few surviving music halls left in the world, and retains many beautiful original features.
In the 1970’s it was scheduled for demolition. Luckily, a campaign was started with support from people such as Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, which saved the building. Today, it is a thriving heritage and multi-arts performance space, with rehearsal rooms and two bars. Anyone who has been there will speak of its incredible atmosphere.
We will go here when you’re in London next!
I'd like to say thanks to our amazing designer Marianne Nicolas; our great dev team, Halo; our intern Daniel Pearson; and the talented photographer Sonny McCartney.