Minimalism, maximalism and modernising the classics: all big topics, and all addressed beautifully by a bunch of top creatives at last night’s Nicer Tuesdays.
Dispelling the myth that minimal design is easy, founder of graphic design agency Transmission Stuart Tolley ran us through a couple of his stunning books. Delineating the masterpiece that is his collection of collector’s edition records, er, Collector’s Edition, he explained how physical and digital media can collate to create something beautiful and innovative, such as the Flaming Lips’ gummy skull creation, which hid their record in a sugar-coated USB. The crux of his talk focused on his latest book, MIN: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design, which examines how it isn’t as easy as people assume to create designs that strip everything back to their purest essence.
From minimalism to Mowgli, the next speaker Robert Hunter took us through the fascinating journey of reinventing The Jungle Book. In a brave move, the illustrator took on the mighty task of rewriting and redrawing Rudyard Kipling’s children’s classic and Rob’s sketchbooks were a work of art in themselves, charting the journey from initial thumbnail sketches, to hundreds of practice runs drawing some beautiful animals to the final colourings that brought the scenes alive. Ending with the animation Rob worked on with animator Sean Weston and Blinkink director Elliot Dear, his talk was the perfect insight into an artist’s process and the painstaking art of drawing movement, character and weight; as well as playing to an audience of children and adults already familiar with such a famous story.
Where The Jungle Book is undoubtedly an extraordinary tale, the night’s third speaker Elly Ward proved that there’s also a wealth of beauty to be found in ordinary things. That’s why her architecture practice is called Ordinary Architecture, and its work expands on the delight she finds in things that are otherwise deemed ordinary. The highlight of her talk was in walking us through a project undertaken in the Hollywood hills, which saw her and her team stage an intervention that made it seem the famed huge Hollywood letters had fallen down the landscape. Images of people struggling around in the grubby environment with enormous letterforms is both hilarious and a mark of a superbly inventive project, which went on to achieve another life in the form of concrete moulded interventions in the landscape.
Rounding off the evening was Design Studio’s creative director Tim Williams, who’s worked across no shortage of high profile rebrands including AirBnB and very recently, the Premier League. Focusing on the latter, he talked us through the simplification of the lion logo, and how the aim of the project was to create an identity that was better suited to the organisation’s reach across everything from vacillating football pitches for schools to dealing with corporate sponsorship. In good humour he acknowledged the public’s tendency to leap on any new identity project with forthright responses (see The Guardian’s reaction to the new lion), and demonstrated how their new, modern, stripped-back identity is taking on a life of its own through applications across everything from footballs to billboards.
Event partner: Revue
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Supported by Park Communications
Nicer Tuesdays is also supported by Park Communications one of London’s eminent, most friendly and approachable printers.
Nicer Tuesdays is a monthly event curated by It’s Nice That held at Protein Studios in London. Tickets for the event sell out quickly, to buy tickets ahead of general sale please sign up to our newsletter.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.