Creative Lives in Progress is a vital connector between emerging talent and the industry
Lecture in Progress has a new name and new look, courtesy of creative agency Anyways, and has overhauled its approach in response to “monumental shifts” in the creative sector.
- Jenny Brewer
- 18 January 2021
In its short four-year history, Lecture in Progress has become a go-to source of vital information for a generation of emerging creative talent. Now, following what editor Indi Davies aptly calls “monumental shifts” that rippled across the creative industry and wider culture in 2020, the platform (and our sister company) has relaunched, rebranded and refocused its approach in response, now called Creative Lives in Progress. “The need for action became clear as we observed the effects the pandemic and lockdown were having on entry-level talent,” she explains in a Medium post about the team’s research. Indi highlights that the events of 2020 have disproportionately affected young people and people from underrepresented backgrounds, and bearing that in mind, she says, “those of us with the power to lend a hand, support, connection, advice and opportunity to the next generation need to step up and stand in solidarity”. Its refreshed platform hopes to do just that, focusing its efforts on events and content that connects emerging and established creatives, with inclusivity and access in mind.
The most noticeable change is the name, dropping the word ‘Lecture’ which had come to represent traditional academia, and therefore a university-led route into creative work. Instead, the team were keen to reflect “the variety and difference that characterises many routes into industry,” Indi continues. Its replacement, ‘Creative Lives’ is taken from the platform’s popular interview series, which to date has profiled 500 people in over 100 different creative roles, revealing invaluable insight to the inner workings of the creative world and the real people who make it happen.
Anyways Creative (also our sister company; it was a family affair) and graphic designer collaborator Rob Ricketts are behind the platform’s rebrand, which set out to celebrate the eclecticism of the creatives featured on the site. “We wanted something that brought the creatives and their work to the forefront,” explains creative director Ellen Turnill Montoya. Having been “firsthand witnesses to the amazing work they do… we wanted to give them a brand that really could support them so they can best support others; something more cohesive, confident and reflective of their updated mission”.
“Our creative thought revolved around one key insight: there is no set type of creative person, nor creative journey,” adds senior creative Charlie Sheppard. He explains how this visually materialised as a line stroke, a symbol of the creative journey, and a device that pops up throughout the assets in all sorts of ways, referred to by the team as the “journey line”. “It is the red thread that joins our concept together.” It is front and centre in the logo mark as a long dash, and throughout the identity as a range of graphics – a broad brushstroke creating “windows” to photographic portraits, or a finely drawn line behind a pull quote. “Each shape represents a creative journey taken,” says Charlie. “To create a shape, we draw a line (or path) and increase the stroke weight until it becomes an abstract form. We wanted to create something that has a lot of personality and warmth, but can also act as a supporting device to both hold and celebrate the work of the creatives that Creative Lives showcase.”
The suite of typography also has personality and variety in mind, to represent the range of different voices on the site. “They each set a different tone,” says Ellen, “and sit apart from the main typeface.”
Overall the identity set out to embody Creative Lives’ mission, “to help shape a more open, inclusive and diverse industry,” Ellen sums up. “We also wanted to ensure Creative Lives hit the right balance of youthfulness,” Charlie adds, “in order for an emerging creative audience to feel it is a place for them, but also authoritative, to ensure Creative Lives can appear as a guiding figure.”
Core to the relaunch is the platform’s new site and, as per its mission, reshaped focus on connection and education. This includes free monthly online portfolio reviews, and its live event series Pep Talk going monthly too, as well as an expanded Opportunities Board (filled with job openings, access schemes, learning programmes, etc.) and Creative Companies Listings directory. “This is a challenging time to be an emerging creative,” Indi concludes, “but collectively, we can all be part of the solution.”