Wieden+Kennedy London launches a standalone design studio, called Not Wieden+Kennedy

The 18-strong team kicks things off with a digital wordmark generator, positioning themselves as “driven by creativity, but a fun partner to work with”.

Date
12 January 2023

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Wieden+Kennedy London is widening its offering beyond advertising with a standalone studio, Not Wieden+Kennedy, which will cater purely to clients’ branding and design needs. The studio unveils itself with a generative, infinitely customisable identity, reminiscent of Talia Cotton’s approach on an infinite logo identity for Guilty by Association (GBA) last year. According to Not Wieden+Kennedy creative director Adam Rix, the identity is “a living example of how brands work in culture these days” – “reciprocal” and “reactive”.

Not Wieden+Kennedy also announces its launch with something the team calls The Not Machine. It’s a digital generator that anyone at Not Wieden+Kennedy can use to create custom animated wordmarks from any image or icon. For Not Wieden+Kennedy, the hope is that the machine will allow the team to create an animated logo in minutes, for experimentations on client or personal projects. A version of the generator has been handed over to the internet to promote the news; audiences can use the free tool to play around with motion styles, draw with pre-set icons and share online. Not Wieden+Kennedy says the public-facing machine is meant to spread “a little stupidity across the internet”.

A total of 18 designers, creative technologists, motion designers, 3D artists, brand strategists and writers are currently working at Not Wieden+Kennedy. The only two external hires are creative director Adam, who has worked with brands like BBC and the British Fashion Council, and brand director Anika Ramani, previously at Interbrand.

Despite the name, Not Wieden+Kennedy is aiming to extend the same approach Wieden+Kennedy has championed for years; Adam states the team welcomes any client that wants “to make work that moves people, and makes a dent in culture”. This also means avoiding a house style, defining itself as a democratic, collaborative entity.

While Adam says a generative identity wasn’t planned from the outset, the studio hopes it creates the impression of a restless team who can flex across projects, with tech in design and branding also being an area of interest for them. Adam adds: “Our identity is inspired by one of Dan Wieden’s many quotes: ‘Move me dude’. It’s one of W+K’s founding principles and it’s a philosophy that runs through everything we do at Not Wieden+Kennedy too.”

Adam concludes: “If there’s one key takeaway, we want it to be that Not Wieden+Kennedy is a design and branding agency driven by creativity, but is a fun partner to work with. We take the work incredibly seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously at all – and that’s something we feel is manifested in our visual identity.”

GalleryNot W+K: The Not Machine (Copyright © Not Wieden+Kennedy, 2023)

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Not Wieden+Kennedy: The Not Machine (Copyright © Not Wieden+Kennedy, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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