Ad agency Grey London has designed the graphic identity for advertising education and awards body The Creative Circle, channelling the “anarchic” ethos of current president Vicki Maguire. Last year she was announced as the organisation’s first female president and said she aimed to disrupt the “pale, male, stale” industry and bring in more “outsiders”.
The “angry” identity, to be used on the annual, posters and other marketing material leading up to the awards, aims to go against the “conservative, po-faced and increasingly corporate persona of the industry’s award programmes” with a punk-inspired approach. Pages of the annual by Grey are torn, screwed up and splashed with luminous green paint, with photos of Vicki and other jurors defaced.
Type blocks are “petulantly positioned on ugly angles” say the designers. “It looks like an awards annual that has been kicked around the floor rather than preciously stored inside an agency’s boardroom cabinet.” It is printed in a run of 300, each one unique. The cover features gold, silver and bronze foils printed on to cloth jackets, and the spine is stitched with hand-dyed thread.
Grey’s George Goldsack says of “aggressive” approach: “The Creative Circle has always had its own distinctive visual language, often satirical and irreverent. It has long had an instinctive ability to read the mood of the creative community and fuel the conversations that are taking place. That community is becoming frustrated, and we wanted to reflect that in the design.”
Designer Matteo Alabiso says the book “isn’t about pretty, shiny awards. It’s a message to all of the odd ones out in this industry.” The book design aims to rethink award category norms and their “tired format”, he explains. “It’s something akin to old punk zines, where the outcome wasn’t as important as the message.”