News round-up 26.08.11


The Big Picture’s ever-faithful News Round-Up plods on in a post Jobsian era, with the most interesting stories from design and marketing

It’s an uncertain world out there. Global economic crises, rioting on the streets of London and no Simon Cowell on The X Factor. Thankfully, the one thing you can rely upon in these dark days is The Big Picture’s semi-regular, quasi-monthly news round-up, which skims off the curdled cream of life to uncover and bottle the milky goodness of design and marketing news for your reading delight.

Without further pomp, on with the news…

The Cogs of Industry

Steve Job: iResign

Steve Jobs has resigned from his position as CEO of Apple. Though no reason was stated in his resignation letter, the 56-year-old has been suffering with health issues since being diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in 2003.

Jobs’ vision has not only salvaged Apple’s previously perilous position, but transformed it to domination of the technology market through pioneering developments including the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad; products that have dictated the global technology agenda over the last decade. Although a typically jumpy stock market reacted by scything $10bn off Apple’s value, Jobs will remain on the board and former Chief Operations Officer Tim Cook takes on the daunting role of CEO. Jobs leaves Apple in a not-too-shabby position as the biggest brand in the world with a new campus in development and the world on tenterhooks for their every announcement.

Mini Max: "Small Simon" and "Tiny Trevor" names were rejected

Kellogg’s are launching their first new kids’ cereal brand in 20 years. Mini Max is a wholewheat cereal which is low in saturated fat, high in fibre, a lower salt choice and a source of D and B vitamins and iron – all of which means that it can be advertised during breaks of Dick ‘n’ Dom in Da Bungalow (or whatever the kids are watching nowadays) without fear of reprisal from the ASA. It’s part of a wider effort by Kellogg’s to inject a bit of life into the kids’ cereal category which has seen falling sales in recent years.

Coca Cola Music: fizzy pop

Coca-Cola are aiming to make their Coca-Cola Music offshoot project an “established music brand”. The soft drinks giant has run a number of campaigns associating itself with music down the years, but now has aspirations to grow this to become “as powerful a proposition” as its partnerships with Fifa and its sponsorship of the Olympics. They’ve kicked things off with a 24 hour song-writing session with forgettable exciting American pop band, Maroon 5. In other Coke news, the brand recently got a bit of stick here in Blighty for tweeting “Today is #Happiness Happens day!” as the riots kicked off in London.

Foot Locker's unwanted brand ambassadors

And while we’re on those riots, the brands which were looted have suffered not only some broken glass and a loss of stock, but the rather-more-damaging prospect of brand damage, according to Marketing Week.

Walkers iz boss innit

Want to be down wiv da kidz? Then talk to them about Walker’s, Wii & Nintendo DS (7-11 yr olds) or Facebook, YouTube & Coca-Cola (12-15 yr olds). Those are (somewhat unsurprisingly) the biggest kids’ brands according to a Brand Republic survey.

Shopping walls: the future

Ocado are trialling a ‘shopping wall’ – a new innovation which blends traditional and online shopping. The wall displays an array of products which can be scanned by smartphones and added to an online order for delivery. Tesco has been doing it in South Korea metro stops. Never mind your QR codes and other such ‘me too’ gimmickry – this is a genius idea which even this cynical news rounder-upper can see taking off.

Commentary Corner

St Pancras hotel's branding

An interesting blog by JKR on North‘s St Pancras hotels’ Victorian-inspired branding. Have we now reached the point where the ‘more is more’ design approach is more interesting than ‘less is more’?

Tropicana: spot the Premium product

David Taylor’s Brand Gym blogs on launching a premium product – with a little help from another Tropicana mistake.

iMac: the shape of the future in 1999

“In a small building across the road from Apple’s main building, he found a solitary designer languishing amid a stack of prototypes. Among them was monolithic monitor with a teardrop swoop, which managed to integrate all of a computer’s guts into a single package. And in that room he saw what middle managers did not. He saw the future” – Fast Co Design on what Steve Jobs did for Apple.

Pretty Packaging

Waitrose's 'Good To Go': A name so good that you can't believe hasn't already been done

Excellent work all round here from design-savvy Waitrose, courtesy of Turner Duckworth. This is the smartly-named ‘Good to Go’, a new range of healthy on-the-go food products which will be stocked in both Waitrose and other outlets (like Boots). The design balances individual charm with premiumness alongside those all-important natural cues.

New brains pump clips

Alright, not packaging per se but the new pump clips for Brains, by Blue Marlin, do a nice job of liberating the Brains dragon. The old pump is here.

Weetabix's new pack

Weetabix has had some vibrancy injected into its new pack courtesy of Springetts. The product inside remains the same which, in the humble opinion of this news rounder-upper, is a shame as they taste like joyless dust blocks.

Wassup? A new Bud can design

Budweiser has launched its 12th new can design since 1936: a clean, minimalist update putting the Budweiser bow tie at the heart of the new design, courtesy of JKR. Brand New has their say here.

Don't be a square

Becks Vier has a new square-necked bottle, part of a wider re-brand. It’s an interesting and potentially divisive one, but I think it’s a bold move which offers Beck’s a point of visual differentiation. JKR has their say here.

The faintly bonkers Zen perfume

This is the extraordinary Zen perfume by Kazakhstan design agency Good.

Frusion: non-alcoholic adult pop

Here’s Frusion, New Zealand’s answer to J2O. The slick design is courtesy of Interbrands.

Badger Ales

Some nice characterful work by Brand Opus here for Badger Ales.

And finally…

Art of the Menu

Like dining out? Like design? Then you might like Art of the Menu, a new blog from that lot behind logo dissection blog Brand New.

Type Fluid by Skyrill

Typography fetishists hold onto your hats: Type Fluid by Skyrill. Found via Design Taxi.

Poster by Simon C Page

Some beautiful posters here by Graphic Designer Simon C Page.

Beauty is in the eye of the Tiger

These business cards for Tiger beer, by Jon Chapman-Smith, are pretty stunning.

Move by Rick Mereki

Move is a great short film which is part of a three-part series by Rick Mereki.

Illustration for 'As You Like It' by Tara Hale

I really like these illustrated letters by Tara Hale for the 2011 season at the Globe Theatre.

San Fran to Paris in 2 minutes

Take a trip from San Fran to Paris via the Northern Lights in this cool timelapse video by Beepshow.

The View by Marcel Ceuppens

These paintings by Marcel Ceuppens have a fantastic cinematic feel.

Make Everything OK

Stressed? Help is at hand: The Make Everything OK button.

Name That Brand!

And so we arrive at the beating heart of the news round-up: Name That Brand. We crop a section of a well-known logo or brand icon and invite you to attempt to identify it.

Last time we had the unmistakeable(?) hand of that lady from Columbia Pictures.

The last Name That Brand was Columbia Pictures

Here’s the new Name That Brand…

Name That Brand

If you think you know it, then why not tweet us with the answer, and we’ll let you know if you’re right.

Until next time…