London: The Brand

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and his team have allocated a budget of £600,000 to create a new logo and identity for the city as a way to build Londonís image both in the UK and overseas ahead of the 2012 Olympics. The Mayorís office is inviting agencies to tender for four contracts related to the new identity; one of which being London-based agency Moving Brands. I’ve been following their recent, unorthodox project which involves making their pitch process fully available to the general public as a way of documenting and revealing the design process – as well as taking on board ideas from the prime target audience. Namely the general population of London. Readers / interviewees can follow the design team’s thoughts and possible solutions and offer constructive feedback on the ongoing pitch blog:


Certainly a fresh and unexpected approach and I think it’s indicative of how confident, moreso than naive, that Moving Brands must be as a competing agency to reveal their works in progress to the rest of the world – or indeed the potential client, before it is approved. As a designer, and someone not involved in the pitch, I find it to be an sinsightful project – and I’m admittedly hooked to see how it will develop. But it begs the question of whether it is innovative or infact a clever publicity stunt? Do Moving Brands REALLY think that gettng the public involved to the extent of submitting designs (some of which are actually pretty clever) will help them meet the requirements of the brief? Maybe so. Maybe this is a trial run on the part of Moving Brands? Maybe that is the point? If so, and if it works, what if this is the start of a soon-to-be-trend? I wonder how this will effect the industry in general, specifically with regard to those sketchy areas such as rightful ownership and tackling plagiarism? So far I haven’t seen or heard of any coverage of this on the net and I’d like to hear what other people in the industry think.


  1. James Chae says:

    branding as net-based reality show. interesting.

    i am on the fence about this approach as well. on one hand — it’s democratic and a good attempt at being honest. however, it makes me nervous b/c it’s inviting a whole host of cooks into the kitchen.

    we’ll see. i trust london’s taste.

  2. […] touched on the dubious phenomenon of crowdsourcing and of course the infamous London branding exercise last year by moving brands, but with regard to businesses embracing social marketing as a means to […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Typecache a repository of type

Hi, I am very glad to come back here and say hi on Ghug. It has been a while but please allow me to share with you the website,, which I recently made with my friends. It is an online index for type foundries and font sellers, and showcases their collections of type. There are also font lists such as Helvetica/DIN alternatives. As typographic literacy grows, the site will hopefully be a useful resource for designers, art directors, and type enthusiasts. We keep posting typography-related information including new font releases on Facebook and Twitter. Please check them out as well.

Me and James have worked on the first typecache interview with our great teacher Cyrus Highsmith and we are working on the new one. Stay tuned to our website. Details »

Omotesando Koffee

This hidden gem is to become one of Tokyo’s key community players amidst a recent wave of ‘new generation’ coffee shops. It’s owner, Eiichi Kunitomo – operates the serving process from within a kiosk-inspired minimalist steel cube, located within a traditional Japanese house which forms the outlet and the basis of the shop’s distinctive identity. Details »

Port Magazine

Just came across this launch issue of Port Magazine at Borders today. Port is a global quarterly men’s magazine based in London, merging style with thoughtful, intelligent content.

Yoshi Sodeoka

Yoshi Sodeoka has been producing art projects since the early 1990s when he made the leap from his native Japan to New York over two decades ago.

Details »

Designing More With Less

For those of you who are in NYC, check out this MUJI and IDEO event, Designing More With Less. Wednesday, June 08, 2011 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM @ The Cooper Union.

In this panel session, we will explore how consumption of all forms – from media to food – has become a political act.  Consumers are thinking more and more about the morality of their choices.  Conspicuous consumption has given way to conscience consumption.  As designers, we realize the opportunities to create actions, initiatives, movements, and vessels for positive impact.  MUJI has long been a believer in creating impact through less. Over the course of this discussion, we will ask and seek to answer, “How can we design more with less?”

Adam Curtis

Details »

David Lewandowski on Tron

In early 2010 a small team of designers and animators were brought together by Digital domain to do the on-screen interface graphics for Tron Legacy. This team included GMUNK, Jake Sargeant and David Lewandowski.

Details »

Polish Hipopotamus

Ever wondered what a polish hippo would look like? Feast your eyes. For me this is best described as maelstrom of sensory overload, but made for fun and with love. Afraid? So you should be.

Details »


The Playtype concept store was launched in conjunction with the revamp and redesign of Located in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro, the store is the physical manifestation of the online shop.

Naji El Mir

Even at a fairly early stage of his career Naji El Mir has already been involved in many cross-cultural projects, solving Arabic and Latin combinations in branding, logo design, broadcast design and corporate identity, his work can be coined as mixture of both Arabic and Western visual cultures.

Details »

OCAD University

“Brand are not dead…anything is possible”. Bruce Mau Design’s re-brand of OCAD University is a must see.

Alison Haigh

Alison Haigh was nominated winner of the Best Newcomer Award at the Grafik Design Awards 2010 by none other than Peter Saville. She has an intriguing (and somewhat slightly bewildering in parts) selection of work in her portfolio. It’s certainly worth checking out when time permits. Details »

The Khatt Foundation

The Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography is a cultural foundation dedicated to advancing design research and typography in the Middle East, North Africa and their diaspora, and to building cross-cultural creative networks. As an online creative network they connect designers and visual artists, provide information about various resources, projects, news and events.