Singapore Green CorridorSingapore is the latest city jumping on board the urban renewal train. Plans to transform a 24-kilometer disused railway are already in motion to re-energise the city.

Reminiscent of the High Line in New York, ‘The Green Corridor’ will truly transform Singapore into a tropical garden city as envisioned by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1990.

From the Railway Park in Israel to proposed plans for a London Underline, bringing nature back to the concrete jungle is fast becoming the latest city must-have.

Singapore Highline

But what is it about this idea that makes it so powerful?

We asked our strategists around the world to share their thoughts on what makes urban renewal projects so popular.

Elizabeth Thompson expands on the notion of creative trendsetting, discussing how “there is a captivating energy around transforming a once cold, industrial space into one with a creative vibrancy. This vintage reuse-and-renew ethos flows across through the arts; whether that’s in music, art or fashion, making an urban project on this scale a powerful and inspiring idea.”

Anthea Kelsick highlights the unity that is brought to a community, commenting on how the projects provide a space “separated from the pressures of both public and private life. These ‘utopian middle grounds’ unite both tourists and locals alike in a moment of tranquillity.”

Sinapore Highline 2

Cathie Cocqueel and Simone Ruth, based in the bluemarlin Singapore studio, shared their thoughts on how the project will affect people closer to home. “As a new viewpoint to explore the city, people will be naturally drawn to the area. This will encourage an economic boost for local business and the tourism industry in Singapore.”

Bringing new life to a piece of history, the projects allow disused routes to be reborn into modern, natural spaces in a meaningful way.

David Bowie B:W

I do not know where I am going from here, but I promise it will not be boring.

Last night the world lost a great legend.

A creative spirit who pushed the limits of expression, David Bowie was a true icon.

Whether performing as his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust or collaborating with the biggest names in the industry, he invaded the arts with game changing creativity.

With a career spanning over six decades, he was a creative force that was truly out of this world.

Rest in Peace, Starman.

 

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If you have not already seen this hauntingly beautiful advertisement for Johnnie Walker Whisky by student filmmakers Daniel Titz and Dorian Lebherz, it is well worth a watch. Unexpectedly moving and completey inspiring, this spot showcases the power of storytelling no matter what the budget.

Featuring two brothers walking through the lyrical mist of their Scottish homeland, the advertisement plays to the heart strings and successfully blends the brand’s values of regional pride, poetic storytelling and the impenetrable bond of family. Reminicent of the brand’s successful campaign ‘The Man Who Walked Around The World’ this student advertisment fits poignently within the Johnnie Walker lore.

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At first glance, Coca-Cola’s classic label appears unaltered for the festive season.

Yet through a subtle yet effective design tweak, the label transforms every bottle into a gift with one swift movement.

Coca-Cola has devoted millions to their festive campaigns over the years. From redefining Santa Claus’ bright red robes to brightly announcing the holidays with their infamous truck, they champion Christmas year on year.

But the promotional pack just goes to show that not every brand needs to spend thousands to impress and delight consumers the world over.

If you don’t believe us, take a look for yourselves.

 

 

illumicap03.jpg“Run, dance, do your thing. And watch Illumicap turn it into a colourful light show.”

With the rapid-fire development of The Internet of Things (IoT), technology is speedily transforming our everyday objects and taking over the market place in its stride.

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Harnessing the fun and simplicity of IoT, a quirky cap called Illumicap that projects an LED light into your water bottle in a variety of colours to create a glowing effect. Synced via Bluetooth, the LED can be easily controlled when linked with an application on your smartphone.

The app has a number of fun options to play around with in the dark! The LED can be manually adjusted to control each pulse of light whilst a simple wheel lets you manipulate the colour. It can pulsate to your favourite playlist or react to your movements, illuminating your activity.

Illumicap

Creative types will love the software that captures the Illumicap lightshow in long exposure, enabling the consumer to use the light to draw pictures and words to design their own light inspired artwork.

Design wise, Illumicap doesn’t come off too strong, however it is notable that the first Apple computer didn’t have any frills either. The cap comes in 5 different colours with a simple spiral to illustrate its application into the bottle.

Although this is not the first product to utilise IoT and LED lights, it adds a playful element that everyone can access. Various artists, most notably Taylor Swift, have used objects to harness similar technology to heighten entertainment. Giving out bracelets that pulse and change colour together united Swift fans in a glowing spectacle during her concert – an experience the entire audience could share!

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As the nights grow darker, the cap has the potential to be a great safety tool for joggers to take on a late run or strapped to the bicycle, proving both a practical and enjoyable product.

Designers WHITE design agency, in partnership with The Kirin Group F&B company in Tokyo, has set a release date for the end of 2016. Until then, check out the Illumicap in action here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEOt3nOCm7k

IMG_4455Personalisation accomplishes a key objective that every brand shares – connection to the consumer in an intimate and lasting way. But will personalisation transcend from being a trend into tactic?

Consumers have an almost contradictory desire to belong to the collective whilst maintaining their individuality. They want to use the most popular brands that are best-in-class, own the brands that epitomise the category, and participate in the socio-cultural conversation about iconic brands. However, they want to balance this tribal mentality with feeling special. They want to be seen as a real person, not just a part of the masses, and to feel that their choice in a brand is important.

Share-A-Coke-tourPersonalisation is a way brands can give themselves back to the consumers. It builds loyalty and advocacy in a real honest way, a tangible reflection of the switch from brands influencing consumers to consumers owning brands. It is an area rich with opportunity as brands can find more creative and imaginative ways to connect with consumers on an individual level. The pitfall here will be thinking that customisation is a simply process of putting names on a label. Success in using personalisation will be a matter of being able to authentically link it back to a brand’s values and ethos.

Coke’s personalisation campaign worked well for at least two important reasons: they were one of the first ones to do it and the campaign connected their brand values (happiness, friendship and the power sharing). Iconic brands like Marmite and Nutella will most likely be successful in their personalisation campaigns simply due to their status, but at the end of the day, are they just being copycats?

Marmite could’ve pushed the envelope by using the language of their most famous campaign, ‘Love It or Hate It.’ Imagine gifting two jars to a couple who had conflicting feeling about Marmite with one saying, ‘Tim Loves It’, and the other saying ‘Mary Hates It.’ This would’ve been a much more engaging campaign that and it would’ve reinforced the brand’s famous message.

nikeid

Another one of the pioneers of personalisation is Nike. In 1999 they created NikeID, a platform allowing consumers to tailor their very own Nike shoes. Revolutionary at the time, Nike recognised the potential in giving to power to the consumer. Still growing and going strong in 2015, it is clear Nike was right in seeing that consumers seek brands that reflect their personal values and style. That they respect brands that see their consumers as individuals and make it personal.

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With the 2016 Spark Award open for submissions, we continue to highlight the winners that took on our previous challenge.

We believe in identifying and cultivating fresh, new talent. The Spark Award gives the next generation of designers the chance to gain valuable industry experience in studio and the opportunity to make their designs a reality.

The Brief: Design a new alcohol brand inspired by what makes your city unique.

We narrowed it down to two braver designs, each tackling the beverage market from opposing perspectives. The next in our showcase of winners is David John from Cornwall.

Merging the distinctive lifeguard palette of red and yellow with the naval alphabet, David took on the environmental issues endangering the beaches of Cornwall to create a modern, ethical brew with the coastline at heart.

Capturing the unhealthy state of the coast, his mood board illustrates the decline of one of Britain’s best-loved beaches in Cornwall. Strewn with rubbish polluting the shores of southern England, his desire to create a brand that tackled the issue head on was contagious.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 09.43.34.png

Using a clever innuendo, the playful Dirty Beach brand emerged with the goal to use the social ethos of an alcohol brand to provoke a wider environmental conversation.

Taking inspiration from the naval alphabet he combines the iconic red and yellow associated with lifeguards, incorporating their valiant efforts to safeguard the coast into a collection of contemporary flag designs. The 26 designs represent beaches around the UK that have severe marine litter warnings.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 09.41.57.png

The bold, contemporary style wraps the bottle for an impactful, sleek design with a strong conscious. David expanded his campaign through printing reusable canvas bags free for visitors to help clean up the coast. Visitors will receive a free DB beer once their bag is filled to the brim at many cafes and bars across the UK beachfronts.

The tone of voice and confident typeface delivers a playful brand rooting for the Cornish coastline.

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Think you’ve got what it takes?

If Bethany and David have inspired you to take on the bluemarlin design challenge, the 2016 Spark Award is now open for submissions.

When was the last time you tried fried insects or salted squid? As ‘exotic’ foods become dietary staples the world over, we want to know how you would inject the buzz for insect cuisine into the UK market.

Only the bravest ideas will make it to the bluemarlin table. The reward? The successful applicant will follow in Bethany and David’s footsteps in receiving a paid internship at one of our UK studios and the opportunity to gain real experience working with an award-winning design agency with a reputation for excellence.

For more information on how to take on our bug brief, click here.

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