Test Pattern N°12 by Ryoji Ikeda

This week Newenglish visited Ryoji Ikeda’s ‘Test pattern N°12‘ at Store Studios. Ikeda’s test pattern project consists of converting data from photographs, video, sound and music into binary visuals of black and white flashes. Previous installations of this have seenIkeda take over the screens of Times Square (New York) to Elevation 1049, a festival in the Swiss Alpes.

At Store Studios, test pattern N°12 finds itself in an intimate high ceilinged room, in which the binary bars fill the floor – whilst the viewer is also bombarded by audio that sounds like a digitised morse code. Upon entering the exhibition, we were immediately taken aback by the shear energy and intensity of the installation; yet soon joined other viewers in sitting on the ground (where the test pattern is projected) and taking everything in.

We were taken in by Ryoji Ikeda’s breaking down of the boundaries between art, sound, experience and the digital world. The intensity of the Japanese artist’s binary projections push this idea in an inspiringly whole bodied and uncompromising way.

Whilst walking around the space we found ourselves imagining future worlds where data itself becomes art, through non-consumable media such as binary, and other code, that make it feel some how mysterious and omniscient—just as ancient art must have seemed at a time when people only saw a handful of images in their lifetime.

Looking forward, could we as graphic designers improve our practice by adopting Ryoji Ikeda’s experience led approach? Would grasping at all the human senses (opposed to solely sight) help us to fore-fill our role as communicators?

In many ways we are already beginning to see this shift in the realm of graphic communication as clients seek out more engaging concepts, achieved through moving image and experience design—for example for our recent Honda Marine stand at SIBS we incorporated the sound of Honda engines under the water in order to make our communication more immersive.

Could creative approaches like this be the way to capture the consumer’s attention in a world in which they are forever bombarded by video, images and mobile alerts?

Southampton International Boat Show 2017

Newenglish created an eye catching product-driven stand for Honda Marine at SIBS 2017.  

The stand featured a number of new models as well as highlighting Honda’s innovative technology with a series of interactive informative displays. The double height structure created an eye catching central hub for the stand, as well as shelter to avoid those inevitable showers. The structure itself created some large areas allowing us to highlight the boats in use with lifestyle photography.

Newenglish have also created the brochures and photography which were used across the stand to great effect. If you look closely at some of the shots you might spot our marine model… well done, Matt, you really look the part. Matt gets all the best jobs!

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?

This week Newenglish visited the Wellcome collection to see their ‘Can Graphic Design Change Your Life’ exhibition. The exhibition explores the relationship between graphic design and health through six different sections: Persuasion, Education, Hospitalisation, Medication, Contagion & Provocation, through a collection of hard hitting posters, packaging, signage, video and publications.

The examples of graphic design in each section shed light on how graphic design has a very real impact on all health related ares from preventing epidemics such as the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa (with pictorial motifs and posters for communities with low literacy) and AIDs education campaigns in the west, to how interior graphics and wayfinding in hospitals can help patients genuinely feel better.

We loved seeing such a bold celebration of graphic design’s often understated daily triumphs. Thanks to the confident curation of the show we were hit by this as soon as we walked in, with the beginning section both shaming then applauding graphic design’s long and complicated relationship with the tobacco industry—first encouraging the habit through slick packing and advertising, to the present day where design is used to encourage smokers to quit. Addressing what is often a taboo subject in design history.

We also felt uplifted by reminders of how graphic design can help an ambulance get through rush hour (those fluorescent vehicle wraps are near impossible to miss), and help patients navigate the hospital and feel safe when they arrive. We particularly loved the graphics at the Katta Civic Polyclinic, Shiraishi, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan (perhaps the nicest place to get sick for any graphic enthusiast).

Looking forward we will definitely take on board some of the gorgeous examples of typography seen across the entirety of the show, as well as the clean, instructive yet personable interiors of the various Japanese hospital and clinic interiors exhibited. Most importantly, we came away with a refreshed sense of pride in our discipline; as the unsung heroes of keeping us all well.

The type of good old moral graphic design seen at the Wellcome collection reminded us of the work we love doing so much with libraries. More Libraries in the works now!

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: the Story of a Life by Grayson Perry

Newenglish recently visited Grayson Perry’s Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: the Story of a Life at The Gallery at Leicester’s De Montfort University.

The exhibition is comprised of a biographic ballad and tapestries telling the beautifully ‘extraordinary, ordinary everywoman’, Julie Cope. Perry’s ballads are presented on large painted wood tablets in a pleasing to read subtly gothic, yet modern, feeling serif font.

The complex tapestries were drawn digitally using an interactive pen display, giving them a very illustrative feel, these vector drawings were then threaded and woven by Flanders Tapestries. It’s probably the digital origins of the two tapestries that gives them their incredible depth and layers of colour and detail.

We were all fascinated by the use of iPads, which gave interactive versions of the tapestries allowing us to select specific people, places and scenes in each tapestry and have either that part of the narrative or textile explained on screen. This use of tech was a refreshing move away from the usual dependance on the viewers artistic intellect to pick apart the piece they are looking at (yet another thing which has been ‘democratised’ by technology?).

It was lovely to visit something glorifying the lives most of us live—opposed to an extreme of success, hardship or political views. Although the Julie Cope’s story was undoubtedly tragic in its ending, we found it to be a pleasant reminder of how special all of our lives are; it’s nice to think that we’d all have the potential to become a good story!

Looking forward we find ourselves excited by the prospect of using textile in a graphic context, inspired by the richness of colour and textures achievable in this media. In a graphic landscape seemingly landlocked by the Adobe suite this offers an interesting new creative outlet for Newenglish’s graphic minds.

We also loved the story told in Grayson Perry’s ballad, imprinting on us the power of narrative in visual arts. How could we incorporate this into a project?

Euroshop Trade Fair: Drycon

We’ve had the privilege of working with international premium interior specialist Drycon. Due to exhibit at the Euroshop trade fair in Dusseldorf, the Drycon directors enlisted Newenglish to help communicate what they offer and the way in which they work.

With each exhibitor at the event given the same size unit to set up in, we were provided with a blank canvas. Drycon’s expertise in developing physical spaces allowed us to fully express not only the contemporary nature of their work but also showcase their innovative use of materials.

The floor and 4 metre high walls were skimmed in Drycon’s exclusive Drycon®Crete mix giving the temporary structure a very solid, permanent presence. Our vision was to have the Drycon exhibition feel strong, and vital to the industry. By carefully using materials so often reserved for more imposing structures, the stand stood out within the pop-up surroundings of the expo.

For the stand we also devised a centrepiece in the form of a bespoke 3 metre table made from carefully sourced German timber atop a concrete plinth. This acted as both a gathering point for the Drycon team with potential clients, and also a countertop to promote their partnership with renowned German liqueur distillery Jägermeister (served ice-cold to any keen attendees!).

Drycon’s efficient project management and workflow was represented in a wall graphic demonstrating their approach set within the concrete layer. The visuals cut into the concrete to reveal a vibrant blue layer beneath.

We loved working with Drycon, and on the opening weekend of the trade fair we made the trip over to Dusseldorf to see how they were getting on and get a good look at our design in the flesh… or rather concrete.

The Education & Training Foundation

We were pleased as punch to be awarded a tender to work with the Education & Training Foundation recently.

In preparation for The Association of Colleges annual conference at the ICC Birmingham, we’ve worked to create the graphics for their beautiful new stand and accompanying literature.

A really enjoyable project to work on, and so nice to see the finished stand looking so lovely!

Honda Village Creative at Cholmondeley Pageant of Power

This weekend, the Newenglish team descended on the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power motorsport event in Cheshire, to visit the much anticipated Honda village.

Newenglish have been working closely with the fantastic team at KCS Group and provided the creative design and artwork for the event.

For Honda, the event featured a wide product range—Cars, Bikes, ATV’s, Lawn and Garden, Energy, Racing and Marine. It was a brilliant event, and we were proud to see our creative on display.

We snapped a lot of pics of the event, you can see a few in this post. Enjoy!