Bells and Whistles
The origin of this phrase remains a mystery to this day. It’s often linked to the railways and the need to know that a train was either arriving or leaving. Others insist that it goes back to the days of cattle fairs, where attractive and audible adornments made livestock more locatable, noticeable and attractive to potential buyers. Suffice to say, at best, it’s a means of getting noticed, at worst, attractive but unnecessary extras.
Simple design is hard to achieve. As we all know, it’s often the simplest of ideas that make you respond, “I wish I had thought of that.” When technology and software enables creative adornments, making it possible to make yet more noise, it becomes harder and harder to find an exquisite thought that is beautifully crafted and precisely executed. I feel that was our challenge.
I want to thank Peter Knapp (Landor), Greg Quinton (The Partners), Paul Cardwell (Brand Union), Richard Clayton (Coley Porter Bell), Graham Sturt (VBAT), Howard Smiedt (Geometry), Peter Chodel (Addison Group), Adrian Burton (Lambie-Nairn) and Alasdair Lennox (FITCH), who discussed, debated and distilled down our highest ever number of entries. This was done with good humour and generosity and most of all a keen eye for what truly represents the best of Design and Branding. As a jury, we feel that we have selected work that anyone of us would be proud to say we’d done…or even thought of.
Two winners worthy of a special mention are The Investec Journal by The Partners - a thoughtful and stunningly crafted book that demonstrates the lasting power of print and Landor’s ITV2 Channel rebrand and its subtle play on British puns is witty, colourful and bears repeated watching.
Finally well done to The Partners, who had another strong creative year. They were voted this year's Crème de la Crème winner for the design of ‘Simple Value’, a new range of low cost household items from Argos, a mid-market, price conscious retailer. The concept is simply delightful and created a smile in the mind of every jury member. So let’s ring some bells (ding ding) and blow some whistles (toot toot) to the Partners – well done.
As an unashamed plug make sure you take a look at the new edition of ‘Smile in the Mind’ – a wonderful book that was co-authored by Greg Quinton, a must for anyone drowning under a sea of overdesign and conceptual noise.