New designs: The Beautiful Meme, Double Standards, D8 & more

Our latest pick of new designs includes a clever identity system for East London sculpture walk The Line by The Beautiful Meme, a bold typographic system for art exhibition All the World’s Futures by Double Standards, new Hed Kandi branding by Human After All and some lovely beer packaging by D8 and Glasgow School of Art alumni for local craft brewery, Drygate.

The Beautiful Meme: The Line

The Line is a new three-mile sculpture walk in East London, stretching from North Greenwich to the Olympic Park in Stratford. The riverside route passes work by 12 artists, including Eduardo Paolozzi, Anthony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Richard Wilson, Martin Creed and Gary Hume, with more installations and exhibitions planned for later this year.

The identity for the project was created by The Beautiful Meme and features a logo that doubles as a map of the walk and graphic patterns based on the local landscape.

Creative director Tom Sharp says the system was inspired by the idea of taking a journey: “You could look at The Line as a series of world-class sculptures along a three mile route – essentially an outdoor contemporary art gallery. Or you could look at it in the context of ancient humans marking significant journeys with standing stones and art. We choose the latter,” he says.

“We were looking for a mark that could just as easily appear on a tree or a rock, as on website or signage,” adds creative director Ben Haworth. “Using the pure vertical and horizontal strokes of the seven characters, our logo is an interpretation of the path of The Line – in the same vein as Becks’ tube map. More importantly though, it is designed to feel simultaneously contemporary and primitive,” he explains.


The identity uses a customised version of Dalton Maag’s Aktiv Grotesk. Graphic patterns, created with printmaking studio Heretic, are made out of images of buildings, plants and art found along the walk. The result is a bold, contemporary system and the patterns and logo look striking on posters and signage.


Double Standards: All the World’s Futures & Vitra – Making Africa

Photo by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

All the World’s Futures was the theme for this year’s Venice Biennale. Curated by Okwui Enwezor, the vast exhibition showcased work by over 130 artists and explored multiple themes including disorder and capitalism. At the heart of the show, Karl Marx’s Das Capital was read live from end to end in a central pavillion.

Marx’s text also provided the inspiration for the Biennale identity this year, designed by Berlin studio Double Standards. Banners, posters, packaging, merchandise and the official catalogue make great use of Compacta Shop Black, which was subtly adapted to appear like newspaper wood block print.

“From our discussions with Okwui I felt what he wanted was something that was bold and graphic, but he never said that in as many words,” explains Double Standards director Chris Rehberger. The visual approach was influenced by “the many perspectives” on Marx’s capitalist ideology, says Rehberger, as well as the exhibition’s title and content.

“We wanted it to be as un-romantic as possible, more as a huge headline on a paper, [as if] this is the art news of the future. With the typography we made it stretch over the format so that it can create the look of reaching out and impacting…translating that the idea is bigger than any format can hold,” he adds.

Photo by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia

As well as being used on banners and advertising around the city, the identity was applied to merchandise including rubbers and tote bags. (Images of applications can be found on the studio’s website).

Photo by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia


Double Standards also recently worked on graphics and a newspaper and catalogue for Making Africa, an exhibition showcasing work by African artists and designers at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Graphics and signage use bold black and white type, and the catalogue cover features a great image by artist Cyrus Kabiru, made using a repeat pattern with the words Making Africa.

“That translates to the many voices of African design and culture, as there is not one encompassing African style of design,” explains Rehberger. “Many times, Northern European’s view of African deisgn is seen one dimensionally, as ‘a country’, but really within this, it is a continent of 54 recognised different sovereign states,” he adds.


Human After All: Hed Kandi

Dance music label Hed Kandi has been given a makeover by creative agency Human After All, who created a new logo, icon system and typeface for the brand better suited to use online and on social media. “The current branding lacked flexibility across mediums, resulting in a limited and repetitive visual language. The brand remained anchored by the ‘Hed Kandi Girl’ [the brand’s original logo], an iconic symbol that no longer felt as relevant to modern sensibilities,” says Human After All.

It’s a sensitive redesign – as the agency points out, the aim was to update Hed Kandi’s branding without alienating its existing audience – the ‘Hed Kandi girl’ has been replaced with a new, simpler mark and the type with Hed Kandi’s new Kandopia typeface, but it doesn’t stray far from the original design.

Human After All also worked on an artwork system for HK Records, made up of patterns and colours based on Newton’s theories on the relationship between colour and sound, and a detailed style guide, allowing the label to produce future communications and artwork in-house. The branding and icons work particularly well on the website, built by Animade.


D8/Glasgow School of Art alumni – Drygate beer

Last year, we wrote about design studio D8‘s branding for Drygate, a new craft brewery in the east end of Glasgow. As well as designing the brewery’s interiors and visual identity, the studio had worked with Glasgow School of Art alumni on a series of illustrated labels for its first range of beer.

To celebrate Drygate’s first anniversary, D8 has again teamed up with GSA graduates to produce another range of limited edition, hand wrapped packaging, sporting artwork from six alumni: Fran Caballero; Rae-Yen Song, Isabella Widger, Paul Flynn Brady, Alice Hoskins and Matthew Bainbridge.

Designs have been cropped and lithoprinted on Fenner Offenbach Bible paper, and are sealed with a Drygate roundel sticker. Each bottle is an edition of 350, and comes with a removable tag also featuring the artwork.You can order individual bottles or the whole set here.



&Smith: Smack Lobster Roll

Smack Lobster Roll is a takeaway outlet serving lobster in brioche rolls, founded by the team behind restaurant chain Burger & Lobster. The company was previously named Smack Deli, but rebranded to coincide with the launch of its second site on Soho’s Dean Street.

The new branding was created by &Smith, and references vintage travel posters, seaside imagery and the hand painted lettering found on the side of smack boats used for lobster fishing.

Illustrations were drawn in-house and depict Nova Scotia, Canada, where Smack’s lobsters are sourced. The colourful images have been applied to menus, packaging and signage, and the building’s exterior now features a lovely large-scale artwork.

The end result is nostalgic with a contemporary touch, referencing the brand’s seafood menu and the freshness of its food.