“I am beyond proud of the BBG design team for their work with KIWI arts GROUP. This project is very special to me as a lifelong fan of Warhol. The discovery of the William John Kennedy Warhol photography is a significant find, and one that should be shared with Warhol lovers globally.”
The Society of Typographic Arts is Chicago’s oldest professional design organization. We are designers who promote high standards and focus on the art and craft of typography, design, and visual communication.
The STA 100 international competition is 42 years in the making. Each fall, we bring the global design community together by inviting all creative professionals to submit typographic work and get recognized for it while building a network with unique industry opportunities in Chicago and beyond.
We honor the 100 best examples of typographic excellence produced around the globe each year. Entries must have been published between September 2019 and October 2020. The fee structure for the STA 100 competition is designed to stimulate submissions from designers, agencies, freelancers, students, and organizations while encouraging new membership to our non-profit.
We’re thrilled to announce that Equilibria has been awarded the first ever ELLE 2019 Future of Beauty Award. Congratulations to the amazing Equilibria team for this accolade.
Bright Bright Great has worked closely with Equilibria to create their brand strategy, visual identity, product and packaging design, marketing campaigns, e-commerce experience, and print collateral.
A Statement About The Work from BBG’s Creative Director:
“It’s been a pleasure to partner with the Equilibria team to create a world-class brand experience. We’re thrilled to help contribute to their success and to help women obtain such a premium product. Being awarded the ELLE 2019 Future of Beauty Award is the result of collaboration, trust, and hard work.”
Elle was founded in Paris the immediate aftermath of World War II and first sold as a supplement to France-Soir, edited at the time by Pierre Lazareff. Hélène Gordon-Lazareff, Elle’s pioneering founder, returned to Paris from New York City to create a unique publication that grappled with the many forces shaping the lives of women in France in 1945.
Its 100th issue, published on 14 October 1947, featured the work of Christian Dior just eight months after his debut show. Likewise, Brigitte Bardot graced her first Elle cover at age 17, on 7 January 1952, months before her screen debut in Manina, the Girl in the Bikini. By the 1960s, Elle had a readership of 800,000 across France and was said to “not so much reflect fashion as decree it.” This dominance was reflected in the famous slogan: “Si elle lit, elle lit Elle (If she reads, she reads Elle)”.
In 1985, Elle launched in Britain and the United States. Elle.com was launched in 2007.
Co-Founder Marcy Capron Vermillion’s life forever changed after receiving some CBD as a gift for her 30th birthday. An incredible success story, she was able to drastically reduce her reliance on pharmaceutical drugs, and tackle her mental health and spinal nerve pain issues. So naturally, as an engineer and perpetual innovator, she chose to learn everything possible about this powerful health agent, eventually leading workshops and gatherings on the medicinal and regulatory power of cannabis for women. (Northwestern, Co-Founder Polymathic, acquired by DevMynd)
Co-Founder Coco Meers is a busy tech operator, investor, advisor, and – most importantly – mom of 2. CBD gives her peace of mind to be even more present with her family and relieves pain from her autoimmune spine condition. (Princeton, Booth MBA, L’Oreal, Founder PrettyQuick acquired by GRPN)
For women, by women. That’s Equilibria. We understand that female bodies are different, from cyclical changes to the very real challenges of menopause and childbirth and everything in-between. So at EQ, we believe quality matters. We believe service matters. And women deserve a CBD brand that can deliver all of the above!
“The Cranbrook Academy of Art website is often the first official touchpoint that potential students have with the Academy. It is critical that the website clearly explain the untraditional academic structure of the Academy while capturing the unique attitude of the artists, designers, and architects who live and work there.”
Cranbrook Academy of Art is the nation’s top-ranked school devoted exclusively to graduate education in art, architecture, craft, and design.
Each year, more than 100 self-motivated students come together to form an artistic community in which each individual develops with the mentorship of renowned Artists-in-Residence. Our goal was to accurately capture the unique spirit of this iconic institution and explain the unconventional academic structure to potential applicants. We extended the existing brand (which was created by Elliel Saarinen in the 1930s and updated by Elliott Earls in 2014) to reflect the attitude of the Academy– bright, open, unpredictable yet structured, and work-focused.
The new website is part of the Academy’s recruitment efforts. 11 newly designed recruitment pieces were created for each department in the Academy.
“By re-structuring the website, we are able to tell the Academy’s story in a new way. We also surface student work as a core part of the brand, giving it equal standing with the Academy name. This reflects that Cranbrook is a living community, ever evolving and changing with the times, while remaining true to itself.”
We sought to capture the feeling of living and working in this artistic community by creating a sense of space on the website. The pages are white and open, like a critique room wall or a blank slate for an artist to work upon. Student work is given equal prominence with the Academy’s logotype on the home page, which reflects that Cranbrook is a living community, ever evolving and changing with the times, while remaining true to itself.
Large typography succinctly communicates what images cannot. Small linework details reflect the architecture of the physical space, allowing the website to be a stand-in for the Academy itself.
About Cranbrook Academy of Art:
Cranbrook Academy of Art is part of the 319-acre Cranbrook Educational Community, founded by George Gough Booth and his wife Ellen Scripps Booth, Detroit newspaper proprietors and philanthropists, who hired Eliel Saarinen to design the idyllic community.
Departments are led by practicing artists, designers and architects who each lead a robust studio practice. Cranbrook is a true community with Artists-in-Residence who live and work alongside our students.
Cranbrook Academy of Art is ranked sixth in the nation among fine art graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. Of all the schools ranked in the top ten, Cranbrook Academy of Art has some of the most individual program-specific rankings, with seven departments ranked in the top 20 of their program.
Alumni have gone on to capture the imagination and accolades of some of the world’s most prestigious organizations, winning medals from the AIGA and AIA, Cooper Hewitt Design Awards, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, USA Fellowships, and they have been inducted into the American Craft Council College of Fellows. And Cranbrook continues to be, per capita, the highest producer of student Fulbright scholars in the United States.
Bright Bright Great is excited to announce that our Creative Director Amy Schwartz has been named one of Print Magazine’s 15 Visual Artists Under 30. To commemorate the accolade, all artists were asked to produce a cover for the monthly print issue.
Fast Company’s sixth annual Innovation By Design Awards drew more than 2,500 submissions. The 299 honorees, chosen by expert judges in 13 categories, represent the best products, services, interfaces, and ideas of 2017.
The winner for Graphic Design and Data Visualization for 2017 was Wolff Olins work for Dotdot, functional branding for the Internet of Things.
Creators: Wolff Olins Forest Young, Head of Design Lauren Liao, Head of Strategy Andy Dobson, Director of Technology Ada Mayer, Senior Designer Ben Gibbs, Senior Designer Elaine Lin, Designer External Partners Natalie Linden, Copywriter Ilan Beesen, Naming Frederico Phillips, 3D Designer Wilm Thoben, Coding Hunter Gatherer, Video
Include your audience and remember less is more — Amy Schwartz
The Brand New Conference is an annual design conference that is organized by UnderConsideration, the group responsible for the popular design blog, Brand New, that critiques brand identity work. The two-day conference focuses on the forms that brand identity takes on—with eight speaker-sessions per-day. Each speaker highlights a different topic in the brand identity universe, and the speakers themselves come from a broad range of experience from large-scale creative agencies to in-house design, to smaller creative studios.
For those of us in the creative agency world—the chances are that our own work has been up for critique on Brand New.
This year, the conference took place in Bright Bright Great’s hometown of Chicago at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. We were super excited that our Creative Director, Amy Schwartz, was one of the speakers this year.
Amy focused her talk on how to tell jokes visually and how to incorporate humor as part of a brand identity. As a case study, Amy highlighted her work from Cards Against Humanity and urged designers to follow three important steps to land a joke or communicate to a client:
Find The Thesis (and remember, less is more)
Treat design and copy like a comedy duo (and really finesse the relationship between your elements)
Always include your audience (because brands have a responsibility to be good to the people they care for)
Beyond that, Amy’s message was that there is power in having a brand be unapologetically who they are and to have fun in that ownership. If you have a ticket from the event, you can watch Amy’s video recap over at Brand New.
After the conference, Jeanne of Bright Bright Great sat down with Amy to ask her some questions to recap the event:
I love how your speech focused on process and how to achieve results with a framework versus just focusing on the final result of a new branding project. What advice can you give to younger designers about the brand identity process at a creative agency that they might not already know?
Being designers, we often tend to roll up our sleeves and dive into visuals right away—be it looking for inspiration, creating mood boards, or picking up a pencil or mouse. But I think it’s important to first take a step back and consider the strategy prior to any visual work. This way, the design work isn’t in a vacuum. It is intentional and built upon the strategic framework that you created with your client.
One way we do this at Bright Bright Great is to create a Brand Deck exercise. This involves having the client choose 5-10 words that resonate with their brand. From there, we use the chosen words in different combinations to create unique visual manifestations of the brand. Exercises like this give you a strategic North Star. You know you’re heading in the right direction for the brand before you even open an Adobe program. And when you eventually do design something gorgeous, it’s easier to explain the concept to your client and sell it to them–you’ve built a strong foundation together.
I’m always really curious about how much the conference organizations want to know about your speech ahead of time. You had to give a topic prior to the event, right? What else beyond that?
Brand New asked for a topic, description, and bio ahead of time. They also requested the slides a few days in advance which meant no last-minute fixes, which was actually a relief.
For those clients not well-versed in the creative process (but experts in other areas), how can creative folks better explain that brand identity is so much more than a logomark?
There are different levels to explaining about brand identity. I think walking clients through what to expect and showing them real-world examples is really helpful. First, you explain the visual brand, starting with color and then the why behind it, i.e. what the color stands for and why it needs to be a certain color. Then, how color and then other brand elements like typography and imagery and layout help to shape the language and attitude of the brand. There is a reason why you don’t see the Coca-Cola logo on blue.
For brands like Cards Against Humanity, their brand identity is very much built upon using humor in all of their communication and reminding people of their brand voice every step of the way. For companies like Pepsi, that puts out a commercial (that people don’t receive well—for very good reasons)—it’s all part of a brand, with intentional choices that have an impact. Think of a brand like a person. And if you put a person in a different shirt it might look different, but it’s still the same person. Changing the visuals of a brand doesn’t erase the brand’s attitudes, communication, and other touch points.
What is one of the best things about a big design conference?
The best part is making friends. I was really excited to meet other speakers, people I was a fan of, and also have casual moments with people who attend the conference to share common ground and maybe a drink.
For those of us that didn’t go, tell us about the atmosphere at Brand New?
It was professional and high-caliber and also down-to-earth and welcoming. It was fun to talk to so many like-minded people in one space. It was big! I appreciated that there was a lot to see and it provided that one-on-one chance to interact with the design community members that might not otherwise be in Chicago.
Did you learn something new or get inspiration from the event?
Ohhhhh yeah. The whole Bright Bright Great design team left with inspiration on what type of projects we are eager to take on next year, and how we might work together to continue to evolve the Bright Bright Great Brand. I loved Mike Reed’s talk about the importance of words in a brand. It was really great reminder for designers to always be working with copywriters.
Next year, New York?
Amy: Yes! The ’15-minute flings’ that Brand New had with local speakers were very well done and great to see. It gave me a lot of hometown pride and I look forward to seeing what other cities have to offer.
An Interview with Bright Bright Great Creative Director Amy Schwartz on Communication Arts
Posted: Aug 29, 2017
When and how did you find your passion for design?
In my freshman year of high school, I took an introduction to journalism class that covered not only the basics of journalism writing, but also how to create print layouts in InDesign. I became hooked. My junior year, I became editor in chief of the paper and soon realized that while I enjoy writing, my true passion is design. I was completely enamored by the idea that different layouts and elements—photographs, captions, infographics, pull quotes—could directly affect the way a reader understands the information on the page.
My senior year, I became editor in chief of design, and another talented student became editor in chief of copy. Together, we collaborated on the intersection of form and content. It was a truly incredible experience to have before I even turned eighteen. I nervously abandoned my half-finished applications for college journalism programs and applied to college design programs.
Now it’s coming full circle, as I am continuing my career as a designer who writes.