Have you ever seen the movie Shrek? Yes, you have, who hasn’t? The ugly troll’s story brings you into his life, makes you appreciate his feelings, and ultimately relate to him. He becomes the unlikely hero, and we all cheer him on to find his true love. The end. Back to reality. We know he’s a computer-generated character and that his life was fictitious, so we don’t think of him again. That’s because after the movie ends there is no need to think about “I wonder what he’s doing now”, or “I wonder what brand of sneakers Shrek would buy?”…
However, there is a new character in town, her name is Lil Miquela, and she is also showing you what’s she’s doing now - and what shoes to buy. The minute I write this, she’s just Insta’d that she had a sherbet ice-cream, even though “it’s kinda cold in LA rn”.
Lil Miquela exists, she has feelings and thoughts and most importantly, she has fashion sense. Her 1.5m+ Instrgam followers can also equate to Instar-dom being another one of her strengths. Oh, did I mention she’s an almost-perfect CGI human avatar?
This isn’t a really new concept, think about the Gorillaz and also the vocal synthesizer Hatsune Miku – both first gen cyber celebs if you like. Something like this was bound to be created and has been brewing for a while, but this still comes as a shock to me. My mind boggles.
Lil Miquela makes me ask questions about the future of social media? Or all Influencers alike?
Do I get excited?
Yes, totally. What this is, is a multi-million-pound industry about to take off. Get your chips in. The company that owns this pixel cluster is now worth a whopping £97m and counting. As well, Lil M is about to drop a new line of fashion, and I doubt she’ll need to do any product launches. As well, this “Ava-star” is no doubt about to meet more friends (she already has two), and each one donning a different brand… Think: Lil Miquela has a lunch date with her new friend ‘Flora Gucci’ – on the table opposite them sits, ‘Adi Das’ – who’s just finished his gym session. This is brand personality in the closest form so far.
Do I get scared?
Yeah, of course. Not only for the cyber creeps out there, that could pollute what could be an insane business strategy into something worse, but equally worried about the kids that will be targeted. I’d like to think these curators are taking their influence seriously, and not breaking any laws - but how can something like this be policed anyway? Lil M is “19” but clearly being curated by a multitude of people, meaning her voice is ambiguous regarding age and experience. This will definitely need another family set of rules determining who you’re allowed to follow under the age of 14? 16? 18? But that’s all part of parenting - we’re constantly forced to rethink what to tell our kids is cool and OK, and what isn’t.
Do I think it’s ethical?
I don’t know. Probably not. No marketing is really. I know I’m not going to look like the person in the advert that wears that dress, or equally, that I just need to put green liquid into my lunch box to get it squeaky clean. But I am an adult, and I know I’m looking at advertising. And that’s really it, will these Avastars come out and say they’re backed by a corporation and actually not real humans? Sometimes you can’t tell. Or will they rely on the viewers thinking they’re real as part of the strategy for selling their digs? Would you buy a shirt from a picture? Hmm. Actually, you probably already do.
Do I exist?
I’ll get back to you on that.
Image courtesy: https://beam.land/fashion
What: Feeling the Christmas blues? Well look no further. Why not transport yourself back to the festive season and ignite your senses with Canary Wharfs spectacular light instalment and interactive art show. Boasting the creative works of Julius Popp, Zac Greening and many more collaborative artists.
Not only is this installation visually appealing you can also keep warm with Winter Lights Bites, a verity of food trucks serving delicious food and hot drinks.
Where:Throughout Canary Wharf
When: Tuesday 15th - Saturday 26th January 2019
Visit this link to access the Winter Lights Festival map.
A great free thing to do in London...especially during (dry) January!
When the internet first became popular, people sometimes referred to it as the ‘world wide web’. The ‘www’ bit emphasised how this technology linked together companies and communication across the globe, creating a lacy doily of virtual threads. For her latest exhibition, ‘Me Somewhere Else’, artist Chiharu Shiota has created the human, non-digitised version of that early utopian world wide web, a complex and beautiful series of artworks based on our connections to each other and to all the pre-internet parts of this planet.
Location: Blainsouthern, Mayfair
Click here to find out more: Blainsouthern
As we bid farewell to 2018 and welcome in 2019, we also welcome a wave of trending aesthetics that you can expect to see over the year.
Whether you’re a designer or are working with one, understanding how styles are changing and evolving keeps work fresh and ultimately helps you to resonate with your audience.
Here are a few trends we feel will be frequenting our screens and printed materials in 2019.
3D design and typography
Having proved itself as a stable and persistent trend for the last few years, the 3D trend is definitely going to be a huge part of web design in 2019; firstly, it’s aesthetically beautiful, and secondly it allows the viewer to become immersed in the end product.
It’s rise to trending fame has also rocketed in popularity within typography, mainly because there’s no particular font that works best for this trend: bold, skinny, sans-serif, script, any font can be rendered in 3D. This allows designs to become more flexible, have more depth and a greater sense of realism.
Incorporating 3D into graphic design has allowed end results to jump from the page, making it impossible to look away. This trend seems to be here to stay and you can expect to see plenty of it in 2019.
Anti-gravity and floating elements
The anti-gravity trend is thriving in packaging design and consumer focused advertisements especially, giving a product the impression that it comes from a different world, easily allowing audiences to grasp the futuristic aura when looking at these designs, which naturally boost curiosity.
Ultimately, with this trend an ordinary design easily transforms into an extraordinary one. Anti-gravity is indeed a concept that will be seen a lot in graphic design trends in 2019, due to it’s engaging and immersive nature.
The continuing evolution of vivid colour palettes and duotone gradients
Vivid colour combinations, alongside dreamy colour gradients, will continue to frequent graphic design pieces this year, and for good reason.
There is plenty of evidence to show that the use of gradient or duotone have strengthened a brands image, just look at how Spotify and Instagram have transformed their visual identities to utilise vivid gradients and duotones, bringing - yet again - a depth and futuristic feel to the overall design. Some are the ‘safer’ and expected combinations (blue/purple, red/orange) but you can definitely expect to see more ‘chunky’ and vivid duotone fades this year.
Now - often contributed entirely to Spotify and their iconic playlist covers - the two parallel trends have combined, making 2019 the year of the vivid gradients.
And finally, it’s becoming ever more common that the use of a more flexible layout design see’s us move away from the rigid, grid-based designs, that have become pillars of tradition in graphic design over recent decades. Today, designers are looking to create graphics that feel more bespoke and alive.
As these layouts break free from the rigid and predictable grid, asymmetrical layout, whether on a design composition, in an app or on a site, demands attention. The user feels an innate curiosity about where the information and graphics might go next, creating a feeling of wonder and interest as they interact with a design.
The world of graphic design as we know it, is constantly evolving and adapting to new technologies, platforms and audiences at such a pace, it’s hard to keep up. One thing is for sure though. It’s definitely going to be a great year for graphic design.
However, it will always lead us to the question: what’s next?
As we wrap up 2018, we wanted to share a few of our highlights from our best bb year yet!
With a 42% increase in staff and 205+ projects across an array of successful events, activations and branding campaigns, we have had a brilliant year.
Take a look at our wrap up video as we celebrate the year - https://vimeo.com/307058618
Bring on 2019 and our 10 year anniversary! We look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
See you soon,
The bb team
Established in 2009, Brand Brewery was born out of a passion for brand experiences, using the knowledge that if done well they create unique and priceless face-to-face interactions for companies, inside and out. We just felt it was time that clients had an agency that could prove just how versatile and effective these experiences could be.
WORK: A diverse, extensive career in events and marketing began with a 10 year spell at Tesco, where in his capacity as Senior Marketing Manager, Rob handled everything from events and PR, to creating concepts such as the Finest range and Tesco Express. He then ran the 3rd floor of Central London’s Trocadero as his own venue for 3 years, working on premieres, fashion shows and corporate events.
PLAY: Handy with a camera, Rob enjoys any chance to photograph or film the world around him. Also a closet plane spotter!
BREW: A good old English Breakfast cuppa any time of day.