Useless is a guide to living a more zero-waste life in London. It maps out every borough’s zero-waste stores and provides links to essential kit to help ditch disposables. Grown frustrated at the amount of plastic we were forced to consume on a daily basis, the Nice and Serious design team got together to brainstorm a creative response to the plastic mess the world is in. Useless was born… a curated survival guide to a zero-waste life in London.
Stretta was one of Malta’s very first craft beers, and I was delighted to be asked to come up with the visual identity, lables and supporting assets. It is a relationship that has lasted ever since the birth of the beer in 2016, with the brand releasing four new beers along the way.
The inspiration for the brand was provided by Strait Street (Strada Stretta), the narrow street in Valletta that Stretta is named after. Nicknamed 'The Gut', the street was notorious for drunken debauchery caused by sailors and servicemen of the Royal Navy, who were based on the island at the time. It was here that drink, sex and swinging jazz thrived, and Strada Stretta revelled in it. Many of the old bar signs are still visible in the street today, providing me with the perfect inspiration to create a custom typemark at the centre of the brand.
Lift the Ban
People seeking asylum in the UK are banned from working while they wait months, or sometimes years to hear back on their refugee status. Giving them the right to work means giving someone a chance to provide for themselves as well as a chance to integrate with society. At Nice and Serious, I worked on creating the branding for Lift the Ban, a coalition working to help people seeking asylum gain the right to work in the UK. It has been amazing to see how people have adopted the logo and used it in their own way in various protests and #lifttheban campaigns.
The United Nations Development Programme approached Nice and Serious to develop a graphic language for their Green Commodities Programme. The GCP needed a brand refresh, which included a new lock-up and a set of guidelines that needed to work closely with UN branding. After consultation with the N&S strategy team, I began the design refresh by creating a set of icons to visualise each commodity that the GCP represents, and then expanded the idea out into a graphic language that used single-line drawing and photography, eventually putting all this into a set of guidelines.
Purpose Disruptors is a networking group for people in the advertising & media industry to come together and explore how to make the industry more purposeful and responsible. The group brings together people from a variety of roles from the UK’s leading agencies, including Droga 5, Saatchi & Saatchi, W+K, Mediacom and many others. It was an honour to be asked by Nice and Serious to create the logo for the group. I took inspiration from the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi (see below), comparing it to the intentions of the group: to pick apart the creative industry and piece it back together in a more beautiful form.
The UK’s favourite running charity, Parkrun, approached Nice and Serious to create the branding and visual identity for a new ethical sports brand, Contra. An innovative and inclusive sports brand that’s ethically produced in European factories that pay a fair wage, with all profits going back into keeping Parkrun free for everyone.
Globally, there are over one billion people with disabilities. They are now more active in our society than ever before. Yet employment rates are low and many barriers to work still exist. The InfoStories platform offers interactive narratives built around research findings from the ILO. See the infostory live here
Poetry in Potato Bags
Valletta (Malta’s capital) was European Capital of Culture in 2018. I was invited to take part in a collaborative project called ‘Poetry in Potato Bags’.
The project took over an abandoned store on Strait Street (in the heart of Valletta's cultural centre) and filled it with poetry stored in recycled packaging, displayed on shelves made of recycled wooden pallets.
I created a set of labels that would be wrapped around recycled packaging (plastic bottles, tins and cereal boxes). Each recycled item contained a poem inside, and guests were invited to read the poems and even leave their own.
It was a real pleasure to design the labels, posters and shop sign, all inspired by typography found on old shop signs in the area.
I was really chuffed to be asked by Jigsaw to create a set of illustrations for their 2016 Christmas campaign. The main illustration shows the brand's flagship store, on King's Road in Chelsea. I was asked to illustrate both the interior and exterior of this beautiful building, as well as a whimsical streetscape and a set of icons to go with the rest of the campaign.
I worked with Student.com as a visual designer when they were a newly launched start-up and had just opened offices in London, NY and Shanghai. The company was started by investors of Spotify, Skype and many other successful tech start-ups. I worked very closely with the global creative director and was responsible for creating an illustration style, custom icons, office wallpapers as well as some branding collateral and merchandise.
Arts Council Malta
"DeBono's method forces the brain to start out at new and different points of departure, preventing it from falling into a familiar groove it has formed before"
Edward DeBono, a Maltese philosopher, is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking. Whilst thinking of ideas for this rebranding project, I wanted to avoid any visual cliches associated with the arts. Therefore, I applied DeBono’s lateral thinking method, by choosing an object at random and trying to associate it with the area I was focusing on. As I was doing this exercise whilst sitting in a park with my sketchbook, the random object chosen was a bench.
A bench is a place to sit, to reflect, to observe. But this same bench could also perform as a stage, a platform, a desk or a workspace. It is up to the creativity of the individual to imagine and maximise the potential of the bench. In the same way, it is up to the individual (i.e. the artist) to use the services offered by the Arts Council to their full creative potential as a platform for opportunities or support.
"I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage" Peter Brook
With the chair or bench now representing the platform that the council provides, I realised that the ever-changing shadow of the chair would perfectly represent the council itself, growing and moving organically according to each artist and sector that it represents. This provided the visual inspiration to create the organic shapes that would go on to form the logo mark, applying a fluid and dynamic colour scheme that would represent the ever changing nature of creativity.
Palatino used to be the best-seller for Camilleri Wines but had hit a decline. They wanted a fresh revamp and a complete label re-design. The aim was to achieve a modern-classic feel, striking a balance between a rich looking label but without seeming too high brow.
I researched the origins of the name Palatino, and found loads of visual inspiration in the mosaic patterns in the ancient Imperial Palaces on the Palatine Hill, where the mythical brothers Romolus and Remus were said to have founded the Empire of Rome.
I recreated these ancient mosaic patterns and applied a playful, vibrant colour scheme whilst still trying to keep the label neat and tidy. The client was really happy with the result and you can now find this wine range in shelves all over the Maltese Islands.
Maltatype is a blog that I co-founded with two other designer friends, Matt and Kat. It first started as an online resource for local typography, mostly found in signage around Malta and Gozo. We hoped to inspire others to appreciate their surroundings and take a sense of pride in objects that we consider to be of national heritage. Unfortunately, over the years, a few of these old signs have been lost to new development, but have been archived digitally and can therefore serve as timeless inspiration to current and future designers. We have released a few limited edition prints, inspired by the blog’s content, and the hashtag #maltatype continues to be used by both locals and visitors to the island. I have also used the signage as inspiration in several projects of my own. Have a look at the blog and follow the project on instagram.
Valletta was named European Capital of Culture in 2018, and as part of this project, a new visual arts festival and curatorial school was set up. I was asked by the Valletta 2018 (V18) Foundation to create the visual identity for the festival. I drew inspiration from the sharp angles found in the fortified city’s angular surrounding walls (bastions), creating a modular logo that was easily adapted to represent the different programmes that would fall under it.
MUŻA is the new National Museum of Fine Arts in Malta. I created a logo and visual identity whilst working at Brnd Wgn, as part of a design proposal for the new museum. The logo itself is inspired by the blueprint of the museum, which is housed in an ancient auberge and contains a central courtyard. I drew links between the courtyard being the central point of the museum, with the art revolving around it, as do the four letters in the title of the brand.