W+K does Pick Me Up

This week, W+K designer Michael Bow popped down to Pick Me Up at Somerset House. He reported back with his thoughts on the event and the visual trends emerging from the industry in 2015. 

Now in its sixth year, Pick Me Up, billed as a “Graphics Arts Festival” houses a range of work from new and established illustrators, designers, illustrative designers, and everything in between. It’s a pretty good way to gauge what’s trendy in the market that year.

Working at any agency like W+K, it’s important to keep an ear to the ground and know what’s going on; sometimes emerging styles influence our practice, and sometimes we actively go against what’s expected in current visual communications.


Despite the fact that the event is meant to support and showcase up-and-coming creatives, there has been a lot of criticism aimed at Pick Me Up over the past few years. The entry fee still seems hefty considering that you are bombarded with price tags and pay points (and a pop-up café?) from the minute you walk in, but the work is now increasingly presented in a more refined and digestible manner.

Previous years had resembled some sort of doodle-filled TK Maxx, but this year, the show has a nice pace to it, and each individual station is distinctive and well constructed. I would also highly recommend arriving early if possible, to avoid throngs of disapproving designers.

The show this year has a heavy focus on print specialists. Peckham Print Studio, Sope Studio, and Hato Press are all operating live printing stations for people to not only learn about, but create and buy their own specialist prints on site. We caught up with graphic artist, and my fellow Glasgow School of Art graduate, Gabriella Marcella, who was amongst other things showcasing her Glasgow-based riso print studio Risotto.

Alongside the talent showcase, Pick Me Up is now also home to an impressive programme of events in a new presentation area billed as Pick Me Up Platform, all available with free entry. So if there is someone you are particularly interested in, you may be able to see them speak in the flesh too. The impressive headline slot on Thursday is occupied by The Designers Republic’s Ian Anderson, Secret 7”‘s Kevin King, and some DJ sets(?!).


Gabriella Marcella’s Display. 

Rightly or wrongly, it feels as though there is less focus on concept and communication when designers and illustrators are left to play. Coming from a position and industry where design and Illustration is very much a commercial venture, and should be used as a tool for clear communication, I feel that a lot of the efforts in the work supported at the event are sometimes a little misplaced, along with the emerging area between graphic design and art.

However, this is a celebration of personal creative freedom, and I was personally drawn to the pieces which display a consistent, interesting and fun use of style. The show’s highlight, aptly titled ‘Pick Me Up Selects’, showcases 12 emerging artists selected by a panel of industry experts. I particularly loved the fantasy comic book/8-bit world seen in Peter Judson’s display. Other highpoints are Jack Cunningham’s Jurassic models, Gaurab Thakali’s jazzy prints and Hattie Newman’s amazing paper-cut micro-sets.


Peter Judson 


Hattie Newman

There are lots of amusing things to glance at and flick through as you wander through the different rooms. Other parts of the show I especially enjoyed were the prints by Italian studio La Tigre, and the displays set up by London’s animation collective Moth. Lazy Oaf also have a striking room featuring the results from their FUN project, in which they collaborated with a range of illustrious including Alexander Medel Calderón.


Sarah Maycock


My favorite cat print from Hato Press


David Mendez Alonso’s cap collection


Work from La Tigre,


Lazy Oaf


and Kyle Platts.

Pick Me Up runs until Monday 4th May at Somerset House. Check it out.

Forever Curious: A Great, Arty Day


We recently ran the second of our Forever Curious 'My Creative Story' workshops at Chats Palace in Clapton with a brilliant bunch of kids from Millfields Community School. The W+K adults (or rather, big kids) in the group had just as much fun as the kids did. It was an absolutely wonderful day, and we loved getting stuck into some hands-on storytelling; we came away totally awe-struck and inspired by the kids and we can't wait to do it again. 


One of the Millfields children we had the pleasure of spending the day with wrote us an account of her experience. Take it away, Ivy… 

I came to a big room with a big circle of about thirty or forty adults. We were told to write three words to explain what we felt like. Some people wrote things like brave, curious, excited and scared. Then we had to walk around and pretend to be strange things like giants and witches. Then we found a buddy, who was an adult. Me and my partner had to choose between painting inside out characters, acting our stories out, making dens and puppets. We chose to build dens. We made a lovely den out of two pink pieces of material and told stories in our dens. I then made some puppets from the story I made up earlier, and me and my buddy put on a show.

I worked with a lady called Amy and she was very nice. We did everything together and she let me choose what to do. I felt very happy that we worked well in a team. It was a great experience and I'd love to do it again. 

It made me feel a mixture of different things like curious, excited and brave. I liked it because it's like when you're reading a book and anything can happen. I also liked it because I felt like I was in a story. 



Back to the 1920s

Last Thursday was that time of the year again…Wieden+Kennedy's Founders' Day, the day when we all get together to celebrate the founding of the agency and to get even more creative.

Like every year, the day's itinerary was shrouded in mystery and this year was no different, apart from the strong hint that there would be a 1920s movie glamour theme, which we deciphered from the posters around the office, an invitation entitled 'Wieden+Kennedy Makes the Movies' and the 1920's short film we were shown featuring certain famous faces from around the agency!


We all gathered at the office first thing, and after a hearty breakfast, discovered that our day would be spent in teams, filming our very own 1920s silent movie. Props and all. 


The result was 15 short, rather peculiar and hilarious silent movies that, dare we say it, were pretty impressive! We even had a silent rap video/horror movie mashup titled "Jack the Rapper". Turns out we're not too shabby at this thing. 


We ended the day with a glitzy, Great Gatsby-esque dinner and party (minus the prohibition act) in Bloomsbury, dressed in our vintage finery. Just imagine lots of flappers and dapper gents, and an awful lot of feather boas. The fantastic entertainment included a live band, a burlesque dancer and a giant Martini glass. The highlight of the evening was of course a mass screening of our hard day's work and a few awards. 


We had a great day all in all, and the best part was getting the chance to step outside of our usual roles and get creative whilst spending time with other W+Kers we don't always have the chance to work with.

An unexpected star guest at Toby and Laurie’s leaving drinks


Iain Tait writes:

Ted Royer (ECD Droga 5 NY) happened to be at the pub after D&AD judging across the road, coinciding with creative team Toby & Laurie's leaving drinks. They're leaving W+K to join Droga. Ted wasn't entirely sure who T&L were, but I forced them to pose for this. I praised him on coming to collect his fresh meat. And them for inviting their new boss to their leaving drinks. 
Best wishes and good luck to Toby and Laurie in their new jobs at Droga NY.
We all laughed.

Books and Pencils

We were rather spoilt at the beginning of the week with some fantastic award wins from Creative Review and D&AD.  We were lucky enough to be given two awards by each, not bad for a Tuesday!

Creative Review have awarded us Best in Book for Lurpak 'Cook's Range' and also for Honda 'The Other Side.'

Here's a chap enjoying (we think?) our Lurpak and Honda work at the Creative Review Annual party last night. 


(Photo courtesy of Creative Review)

Closer to home, our Spitalfields neighbours at D&AD awarded Chambord 'Because No Reason' two pencils (rather fittingly) for 'Writing for Brands' and 'Writing for Design.' Nice. 

W+K asks the nation to Choose Its Trebor

Trebor and Wieden+Kennedy London have launched a new UK campaign for Britain’s biggest mint brand, which actively encourages people choose their Trebor.

The campaign introduces viewers to the curiously wonderful Trebor world. It’s a world that’s reduced to the two choices of Trebor mints. And it’s populated by characters with an unquestionable love and passion for their choice of mint, and who will go to great lengths to stand by it.

The 30” film highlights people’s affinity and loyalty to Trebor’s unapologetically minty mints, and plays with the truth that mint eaters fall firmly into one of two camps: Extra Strong Mints or Softmints. You’re either one or the other – no one mixes it up.

The spot shows a father and a son at a pivotal point in their relationship; a familiar, loaded situation with a surreal minty twist, which establishes Trebor as a bold, playful and modern brand with a quintessentially British sense of humour.

Choose Your Trebor is the brand’s first TV campaign in over a decade, and the first created by W+K since being awarded the Trebor business in 2014. The TV spot is supported by a radio campaign (hear 'Birthday' and 'Tourist' here), trade PR and in-store activity, as well as new packaging due to launch in August. 

Elena Mallo, Senior Brand Manager said “We’re really pleased to be back on TV, supporting this fantastic brand with such a bold campaign. It will encourage shoppers to pick up a pack of Trebor by highlighting its great taste and heritage. Trebor is by far the market leader in mints and from this campaign we are looking to bring the brand to the forefront of consumers’ minds.”

Kim Papworth, Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy, commented: “We loved the challenge from Trebor to celebrate Extra Strong Mints as well as Softmints in the same campaign. Trebor have a history of making memorable minty work. We hope not to disappoint.”

Choose Your Trebor

Softmints or Extra Strong Mints?

It’s a deeply personal question, and one we tackle with our brand new work for Trebor. 

In a TV spot, directed by New Zealand funnyman Taika Waititi, we tell the story of a teenage Softmint fan standing up to his Extra Strong Mint-loving father. It’s a classic tale of rebellion given a surreal twist, as the father also happens to have…


…a giant Extra Strong Mint for a head.  

The campaign is our first for the brand, and Trebor's first campaign in a decade, so we're very happy to see it come to life.

The TV spot is also supported through the magic of radio, with two additional minty tales.


Arla and W+K Bring Skyr to British Shores

Arla and Wieden+Kennedy have created a multichannel campaign this spring to introduce Iceland’s traditional and nutritious yogurt, Skyr.

Arla Skyr is made from skimmed cow's milk and is carefully made following traditional Icelandic methods, which results in a delicious, silky texture that is low in fat, reduced in sugar and naturally high in protein. Known for their strength and courage, Icelandic people through the centuries have at least one thing in common: they’re all powered by Skyr. And now, it’s set to conquer British shores.

Launched in the UK with a 90” film directed by Dougal Wilson through Blink, the TV spot is set in the 1960s and tells a story laced with Icelandic pluck and, of course, plenty of Skyr. A young telephone exchange messenger goes to extraordinary lengths to keep his community connected to the world, and each other, via the only telephone in their remote village. Naturally, bowl after bowl of Skyr keeps him going; whether the message he’s delivering is difficult to swallow or a little more mundane, no obstacle is too big and no news too small for the young hero.

In the coming months, outdoor executions will support the TVC, heralding the arrival of Iceland’s super yogurt, photographed by British photographer Andy Sewell.

Campaign activity will continue online, with a series of three short documentary films, 'Skyr Guides' launching in late April, featuring modern day Icelanders. From the doorman at the oldest bar in Reykjavik to one of Iceland’s toughest female cyclists, the friendly locals help viewers become more familiar with Skyr, the dairy product they grew up on. The films, ranging from one minute to shorter cutdowns tailored for different platforms, will be shared on Arla’s social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine, as well as YouTube prerolls.

Sam Dolan, Senior Brand Manager, Yogurt, Arla comments, “we are thrilled with how the campaign is looking and the TV spot is an amazing way to launch our wonderful Skyr Icelandic style yogurt. Thanks to Wiedens and Dougal for delivering another great ad for Arla.”

Larry Seftel, Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy London, says “In their long illustrious history Icelanders have been sailing the oceans, producing world beating strongmen, chess champions and, as the story of our ad tells, a young boy capable of hand delivering phone messages to people all over an often cold and forbidding Island. Now that Skyr is available in the UK we have an inkling of what their secret might be.”

Plentiful yogurt from Arla Skyr

Visitors have been wondering why the fridges at W+K have been full to the brim with yogurt recently. All became clear this weekend: this spring, Britain learned that Iceland’s traditional and nutritious yogurt, skyr, is set to conquer our shores.

Arla Skyr is carefully made from skimmed cows milk following traditional Icelandic methods, which results in a delicious, silky texture that is low in fat, reduced in sugar and naturally high in protein. 

We helped Arla introduce the product by creating a multichannel campaign, which launched in the UK this weekend with a 90” film, and will roll out in additional markets including Germany and the Netherlands.


Directed by Dougal Wilson through Blink, the TV spot is set in the 1960s and tells a story laced with Icelandic pluck and, of course, plenty of skyr. A young telephone exchange messenger goes to extraordinary lengths to keep his community connected to the world, and each other, via the only telephone in their remote village. Naturally, bowl after bowl of skyr keeps him going; whether the message he’s delivering is difficult to swallow or a little more mundane, no obstacle is too big and no news too small for the young hero.


Outdoor executions photographed by celebrated photographer Andy Sewell will begin popping up around the country starting in June, heralding the arrival of Iceland’s super yogurt.


Campaign activity will continue online and on social channels, with a series of three short documentary films launching later in April, featuring modern day Icelanders.

Grab yourself a bowl of skyr, and stay tuned for much more yogurty goodness from us.