Forever Curious, brilliantly bonkers as always

Last Friday morning a group of Forever Curious kids from Newport primary school visited W+K. They were here to take part in the pilot workshop for the third instalment of Forever Curious – ‘My Creative Future’.

The idea behind My Creative Future is to get everyone thinking about their creative past, present and most importantly future. These thoughts are then manifested in vibrantly decorated cards.

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Our volunteers eagerly awaited the children’s arrival and when they appeared; both sides were greeted with pleased enthusiastic faces. We gathered in a circle and remembered the fun we had at the workshops and exhibition in the summer.

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After some warm up games the kids and their buddies gathered around a table that was full of various postcards. Everyone had to pick three postcards from the selection on the table. One that in some way made them think of their past, present and future.

These postcards were then used to inspire the making of artwork at three different creative stations on larger cards.  The stations were themed, Black and White, Fluorescent and Primary Colours.

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After much cutting, sticking, painting and drawing some dazzling work was made. The themes were individual and varied; from “clumsiness” to “tidal waves” from their past.  One child showed how music made them feel inspired in their present. Their chosen future professions inspired some of the creative future cards – doctors, policeman and teachers to name a few while others showed how they wanted to continue learning creativity from role models like mothers in their future.

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After everyone had a chance to say a word about their cards we sat in a circle and said our heartfelt goodbyes.  We all had a magnificent morning and the volunteers from the agency were blown away as always, by the creativity of the children.

make some noise

Looking out from W+K Towers today it's pretty dreary, drizzly and dark. But looking in? Well there's plenty of light radiating from our W+K window… Today we launch our latest installation in collaboration with the annual London Design Festival: we're hosting local designer Anna Burns' interior textile collection. 

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The festival kicked off over the weekend promoting our capital’s creativity. We're proud to sit within the designated 'Shoreditch Design Triangle' – one of the many 'Design Districts' set up all over London hosting a series of events easily accessible by foot. Local Art Director Anna Burns felt like a perfect partner for us and we're incredibly proud to showcase and support her work. 

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Anna Burns Object is an interiors brand specialising in textiles and home accessories and this, ‘Occhio Di Marmo’ is her first textile collection.

Inspiration comes from cult Italian movie thrillers from the 60s and 70s. The geometric prints reference old movie sets and include jewel-coloured textures taken from various resources. 

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But it's not just pretty to look at! The interactive installation invites passers-by to control how much noise goes on inside the topsy turvy room. By activating the textile on the pavement outside W+K, you can open different doors around the 'room', each with different levels of sound. 

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The London Design Festival runs until 27 September so if you're passing, come make some noise. 

giving something back

Last week we were honoured to be invited by St Joseph's Hospice to go and present a big cheque to them, have a tour round and meet some of the team there. 
 
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We've been raising money for St Joseph's since one of our beloved WK-ers, Cheryl Rogers, passed away there in January last year.  It's an incredible place and as usual the team visiting left feeling incredibly humble and moved by the experience.
 
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Anita showed us round as not all of us had visited before, and explained a bit about the Hospice's history. The level of care they give their patients both at home and within the hospital walls is genuinely amazing. They put a huge amount of thought and effort into helping people live their lives to the full to the very end (that's their mission statement) and it was incredibly special to learn a bit more about the work they do and how the money we've raised has helped them. Thanks everyone at St Joseph's for showing us round (and some delicious cake)

 

Your Own Great East End Walk

Last month, our whole agency ventured out into the spring sunshine for our annual walk in memory of lovely W+Ker Cheryl Rogers, raising funds to help St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney do the amazing work they do. Every year, they help look after over 1,500 patients as well as offering much needed support to family, friends and the wider community surrounding the hospice.

It was a wonderful day and we highly recommend getting out and exploring the neighbourhood in the name of a great cause.

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Inspired to do something similar? You're in luck: our friends at the hospice are organising the brilliant 2015 Great East End Walk, which takes walkers on a 10- or 15-mile route through the area, from the vibrant East End parks to scenic canal paths. 

Find out more on how you can get involved here: www.stjh.org.uk/GEEW 

No More Stuff

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On top of being a creative here at W+K, Katie teaches on the Illustration Pathway at Central Saint Martins.
 
As part of the Restless Futures Programme, Katie's Stage 2 students have created a virtual gallery that harnesses the power of the Internet to spread messages of sustainability, titled #NOMORESTUFF. Although the exhibition exists in no physical form, their bite-size mantras, or eco canapés, will live on the Instagram as a visual dose of sustainability-themed inspiration. 
 
You can read a write up by Ben Terrett (ex W+Ker and now UAL Governor) here and browse the gallery on Instagram here.

Last Friday’s Be More Cheryl Stroll-a-thon

The whole agency set off in bright t-shirts last Friday for our annual walk in memory of the lovely Cheryl Rogers. One of our GADs and long serving W+Ker, Cheryl played a huge part in agency culture and we miss her terribly since she passed away from cancer in January last year.
 
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Every year we take a Friday afternoon to get out of the agency, get to know each other a bit better, drink some pints and take a stroll round the east end where Cheryl lived. Something she would have loved doing. We were touched to be joined this year by Cheryl's dad, step-mum and some family friends; some of whom made the journey all the way from New Zealand to be with us. The sun shone, we got a bit drunk, we had fun. It felt like Cheryl was smiling with us every step of the way.
 
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It was the second time we've walked for Cheryl and once again we did it to raise some funds for St Joseph's hospice. They are a truly special organisation who took brilliant care of Cheryl in her final days. Every year they help look after over 1,500 patients as well as offering much needed support to family, friends and the wider community surrounding the hospice. The work they do there is humbling and we're so pleased to be able to do something practical to help build awareness of it and generate donations to help fund it.
 
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Please do give generously….
 
 
Big thanks to everyone who walked, everyone who has donated and the Approach, Crate Brewery, The Peoples Tavern, Royal Inn on the the Park, the Pub on the Park and of course the Golden Heart who looked after us brilliantly and were kind enough to act as collection points; letting us put posters up and collection tins on the bars. It was a brilliant day Being More Cheryl.

Posters for a good cause

We were all devastated to learn of the recent earthquakes in Nepal, but we're pleased to hear that a few members of our Portland family have come up with a fantastic way to put their creativity to use and help people donate to relief efforts.

You can do your part to support by purchasing some beautifully designed posters from a dedicated site. All proceeds will go to Mercy Corps (although the posters were developed independently of the organisation).

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Take a look at the beautiful posters designed by nick Ostini and Raina Jungat at W+K Goodness and support the relief fund if you can. It's a really lovely way of donating and receiving a token of appreciation, and the great news for all of us abroad is that the posters can be shipped internationally.

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Turn #EndangeredEmoji tweets into donations with WWF

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A few months ago, W+K creatives and animal lovers Jason and Joris had an idea for using social media to help save endangered species. So we put together a crack team of W+Kers and picked up the phone for a chat with WWF, an organisation we've always admired for its incredible conservation work.

Thankfully, WWF loved it and even agreed to change the organisation's iconic panda logo to a panda emoji. Fast forward to today and we're proud to announce the launch of our global social campaign with WWF and Twitter, created with technical partner Cohaesus.

Launching just ahead of Endangered Species Day this Friday, #EndangeredEmoji is an emoji-based Twitter fundraising campaign designed help support WWF’s work to protect precious species and their habitats.

The idea was sparked by the discovery that 17 characters in the emoji alphabet we use each and every day represent endangered species. Emoji have been used over 202 million times since they were integrated into Twitter in April 2014, and the number is increasing daily; we wanted to translate their ever-growing popularity into vital funds for WWF. 

#EndangeredEmoji is being run through the official @WWF Twitter account and at http://endangeredemoji.com. Here's how it works:

  • WWF tweets an image showing all 17 Endangered Emoji (see it here). To take part in the campaign, all twitter users need to do is retweet the image.

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  • For every Endangered Emoji the user then tweets, WWF will track this and add the local currency equivalent of £0.10 to a voluntary monthly donation
  • At the end of each month, users will receive a summary of their Endangered Emoji use, and can then choose how much they wish to donate. 

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Want to get involved and help support the campaign? Retweet this image from @WWF to sign up, then Tweet away using these 17 emoji:

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Forever Curious: Magical Morning Mayhem, Vol. 1

W+Ker Ellie has been getting properly stuck in to our Forever Curious project, helping out with this year's brilliantly hands-on workshop. She wrote us a story about our latest FC day which, fittingly, was all about telling stories:

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Magical morning mayhem. That's the title I gave the morning I spent being ‘Forever Curious.' Let me explain….

I’m still a bit of a newbie to W+K, but one thing I have heard mentioned since day one is ‘Forever Curious.’ Being a curious soul, I was intrigued to learn more. I found out it involved helping children and being creative, so I took the leap into the unknown and signed up.

On Friday 27th March, I found myself at Chats Palace in Clapton at 9am. The workshop was called ‘My Creative Story’ and we were joined by 16 children from Newport school in Leyton, aged 8-10. I didn’t know what to expect, slightly fearful of having to stand up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself.

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We were paired off, one adult working with one child, although I was fortunate enough to be paired with two boys. They were brilliant.

The idea behind ‘My Creative Story’ is for children and adults to use our imaginations and create our own stories. We were each given a sheet of paper prompting us to describe a character, what happens, what prevents them from achieving what they want, etc. This became the outline of our story. 

From our story outlines, we could develop the story in more detail. There were four activities on offer, with each adult/child combo completing two activities. The activities were Puppet Corner, My Story Den, Act it Out and Inside Out. My team completed My Story Den and Inside out. 

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W+Ker Ellie has been getting properly stuck in to our Forever Curious project, helping out with this year's brilliantly hands-on workshop. She wrote us a story about our latest FC day which, fittingly, was all about telling stories:

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Magical morning mayhem. That's the title I gave the morning I spent being ‘Forever Curious.' Let me explain….

I’m still a bit of a newbie to W+K, but one thing I have heard mentioned since day one is ‘Forever Curious.’ Being a curious soul, I was intrigued to learn more. I found out it involved helping children and being creative, so I took the leap into the unknown and signed up.

On Friday 27th March, I found myself at Chats Palace in Clapton at 9am. The workshop was called ‘My Creative Story’ and we were joined by 16 children from Newport school in Leyton, aged 8-10. I didn’t know what to expect, slightly fearful of having to stand up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself.

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We were paired off, one adult working with one child, although I was fortunate enough to be paired with two boys. They were brilliant.

The idea behind ‘My Creative Story’ is for children and adults to use our imaginations and create our own stories. We were each given a sheet of paper prompting us to describe a character, what happens, what prevents them from achieving what they want, etc. This became the outline of our story. 

From our story outlines, we could develop the story in more detail. There were four activities on offer, with each adult/child combo completing two activities. The activities were Puppet Corner, My Story Den, Act it Out and Inside Out. My team completed My Story Den and Inside out. 

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My Story Den was a great experience. We built dens! Yes, proper, hidey–hole type dens… I can’t really remember the last time I made a den, but I’m sure it was a very long time ago. We had chairs, tables,  coloured cloths and decorations to play with. So, after some careful consideration from my boys, a masterpiece was created; we even had a carpet in the den and electricity (a torch that one of the boys taped to the underside of a table). They had thought of everything. I added a few ribbons and banners, but they did the hard work and were quick about it. We got to sit in our dens in relative peace and start padding out our stories before visiting other dens and welcoming others to ours, reading each other stories.

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There was a general feeling of excitement by the time we got to our snack break. Most children were coming out of their shells and starting to feel comfortable around the adults. My buddies accepted me pretty quickly and the three of us got on well as a team.

After the break, teams were assigned our next activities. Ours was Inside Out. We were armed with a HUGE sheet of paper (slightly bigger than a 10 year old child), on which the child would lie down and be drawn round. This became the main character from their story. Their challenge was to show what their character looked like, on the inside. Lots of painting, sticking, cutting out and general creativity followed. The children seemed to love it.

It was great fun, and even though my team had two pictures to complete, we managed it (with a little bit of extra help). The pictures we created were instantly hung up, which was a real winner as the children could see each others' work on display. I must admit, I felt pretty proud of our handy work too.

The morning was drawing to an end, and we were called to the floor to sit in a circle for some reflective time. We were given post-it notes on which to write three separate words to describe how we felt about our morning together. ‘Creative,’ ‘fun,’ ‘happy’ and ‘exciting’ came up, amongst many other positive ones.

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We were then given one long piece of paper where we had to sum up the morning in a story title. I think the children were slightly better at this than the adults, mainly because they said what they felt. Speaking for myself, but I hope other adults felt the same, I felt like I had to come up with something amazing, creative, awe-inspiring or funny. Inside I was thinking, ‘well that was a fun morning, beats working in the office hands down,’ (sorry Neil!) but that’s not what I wrote – though I stand by what I did write. It was a magical morning, watching children change from being slightly shy, to coming out of their shells, to basically treating you like they've known you forever. Being able to glance into a child's creative thinking is fascinating. Being boring old adults, we sometimes lose our ability to just let ourselves go. I used the word mayhem in my title; it wasn’t really mayhem, it was just busy and fun and, to be fair, in the words of some of the children ‘the best morning ever.’

In a few months' time, we will all get together again for a showcase of all the work created between the wonderful children and the W+K volunteers, in an exhibition near our offices. Personally, I can’t wait to go along, see the children again and remind myself of the work we created together. I hope there will be a Vol 2 to my story, but for now this story is….

 ……to be continued.

 Ellie, aged 9 and a half (well, for a morning, at least).

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A Nice and Serious Brand Identity

Over the past few months, we've been working with our friends Nice and Serious, an ethically-driven creative agency, to create their new brand identity.

Designed to be an adaptable and sustainable identity that can react in response to new developments in the field and work across all brand communications, the rebrand reflects the agency’s nice and serious values: creating beautiful things to solve serious issues. 

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The new brand system, which encompasses a new logo and identity concept, will be applied across the company’s website, social media channels, end frames, signage and stationery, and carried through to the brand’s tone of voice.

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The new brand identity system creates a simple and flexible visual connection between Nice and Serious’ values and each project’s narrative. This identity represents the nice and the serious, and the relationship between the two.

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Whilst the typography stays constant, the central area, where the two elements overlap, is an ever-changing window, a live area allowing Nice and Serious to visually showcase what the company is all about. It’s a space to tell a story through illustration, showcase a piece of work, or educate people in the form of a beautiful infographic.

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We’re also collaborating on a redesign of Nice and Serious’ offices – watch this space!

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