Light relief: fun design projects from March

March has been full of disruption, so we’ve rounded up some of its most attention-diverting projects, from a Day-Glo crazy golf course to a sushi-inspired lamp.

Birdies Crazy Golf, by Shed

When is crazy golf not crazy golf? When it’s billed as a “visually electric sports social hybrid experience”. Shed, a London-based design studio are responsible for the interiors of Birdies, which they say might just be the “most vibrant and visually interesting spaces of 2020”. It’s a “kaleidoscope” of aesthetics and influences; from industrial materials to neon, plexiglass and a “graphic narrative” that gives every one of the nine holes a distinct (and photogenic) identity. Located below Battersea Power Station, the course has a confectionery-themed section – complete with a giant ice cream cone and Liquorice Allsorts – and a videogame-inspired ramp that would look at home in a 90s sci-film. Disco-worthy neons light up hallways and a candy-coloured sign leads players to the bar, aptly named Sweet Spot.

Stay Safe, Stay Sane, by Studio Lennarts & De Bruijn

Graphic design can spread important messages. It can also aim to simply make people happy. Netherlands-based designers Max Lennarts and Menno de Bruijn started the Stay Sane Stay Safe platform to “share the right message and spread some love to the lifesavers out there”. Designers can contribute their designs to the online resource and people can download them for social media or print them off and stick them in their windows. Or send them to hospitals – anywhere where they might spark joy. The only other part of the brief is that it promotes the message of social distancing – hence the platform’s name. Designs range from the suggestive to the tongue-in-cheek, and creatives can contribute at any time.

Light Soy lamp, by Heliograf

Saving the world is important, but that doesn’t mean the design response has to be worthy. Sydney-based design studio Heliograf has created the Light Soy lamp, which takes the form of the plastic fish-shaped soy sauce-holders that usually come with packs of sushi. The playful design was inspired, as you might expect, after a lunch of sushi, when the studio’s designers, Jeffrey Simpson and Angus Ware, were shocked to see how many packets they’d used. The pair had grown up by the coast, and saw the irony in how the plastic fish packets could harm marine life. The lamp uses recyclable materials, such as borosilicate glass and powder-coated aluminium. Simpson says: “We chose to subvert our disposable culture by using premium materials and creating something that will be treasured, not trashed.” There’s an eye to product sustainability, too; the parts are all modular so that they can be repaired and replaced. Simpson and Ware say that this is just the first step in a design series that will focus on everyday items.

Special Arts Edition of the Big Issue, by OurTypes and Ben Eine

Ben Eine, a London-based street artist collaborated with London and Japan-based creative studio OurTypes on a special “art” edition of the Big Issue this month. There are three covers of the magazine, which aims to lift those who sell it out of poverty by providing an income. Fittingly then, the theme of the covers is Up (the magazine’s mantra is that it is “hand up not a hand out”). The series feature rainbow-coloured typography with three variations: Speak Up, Rise Up and Stand Up. Big Issue’s editor, Paul McNamee says: “Ben has lit it like a bright burning kaleidoscope”. Alongside the limited-edition covers, Eine has also released a run of prints, equally as eye-catching. While recent events may have put distribution of the magazine on hold, you can purchase the prints online (proceeds from the sales go directly to the Big Issue).

Seven Bro7hers, by Creative Spark

It’s likely that drinks will be needed – and during – the upcoming months, and Manchester-based Creative Spark has provided Seven Bro7hers brewery with a timely identity for its updated cans. The Lucky 7 range is a blend of spring pastels and expressive typefaces. The number seven takes pride of place on each can, from a stripy digit for the Easy IPA to a geometric design on the Hoppy Pale. As well as the updated packaging for the cans, the brand itself (also based in Manchester) has a visual update with a capitalised logomark and yellow and black identity.


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