5 important things that happened in design this week

From Deliveroo’s controversial new logo to the launch of the first ever London Design Biennale, we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

Deliveroo adopted an angular new logo

PREFERRED VERSION Deliveroo-Logo_Full_CMYK_Teal-2

Delivery app and service Deliveroo unveiled a dramatic rebrand this week, swapping out its line-drawn kangaroo for a new, flat icon of a rather angular kangaroo head.

Created by DesignStudio, the new logo makes a bold move away from an illustrative to a more symbolic, emblematic look.

But many people have interpreted the abstract kangaroo symbol a little differently… readers and twitterers have drawn a striking resemblance with the “two-finger salute”.

While it remains to be seen whether the delivery company is giving a metaphorical “fingers up” to any of its frequently emerging competitors (reader comment: “Literal two fingers to Uber Eats?“), DesignStudio want the bold, new logo to become a “character” easily associated with the brand, and intends for the minimal look to “reduce cultural associations” rather than establish them.

The rebrand may also signify a fresh, new start for the company, which hit headlines recently regarding controversy around its new contracts for delivery riders.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Apple's new AirPods
Apple’s new AirPods

Apple is veering further away from extraneous wires in its 2016 round of product launches, revealed this week.

The new phones include the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which start at £599 and come with a set of AirPod wireless headphones.

In fact, the phones won’t even include a headphone socket, and users will need an adapter – which comes free with a phone purchase – to use an old pair of headphones.

The phones can also allegedly be dunked under water to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes without breaking (though we suggest you don’t try this), have a 12-megapixel camera, and have the longest battery life of all iPhone models to date.

The launch also sees the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 2, which is also water resistant so can be used when swimming, and has a built-in GPS system.

Along with the physical products, the launch will also see the rollout of Apple’s latest operating system iOS 10, which will see a new Home app added to the App Store – a control hub which allows people to manage all of their connected home products, such as thermostats, lighting and security cameras.

The London Design Biennale opened

© Ed Reeve
© Ed Reeve

The inaugural London Design Biennale opened at Somerset House this week, and sees 37 countries take on the theme of Utopia by Design.

There’s a chunky price tag of £15, but visitors will be able to step into Beirut with an immersive outdoor market stall exhibition from Lebanon, gawp at huge, ferocious-cum-cute animal-shaped chairs from South Africa and witness sustainable design solutions from the likes of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Norway.

While some installations deviate away from the theme, there’s a huge amount of imagination, creativity and smart design thinking, which look at how design can be a very powerful tool in both conveying and helping world issues.

Coinciding with London Design Festival, you can catch it at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA from 7-27 September.

A new 3D printing pen launched

3Doodler PRO Wood Mixed Media

An updated version of the 3Doodler 3D printing pen launched this week, aimed at professional product designers and architects.

The 3Doodler Pro not only draws solid structures in thin air, but also lets users change temperature and speed, enabling them to control the speed of construction.

It can also be used for longer and more intensively than previously before needing a charge, and can draw with a variation of different plastics, which replicate wood, copper, bronze and nylon – just in case any designers need to create a nylon-based architectural masterpiece.

Faraz Warsi, creative director at 3Doodler, says the pen could be a welcome alternative to using a 3D printer, which is “expensive”, “requires specialist knowledge” and takes “time to print products”. With the pen, designers can create 3D structures whenever “inspiration strikes”, he says.

The pen is priced at £187, and will soon be available to buy worldwide online from the 3Doodler site.

Ikea rolled out its convenience store concept more widely


The flatpack furniture company opened its first ever order and collection store in London this last week, at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.

The retail concept marks a turning point for the brand, as it moves away from warehouses only reachable by car, to a more local and convenient experience.

This is probably particularly suited to Londoners, where public transport is king and driving can be perilous.

In a similar style to Argos, customers can order online for collection at the store. Alternatively, they can order in store for home delivery.

The Stratford branch is Ikea’s first convenience store in a shopping centre, though it first trialled the concept in Norwich last autumn.

Got a design story? Email sarah.dawood@centaurmedia.com.

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