Design inspiration: our favourite projects from May

Minigolf, Mogwai, and magazines dedicated to letters are some of the past month’s design stand-outs.

Little Rick branding, by Now

CBD drinks are hardly a rarity these days. But while many brands highlight the potential health benefits of CBD, Little Rick’s new identity was all about instilling a sense of chill. The design team at Now looked to skate culture and artists like Keith Haring as exemplars of a relaxed vibe, ending up with a neat logo lock-up that can be seen on packaging as well as OOH campaigns. Coloured cans refer to the five varieties of drink. “The process of creating full-spectrum CBD takes time and care,” says Now head of design Marc Donaldson. “And we saw this human-based craft element as something we could also use to inform the look-and-feel.”

Fred Perry: A British Icon at the Design Museum, from Event Concept and Regular Practice

Courtesy of Felix Speller

Tennis, Amy Winehouse, the Proud Boys: Fred Perry is constantly finding new ways to surprise. The Design Museum is celebrating 70 years of the label’s unusual legacy with an exhibition exploring how musical and cultural collaborations have influenced the clothing brand. There’s the obligatory Winehouse contribution, but also Gorillaz, Raf Simons, and Comme des Garçons. The exhibition design surprises too. At the show’s conclusion, there’s an immersive music room – crafted to emulate London’s 100 Club, where Fred Perry wearers would often party. The entrance corridor is plastered with event posters, while a minimalist light show mimics the playing music. There’s also footage and photography from Fred Perry’s programming at the club. 3D exhibition design is from Event Concept, while Regular Practice is responsible for the 2D design. The free exhibition runs from 10-19 June at the Design Museum.

Spaceships over Glasgow: Mogwai and Misspent Youth cover, by Middle Boop

Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has put his memories of being part of Scotland’s prime post-rock movement into words. Spaceships over Glasgow: Mogwai and Misspent Youth traces Braithwaite’s beginnings, from the son of a telescope maker to a life of rock and roll. Middle Boop founder Gordon Reid crafted the book’s cover, drawing on its psychedelic references – “but not too cliché ‘60s psyche”, he adds – and comic book influences. Happily, both Reid and Braithwaite were big fans of sci-fi authors like J.G. Ballard and Isaac Asimov. Those cover designs provided instant inspiration, Reid explains. “It’s not a sci-fi book but I wanted a bit of that feel, mixed with a psychedelic, almost acid house, neon colour palette,” he says. The designer chose a versatile illustration style, in the hopes that it could be adapted for different covers along with a slip case. Keeping in mind how it stands out on a shelf and digital stores was crucial. “It was one of those dream occasions where the idea and momentum just kept growing,” Reid adds.

Canary Wharf minigolf, from Craig & Karl

Artistic duo Craig & Karl’s new minigolf course hopes to puncture the grey stylings of Canary Wharf. The nine-hole course is patterned with a neon orange ramp, a pink and yellow chequered bridge, and Pop Art-inspired obstacles. Karl Maier, one half of the Craig & Karl, believes that the course brings a sense of surprise for its players – something that’s enhanced by the public settings. “The element of surprise is one of the things we love about creating work for public spaces – encountering something in an unexpected context can make it quite powerful,” he says.

Better Letters Magazine, from Sam Roberts

Better Letters Magazine (shortened to BLAG) is a love letter to letters. Sam Roberts, who runs the Better Letters website and print title, is hoping to take readers on an adventure through sign painting – targeting the international sign painting community, though it’s likely to pique the curiosity of type and lettering fans too. The debut issue goes behind the scenes of Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (where signs were faux-aged to stay faithful to the film’s 1950s settings) and investigates UV murals in Poland. The magazine has also collected signs from all over the world, from sushi restaurants in Barcelona to New York neon diner signs. BLAG will be published twice a year, and you can subscribe on the Better Letters website.

We Know Our Place short film, from BBC Creative and Stink Films

Where’s a woman’s rightful place? At the top of the leader board, according to a new clip from BBC Creative and Stink Films. The 60-second film flips the sexist notion that “women should know their place” and instead tells the stories of successful female athletes (and those still in the making). Debuting during the Women’s FA Cup final, the short film features appearances from footballer Lucy Bronze, parasport athlete Kadeena Coz, and cricketer Nat Sciver. Fast-paced shots give the clip a sense of momentum, as well as shots of world-famous British venues from Centre Court to Wembley.

The banner image is courtesy of Felix Speller

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