Stuart Radford, Executive Creative Director, and Katherina Tudball, Creative Director, Superunion London, talk to Cannes Lions, as part of the LIONS Decoded series, to share behind-the-scenes stories, exclusive insights, and high-level learnings on how to create Unforgettable Ideas. With examples from the likes of London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Two and Shakespeare’s Globe, they share their top five tips to creating unforgettable work. From making bravery a must, not an option, to questioning everything – even the basics – they decode the process to creating our award-winning work.
LIONS Decoded is a one-day broadcast of live and on-demand content and insights, sharing strategies and processes for success to uncover what it truly takes to win a Lion.
Stuart Radford (SR): Every brand agency worth its salt strives to produce great ideas. But how often do you see work that’s genuinely original, breaks convention, to be truly unforgettable? Not often, and for good reason.
Katherina Tudball (KT): Creation of unforgettable work is a process, and great work comes from the best out of every stage and opportunity within that journey. We’re going to draw on our experience of creating award-winning work for the likes of BBC Two, Shakespeare’s Globe and London Symphony Orchestra to share five practical tips that will help to foster the right conditions to create unforgettable work.
TIP #1 MAKE BRAVERY A MUST, NOT AN OPTION
SR: As designers, we are naturally motivated to push our ideas and thinking to create work that’s different and unfamiliar.
Visual audits can also provide a powerful insight and the motivation to break with sector norms to create braver and more original work. Take our work with London Symphony Orchestra for example. The LSO wanted to evolve its previous identity to reflect Sir Simon Rattle’s appointment in a way that would resonate with new and younger audiences. A visual audit of the sector revealed two things: One; most of London's orchestras, including LSO, represented the experience of classical music in the same way. Static images of conductors, musicians and traditional music halls. Two; this representation was a barrier to newer, younger audiences, as it reinforced their negative, elitist, boring perceptions of the music. This simple yet fundamental insight provided the motivation and justification to create a progressive and original identity for the orchestra, one that broke nearly all of the conventions of how classical music brands capture and reflect the experience.
TIP #2 QUESTION EVERYTHING – EVEN THE BASICS.
KT: When it comes to design, there are some tried and tested rules that we all rarely question. This tip for creating memorable work is to challenge the rules, even the fundamentals that are so professionally ingrained and accepted that we hardly notice them enough to question them.
Our work for Shakespeare's Globe broke all the rules, but for one good reason: At the heart of the organisation was the founding idea of a radical theatrical experiment, an idea that we embraced as a guide for all our design decisions. The Globe's experience is alive with messy, visceral, emotional humanity. A minimal modernist corporate identity would not express this, which gave us licence to reappraise all the usual assumptions about good brand design.
Instead of one specific corporate shade of red, we had ten official shades. And even for the basic colours of black and white, we allowed five shades of each. We allowed headline typography to constantly change, with literally any style allowed. Instead of a fixed logo position, the logo moved around the page, allowing scaling and cropping, overlapping and interaction. We allowed for all sorts of imagery variation. And rather than strictly consistent layout principles, we allowed 20 different angles and energetic layouts. By staying true to one idea, you can reconsider the established rules throughout your own lens and identify which ones could be challenged to really support your concept.