News 06.12.2018

Need to Know

Los Angeles re-imagined as a parking-free city, the UN addresses sustainable fashion and the global audience for eSports continues to grow.

Squarespace gets a kinetic rebrand

Squarespace Brand Identity Film by DIA Studio

New York – DIA Studio has rebranded website design company Squarespace with an entirely kinetic identity.

Squarespace’s new branding is not static, but constantly moving, giving its visual language endless flexibility. According to the brand, it uses a generative system to introduce ‘happy accidents and unexpected collisions’ to its visual identity, which will be used for Squarespace’s marketing, social media and website. The brand worked with DIA Studio, a company that specialises in typographic kinesis, to create its roaming typeface.

‘Brands are no longer static. They are living, breathing. Kinetic. For us being a tech company whose brand presence primarily lives online, it was important to make sure we were thinking screen first,’ David Lee, CEO at Squarespace, tells It’s Nice That.

As marketing becomes increasingly screen-based, graphic designers are experimenting with animated branding. Read our design direction Post-language Typography to see how designers are creating typefaces that exist as organisms in their own right.

Designing the future of Los Angeles without parking

More LA by Woods Bagot, Los Angeles More LA by Woods Bagot, Los Angeles
More LA by Woods Bagot, Los Angeles More LA by Woods Bagot, Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Architecture firm Woods Bagot has published a research and design report exploring future mobility in the second-most populous city in the US.

The study, called More LA, quantifies the amount of space taken up by parking in the city in order to question how this could be unlocked for more productive uses, from affordable housing and ground-level retail to green spaces. Researchers found that more than 100 square miles in Los Angeles are dedicated to parking – the equivalent of nearly one-quarter of the entire city.

Responding to growing evidence that suggests those living in Los Angeles are increasingly forgoing driving their own cars for alternative methods of transport, such as ride-sharing, hire bikes and scooters, the study explores different scenarios for Los Angeles’s development, including design prototypes for a parking-free city of the future. For more on the future of transport in major cities, explore how AVs will impact urban design.

The UN announces charter for sustainable fashion

Global – Fronted by designer Stella McCartney, the UN’s charter hopes to incite collective action around fashion’s impact on climate change.

While the charter has reportedly been signed by major fast fashion brands, the UN now hopes to rally luxury brands to pledge their commitment, with the charter launching at climate talks in Poland on 10 December. McCartney hopes the charter will make a business case for sustainable fashion, such as allowing low-carbon production methods to be scaled up to improve their economic viability.

According to McCartney, persuading brands to prioritise sustainability is not about peer pressure but about getting them excited about the opportunities it brings. ‘The sustainability conversation is really the only one that I am interested in having,’ she explains. ‘Prospects for lab-grown alternatives to leather are the kind of topics I find sexy now.’

With the fashion industry historically resistant to change, ethically produced fabrics have remained expensive owing to lack of demand. But if the UN’s charter is successful in gaining signatures from decision-makers, brands will have to be more rigorous about their climate impact.

Ganni Pre-Fall 2018 Collection

TechCrunch Disrupt 2018: A media platform to #BurstYourBubble

Nuzzera Nuzzera
Nuzzera Nuzzera

Berlin – News platform Nuzzera hopes to break people out of their filter bubbles by gradually exposing them to a variety of different opinions.

The free-to-view platform combines content from both established news sources and verified independent journalists, using machine learning to tailor it to the individual.

‘Scientific studies have shown that the presentation of facts that are far away from one’s opinion polarises them even further due to the built-in confirmation bias,’ Janine Perkuhn, co-founder of Nuzzera, tells LS:N Global. ‘Therefore, we are aiming to gradually increase users’ exposure to different perspectives, by presenting them with articles that are only slightly out of their normal habits, so that users develop their critical thinking skills on their own.’

As consumers continue to seek out media they can trust, platforms like Tortoise and Nuzzera are demonstrating the value in taking a more considered approach to journalism by incorporating a variety of perspectives.

Stat: Audience figures for eSports set to surge

The number of spectators watching electronic sports and competitive video gaming is predicted to increase significantly, according to recent projections.

While not as mainstream as traditional sports in the US, the number of eSports fans is already sizeable at 335 million worldwide. This is set to increase by a further 265 million – the equivalent of 79% growth – over the next five years, according to a report from Business Insider Intelligence. Growth is being driven by multiple factors, including investment in eSports from traditional sports leagues and the expanding mobile-based sports scene.

As the worldwide eSports audience continues to grow – particularly among Millennials and Gen Z – so do opportunities for sponsorship. Newzoo anticipates that sponsorship revenue could reach $359 million (£281m, €316m) by the end of 2018. In our two-part eSports market, we explore these topics in more depth, including how gaming is becoming a route for brands to reach male Millennials in particular.

Thought-starter: What role does branding have in placemaking?

Chris Chapman, head of art at Droga5 London, discusses creating the visual identity for Coal Drops Yard, a new retail concept in London’s King’s Cross that thoughtfully combines culture and commerce.

Based in the heart of the King’s Cross estate, Coal Drops Yard is a new mixed-used retail development in London. ‘It is home to a carefully curated selection of retailers, from small boutiques to luxury brands,’ says Chapman. ‘The idea is that this will represent a new type of shopping space: one that is experience-led, thoughtful and personal.’

Playing on the idea of being ‘all consumed’, Chapman and his team worked with 20 illustrators and photographers familiar with the local area, incorporating their perspectives into the visual identity.

‘The entire design system also reflects the experience of exploring the layout of Coal Drops Yard itself,’ explains Chapman. ‘Just as the space itself encourages serendipitous encounters, so the design is continually changing and unexpected.’

Read the full Q&A here.

Coal Drops Yard branding by Droga5, London
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