News 01.03.2019

Need to Know

Citymapper simplifies London’s transport, coffee gets an energetic rebrand and why travel brands should stop marketing to couples.

Typology is a start-up for fresh-batch beauty

Typology, Paris
Typology, Paris
Typology, Paris

Paris – Founded by Made.com’s co-founder Ning Li, Typology wants to differentiate itself from the cosmetics conglomerates of today by offering cruelty-free, Made in France products with simple ingredients lists.

The start-up is launching with three unisex sub-brands each dedicated to transparent beauty but with their own concept and branding.

The first brand, Raw, allows customers to mix products at home to create their own face mask or hair oil; the Lab product line is focused on cosmetic serums; and the Ten brand features basic skincare products with less than 10 ingredients. Over the coming months Typology will expand further to 10 product lines.

As consumers increasingly favour natural beauty, brands are borrowing from the world of food by embracing the philosophy that fresh, small-batch production methods yield quality products.

Citymapper launches a transport subscription service

Citymapper Pass, London Citymapper Pass, London
Citymapper Pass, London Citymapper Pass, London

London – The app will integrate public and private transportation in one simple city pass.

The Citymapper Pass is a travel card that aims to simplify London’s complicated transport system. While the app is already using data and artificial intelligence to get users from A to B, it is now using its expertise to address the inefficiencies of the city’s ticket pricing system.

The card will cover public transport, Santander cycles and the Citymapper Ride service, and will continue to expand and partner with more transport companies. The brand also wants to bring the concept to other cities, eliminating the anxiety travellers face when using a foreign public transport system. The pricing is cost-effective when compared to travel cards offered by Transport for London (TfL), and plans will eventually be customisable to suit each traveller.

Public transport bodies are in need of disruption, as brands step in to introduce alternative methods of payment. Last year, for example, a pair of Adidas sneakers doubled as a ticket for Berlin’s subway.

Refinery29 tackles ageism with Refinery59

US – The media company has created a cross-channel platform to reverse society’s aversion to ageing.

Refinery59 is a new vertical launched in partnership with AARP, a nonprofit organisation that empowers Americans over 50. The year-long initiative will publish co-branded content that explores topics such as finding oneself, the pressures of dyeing grey hair, and solo travel as a single woman.

According to the publisher, which is predominantly aimed at young women, 64% of older adults say they have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, while nearly half (46%) of Millennial women believe it’s normal to feel depressed in old age, a statement only 10% of women over 60 agree with.

‘This powerful platform will push ourselves and our audience to shift how we speak about age, acknowledge our own biases, and begin to demand a fuller representation of women over the age of 40,’ says Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29.

As explored in our recent Market, Baby Boomer women are creating a new lexicon around ageing that is focused on positivity.

Refinery59, US

Texan coffee with a surrealist brand identity

Superthing, branding by Futura, Texas
Superthing, branding by Futura, Texas
Superthing, branding by Futura, Texas

Austin, Texas – Futura is redefining the way coffee is communicated with its branding for new coffee shop Superthing.

The Mexico-city based creative studio was enlisted by Superthing to challenge the serious, artisan-inspired aesthetic of coffee packaging. The resulting branding features playful illustrations and graphic elements that convey surrealism and the energy that coffee brings.

Playing on the brand name Superthing, Futura wanted to create a ‘visual universe of exaggerations’ which features wild creatures, abstract people and the tools that symbolise the coffee-making process.

In line with Anti-authenticity Marketing, Futura is rejecting the stereotypes of heritage and craftmanship that plague the coffee industry. For more on how food and drink brands are using satirical imagery to catch consumers’ attention, read our Design Direction.

Stat: British consumers are travelling to find romance

Group holidays are ideal for sparking romantic encounters on holiday, a new study from Mintel has found. While 57% of Generation Z believe that group holidays are a good way to meet a partner, so do a third (32%) of those aged over 65, suggesting that travel operators should not ignore this demographic.

These findings highlight the opportunity for travel and hospitality brands to cater to friendship groups as opposed to pushing romantic narratives that are focused solely on the couple. ‘In an age of social media, it could be that meeting someone in person, with a shared love of travel, provides the perfect antidote to online dating,’ says John Worthington, senior travel analyst and Mintel. ‘One way to appeal to this trend could be by highlighting occasional real-life examples of couples having met on group holidays to be used alongside stories of lasting friendships.’

For more on the hotels that are being positioned as an opportunity to make lasting connections with strangers, read our microtrend Serendipity Hotels.

Thought-starter: How can technology encapsulate serenity?

How can we design technology that promotes mindfulness? Kaz Oki, CEO and co-founder of Mui Lab, envisages a more natural interface experience.

The company is launching Mui in June, a type of intelligent furniture that will bring a philosophical approach to hardware. ‘When we started designing Mui we selected several potential materials, including stone and fabric, but we ended up focusing on natural wood because, conceptually, it related best to our philosophy in its reference to the Japanese tradition of forest bathing,’ explains Oki.

By using wood, users engage with the interface in a different way. ‘We have put natural material between man and machine, or between man and information,’ Oki says. ‘This changes the relationship between humans and machines. At the moment we feel a coldness from them, but by using natural wood, the perceived value of information shifts more towards humanity.’

‘Consumers are tired of looking at screens all the time. Companies need to start thinking about completely redesigning their user interfaces,’ he continues. ‘At Mui we promote silencing the product, or silencing the information display, until it is needed.’

Look out for the full Q&A.

mui by Mui Lab, Japan
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