Need to Know
13 : 03 : 19

UK banks put their differences aside, Nixit gives menstruation a colourful rebrand and Southeast Asia wins luxury house hunters.

Next Eleven Paper merges music with AR

Next Eleven Paper by Giacomo Bastianelli
Next Eleven Paper by Giacomo Bastianelli
Next Eleven Paper by Giacomo Bastianelli

Mexico – The publication promotes music from the Next Eleven countries, or N-11, to global digital and analogue listeners.

The first issue of Next Eleven Paper focuses on the underground music scene in Mexico, taking inspiration from the country’s rich culture and vibrant colours. Combining digital and physical experiences, the newspaper invites users to scan the pages with the N-11 app, which then plays music. If more than one image is scanned the music mixes together to create new sounds.

Giacomo Bastianelli, the project’s designer, believes that countries such as Mexico, Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan will revolutionise the music scene. ‘Their over-driven economic metabolisms will generate all manner of social tensions and cultural rifts, which could spawn some 21st-century musical form that might take the world by storm just like jazz and rock’n’roll did in their day,’ he tells It’s Nice That.

To prepare for a future in which media is no longer static, but constantly evolving, watch out for our forthcoming macrotrend Programmable Realities.

Klarna parades its USP with Smoooth products

Klarna Smoooth merchandise by Nord DDB Klarna Smoooth merchandise by Nord DDB
Klarna Smoooth merchandise by Nord DDB Klarna Smoooth merchandise by Nord DDB

Sweden – Payment provider Klarna is dropping its first-ever range of physical products to celebrate its friction-free services.

Building on its Get Smoooth campaign, which highlights how Klarna’s pay later products make everyday life as frictionless as possible, the brand has worked with ‘famously smooth’ rapper and Klarna investor Snoop Dogg to promote the collection. It includes lavish versions of household goods such as silk bedsheets, cashmere toilet paper, gold peanut butter and a 22-feet high inflatable slide.

‘This is the first time that we’re dropping physical products and I’m proud to be releasing this collection together with Snoop Dogg. In the end, I truly believe that this will bring a smile to people’s faces and get more people to discover the perks and the smoothness of paying later with Klarna,’ explains David Sandström, chief marketing officer of Klarna.

Through its colourful, highly visual campaigns, Klarna exemplifies Fluid Capital – the new visual language emerging around financial values, transactions and the appearance of digital money. For more, look out for our upcoming interview with Mervyn ten Dam of Achtung! discussing the future identity of finance.

Lloyds, Natwest and Barclays create a banking hub

UK – The banks will pilot the UK’s first shared banking hub, offering flexible services for modern businesses.

The first location is to be trialled in Birmingham, with five more opening across the UK in the coming weeks. Responding to fears around branch closures, these shared spaces will be open seven days a week with a closing time of 8:00pm, enabling local businesses to manage their day-to-day finances more flexibly.

Known as Business Banking hubs, they will allow business customers from Lloyds, Natwest and Barclays to experience the same service in one streamlined space. ‘The Business Banking hub pilot is being explored as an additional route for firms looking for flexible banking,’ says Paul Gordon, managing director of SME at Lloyds. ‘Working collaboratively with other high street banks means more businesses will benefit.’

As explored in our macrotrend Civic Brands, businesses are now realising the importance of joining forces and becoming Collaborative Brands in order to improve their services.

Lloyds Bank flagship branch, UK

A colourful identity for menstruation

Nixit Nixit
Nixit Nixit

Canada – Clashing colours and textures are juxtaposed in Nixit’s new brand identity and packaging.

The vegan menstrual cup brand has taken a bold approach to feminine hygiene with simple packaging and messaging, and visually arresting brand imagery. Created by Designsake Studio, the campaign aims to bring a fresh identity to menstrual cups – a product often considered a gross alternative to tampons and sanitary towels – while also highlighting the impact of sanitary products on both women’s bodies and the planet.

‘Our solution included the use of bright colours, clean typography, premium finishes and straightforward messaging on several of the boxes’ exterior and interior panels. Unlike typical tampons, pads and liners, Nixit isn’t overly flowery or feminine. It gives it straight because women can handle it,’ reads a statement from Designsake Studio.

As conversations about women’s personal hygiene evolve, femininity is being rebranded, with creative practitioners abandoning tired gendered design cues in favour of a bold, vibrant aesthetic.

Stat: Luxurians are grabbing a slice of Southeast Asia

Leading the index for 2019, the capital city of the Philippines has become a hotspot for luxurians seeking a second home or access to a key business hub.‘This is driven by lack of supply and a thriving economy – annual GDP growth exceeded 6% in 2018 – which motivated some expatriates to grab their own slice of real estate back home,’ says Kate Everett-Allen, head of International Residential Research at Knight Frank.

Following in second and third place were Edinburgh and Berlin, cities where buoyant local economies, limited supply and rental demand have boosted high-end house prices. As recently explored in State of Luxury: Poland, new hubs of luxury living are emerging; Warsaw’s 44-floor Cosmopolitan apartment is home to 79 of the 100 most expensive property sales reported in Warsaw between 2015 and 2017.

Thought-starter: What’s next for skin tech?

Valentin Langen, founder of Ioniq, discusses why beauty brands should focus on cross-sector collaborations to help diversify the skin technology category.

Ioniq is a smart suncare brand that makes use of aerosol technology developed for other industries. ‘Our parent company, the Wagner group, has created the most advanced industrial coating technology for the home improvements market. You can find its spray painting devices in shops like Lowe’s and Home Depot, or in industrial settings like the automotive industry, but at Ioniq we’ve taken this technology and brought it to the cosmetics technology market to make skincare application more convenient,’ he explains.

‘Five years ago, we stumbled across a medical paper, which stated that 40% of consumers who apply sunscreen in the morning, end up with sunburn at night,’ continues Langen. ‘[We] thought that was totally unacceptable. If consumers have a problem applying skincare appropriately, we felt that we should be the ones to help them solve this issue.’

The brand is also keen to collaborate with other companies. ‘We have a vision of building up a huge skincare platform, or personal care platform, with other brands that gather data. We collect data with our product, so why not combine those things?’

Read the full Q&A here.

Ioniq, Germany
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