CR’s most-read stories of 2018

Our top ten most-read stories of the year include the World Cup, branding developments, Nike, Childish Gambino and a great ad idea involving crocodiles

In true Top of the Pops style, here’s our countdown, from 10 to 1 (story links in headlines):

10: Thoughts on why Nike’s Nothing Beats a Londoner has created such a buzz

Wieden + Kennedy’s Nike’s commercial would have been many people’s ad of the year, though the gloss was somewhat taken off by the fact that it had to be dropped following a copyright complaint over its use of the term LDNR. In this Insight piece, we ran through come of the reason why the ad struck such a chord with audiences (while also noting that some of London’s communities were noticeably absent from the spot). One point, in particular, is worthy of note: “It’s something to be proud about. With the horrific wave of knife crime afflicting the city, young Londoners, particularly young black Londoners are under extreme pressure right now. Perhaps one of the reasons this spot has been so enthusiastically embraced is that it’s celebratory. Affirmative. Positive. Without losing sight of the fact that this is an ad selling very pricey sports gear, this spot has given a community under siege something to unite around and a reason to feel good about themselves.”

9: A new approach to “premium”

Another Insight piece, this time examining how “As the things to which we ascribe value begin to change, the notion of premium, of quality, of the sought-after is radically changing”. Hugo Jamson, Creative Director of product design studio New Territory, asked how brands and designers should react to this. “There will always be a demand for luxuriously beautiful things and experiences, but people are increasingly shifting focus towards something that just works flawlessly. That can be an experience or service working well, not just an object. A trait of this ‘new premium’, then, can be described as objects, experiences and services that have an ‘emotional utility’ about them; a ‘beautiful pragmatism’.”

BBC World Cup

8: How the BBC World Cup film was made

We love a good craft story on CR, though they are getting increasingly hard to find. To promote its coverage of this year’s football World Cup, the BBC made an animated trailer created entirely in embroidery. We talked to BBC Creative and to the director Nicos Livesey about how it was made.

Lacoste Save Our Species

7: Lacoste replaces crocodile logo for limited edition range

From agency BETC Paris, this was one of the cleverest advertising ideas of the year. In a collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Lacoste swapped its famous crocodile logo for ten of the world’s most threatened animals on a set of limited edition polo shirts.

6: Goodbye Berliner, Hello Tabloid: the thinking behind the Guardian redesign

In January, The Guardian ditched its Berliner format to go tabloid. We talked to Creative Director Alex Breuer and Deputy Creative Director Chris Clarke about the thinking behind the redesign, creating a great reading experience in print and how a smaller format could help the paper tell bigger stories.

SomeOne’s branding for King’s Cross, inspired in part by the area’s ghost signs

5: The challenges of branding new developments

One of the big changes we’ve made on CR has been to introduce more analytical pieces on branding. In this article, Rachael Steven spome to several studios about the challenges they face when branding new property developments and how they approach the process. “Property hasn’t traditionally been a sector known for its creative approach to branding. But as cities from Manchester to London undergo rapid generation, it seems developers are investing in identities that extend beyond a logo and a glossy sales brochure – systems that are playful, distinctive and aim to engage local residents as much as potential buyers and investors”.

Jamie Hewlett
Spread from Inside the Mind of Jamie Hewlett, published by Taschen

4: How I Got Here: Jamie Hewlett

Our How I Got Here series, which looks at how notable people’s careers have progressed, has proved a big hit with readers this year. Here, Jamie Hewlett talked Eliza Williams through the highs and lows of his artistic career, taking in Tank Girl, Monkey: Journey to the West, and whether there will one day be a Gorillaz TV series.

The new Formula 1 logo

3: The perils of trademarking logos

Back in January, the new Formula 1 logo looked to have run into copyright issues with 3M. We asked designer Michael Johnson to detail the issues that arise when trying to trademark a logo.

2: Designing England’s World Cup typeface

Another World Cup-related story – Nike’s England kits featured a bespoke typeface designed by Craig Ward. We spoke to him about a design process that began some two years earlier.

1: Childish Gambino’s This is America: An Analysis

Racking up almost 50 million views in under five days, Childish Gambino’s This Is America struck a chord with audiences all over the world. We asked writer and academic Rob Turner to examine the many political and cultural layers that lie within the hit video.