Creative Insight

Analysis of significant creative projects, people and trends

What is beauty?

In his latest column, Perry Nightingale, Executive Creative Technologist at Grey London, looks at how our relationship with new technology is changing our perceptions of beauty, in potentially harmful ways

Honouring VNIITE and its place in Soviet design

The Russian organisation VNIITE strived to better Soviet society through design. While remarkably ahead of its time, few of its designs reached the wider public, and until recently much of its work threatened to be forgotten. A new book by Unit Editions tracks its history

What does ‘the big idea’ really mean?

In his latest column, our advertising correspondent Ben Kay discovers that ‘the big idea’ means many different things to many different people, and proposes that a bit of definition may in fact be helpful to creatives

Why we love the colour of the year

With everyone from Pantone to Dulux claiming they can predict colour trends, we delve into the phenomenon of the ‘Colour of the Year’ to find out what it really means, and what it can tell us about creativity and culture

Can brands really own a colour?

Trademarking a colour has been attempted by everyone from Christian Louboutin to Cadbury. But is it actually worth the messy legal battle? We look at the value of being associated with a specific hue

Why brands are challenging colour conventions

From Monzo’s orange bank cards, to a yellow funeral comparison site and a pink skincare brand for men, startups are challenging established norms when it comes to colour palettes. We look at the factors driving brands to break the rules and the impact this is having

Has Trump killed the colour orange?

Trump’s tangerine tint has inspired funny nicknames, hilarious memes, witty placards and controversial magazine covers. But has the association between the man and the faultless colour negatively impacted the latter?

How I Got Here: magCulture founder Jeremy Leslie

Jeremy Leslie has 30 years’ worth of experience in magazines, whether as an art director, author, or running the magCulture blog, studio, shop and conference. We speak to him about growing the company, and why getting fired (twice) was the best thing that ever happened to him

Why I love the V&A Cast Courts

As the V&A in London completes its redevelopment of its iconic Cast Courts, which hold a collection of 19th century plaster casts of works of antiquity, Eliza Williams reflects on what they reveal about art, history and the power of the copy

Designing for death

From funeral comparison sites to services providing alternative headstones, we take a look at the brands bringing some much-needed innovation to death and funeral care – and giving people more choice over how they are remembered

How I Got Here: Glug co-founder, Ian Hambleton

Over ten years on from starting the event, Glug has gone global with outposts in 35 countries. We speak to Ian Hambleton about turning it from a side project into a fully-fledged company, and putting on an event that doesn’t break the bank for Gluggers

Surf’s up… in Africa

African surf brand Mami Wata is banishing images of Cali beaches and Hawaiian hibiscus flowers, instead using design to draw on and celebrate the continent’s visual tradition. Here’s how it stands out in a sea of lookalikes

Plant power: the changing face of veganism

Going vegan (or at least flexitarian) is set to be the biggest food trend of our times. We speak to jkr’s Head of Strategy Adrian Jarvis about the rise of vegan junk food, and how plant-based brands became the new cool

How to create the perfect advertising Christmas dinner

A key moment on Christmas Day is the dinner: a time to get together with loved ones and gorge yourself senseless on delicious treats. But how best to advertise it? We talk to ad Creative Directors for brands including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose to get their top tips

How street food became sophisticated

Perceptions of street food have rapidly changed from greasy hotdogs to haute cuisine, with some start-ups even opening fully-fledged restaurants. We speak to the teams at Street Feast and Honest Burgers about the importance of design in street food’s success story

KFC: Why it pays to be brave

KFC has weathered significant storms this year, with the help of clever and upfront advertising. We talk to Hermeti Balarin, ECD at KFC’s agency Mother, about advertising in a crisis, and how mutual respect between brand and agency is still essential in making great work

How alcohol-free got a refresh

Non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip has kickstarted a new category, blending 17th century distillation techniques with botanical-themed design to win drinkers over. Here’s how the brand reinvented alcohol-free

Could the right branding have us all eating bugs?

The foods of the future are better for our planet and our conscience, but not necessarily our appetite. As insect-based products and unfamiliar alternatives to meat and dairy spring up, we explore whether design can help us overcome our aversion

What do you do?

In his latest column, our correspondent Daniel Benneworth-Gray finds himself trying to explain his job, and in turn what design is, to his six year-old son

Is creativity in need of rescue?

In his book Against Creativity author Oli Mould questions whether being ‘creative’ means becoming a cog in the machine. CR met with him to discuss how creativity can become more than part of a production line