New designs from Marina Willer, Atlas, A+B, Lucienne Roberts & more

Our latest pick of impressive new design work features Marina Willer’s colourful identity for creative space Second Home, branding for MMK and Barcelona’s Design Museum and graphics for exhibitions Women Fashion Power and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Images: Richard Hubert Smith

Our latest pick of impressive new design work features Marina Willer’s colourful identity for creative space Second Home, branding for MMK and Barcelona’s Design Museum and graphics for exhibitions Women Fashion Power and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Women Fashion Power

Women Fashion Power is a fascinating new show at London’s Design Museum which explores how influential women have used fashion to assert their identity and authority. Divided into three sections, it features items from the wardrobes of 26 powerful women, from Diane Von Furstenberg to Kirsty Wark, a look at changing attitudes towards women’s dress via corsets, punk and power suits and a timeline of power dressing from Boudicca to Thatcher.

Images: Richard Hubert Smith

Zaha Hadid produced the show’s 3D design (her wardrobe is also featured in the exhibition), while LucienneRoberts+ worked on graphics.

On a wall in the stairwell leading to the show are five life-sized illustrations of women, created by Ben Wiseman and art directed by Roberts’ studio. There’s an Edwardian cyclist, a 1920s flapper, a World War Two worker, a woman in 1960’s Yves Saint Laurent, another in a tuxedo and one in an 80s power suit:

“The Edwardian cyclist holds a half eaten apple… a reference to the illuminated reproduction of Eve, by German Renaissance painter, at the exhibition entrance,” explains Roberts. LucienneRoberts+ also designed a glowing fluorescent Perspex title (pictured top), translucent high gloss panels and a Women Fashion Power clock (below) with rotating hands featuring the exhibition’s title. Graphics are inspired by Hadid’s ‘explosive’ 3D design, which features bursts of mirrored panels intended to reflect the power and energy of fashion.

Posters and press invites promoting the exhibition were designed by The Beautiful Meme and make great use of the exhibition’s title against a neon green background.

Second Home

Pentagram’s Marina Willer has created a colourful identity for Second Home, a new creative space in Shoreditch founded by Sam Aldenton and Rohan Silva, the former technology adviser to Downing Street and creator of the government’s Tech City initiative.

The studio is described as a flexible office space that acts “as a physical social network,” which offers private studios and encourages freelancers and small companies to collaborate.

Willer’s identity system features 12 symbols, each made up of two overlapping circles. The Second Home word marque sits on the overlapping section of the logo, representing “the space where new ideas happen” and bright colours are designed to represent “the diversity and energetic spirit of [Second Home’s] members.”

It’s a lovely palette, and the scheme works well on large posters as well as business cards and Second Home’s website, where it’s used alongside full-bleed photography.

Barcelona Design Museum

Creating an identity for a design museum is always a daunting task – it needs to be bold and coherent, but flexible enough to accommodate work from various styles and periods. For Barcelona’s new Design Museum, which opens to the public in December, Astrid Stavros and Pablo Martin’s studio Atlas developed a simple, modern system inspired by the building’s location in Placa de les Glòries, a square at the intersection of three of the city’s busiest streets.

The system is based around a single connecting line and will be applied to logos, wayfinding, stationery communications and merchandise.

The device is used alongside Christian Schwartz’s sleek but friendly sans, Grafik, and a colour palette which combines bolder shades of red, green and purple with softer pastels and neutrals.


Frankfurt’s Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art) has also been given a new identity, designed by Surface Grafik. The new look was launched to coincide with the opening of a new MMK exhibition space, the museum’s third building in the city, and the reorganisation of its two existing venues.

To distinguish between the three buildings and promote the expansion, Surface developed a numerical system which works horizontally and vertically. Posters promoting the expansion read ‘123 soon’ and ‘123 now’, while campaigns for exhibitions use colour to highlight the number of the venue housing the featured collection.

Surface also devised a series of new marques for each space, pictured in posters belo), which also appear on signage and wayfinding. It’s a smart and effective way to distinguish between the new venues, as well as making it easier for visitors to spot them around the city.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Images courtesy of

Images courtesy of

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the Natural History Museum’s most popular exhibition – for its 50th anniversary, A+B studio worked with 3D designer Gabrielle Underwood to create a modular display system, 3D graphics and animations displaying this year’s winning images alongside entries from the competition archive.

At the entrance  to the space is an animation made up of hundreds of winning images from competitions past and present, rotated at 30 degrees to match the exhibition’s logo. Digital displays allow visitors to swipe through archive imagery, which can also be viewed on a cinema screen nearby.

Images courtesy of

A+B also developed a website that visitors can use to access information about each picture if it’s too busy to read captions (the museum has free wifi), which includes an option to share images via social media:

In previous years, featured images have been displayed on lightboxes but for the anniversary show, Underwood and A+B created individual columns, designed to look like film strips, with images and captions in simple white text, alongside gold for the winners.

Images courtesy of

Behind the panels is a sheer fabric ‘ribbon’ which runs throughout the space and is cleverly lit from beneath to reveal a glimpse of the room’s architecture. A matching gold wall in the winners space references the colours in this year’s winning photograph. It’s a lovely understated design and one that unites the diverse selection of images without competing for viewer’s attention – to see more of the photographs featured in the exhibiton, see our blog post on the show here, or see here for visitors details.

Maths No Problem

Since March this year, design studio Kin has been working with educational organisation Maths No Problem on a series of bright and cheerful new textbooks for UK primary schools.

The books are based on Singapore Maths, a three step teaching method taught to elementary school children in Singapore, which is now being practiced in the US and UK.

The textbooks use Colophon’s Castledown typeface, which is designed to help young children learn to read and write and was shortlisted for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year 2014 (read our blog post on it here). Text is coupled with colourful and charming handmade illustrations and simple layouts, with “lots of white space for better comprehension.”

“Each illustration has been carefully considered and designed specifically for its purpose. For example, sometimes objects are shown singly and sometimes they overlap. This is to help teachers identify pupils who find it hard to distinguish between individual objects and may need additional support,” says Kin.

The books are now used in 100 schools, and are available via Maths No Problem’s website.

The Stomach

The Stomach is a new horror short from Ben Steiner, former associate creative director at Dare. Described as “part ghost story, part body horror, part crime thriller,” it’s about a spirit medium who channels the dead via his stomach and recently won best horror short at US film festival Fantastic Fest.

To promote the film, Steiner worked with Dare head of design Kerry Roper on two posters: the first is inspired by Polish film posters from the 1970s and 80s, and features a repeat eye motif and bespoke font by photographer and designer Rachel Sansom:

The second poster, which has been used at festivals, is a distressed photo collage featuring an image of the lead actor screaming into his phone: “The world of the film is quite squalid and down-at-heel and I wanted the poster to reflect that – I wanted it to feel broken down and frayed but without the obvious distress effects,” says Steiner.

“I began by asking the lead actor to text me a photo of himself screaming into his camera phone. I printed it off in black and white along with a photo of a rib cage and some stairs off the internet, cut them up, stuck them together with Pritstik and then scanned in the resulting collage.

“Kerry took it from there and photocopied it again and again to create the half-tone effect and the subtle fading on the type, then combining different elements with varying degrees of distress to assemble the final image.”

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