This project was in response to a D&AD brief from this year. As i’m only a second year, we weren’t expected to enter our work into the competition so I was able to approach it without worrying too much about whether I was sticking completely to the brief. In total I spent 3-4 weeks from start to finish on it.
“Put Arjowiggins Creative Papers at the heart of a campaign, initiative, product or service for Sony Music and remind digital customers of the power of paper”.
I began by looking at paper and digital as concepts and thought about each of their merits. I researched the history of paper, art and paper, the decline of paper, current important uses of paper etc.
Since the project was for Sony Music, I looked at the music industry as a whole and decided to focus on digital music as a movement rather than Sony as a brand. This meant my research could be broader and it was a more natural way to find an insight.
My most interesting insights came from looking at playlist culture and the fact that these days we tend to listen to music according to time of day, activity, mood and genre. I was also interested in the theme of music and people and how historically music has brought people together. Here are a couple of early thoughts and potential directions:I discovered that there is a type of paper made by Arjowiggins called PowerCoat Alive. This is an NFC (near field communications) paper that allows a user to access digital content through it. Basically this means that you can put your phone over it and a webpage will open.
After exploring a couple of different ideas, I took forward the idea of making playlist posters. The idea was to use NFC paper and create posters that a passer by can use to stream a playlist specific to the activity or journey that’s promoted on it. This came from both the popularity of playlists but also from the idea that music has the power to transport you anywhere. I liked the idea of music and travel. I decided to base my project in London since there are lots of potential passers by and many journeys made every day. I needed to create a brand to be the carrier of the service, so I called it LDN MIX. This references old school mix tapes and also the abbreviation of London that appears on train tickets. I planned out potential platforms or routes for the project and thought about designing an installation that could go in London stations that could bring the paper part of the project more to life. I also decided to hypothetically collaborate with TfL (Transport for London) to promote the campaign.To begin to think about the visual language I created two moodboards for my two main themes. These were London and music. One of the things I noticed through doing this was the fact that the TfL logo looks like a whole note on a stave. I ended up creating a logo that was simple, but used a clear nod to the underground map. The lines represent the stave but also reference railway tracks as well as the Thames. I chose the teal colour simply because it wasn’t already a tube line and therefore would stand out from the colours we already associate with the London underground.I then turned my hand to designing the posters. I wanted to have a sense of journey or travel, as well as some way of showing what the playlist was about. I thought it could be good to use the names of songs to describe them. For example, Working Nine To Five would be a playlist of songs to motivate you whilst on your way to work, all about bossing it, or working hard etc. Homeward Bound would be all songs about going home, to accompany a weary traveller on their way home after a stint in London.Originally I wanted to do some lettering on the posters, but I realised that this was only because I like lettering and was nothing to do with what was appropriate for the project. I decided to keep it simple by just using gill sans for the copy and using a circle to point users to the NFC part of the poster. The colours come from the underground lines and the simple white background is in line with other TfL poster campaigns.
As well as the posters I wanted to create an installation, so I decided to create a large playlist wall. This would travel to different stations around London and allow travellers to collect the different playlists and stream the relevant ones on their onward journeys. The coloured circles are a fun representation of all the journeys happening around London and clear instructions are outlined on the left hand side. The idea was to create a central space to bring people together through music. I wrote the copy in a colloquial style, to appeal to a young and engaged digital audience. It was really fun thinking up the different playlists, deciding how to frame them as questions about a type of journey and writing little pieces of text to accompany them. The final eleven (one for each tube line) playlists were:
In terms of meeting the brief, the connection to paper is relatively subtle. The project promotes the NFC paper and brings music into the physical world by getting an audience to interact with the playlists in the installation. Passers by are encouraged to tear out a playlist from the wall and take it with them, leave it on a train seat, or share it with a stranger, thus revisiting the idea of music bringing people together.After a pretty unenthusiastic start, I ended up really enjoying this project. I hand it in after easter so there is still time to come back to it and make some changes and add some extra touch points.