On the 7th October we revisited the fruitful field of illustration, and examined how it can be successfully applied to engage with audiences in places large and small.
Joining us in the Library at Shoreditch House to share their first hand experiences were Cristina Fedi and Charlie Smith. Cristina is Head of Brand at Byron, the hamburger company that has succesfully made illustration a fundamental tenet of it’s visual world, working with some of the finest contemporary illustrators along the way (Paul Davis, Mr Bingo and Jean Jullien have all served up work for the company), and across myriad formats — from bottles of chilli sauce, to massive hoardings. Charlie runs the eponymous studio Charlie Smith Design and has worked with Byron as a key client, art directing much of the brand's application of illustration. Together they shared commercial insights, creative learnings and rare development examples — one memorably showing the thought process of the brilliant Alec Doherty.
First sharing her love for the energy of Colors Magazine, and telling of her time spent working for the publication, Cristina then set the context for Byron's early commitment to the medium of illustration. The thinking was three-fold: Hamburgers aren't pretty — making photohgraphy tricky. Illustration would act as a much more effective tool in communicating the wit and Britishness at the heart of the brand. Furthermore, illustration really helps to champion individuality – which culturally marries well with the absence of an overall logo, our strict staff scripting.
Charlie told of her time working for Pentagram and NB before setting up her own shop, and she first shared some of the projects that had won her the attention of Byron. The duo then talked us through some superb chapters of the brand's visual history, complimenting their tight band of illustrative partners along the way. Key to their success has been working repeatedly with a small group of talents and resisting the temptation to invite dozens of styles into the mix. As Cristina put it, "You've got to recognise the brilliance, and support it."
Following Cristina and Charlie's insightful start, rising illustration star Alice Bowsher shared some of her favourite projects, along with her own experiences of harmonious briefing processes. YCN’s Doris Tydeman then presented a broader showcase of inspiring recent discoveries from the world of illustration, and invited our guests to peruse a selection of portfolios instead of rushing back to work.
Many thanks to our speakers, and to Owen Richards for the photography below.
Location:Shoreditch House Library,
London, E1 6AW,
Start:7th October, 2015 at 9:30am
End:7th October, 2015 at 11:00am