Commissioning an illustrator, artist or photographer has to be one of the most exciting parts of a brand project - for designers and brands alike. It’s the chance to tap up some serious outside talent and involve individuals whose minds work a little differently, who have honed their skills with over 10,000+ hours of experimenting.
I was reminded of this by a billboard for Hunter Boots near my house the other day, which featured the work of illustrator Hattie Stewart. It’s a campaign which used a commission to fantastic effect – it quickly made me connect mud with musicians, music with fun. It hit the nail on the head, shifting my perception of the product from something my parents wear to something I could party to Stormzy in.
— Hunter (@HunterBoots) June 9, 2017
Inspired, I got a few heads together in the design team and we came up with some future commissions of our own. So, here’s our gold list of brands we’d love to work with, and proposed collaborations we think would take them somewhere interesting.
Adidas X Patrick Thomas
© Patrick Thomas
British born graphic artist Patrick Thomas is a studio fave. His exploration of typography takes him walking through the streets of Berlin, collecting snippets of type and juxtaposing them to magnificent effect.
In the sports world, currently dominated by super imagery from the best photographers in the world, this dynamic approach to typography might be a breath of fresh graphic air for Adidas. So many sports brands have migrated to using mundane sans serif typefaces – rather than fitting in, Adidas could innovate with typography and use Thomas’s crafted, engineered and technical lettering that aligns with their crafted, engineered and technical sportswear. Bespoke, distinctive – and fun.
Lib Dem X Mr Bingo
© Mr Bingo
In the wake of Tim Farron’s resignation, work on the Liberal Democrat’s personality may be closer than we think. But in the meantime, we’re suggesting a commission of Mr Bingo – the ever-edgy ‘art-punk provocateur’ who’d certainly bring some spice to the party. He had decided to ‘never work for clients ever again’ but maybe the challenge or opportunity will be too attractive?
Oculus X VR Digital Artist?
If I see another brand that has designed their own sans serif – that looks exactly like everyone else’s sans serif, I’ll scream. Oculus Sans? Why waste your time… but I’m getting away from the next point.
A brand like Oculus that encourages people to step into a wonderful world of virtual and experiential 3D should do the same with their logo – push it out of the real world. Wouldn’t it be great to find an artist working in virtual 3D to create a mark you could walk through, duck under or caress lovingly? Perhaps an artist could be commissioned to use three-dimensional painting app Tilt Brush, creating an entire brand identity that would be so much more engaging and sensory. Maybe we should open this one up: who do you know that could take that challenge on?
What are Wild Cards?
The Clearing have been working with The School of Life to develop 100 questions designed to help you see your brand from new perspectives. We think great conversations begin with a great question. Each week, we’ll share another question and our response to it. Email us with your own answers on firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to know what you think.