October 31, 2011

Another Penhaligon’s project that has been a joy to work on. Here is our official press release…

This week sees the launch of the 2011 Penhaligon’s Christmas Gift Collection, designed by jkr.

The range conveys the premium elegance associated with the Penhaligon’s brand whilst playing on its wit and humor. “Our brief to jkr was to create a box that would both charm the customer with some British eccentricity whilst ensuring it felt like a bespoke gift” said Sarah Rotheram, CEO, Penhaligon’s. “The box needed to be a keepsake item with standalone appeal. At first glance the packaging was to appear beautiful but with a reason to look a little closer.”

“We landed on the theme of Hidden London” said Jovan Buac, Account Director, jkr. “This felt rich in creativity and we explored this idea through a number of different avenues. The idea of life behind closed doors in Victorian London allowed us to express the Penhaligon’s wit and eccentricity in an engaging way that came from the brand” added Buac. The range depicts a Victorian household, with three box sizes that stack to create a six storey house. “The design delivers the madness one would expect from a bonkers British household, with all the hustle and bustle of life in the decadent surroundings of a Victorian home” said Sarah Rotheram, CEO, Penhaligon’s.


As always, the Penhaligon’s Christmas packaging should have a festive appeal but without direct references to Christmas clichés. “The boxes are a visual treat and take inspiration from Victorian dolls’ houses, as well as Victorian architecture and dress” said Matt Gilpin, Design Director, jkr. “The front of the house is based on the Penhaligon’s shop front in Covent Garden, London, giving the design more depth and meaning. The illustrative style hides a variety of different scenes which leave you constantly searching for more hidden goings on”. The brief also included the structural design, meaning the aesthetic needed to balance with the safe transportation of breakable goods. The historical hat box with carry handle idea was continued this year, with grosgrain two-tone ribbons to match the graphics.

“The boxes needed to look clean and crisp to counteract the detailed illustrations. We used a metallised paper stock with a satin finish, which gave a shimmer to the boxes. The use of punchy colours and heavy gold foiling on the front created a box with real gift appeal” said Judith Allan, Production Director, jkr.

Sarah Rotheram, CEO, Penhaligon’s said “We are delighted with the final collection and personally, I find more hidden stories in the design every time I pick up the packaging!”

The collection of eight boxes will be available in Penhaligon’s stores and select retailers this Christmas, priced between £35 and £110.

October 5, 2011

My last blog was in February. I’d just been to the Elliott J. Frieze show at LFW. You haven’t heard a peep from me since then. I hang my blogging head in shame. 

I want share something I’ve been working on.  It’s a new fragrance from boutique perfumer Penhaligon’s.  Juniper Sling is a really interesting concept – a fragrance inspired by the ingredients found in good old Gin. But why would anyone want to smell like alcohol I hear you ask. Juniper Sling is fresh and zesty, capturing the best of Gin in this unisex scent.

Sarah Rotheram, CEO of Penhaligon’s said “fragrance is inspired by the botanical ingredients within London Dry Gin. We look to create fragrances that have a very British beat to them, and Gin is very much a part of the history of London.  To create this fragrance, we have had the pleasure of working with an icon within the fragrance industry, the renowned perfumer Oliver Cresp”. 

The brief was very clear in terms of the mood and emotion we wanted Juniper Sling to conjure up from a design point of view. It’s about gin cocktails in the 1920’s, bright young things and art deco nuances. As always, Penhaligon’s aims to play on its heritage but with a nod to the modern. With a newly designed over-sized box structure and metal bow-tie, we strived to add more weight and luxury to Juniper Sling, whilst still ensuring it fitted with the rest of the Penhaligon’s range. The use of real metal features on the bottle and box was key. This aspect of the design was inspired by classic decanter labels and helped provide authenticity while building on the gin story at the heart of the fragrance.


Sarah added “We are delighted with the final packaging, the bottle sparkles, the presentation has the fizz that one associates with Gin, and it manages to feel decadent, without relying on all of the clichés of the 1920’s. We have a truly unique fragrance, brimming with unusual and fine ingredients, a strange olfactive tale of Gin; the packaging continues this story, subtly hinting at the Gin inspiration, whilst at all time staying very true to the brand.”

February 24, 2011

I attended the Autumn / Winter 2011 show of Welsh born designer Elliott J. Frieze last Saturday.  The show started late and as food is never popular during fashion week, we were a little tipsy by our second glass of champagne.  I love Elliott’s work.  He launched his debut Women’s wear and Men’s wear collections at London Fashion Week last year, with models Jacquetta Wheeler and Amber Le Bon.  After nearly a decade in the fashion industry, Frieze says he’s dressed “some of the most beautiful girls in the world”, such as Erin O’Connor and Lily Cole.  I believe him.

The reason his collections resonate with me is due to the importance of British Tailoring in Frieze’s work, which I always admire.  I love the reflection of Elliott’s story ‘from Countryside to City’, which is apparent in outerwear impeccably cut.  The Autumn Winter Collection stays true to his strong, simple ethos combining classic cuts with modernity, pushing the boundaries of tailoring.

The silhouettes are inspire by the 1970’s, with baggier trousers making a come-back after a few years of all things skinny.  The textiles and embroidery are inspired by the likes of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake.  I love the block colours, sharp lines and the occasional flourish of a soft, flowing fabric.  But then I would love the colours as they are my favourite mix of Mocha, Latte and Espresso with black.  The Women’s wear collection delivers jersey, tailored corduroy and Lambswool cocktail dresses whilst Men’s wear focuses on sophisticated yet youthful tailoring.

I wish Elliott all the best with the Autumn / Winter 2011 Collection and am eagerly anticipating what next year will bring.  To see a video of the show we attended, simply click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZpm80dA1N4.

January 19, 2011

I was walking along the Holloway Road today and came across this great little shop called Rock Candy.  A vintage store with a bright and vibrant window, the inside is tiny – about the size of a small bedroom.  But it’s a little Aladdin’s cave of vintage treasures – clothing, bags and accessories.  It opened last Friday and is the first ever shop of event manager turned retailer Emma Murphy.  Emma told me that she spent most of her money on vintage clothes. So when the opportunity came up to take over the retail space of an old estate agents, Emma jumped at it.  The little shop is definitely worth a visit and brings a much-needed sense of chic to Holloway. 

I love Holloway (but then I would because I live there) and I think the area has the potential to become one of the new cool areas of London.  It’s perfectly placed to gain some of that Camden, Islington and Shoreditch hype as the young, fashionable and arty types are priced out of these expensive nearby neighbourhoods.  I wish Emma all the best and hope that other little gems like this start popping up in the area!

Emma Murphy in her new shop Rock Candy, 714 Holloway Road, N19.

January 18, 2011

My first post of 2011 is a lazy one – looking back at my favourite piece of design from last year.  It’s the Dom Pérignon Andy Warhol collection.  I’ve always loved the shape of the Dom Pérignon labels and I think the combination of that very traditional shield-like shape with the vibrant pop art Warhol colours makes for a striking yet elegant combination. I’m a huge fan of heritage brands staying relevant and growing in confidence - I think this is a great example of just that.  The collection was created by the Design Laboratory at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design, which I think shows the continued importance of this institution in the world of design.  It was a bold move for Dom Pérignon to commission these designs and overall I think it teaches us three things for the year ahead; clients – be bold, designers – keep pushing creativity and cynical fashionistas - don’t underestimate the power of packaging!

See the Dom Pérignon Andy Warhol video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C9yGugThQk.

November 17, 2010

Friend and colleague Silas Amos has published his second book.  It’s rather good.  But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?  On his first book ‘Is Brad Pitt a Fish Finger’, grafik magazine said “This unassuming book might just become a branding classic”.

The Blue Lady’s New Look is the 2011 anthology of the jkr Design Gazette, capturing thoughts, observations and trends from the past 12 months.  Described as writings from the crossroads of design and marketing, this book provides those in varied fields an opportunity to think about brands and products from a unique angle.

I’m sure this book will make a great Christmas gift for friends, colleagues ‘in the industry’ or maybe even a client.  Either way, it’s really great to see Silas published again and I wish him every success with the book (and I’m already in eager anticipation of the 2012 edition).

The Blue Lady’s New Look can be pre-ordered on Amazon now for £7.99.  Visit www.amazon.co.uk

November 1, 2010

It has been an absolute pleasure managing this project on behalf of jkr and I’m so glad I can finally talk about it!  Below you will find our official press release. Enjoy!

This month sees the launch of the new Penhaligon’s Christmas gift collection. The gift boxes, which are based on the theme of anthropomorphic animals, deliver a bespoke gifting solution for the boutique perfumer. Briefed with delivering eccentricity and decadence, the new collection creates a fantasy world in keeping with the brand’s charismatic charm. Each range tells a story, from an afternoon tea party through to music and discovery.

“This was a fantastically collaborative process with the client – we both wanted to create something unique that didn’t rely on Christmas clichés. The use of bright colours makes a real statement and ensures the boxes are not too traditional.” Jovan Buac, Senior Account Manager, jkr. “That’s the beauty of Penhaligon’s – the careful blending of the old and the new – modern doesn’t have to mean forgetting the past, but feeling classic doesn’t mean being really conservative.”

The designs transport you to a fantasy world where things aren’t quite what they seem. “This was a dream brief for many designers and something so visually rich is always exciting to work on. We really let our imaginations run wild and the craftsmanship involved was also very important. All the illustrations were done in-house, so the final designs stay true to our initial concept.” John Ewles, Creative Director, jkr.

“It was a real opportunity to create the illustrations for this year’s Christmas boxes. I had to create some really interesting characters and it’s so great to see these come to life on the boxes.” Chris Burge, Illustrator, jkr.

Sarah Rotheram, CEO, Penhaligon’s added “We wanted something that at first glance just appeared beautiful but invited the customer to look closer and be surprised. Anthropomorphic animals was a start point and the team at jkr took us on a creative journey that delivered on this brief – the gift sets are absolutely Penhaligon’s”.

As well as the imaginative graphic approach, it was important to deliver the decadence associated with the brand. Sumptuous patterns, materials and finishes were used to create depth and richness, resulting in a gift consumers would love to receive this Christmas – a real keepsake. “The key to this design was to deliver both luxurious tactile ribbons and detailed graphics. The layers of foil, print, and texture help to create a rich expression of Penhaligon’s, whilst matching the ribbons with the accent colours provides the luxurious flourish.” Judith Allan, Production Director, jkr.

“They are the most visually beautiful boxes we have ever produced and we are very pleased with the end result! Everyone within the business is really excited about the collection and we have had a very positive reaction from our wholesale partners and distributors. So far, it’s looking like these will be our most popular Christmas gifts to date!” Emily Maben, Head of Marketing, Penhaligon’s.

The collection of eight boxes will be available in Penhaligon’s stores and select retailers this Christmas, priced between £32 and £90.

October 6, 2010

Next week sees the launch of Sartorial, a new fragrance from boutique perfumer Penhaligon’s. I had the pleasure of managing this project on behalf of the agency I work for (jkr) and I have to say it was one of the most interesting things I’ve worked on this year.

In keeping with the charismatic eccentricity of the brand, Sartorial captures the smell of a Savile Row tailors shop. The scent was brought to life by renowned perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour inside Norton & Sons at 16 Savile Row, London. Duchaufour found himself captivated by the unique smell of the shop and tailor’s workroom, and as such, Sartorial evokes the masculine scent of sewing machines, needles, wool and cloth – the ultimate bespoke fragrance.

The packaging gives the Pengaligon’s brand (who are renowned for their heritage and history) a clean, elegant and more modern look.  I firmly believe that Sartorial is for men of today and Savile Row is very much having a revival among young gents.  It was a challenging brief. We didn’t want to use any tailoring clichés and the design had to fit with the brand’s other fragrances, some of which have been around for over 140 years.  The story of Savile Row really follows through in the design as a Fedrigoni paper stock made using cotton fibres was used, giving the outer box real tactility and authenticity.

Check out the new video for Sartorial by artist Quentin Jones.  It features the perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and the owner of Norton & Sons tailors, Patrick Grant…


September 11, 2010

I attended the private view of a great new photographic exhibition last night.  ‘Face Off’ by photographer Kuba Wieczorek (a personal friend) is a collaboration with TV/Film Director Colin Teague and has been two years in the making.  The interesting concept focuses on capturing the very personal time of thespians before they go on stage.  The post performance dressing room is a place of relief and release, of congratulations, of flowers and champagne.  Wieczorek’s shots capture a different backstage atmosphere, showing a quieter and lonelier place, with nerves, superstitions, tension and reflection - a place where actors prepare themselves to be someone else.

 Ken Stott at The Duke of York’s Theatre

Claire Skinner at The National Theatre

The exhibition features the likes of Claire Skinner in a modern adaptation of Ibsen’s bleak tragedy Little Eyolf,  Burn Gorman at Theatre Royal psyching himself up to be Bill Sykes in Oliver and Russell Tovey getting ready to appear in A Miracle by Molly Davis.  It’s fascinating that the actors have opened the door to Wieczorek during such a private moment.  These intimate portraits are captured on an old-fashioned plate camera (a beautiful contraption with a wooden box with brass fittings).  "It’s a completely different way of working that I really enjoy, everything inverted and upside down," says Wieczorek. “It slows you down and strips the image taking process down to it’s very basic level. And I love the theatricality.” And how appropriate.

John Stahl at The Globe Theatre 

Peter Peverley at The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford

As someone who was once heavily involved in theatre during my youth, I know only too well of the emotion and uneasiness before a show.  What I like about this exhibition is that the actors’ emotions are relatable even if you’re not a performer (we all have times of uneasiness, nervousness and stomach turning excitement).  I love the informality of all the shots and particularly like the almost biblical feel of the John Stahl picture.  Congratulations to both Kuba and Colin on a great piece of work.  ‘Face Off’ is on show 10th September - 10th October 2010 at Fold Gallery, 32 Fortesque Avenue, London, E8 3QB.

August 24, 2010

Having just returned from a trip to Hamburg in Germany, I was really impressed with the uber-cool hotel called SIDE.  Part of the Design Hotels group, SIDE is a haven of simplicity, style and comfort.  The above video shows what makes this hotel so special.  The nine storey high central atrium with coloured lights has real wow factor, whilst the bar and restaurant serve great food and cocktails.  With slick, friendly service and luxurious amenities, I can’t wait to go back!

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »