24th March 2021

#FreshPicks #Featured

Fresh picks March: From annual reports to chocolate and all sorts

This month our fresh picks include everything from annual reports (that you actually want to read) to audio catalogues, digital music exhibitions, 3D VR art, effective rebrands and local chocolatiers.

Henry’s pick: An annual report you actually want to read

Mailchimp have produced a side-scrolling, brightly coloured, animated bonanza for their 2020 annual report. Titled ‘Against All Odds’ the report follows a character walking through beautiful offices, high streets and stores highlighting fascinating stats:

Over 333 BILLION emails were sent on MailChimp.
Over $314M was earned using MailChimp abandoned basket automation.
😍 is the most used emoji in email subject lines.

Check it out for yourself here.

Ellen’s pick: The IKEA Audio Catalogue

I used to love a good flick through the free IKEA catalogue, but I must admit in recent years I’ve been much more conscious of picking up free magazines and papers because of the obvious environmental impact they have.

So when I came across the IKEA audio catalogue, I had to share it. IKEA teamed up with New York agency Ogilvy to create their first audio catalogue. That’s right, after 70 years of IKEA, you can now get your home interior design inspiration in audio form. Besides the fact that it makes it more convenient for people to digest, I love how much more accessible it makes the information too.

The all-new listening experience is available as an audiobook and podcast. It is three and a half hours long though, so I’m not sure how big the uptake will be once the novelty has worn off.

I haven’t checked it out myself yet so I can’t comment on how successful it is, but I will 100% be looking it up when I have some spare time – purely for the fact that I have no idea what to expect from it.

Listen to the IKEA catalogue on YouTube.

Dan’s pick: San Diego Zoo rebrand

As a lover of negative space in illustration (the work of Noma Bar has been a previous fresh pick of mine), Pentagram’s recent rebrand of San Diego Zoo has caught my eye.

The refreshed identity brings together three animals that are important to the history of the organisation, lions, rhinos and the California Condor, the latter being a species which has been brought back from the brink of extinction by the organisation. I love the cleverness of the logo and the accompanying graphics and colour palette around this.

Erin’s pick: Music, makers and machines

Google has released an online exhibition titled Music, Makers & Machines dedicated to the life and history of electronic music.

The exhibition was created with over 50 international partners from different sectors within the electronic music industry, including music labels, festivals and experts. The collection features a plethora of memorabilia such as posters, photography and even 3D AR playable models of classic synthesisers and instruments.

This exhibition is momentous, the depth and breadth of the content is immense, and I could scroll through the history for hours. It’s amazing to see such history be so accessible, and as well as this the exhibition brings to light LGBTQ+, black and female pioneers of the industry who are often overlooked. The exhibition also delves into how these innovators helped lead genres like grime and dubstep.

Definitely check out this exhibition if you’re anything from a casual listener to an avid electro music fanatic!

Jai’s pick: Blob Mixer

Blob Mixer is a project by the Swedish creative design & development studio 14islands. The site allows you to create your own 3D art, view it in VR, download and share with friends.

There are a number of options that mean you can customise your creation to your heart’s content. The quality of the 3D rendering and colours that make up the blobs are on another level. This together with the on-point animations and design of the website makes for a very impressive experience that is easy on the eye.

Katie’s pick: Keeping it consistent, cards against humanity

When building your brand and creating an accompanying marketing campaign, it’s important to maintain a consistent tone of voice. I noticed the FAQs on the Cards Against Humanity website recently and they’ve got it spot on.

I definitely chuckled at these and I hope you enjoy them too.

Laura’s pick: Collaborative chocolatiers

This month, I was delighted to receive a Chocolate Smiths parcel that I’d completely forgotten about!

Firstly, if you’ve never ordered from The Chocolate Smiths then you’re genuinely missing out. They create and stock some truly unique chocolate bars, including their signature Bizarre bars in flavours such as: birthday cake, caramel apple-pie and banoffee bread. You might have seen the Bizarre bars stocked in Fenwick’s as they’re handmade here in Newcastle by Steffi Smith (who started the business out of her kitchen back in 2014) and her talented team.

The toon-based chocolatiers are big on supporting other small businesses and throughout the year team up with others to create limited edition Collaboration bars. In 2020 4 Collaboration bars were produced with Amis Bakehouse, Brooklyn Brownie Co, The Cookie People Co and WTFudge UK.

During the festive period and following an announcement that the Chocolate Smith’s would be closing to relocate, boxes containing one of each 2020 collaboration bar were available to pre-order. The production and delivery of said boxes was scheduled around the 2021 reopening.

I completely forgot that I’d placed the order but as promised, the bars were produced and delivered this month!