Posted 31/07/12 by Barber Design
This incredible moving art installation which has just been unveiled at Changi Airport in Singapore has to be seen to be believed. The sculpture called ‘Kinetic Rain’ was created by German design agency ART + COM and consists of 1,216 rain drop-shaped copper-plated aluminium beads, suspended on computer-controlled threads which move to create a captivating, undulating display of shapes including landscapes, rainfall and an aeroplane.
The aim of the sculpture is to develop an identity for the departure hall and create a moment for contemplation to contrast with the hectic nature of international travel. Senior vice president for airport operations, Yeo Kia Thye, stated: “With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi experience.”
Posted 30/07/12 by Barber Design
With 11% of town centre shops now standing empty, TV retail guru, Mary Portas has stepped in to assist the government in a series of plans to rejuvenate Britain’s High Streets.
Portas, who is passionate about her role says: “I want to put the heart back into the centre of our High Streets, … must be ready to experiment, try new things, take risks and become destinations again. They need to be spaces and places that people want to be in. High Streets of the future must be a hub of the community that local people are proud of and want to protect. My goal is to breathe economic and community life back into our High Streets and town centres. I want to see all our High Streets bustling with people, services, and jobs. They should be vibrant places that people choose to visit. They should be destinations. Anything less is a wasted opportunity.”
Appointed by the government last May to lead an independent enquiry into the future of the High Street, the resulting report – ‘the Portas Review’ was published six months ago. In the report, Portas suggests that the UK’s High Streets are at crisis point. She makes 28 specific recommendations to address this urgent situation, forcing the government to acknowledge that if action is to be taken then it must be done swiftly, before the High Streets decline any further. This month they announced their intentions to fulfil some of the recommendations in the review and help to get Britain’s once-bustling High Streets thriving again.
Setting up a new retail establishment involves a lot of planning and paperwork, with many deterred by the high levels of both rent and business rates associated with a prime location in the town centre. More and more shops are closing down and less people are heading for the High Street to make their purchases. The number of shops standing empty has given rise to a new form of ‘pop-up’ retail where temporary businesses are established in empty premises or mobile facilities – but setting up a pop-up shop is not as simple as it ought to be.
In the review, Portas suggests that it would be much easier for businesses to set up these transient retail units if there was less red tape involved. In a direct response to this, the government have relaxed the planning application laws associated with pop-up shops, giving businesses up to two years to apply for planning permission, rather than having to do so immediately. This allows them to get up and running very quickly and apply for permission retrospectively. The less time it takes for a pop-up retailer to get up and running, the quicker those empty units are filled and the influx of new shops will revitalise the whole area and draw people back into the town centre again. Obtaining planning in this way also allows pop-up shops to save money and spend more time focussing on establishing their business. Portas suggests that the High Street should be willing to experiment and focus on community and this new action by the government encourages a fresh type of shopping experience, removing some of the barriers to setting up a new business and reducing the amount of wasted empty retail spaces. And it’s not just retail units that are being set up, pop-up galleries and restaurants – which enrich communities – also benefit from this scheme.
In addition to the review, Portas is also overseeing a scheme called ‘Portas Pilots’ where 12 English towns have been given a share of 1.2 million pounds worth of funding to revitalise their own town centres – which Communities minister Grant Shapps says has “captured the imagination of the nation with communities across the country uniting to support their High Streets”.
Images above are taken from Diesels Pop-up store in Carnaby Street designed by Barber Design. This 6 week store with cardboard interiors encouraged locals to get involved with the design of the store and personalise with chalk and markers. Customers loved this space and it created immediate brand awareness for the client.
Posted 25/07/12 by Barber Design
With the opening ceremony only 48 hours away and the sun beaming down on London we took to the streets to see how our local retailers were marking the occasion.
However, it seems that in complete contrast with the the Royal wedding of last year and recent Jubilee celebrations, retailers appear to be falling shy of celebrating the 2012 London Games, put off by LOCOG’s copyright infringements.
There are some entering into the spirit of the Games with fun window displays, but not many. And for a few of those that have made the effort we’ve certainly heard about the back-lash for retailers not quite complying with the rules and regs.
In May, a florist was told to take down five rings and a torch, all made from tissue paper, because they were an ‘unauthorised use’ of the Olympic logo. And last year cake shop owners who wanted to depict the 2012 games logos in icing and marzipan at an Olympic-themed annual festival organised by the British Sugarcraft Guild dropped their plans in the face of court proceedings.
Our question; is this as bad case of over excited London 2012 organisers restraining the good will and national pride of our retailers (and maybe going that bit too far to protect the London 2012 and Olympic brands). Or should we just follow the guidelines and take the opportunity to get creative on our high streets and malls like a minority of others have managed to. Maybe the rules simply are necessary to protect sponsors?
Some lovely examples from this mornings ramble through Richmond include JOY with their use of hula hoops, medals and patriotic homewares. Ted Baker also sported medals and included creative window graphics, a stadium audience and podium places taking centre stage. Crew added to the festivities with their graphic medals and union flag colour scheme (see the theme here) as they highlighted their support for the GB sailing, rowing and Boccia squads!
One store which we all like the look of here at Barber is Browns on South Molton Street who’ve taken a simple combination of materials and props to create a striking and totally on theme display. Definitively our favourite so far.
Now, there is also a store down in Surbiton which has found a different, if not slightly controversial way round all the commotion and put themselves well and truly in the media spotlight.
The menswear window display has been attracting so much attention that TV crews from countries such as Korea and Japan are now covering the story. Their display pulls fun at the Olympic rules that stop unauthorised retailers and individuals from using the Olympic rings or even mentioning certain phrases related to the Games. The display on the windows has five coloured interlocking squares with ‘Lodnon 2102 Oimplycs’ printed above. Fun and creative or just a case of being darn awkward for the sake of it!
Posted 17/07/12 by Barber Design
Barber popped along to the Stitch tradeshow yesterday to meet up with a few of our lovely clients exhibiting their latest collections. It was also fab to meet lots of interesting new niche brands showcasing themselves at the Business Design Centre for the first time!!
Posted 04/07/12 by Barber Design
We are very proud of former Barber Design work experience student Rachael Jackson, whose degree portfolio has just been featured in the Creative Review,with this piece of retail branding that she designed for her final year University project.
The former intern was inspired during her placement at Barber Design who have a background in supporting and nurturing homegrown talent.
For the project, Rachael who has just graduated with a 2:1 from Leeds College of Art and Design, Northumbria University, created a hypothetical rebranding for Triumph underwear. She broached the uncomfortable issue of bra fitting with humour and aplomb, using the analogy of jelly to address the issue of wobble control.
Read more about the project on Rachael’s blog here.
A full report on the degree show at the Creative Review can be viewed here.
Posted 03/07/12 by Barber Design
Just a little insight in to the minds and madness of a few of our designers!!