November 30, 2016

#AskBuild – Answers


We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who submitted a question to #AskBuild. Unfortunately, we couldn’t answer every one, but we have picked out some of our favourites and answered them below…

Answers by:

MCP – Michael C Place [Founder + Creative Director] NP – Nicky Place [Business Director]

EP – Ellie Polston [Graphic Designer]

ED – Elena Dransfield [Marketing Manager]

Q1. What steps did you take in your early careers that led to working with respected professionals in the creative industry?

Q1b. And what would you say to a young designer/student who’s looking to do the same? – Submitted by Evano Pescatore 

A1a. EP – I knew I loved graphic design and I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that it would be my career. I made sure I grabbed every single opportunity that came my way. I was lucky enough to intern at some great, but varied, creative agencies during and after my time at university. These internships not only taught me invaluable skills and knowledge but also made it clear what kind of studio I wanted to work for, which in turn, had a real positive influence to my work. I wasn’t afraid to take risks too – I took on projects solely on the basis that the project would be an asset to my portfolio, and eventually, get me to where I wanted to be!

A1a NP – I wanted to be an illustrator so I did a foundation course followed by a degree in graphics that had a specialist option in illustration (it was a mixed bag of illustrators, animators, designers, printmakers and even advertising- the industry has changed hugely and each of these are now recognised as very different disciplines). My first job was working in a small local games company (in Liverpool) as a 2D pixel artist, and that company then eventually became part of the Sony PlayStation empire. I became the lead artist on PlayStation titles Wipeout 2097 & wip3out. Eventually my role developed into more of a creative manager. I’d met Michael during this time so when I left Sony for Build I was kind of coming full circle, to be working in a graphic design studio!

A1b MCP – I would suggest getting in touch with a design studio before you graduate. Come graduation time we are inundated with requests for internships and jobs. By starting to contact people a bit earlier you stand a much better chance of not getting lost in the sea of people trying to secure that elusive placement/job. It can also show you have a real interest in the studio rather than the scatter-gun approach some people adopt in the mild panic of graduation! Do your research, send a nice email and follow up with a phone call. Take a real interest in the projects the studio is producing, it really works. Try not to get too discouraged if someone doesn’t respond straightaway, people do get busy.

A1b NP – My advice to young designers is to focus on what you want from an early age, if you can. This is a difficult one as the industry has exploded- so it’s both a benefit (huge choice of disciplines to work in) and a curse (loads more graduates coming into the industry each year). Sadly we see lots of graduates who don’t really have a fire in them, it does seem a bit design by numbers, almost like the creative industries might feel cool to work in, but of course it’s made so by the myriad of creative people in it! It’s a cliché but if you are passionate about being creative then this will shine through. Don’t falter when things get tough- we’ve heard so many stories of graduates going into any job out of necessity, and that’s it- they end up working as an admin assistant forever more! But, I didn’t think my first job was going to take me where it did, so try to stick within the creative industries even if the job isn’t ideal, as you never know how it could evolve. Having said that, we’ve had portfolios from people who haven’t worked in a creative role but after several years in an uninspiring job (usually their words!) are working hard to get one, and you have to admire their tenacity, but it’s tough. So in short- if you want to work as a creative, start that way, keep your eyes on the prize, and get placements at good studios (it goes a long, long way to getting noticed by others).

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Q2. How did you go about gaining clients when you started out on your own from working with TDR and how much time was spent marketing to potential clients? – Submitted by Peter Trigar

A2. MCP – It was a really strange period in my career, having just taken nearly a year off to travel. I won’t lie; it was pretty tough at the start. I was very lucky in that Nicky (my wife) got a very good job at Sony Playstation, which meant we were relatively financially secure. This enabled me to start talking to people, and do a few small projects. I did a project for a very well respected Japanese design publication called IDEA Magazine. This raised my profile; it was a sort of an announcement that I was back on the design scene, and working under the name of Build. I never really saw this as marketing at the time, but I guess you could call it that! I was also lucky that the previous company I worked for was very well known, so by association that really helped too. Another valuable lesson I learnt really early is that the design scene is quite small so be nice to people, you never know when you might need to some help.

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Q3. Do you mind recommending any good books about studio life, handling rejection, and/or creative processes? – Submitted by Anuja Shukla

A3. MCP – I can wholeheartedly recommend ’Studio Culture’ (Unit 01) published by Unit Editions. It’s a really good book containing interviews with 30 designers who run design studios. We are one of the studios in it; it’s an absolutely fascinating read. It pulls no punches with people giving really honest views on their experiences on a wide range of questions about the challenges of studio life. In it we talk about why we started the studio, how we get new clients (spoiler! It can be very tough), ambitions and how to get paid. Not sure about books on handling rejection, but I can say it’s still hard after having worked professionally for 26 years! But I would say it’s something one has to get used to, it goes with the territory. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time, try not to take it personally (I know this can be hard). When we have had work rejected we always try and understand why so that you can learn from it. Most people are usually happy to give constructive feedback so don’t be afraid to ask. Regarding creative process, try Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. He also does a series of online courses; see A really nice quote from him is: ‘The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas’.

A3. NP- I’ve read a lot of books over the years, especially early on, but actually nothing beats the experience of doing the work first hand (I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve started to read but then didn’t finish because I got busy doing the work!). Another book by Adrian Shaugnessy I’d recommend is ‘How To Be a Graphic Designer…’ I also came across Darius Foroux recently, he writes a blog about ‘life and business strategies. Sounds dry but it is really entertaining and so spot on!

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Q4. How do you convince your clients to trust you and accept your ideas? – Submitted by Saad Khurshid

A4. MCP – To convince someone to buy an idea isn’t really what we try to do for our clients. For us there is an awful lot of work going on before we get to the point of submitting an idea. During that time we build trust with the client. This is generally done through conversation and research, really getting to understand the client’s needs. Only by talking with your client can you hope to understand what they require, often by talking in depth these needs and desires can change. It’s then our job to steer the client in a direction that completely fits their requirements. So I think the trust is something that is built up over those first few weeks/months. I also think that there generally is a respect from the client’s side in choosing you over someone else. So it’s not a process that is very cold from the start, then it is up to you as a designers to make sure the client is onboard throughout the entire process, therefore hopefully in step with the ideas you present.

A4. NP- It’s a tough one in that clients naturally have their own ideas- sometimes they see working with a studio as a way to articulate that idea into the real world, ‘I know what I want I just don’t know how to get there’ – this can be very limiting for the client as there are always factors to take into account beside how something looks at the end of the project. It’s our job to show how we can help solve problems as they arise, though good design- that’s what designers do! The end result is the visual output of that problem solving. So we won’t work with a client who wants it ‘like this’, not because of any arrogance on our part, but because you can usually tell that it’s a non-starter and will end in a lot of frustration for the client. On the flip side a client who respects us as a studio and understands that there is more to the process than simply ‘making things look nice’ will know that our aim is to problem solve first, then make it look good, otherwise it’s a waste of the clients’ time and effort- so if we can reassure the client that’s what needs doing and that the outcome is better all round, that’s when the trust arises, and we can put something to them that they might not have considered before.

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Q5. How do I impress a graphic design studio with my portfolio? – Submitted by Stephanie Linossier

A5. MCP – First of all don’t feel down about your work. I’ve had a number of students come into the studio to show their work and some have been quite down about certain pieces. This really comes across in an interview, and I always say don’t be negative about your work. For one, don’t show anything you really don’t like, or pitch it in a different way. Be positive! Try not to think about all the other people, focus on your own work. You can be sure the people you think are great are probably saying the same thing about you! Very few people come straight out of university with an amazing portfolio of incredible work. An interview is as much about the person as it is about the work, so again be positive! Everyone in the industry that you respect was in the exact same position you are in, most people remember that and will act accordingly. People generally want people to succeed, so if you do have a bad interview don’t get too down about it ask for feedback. If it means doing a bit more work on your folio then do it, and try again. Good luck!

A5. NP- If you are a graduate, show a core number of projects, say 6-7 that show depth of thinking through that project. Present the portfolio cleanly and don’t think the portfolio itself has to be a crazy piece of design- keep it simple and understated and let the work speak. If you are a designer with some experience, show the ‘real’ projects you’ve worked on, but most importantly be honest about your involvement. We’ve seen many portfolios of young designers who show pretty in-depth work and they allude to being the only designer on that project- a bit of digging might show that they have done the layout on a brochure for it- that in itself is not a bad thing, the important thing is the involvement with the team and what you learnt alongside them- but don’t pretend you did it all!

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Q6. What does success mean to you? – Submitted by Gary Hanna

A6. NP – Success means being respected as a studio or practitioner. It’s not about making loads of money, there is no doubt that we practice at the less commercial end of the spectrum, but I’m very proud of what we have achieved as a small studio, and also the respect that Michael has as a designer.

A6b. EP – For me, success is doing what I love every day as an actual career! I measure my success on how other people interact with my work – there is no better feeling than creating something a client is as proud of as I am!

A6c. ED – I think coming up with a different idea that could better yourself or the people around you and seeing it all the way through to the end is a pretty successful thing to do. I don’t think you should always measure success as having status in a profession – to me it should be personal; it’s how you go about things and how you feel about it when you have finished them.

A6d. MCP – Graphic design is a subject I am completely immersed in, not only on a professional level, but a personal one too. I really enjoy reading about the subject, so for me success is really measured when I speak to young designers (and some older ones too) who said they got into design through my own. That’s pretty amazing!


November 28, 2016

#InConversation with Mr Bingo at Today Studios by Michael C Place

Today #InConversation - MCP intro slides
Today #InConversation - MCP & Mr Bingo
Today #InConversation - MCP intro
Today #InConversation - The moment Mr Bingo became Mr Bingo
Today #InConversation - Crowd

On 9th November 2016, I sat down with drawing legend and friend, Mr Bingo in a one-off non-scripted sparring session at Today Studios – a new co-working space in Hackney, London.

The talk, which was the first of its kind under Today Studios new #InConversation event series, focused on the theme ‘How I Got Started’ and offered insight into the work and lives of both designers in a much more relaxed manner.

It was to a very tightly packed (standing room only) Today Studios that Mr Bingo & I talked about how we got started. Well that was the plan anyway; the talk was very loose in format with Bingo & I gave a short introduction to each other’s work.

We then had David from Accept & Proceed on hand to chair the talk, steering us back on course if we strayed too far from the path. The audience was also encouraged to get involved at any point in the conversation, which made for a lively discussion. The format was one of the things I particularly liked about the premise of the evening; I’ve always been interested in how people got to where they are. The back-stories, the anecdotes, the things you don’t get to see from someone’s website. I liked the fact it was completely unscripted, it makes for an interesting discussion.

The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including Bingo’s brilliant and hilarious Hate Mail project (if you haven’t seen it definitely check it out), and our (Build) move back up North and the design scene up there. We also discussed Bingo’s switch from being a commercial illustrator to an artist, and I talked about The Designers Republic and what it felt like to have inspired people to take up design.

Take a listen to the full conversation on Today’s Soundcloud page here.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the guys at Today Studios and Accept & Proceed for running such a great event. The next talk in the series is on the 6th of December with Christopher & Graeme Raeburn. If you are in London we would highly recommend you get tickets!

Today Studios is situated on 4 Andre Street in Hackney and is open to both individuals and companies looking for a creative co-working space.

November 21, 2016

YCN Membership

We are happy to announce that Build is now an agency member of the London-based creative network, YCN.

YCN help their creative roster of companies make new connections, curate events and workshops and encourage business growth through strategic planning and advice.

After joining YCN, our Creative Director, Michael C Place, sat down with the YCN editorial team to discuss the importance of quality graphic design and typography in branding.

You can read the full article here.

You can also see our company profile here.



November 14, 2016

British Rail Corporate Identity Manual

The new British Rail Corporate Identity Book
The iconic British Rail logo created by Gerry Barney
One of five pull out pages in the new British Rail Corporate Identity Manual
The new book showcases the individual sheets of the original 1965 British Rail Corporate Identity Manual


The first comprehensive book that celebrates British Rail’s brand identity in its entirety has finally been released and we are so pleased to be a part of it.

Created by graphic designer, Wallace Henning and recognised custodian of the manual, Nick Job, the duo have worked in agreement with the Department of Transport to create the new clothbound, foil-blocked hardback book.

Containing 300-pages and all four volumes of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual, which was originally issued in 1965, the book contains all information on the core brand elements of British Rail, including the symbol, logotype, lettering and colour palette.

Our Creative Director Michael C Place, who is a big fan of the British Rail identity, was asked by Wallace Henning, (freelance designer and curator of the new book) to write the foreword:

“Michael’s comments in Spin Reading List 2 first made me aware of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual. He sparked a real interest in the British Rail identity for me and so I started to look into the Manual. The only copy I could find at time was at the National Railway Museum in York. This made me think about how many designers may not get a chance to see and appreciate one of the most iconic graphic identities of the 20th century. The project has allowed me to work with so many different incredible people; all of their combined experience has culminated into one book. We have some really interesting people giving their opinions, including an interview with Gerry Barney, the designer of the British Rail’s double arrow symbol, and of course the foreword from Michael, which only felt right – he started this journey for me, and so I hope his foreword starts it for more readers in the future.”

Following the release we are giving three lucky people the chance to win a copy of the new book (shown above).

— To be in with a chance of winning, tell us about your favourite train journey.

— The best answer will win a copy of the British Manual book as well as a British Rail A2 poster. Two runners-up will win a copy of the book.

— All answers to be sent to: hello [at] studio [dot] build using ‘Build British Rail Manual Competition’ as your subject title.

— Send your answers to us by 5th December 2016 and we will announce the three winners on Tuesday 6th December 2016. All winning answers will be published on our website/social media feeds.

If you don’t manage to win our competition, you can also buy the book here.

About the book:
— 247x310mm clothbound, foil-blocked hardback
— 300 pages including 5 gatefold pages
— Stochastic litho print
— Foreword by Michael C Place, creative director and founder of Build
— Introduction by Tony Howard, former head of design at British Rail, now Managing Director of Transport Design Consultancy
— Essays from James Greenfield, creative director and founder of Koto, and Dr Paul Rennie, writer and context subject leader at Central Saint Martins
— An interview with Gerry Barney, designer of the British Rail double arrow symbol


October 26, 2016


We are happy to announce our very first blog series, #AskBuild.

#AskBuild is a new way to ask our studio a design-related question.

Each month, we will be inviting designers and students to ask us a question related to our work, processes and studio. At the end of each month we will answer the best questions in a blog post.

A few example questions could be –

‘How do you divide your time between design work and admin tasks as a small studio?’

‘How do I impress a graphic design studio with my portfolio?’

‘How do I land an international client?

‘What is your creative process?’

If you would like to ask us a question please email with the subject ‘#AskBuild’ by 21st November 2016.

Please use #AskBuild & spread the word!


October 6, 2016

Dante’s Inferno

Build — Dante's Inferno
Build — Dante's Inferno

Every now and then we get an email from a young designer with a request, it could be for an internship, or for a bit of feedback on a project. Sometimes they ask if we would contribute to an exhibition that he/she is putting on.

This was what happened when Will Jackson a third year Graphic Design student from Manchester School of Art contacted us about an exhibition he was creating/curating. The theme of the show was ‘Inferno’.

We try and help young designers if we can, so we said yes to Will and contributed this poster for the show. It is based around Dante Alighieri’s epic 14th century poem Divine Comedy. The Inferno tells the journey by Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nice circles of suffering located within the earth.

We chose Dante’s Inferno as a starting point but updated for more modern times, switching the nine circles with brands. Each brand from each circle was chosen from current news stories about that particular company that matched the circle (Lust, Greed, Wrath etc).

The breakdown:
Limbo — American Apparel prepares to file for bankruptcy.
Lust — Everyone lusts after Apple products right?
Gluttony — The truth about McDonald’s kale salad.
Greed — The Rise and Fall of RBS.
Wrath — Three more companies face shareholder wrath over executive pay.
Heresy — Starbucks ‘removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus’.
Violence — Perhaps too easy a target?
Fraud — Tesco trio to stand trial in September 2017 over fraud charges.
Treachery — Britain’s new fleet of nuclear submarines ‘betrays UK steelworkers’.

So, if you are a student, or recent graduate and you have a nice idea, or you just want a question answered or would like a bit of advice…get in touch. On that note we have just announced a new thing called AskBuild, so yeah…AskBuild :)


October 6, 2016

In Conversation: Michael C Place + Mr Bingo

Our Creative Director, Michael C Place will be speaking with drawing legend, Mr Bingo in a non-scripted sparring session on 9th November in London.

In Conversation is a new series of events created by Today Studios, who provide design co-working spaces for individuals and companies.

Speaking on the new design event series, David Johnston, Founder of Today Studios, said:

“In Conversation is a series of discussions with the creative industries most iconic heads. A chance to turn the spotlight on the creators, the first talk of the series is themed ‘How I Got Started’. Chemistry is key to these evenings, with true insights coming from a relaxed and sharing atmosphere between two leading lights of the creative world. The diversity of their work and background mixed with their obvious fondness of each other, Michael C Place and Mr Bingo are the ideal duo to launch the first of the series. In Conversation is part of our ongoing mission to build an environment to learn, grow, network and create.”

The first event in the series will be at Today Studios working space on 4 Andre Street in Hackney, at 7:00pm.

The initial round of tickets for the event has sold out, however more tickets will be allocated soon. To see the event live join the Eventbrite waiting list for a chance to secure tickets. Entry for the event is free!


October 6, 2016

Leeds International Film Festival — 30 Poster

Build - LIFF 30 Poster
Build - LIFF 30 Poster

Our poster design to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Leeds International Film Festival has finally been released. Read about the background of the poster which was in conjunction with Leeds Inspired on a previous news post here. The poster features a camera resolution card in the shape of an eye plus over a 100 opening lines from various films and has been designed to be displayed in either portrait or landscape. The poster can be picked up at various places around Leeds City Centre.

Leeds International Film Festival is the largest film festival outside of London. The festival programme has five categories: official Selection, Retrospective, Cinema Versa, Fanomenon and Short Film City. We visited last years festival to watch Blade Runner and Escape From New York. It’s a fantastic festival which we are looking forward to visiting this year. Follow them on Twitter here.

The Film Festival runs from the 3rd to the 17th of November at various venues around Leeds. See the full list of films being shown at this year’s festival here.

New work

October 6, 2016

Where Do Ideas Come From? – Northern Design Festival 2016

Build — Sex, Drugs & Helvetica at Northern Design Festival
Granby Workshop by Assemble — British Council
Arjan Van Dal — Ceramic Works []
Charles Dedman — Turner Range []
Hannah Tounsend — Vase []
Jacky Puzey — Embroidery []

This year is our first year of getting involved in the Northern Design Festival (shame on us!), which launched last week at The Assembly House in Newcastle.

The theme of this year’s festival looked at ‘Where do ideas come from?’ which aimed to explore how finished graphic design works have been developed from an initial concept to create a brand, product, piece of furniture or print design.

We (Nicky and Michael) took the short trip up North to Newcastle to see the exhibition on the opening night. We’ve not visited Newcastle in a very long time so we were looking forward to go up and see the quality of the graphic design and creative work in the City and in the North in general.

The design work on show within the ‘Where do ideas come from?’ exhibition was exceptionally high in quality (and we aren’t just saying that because we were involved!) We spent a lot of time talking to Lewis from Assemble, who talked us through their brilliant Liverpool community project, Granby Workshop. This fascinating project makes beautiful and experimental handmade products for the home. The illustrations and catalogue design made by Assemble was an example of great design work by some really nice guys.

Also showcasing at Assembly House was the Festival’s ‘Hothouse’ exhibition that featured a selection of work by design makers from around the country. Some of our highlights included the beautifully made ceramics by Arjan Van Dal and Hannah Tounsend, Charles Dedman’s furniture designs and Jacky Puzey’s embroidery showcase.

All in all, the Northern Design Festival is a great showcase of the creative and experimental work going on in the North of England, and we were really happy to be involved.

If you haven’t visited Northern Design Festival 2016 yet we strongly recommend you take a visit this weekend (the festival ends on 16th October!) We would love to hear your thoughts on our Sex, Drugs & Helvetica branding project which is on show at the ‘Where do ideas come from?’ exhibition in Assembly House on Westgate Road, Newcastle. On display at the Design Festival is our three posters plus t-shirts, programmes, tote bags and wristbands that were created as part of the brand identity.

See more about Northern Design Festival on their website.


October 6, 2016

Nike – Jordan Breakfast Club

Jordan Breakfast Club - Lock up
Jordan Breakfast Club - Brand typeface
Jordan Breakfast Club - Brand typeface
Jordan Breakfast Club - Brand typeface
Jordan Breakfast Club - Website

New work for Nike Global Brand Design, Portland Oregon – Jordan Breakfast Club.
The Jordan Breakfast Club, named for Michael Jordan’s notorious early morning workout sessions, is an elevated training collection and interactive training regimen curated by brand athletes and Master Trainer, Alex Molden.

We worked closely with the Nike Brand Team on the new identity, with the development of a new typeface at its core. The typeface was designed to sit within the Michael Jordan brand world; utilitarian in its approach, reflective of the training program it represents.

The brand is currently being rolled out across multiple touchpoints including digital, retail and apparel. The full project will be on our site as the material comes into the studio.

Massive thanks to Nike global brand design, Derrick Lee (Design Director, Jordan Brand Design), Jon Tudor (Senior Designer) and Dinusha Welliver (Operations Manager) for getting us involved in such a prestigious and exciting project.

New work

September 27, 2016

A new chapter for Build!

Last year we made the decision up sticks and leave London and have now moved to glorious Yorkshire! After a nomadic few months we are very happy to announce that that we have finished unpacking boxes and have set up home in Tower Works, a fantastic creative office space in Leeds City Centre (5 minutes from Leeds train station).

Many people have asked us why we’ve moved, and the simple answer is that with so many clients outside of London we questioned if we really needed to be there- so we decided to quite literally, change the scenery! London really is amazing, but it’s all too easy to forget that life goes on elsewhere…. and you rarely pass a field of sheep on the daily commute in London.

We have found Leeds to be an incredibly vibrant city, with a whole host of creative opportunity and talent based here. We’ve already been involved with Leeds Beckett University, and created a poster for Leeds International Film Festival to celebrate their 30th event. Leeds is thriving at the moment, and we’re proud and excited to be a part of it.

Meanwhile, we have also completed two new projects for Nike, worked on the new Virgin America app, created a brand identity for independent furniture designer, Gavin Coyle and carried out on-going design work for the Stow Brothers. On top of that, we created a new album cover for London-based Warp Records artist, Darkstar, and started working with Tulura, a new skin-care brand based in New York.

As we are starting afresh, we’ve also to changed our domain address with matching new emails. You can now see our latest design work, news + updates at and you can find our new contact details here.

What’s more, we’ve got two new members of staff – Elena Dransfield (marketing manager) + Ellie Polston (graphic designer). Thanks to Elena, we’ve even made it onto Facebook (who’d have thought it?!) –You can like our studio page here.

Now we are settled in our new design studio we are looking forward to getting out and forging new relationships in Leeds and the surrounding areas. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any potential new projects or collaborations with businesses and design + creative studios in the area and look forward to hearing from everyone, old and new.

You can find us at our new address –

Unit 01/06
Tower Works
Globe Road
West Yorkshire
LS11 5QG

Let us know if you’d like to pop by– we’ve loads of Yorkshire Tea!


September 27, 2016

Win a signed Build print!

The Jewel in London's Crown by Build


We were thrilled to be approached earlier this year by Transport for London to be one of just 11 studios asked to design a print to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Johnston typeface.

Produced as an exclusive, limited edition print, alongside a poster version, the range was launched at Clerkenwell Design Week in May and most recently, was displayed at London’s cultural event, designjunction.

We’re giving one lucky winner the chance to win a signed copy of our design (shown above).

To be in with a chance of winning this exclusive Build print, please answer the following question:

What year was the Johnston Typeface released?

All answers to be sent to: hello [at] studio [dot] build using ‘Build competition’ as your subject title. Send your answers to us by Thursday 6th October 2016, and we will announce the winner next Friday.

If you’re not the lucky winner you can buy both the print and the poster here.

September 27, 2016

We’re exhibiting at Northern Design Festival

SDH — Northern Design Festival
SDH — Northern Design Festival

Next month we will be exhibiting our Sex, Drugs & Helvetica work at this year’s Northern Design Festival, which will be taking place in Newcastle between the 7th and 16th October 2016.

We were approached by Design Event, who organise the Northern Design Festival, to participate in the ‘Where do ideas come from?’ exhibition which aims to explore how finished graphic design works have been developed from an initial concept.

With this in mind, we decided to put forward a recent branding project we carried out for Australian design conference, Sex, Drugs & Helvetica.

Referencing the irreverent title of the design conference, we created a highly visual brand identity through the use of illustrations and pictograms. Each of these visual components references one of the three words ‘Sex,’ ‘Drugs’ and ‘Helvetica.’ This simple, yet visually appealing project showcases clearly where the ideas behind the design work came from, in a witty and fun manner.

We also created a series of posters, t-shirts, programmes, banners, tote-bags, lanyards and wristbands as part of the conference brand identity.

Our three exclusive posters for the Brisbane and Melbourne based conference will be showcased at Northern Design Festival next month, alongside our designed t-shirts, programmes, tote-bags and wristbands.

The exhibition will be showcased at The Assembly House on 55 Westgate Road in Newcastle upon Tyne, between 7th and 16th October. You can find more information about the exhibition, as well as everything else going on at Northern Design Festival, on their website.


September 27, 2016

Tulura, skincare with a purpose

Tulura logotype

We are excited to be working on the branding, packaging and promotion for a new forward-thinking New York-based skincare brand called Tulura. It’s been great working closely with founder Eileen Feighny on all aspects of the brand and we have learned a lot about the skincare industry through our many group conversations. Tulura’s culture, formulation and position are centred on Eileen’s research skin care education, Korean upbringing and professional modelling background. Tulura is a premium brand that allows women access to natural formulations designed with the intent and focus to bring out their instinctive natural beauty.

We look forward to sharing the full project on our site once Tulura launches.

September 27, 2016

Virgin America App launches!

App and movie by Work & Co
NYC - Illustrations by Build
Chicago - Illustrations by Build

We are delighted to announce that the brand new Virgin America travel app has now launched!

This has been an on-going design and digital collaboration between New-York based UX/UI designers Work & Co, Virgin America and Build, to create a beautifully illustrated, smart, user-friendly app.

Expanding the illustrated world we initially created for the Virgin America website, we aimed to bring the app to life through more humorous illustration and mini-stories to create the perfect fit with Virgin America’s maverick brand. We worked closely with Virgin America to illustrate and animate roughly 48 characters and scenarios for the new app, which offers a much more engaging experience than your typical travel app.

Built by the ever-talented guys over at Work & Co, this is one of the very few native travel apps available for iOS and Android – meaning it was completely built from scratch, and as a result is completely personalised to each user. Bog-standard boarding passes have been reworked to create something much more fun- if you are flying to New York for example the NYC animations will automatically be selected. Other smart features include the apps ‘travel mode’ which kicks in 24 hours before departure, to offer real-time information the user might need to know before they travel.

Alongside the development of the character illustrations, we also designed the bookend animations for loading and on-board screens, and which feature the icons originally created for the Virgin America website.

You can see more of the illustrations we created for Virgin America on our work page, with the work we produced for the app coming soon.

You can read more about this project in Creative Review.