Beam is very excited to be creating the content for the 4k media wall integral to the reception of the new Biodata Innovation Centre on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge. The campus is one of the premier centres of genomic discovery and understanding in the world. It leads ambitious collaborations across the globe to provide the foundations for further research and transformative healthcare innovations and Beam is thrilled to be playing a creative role in helping the centre establish itself.
Here's a sneak preview of one of the films for our recent cycling campaign for Southwark council. The campaign has been shortlisted for an award for Transforming London's Streets.
Behind the scenes at the photoshoot witnessing Suley's superb balancing skills
Detail from Sarah's exquisite illustration work
The library in Welwyn Garden City is not necessarily the first place you would imagine encountering a previously unknown modern artist and one clearly gifted and unique in his field. But here it was that I found myself on a slightly damp summer morning, courtesy of the tube strike, in said library and unable to concentrate on my tabled agenda on account of the monumentally beautiful installation that resided on the wall of the central glazed stairwell.
This vibrating, arresting, poetic structure was the work of Peter Collingwood OBE, Artist and Master Weaver. In his work traditional skill and visual abstraction are aligned in perfect harmony and his Macro Gauzes, the name I discovered that was coined for these particular works and the ones that he was most famed for, seem to reference both Bridget Riley and Barbara Hepworth simultaneously.
Your local library, you never know what you'll discover.
So after what seemed like a never ending and insurmountable mountain of risk assessment and health and safety related red tape, we eventually found ourselves on the dizzying heights of the roof of number one Lyric Square, Hammersmith. At least all the bureaucratic planning had allowed time for the British summer to finally sort itself out - conditions couldn't have been more perfect. The filming was for the third instalment of content for the 4k media wall in the lobby of Ten Hammersmith Grove. Now home to UKTV amongst others, this film is using the latest in timelapse technology to capture the views and action of everyday life in this West London metropolis.
After a bit of eyebrow raising on our side after we were initially confronted with all the health and safety requirements, we were all pretty happy to be strapped in and harnessed to the hilt, it was a long way down. Watch this space for the actual content, out in about four weeks time.
How refreshing this new brand and identity is for Moldova tourism. Designed to help promote the country as a tourism and holiday destination the illustration in the main logo references the tree of life, a symbol that appears throughout Moldova's cultural outpourings.
Created by the recently established Moldovian branch of advertising behemoth Publicis - the tree could also represent the constantly expanding reach of it's agency creator... On a more serious note, it's both a modern and accessible interpretation of its reference source and an extremely refreshing move away from the ubiquitous brush-stroke tourism brands.
It’s not everyday that you come across a new, completely naturally filtered, swimming pond in the centre of a building site in the heart of London. The project, brainchild of architects Ooze and a collaboration with artist Marjetica Potrc, is a living arts installation who’s purpose is, amongst others, to describe the balance of man with nature, and the balance of living in a sustainable city.
The pond uses specific plants and a phased filtration cycle to completely replenish the water every 24 hours - the 600m2 pond can sustain 163 swimmers per day with this process. The infomation graphic language of the identity and visitor information panels reference the temporary nature of the project (the land is owned by Argent who are behind the major King Cross regeneration scheme). Let’s hope that the project is so successful that not only does it become a permanent feature but also spawns similar projects throughout central London.
Quentin Blake is one of the most renowned and respected illustrator's in the world. We approached this dream commission to build his first website with trepidation: would we do the great master and his extensive portfolio justice in the digital domain? Would we be able to convince the self-confessed luddite that the computer was not the devils tool devised to dilute the world of it's aesthetic virtue? We would like to think we were successful on both counts - Quentin began to create content specifically for the site and it went on to win awards. The site was built in 2006 and was replaced in 2012 due to change in the company managing his estate and library. We revisited it the other day and this post is purely to provide a link for the curious as well as a tribute to the small-screen, fixed-width websites of the noughties... You can see it here
You know never to check the weather forecast before organised outdoor events – but these days the forecasters are getting better and heavy rain hours before the start of the cycling event Right Royal Ride was not what we wanted at al and we arrived at the starting point in Holland Park expecting only a handful of diehard cycling enthusiasts. Fortunately a rather respectable bunch of Kensington & Chelsea cyclists awaited, pedals at the ready, to kick off this cycle ride around their Royal Borough. Finally even the sun showed up and the ride became a chocolate box trip through K&C's beautiful tree-lined streets in full blossom. The grand finale was a charity event with picnic and music at Holland Park. What a great start to the weekend.
Beam is currently being pleasantly challenged by taking part in The 100-day project organised by American artist Elle Luna.
Participants have to do the same action every day for 100 days, and they have to document every instance of the 100. Whether writing a poem, drawing, photographing or painting you just have to do it daily and upload your work on Instagram under your project's hashtag.
We have committed ourselves to create typographic patterns (#100daysofletterpatterns) and are enjoying ourselves indulging in this typographic sea of letters.
Creative stamina set to full.
...the Right Royal Ride cycling event is just around the corner. And if the weather stays this sunny this could be the most glorious cycle ride of the year. Certainly the puckerest.
Beam has designed the identity and the marketing collateral for this event and will be joining our friends from the Royal Borough on their cycle tour through the picturesque landmarks of their elegant quarter of London town.
There are still tickets available and they can be booked via the Bikeminded website http://www.bikeminded.org/whats-on/.
See you there, ladies and gents.
Well it may not be the cleanest river that flows through a capital city but it's certainly moved on along way from when The Kinks' front man was writing about his nephew Terry meeting his girlfriend Julie (and not Terence Stamp and Julie Christie as was rumoured at the time).
What is very clean though, is our beautiful new studio. The light floods in from all sides and our ingenious meeting room doubles up as a hot/glass/green house where some of the team are cultivating a new type of cotton with photovoltaic chips embedded in it so that we can produce flyers that generate their own energy.
Do drop in if you're in the area, we've got our very own café!
• not all of this post may be entirely true
We've moved to Old Paradise Yard!
It's our vibrant new home just a stone's throw (or should that be Kinks?) from Waterloo. The site occupies a former school and we've got set designers, furniture designers, chefs and architects amongst others as our neighbours in this engaging community.
At the time Ray Davies immortalised the state of the River Thames with those infamous lyrics, this must have been a downright dicey area. Happily today we find it anything but dirty, with the sunsets as beautiful as ever and a genuinely refreshing creative buzz, the likes of which we haven't seen in East London for quite some time.
Fare thee well Angel but a most warm welcome to wonderful Waterloo.
And so it's with a heavy heart but a sense of adventure that we doff our caps and bid farewell to our beloved Britannia Row. Home to many years of creative craft, inspiration and collaboration - from Roger Water's beguiling lyrics, Akram Khan's transporting choreography to Tony Conigliaro's trend-setting cocktails, we like to think we kept pretty good company past and present.
The building had clearly seen better days and was in desperate need of love and attention (...cash), let's hope it's new owner will bestow as much generosity of spirit, adventure and wallet as Nick Mason did in the early years.
When it comes to branding, London Underground has always been a great example. What I particularly love is how each tube line has its own identity whilst keeping in line with the mother brand. My particular soft spot here are the seat fabrics with their specific colour schemes and individual patterns. To create a fabric that has its own character, defies dirt and vandalism, is interesting but not annoying and just simply looks stunning is quite a challenge.
The tramline between Croydon and Wimbledon is a great example where the fabric designer has pretty much just achieved that: there are two variations on the colour theme of greys, beiges, green and red where seating groups throughout the tram are covered alternately, creating a pleasant and attractive public environment.
'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' It’s hardly ever been truer than visiting the Alf Lechner Museum in Germany. This museum, dedicated to one of the most important contemporary German sculptors, shows a collection of some of his smaller works. The beauty and simplicity of each individual sculpture is accentuated by the bareness and the monotone colours of the huge exhibition space. As a visitor you are constantly drawn between individual pieces and the composition of the entire exhibition, making this visit a truly refreshing experience.
I’ve always been a Big Issue supporter albeit on the passive side; growing up and working in London has been enough of an eye opener to make me very aware of the plight of the homeless. Until recently, the times I chose when to buy it were somewhat spontaneous, on a whim – the face or eyes of the vendor, my mood that day, how flush I was feeling, the cover story/image. I also never used to really properly read it. Until now.
We used to have a regular outside our local Planet Organic, who was so pushy and in your face that it positively put me off buying it altogether – a painful reminder of Big Issue vendors in Soho in its darker days past. Luckily he was replaced a couple of months ago by Florin. A positive master of the undersell, he stands in his spot, with as much genuine cheer as is possible for a person in his disposition. Calm, and serene, but with a warm and genuine smile should you choose to engage. Apart from feeling happy to support the cause on a now regular basis, what has also happened is that I’ve started to read the magazine. And what a great magazine it is, well designed, great illustrations and an editorial tone that is insightful and balanced with just the right degree of opinion.
Congratulations and respect to John Bird for creating something that I never thought would last as long as it has, and become so much a part of the urban London and editorial landscape. DLK
There are hundreds of ways to ask for people's feedback but the most immediate I came across recently was at Heathrow airport. It's a machine that is positioned directly after the security check. Only one question is asked and the customer can choose between four levels of satisfaction.
I love this straightforward approach because it's fast, direct and easy, particularly for non-English speakers. I am sure it gives the operators a fairly good idea of the overall level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of their customers without having to offer money or prizes in return.
As a customer I would have loved to see the results immediately but that could be asking for trouble. However it may well be something we see in the future... CF
The beauty of the Wellcome Collection lies in its variety of exhibitions. There is the permanent collection that is split into two exhibitions: some rather bizarre medical artifacts collected by its founder Henry Wellcome and the second, unusual art pieces exploring various aspects of medicine. A further exhibition space is reserved for temporary shows, in this instance an exhibition of 46 artists resident at social welfare institutions across Japan.
I particularly loved the personal note of the permanent collection as this collection doesn't try to give conclusive insights into specific areas of medicine. It's an entertaining collection of unsual medical items that reveals a lot about its time of use. Looking at some of the saws and drills that seemed more house of horror than surgical in application, it makes you wonder why we ever complain about the NHS. CF
OK this is primarily an excuse for me to gush about my gorgeous 1978 BMW R100S but also to pay respect to the great team at Untitled Motorcycles. Untitled is a workshop and garage underneath the railway arches in Camden, North London, where they specialize in customising old BMW air-cooled twins. They have been helping me get my bike into prime mechanical and weatherproof condition for the season. In the process we have discovered that this is a genuine R90S lookalike, off the factory line in Germany, and not someone's personal project which I had always assumed. After BMW stopped making the R90S in 1976, there was such a demand for the bike that they continued making the model but with the new 1000cc engine, as the serial number on my bike testifies.
The bike's visual design was overseen by Hans Muth, who was asked by BMW to create a machine with a unique presence far removed from the staid image offered by previous BMW offerings such as the R69S. This designer later went on to design the R65LS, and also the Suzuki Katana. DLK
What I love about London is that you sometimes bump into interesting initiatives through sheer coincidence.
That's how I recently discovered Trusty – the world's first Honesty Shop that's housed in a 50-year-old routemaster bus. What makes this shop so unusual – apart from being in a bus – is that there's no shop assistant keeping an eye on you. You can browse the lovely products that range from household accessories to gifts and toys and simply pay by leaving the correct amount in a box. Even better 10% of the profits go to a charity which doubles the feelgood factor.
If you don't happen to live near Merton Abbey Mills in South West London there is still a website you can visit –thehonestyshop.com – and virtually stroll through the bus.
Happy shopping – literally. CF