From 4 to 10 March 2023, students from the BA in Graphic Design and MA in Visual and Innovation Design fled to London to experience and experiment in new creative dimensions. A multi-ethnic, dynamic city, full of energy in constant transformation, London has always been a beacon for the world of design.
During a series of advanced training events, through talks by industry professionals and site visits to their studios and creative agencies, the students had the opportunity to confront new visions and perspectives on brand design.
The aim was to foster contaminations, encourage ‘thinking outside the box’ and build a professional community with some profiles of excellent designers who have turned their passion into an accomplished goal.
The graphic design studios that the students got to know are among the most established in the fields of brand identity and advertising, but also place branding, Exhibit Museum, coding design, and typography. These include in particular: NB Studio, Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir, Lippincott Agency, Saffron Brand Consultants, Dalton Maag, Landor & Fitch, Monotype, Accept & Proceed.
Also an integral part of the trip were several visits to museums and iconic London locations to absorb the British style that has always been at the forefront, even of itself. Students Lucia Borgia, Claudia Fracassi, Giulia Giovannetti, Lucia Marenghi, Silvia Mercurio, Saadat Sher – Niiaz, Barbara Notaro, Daniele Oliva, Gianmaria Palombo, Alessandra Remoli, Giuditta Stelzer, Lorenzo Vella, have experienced on their own skin this life-changing experience!
They returned from this experience enthusiastic and full of new ideas, which they will be able to realise with the creative language they prefer: unconventional, motion graphic, interaction and multimedia design, photography and video, editorial, musical. Their projects will be included in an exhibition that will be installed at the RUFA Pastificio Cerere.
BrandinLondon, the creative journey conceived and organised by our lecturer Agnese Angelini with the contribution of Emanuele Cappelli and Antonio Pace, led the students to become more aware of their creative and professional potential, in line with RUFA Academy’s long-standing commitment.
ALL STUDIOS VISITED
NB Studio is an independent London-based agency set up by two brilliant creative directors – Nick Finney and Alan Dye – who came from Pentagram and have more than 20 years of work in branding and communications. Over these two decades, NB Studio has distinguished itself by creating ingenious design solutions for a variety of extremely diverse clients. The projects handled by the agency are always of great cultural and social content, and they have chosen not to specialise in a specific sector. The atmosphere in the studio is friendly, original and crazy. They have a lot of fun, while maintaining great professionalism.
Dalton Maag is an independent type design studio with offices in London, UK and São Paulo, Brazil.
An international team of 40 type designers, font developers, creative directors, software engineers and support staff, spanning 20 nationalities and speaking 12 languages. For over 25 years, their portfolio has been filled with major clients such as AT&T, Netflix, BBC, Amazon, McDonald’s, Nokia, BMW, DeviantArt, Intel, Vodafone, Ubuntu and Toyota Rio 2016, Google, Airbnb and BBC, and complete with finely crafted typefaces. Riccardo De Franceschi, the creative director, showed us how the studio works with international brands, and with what approach it gives distinction to logos, character to texts and clarity to communications in over 100 languages.
He also accompanied us to his studio in the Brixton district of South London, where contamination and diversity coexist and can be felt in every corner.
Hamish Muir is a graphic and type designer, founding partner of the iconic 8vO studio and designer-author of the typography magazine of the same name, Octavo.
Paul McNeil is best known as an author of typography books. Among his major works is The Visual History of Type with an introduction by Wim Crowel (founder of Total Design, Amsterdam, and one of the great names of the 20th Century). Paul and Hamish have made decisive contributions to the renewal of typographic languages and grahic design in general. RUFA students had the opportunity to present their work and engage with people who made type history.
SAFFRON BRAND CONSULTANTS
Saffron was born thanks to founders Jacob Benbunan and Wolf Olins.
Wally Olins, the man who invented the brand strategy. That was back in 2001. A lot has changed since then. Proudly independent, they are a global consulting boutique that favours a pragmatic, fun and direct approach. Innovative and always creative. Saffron’s recent clients include the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Facebook, Meta, Despegar, the airline HK Express, Collinear, Gulf Air, Repsol and Bittensor. strong>Roberto Verona, the agency’s Creative Director, explained to the students the creative process implemented for some of the most important clients, and the processes followed by the agency to build the foundations of a brand, to make it authentic, relevant and different from the competition.
One of the longest running agencies in the world, they have distinguished themselves through innovation and creativity since 1943. Over the past 75 years they have shaped some of the world’s most iconic brands and experiences, including NYC Pride, Coca-Cola and Samsung, Starbucks to Delta Airlianes. Strategic rigour and design excellence characterise this agency. Lee Coomber, the agency’s creative director, listened to the students and answered their questions during the talk, initiating a fruitful exchange on creativity issues and offering insights on how to find the right inspiration for creating unique and distinctive projects.
One of the most innovative foundries in the field of Type. Monotype brings brands to life through typefaces and technology.
An immense library that can be traced back hundreds of years, with iconic typefaces such as Helvetica, Futura, Times New Roman and others. Monotype also offers a unique service that makes typefaces more accessible to creative professionals who can discover, license and use them in our increasingly digital world. Emilios Theofanous, the creative director, showed us the studio where many of the trendy fonts the students use in their projects are born. The studio is located in Shoreditch, one of the city’s most picturesque and creative neighbourhoods, and every corner is a source of pure inspiration.
ACCEPT & PROCEED
Accept & Proceed is an independent studio based in London. A studio of creative visionaries of the moment, with brilliant minds to inspire radical action. They take every other Friday off to explore, regenerate and always bring back new ideas. They collaborate with visionaries and people who are hungry for radical ideas and don’t shy away from the world we have been given to solve. Creative Director Stephen Health told the students about the agency’s creative approach, based on beauty and change.
He also reiterated the responsibility of designers and creatives, promoters of ideas and culture, who hold a collective responsibility towards people and the Earth.
LANDOR & FITCH
A great global network, a leader in branding. Walter Landor literally invented modern brand consultancy, and Rodney Fitch pioneered retail design and brand experience, together an explosive mix! Landor & Firch is a large agency spanning three floors with multiple work, leisure, and meeting areas.
Among the attractions is a reproduction of a wooden Roman theatre, overlooking the Thames, where project presentations are projected on a giant screen.
Mia Samaha and Zenia Lampropoulou‘s kindness and welcome were unparalleled, and the students were pleasantly impressed by the presence of very young designers from all over the world, collaborating in a multicultural and fascinating environment within a huge open space.
The atmosphere was electrifying and conveyed a great enthusiasm for their future.