“Challenging the brief should be the aim, not just meeting it” – GDR meets creative agency BOND

Aug 24, 2016

Every quarter, GDR produces our Global Innovation Report packed with trends and innovation from across the globe. Each of our eye-catching covers is designed by a different agency, commissioned by us to help bring one of our themes to life.

 This quarter our cover has been crafted by the creative agency, BOND. Founded in Helsinki in 2009, BOND grew and opened an office in Abu Dhabi before opening in London just under a year ago. GDR Innovation Researcher, Lamorna Byford, went to their sunny studios in Shoreditch to find out more about the agency and the thinking behind the cover from Creative, Hugh Miller…

The team at BOND London

The team at BOND London- Creatives Margaretha Andreassen, Ty Lou and Hugh Miller and Managing Director James Thomas


How would you define BONDs creative process?

Our process is unique because we are very concrete. We hate to show too many strategy slides – instead, we like to show what different strategic approaches mean in practice. Our organisation is completely without hierarchy, so we don’t have creative directors telling others what to do. We work as a team and the best ideas win.

With our experience and insight into global branding, in combination with the Finnish/Nordic design ethos in Helsinki, we make for quite a unique agency.

As a whole, the Bond family is a unique mix of different skills and insights to different markets. We work together bringing expertise across all of our studios – Bond Abu Dhabi brings its own unique approach into the mix as well – making us truly cross-disciplinary.
What work are you most proud of?

 “There are two bits of work that come to mind. The first is the ‘Designs of the Year’ project that we did for the Design Museum here in London. We collaborated with a data analytics company called Sceneskope and Microsoft to create interactive exhibits that used NFC-enabled tags and Nokia Lumia handsets to release more information about the product, its materials, its designers and why the judges felt it should win. The app collected real-time data relating to which exhibits visitors looked at and how long they spent at each piece, which was really valuable for the museum.

We’ve also worked with contemporary art platform, Art Rabbit, to produce a new brand identity, which has been really exciting. We’ve redesigned the R in their logo to look like a rabbit, encapsulating their name and logo in one simple idea. ‘Art’ is quite a provocative word so to be able to design the logo and make it personally relevant to the brand. It’s really distinctive and I think we’ve created a really strong visual language for them.”

Talk us through your cover design.

 “We worked from the chatbot concept that GDR explored this quarter, because that really resonated with us. We started with a series of conversations about how we could approach this. We wanted the visual experience to have a vibrancy about it with big, bright colours. Our response was to create something that represents not only the chatbot culture, using the iconic speech bubble that’s so prevalent in messaging, but the culture at GDR too. We layered different tones and colours to symbolise a cacophony of speech, representing conversations and creating a language in itself. People tend to gravitate toward bold shapes and colours, as well as negative space and overlaid patterns, so we thought that would work well for a cover. We really wanted it to be a strong, bold addition to the previous covers of GDR’s Global Innovation Reports and hopefully we’ve achieved that.”

What does the future hold for BOND?

 “We want to continue to work on strong and memorable projects that not only meet the requirements of the client brief, but also resonate with audiences.

 I think the most important thing in creating exciting work is how you can create a great relationship with the client. Creating amazing work starts with a healthy client relationship, building trust and the foundations that help nurture award winning work.

You can face many obstacles on the journey trying to meet the brief perfectly. Asking the right questions and thorough research, for example, helps to pave a smoother path, but challenging the brief should be the aim also – not just meeting it. That’s definitely what we want to keep doing.

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