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Creative Week NY Cuts Corners

Reviewed May. 20, 2011 by Armin

Industry / Graphics Industry Tags /

Creative Week Logo, New

First celebrated in 2009, Creative Week New York (CWNY) is a week-long series of events organized by The One Club, the non-profit organization devoted to the advertising and design industries — their One Show remains one of the best award schemes in the industry and their ceremony, the One Show Festival, is the top excuse for all creative types to wear fancy clothes and swirl wine in big glasses. It was the popularity of this event that prompted the start of CWNY bringing together various events from other organizations like Google, The Art Directors Club, The Paley Center, NYC & Co, and the Type Director’s Club. In 2010 Mayor Bloomberg decreed the event as the official “Creative Week” of New York. With the Week getting bigger in 2011 (celebrated last week), the One Club introduced an identity designed by New York-based COLLINS:.

In our research we found a remarkable essay by one of our team’s favorite writers, E.B. White. In it he frames one of the most interesting ideas about New York I’ve ever heard:

“There are roughly three New York’s. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.

Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last —the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company…”

Everyone on our team is a transplant. We’re from other parts of the planet or other parts of the country. And we all came here with one ambition — to work. Like those who come here for Creative Week, we work in design, technology and advertising.

But unlike other cities in the United States where outdoor advertising is tightly regulated, our adopted city thrives on the bold, visual cacophony it provides. The mad collision of billboards, street signs, speeding taxi tops, shop banners, sale signs, wild postings — the commercial lingua franca of Manhattan — covers every block here. It’s absolutely impossible to imagine New York without it.

Our identity for Creative Week New York is our attempt to crystallize the exuberance of this language in a simplified form. We hope we did just that.— Brian Collins

Creative Week

Creative Week

Business card, above. Poster, below.

Creative Week

There are a couple of reasons why I really like this logo. The first is the simplicity of the solution, not in the sense of how simple it looks but in the ability to have found that simple typographical connection in the name — something that would be too easy to miss. The second is that it is, indeed, perfect for New York. Also for two reasons. The first because you wouldn’t be able to visually make this work for Creative Week LA or Creative Week Tokyo or Creative Week Whatever, it works just for New York, with the pieces falling in all the right places. The second is that it feels like New York: sharp, crowded corners, one after the other, in a grid. COLLINS:’s team inspiration stated above is a nice foundation to build the work on and they captured that feeling quite well.

Execution-wise, I’ve always been wary of typography at an angle, because it tends to mess with the proportions of whatever typeface is used. This seems to hold well, although the “O” and “R”s start to feel odd. The colors are unexpected and welcome. And the poster is just awesome.

Credits: Matt Luckhurst, Designer. Lee Maschmeyer, Brian Collins, Creative Directors.



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