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“I spent this morning at St Ursuline High School in Wimbledon as part of the Inspiring the Future initiative sent round all WPP agencies. I was speed networking with Year 9 girls to help them choose their GCSEs… mental… but great fun and I thought worthy of a blog.
I left school just before my 17th birthday, and never returned, not to any schools – ever. In fact as I’m joining the waves of blue uniformed
‘St Ursuline’ girls flowing up the hill pre 8:30am, I am genuinely nervous. Teenage girls are terrifying to me. But I decided it was time
‘to give something back’ I’ve been lucky through my career to be mentored by various individuals and inspired by countless more, so, I
decided to face the fear and go talk to these Year 9 girls as part of a career speed networking event.
And what an amazing, exhausting morning it turned out to be. The girls are at that awful juncture in life where they’re trying to work out
what subjects to select for there GCSE’s – remember them? The objective of the networking is to give the girls perspective on how their GCSE choices ladder up to an eventual career? How daunting for them and thought provoking for me. I’m asked every 5 minutes for 2 sessions of 50 minutes
‘ How did you choose to work in Brand Design?’
‘ Is it a job for life?’
‘ What GCSE subject choices are relevant for a career in Brand Design?’
‘ Do I need to be good at Art?’….
When forced to reflect on my career and how it happened somethings became apparent to me that I felt compelled to share with the girls. I had no idea there was such a thing as an Account Director in Brand Design when I was at school, nor even at University. I had vague notions of loving art, being passionate about music and photography, but brand design? …So I spent this morning being truthful to these daunted bright young things. It’s okay not to know what you want to do. There are so many different professions and roles out there that you don’t even know exist yet, I met a bomb disposal chemist from the Ministry of Defence (amazing!!?)
So as far as ‘giving back’ goes, I hope I helped release a little pressure for some of the girls who feel they have to have their lives mapped out age 14, I hope my passion for Brand Design might have inspired even one to consider not becoming a vet or a doctor. But I have to admit shattering at least one dream this morning when one astute student asked what the holidays are like – how do you explain that you don’t get 13 weeks off a year…”
Maree McNicol, Account Director at Coley Porter Bell
Coley Porter Bell has created a Christmas identity for The Co-operative Food as part of an ongoing overhaul of the retailer’s own-brand offering.
It is featured on The Co-operative’s standard food range and is based on the ‘Loved by us ‘ design strategy created by the agency earlier this year to showcase the retailer’s food credentials and to appeal to younger consumers.
Also appearing on point-of-sale material and in-store decorations, the identity aims to add a warm, homely and charming feel to The Co-operative’s Christmas food range with a lively new script set on a pastel green background. The combination of hand-drawn letterforms creates a unique Christmas typeface for The Co-operative.
Some of the new letters in the identity were drawn from scratch. Others are embellishments of classic type-faces. There are four variants of each letter but upper and lower case aren’t necessarily related. The letters appear in a range of unusual Christmas-inspired hues and are set in varying heights from the baseline.
The effect is intended to be playful, lively and hand crafted, reflecting The Co-operative’s love and passion for food.
Stephen Bell Executive Creative Director at Coley Porter Bell said: “This identity had to stand out in the supermarket across different categories. To do that we chose a typographic rather photographic lead route. It is playful, festive and has a crafted feel, which supports the range’s food values and personality. They don’t look like the usual Christmas food range.
“This shows that key moments in the retailing year such as Christmas, which attract a lot of infrequent shoppers, can be used as a brand-building as well as a trading opportunity.”