We have worked with Margaret Howell on various showroom design projects and visual communications for several years. The examples shown are from showrooms designed for Paris Fashion week. Each element of the design was carefully designed to fit within the visual language of the Margaret Howell brand. Special consideration was taken to work within the styles of modernism and minimalism. The showrooms were effective is showcasing the clothes to buyers and press in a contemporary and original manner.
Collage and design for vinyl record 'only one' by uah. The photomontage used is inspired by the idea of the artist sitting in his London flat looking at the city scape crafting a beautiful soundtrack of ambient soul beats.
We went into the city one night and from down below and up high took a series of photographs documenting London in its dark stillness. These photos were then collaged together in 100 different layers at 3.6 meters x 3.6 meters.
The resulting composition was partitioned into 100 different squares and applied to 100 unique limited edition numbered album covers. The back of the sleeve shows the full composition minus the one cover that the user has in their hands.
On the computer or in real life an environment is a space to be realised and developed. Working in a digital 3D space is great because you can create things that you would not be able to in real life, however in our work the output always seems to end up being a real live object.
Visualising in 3D, whether it is a space, an object or a box is very helpful. The real challenge comes in making the thing that you have drawn real. In the end looking back its nice to see the renderings and planning that goes into the real 3D object and compare it to how the actual object turned out in the end.
3 dimensions is a research project we did in the studio. The idea was to draw an imaginary shape within 100mm² space. Once we had the drawings of our imaginary shapes we modelled our shapes and then sent them to be 3D printed.
Once we had the 3D printed objects back in the studio we set about drawing the 3D Objects that we had printed (that were based on our original imaginary drawings.) This resulted in a series of drawings which we have presented here along with the models and photos of the 3D printed objects.
What is print. The process of making a mark. Through the evolution of devices that process of mark making has evolved into a very involved and intricate process. At the end of the day most of the print we do now days is broken into CMYK plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK.) What this means is that we are actually crafting small halftone dots of ink. Print has changed, but it’s still relevant in its own way. As an organic being it is hard to stray away from actually being able to touch something. The romantic notion of preserving an image in time is universal. It transcends our existences. Even though paper may eventually decay it will most likely outlive us. There is a delicacy about being able to see the image on the page.
In a broad sense everything we do is an illustration of an idea or a concept. Even choosing to leave a page blank or empty is an expression of something. We illustrate in the construction of the things we make. Be it a book, be it a short film, be it a layout for a website.
That is an illustration of an idea. Especially when you are talking about commercial work for brands, the layout and the choices you make when designing something speak volumes about the brand. At the same time we thoroughly enjoy illustration and see it as having a deep crossover in to graphic language.
We love paper. It is part of our history of our trade of our culture as designers. A lot has changed in the paper industry and we are always eager to work in a sustainable way. In this way we like to work with papers that are on the cutting edge of technology. One of our clients once joked that he assumed we were going to have a meeting with him about discussing 100 different shades of white paper. We did not disappoint him. Texture says a lot about the brand about the person about the piece of print. The images show a series of sketch books we made from left over paper sample sheets in our office.
Almost everything we do is designed using a carefully calculated grid or system of measurement. In german grid is translated as raster. Fittingly raster images are made up of small pixels and by and large working digitally means that everything you see is broken down into a “raster”. In a sense it is the most basic grid. A measurement of 1x1. Whether working in pixels, millimetres, inches or points everything is measured in our work. We also aim to build up carefully calculated scales for the relationship between the elements in our designs.
Self directed project where we built a ticker showing up to the minute headlines from a variety of news outlets. The idea for the project is to show how news is represented differently in the media in different cultures. The challenge in this project was how to pull live content while making the page responsive. View the live project here.
X3 is a project that examines the return to a more a hands-on approach to furniture making. The project was shortlisted and selected as one of 5 feature spaces at the London Design Fair during Design Week. For the project we created a workshop and curated 3 furniture makers to craft a chair from design to finish, live in front of the public. Each maker had 6 hours to complete a chair using the same tools and materials. We built the cube and designed all the branding, signage and marketing associated with the cube.
The concept for X3 was for us to curate 3 furniture makers and the building of a chair within an allocated amount of time. There was one maker per day and each maker had 6 hours to complete their design. On the fourth day of the fair, all 3 chairs were displayed within the stand. First of all, we designed and built a cube made of transparent polycarbonate so members of the public could see the person working, within the cube careful attention was made to build a workshop and provide a carefully selected array of tools.
After building the cube, the game started. One maker per day was given 6 hours to complete their chair. Once inside the cube the makers did not have any help from the outside world. All three makers were given the same tools and set of materials with which to construct. At the end of the 3 days all 3 chairs were auctioned off for charity. The installation was labeled “Possibly the most exciting, and certainly the most immediate installation at the London Design Festival” by Katie Treggiden of design milk.
Dream Sampler is a research project we developed in collaboration with acclaimed bassist Riaan Vosloo and Birmingham City University. Riaan’s proposition was to explore new ways of composing music through deconstructing techniques of composition and recital. His concept was to reference the idea of a music sampler, but instead to make a ‘visual’ sampler which a band leader or conductor could use to give instructions to a band. The premise was to build a software package that could be widely distributed to other composers and musicians so that any visual samples could be loaded into the sampler and played back on demand.
This project was technically challenging and we needed to implement a project management strategy and information architecture in order to make it a reality. Once we had coded the software that could be triggered by a midi controller, we helped develop animations and content that would be used for the first use of the software. Several animations were made in collaboration with Riaan to be put into the sampler.
We also helped produce a recording session for the trial run of the software. This project shows how CR&D explores how Creativity and Technology can be fused in an innovative way. The Composer and University were both very happy with the final outcome and we look forward to working on the next iteration of the project.
A collaboration with 4 content makers to create this journal that was a commentary on geo political climate during the financial crisis. The idea behind the magazine is to visually explore the ideas behind the meaning of Credit. The main meanings of credit can be when someone takes credit for doing something, or a fiscal debt owed. The 4 collaborators are Ian Teh who has spent a lot of time in China and the far east photographing sublime landscapes, Chris Hilton from the London based design studio Design Friendship, Robin Cameron who is a painter living and working in New York and Cesar Harada from Paris, author of the essay presented in the magazine about the idea of liquid economy. The magazine is 300mm x 390mm and is printed on a selection of GFSmith Papers.
Why Avenir? Avenir means the future… “A”+“venir” the thing that is to come. Avenir is our house font. Avenir was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988. Frutiger personifies the type of design that CR&D aspires to; clear, effective and direct. It is very classic but in a modern way. Fruitgers work also had a sense about looking to the future; searching for design that can challenge our existing way of looking at things. People talk about helvetica as a ubiquitous font, which it is, however people may not realise that everyone carries Frutiger in their pocket with them at all times in ORCA.
Form is shape, is material, is dimension, is space, is outline & also just line. It is defenition of area. We make things by giving them form. We define concepts from the infinite expanse by assigning boundaries. In that action we create shapes that translate our communications. Each pixel, each dot, each line, and each mark is purposefully chosen to develop visual signifier. These forms leave traces that pass on meaning. Form is the basis of all we do as designers.
Motion is an important part of what we do. In the beginning graphic design started out as something quite static, but film changed that. Now the principles of persistence of vision are being used on a daily basis on our the screens we look at everyday. In our work we do projects that are specifically based on video and motion graphics.
In this section we have chosen to show a variety of animations we did for poetry collective Tongue Fu. We have been working with Tongue Fu and improvised poetry and music live show since 2007. With them we have performed at Roundhouse, for the BBC, the South Bank, and the photographers gallery, with artists such as Kate Tempest, Scroobius Pipp, Salena Godden and Irvine Welsh.
CR&D specialise in building brands. Our expertise is understanding how to appeal to consumers in the Luxury Goods sector. We work with our clients to help them bring products to market across many touch points including: Print, Packaging, Digital Marketing (including social media assets and email communications), Environments and Video.We have long track record of working in the public and private sector and have an established design methodology, based on a 2 major and 2 minor approval process. We find having clearly defined markers for feedback helps focus the outcomes of the design process. In our design process we offer different iterations, in reaction to our research, design strategy and the brief.
Please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +447971985222 if you wish to discuss your project.
A list of the services we offer is below.
PHASE 1 – STRATEGY
- Creative Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
PHASE 2 – DESIGN
- Logo Design
- Packaging Design
- Book Design
- Poster Design
- Stationery Design
- Digital Design (Web & App)
- Exhibition & Trade Stand Design
- Motion Graphics
- Product Design
PHASE 3 – PRODUCTION
- Video Editing
Contact us to discuss your project at:
or send us an enquiry here
Demoreel: CR&D Demo Reel
Creative Research and Development (CR&D) is a creative services agency based in East London that has a long track record of providing branding, identity, print, digital, environmental and multimedia design solutions for a diverse range of clients. We work as a tight knit team whose strengths stem from our holistic approach to projects. Our approach includes an emphasis on Strategy, Creativity, Technical Production, Design and Project Management.
Our core areas of expertise are Graphic Design, Visual Communication and Digital Development with a focus on; Branding and Logo Design, Packaging Design, Digital Design (App and Website), Editorial Design, 3D Environment Design (Trade Shows, Exhibitions and Shop Branding) and Moving image (Motion Graphics Titles and Video Editing.) CR&D have been called “An emerging boutique design studio to watch” and their feature space at TENT during London Design Week was called “One of the most exciting installations at this year’s London Design Festival.” by Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek.
Our director David Cuesta has 20 years of industry experience and over his career he has worked on branding, environments, packaging, promotional print, magazine design, art direction and advertising for clients including Sony Playstation, Diageo, Body Shop, John Lewis, JCB World Brands, Margaret Howell, True Grace Candles, Rich Mix and H.R.H. Prince of Wales.
John Lewis Worked with our Partners Boston Studio and Pentagram on packaging design for a variety of John Lewis owe brand ranges. We worked on all aspects of the design, from packaging direction and product segmentation, to photography, and artworking of all SKU’s. Ranges worked on included Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Gifting and Clocks.
John Lewis operates a stringent design process with many stakeholders involved. Each design concept was vetted by various stages of the organisation. The process for developing the concepts was to come up with something that fell very well within the John Lewis brand which is very broad and appeals to many different ages.
Challenges also included differentiating products between premium and basic within the same brand umbrella. Since we were involved with the project sales of each range increased.
Bamford Grooming Department is a collaboration between Lady Carole Bamford and George Bamford. It brings together a deep understanding of thoughtful and beautiful design with cutting edge style. Our brief was to develop branding for this project that could sit well within the existing Bamford Way of Life brand architecture.
This range of products was target marketed to men so it was important that they felt different from the overarching Bamford brand. After developing the brand language and colour scheme we set about developing a packaging solution that was indued with the luxury values of the brand and the products ingredients. Once the packaging was ready for production we moved onto developing digital assets and communications for launch of the product.
The original brief for Prestel Publishing was to develop a solution for their trade stand at the London Book Fair. At the time they were using ready made shell scheme shelves. This shell scheme did not really match their brand values of being a publisher of high end art books. The client wanted to develop a new bespoke stand design that could showcase books in an innovative and eye catching manner. The overarching goal was to draw more footfall to their stand.
Based on the success of the stand we were asked to design books for their interiors range. The challenge with book design is to develop a grid system or design style that you can hinge a multiple page document on. The books we design run up to 300+ pages. It is also imperative that any design style complements the content and works to showcase the source material in its best light. Damascus Tiles ‘Damascus Tiles’ by Arthur Miller is our most ambitious book design done to date. The book measures 300mm x 340mm and comes in at 320 pages. It includes a variety of content including a tile catalogue and several maps.
The book is based on the research of Arthur Miller who made several trips to Syria before the out break of the civil war, it documents relics which likely now no longer exist. Due to the diverse nature of the content we needed to come up with a grid that allowed us to display content in an adaptable manner. The quality and attention to detail shown to the final product shows what is the benchmark expected when working with our agency. The Editors, Publishers and Authors were all pleased with the final product and it garnered favourable reviews on Amazon.
True Grace is the own brand product range of Arco GB Limited one of the UK’s largest candle manufacturers. Arco GB produce candles for a variety of high street brands and their own brand range ‘True Grace’ is a widely distributed across the UK and internationally including high street departments stores such as John Lewis.
When we were first introduced to True Grace by our partners on the project, brand consultancy Boston Studio, they had a selection of candles that were were branded in different ways. Some of these boxes failed to have the brand name clearly displayed on the front of the packaging. The brand range concept at the time was only loosely formed as being a range of English scented candles.
We began by rebranding and updating packaging for the classic scented candle. Since then the brand has gone from strength to strength and we have worked on packaging for ‘Walled Garden’ Tinned Candles, Scented Reeds, Home Fragrance, Bath and Body (Hand Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Lotion), Designs for Website, Brand Positioning and Strategy, Trade Fair Stands, Digital and Print Marketing and Communications, and we have been involved with 2 shop fit outs.
Development of branding and visual identity unifying clothing, beauty and homeware divisions of the luxury goods label Bamford. Applications have included print media, digital media, and packaging design. Bamford is British luxury fashion, accessories, bath & body and homewares company that prides itself on making products from natural, organic and holistic ingredients and materials.
The challenge for this project has always been to convey the message of Contemporary British Luxury to a broad and international target market. It has also been necessary to work with a wide variety of the Bamford team and provide services for many different stakeholders at different levels. Achieving continuity has been paramount, something which we feel is evidenced by the work we have produced for the client that fits seamlessly into the Bamford Way of Life brand environment. Since Bamford prides itself on luxury we have always specified unique papers and materials that sit in line with Bamford sustainability philosophy for all the projects we have worked on. We have worked on all aspects of packaging, from box construction to decoration and typography.
Since we began working with Bamford we have helped bring successful product ranges to market and have also managed to increase awareness of these products. The image of the brand has been refined and brought in line with the philosophy of the company through the implementation of our creative strategy. Moreover, the client has been able to make better-informed management decisions based on our creative proposals. All the jobs were delivered effectively on time and to budget. As an example when we first started working with Bamford their website was a single 1 slide holding page. Since the since the launch of the ecommerce website we created for them online sales have grown exponentially year on year.
Bruce Mau said the problem with software is that everyone has it. He could not be more correct, click a button is not a creative solution. Having said that the computer is one hell of a useful tool and we have been using it in the studio since day 1. We probably do a lot more mouse clicks a day than your average person. There is no doubt that when we are producing a lot of it is about speed at the terminal. Even when we don’t have work in the studio we are practicing and we do “drill” projects that help improve our productivity. Getting away from the computer is important, exploring ideas with materials, pencils and paper is vital.
In a broad sense everything we do is an illustration of an idea or a concept. Even choosing to leave a page blank or empty is an expression of something. We illustrate in the construction of the things we make. Be it a book, be it a short film, be it a layout for a website. That is an illustration of an idea. Especially when you are talking about commercial work for brands, the layout and the choices you make when designing something speak volumes about the brand. At the same time we thoroughly enjoy illustration and see it as having a deep crossover in to graphic language.