Reflecting Innocence and Experience
AMP Visual regularly post recent projects that we’ve designed, by way of showing off our wares so to speak and sometimes we show items from our design archives that are still favourites of ours. Occasionally though, we have items in our achieve, the ‘accidents’, the oddities, the leftovers or the strangely cool that usually don’t see the light of day. These items are usually some of our favourite things.
This is one of the oddities, it’s the remains of a U2 Vertigo single promotional poster used as package wrapping sent to us way back in 2004 that would have been posted to us by the record company. The proliferation of stickers and notices of air delivery officialdom haphazardly applied combined with the torn and missing poster parts gives this piece an authenticity that strangely mirrors the poster’s design.
Much as we liked the actual designed poster, its the random deconstruction that occurred to the poster during its travels that makes this item more fascinating.
The LloydsPharmacy ‘Change Your Health Direction’ is a community engagement aimed at both customers and non-customers alike. It’s a wide-reaching initiative that fits closely with their message of positive living, that aims to help and support people to change one of more aspects of their health, primarily in the areas of nutrition, stopping smoking and weight management. Its benefit to LloydsPharmacy is in driving a positive point of difference and further delivering better service to their customers.
AMP Visual worked closely with the marketing and PR teams to form a strategy that includes an 8-week diary programme for both weight management, stopping smoking and further services awareness, press advertising and a digital campaign that ran in the opening week of the new year all of which is supported by a strong CTA message.
We created an identity that employed a compass motif that’s used across all collateral that ties in closely with the initiative’s title. This is supported by a co-ordinated graduated green and white colour scheme and simple typography. At the centre of the compass motif is a heart containing icons of some of LloydsPharmacy’s main customer services. The heart motif contains icons represents ‘Experience Care’ – which is all of LloydsPharmacy’s customers services.
The ‘Change Your Health Direction’ has been a good success this year and the intention is to expand it further in the year to come with further integrated community outreach programmes.
The powerful photograph of Larry Mullen Jnr and his son that makes the cover of U2 Songs Of Innocence has several points of view. Perhaps primarily, it’s a commentary on childhood from the perspective of being there and having been there and of trying to continue to live in continuing wonder as a son of innocence. There is a clue to that in the title typography; in the space between the ‘son’ and ‘gs’. In many ways this latest U2 album cover by AMP Visual was a return to direct, stark, iconic black and white images of the early albums and those days of innocence.
The key information
One of AMP Visual’s clients, LloydsPharmacy, has recently completed an Irish public medicines adherence survey with some interesting results. They asked us to illustrate their results as part of promoting awareness on this matter that touches on some important health issues that are being debated at an EU level. We created an infographic for use both in print and online that could be easily followed and understood.
Reep Rewards is a smart mobile phone app that helps consumers find their favourite products for less. For an app that’s strongly about communication and informing the customer, AMP Visual created a shopping bag character with a personality and clarity to stand out. The function of communication is emphasised by housing the character in a speech bubble. The result is a logo that is simple, attractive and bold. It is highly flexible and scalable to suit all marketing purposes. The Reep Rewards new identity rebranding coincides with the launch of an upgrade to the Reep Rewards app and website.
AMP Visual also wrote the new Reep Rewards tagline slogan, ‘Makes Perfect Shopping Cents’, that describes succinctly the meaning of the brand and that synopsises the purpose of the app.
Paul Guy, Chief Marketing Officer of Reep Rewards, said, ‘as the scope and innovation of the new app increased we decided to refresh our identity to reflect the evolution of the app’. Reep Rewards turned to AMP Visual, the award-winning Dublin based design agency, for its new look. Paul Guy also said, ‘we at Reep Rewards are excited by the new identity and look forward to engaging with customers’.
About Reep Rewards
With the Reep Rewards app, consumers can find their favourite products for less. Their special offer promotions allowing users to shop around to save time and money. The app also allows users to personalise offers and receive updates on their favourite products.
Visit Reep Rewards at: www.reeprewards.ie
Drawn From Memory: Wandering in U2’s Dublin is the subtitle of ‘North And South Of The River’, a beautiful wall map that visualises the story of U2 in their home city over thirty years. It comes with North Side Story, part of our annual subscription offer.
Drawn by Shaughn McGrath, of the band’s longtime design team AmpVisual, the map captures 44 events in the life of the band, locating them in an entirely not-drawn-to-scale way which would leave you lost and confused in Dublin if you used it to navigate the city.
Here’s a few highlights from the early years.
In September 1976, Larry Mullen Sr suggested to Larry Mullen Jr that he put up a notice at Mount Temple Comprehensive school, looking for musicians to form a band. Seven pupils got in touch, including Dave and Dik Evans, Adam Clayton and Paul Hewson.
LARRY MULLEN BAND
Rosemount Avenue, Artane: ‘On Saturday 25th September 1976, this odd group of people convened in my kitchen in Artane. And that’s where it started. It was the Larry Mullen Band for about ten minutes, so as not to hurt my feelings. It was also my kitchen.’
Derek Rowen, later Guggi of the Virgin Prunes, lived at No. 5 Cedarwood Road. Paul Hewson, later Bono of U2, was just along at No.10. ‘Down the cul de sac’, at No. 140, lived Fionán Martin Hanvey, later Gavin Friday of the Virgin Prunes. ‘Bono and Guggi knew each other since they were four,’ recalls Gavin, ‘but I wasn’t mates till I was 12.’ No.5 became HQ for the cultural experiment that was Lypton Village. ‘We invented our own language,’ recalls Bono. ‘Dressed differently, put on these performance art things and, in the end, formed two bands, the Virgin Prunes and U2.’
MONDAYS AT FRIDAYS
Monday night was music night at 140 Cedarwood Road where teenage mates gathered around what Gavin recalls was ‘a proper stereo and the latest record collection’.
LIKE A SONG
Ard Na Mara, in the coastal suburb of Malahide, where Adam grew up, is where the band first rehearsed, where Bono wrote his first song and where a photo shoot for the first single – ‘Out of Control/U2-3’ – took place in the attic. Rehearsals then moved across Malahide, to the garden shed of the Evans family home, on St. Margaret’s Park.
Some brands have a way of capturing an enduring nostalgia through an iconic character. There’s Ronald McDonald, the Michelin Man and the Green Giant amongst others. Thinking about your own brand or company; as your strategy and awareness grows, it becomes even more important to define the character of your brand as part of your unique selling point.
Our Case Study: Tayto
Firstly, we are all big fans of the brand, both as consumers and as designers and that is where the responsibility became apparent, we were working with a national institution.
AMP Visual has established a long relationship with Tayto and it is because of the innovation and constant creative drive that has kept the brand as a first, with consumers.
As with any project, evolution and strategy was key in developing the brand, hence why Mr. Tayto became the Brand Ambassador for the new direction. From the best selling ‘The Man inside the Jacket’ biography to the hugely successful Tayto Park, our aim was to keep Mr. Tayto as the main feature of this incredible and much loved product. But first, our character had to evolve. The original flat two dimensional form had to make way for our new contemporary 3D model, whilst maintaining its iconic recognisability.
We’re delighted to see that U2’s song Ordinary Love recorded for the Nelson Mandela biopic: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, featuring a painting by Oliver Jeffers, for which we designed a very limited-edition 10″ vinyl sleeve to mark Record Day, has won a Golden Globe for best original song.
It’s the band’s second Golden Globe after their 2003 win for the song The Hands That Built America from Gangs Of New York. AMP Visual are delighted for the band and proud of our continuing long association with them as their graphic designers.
North Side Story is a book by Ireland’s Hot Press Magazine that covers the early years of U2 in Dublin from 1978 through to 1983 – from schoolroom to stadium. It’s packed full of rare and unseen photos, interviews and articles from the Hot Press back files plus new interviews and insights, bringing the story of the band right up to date.
AMP Visual were asked to design the book cover. Featuring an early photo of the band shot in Dublin; we also managed to fit in just a hint of the infamous seven towers of Ballymun as mentioned in U2’s ‘Running To Stand Still’ within the title lettering.
In addition, we were asked to come up with a special map for inclusion with the book. We designed and illustrated a large wall map that’s kind of a memory of U2’s Dublin complete with recollections and incidences that have happened to the band throughout the years in their home city.
Hot Press Magazine is still THE music magazine in Ireland and they’ve been there to follow every stage of U2’s career from the very beginning. They were commissioned to make this exclusive, limited edition publication especially for U2.com.
Created by AMP Visual, the new DocMorris to LloydsPharmacy Ireland name change campaign is a Multi media campaign involving TV, radio, press, digital and outdoor. The campaign was based on and built around LloydsPharmacy colleagues.
Colleagues at LloydsPharmacy Ireland are among the brand’s most powerful assets and USPs. The 20 second TV advert brings 40 staff members together from all over the country to form shapes which represent different aspects of the message. While one of these images appears in each poster, press and online execution, the TV commercials are made up of a succession of shapes over the course of 20 seconds.
All Done in the Best Possible Taste!
AMP Visual’s Campaign for Tayto’s two New Flavours has hit the billboards, as well as the shelves and aisles of shops and supermarkets across the country. Working closely with Níamh O’Shea, Senior Brand Manger at Largo Foods, AMP Visual has created a range of executions, across a variety of media, to promote Tayto’s two new flavours, which were selected by the public through a Facebook-based taste testing.
Copy and concept work is by AMP art director Gary Kelly, with account management by Richard Whitty. The comprehensive campaign consists of Outdoor, POS, Digital, Trade advertising, PR Promotion and event development.
Continuing with our occasional blog called U2 x 5, whereby we take 5 related pieces we’ve designed or been involved with for the band and comment on them, we thought we’d share some things we’ve done for U2 that through design or accident aren’t at first or even second look easily seen. Mostly these elements were obscure or hidden, sometimes deliberately so and sometimes we included them just for fun.
Zooropa – album cover
The album was recorded while the band were on their European leg of the Zoo TV tour called Zooropa, from which the album took its name. The tour with its highly charged electronic TV images in all of their saturated colours and fizz gave us the notion of conjuring up the sleeve of Zooropa as a kind of electronic flag. It’s central motif of the Astrobaby surrounded by 12 stars in imitation of the European flag tied in strongly with the album’s European roots. The design, made quite quickly, is built up of a grid of images in the same manner of Achtung Baby over which layers of distressed, floating text are placed. This text was comprised of the upcoming album’s track titles provided to us as we were designing the sleeve. Somehow lost in the rush, we managed to not to update this track list so that several songs that didn’t make the final cut got left behind in the embedded piece, including Wake Up Dead Man, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me and If You Wear That Velvet Dress!
Edit 2014: The book is now sold out
Recently we found some boxes containing the Stealing Hearts At A Travelling Show book which we published in 2003. It wasn’t a lot of books, but they were in perfect condition. So, what do we do with them? It’s a book we are proud of, we put a lot of thought into its process; Lisa Godson (of The Sunday Times) wrote the text with exclusive interviews with Bono and Adam, we went and recreated the artwork utilizing the special metallic silver and gold colours of the work and even the fluorescent orange of the Popmart era.
We drew some postcards to go into the first 60 orders and strangely, it’s these postcards that people have been really interested in! We have drawn some more, enough for every 1 in ten books, but we’ve even had people just asking us to send them the drawing… that’s not possible to accommodate… sorry!
In case people don’t know btw, everyone who buys the book goes into a draw to get a copy of the U2 Wide Awake In Europe limited 12 inch numbered vinyl.
So, thank you to the people who’ve bought the book. Do please ‘Like’ us on your Facebook page. We hope your book arrives to you shortly to enjoy.
Finally, there are still some copies left if you’d like to order one quickly before the end of the year.
Continuing in our occasional blog called U2 x 5, whereby we take 5 related pieces we’ve designed or been involved with for the band and comment on them, here’s a blog that’s kind of in tribute to Anton Corbijn being awarded the prestigious Price Bernhard Culture Fund award for his life’s work in 2011, we’ve chosen just five of his photographs for U2 and say why we like them.
THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE – Back Cover
All of the elements of this photograph from the back cover of U2’s 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire, go into making it a powerful and memorable image. The shattered dark ruin of the castle rising into the sky, the evidence of a prevailing windswept landscape with scrub growth and a leaning Hawthorn tree and finally the small figures of the band merging into the undulating form of the hillside. The infrared film stock lends a ghostly light to the scene, which is enhanced by the sepia tones of the print.
The Virgin Prunes – a short design history
A short time after working with U2 I was introduced to their friends and sometime touring partners the Virgin Prunes. In fact at the gig in Howth where U2 played two sets (one as The Hype, as a five piece band and the second as the four member U2) it was also the live debuts of the Virgin Prunes and my own (then) band The Modern Heirs – incidentally Adam Clayton played with all four bands that evening. That was the start of a long-time relationship that included the design of many of the covers for their recorded output.
It’s always a very exciting time for AMP Visual when a big band we’re working with, release a big album. This is especially the case when it’s the essential, career defining second. The moment that makes or breaks a group.
We’ve worked with U2 for a long time as their graphic designers and through the years we’ve made quite a number of design pieces for the band. So we thought we’d do an occasional blog called U2 x 5. The idea is simply for us to take 5 related graphic pieces we’ve designed for the band and comment on them. This blog is about U2 logos.
Logos, they’re absolutely all around us. They are the shorthand and visual idiom of our age. We have always enjoyed making these little marks and symbols for U2. We’ve picked just five logos out of the many we’ve made for the band and say a few words about each.
The isolated silhouette drawing of the Joshua tree was the first U2 logo to appear that people recognised globally. It works both literally and figuratively and it is highly memorable. People connect it intrinsically with the U2 masterpiece album and as such the icon has inherited the characteristics of integrity and a certain kind of honesty and beauty. The tree itself has a lovely very individual shape with its unusual branches and leaves. The logo represents all that that album means to people, so much so that some people have it as a tattoo.
When I first heard the opening salvo of U2 Achtung Baby and the channel flipping darkly distorted sound of Zoo Station, I literally thought that the CD player had broken, or that the speakers had blown, or that we had mistakenly been sent music by another band, it really was that different, that NEW, that un-U2 like.
Not many designers relish the late evening call from a client as it invariably means one of two things. It’s the client’s eleventh hour and the design agency they were previously using hasn’t come up with a suitable result (and the budget’s all spent), or it’s the eleventh hour and your client needs something from you by the twelfth hour (and we’ll discuss the budget after). The common theme here is always the ticking clock.
Well, this was the later case, but with a difference; it was the eleventh hour but there was no budget at all, and rightly so. We were asked at a moment’s notice to come up with an emblem for the Hope For Haiti iTunes album. This was an album to be made available of some fantastic performances by some of the best known global artists working today. No pressure then!
We started with some very quick sketches. We were trying to represent the notion of hope and help without it feeling sanctimonious. We were inspired by images on TV of stories of great sadness coming out after the earthquake in Haiti, but also stories of elation as a person emerged from the rubble of a once standing building. So, hope was a reoccurring theme. This was reinforced by the line from the song, Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour) – ‘We won’t leave you stranded’ – as in, we will not forget you, we will support you.
Early drafts were both typographical and illustrative. The image of an upturned hand underneath a heart was one that came through.
If we were to use the upturned hand underneath a heart, the heart had to easily represent Haiti. Haiti is renowned for is its art, it is abundantly colourful, mostly figurative and beautifully decorative and so the notion the multi-coloured heart came into play.
We also wanted to make sure that the hand underneath was somehow an emphatetic one. So the hand couldn’t be aggressive, it needed to demonstrate sympathy and understanding. And so the fingers are long and tapered, they have a sense of gentle movement. Importantly, the curved shape of the hand between index finger and thumb mirrors the shape exactly of the heart above it.
The final touches to the emblem were the introduction of the scattering of paint across the surface – to add a sense of texture. And so as the clock struck twelve, well more like 2am a day and a half later, we got the ok through from Jay-Z and Bono’s people. Emblem approved, good call.
Tayto crisps has a long and illustrious history, so it was not too big a leap to consider producing a book that looked at the history of this much loved product. As a marketing exercise it was decided that it should be done with humour and with a visual style and design that would make a strong impact with Tayto lovers everywhere…
For the U2360° DVD/Blu-Ray packaging the wish was for an exciting packaging that would have great shelf appeal and that captured the essence of the live show with the 360° stage. Here’s what we did…
AMP Visual are a new design consultancy based at 68 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, but our design team have a long history of producing an exciting mix of creative and innovative solutions for our clients. From brand identity to web design AMP Visual are open for business.
After building a credible reputation for a particular brand for many years it is something of a jolt to the system to be forced to start again from scratch. It becomes a time to re-access what your doing and why you’re actually doing it – aside from the obvious need to make a living. So when we formed AMP visual it gave us the opportunity to take our future into our hands.
It’s not everyday that we get to design an item for something resembling a spacecraft, engines lit, ready for liftoff, but the cover image of our latest in a long line of pieces of work for U2 has just that feel. We’ve just finished designing the packaging for the U2360º Live DVD, filmed in Pasadena, California in October 2009, the cover of which is a live shot of the show with the stage bathed in red and gold with lights blazing and the entire 97,000 audience fantastically illuminated that we worked hard to get just right.