Opinion by Richard Baird.
Exploratorium is a “public learning laboratory” and San Francisco based museum that enables visitors to question and make sense of the world around them through hands-on exhibits that touch upon science, art and human perception. Its summer 2019 exhibition, Self, Made, continues in the spirit of exploration but turns this inward, tackling the theme of human identity. It did this through a host of outside collaborators to curate exhibits, artefacts, and artworks with the intention to “shift visitors’ inherent views of themselves.” As part of a continued partnership with the Exploratorium, brand experience design company Collins created a launch campaign for the exhibition. This campaign is characterised by its broad use of colour, texture and imagery to construct a series of portraits, a graphic gesture that seeks to express the complex confluence of unseen forces that combine to create the self. These portraits run across and connect posters, transport livery, banners and super-graphics across the exhibition space and on to the streets of San Francisco. This was part of a three-month in-person and online campaign, which was then also integrated into wayfinding, merchandising and giveaways.
Heyday is a range of 150 moderately-priced high-quality own-brand consumer tech products from American retailer Target and their first foray into the electronics and tech accessories sector. The range includes battery packs and chargers, cables, covers and wireless speakers amongst many other products. These share a form language that balances an everyday simplicity, robustness and utility with novelty and cheerfulness by way of shape, colour and materiality. Heyday’s visual identity and packaging design, developed by New York and San Francisco-based Collins in collaboration with Target Creative, is deceptively simple, it is loaded with a bunch of neat ideas that recognise, not just how product is presented and its value and functionalities communicated in store, but also how these products migrate and seek attention online. This can be seen in the approach to product, packaging and lifestyle photography.
PopTech is an annual three-day conference that takes place in October in the American town of Camden, Maine. It is an occasion where people from across many different fields meet with the intention of discovering and exploring a shared potential that reaches far beyond individual aspirations and goes on to inspire positive collective action.
Attendees include scientists, technologists, humanitarians, designers, artists, innovators, academics, corporate and governmental leaders as well as those that defy conventional categorisation. The conference is made up of presentations, interactive sessions, dinners, chats and debates, movie screenings and music-making. Featured speakers have included tech pioneer Tim O’Riley, cultural philanthropist Stephanie Coontz and behavioural economist Dan Ariely.
New York based Collins worked with PopTech to design and creative direct the 2017 conference, to build this around the theme and potential to “Instigate”. This manifests itself visually in the intersection of form and colour, in the bisecting of type and the implications of convergence. This links a variety of assets that included posters, supergraphics, lanyards, motion graphics, video, bags and event brochures and programmes.