Friday, 28 October 2016

The History of the Shell Logo


This is the history of one of the worlds most recognised brands. 

For more than 100 years the Shell pecten emblem and distinctive red and yellow colours have visualised the Shell brand and promoted the company's products and services all over the world.

The Shell logo has changed considerably since it's inception in 1900, yet you can still apreciate it's iconic form, whether viewing the original logo or in its current form.

I always remember Michael Wolff recounting his work on a redesign of the Shell logo, whilst running his agency, Wolff Olins. Wolff chose to simply warm up the colours. As he says, sometimes its what you don't change, that can be as important as what you do. That couldn't be more true than with the the iconic symbol of the red and yellow shell icon.



I stumbled across this brief history of the brand on the company website and thought it was well worth a read.

The word Shell first appeared in 1891, as the trademark for kerosene shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel and Company. This small London business dealt originally in antiques, curios and oriental seashells. These became so popular – the Victorians used them to decorate trinket boxes in particular – that soon they formed the basis of the company’s profitable import and export trade with the Far East.

The word was elevated to corporate status in 1897, when Samuel formed the Shell Transport and Trading Company. The first logo in 1901 was a mussel shell, but by 1904 a scallop shell or pecten emblem had been introduced to give a visual representation of the corporate and brand name.

When the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907, the latter’s brand name and symbol (Shell and the pecten) became the short-form name and emblem of the new Royal Dutch Shell Group. And so it has remained ever since.

The form of the Shell emblem has changed gradually over the years in line with trends in graphic design. The current emblem was introduced in 1971. Thirty years on it stands the test of time as one of the world’s most recognised symbols.
Todd Anderson Creative Director / Author

Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer currently based in Cape Town, developing innovative brand and packaging solutions with a variety of clients; partnering with some of the world's largest retailers, alongside nurturing smaller companies just starting out.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Origin of the Red Bull Brand


I will always remember my first trip to Thailand! It was one of those life affirming moments, a sensory overload of experience and learning!!! Travelling has been a great way for me to experience other brands and how consumers interact with them on a daily basis. Brands that I have never seen before visiting that country. Brands that are like the ones I grew up with but different! I love it. 

One of the most confusing for me was seeing what look liked the Red Bull brand, but when I tasted the product, it wasn't fizzy and was a lot thicker and more like a syrup. It seemed stronger in it's effects and they were sellking T shirts everywhere with the two bull branding on. It looked like the brand, but the product was different. Over the years, I read more and started to understand why this was. The following excerpt explains why this was!


I found this excerpt from global design agency, JKR's book 'Champions of Design 4', and it's a really interesting read, especially if like me, you were once confused why it tasted so differently in Thailand! The article was also featured on David Ariey's blog 'Logo Design Love.'

JKR's Champions of Design series, examines the history of some of the worlds most recognised brands. In this particular article, they feature the history and success of Red Bull. It's an absolutely fascinating story! Enjoy!




Under the leadership of Austrian brand owner Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull’s epic forays into art, racing, flying and even space have made the brand a global phenomenon. In terms of experience and communication, Mateschitz’s company added incalculable value to the brand. Where they didn’t add value was the design of the original Thai energy drink. And that of course, is what has added value. Sometimes, knowing when not to meddle with the magic is the thing that makes the magic itself.



In the 1970s, Red Bull was being marketed at farmers, construction workers and truck drivers in Thailand. Krating Daeng (‘Red Bull’ in Thai) was a populist drink for the working man: one that allowed you to overcome fatigue, pull a double shift, or drive all night.

It formed a long-standing association with Muay Thai (Thai kick boxing), which gave it popularity and street cred. With a potent mix of sugar, caffeine and taurine all packed up in a small medicinal brown glass bottle with a bright, colourful label, Red Bull became something of a success amongst its working-class consumer base.

It started with a humdrum business trip to Thailand for Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz. He stumbled across the drink and apparently discovered that it ‘cured’ his jet lag. In partnership with Thai inventor Chaleo Yoovidhya they launched a version of the Thai drink slightly modified to suit European tastes. The rest, as they say, is history.

Red Bull’s evolution from quirky local drink to global mega-brand is a master-class in how to execute a brilliantly joined-up communications idea across big-idea events. But it’s also a lesson in the value of restraint and sensitivity. When Mateschitz decided to launch ‘Krating Daeng’ in Austria, he was careful to retain the iconography of the brand, leaving its charging bulls virtually untouched. He recognised, perhaps, that a sense of the ‘foreign’, the exotic, the quirky and the doubtless potent would be positive associations for a new energy drink brand.

Design icons aren’t built overnight, and knowing when not to change them is a valuable skill. So now the world is richer for having two Red Bull brands that are of course, same same but different.

Did you know?

Thanks to Red Bull, its co-owner, Dietrich Mateschitz is the richest man in Austria.

Red Bull owns four football teams (based in Leipzig, Salzburg, New York and Campinas in Brazil) and two F1 outfits. Its F1 operation is said to cost the company half a billion dollars annually.

Red Bull racing hold the record for the fastest ever pit stop, timed at 1.923 seconds at the Austin GP in 2013.

As well as its famous extreme sport sponsorship, the company also promotes a paper airplane tournament called Red Bull Paper Wings.
Todd Anderson Creative Director / Author

Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer currently based in Cape Town, developing innovative brand and packaging solutions with a variety of clients; partnering with some of the world's largest retailers, alongside nurturing smaller companies just starting out.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Edible Drone - The Future of Aid Delivery




This incredible invention from Windhorse Aerospace could see a revolution in the way the world delivers aid to those effected by natural disasters.

The Windhorse website writes:

"For the first time ever, aid will be delivered accurately to those in desperate need with this use of a revolutionary and unique Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV).

There were over 125 natural disasters last year, add this to areas of conflict and the number of people starving as a result gets to breath taking levels.

Access to the people affected can be restricted due to the loss of infrastructure and many other dangers. Also, traditional methods of deploying aid can be ineffective, inaccurate or just impossible to use.

Windhorse has developed a specialist UAV called POUNCER™ that will be loaded with appropriate food, transported to the disaster area and fly independently to its pre-planned destination and land accurately into the selected landing zone, avoiding all infrastructure problems, corruption or hostile groups while saving time, money and more importantly lives.

POUNCER™'s pre-formed shell can be reused to provide shelter, the frame can be burnt safely to cook food, and the payload, which is food and water, provides life saving nutrition."

For more information on this amazing innovation you can  click here to download the factsheet.

You can view a short film about the Pouncer by Windhorse Aerospace by clicking here.

You can read more about the Pouncer by visiting the Windhorse Aerospace website by clicking here.

Todd Anderson Creative Director / Author

Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer currently based in Cape Town, developing innovative brand and packaging solutions with a variety of clients; partnering with some of the world's largest retailers, alongside nurturing smaller companies just starting out.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

10 Ways To Be More Creative




Ever wondered how to improve your creativity and stay inspired? Why some designers have been a lot more successful than others? Well read on...

I recently wrote a post for the design life, which also featured here, titled, "The Most Important Word You Use Is Why!" The post was inspired by an incredibly motivating Design Indaba presentation by Sir John Hegarty, that I was lucky enough to attend back in 2013. Just the other day, I was reading through the design press and I stumbled upon a fantastic article at The Drum by Ishbel Macleod. The feature was based on Sir John Hegarty's 2014 book, 'Hegarty on Creativity' and lists his top 10 ways to be more creative. Check out number 8... 'Ask Why? A lot!' I have re blogged the list below as it makes for super reading:

1 Be fearless - be single minded in the face of opposition

2 Keep it simple - don't try to say or do too many things at once

3 Stop thinking, start feeling -creativity is driven by the heart, we respond more to emotions than logic

4 Get angry - channel the things that annoy/upset you into more creative tasks rather than getting stressed

5 Juxtaposition - don't be afraid to place two things next to one another that wouldn't normally sit together - even in your head

6 When the world zigs, zag - look in the opposite direction to everyone else

7 Avoid cynics - they drain your confidence - see number one

8 Ask Why? a lot - question everything like a child

9 Philosophy - always be looking, thinking, watching. Absorb everything around you

10 Remove your headphones! - don't cut yourself off from your environment.

You can read the whole article at The Drum by clicking here.

'Hegarty on Creativity' is Printed by Thames & Hudson Ltd and you can buy it here

Maclean writes that the book, "looks to guide readers through the process of creativity, from choosing your best ideas to dealing with fame when your product becomes successful."
Todd Anderson Creative Director / Author

Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer currently based in Cape Town, developing innovative brand and packaging solutions with a variety of clients; partnering with some of the world's largest retailers, alongside nurturing smaller companies just starting out.