Serge Seidlitz & Radio Celebrate 420 With Lyft
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, pun intended, more brands are emerging to show support for the business sector valued to reach $20 billion by next year. Lyft is one company that is using cannabis’ newfound mainstream popularity as a marketing tactic. Lyft hired B&A artists to create a humorous campaign for 4/20, a well-known cannabis holiday in the United States that has spread internationally. In their most recent collaboration, Illustrator Serge Seidlitz and animation studio, Radio, came together to create an animation that speaks directly to Lyft’s audience.
While certain cannabis brands have been working to elevate the industry’s image, others are embracing the roots of the culture with cartoons, ice cream, pizza, and internet sensations such as psychedelic cats. When Serge received the brief to personify each letter of the Lyft logo with a cannabis theme, he chose the latter route. “I thought of my sixteen-year-old self and how pleased I would be that I would be this far into my career as an artist and drawing stuff that I was pretty much drawing when I was fifteen or sixteen years old,” he said on the process.
For Serge, this project was also the result of a more contemporary aspiration–to illustrate for Lyft. Serge cites a visit to New York in October of last year as the introduction to his admiration for the brand’s use of typography in their advertisement. “I saw these Lyft ads everywhere back then, all over the subway, and I thought that’s the kind of thing I would have liked to have done.”
Aside from the research into the subject he did as a teenager, Serge drew inspiration for the characters from the shapes of the letters in the Lyft logo and the brief to create a narrative of people getting high. The L, for example, lent itself perfectly to a bong illustration whereas in the Y he saw a mouth. But usually, for his process, he says “I just start drawing and see what happens.”
Once Serge had created his sketch, Made by Radio stepped in to do the animation, a process which Serge loves. “Animation takes a special skill,” he said. “I’m not an animator so it’s nice to see something that I’ve drawn come to life. Radio does a really great job. They’re amazing guys, so I was looking forward to seeing how they did it. They made it look like that’s exactly how it should move.”
Radio Gets Organized with Slack
We could all use a little more organization in our lives.
Whether it’s getting your desk in order, attacking those kitchen cabinets, or creating a better workflow on your team at the office, a little bit of streamlining never hurt anyone’s goals. But how do you organize people? How do you streamline communication? Slack is a messaging, file sharing and search service that lets collaborators communicate in focused ways to better work together towards their common goals. To get the word out about their unique product, Slack asked Radio to visualize their service in a way that would tell their story and show the fun of organized work. For inspiration, Radio looked to a popular Tumblr blog that’s become the mecca for organization porn. “We were inspired by the Tumblr ‘Things Organized Neatly’ and we wanted to convey how Slack makes your life more organized no matter what industry,” explains Byron Meiring, Creative Director at Radio. That Tumblr presents photographs of collections, small or large, laid out in ways that makes them more about organization than function (and it’s very satisfying).
Although Slack exists in the digital world, Radio brought their composition into the real world, using visual identifiers, like paper texture and magnifying glasses, to give us something to connect to when looking at the work. “It’s the old versus new,” explains Byron. “The way we communicate now and how it happened 20-30 years has changed immensely, so it’s nice to bring a bit of that paper feeling back to a digital platform.” As generations of digitally native workers come to innovate in the workplace, there’s no longer a line between digital and analogue. They’re not separate for those who have lived in a world with both of them, so it makes sense that Radio wouldn’t shy from using the two aesthetics in a single space.
Radio wasn’t just the right creative group to use because they understand aesthetics – they also understand digital communication. They do their work in teams spread out all over the world. And you’ll never guess who makes that possible. “We use Slack in the studio its a huge help running all our jobs as we have the two studios in London and Cape Town so it definitely streamlines our work flow,” Byron explains. It’s a product they understand, in a world they know, so they present it in the best way they can: truthfully.
Seeing the Unseen this Holiday Season
Every holiday season we’re awash with joy. It’s the reason for the season, after all, to come together and celebrate everything that we have – be it family or material things. But there’s a lot that goes unseen. This year many will go without, and whether or not we see them they will experience the holidays in their own way. This holiday season B&A teamed up with the creative agency Aesop and Unseen to create Unseen Christmas, a physical representation of the stories that go untold and a way to honor them in Christmas tradition.
Radio, Andrew Rae, David Doran, and Tom Jay each provided illustrations inspired by modern day slavery and they’re available to purchase or download and be turned into paper chains – a traditional way to decorate during the holidays. All proceeds from the purchases directly benefit Unseen, a non-profit that works to end slavery in all of its forms.
For his contribution, Andrew Rae’s work is connected to the story of Asif who escaped a torturous cycle of low or non-paying jobs after years. Andrew looked to literature for visual inspiration, diving into a story that’s no necessarily true but pervades our collective culture. “Charles Dickens was an inspiration for me for this project as he created characters that helped to educate people to the plight of people at the bottom of the pile,” explains Andrew Rae. “It seems to me that society is much more divided again as it was in Victorian times with all the wealth in the hands of a small elite and so it’s time to try tell these types of stories again.”
Tom Jay was provided with a story about an African immigrant who came to the UK chasing hope for a better life but found herself thrown into unpaid service for her aunt. “Manisha came to the UK to live with her aunt who said she would get her into school and look after her. This didn't happen and she spent her days cleaning, cooking and doing housework and was beaten,” explains Tom Jay. “It was important to me take part in this project as slavery in this country is real and happening right now, often behind closed doors. I hope this project can raise awareness of modern slavery, and help support victims that come to Unseen for help.” The circular pattern that Tom Jay’s illustration turns into when a link on the paper chain reflects how infinite this daily pain can become.
David Doran was given the story of Grace, an African woman who was kidnapped into sex trafficking. Instead of focusing on the horror, David made his work about Grace herself, celebrating her humanity and what it took to escape that horror. “I like to use illustration as a way of communicating visually, and often focus on including hidden concepts in my work. The idea of incorporating a lock and key in the Christmas themed pattern seemed a strong but sensitive way to communicate the topic whilst avoiding being too crass or graphic,” says David Doran. “It was an honour to be able to work with Unseen and to help raise awareness of a situation so shockingly close to home.”
Finally, Radio tells the story of a worker from Unseen who is burdened to see what most of us never will. Facing such darkness is a service to the idea of freedom and the sacrifice of gazing into that darkness hoping for chance to pull someone into the light is blessing to us all. There’s pain in there, but it is worth all of our celebration.
This holiday season do not forget those who have less, and say a prayer for them, and for all of us.
Out Now: B&A Journal 9
Bernstein & Andriulli is more than an international agency with some of the best agents in the world, we’re a home for artists. Our roster represents creative forces that we truly believe in and whose work we want to spread to every corner of the globe. These artists are incredible talents and incredible minds, and as much as we show off all the best projects that they work on sometimes you need to get a taste of it yourself. That’s why we introduced the B&A Journal.
Every few months we pick some of the best work that’s come out of the agency and feature it in a large format, printed journal for friends, fans, and clients to thumb through at their leisure and experience the work of these world class artists in an intimate and tangible way. This week we’re releasing B&A Journal 9, and we couldn’t be more excited.
In addition to a beautiful cover shot by Ben Rayner, and dedicated pages for dozens of our artists (featured here are Platon, Marco Grob, Stephen Wilkes, Rose Blake, Guillaume Lechat, We Are The Rhoads, Serial Cut, Shotopop, and Radio), we’ve also included a special insert with this edition that formally announces our Murals department that includes a roster of public artists that rivals the best in the game.
B&A Journal 9 should be hitting your mailbox very soon - and if you want to make sure you get a copy reach out! We’d love to hear from you.
Radio Helps Fast Company Talk about Immigration
Many Americans are just a day away from celebrating the first major recorded immigration to the United States. Thanksgiving is a holiday that marks a treaty, in some respects, between the Native Americans that lived on this land and the European refugees escaping persecution. They broke bread together and so we celebrate the peace that existed in that meal with our own meals of bounty stacked with dishes we imagine the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate all those hundreds of years ago. Today, all over the world, there are new kinds of Pilgrims in many different places looking to, essentially, break bread. Fast Company has published a series of investigations on how the influx of war escaping refugees are changing their communities all over the world. Fast Company invited Radio to help them visualize these changes and issues in a way that helps us understand them and place them in useful contexts.
The influx of immigration has inspired a lot of pushback, but it has also inspired solutions to real problems like housing and the job market. These have shifted the way many understand who refugees are and what they have to offer their new homes. Each of Fast Company’s pieces explores a different aspect and Radio’s illustrations bring them to life. One piece asks how to make it in America as a refugee and features a refugee camp of tents set up to emulate the American flag. Another pictures a pie graph of citizens who support refugees as being an umbrella to protect a huddled family from the rain. Still another taken on the fact that refugees have largely been treated poorly by many nations but cities have been more effective, and Radio shows us a woman with a head covering being welcomed into a subway car.
What Radio does is help us understand these issues in concise ways through visual language - even when these issues are not simple. We all need a way into these conversations, especially as they tear across the globe and inspire a new kind of politics. Radio helps us experience them in bites and open our minds and hearts to think about them in ways we might not have thought about them before. Plus, we should mention, the illustrations are beautiful.
Kiehl's Goes Global with ilovedust and Radio
Kiehl’s started as a small apothecary in New York City’s East Village, but in the more than century and a half they’ve been around their reach has extended all over the globe. In the time the company has been creating skincare products they’ve founded retailers in cities of every corner of our planet. Their global take over continues this year with a team up between the skincare giant and creative studios Radio and ilovedust to spread the love. In the ongoing advertising series “Kiehl’s Loves,” imagery imagines the relationships between Kiehl’s native New York and other cities all over the world.
Blending the cultures of two cities is a challenge in and of itself, and something that Kiehl’s must do every time they bring their products to a new city. That’s the exact challenge that Radio and ilovedust were confronted with in these projects, and they executed them exceptionally.
Radio has worked with Kiehl’s before, creating a mash up of icons that come together into a clean combination of understanding. For their composition that blends New York and Hong Kong, they highlight the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, taxis, pretzels, and pizza with the cherry blossoms and skyscrapers of Hong Kong. Center stage is a Buddhist statue offering serenity, and a traditional fishing boat from the South China Sea.
Ilovedust’s illustration reckons with Dubai. The almost comically developed city in the United Arab Emirates reaches appropriate heights in ilovedust’s style, playing sweeping graphic lines off the angles and skylines of both Dubai and New York City. This is where the two cities meet, linked through a parade of camels in a style that’s reminiscent of graffiti.
Kiehl's and Radio Love Everyone
You skin is your largest organ and you’ve got to take care of it. Skincare is more than just soaps and creams, maintaining a healthy dermis means understanding how your skin reacts to the world around it and how it’s different from everyone else’s. Kiehl’s has made it their crusade to solve local problems with local assets, making products that are as natural as possible tuned to the people who are using them. They’ve created bundles of products based on localities in their “Kiehl’s Loves…” series, and they’ve asked Radio to help them spread the word for them. These illustrations are about a brand loving a place, but also about how the residents can trust Kiehl’s to understand their needs. It was up to Radio to prove it visually.
Kiehl’s is very much a New York City brand, starting in the East Village at an apothecary in 1851, and that part of their DNA will never go away. Radio brought that deep New York City identity into each of the illustrations. In the illustration for “Kiehl’s Loves Tokyo” Radio combined imagery of the Tokyo Tower, Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, and chopsticks with pizza and the Brooklyn Bridge. “Kiehl’s Loves Madrid” shows off the Monument to Alfonso XII at Buen Retiro Park, a bull, and a bottle of Spanish Rioja with a NYC pretzel and the Chrysler Building. In both drawings the Statue of Liberty stands holding her book that now has a Kiehl’s logo, reminding us where the brand found its provenance.
Kiehl's initiative is hitting cities all over the world. Look out for them when they come to you.
Radio Brings Rap Beef to Life for Vulture
You’d be forgiven if you don’t fully understand the beef between rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman. The complexity of the situation isn’t fully grasped by a lot of parties close to the major players, so getting outsiders to understand it is already a fundamental challenge. Vulture dove deep to deliver the most comprehensive telling of the story that they could make and invited Radio to help provide illustrations for the piece in the form of two major GIFs.
In the lead, we see Lil Wayne and Birdman glaring at one another, cycling through a never-ending line of animosity. Radio has captured the two figures’ seemingly circuitously shifting relationship whose definition is always in flux. They are each revealed in the reflection of one another, inexorably linked through their shared history that travels as deeply as blood relation. For as long as they’ve known each other and as closely as they’ve worked together, their relationship will always have an intensity to it impossible to describe, but Radio implies it in a GIF that’s only a few seconds long.
At the height of the two musicians’ beef, an acquaintance of Birdman, and associate of his new protégé, shot up Lil Wayne’s tour cavalcade on the highway. No one was injured, but the shooter was sent to prison for 10 years. It was an escalation, and a crucial moment of the story. Radio brought this scene to life in quick, economic story telling that uses only three shots and three colors. Here, Radio demonstrates their mastery of visual, graphic story telling. We see their ability to use elements with effective precision by distilling pivotal, complex story elements into a few moments that get to the heart of their communication.
Radio keeps The World Cup fun with Wheat Thins
There are a ton of factors that bring success to the World Cup: the roster, players’ individual training and personalities, how the team works together as a unit, as well as corporate and national support. But perhaps the most important factor for success is a series of seemingly inconsequential actions performed by the fans. Is that dude wearing his lucky hat? Is she sitting in grandpa’s chair? Are they serving the same dip they served for the Superbowl in 2001, 2003, and 2004? Superstitions are a huge part of the fun for die-hard fans, and Wheat Thins looked to play on that for their World Cup campaign, “Superstish-Thins.”
Lucky for Wheat Thins, AKQA, the agency charged with coordinating the campaign, tapped Radio to illustrate. Gabriel Cheung, of AKQA, said they picked Radio because, “they had the right type of work in their portfolio.” Mixing together a whimsical cartoonish reality, with the flexibility to get really wild. Byron Meiring, one of the artists at Radio, describes their work saying they do a lot of projects in the same vein, “very clean and minimalistic,” that works as the perfect base to present nontraditional ideas.
The campaign features six super fans engaging in surprising, Wheat Thins centered superstitions. They include smashing unlucky crackers with a lucky soccer ball (The Wheat Thins Sacrifice), mixing a bunch of flavors in one mouthful (The Charm Stack), or simply holding on to the Wheat Thins box with ever fiber of being (The Juju Grip). They come with full instructions so you can pour your newfound neurosis
In addition to the playful instructions on how to adopt your new collection of cracker-based superstitions, Radio put together some team badges for Group G of The World Cup. Ghana, Germany and Portugal are all graphically represented in virtual badges, organically evolving from a central soccer ball. The sun, eagles, and a rooster each reflect the cultures of their representative countries. These GIFs add a personal, relatable flair that could be adopted by any fan.
Ultimately, the project was well received by all parties involved. Radio had a great time getting involved in such a great international event. “It was great to do something that was for The World Cup number one,” Byron explains. “But, also the info graphics are quite humorous and tongue in cheek.” With passions high, it’s important to remember that it’s all in good fun.
Radio was rooting for USA in the game yesterday. Sadly, it didn't turn out great for Team USA, seems like all the superstitious luck went to Tim Howard whose performance of blocking 19 shots set a World Cup Record. But even that was not enough. It’s hard out here in the World Cup.
Radio's "The Selected Few"
Creative studio Radio has recently launched a brand new website as well as a book titled The Selected Few. Though Radio has only been up and running since 2011, the studio has already had the opportunity to work on projects with a variety of brands around the world.
The Selected Few is a retrospective look at some of these projects over the last two years. It shows Radio's depth as creatives and illustrates how their work has evolved over time. Included in the book is typography work for GE and Old Mutual Bank as well as travel and sport concept art. The Selected Few has only been printed in a limited run of 200 and copies are available upon request.