Focusing on the company’s recent move from Surry Hills to Alexandria, the cover for the DQ#56 was a creative exploration of the Living Edge brand, resulting in a dynamic, imaginatively illustrated image. We go behind the scenes to speak with DQ Editor, Sophia Watson, about the process of conceptualising and executing the final cover.
January 13th, 2015
Above: Snapshot of DQ #56 Cover
What was the concept for the cover and what was the original brief?
This was a tough one to crack. It was the one of very few covers we’ve done that didn’t focus on one particular product or object – in fact, the brief was entirely the opposite. Because Living Edge has an amazing collection of brands under its roof, they didn’t want to showcase one over the other, rather, look at creating a visual representation their move from Surry Hills to the new Woolstores Alexandria precinct.
Here, our Art Director Christopher Holt (HOLT Design) came up with a number of ideas: the first was to create a photograph based on the iconic Vitra warehouse campaign image – being that living Edge had recently brought on the Vitra accessories range.
We had planned to shoot the space before Living Edge had moved in to give a sense of ‘movement’ ‘shift’ – however once we started working on the logistics of this idea, it quickly fell apart. So we came up with the idea of an illustrated cover (by Alex Buccheri) based on the “Living Office” concept of another of Living Edge’s corner-stone brands – Herman Miller
The idea was to draw a strong parallel between the design philosophy of Herman Miller and the Living Edge showroom; a concept which owner and director Aidan Mawhinney had wished to express in the original brief.
The main objective here was to express that not only was Living Edge moving from Surry Hills to Alexandria, but the showroom concept itself was something to really be excited about. It needed to be about the journey AND the destination.
How did the nature of Living Edge’s move influence the concept?
Again, we were challenged by not being able to focus on a particular brand, however instead the DQ creative team and Living Edge chose to visually represent what the new Living Edge showroom would mean: geographically, philosophically and so on. Ultimately, we wanted to answer the question: What does this move mean for the future identity of the Living Edge brand?
So we worked closely Aidan and his team to find the best method to represent this. We finally agreed that an illustrative style akin to Herman Miller’s ‘showroom-within-a-showroom’ Living Office concept would best capture and express all of these critical points.
The devil is really in the details here; the illustrative style is quiet obviously an homage to the Herman Miller campaign illustration by Daniel Carlsten, but the cover illustrations by Alex Buccheri were customised to reflect the personal and specific aspects of the Living Edge move. For example, we hand illustrated the old iconic Commonwealth Street building Living Edge occupied in Surry Hills for the top cell of the animation, and the bottom cell features the new Woolstores location; the canal it sits on… even the official Woolstores mascot – the little woolly black sheep. And the middle cells even capture the residential and commercial nature of the Living Edge business. All of these elements, for us, really express the philosophical and physical move Living Edge has undergone.
What was the collaboration with Living Edge like?
It was so refreshing to work with such a passionate and creative team. The Living Edge vision is a strong one; they know who they are and how they want their brand communicated in the market. Having such strong ideals made it really easy to understand the direction of the company, and in turn, the direction the concept should take.
Were there any unexpected challenges/opportunities?
The fact that The Woolstores Alexandria was a working construction site during the development process didn’t help – or so we thought. What was initially a hindrance (trying to navigate through an active work site) forced us to think more creatively about achieving our outcome, and really drove us to the heart of what we wanted to express.
What was the most rewarding part of the cover development process?
The outcome is always a buzz, but seeing a concept grow and develop from inside your head onto a piece of paper then sitting physically in front of you is pretty amazing. More than anything I think, we really take pleasure in giving people a voice, helping them communicate to their industry in a unique and creative way that aligns so perfectly with their brand.
It’s also quite interesting to compare your original idea to what you end up with; we began with a highly-complex photoshoot brief, and ended with a in-house illustration. I am always completely blown away with what we are capable of as a team when working with our clients. We have been really lucky with our covers that we manage to partner with the most amazingly creative and passionate people, and Living Edge was certainly no exception.
DQ #56 On Sale January 16th
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