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What is the connection between jazz and wonderful graphic design? The iconic designs of Blue Note Records have a modern day follow-up with the posters for Jazz en Claypole, in Argentina. A feast for the eyes as much as the music satiates the ears.

The beginning of February saw in the launch of Lucideon, the new name for Ceram, M+P Labs and CICS. We worked with the Lucideon team over the course of 2013 to create a new name, visual identity and global brand guidelines for the group which provides materials development, testing and assurance.

Founded in 1920 in Stoke-on-Trent as the British Refractories Research Association, the name underwent a few modifications to the British Pottery Research Association, then the British Ceramic Research Association and British Ceramic Research Ltd before eventually becoming Ceram. The international growth of the company, its acquisition of other businesses and the move into other areas beyond ceramics research, including such diverse areas as carbon reporting and image analysis, called for a new name.

Lucideon – meaning ‘a new era of clear insight’ – is supported by the strapline ‘insight creating advantage’ and truly unites the international group under one name and visual identity. Together with 200 other people, we raised a glass to Lucideon at the wonderful launch ball. Since the launch, the name change has had significant press coverage.







Following up on our Nature Brand Book initiative, these articles from Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian have caught our eye: ‘You really, really, really ought to spend more time in nature’ from last week, and another one called ‘This column will change your life: nature and nurture’ from March 2013. Both stories talk about the lasting psychological benefits of being outside and even just being exposed to a bit of green.

Have you ever wondered why the power button or USB symbol look like they do, or what the little clover-y thing is on the command key on the Apple keyboard? Check out this succinct article on “Origins of Common UI Symbols” and you will ask no more!

An amazing use of a small space with big creativity. Presented in the PechaKucha format (20 images for 20 seconds each) by the giggly and likeable apartment owner.

It is apt that our first Thought of the year is about the Nature Brand Book since it is a ‘fresh new year’ type of project…encouraging everyone to just get outside! Project Wild Thing, which inspired the Nature Brand Book and video, has published a guest post from us and MediaPoondi has also written a story on it. We’ll keep you posted with any more stories…!

With Christmas and 2014 fast approaching, here at Grain we’ve been trying to pin down our new year’s resolutions…along with working on amazing branding and design projects, wrapping up our secret Santa pressies and eating mince pies!

The usual ‘work harder’, ‘do more exercise’ and ‘give up the mid-morning snacks’ (that we’ve come to enjoy so much) have been overshadowed in this year’s list by the inspired urge to JUST GET OUTSIDE. To help us to achieve our new year’s goal to enjoy the outdoors more — alone, with friends, family and loved ones — we thought that the obvious place for us to start would be, of course, to brand Nature. Every venture begins with good branding, doesn’t it?

Taking inspiration from Project Wild Thing and the self-appointed Marketing Director for Nature, David Bond, we have taken an in-depth look at Nature and have created this Brand Book that we know will help us in our quest to get outside more, and we hope it will inspire you as well. If so, go ahead and join Project Wild Thing as an individual or an organisation.

Download the Nature Brand Book PDF here and check out the video too!

Thanks to Anthony Postman for the music.

Nature brand book

“No artificial reverb added.”

If you are on Long Island, pop by the Devotion bridal jewellery store in the Roosevelt Field Mall. And if you’re anywhere in the New York/Long Island area you may come across one of the Devotion ads we’ve recently designed!


I stumbled on this interesting article which claims that the Chinese penchant for copying/ stealing ideas started with British botanist Robert Fortune’s own ‘IP theft’ of Chinese tea cultivation. It doesn’t fully explain what is probably a deeper part of Chinese culture but it’s
an interesting theory.

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