Design: Ariel Cortese; Words: Nell Fane.
In amongst all this ancient history, life does go on. My days over the last four years or so have been spent helping imagine businesses into being, with the help of exceptional people at Big Fish. These are three examples of what I have been doing.
Mostly working with food companies, Big Fish is a brand, design and marketing consultancy. We’ll name, design and develop their stories, either to help reinvigorate a flagging business, to take an organisation to its next stage or to launch an infant one. Least it sound horibly academic and bulshitty, it’s anything but. The spirit is somewhere close to the same, inventive zeal I experienced at BBH in the early 1980s. The place buzzes with energy and fizzes with real life.
Eat Your Hat is a chocolate and coffee brand created for Traidcraft, an ethical grocery business that grew up with the Fairtrade movement, based in Newcastle. (Show me a brand, company or production process that doesn’t hurt the planet and I’ll eat my hat was the start point.)
Applekind is designed for Korean eyes and ears. Apples change hands for anything up to £10 each in South Korea, given especially as presents at New Year and the national thanksgiving day. I wrote about the trip we made there a little while ago. (https://wordpress.com/post/willawdry.blog/1117) The company is the late flowering brain child of the Kims. After running a school for thirty years in Seoul, they have “retired” to the east of the peninsular, and grow their apples in near perfect conditions in a crater valley that borders with North Korea.
Design: Marie Schultz; Words: Jim Medd/Lee Anderson
Applekind is run with scrupulous ethics by the family. Besides being a place of orchards, it is also destined to become a respite destination for students and refugee workers from the incessant turbulence of Korean industrial life.
The apples, in case you wondered, are absolutely fantastic. Adam and Eve would have been at them without any need for a snakey salesman. Intense, crisp, sharply scented but not frilly, refreshing and awakening. Other apples are cotton wool by comparison.
Finally, for now, Leap is a wild fish brand we created for New England Seafood International. Their company has a very long name for a bloke who started selling lobsters under a bridge in Wandsworth thirty years ago.
Wild fish – well, salmon, really – is genuinely different. It has lived a free life. The animals are carefully monitored in the great summer runs of the Pacific Northwest to avoid overfishing and maintain sustainability. If you try out any random selection of the population with farmed and smoked salmon, the results are consistent. Only one in thirty people (who eat fish) have ever tried the wild variety. When they do, one in three people prefer it. It is slightly denser, has more ‘gnyaaahh’ to it, as Fergus Henderson might say, and is definitely better for the soul.