D&AD Archive Dive: L is for…

L is for Love

Ryan Dixon is a graphic designer and writer from Surrey whose interest in language and literature stems from an early age, when holding a copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to his face was the only way to avoid his English teachers breath. Now recovered, Ryan’s passion for words and pictures continues to blossom. Visit his website www.mad-keen.co.uk.

“That’s the letter L, right? Okay, if you need me I’ll be in the aisle marked Leo Burnett.”

Yet aside from Leo Burnett taking a large slice of this particular alphabetical category, which is justly deserved, there’s lots more riches to be found.

The Lemon Jelly album covers by Airside.

The serene and wonderfully intricate identity for the London Vision Clinic by Hat-trick.

And then the work of Manchester agency, Love. And in particular what I imagine to be a fairly small project for them. A business card for a cake makers in Stockport. (Yes, that’s right).

But, boy, does the business card that Love created in 2007 say a lot about the creative industry, both then and also now. Not least that the humble business card made it to the upper echelons of design and into the D&AD Annual. Granted, it didn’t actually win a coloured pencil but that doesn’t matter one bit. The fact is that, for me, it shows how valuable an idea is, no matter the size of its application.

You see, to create a business card that is made in such a way that it looks just like a slice of Victoria Sponge is genius. The contact details printed in raised white inks is the, well, you’re already there aren’t you.

This project just makes me smile. And that’s what I believe to be the holy grail of design; a piece of work that elicits an emotional response, that makes you stop, just for a moment, to see what everyone is looking at. And, of course, it makes designers the world over wish they’d thought of the idea first.

On one level the design is obvious. Elementary, you might even say. But great design makes light work of the complex. You shouldn’t have to make great leaps across tenuous messages in order to understand what’s being said. Great design should scoop you up and drop you alongside the answer, with only the smallest of connections to make.

And this does just that.


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