Proud Creative – SI Special

Oct 7th, 2011

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Guy & Max

Typefaces used: Gotham & Fournier

Guy & Max is the product of two brothers’ quest to create a collection of faultless precious metal
and diamond jewellery. The brothers have very different yet complimentary skill sets: Max trained
as a contemporary furniture designer and uses that knowledge to create unique, creative, yet
timeless jewellery; whilst Guy is steeped in the family’s rich heritage in the diamond trade.

The brothers approached us with a brief to bring the branding up to luxury brand status. Through
discussion we began to draw more analogies with high end fashion brands than with jewellery

We created an elegant set of marques and brand attributes that can be engaged for different
applications; including a roundel based on Tolkowsky’s ‘Round Brilliant’ and a refracted word
marque. We collaborated with Jason Tozer to create some super-macro diamond photography for
an online lookbook and series of printed mailers. Other applications include website, packaging,
store front and stationery.

We wanted to reinforce the unique nature of their brand; in particular the way they design their
pieces. Max trained as a furniture designer and thinks about creating jewellery in a very non-
traditional way. We researched all sorts of existing jewellery brands and felt like the Guy&Max
identity should lean more towards fashion than the more traditional jewellery set. This opened the
door to other creative innovations like the collaboration with Jason Tozer. He created sumptuous
images that don’t show the jewellery at all, but instead reflect Guy&Max’s collective passion for
both creativity and diamonds.

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Getty Images How

Typefaces used: Lubalin Graph + custom stencil version

The 2009 HOW Design Conference took place in Austin, Texas. HOW caters to all kinds of design
and media professionals – and as a recently appointed roster design agency of Getty Images, we
were asked to work on their presence at the event.

The stand aimed to capture the attention of the designer audience and drive new registrants to the
Getty Images website, whilst highlighting the Getty role as a creative partner – not just a supplier.

The concept for our visual campaign was informed by the five W’s; who? what? where? when?
why? (and the inevitable how? – an apt reference to the conference name). The five ‘W’s is a
concept used in journalism and research and is regarded as a key tool in information-gathering.
We used this to draw analogies with the Getty Images search engine and as a useful prompt for
sourcing media.

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Kemistry Gallery

Typeface used: Sabon

Kemistry Gallery is a small independent gallery dedicated to exhibiting the work of outstanding
designers, curated by Dan Witchell of Proud. Shows have included Geoff McFetridge, Parra,
Gregory Gilbert-Lodge, Experimental Jetset, UVA, Eine and Daniel Eatock. We created a
straightforward identity that lets the artists work shine – monochromatic and understated.

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Kemistry Gallery – Retrospective-One

Typeface used: Sabon

As part of Proud’s ongoing relationship with Kemistry Gallery, we were asked to design a poster to
coincide with the latest show: Retrospective-One. The double sided A1 poster also acts as a guide
to the exhibition; providing information about the artists. Printed with kind from Generation Press.

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Promax: Beyond

Typeface used: Akzidenz Grotesk

Promax wanted the conference and awards to reflect the way in which those in branding, advertising, marketing and promotion are being asked to work beyond their normal comfort zones. The broad theme of the brief was Beyond the Box. Early on we decided to simplify the title to ‘Beyond’.

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative Volume 1

Typefaces used : Scala & Scala sans

Our first volume was designed to showcase the range of multidisciplinary work that we’d delivered
in our first two years. Dominated by the S4C project that first got us noticed, but also showing a
wide variation in the type of projects that we looked to take on then; and continue to seek out now.

Process: Cover Screen print + Litho
Cover stock: 4pp 300 gsm Arjo Wiggins Curious Touch Soft
Text stock: 36pp 120 gsm McNoughton Cyclus Offset
Finishing: Saddle stitched with hoops
Size: 220 x 300 mm
Edition: 500

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative   SI Special

Proud Creative Volume 2

Typeface used: Proxima Nova

The second in our on-going series of Volumes was designed to explain our working philosophies
of Optimism, Simplicity & Brand Ergonomics; as well as giving an overview of our projects. A clean
and simple illustrative style was developed and executed in house, supported by client testimonials
and short introductions to the studio’s approach.

Process: Litho
Cover stock: 4pp 330 gsm
(GF Smith Naturalis Absolute White Matt)
Text stock: 14pp 250 gsm
(GF Smith Naturalis Absolute White Matt)
Finishing: Singer Sewn
Size: 280 x 380 mm
Edition: 350

Proud Creative   SI Special
Proud Creative   SI Special
Proud Creative   SI Special
Proud Creative   SI Special


5 copies of Proud Creative’s self commissioned typetables poster. That includes the 4 you see above and a limited edition foil version

Follow SI on Twitter
Follow Proud Creative on Twitter

When we reach the “magic number” of followers, 5 winners will be picked at random or, according to the visual appeal of their Twitter avatar ;) Once 5 winners have been selected, the fine folk at Proud Creative will mail the posters to the 5 lucky winners.

Proud Creative in their own words…

We are a creatively led multidisciplinary design studio based in London. Founded in 2005 by Dan Witchell, Creative Director and joined by Roger Whittlesea, Partner & Head of Production. Our goal is to create work that makes our clients and everyone at the studio proud. It’s the reason for our name.

We understand that there’s always a story to tell and it’s rarely at the surface of the brief. To arrive at the true challenge we get below the surface; we interrogate, research and ask questions (lots of questions). More importantly, we listen.

We are a warm and optimistic bunch who will always go the extra mile (or late night) if that’s what it takes to make a job even the tiniest bit better.

Big thank you once again to Neşe, Dan & Roger for making this feature possible. Have a great weekend folks!

If you’re new here, don’t forget to Subscribe & follow SI on Twitter for your weekly dose of visual crack. ;)

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  1. lovely, lovely work..

  2. Speechless. The Guy & Max website is breathtaking!

  3. Dickie

    In a word ‘Simplystunningstuff’

  4. David


    Thank you for dropping by. I think we can all agree that this is more of a coincidence that anything else. Whilst the the marks are similar in the sense that yes, they both based on an Octagon with radiating geometrics in a circle, the context is different – Room 11 is an architectural practice and the mark is used to communicate their story in a more abstract way; whereas the mark for Guy & Max clearly alludes to the form of the ‘Brilliant’ diamond cut, the top of which (or ‘table’ as it is known’) is octagonal in shape.

    Suffice to say, I think Proud’s solution is brilliant (no pun intended, ok maybe a little ;) Not only does it communicate the value proposition of the client but it also relates directly to their trade – diamonds.

  5. @ Robert & David

    Nothing to worry about – both marques are just based on the same cut of diamond – the Round Brilliant (which is seen as the purest of cuts) as David points out.

    We were aware of the Southsouthwest logo, but concluded that the diamond iconography was appropriate to the client and that the two industries were separate enough to retain credibility.

  6. It is actually something to worry about. Room11 invested in a unique branding and identity. There are many ways to utilize the geometry of a diamond and carry this through into a logo and collateral. It is sloppy design work to simply state it’s ” nothing to worry about” given room11 are in a different industry. Proud claim this as a unique identity.
    An open discussion on this should be had and not moderated.
    Aaron Roberts – Director – Room11

  7. Suhail S

    awesome guy&max

  8. Grez

    I understand Aaron’s frustration. If the Route 11 ID came first, I think it displays a lack of due diligence on the part of the Proud in this particular case. However, unless they’re in direct competition with Guy & Max then personally I don’t see the issue.

  9. Rachel

    I can understand Aaron’s frustration too, but have to note that Room 11 may have invested in a ‘unique branding and identity’ without understanding that it is very hard to be absolutely unique when utilising a standardised form of something. They were obviously were led down the path of a visual identity that while striking, is not so original in itself to be rendered untouchable. It ustilises a top view of a standard line drawing of a diamond cut – this is a shape known to jewellers, stone dealers, gemmologists and all professionals of that industry alike as a standard graphic (This branding approach has also already been used by the JAA for their branding Furthermore, it wasn’t even rendered in any unique colours or had any feature that differed from a technical drawing of a top view diamond cut other than the bolded inner hexagon, which is NOT present in the proud creatives branding approach. Also: their application typically seems to be an inverted colour scheme. Ideally everyone wants to have a unique brandmark that is completely their own – but there is nothing new under the sun and we all have to share the pool of symbols from which mankind draws from for visual reference. No one can say they own a circle – so too must you concede that a technical jewellery drawing of a top view of the most well-known cut of stone might be something that other people will reference without need for guilt, whether they know you’ve already done it or not. I like both of the branding solutions – they are both elegant and beautiful. Just be happy you have such lovely branding and ARE in different industries.

  10. Lloyd

    To clarify: the emblem is not used as a visual symbol to represent the brand Guy & Max. Their “logo” is the Wordmark Guy & Max as embodied by a specific Type. The emblem is applied by Proud in different forms and rather intermittently / as decor. Therefore the “different industry” logo argument is invalid here. Aaron seems to be more concerned with the extent of the uncritical appropriation of the emblem and supporting elements (line, colour, proportion, alignment, position, typeface) which make up the Room 11 corporate design – clearly documented on the site he links to. This is where the conversation of commendable design and design ethics should be focused on, and not simply disregarded on the terms of legal validity.

    Lloyd – Art Director

  11. Often im quite sceptical here but I think Proud are the bees knees

  12. The guy&max CI is stunning! I love the three-dimensional look of the business cards!

  13. Samuel

    Perhaps everyone has a copy of ‘Trademarks & Symbols’ Vol. 2 by Yasaburo Kuwayama…..

  14. Awesome work, feel very inspired now. The Guy & MAx site is some of the best I have seen. Love it. Thanks

  15. Milon

    Great work. @Aaron, while I understand your frustration its a little presumptuous to think Proud were aware of your company CI.

  16. Petit

    This is fantastic. So clean and breathable. Love the stationary.

  17. Stu

    “We were aware of the Southsouthwest logo, but concluded that the diamond iconography was appropriate to the client and that the two industries were separate enough to retain credibility” — Jon Rowlandson (formerly of Proud)

    If Proud were aware of such a mark, then why have they continued to produce something that feels incredible similar in form, colour and production.

    I have read a lot of the comments, and do concur that it’s a familiar shape representative of a certain cut of diamond and not a unique image, but it as much as we’d all like to live in Rachel’s beautifully harmonious world, the fact of the matter is that if John’s comments are true to the process of this particular project then I feel, the outcome is too close for comfort, it would be interesting to know what Guy & Max feel about the Room 11 branding

    As much as I admire the output of Proud, to me they always seem to have delivered consistency and quality, but I feel this project is dangerously close to those few words designers fear on a daily basis “RIP OFF”

  18. matt

    One of many logos from the Yasaburo set of logo books that have been reappropriated…
    Nicely implemented though.

  19. Your work is simply stunning. Guy&Max is incredible!

  20. Yes the Guy and Max ID is the same as the link you’ve posted but that doesn’t mean it’s plagiarism, or sinister. I used the exact same mark for a pitch earlier this year. We developed further until the end result looked nothing like it. I didn’t plagiarise my original concept from anyone (until about 5 minutes ago I was unaware of either of these), but it shows that creative concepts can come from the same gem of an idea (again, no pun intended). Also I think the way Proud have worked up the idea and implemented it is beautiful.

  21. Aaron

    as previously stated – there are many ways to utilise this diagram of a diamond. I do not contest using the shape of a diamond. It is simply the severe resemblance to it’s use and the admittance to being aware of out CI that I feel is incredibly un-professional.

    Proud’s website claims G&M logo etc as “unique”, yet it uses

    - the same positing of text within the same logo from another company;
    - similar font type from
    - the same colouring
    - very similar stock

    It’s not about whether people use a diamond. a square, a circle for a logo. It’s how it’s rolled out and developed. In this case the identity has simply been appropriated.

  22. G

    I agree wholeheartedly with Stu and Aaron — smacks of amateurism to be honest. I mean, lovely to look at, but if you’re already aware of the mark/logo/marque/brand/symbol/icon in use in a very very similar way (and I mean to the audience of the brand, not the creatives who instantly know the difference between it being used as a ‘main logo’ as opposed to merely something to support the main logo.)

    I think the main thing here is the apparent awareness of the Room11 brand, and then continuing to do it anyway.

    Yes, the used the same view of the diamond but come, we can all see the clear visual differences between how they’ve executed both the symbol and the overall look and feel of the brand, whereas the Guy&Max and Room11 are blatantly similar.

    I’m not accusing plagiarism by any means, just that Proud should have swallowed their pride and admitted to themselves that although they’d come up with a similar solution and it looked nice and was relevant, they were in no way going to be able to use it in the way they wanted as it was already out there.

  23. Emma Jones

    Proud have used the diamond symbol as a graphic element within a broader suite of parts, including two typefaces and a word mark (which is the actual logo), as well as the striking and elegant facets graphic which sits on the reverse of the business cards and shop front.

    The symbol clearly forms the main logo for Room11, which has a much simpler identity system. Therefore when you take the two identities and how a consumer would interact with them, they would actually look quite different. They obviously have similar queues, their tone is alike but look at Winkreative, Monocle, at some of Marque Creative or Moving Brand’s work and you’ll see similar reference points.

    It does seem a little naive to label Proud unprofessional. And dare I say it, it sounds unprofessional to accuse them of appropriating a standard diagram, black and white colour palette and serif font. And from the images, the stock looks completely different.

    Proud have consistently produced original and intelligent work, and I think there’s too much focus on one element of what is a larger identity system.

  24. Dickie

    I feel sad that this post is at risk of descended into a ‘we did this first’ squabble. No doubt such conversations are valid within context but we are focusing on 1% of a whole post about a company doing great work. There are much more flagrant rip-offs out there and Room 11 should accept that these things happen, it’s just a collection of intersecting lines and eventually similarities are bound to occur.

  25. gail

    It isn’t the marque that is so much the issue here. And it isn’t a I did it first squabble. As Aaron points out he does not contest the the shape could be used. It is the overall aesthetic of both projects that probably rankle with Room 11. The fact that proud knew about the logo, then produced something too close for comfort (which has got this debate going) and then rolled it out over a course of materials in a similar way is just a little daft/lazy at best or a down right rip off at worse. I know if I’d of known about the logo Room 11 had done I would of gone back to the drawing board simply to avoid any of this stuff happening.

  26. @Gail
    Exactly, the designs are beautiful, but the fact that they are strikingly similar to designs previously done is the issue. At best it was lazy.

    That being said the designs do look great, whoever had the concept first.

  27. Top graphic shit.

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