Filtering by Category: Design

The Triennial Effect

Added on by Stella Chapman.

As the Folkestone Triennial draws to a close, our thoughts turn to which artist's work will join the permanent Folkestone Artworks collection. This 'gallery without walls' is made up from 27 works from the past 3 Triennials by artists including Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger, Pablo Bronstein, Yoko Ono and Richard Wilson.

A friend recently asked how often the Triennial came to Folkestone as I was always talking about it. I told her the clue is in the name! Every 3 years artists are commissioned to create public installations that form an art trail around the town. We love the lead up to the event – discovering which artists will be exhibiting and what the theme will be. This year was particularly exciting as we were one of 3 agencies shortlisted in a 3-stage pitch for the Triennial branding. A great achievement for Salt and something we are keen to win in the future.

This is our 2nd Triennial since relocating from London 6 years ago. Attracting creatives and tourists to the area by 'rebranding' Folkestone as a creative hub is the Creative Foundation's mission – with the Triennial being their flagship project. And it seems to be taking hold. There’s a definite buzz in the Creative Quarter this year, with local artists referring to the ‘Triennial effect’ increasing their sales as tourists look to take away a piece of the action.

Hitting the art trail with a 6 year old means it's as much about the experience as it is the concepts behind the pieces. There was a beautifully designed family guide this year to keep the kids engaged, as well as a programme of free family workshops at Block 67, Tontine Street. Here's what we've enjoyed and whether we think they will stay.

Richard Woods' colourful cartoon holiday homes were standout pieces for us – with 6 homes to spot floating in the harbour and dotted around the beach and cliff tops. Like the seasonal residents that inspired these installations, they are surely temporary. Midway through the 2014 Triennial a Banksy piece entitled 'Art Buff' appeared. Unfortunately these 'Holiday Homes' have been decorated with less welcome graffiti.

Richard Woods – Holiday Home

Richard Woods – Holiday Home

Likewise, the Antony Gormley cast-iron figures, which despite looking very much at home beneath arches or staring out to sea, were only ever visiting. 

A teetering white wall by Alex Hartley is perhaps the most immediate expression of this year's theme 'Double Edge' – exploring anxiety (being on the edge), boundaries and balance. Its future seems precarious.

Alex Hartley - Wall
Alex Hartley – Wall

Alex Hartley – Wall

When we visited Lubaina Himid’s ‘Jelly Mould Pavilion' it was being used to frame a bride and groom on their wedding day – already paying its way as a local landmark!

Lubaina Himid – Jelly Mould Pavilion

Lubaina Himid – Jelly Mould Pavilion

We enjoyed discovering new parts of Folkestone and gaining new perspectives. Sometimes it's as simple as looking up – to see Jonathan Wright's little boats perched on tall poles, or taking a moment to listen, to Emily Peasgood's sound installation 'Halfway to Heaven' in an18th-century Baptist graveyard. We’d like to think the giant 'Siren' by Marc Schmitz and Dolgor Ser-Od could have the longevity of the concrete 'listening ear' at nearby Dungeness that it references.

Marc Schmitz & Dolgor Ser-Od – Siren

Marc Schmitz & Dolgor Ser-Od – Siren

A Guardian review was not being complementary when it commented that some of the artworks ‘put design some way before art’, mentioning Sinta Tantra's colourful paintwork for the Cube Building and the Gothic plywood structure by Studio Ben Allen transforming the Quarterhouse Clearing Cafe. For us that is no bad thing. Art and design may have different roles, but they are both about emotional engagement. About challenging and changing perceptions. If art is about questions, design is about solutions, with the Triennial being one solution to the ongoing regeneration and repositioning of Folkestone.

The Folkestone Triennial finishes on 5th November. For more information

Photography kindly provided by Kevan Smith


Be Bold For Change

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Salt were among a group of female professionals invited by a young women's project, Bossy Girls to advise on creating a poster campaign to celebrate International Women's Day.

Along with Nichola from Word It, we joined the group of women aged 15 to 23 at one of their workshops at the Quarterhouse, Folkestone. Led by founder member Emma Westbrook, the team had created a room full of impressive sketches, visuals and slogans for the campaign based on issues important to them – grouped into the themes of sexual harassment, media representation of women and gender roles. We helped select a concept they could develop into a public installation to appear in various locations in Folkestone. One idea stood out instantly and told their story of what it's like being a young woman today in one clear message – 'Being a girl is not a crime'.

Emma explained "The result (of the workshops) has been an overwhelming feeling that women and girls are often made to feel that they are being punished for simply being themselves."

The posters and banners popped up guerrilla style around central Folkestone last Sunday morning, designed to create intrigue among the general public and resonate with local young women. We were delighted to see they demonstrated great restraint in the design using bold black type, free of embellishment or any obvious expression of the feminine. It captured the spirit of the International Women's Day theme 'Be Bold for Change' perfectly.

The hashtag #NotACrime was used to encourage engagement during International Women's Day and beyond.

Following the project's success, the 'Bossy Girls' aim to have regular meetings and workshops across different areas. The posters are available from Folkestone Quarterhouse Box Office this week.

Awareness campaign by the Bossy Girls Project

Awareness campaign by the Bossy Girls Project

Emma said: The Boss(y) Girls Project came about after the WOW (Women of the World) Festival at Folkestone Quarterhouse last year (2016) and has been heavily supported by them and Folkestone Fringe throughout. The name was inspired by Beyoncé's quote, "I'm not bossy… I'm the boss." and was designed to address the double standard that girls were seen as bossy and fussy when they were assertive, but boys were seen as strong and having good leadership skills."

The core team were Chelsey 17, Livvy 17, Josie 19, Chani, 23, and Emma Westbrook, 18. For more information visit the Bossy Girls Facebook page.


Salt loves...

Added on by Stella Chapman.

From birthday gifts to what's on TV here's what has inspired our design or just caught our eye this week...

1. Read this if you want to take great photographs

This book was one of my more useful birthday gifts, and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their photography. Not only is it beautifully designed with a foil blocked cover, it's visual rather than technical in its approach, and the playful tone of voice keeps you reading. It's broken down into five sections – Composition, Exposure, Light, Lenses and Seeing and refreshingly suggests you to start by ignoring everything!

Henry Carroll /  Laurence King Publishing
Henri Cartier-Bresson 1932
Salt loves blog - Read this if you want to take great photos book spread
Salt loves blog - Ernst Haas 1960s

Henry Carroll : Laurence King Publishing

2. Made of Sundays

Whilst working on an illustrated children's character, this caught our eye. The Finnish company make fun and quirky wall decals and homewares and ship to the UK. And they are not just for the kids' room, even a fridge gets a monster makeover!

Salt loves blog - Made of Sundays Aaron the Charming Dragon door decal
Salt loves blog - Made of Sundays Tiny Waffles the Sloth wall decal

3. Trapped

This new BBC4 drama gives you chills from the unsettling title sequence to the beautiful but dangerous landscape, photographed in an elegantly reduced colour palette. Set in a small Icelandic town, the police work to solve a murder as a blizzard sets in, trapping everyone including the killer inside. Gripping and stylish in equal measures.

Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 title sequence
Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 title sequence
Salt loves blog - Trapped BBC4 Icelandic drama

Trapped : BBC4

4. Sydney Opera House identity

Interbrand Australia have created a new visual identity for the Sydney Opera House. A sculptural typeface and graphic device work with the existing logo to help draw attention to the iconic venue's many facets – only one of which is opera. The 3D Utzon typeface by Studio Laurenz Brunner reflects the building's contours and is named after its architect Jørn Utzon. We think the lettering looks as good in print as it does rendered in 3 dimensions.  

Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia

Colour is used as part of the visual identity but we like the striking simplicity of black and white which reminds us of Swiss designer Josef Müller-Brockmann's poster work during the 1950s. 

Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia
Salt loves blog - Sidney Opera House visual identity by Interbrand Australia

We usually favour the simplicity of flat graphics and find logo animation often gimmicky, but the motion graphics by Collider used across all digital platforms are beautifully subtle and appropriately rhythmic, based on the shapes and shadows of Opera House sails.

Salt loves blog - Sydney Opera House motion system by Collider & Interbrand Australia

5. Veja white trainers

Any finally, we have our eye on these Veja Esplar white leather trainers – nailing this season's pale and eco-chic trends in one. Bring on Spring!

Salt loves blog - Veja Esplar white leather trainers


2015 roundup

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Looking back over the past year our standout projects were mostly about food, fashion and art, three of our favourite things! We worked on brand identities, branded spaces, literature and websites. We art directed shoots and had some great collaborations with other artists, photographers, strategists and designers.

Our aim for Salt is to work on projects we feel passionate about and if we can put something back into our local areas (which we were able to do with Oh My Cafe and the Folkestone Book Festival) so much the better. We were very pleased to have arts charity the Creative Foundation as a new client last year and our aim for 2016 is to develop our portfolio in this area.

So, a big thank you to our clients, colleagues and friends for all the support, inspiration and fun. We look forward to bringing you new more work on our blog soon. Happy New Year!

Boom Done Shop / Ethical fashion / Photographic art direction

Creative Foundation / Folkestone Book Festival / Visitor experience

Oh My Cafe / London coffee shop / Brand identity + retail graphics

Bernadette Baksa / Photography / Brand identity + stationery

The Flying Piglet / Gourmet street food / Brand identity

Nic West / Artist / Brand identity + stationery


Folkestone Book Festival Visitor Experience

Added on by Stella Chapman.

This project began with a timely tweet inviting artists and designers to submit their proposal for a visitor experience for the Folkestone Book Festival. Salt has been involved with a number of interior display and exhibition graphic projects and we knew this was a pitch we had to win. 

The Creative Foundation, the arts charity behind the festival and many other local events, had been in our mind for a while. Their flagship project the Folkestone Triennial, a contemporary arts exhibition, was so amazing we created a blog about it! They have attracted big name artists in previous projects and are a well respected arts body.

Salt Folkestone Quarterhouse

The brief was to transform the interior spaces at the Folkestone Quarterhouse, the venue for the 10 day November Book Festival. The aim was to create a warm and inviting environment to gather together and share stories with well known authors including Mark Billingham and Melvyn Bragg alongside local writers. We immediately wanted to put our loves of books and obsession with type and paper at the centre of our idea. 

Creative pitch moodboard

Creative pitch moodboard

Finding magic

We distilled our ideas into the concept ‘Finding Magic’ inspired by a Dr Seuss quote "You can find magic wherever you look, sit back relax all you need is a book" and pitched it to Tania McCormack at Creative Foundation. An artist herself, Tania instantly understood we wanted to lift the stories right off the pages and display them around the venue in unexpected places.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival Floor graphic
Salt Folkestone Book Festival foyer graphics
Salt Folkestone Book Festival floor graphic

We designed typographic quotations as floor and wall vinyls in the entrance foyer to lead visitors through the space up to the focal point in the bar – a 4m high hanging installation of type and snowflakes cascading from the double height ceiling through the circular atrium to the foyer below.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival installation

Commissioning the artists

From early on we knew the perfect collaboration would be with bespoke paper artist Suzanne Allen at Paper Tree Design. Due to the tight schedule there was no time for testing our design, and working from our visuals Suzanne began one of the largest project she’d undertaken. Over 100 bespoke paper cut snowflakes set the magical and festive mood and Suzanne produced the festival poster with letters opening like doors on an giant advent calendar.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival poster

It was important for the Creative Foundation and us for the production to be bespoke and crafted, and with this in mind we also commissioned local artist Samuel Capell to screen print limited edition quote posters, as souvenirs of the occasion.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival type posters

The results

The whole project from pitch to installation was achieved in less than a month, with the help of Tania, Ioannis and Chief Technician Anthony with an impossibly tall ladder! For flexibility, everything was assembled on site and installed over 3 days by ourselves, Paper Tree and the Creative Foundation team. Local company Sign Graphics did an amazing job with the cut vinyl lettering.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival team

All the elements were designed to have a permanent nature so they could be re-used for future Book Festivals and we were delighted to see the work being left in place over the Christmas period too.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival Bar installation
Salt Folkestone Book Festival snowflake detail

The festival, which opened with author Louis de Bernières switching on the Christmas lights, was a great success with record numbers attending. It was great to see everyone from the celebrity speakers to local school children enjoying the festive space. 

Salt Folkestone Book Festival bar detail

We really enjoyed the collaboration and hope it's the first of many projects with the Creative Foundation. We are proud to be involved in their mission to use creativity to bring Folkestone to back life and prosperity.

Salt Folkestone Book Festival bar graphic

"Stella and Victoria quickly came up with a concept for the Book Festival 2015 decorations and worked to a very tight deadline. Their initial ideas encompassed the brief and at all stages there was excellent communication and we worked together to problem solve within the limitations of the space and budget. The finished outcome transformed the space beautifully and was well received by our audiences. It was a complete pleasure to work with Salt." 
Alastair Upton : Chief Executive Creative Foundation

"I loved the decorations, I thought they were very festive, original and elegant. They were definitely a great addition to the Quarterhouse. I do hope we work again with you in the future!"
Geraldine D’Amico : Curator Folkestone Book Festival

Photography Bernadette Baksa (NGM Photography where stated)


Working with creative clients

Added on by Stella Chapman.

Alongside our corporate clients we often help start-ups and small companies who are looking to launch a new business or take their brand to the next level. We've been lucky to have worked with several creative businesses and wanted to share three recent projects we've especially enjoyed.

Our collaborative design process worked particularly well with these creative clients, who had a visual as well as strategic direction in mind. We made sure we listened to and worked with them to interpret and bring their vision to life.

Bernadette Baksa Photography

We’ve collaborated with London-based photographer Bernadette Baksa many times, for both client and personal projects including shooting our website portfolio. Bernadette had pinned down the direction she wanted to take her business, moving into specialising in children’s portrait photography. Her aim was to strengthen her existing brand, better reflecting her distinctive photographic style.

Bernadette had created a small moodboard for our briefing and we developed her ideas into a strong, expressive brand which better communicated her new direction. We customised a cursive script font to capture the spontaneous and personal spirit of her photography. We then helped Bernadette create a presentation package and stationery in keeping with her new look.

Inspiration, sketches and workings

Inspiration, sketches and workings

The final logo applied to the  website

The final logo applied to the website

"Thank you very much to Salt for their brilliant work. These ladies have done a fantastic job combining me and my photography under one distinct brand. If you are thinking of taking your brand to the next level, try them!"
Bernadette Baksa

Nic West

Nic West is contemporary abstract artist we particularly admire, currently living and working on the small island of Alderney. Her work features wild seascapes and rugged landscapes and she describes her paintings as 'visceral, full of texture and vibrant aqua and turquoise colour'. We were very excited to be asked to work on her brand identity. 

After meeting and experiencing her paintings first hand Nic asked us to create an identity that was elegant and simple as a contrast to her textural style. The typeface we proposed was elegant, structural and created a sense of space to complement her full and energetic paintings. We took detailed photographs of four different textural sections of her oils and used them for the reverse of business cards and letterheads which gave her clients a taster of her dramatic work to take away. We applied the branding to other elements including her existing website.

"As a newly emerging artist I recognised the importance of getting the branding right for my website and promotional material. Salt design were able to provide the expertise to create exactly what I had hoped for in terms of identity styling and professional service."
Business cards with little tasters of artwork

Business cards with little tasters of artwork

Paper Tree Design

Paper Tree Design is a bespoke wedding stationery start-up owned by our good friend and entrepreneur Suzanne Allen. Talented in many design disciplines, Suzanne has designed everything from fashion to jewellery to homewares. She came to us with a clear brand vision and range of beautiful papercut wedding invitations. Her brief was to produce typographic styles for her stationery ranges, which are handmade to order in her Cotswold studio. We share her passion for paper and fascination with how things are made, so we were more than happy to be involved in her new venture.

We focused on the high quality finish and attention to detail in her intricate papercut designs, working closely with Suzanne to create stylish and well crafted typography. We used details from her illustrations to embellish the type creating two distinct looks for her ‘Natural Charms’ and ‘Modern Vintage’ ranges. 

Entwined stationery suite

Entwined stationery suite

We really enjoyed our role in helping the Paper Tree brand come together and we were pleased to be asked to advise on everything from the brand identity, tone of voice, website, business stationery, promotional postcards and exhibition stand. We also joined Suzanne to art direct a product shoot with photographer Cristina Colli to create a beautiful seasonal story illustrating each range on the website.

Tree of hearts table plan detail

Tree of hearts table plan detail

Vintage lovebirds stationery suite

Vintage lovebirds stationery suite

Papertree Design was awarded the National Vintage Wedding Fair 2014 newcomer award in their first year of trading and are becoming well established in the luxury wedding market.

Flyers designed with Suzanne for a wedding fair

Flyers designed with Suzanne for a wedding fair

“For me it was very much a team experience, working together and sharing ideas. Salt have also acted very much as a mentor, more recently encouraging and guiding me in developing a typographic style myself. Salt work with you, and take the time to understand your brand needs, whilst at the same time being proactive in suggesting innovative new ideas”. 
Suzanne : Paper Tree Design

Guiding these businesses in creating and evolving their brands allowed us all to share and develop our creative skills. We care greatly about what we do. Our small but flexible setup means we are hands-on and willing to go the extra mile to make things work. Collaborating in this way is not only cost effective, which is essential for a new or smaller business, it allows their own type of creativity to direct the outcome, which we hope will bring them every success.


Making art work for Folkestone

Added on by Stella Chapman.

When I moved to the pretty coastal town Hythe in Kent, I wasn't expecting neighbouring Folkestone to offer more than a handy high-speed link to London, where Salt's clients are mainly based. But over the four years I've lived here, I've watched the harbour town being transformed through creativity, reinventing itself as a cultural destination and an inspiring place to live as a designer.

It was the public art exhibition, the Folkestone Triennial that first opened my eyes to the creative projects going on in the town. Every three years the nine week festival turns the town into an open-air gallery with specially commissioned works by artists that have included Andy Goldsworthy, Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger and Yoko Ono. There is also Folkestone Artworks, a permanent public collection of 16 works created from the previous two Triennials, plus fantastic independent street art which graffiti artist Banksy temporarily added to during the Triennial last year. The Banksy may be gone, but there's still a lot to see. Here's a selection of my favourites, which I think are worth a visit to Folkestone in their own right!

Art Buff : Banksy : Folkestone 2014

Art Buff : Banksy : Folkestone 2014

Folkestone Artworks

As a graphic designer I love Spencer Finch's colour wheel on the cliff-top Leas Promenade. Spinning the palette of 100 colours and picking the Pantone swatch to match the sea is a brilliant idea! For the 2011 Triennial, flags were dyed to match the swatches and hoisted to declare the shade of the sea each day. Colour, light and the natural world are key themes in the New York artist's work. 

The Colour of Water :  Spencer Finch :  Triennial 2011

The Colour of Water : Spencer Finch : Triennial 2011

At first this collection of stones on the Leas seemed decorative, but I learnt the numbered pebbles represent the 19,240 soldiers killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme in 1916. The installation by 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger is a simple and moving reminder of Folkestone's past.

Folk Stones : Mark Wallinger : Triennial 2008

Folk Stones : Mark Wallinger : Triennial 2008

Also echoing the past, is a quirky row of bright green bunker-like beach huts on the coastal promenade which sculptor Richard Wilson constructed from the abandoned crazy golf course. It is good to think art is filling the place left by traditional seaside amusements and attracting a new type of tourist. At last year's Triennial, thousands of people came to dig up artist Michael Sailstorfer’s buried treasure on the outer harbour beach in his public participation event Folkestone Digs.

Looking at the present is Baby Things, seven painted bronze mini sculptures by artist Tracey Emin dotted around the town as a subtle comment on the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the area.

18 holes : Richard Wilson : Triennial 2008

18 holes : Richard Wilson : Triennial 2008

Baby Things : Tracey Emin : Triennial 2008

Baby Things : Tracey Emin : Triennial 2008

Folkestone Triennial 2014

The 2014 Triennial was curated by Lewis Biggs, the former director of Tate Liverpool. The theme  'Lookout'  was about the future of Folkestone and the 21 artists each had a different take on what's here now and what's to come. I really enjoyed following the trail with my 3 year old. Being outdoors and being able to touch and interact directly is a great way for children to discover and learn about contemporary art. We loved the colourful geometric maze which made a surprising contrast to the Victorian grotto it's built into to. Dwelling by Krijn de Koning is part architecture, part sculpture and has an ‘identical twin’ at the Turner Contemporary who commissioned the work. 

Dwelling (for Margate, for Folkestone) : Krijn de Koning : Triennial 2014

Dwelling (for Margate, for Folkestone) : Krijn de Koning : Triennial 2014

One of the most inspiring things about Folkestone is the quality of coastal light which is why I loved Green/Light, a light sculpture by Folkestone born artist Jyll Bradley. Created for the old gas works site where electric light was first generated for the town, the shimmering poles map out her personal journey and connection to the area. Yes, the sky is always this blue!

Green/Light (for M.R.) : Jyll Bradley : Triennial 2014

Green/Light (for M.R.) : Jyll Bradley : Triennial 2014

A creative future

Arts charity the Creative Foundation is behind the Triennial and Artworks as well as many other creative projects, events and activities, including the regeneration of the Creative Quarter in the old town, home to artists' studios and creative businesses. I love these two recent pieces of independent street art by Folkestone-based artists Leigh Mulley and Sam Millen for their unexpected locations and local themes. The 13m high seagull mural is a landmark to be proud of!

So art continues to make Folkestone a better place to be. I look forward to seeing which 9 Triennial works return as permanent attractions in May and am already counting down to the next one in 2017.

Small Eyes : Leigh Mulley : 2014

Small Eyes : Leigh Mulley : 2014

Redding Wall : Sam Millen : 2014

Redding Wall : Sam Millen : 2014