Builds Blog

New Build website—

This will be our final blog post on, as Build's Blog has a new home, on the brand new Build website.

Build has a new website!

We will keep the "old" blog up and running, as an archive, but all news and announcements will now be made via News on

Go to the new Build site here. Don't forget we also have (by)Build Shop, and you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr and Vimeo.

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Our verdict on the Christmas ads!

This is a bit of a first here at Build— a review?! It seems like 2013 has been a bit of a landmark year for Christmas adverts, and one that we have followed with keen interest. Not just from a design and marketing point of view, but also as consumers and 'average people' who enjoy Christmas, and everything it has to offer. Sure, Christmas is now hyper-commercialised and protracted - Guy Fawkes is barely smouldering before the mince pies and advent calendars are everywhere. But this year, it seems as if a HUGE amount of importance has been placed on how companies and brands have gone about their Christmas advertising. This post isn't going to be an in-depth analysis on each one rather a lighthearted look at what has been produced, and our verdicts.
First up— the 'blockbuster'
John Lewis Christmas advert.
John Lewis - The Bear and the Hare
3/4 of the studio thought this was all right, a bit soppy sure, and where are the John Lewis products?! The other 1/4 didn't rate it at all. Much respect for its production however, an amazing team effort.

Next— the advert that's really a trailer (hmm)
Sainsbury's Christmas advert
Sainsbury's - Christmas in a Day (trailer)
Sainsbury's offering from Hollywood film director Kevin MacDonald is a wonderful concept (everyone films their Christmas, videos made into a film). It was refreshing to see how vastly different people's Christmases can be, but all the magic was ruined of the 'reality' of the film WHEN THE MUM GETS THE TURKEY OUT OF THE OVEN WITHOUT OVEN GLOVES ON. Even if it's been resting in there for an hour, Sainsbury's come on. Not to mention the Co-op goods.

The soppy one—
Tesco Christmas advert
Tesco - There's Nothing Better Than Christmas
Well except for a Tesco Christmas. Actually not too offended by this one, but a little too gush-y for our taste. And it's no Wonder Years.

The 'yoof' one—
Boots Christmas advert.
Boots - "Let's make the people that make us feel good, feel good!"
We can't actually publish what one of us said after watching of the Boots festive offering, needless to say, we were less than impressed. Once again, an absolute cheese-fest - but hey it's Christmas and you can hardly blame them.

The overly-dramatic and weird one—
Bailey's Christmas advert
Baileys - Christmas Nutcracker
Were they going for some sort of Ballet/Bailey pun here? Who knows. What's for certain is the Nutcracker is Christmassy in the extreme. The panto villain in a dance-off however - a step too far. And you do not remix Tchaikovsky. Ever.

Finally, the one with a strange undertone—
Morrisons Christmas advert.
Morrisons - Be Our Guest with Ant & Dec
As ever, when human/actor/PJ/Duncan has to interact with an animated character, the dramatic meaning may go slightly AWOL. Morrisons may have wanted to fill us with festive cheer with their Disney-esque ad, but all we were filled with was a sense of dread at what Ant & Dec were about to do with the poor little dancing gingerbread man.

And because, in my opinion, it's not officially Commercial Christmas™ until this is on on TV— the Classic
Coca Cola Christmas ad.
Coca Cola - Holidays Are Coming
Surely the go-to example of Christmas advertising, Coca Cola's 90s Xmas ad just IS Christmas to me. And if you think that celebrating this level of marketing in what it is fundamentally a religious holiday is wrong then just remember, before Coca Cola, Father Christmas's suit was green!
Happy festive season one and all.

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Animal A-Z!

A-Z by Build.

Build's Animal A-Z is available in seven sizes.

Jaguar / Orangutan / Elephant.

Koala / Anteater / Toucan.

The Build Animal A-Z is now available over on (by)Build Shop!
As you may have seen over the past few weeks, we have been working hard on the collection of illustrations - mammals, birds, reptiles, one fish and even a crustacean! - and they are now available to buy in a range of sizes.
Check them out on (by)Build Shop here.
You can also see more of our illustration work on our site here.

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Build t-shirt for North East—

We were recently asked to design a t-shirt for brand new Japanese clothing company North East. Other designers involved include Believe in, Hey, Mash Creative and Sawdust.

Our design - Peace & Love, Build - which you can see below, is available now for pre-order. Get your order in before 14 October, and receive 10% off (hooray!). They also ship internationally (double hooray!).

We have managed to sneak a peek at the t-shirt in real life, and it's ace. Thank you Takashi for asking to take part!
Build t-shirt for North East clothing
Our t-shirt design for North East— now available for pre-order!

Build t-shirt for North East - detail
Peace & Love, Build t-shirt.

Build t-shirt 'Peace & Love, Build' now available from North East
T-shirts will ship out on 15 October— hurry hurry! North East.

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Book Marks at The Mill, E17—

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man", Samuel Johnson.

So opens Hunter S. Thompson's novel 'Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas' and is the inspiration behind our design for the exhibition Book Marks, opening tonight at The Mill, Coppermill Lane, E17.

Curated by E17 Art House, the exhibition brief called on designers, artists and illustrators to create artwork that was inspired by either a book or book genre.

Taking the Johnson quote - which serves as the main theme of Fear & Loathing, where excessive drug use attempts to escape the realities of modern life - our print features several of the 'beasts' referenced throughout: from the red Cadillac named "The Great Red Shark", to hallucinations involving people turning into bloodthirsty lizards, and the protagonist's attempt to buy an ape and take it home with him on the plane.

Book Marks runs until October 13th, so get yourself to Walthamstow and check it out!

Build's design for the E17 Art House exhibition 'Bookmarks'
Detail of Build's design for E17 Art House's exhibition 'Bookmarks'
Detail of Build's design for E17 Art House's exhibition 'Bookmarks' - 3
Detail of Build's design for E17 Art House's exhibition 'Bookmarks' - 2
Build design for exhibition 'Bookmarks'' opening tonight at the Mill on Coppermill Lane

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Process Journal—

The latest edition of the excellent graphic design publication Process Journal is now available. Edition Nine features an interview with Michael, and our front cover design. Nice!

In order to live up to its ambition to be a journal rather than a magazine, each issue will now be themed. They have stripped back the number of features as well, to provide more insight on their chosen subjects.

Fittingly then, the first thematic issue is centred around 'Less is More', a celebration of those smaller studios that punch well above their size such as Build, Manual and Bedow.

Front cover design by Build.

Our front cover in print.

Interview with Michael C. Place in Edition Nine of Process Journal.



Edition Nine of Process Journal is available now (and with free international shipping!).

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