Last year Time Out magazine celebrated their 50th birthday with a series of events across London. One of the things that caught our eye was their ‘50 Years, 50 Covers’ exhibition at the Museum of Brands. Not only did this explore the way in which Time Out has grown as a brand since its birth, but it made for a stunning visual representation of the changing face of London: a timeline of how the city, the consumer and our society has developed over the past 50 years.
With contributions from a huge number of designers, the exhibition offered a diverse exploration of aspects of design including typography, photography, illustration and collages. It exposed how each contributor has been influenced by the decade, year, month, even week in which they were working. These designs act as a social narrative, telling us something of the time in which they were created.
The museum is a great place to go to discover how society informs the way we think about design. The current exhibition, ‘Can Marketing Save Lives?’ looks at how advertising has been used over the past century to influence the British public in terms of motivating and educating them on issues of public health. It highlights how visual cues have been used in the media to influence behaviour over the years, and asks how advertising can be used going forward to engage the public and act as a support tool for the prevention and handling of public health concerns.
With exhibitions running alongside each other that address such varied subjects, the museum explores how good design connects politics, modern culture, social issues and technology. Taking this on board, and working with clients such as UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, we are keen to further explore the social impact of design.
Looking towards the year ahead we will be considering human-led design in more detail and looking to translate our ideas and briefs into visually effective work that both illustrates and informs. Watch this space!
Museum of Brands has one permanent exhibition, ‘Time Tunnel’, which showcases the history of advertising over the last 150 years, as well as a rolling series of different exhibitions, talks and events throughout the year.
‘Can Marketing Save Lives?’ is on until 26 May.