Leah Surynt and Michael Bevin recently worked on the branding and design of Billy Apple Cider. The cider was launched to coincide with the artist’s current retrospective at the Auckland Art Gallery entitled Billy Apple®: The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else.
Leah graduated from Whitecliffe in 2013 and has worked full time at Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide in Parnell for nearly two years. Michael is a paid intern at the company since graduating last year. Along with other team members, Leah and Michael were able to collaborate on the Billy Apple Cider project. Leah says “Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide has had a great working relationship with Billy for over ten years, and as a company that champions the arts, we love working with Billy. She continues “Billy Apple Cider came about as a perfect marriage between art and product. Billy is a 'brand looking for a product'. Saatchi's Worldwide Director of Design, Derek Lockwood led and funded the project, allowing the studio to design and market the product and launch the cider to coincide with the artist’s retrospective exhibition.”
Talking about the design process, Michael comments, “I first met with Billy in the initial briefing for the Billy Apple Cider website. Billy was excited by the idea that a web page could have an aesthetic similar to a piece of print or artwork and still be highly functional. It has been one of my favourite projects to work on alongside the social media campaign. I had the chance to discuss his design rules and restrictions, as with all of Billy's work every element is critically measured out and placed according to the golden ratio (a formula closely followed throughout his work). I have become fascinated with this design style, every negative space is questioned with all elements accurately measured out.”
Michael continues: “with the knowledge that this astonishing body of work all began in New York with the 1964 exhibition The American Supermarket in which Billy and contemporaries like Andy Warhol took the supermarket to the art gallery, we wanted to help close the loop by identifying and launching a product which took the art gallery back to the supermarket.”
When asked about working with Billy Apple, Leah says “the opportunity to work alongside an artist as he prepares for his retrospective show is something very special. To be involved in a project that allows Billy to take the art gallery to the supermarket, creating work that isn't only sold as a consumable product, but also as art, has been incredibly exciting and fulfilling as a designer.”
In terms of gaining valuable work experience Michael has found that “transitioning out of Whitecliffe into the industry working on the Billy Apple Cider brand, has personally pushed my skills with the combination of technical and conceptual design. It has been very challenging and rewarding.”
(photo courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide)