By Barbara Lippert
Happiness, an agency in Brussels, Belgium, won the Design Grand Prix here in Cannes tonight for its "iQ Font" campaign for Toyota, in which it designed an entirely new typeface based on the movements of Toyota's tight-turning iQ microcar.
Created by a team that included designers, coders and a racecar driver, the work was the unanimous choice of the Design judges, said jury president Steff Geissbuhler of C&G Partners in New York. "It is typographic, the essence of graphic design. It's also environmental and has to do with technology. It's very sophisticated and certainly innovative," he said.
The car's movements were tracked by custom software from interactive artist Zachary Lieberman, and refined by typographers Pierre & Damien. The font is even downloadable from a Toyota Web site.
In what was seen as a good year for submissions from a mix of ad agencies and independent design firms, the jury bestowed 22 gold Lions, 16 silvers and 19 bronzes. One of the gold recipients was "Mars Messages," from FHV BBDO in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which consisted of a Mars chocolate bar packaged in an entirely black, blank, unbranded wrapper, with stickers printed with letters of the alphabet attached. It was a "bold way to play around with communication," the judges said, and allow consumers to design their own wrapper.
Another gold winner singled out for praise was "Quitting Calendar," from Jung von Matt in Hamburg, Germany, which provided a calendar with 650 sheets, each containing a resignation letter carefully written and designed. "All proved to be wonderful ways of quitting a job," said Geissbuhler.
Five of the bronze Lions went to American agencies. They were: The Brand Union/New York, for the design of the "House of Barbie," the Barbie flagship store in Shanghai, China, for Mattel; Wolf Olins, New York, for a rebrand of AOL; R/GA, New York, for the Nook e-reader for Barnes & Noble; Alec Brownstein, New York, for "The Google Job Experiment," and BBDO, New York, for HBOImagine.com.
Asked what they thought of the Cannes bag this year, a pedestrian messenger bag that has gotten disappointed reviews from delegates, the judges laughed and squirmed. Mun Tuck Wai, a judge from BBDO Malaysia, said "Uniqlo did a wonderful job with the T-shirt this year. It would be interesting to see what they could do for a bag."