When the London-based design studio SomeOne asked me whether I could help them include marbling in the rebranding process for Saga, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. Saga is one of the most well-known British travel, insurance and finance companies - so it was an honour to be asked to create marbling that would visually represent the reputation for quality and luxury that Saga upholds.
Images © SomeOne
SomeOne’s aim was to create a refreshed identity that focuses on experience rather than age, and embraces a positive view on being aged 50 and over. SomeOne did extensive research before arriving on the concept of marbling:
“A timeless visual theme of marbling, found in the endpapers of books, was researched with customers and was universally seen as a compelling way of connecting the brands offers with the enduring value, quality, and high levels of service delivered by Saga. The fact that marbling is a craft that requires skill and hands on applications helped secure it further to the Saga brand.” Read more about SomeOne's experience working on this project.
It is really encouraging for me to see marbling, an endangered craft in the UK, increasingly being recognised for its value and importance to our heritage - and with a company like Saga endorsing it, I’m hoping that the joy of marbling can spread even further and eventually help us to move it out of the endangered category completely to become a viable craft. This could be a whole new blog post (and maybe will be, watch this space!) but I am really interested in the tensions and interplay between traditional and modern techniques in marbling and always try to keep my work fresh with contemporary twists, whilst ultimately respecting the roots of the craft - so I really relished this opportunity to communicate the enduring beauty and value of marbling in a modern application.
SomeOne started by giving me a precise colour story and a variety of patterns to use these colours in: from the more traditional Bouquet and French Curl to the Chevron and Whirl.
I experimented with a variety of ways of laying down the paint and decided on a controlled dropping of droplets in rows, which produced a more modern effect with considered placement of certain colours.
We went through a few sampling rounds before SomeOne decided on the Whirl pattern for the final designs. This is a modern marbling pattern first popularised by eminent British marblers Cockerell & Sons in the mid 20th century and then adapted to make what is commonly known as the Bird Wing pattern today. You can watch a video of me demonstrating the process below:
Footage © SomeOne
Once SomeOne were happy with the marbling, I produced two final large designs and the brilliant team went through the painstaking process of digitising the pattern so it could be enlarged without loss of quality and applied it in interesting ways to various elements of Saga’s branding…
Images © SomeOne
Working on this project was a really interesting experience - it’s given me a new appreciation for the sheer amount of work and man-hours that goes into large-scale branding - it’s been over a year in the making but it has been so exciting seeing slices of my marbling in Saga’s TV spots and their marketing communications!