Identity Designed is a showcase of brand identity projects from around the world.

hmv Christmas

Contributed by Karen Leung of London-based venturethree.

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

From gorgeous records to snazzy headphones, chunky old VHS to shiny Blu-rays, hmv has been making Christmases brilliant for nearly a century. They wanted a campaign that would remind customers of their incredible heritage, whilst demonstrating their relevance in 2012.

Working with the animation company Nexus Productions, we created eleven mini-films featuring the adorable duo’s adventures in a snowy Christmassy world.

The films will be shown on air and on a dedicated microsite in the run up to the Christmas period. The characters will also appear on in-store and press creative, an online game, and as sculptures in the window of their flagship Oxford Street store.

hmv Nipper Francis Barraud

The iconic dog and gramophone logo was originally taken from an 1899 painting by Francis Barraud (above) and has appeared on hmv campaigns for over ninety years. This is the first time that both characters have been brought to life in this way.

Mark Robertson, head of brand at hmv commented, “Nipper and Gramophone have been at the heart of the hmv brand from the beginning. They are known and loved throughout the world, and we felt that the time was right for them to take centre-stage.”

Jason Lowings, creative director at venturethree added, “hmv is home to the world’s best entertainment, so we wanted their Christmas campaign to be entertaining. Their unique logo was a great starting point, but we had to do more than make Nipper and Gramophone move – we had to create two lovable characters with their own special personalities.”

The first set of mini-films can be found here: Nipper and Gramophones Christmas Tales.

More will be launched in the run-up to the big day, including some surprise collaborations with hmv’s partners.

What venturethree did

The concept and characters were created by venturethree, with the further character development and film direction handled by Fx Goby, an award-winning director at Nexus Productions.

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone pose

hmv Nipper and Gramophone bags

View more brand identity work on the venturethree website.

venturethree elsewhere on Identity Designed: Little Chef, and XL.

Just the one appreciated comment about “hmv Christmas”

  1. Wow, well this is pushing the boundaries of what amounts to an identity for the site, isn’t it?

    As far as the animation goes, Nexus never really get it wrong as far as I’m concerned. As for traditional static design elements go, this builds on the established hmv brand ingredients – the rounded helvetica, the magenta/ruby colour and, of course, the logo.

    I’m sure we are all familiar with carrying brand elements into environments such as animation, but what is interesting is the claim that essentially the brand is a living, breathing, dynamic, moving thing. I imagine this will be a common attitude in the future. We’ve already seen a lot of identities, and this site is testimony, which pertain to the notion of the multiple, dynamic logo. This approach as been around for a long time, but has been quite the fad recently. If we follow this as a greater trend though, it points in the direction of motion-heavy identities. With screen based interaction, not to mention the rise of media such as electronic billboards (I’m seeing more of them anyway) then this makes sense. The old tools won’t be redundant (typography, colour, form etc) but the platform will.

    The question is, on the basis of what is shown here (i.e. in physical print we only have a bag), can we regard an animation-led campaign as an identity?

    I would say ‘yes’, but it will be interesting how we catalogue and evaluate it.

Share a thought?

Comments may be edited or deleted if the moderator doesn't like the cut of your jib (quite unlikely).