The Brand Identity

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Studio Crême is a London-based creative practice that has created identities for beer brands, music festivals and clothing companies, to name just a few. As an antidote to fast-paced client briefs, they’ve launched Éditions, a platform for collaboration, characterised by their creative partners. The platform’s first project is Elemental Bodies, a photographic series created with Imogen Frost and Adam Goodison. We caught up with Studio Crême founder James Earls to find out more.

The Brand Identity: What inspired you to start Éditions?

James Earls: We wanted to create a space where output was not driven by marketing briefs, sales etc… and we could set the parameters for ourselves.

There was also a strong drive to explore new ideas and mediums that are not always the ones we end up using for client briefs. 

We were quite inspired by the people we work with, may that be brewers, makers (fashion, furniture), photographers etc…  and we are interested in turning the lens towards them, and seeing what we could develop together. Rather than them coming to us. All driven by ideas and creative collaboration.

“It was important to work on something outside of the usual sprint set by client deadlines and budgets.”

TBI: “All made in limited numbers when the time is right” feels like a stand against the fast-paced intensity of client work. Is that correct?

JE: In part yes. Time is, unfortunately, a luxury. It was important to work on something outside of the usual sprint set by client deadlines and budgets. And we’ve made it part of our practice to give ideas the time they deserve. It is one thing working against the clock for client delivery, but there is no space for that with our own projects.

TBI: Can you take us through the initiation, process, and execution of the first collaboration, Elemental Bodies?

JE: It was an idea that had been bouncing around the studio for a while. The photographer we worked with, Adam, had been a key part to us relaunching the portfolio, and we knew we wanted to work with him again. Imogen Frost coming on board was a bit of a happy coincidence. We’d long admired her work and it turned out Adam had worked with her before. So it all fell into place perfectly. The concept we developed for Elemental Bodies resonated with all parties so we all aligned really quickly and made something quite special I think.

“We really wanted to emphasise the contrast between the natural and man-made.”

TBI: The arrangements of the objects makes for a number of surreal scenes. Are you able to detail the materials we’re looking at? And how did you choose which plants and materials to use?

JE: We used a variety of moulded plastics, plastic bags, and metal meshes to create the sets. We really wanted to emphasise the contrast between the natural and man-made. One with engineered durability and the other with a far more perishable nature. The aim was to create something that was at the same time quite captivating but in its nature pretty awful if that makes sense. As for the plants, I wanted them to have an otherworldly quality.

TBI: What is the relationship between the output of Éditions and Studio Crême, if any?

JE: There isn’t any really, but we hope this opens our clients’ minds and creates new creative opportunities, commercial or otherwise.

“We were quite inspired by the people we work with.”

TBI: Can you give us an insight into Edition 002 and beyond?

JE: Nothing is fixed yet I’m afraid. But it will be something physical. So much of our work is digitally generated, you just can’t beat a physical/tangible object, the emotional quality to it. It could be a piece of furniture, sculpture, or even a beer 🙂 It is very likely that we will make one of those with our long term collaborator, Three Hills (hint hint).

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