Moving Brands’ interactive installation for the launch of KEF’s "Muon" speakers at the International Furniture Fair in Milan produced a 'multi-sensual' space that aimed to stimulate visitors on several levels of perception...

Moving Brands: Into Multi-Sensorial Branding

What means branding to you? Something like suited executives dryly debating the perfect font or hexadecimal colour for their corporate logo… Perhaps you think of TV commercial directors carefully selecting the ideal celebrity face to be associated with a product… This may be on its way out! Moving Brands from London/Tokyo is a rapidly-growing creative agency that tries to bring a fresh wind to branding methods – by means of so-called multi-sensorial branding. PingMag takes a closer look into that, together with their Tokyo office’s account coordinator, Tom Stobbs.

Written by Chiemi
Translated by Natsumi Yamane

Moving Brands’ office in East London, now they have a branch in Tokyo as well.

First, tell us a little bit about Moving Brands?

Moving Brands was established in London by creative directors Ben Wolstenholme and Jim Bull, managing director Toby Younger and Ben’s brother, who’s also the technical director Guy Wolstenholme. Also, there are currently more than 60 creators on our list. We see Moving Brands as a creative branding agency with a dynamic approach.

“Dynamic approach”? What do you mean by that?

We work not only on two-dimensional visuals such as printed logos, but on projects in a variety of areas: the four central ones being Static, Moving, Sonic and Responsive. So in most projects, we approach branding from the perspective of how you see, how it moves, how you hear and how you feel – this is called Multi-Sensorial branding. The world today changes at an amazing speed, and we feel that branding must be something as liquid in order to match this velocity.

”Snowflakes” installation – Moving Brands’ own project for their Christmas 2005.

The letters of MSM text and internet messages sent to a special number are projected on windows as snowflakes. Longer messages fall faster, while shorter messages take more time.

I think that every single work of yours has a striking approach indeed. For example, what was the original brief for London College of Fashion’s (LCF) graduate exhibition like?

LCF’s brief was an extremely open one, only asking for vast number of works by their 500 students to be showcased in a fixed-size space, in a unique and interesting way. However, it was LCF’s centenary as well, so they were also expecting something special too. Then we came up with this interactive table that could be navigated by visitors’ hand movements.

London College of Fashion’s graduate exhibition 2006.

Touching the images projected on the table would rotate virtual cubes, revealing a student’s profile and works. Watch the video from the link below.

The squares displayed on the table are actually all cubes, and each cube holds one of the students’ personal details and works on its six faces. Placing hands over the images and moving them will rotate the cubes to reveal their other faces, thus enabling vast amounts of information to be displayed in a small venue.

A perfect marriage of creativity and technology, so to speak. Then what about the KEF’s installation at the Milan Salone?

This project was for the launch of 7-feet-tall speakers called Muon, born from the collaboration of product designer Ross Lovegrove and high-end audio maker KEF. Their brief was to present the speakers in a unique way, so we came up with the idea of an audio-responsive LED floor. But we didn’t want to make it ordinary, so we made the floor respond to the rhythm, pitches and tones of the sounds from the speakers as well, and displayed sound contours that almost resembled topographic charts on the surface.

Cool! The launch event for KEF’s “Muon” speakers at the Milan Salone – Moving Brands’ style tries to stimulate all the senses – in its process of branding, of course. Watch this equally cool promotional video from the link below!

By the way, renowned programmer Karsten Schmidt aka Toxi is also with Moving Brands, and you had a presentation at the Built With Processing event in Tokyo last month. So, have all these works been made with processing, too?

From left: design directors Karsten Schmidt, also ‘processing’ programmer, and Matt Wade. Watch the whole interview video here.

Everything that I’ve introduced here is made with processing. There are all kinds of things we can do with it when we use plug-ins, and because many of our expression styles are interactive, we certainly have more people who use processing at Moving Brands too.

Finally, Moving Brands just established a branch in Tokyo last March. What’s your purpose here?

We can get a great deal of information on the latest technologies in Japan. And we would like to incorporate the information and our knowledge of the Japanese market into our U.K. projects. Also, having studios in London and Tokyo will lead to cultural contacts through designers’ exchanges. And of course, acquiring an even bigger market is one of our goals, too.

Thanks to Tom at Moving Brands! We’ll look forward to seeing your innovative branding methods at work here in Japan.

  • Jai

    Multi-sensory, three dimensional branding using things like Proce55ing are really exciting developments…look forward to seeing more of this in full public spaces and not just exhibitions!

  • Jai


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    It will be interesting to see how they deal with more conventional clients work and how they can break out of the ‘arty’ niche they are in.

  • Tom

    Mingled – you’ve brought up a good point, because it’s something a lot of designers/creators are concerned about. But, you’re wrong.

    As for Moving Brands, they are working for clients as prestigious as KEF – one of the top quality speaker makers in the world – and members of the team are working for major international brand names independently too -hardly niche. But, that’s not the point.

    If a designer/creator can make a living and please her clients by helping them create useful and desirable products, and if she can do that by doing what she is good at, that is success. In fact, that is all a designer can ever do.

    All designers should be desperately building their own niche – ‘arty’ or whatever, doesn’t matter.

  • Bene

    Check out ‘Glow’ dance show… using multi-sensorial technologies… with amazing visual effects…

  • mason

    Moving Brands – You ROCK!

  • Ira

    Tom, you rule Japan dude.

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