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There are two choices in life: follow the herd and find your place as one of the many or cultivate and express your individuality leaving you to be succeed or fail on your own merits. This can apply to a product or to a person, sometimes to both. Modern sensibilities seem to inundate us with the concept that new means improved, which is not necessarily the fact. The prevalence of the label “artisan” gives credence to the idea that many people are searching for the individual attention and quality provided by those who prefer to appeal to quality rather than quantity. While the old model of business was to appeal to as many people as possible, the new success model is to find a niche group, a group who is enthusiastic about and committed to what is being offered. Byron Burgers is known for their amazing burgers. The restaurant market is highly competitive and when Byron Burgers wanted to highlight their unique space in the industry, they turned to 101 London who tasked Designer Jim Ward with the mission. Known for his work with companies like Haagen Dazs, Wagamama, and Deliveroo Editions, Ward has a specific ability to create the “aura” that appeals to consumers who search for something unique amongst the din of marketing these days. Jim put his own artistic skill and understanding of the relationship between restaurant, food, consumer, and advertising to the test for Byron Burgers, to their success and his nomination amongst his peers for his role on this campaign.

Ward notes that he gives his very best on every project as a source of pride but admits to being particularly excited about working with Byron Burgers as he was already a fan of the product. Each of the Byron restaurant locations has their own design and this also appealed to the artistic/creative part of Jim’s personality. He recognized this as something that is a great strength for the chain and took this idea even further. Byron Burgers had worked with a number of talented illustrators in creating the artwork that adorns their locations. Jim felt that his artistic skills could be tapped in to create something congruent with this concept. While the initial idea was to commission illustrators to create works for the project, what Ward came up with was so quickly accepted that there was no need to look any further. The series of posters that Jim created can be described as somewhere between advertising and modern art with an aesthetic that reminds one of the ideas that Andy Warhol wanted to communicate, without being derivative of Warhol’s work in any way. Jim Painted and then digitized each handcrafted poster as a way of reflecting the 'proper' craft that goes into making the burgers and milkshakes that Byron pride themselves on, whilst also giving each poster its own sense of uniqueness. The mission was to be playful, fun, and quirky.

The reception to the posters was overwhelming from both the public and Byron Burgers. In fact, they were such a beloved and lauded feature that they were displayed in Byron restaurants nationally and went on to be used on special offer handouts, a-boards and menu cards. As someone who isn’t often afforded the opportunity to be “hand’s on” with the artistic side of a project, Jim was enthused. He was even more elated by the critical response of the industry. The project received a nomination for Typography in the Drum Design Awards (2016), and was mentioned on both Design Week (online) & the Drum and Campaign (marketing websites). Tim Donald (Senior Creative at 101 London / Anyways) placed Jim on the project and declares, “Jim’s efforts on this project were outstanding. His hand painted designs for the posters helped the project achieve a unique and iconic styling which led to the project being nominated for a Typography Award, in the the Drum Design Awards, 2016. The designs for this project were an incredibly successful answer to Byron’s brief, and also ended up being added to the menus celebrating Byron’s signature burgers, as well as offer cards in restaurants nationwide. In our business you always want to meet your client’s expectations but the real goal is to exceed them. Jim Ward’s work with Byron Burgers did this incredibly well. It’s something that Jim and all of us are truly proud of.”

Most of us think that advertising, branding, and these types of things are always about money. While money is a necessary part of the business, it can be said that it’s a necessary part of any business and life in general for all of us on planet Earth. When Jim Ward speaks about his work with Byron Burger he often refers to the sense of connection he received from his involvement on this project; the experience of making something organically with his own hands and ideas with the posters and later, the feeling of seeing these same posters around his own neighborhood and the neighborhoods of friends and acquaintances. Those who viewed these posters, the warmth and the humor in their presentation…just like Jim Ward, they have a sense that there is a little bit of “old fashioned” even in the modern era.

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