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Brief Published: 25 Jul 2012

Taken By Surprise


In a world already oversaturated with advertising, many brands and their campaigns can often be overlooked. Taken By Surprise, a new title by global art and design publisher Gestalten, highlights collaborations between artists and brands used as punchy and powerful marketing techniques.

Taken By Surprise is dedicated to contemporary art in all its forms used for branding. Ideas like ‘you are what you buy’ are explored in the first chapter, titled ‘Joint Forces’. New York-based art supply brand Krink’s signature paint-splattered style is featured in collaborations with British car model the Mini among others, highlighting the power of recognisable styles and status symbols.

Chapter 3, ‘Sublime Statements’, explores notions of ‘limited edition’ and ‘rarity’. Examples include US-based hotel chain Ace Hotel partnering with Impossible (a group dedicated to saving Polaroid film) to create The Impossible Project, where each Ace Hotel room will have a Polaroid camera with limited-edition black-and-white film exclusively from Impossible x Ace Hotel. Not unlike the limited-edition film, American eyewear brand Ray Ban’s recent line of Rare Prints feature graphics from American artist Matt W. Moore on the iconic Wayfarer style.

Chapter 4, ‘Adventures’, explores artists like London-based sound artist Yuri Suzuki, who teamed up with beer brand Red Stripe during its Make campaign, building a bass-heavy Jamaican sound system to celebrate the Jamaican roots of the brand.

Be inspired by Taken By Surprise’s cutting-edge collaborations between designers, artists and brands – all aiming to improve cult status and cultural cachet.