The perspective of Rude, the resourceful design duo
On April 19, 2018, Veolia launched a new communication campaign:#WeAreResourcers. Son objectif : mettre en avant l’état d’esprit particulier des It looks to showcase the distinctive attitude of the Group’s 168,800 staff members, christened “Resourcers” for the occasion. They are optimistic, never give up, and always move forward together. They see the world as it should be and not just as it is. That’s how they help Resource the world each day.
To bring this campaign to life, Veolia turned for the third time to the London artistic duo Rude. Their singular illustrations symbolize the Resourcers’ vision of the world: they see waste as a valuable material, wastewater as a new water source, and waste energy as a new energy source. An optimistic vision naturally embodied by Rude’s positive and joyful style.
Rude is the pseudonym for a real-life husband and wife duo of British artists based in London. Rupert Meats and Abi Williams founded Rude in 1998, just a few months after meeting in a West London design studio. Graphic designers and illustrators as well as product designers, their first creations were collections of objects and clothing combining typography and illustration. For twenty years, their lively, playful style has caught the eye of a host of prestigious clients — NGOs, cultural institutions such as the Tate, record labels, T-shirt makers, and hospitals, to name just a few.
Your first collaboration with Veolia dates back to 2015.. What was it about?
In early 2015, we collaborated with Veolia for the first time for the launch of the Group’s new tagline: “Resourcing the world.” For this campaign, orchestrated by Havas Paris, we drew the neighborhoods of several French cities, such as Marseille and Bordeaux, along with Asian and American metropolises, such as Singapore and Milwaukee. During COP21 in late 2015, we designed a new series of illustrations for a second advertising campaign depicting Veolia’s solutions for fighting climate change. These illustrations were even used for a fresco in the Paris metro station Franklin Roosevelt. Finally, they also formed the basis of a commercial, which was broadcast on a selection of French and pan-European television channels.
How did the new campaign launched in 2018 inspire you?
Without a doubt, we found it interesting to work on both illustration and photography in the same project! It’s extremely rare that things come together that way. But here, the two art forms were very skillfully combined. It was really exciting to create a friendly — even familiar — atmosphere from illustrations that on the whole are relatively simple. I place a lot of emphasis on this aspect of our work, which is particularly pertinent for a large group like Veolia, which deploys a wide variety of solutions worldwide. I think that simplicity is apt for getting their message across effectively.
Why was your very intense and vibrant visual world chosen?
We have always used a lot of color, which does indeed lend itself to the feel of this campaign. I think that it’s important for Veolia to be able to reach a wide audience through an easily identifiable large-scale campaign. Hence the relative simplicity of our illustrations, which work really well.
Over and above this campaign, what does a client like Veolia represent for you?
It is especially nice to collaborate with clients whose work you admire and with whom you are in sync. For us, working with a brand like Veolia is a very positive step, as it’s a group that finds effective solutions for the environment. In the same way, we have been involved for several years in charity projects in England, which adds a very rewarding dimension to what we do.