Havas unveils a new issue of Dare! magazine every six months, crafted in collaboration with our offices around the world. With the Conran Design Group spearheading the global brand revamp, it was only fitting that they took the lead on Dare! #9. This edition presents a meticulously curated collection of insights and perspectives, unveiling the many layers that define our multifaceted identities. We spoke with Jess Pike, Head of Content, and Kieron Molloy, Creative Director, from Conran Design Group, about their experience working on the magazine.
How did you go about exploring the various aspects of identity for this edition?
Jess: In one of our early Dare! meetings, our Head of Brand Strategy, Charlie Skinner, shared a slide showing the many facets of one person’s identity. The person in question was a Liverpool fan, a dad, a marmite hater, a Citroën driver, a dog lover, a Guinness drinker – and many more things beside. Charlie’s point was that we all have multiple identities and any one of them can be more salient at any point in time.
Kieron: This got us thinking about the richness of the topic – we knew we’d be doing it a disservice by only looking at it through the lens of ‘brand’ (even if this is where we as an agency specialise). But identity is, by its very nature, personal and variable – and we wanted this issue of Dare! to reflect that.
What were the key considerations in selecting the topics, features and creative ideas?
Jess: We loved Walt Whitman’s ‘I contain multitudes’ line – the poetic equivalent to Charlie’s identity slide, perhaps! It acted as a bit of a guiding star, reminding us to look at the topic through multiple lenses and celebrate every aspect of identity within the issue’s pages.
This is why we’ve covered everything from brand identity and naming to personal identity, collective identity and the future of self in a digital world – and of course the Havas rebrand, which was so integral to this theme. Creatively, we wanted each spread to feel distinct – to creatively express the topic in a way that felt thoughtful and considered.
Did you learn anything new/unexpected about your own notions of identity while working on the magazine?
Jess: I really enjoyed learning about belonging and how our desire to ‘belong’ is underpinned by our sense of social identity and a fundamental desire to fit in. In the context of a so-called ‘belonging deficit’, it was then fascinating to see how brands are seeking to fill the gap – with some incredible examples from agencies like Havas London, Havas Media Netherlands and Havas Peru.
What were some of your favourite parts of working on the magazine?
Kieron: For me, it was a thrill to be working in print again – and at such scale! The size of Dare! gives you the opportunity to think differently about design; there’s an abundance of space to work with but you want to be thoughtful about how you use it. We also wanted to make sure we avoided a creative approach that felt too uniform, too regimented, for a subject that’s by its very nature so rich and varied.
Finally, it was also great to work so collaboratively with the Havas team in Paris – not just on getting the magazine print-ready, but also on exploring the different facets of identity. It felt like this was definitely a theme that everyone could get excited about!