A few months ago I was asked to create an elephant for intu, the sponsors of The Elephant Parade National Tour in the UK. As you can imagine, I was thrilled!

Intu staff and their children had submitted design ideas in a competition, which I was asked to judge, along with Mike Spits, founder of the Elephant Parade, Harriet Powell from Elephant Communications, the awesome PR agency which represents the Elephant Parade in the UK and a number of representatives from intu itselft.

Twiggi, Elephant Parade 2013, Design Selection, with Mike Spits, Paola Minekov, Harriet Powell

Bright, sunny, orange and bold,Twiggie (the design on the right) was an immediate favourite with everyone. I felt it worked great on its own but also having looked at the rest of the of elephants in the tour (there were no other orange designs this year) I felt it would add a significant splash of colour to the herd.

We had a lot of nice submissions, some very graphic and illustrative and some more conceptual, but I wanted a combination of the two and for me Twiggie really pulled that off.

intu birdI immediately fell in love with the intu bird, even before I saw the submissions I already knew I really wanted to incorporate it in the elephant design. A bird symbolises so much – freedom, flight, the awakening of nature, and of course bringing a message, and I think this is exactly what the Elephant Parade is all about, bringing us the message of the Asian elephants – these magnificent endangered animals, who need our love and support.

I think any project which promotes creativity is a worthy one, and involving intu staff is a great way of getting everyone really excited about the Elephant Parade. It’s great to involve their children too. We actually chose a second design – Rainbow – from the children’s submissions to be developed for one of the smaller elephants.

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