How do you get creative types to look at a smartphone that’s not an iPhone? The answer for Vodafone was to engage the illustration skills of New York-based design studio Vault49 to remind viewers that Apple’s handset isn’t the only sleek and stylish model on the market – and that it has some strong competition from BlackBerry.


The commission came from agency Inferno, who wanted a campaign for Vodafone to promote the latest range of BlackBerry handsets: Bold, Curve, Pearl and Storm.

The designs were to be used across press and web ads, and in Vodafone stores. A prospective part of the campaign was also an animation pushing the BlackBerry Storm, which would be used online and in stores. The campaign was commissioned to be used by Vodafone in the UK, with the option to use it across Europe.

Vault49’s brief was to design pieces for each of the four phones – using styles that highlight the model’s key features and would attract that model’s potential customers.


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The studio then had to draw elements from each to create a typographic piece around the words ‘Welcome to Everything’ with a united style.

“Each phone has a unique identity, and Inferno provided us with a list of key characteristics of the products and their target audience,” says Vault49’s co-founder, John Glasgow, who was the creative director on the project. From these lists, Vault49 developed a concept for the images for the BlackBerry Bold (Director), Curve (Explorer), Pearl (Juggler), and Storm (Inventor).

Beyond having to represent the individual strengths of each phone, Vault49 was given an open brief, with plenty of creative scope to develop its ideas as it saw fit. The team really appreciated the creative freedom that Inferno gave it.