BPO


Here East by dn&co. United Kingdom

Opinion by Robert Holmkvist.

Logo, custom typeface and print with coloured paper and open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Here East is a 1.2 million sq ft commercial space developed by Delancey and housed within the former Olympic Press and Broadcast Centre near Hackney Wick in East London. Here East is described as an ecosystem looking to attract businesses from the design, technology and modern manufacturing sectors who are looking to scale, and those of scale looking to behave more creatively. So far BT Sport, Lougborough University, Infinity and Hackney Community College have all signed up for space.

Here East’s brand identity, developed by dn&co., reflects its intentions of bringing together specific business types and the connected nature of its space through a contrast of digital generative elements and physical handcrafted detail. The studio was also responsible for Here East’s broader brand strategy alongside Poke, who designed the website, and architects Hawkins\Brown.

Here East Photography

dn&co.’s solution is based around custom typography—a revised version of Aktiv Grotesk and a co-production between dn&co, Colophon and Dalton Maag. The addition of small cuts, a subtle detail that significantly alters character, and which occurs across a variety of glyphs, give Aktiv Grotesk a distinctive pixel-like aesthetic.

This is complemented by a bold dynamic sans-serif H that acts as a monogram and a supergraphic, its diagonal split, intersections, nodes and oversize in print, and the prism effect in motion, work well to reflect, much like the pixel nature of the typeface, Here East’s data and connectivity infrastructure and the technology businesses it is looking to appealing to.

Logo, custom typeface and print with open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

A limited and restrained colour palette of a vibrant turquoise, bright orange, grey, black and white has been used consistently throughout and functions well to reinforce the custom type in its communication of technology and a contemporary urban space. A mix of uncoated, high-fibre and dyed papers, visible stitches, contrast of paper sizes and untreated wood introduce a tactile ‘made’ quality, emphasising manufacturing and creating a nice counter-balance to the high-tech inspired typography and colour palette.

Logo, custom typeface and print with open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

It is refreshing to see an identity that does not rely heavily on a symbol or wordmark, but on its typeface and colour to create brand presence, establish recognition and resonate with the markets it is looking to connect with. A bespoke typeface can be the ultimate tool in a responsive identity. It naturally adapts to any medium, can be broad yet cohesive in its messaging and makes for a truly flexible visual identity.

Design: dn&co. Opinion: Robert Holmkvist. Fonts Used: Aktiv Grotesk.

Logo, custom typeface and business cards by dn&co. for commercial space Here East.

Logo, custom typeface and print with open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Logo, custom typeface and print with open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Logo, custom typeface and print with open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Logo, custom typeface and print with coloured paper and open stitch detail by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Here East exhibition

Here East exhibition wood cut plinth

Screen printed tote bag by dn&co. for commercial space Here East

Wafinding system designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Updated 21/11/16

dn&co. continue to work with Here East into 2016, designing a interior wayfinding system built around circuitry, finding a neat balance between functionality and play, and exterior signage takes the intersections, lines and nodes that make up the logo and gives these an impressive physicality, emphasised by black panels and illuminated edges. The update also included a wayfinding language guide printed on bright orange board.

Images via Dezeen.

Wafinding system guide designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system guide designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system, iconography and supergraphics designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system and iconography designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system and signage designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system and signage designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East

Wafinding system and signage designed by dn&co. for commercial space and tech hub Here East


Opinion by Robert Holmkvist

Robert is a Swedish graphic designer specialising in brand identities and type design. He’s currently running his own London based design practice Holmkvist Creative. Previously he has worked for, among others, Spin, Moving Brands and Kurppa Hosk.

Follow:      Twitter      Portfolio      Contact

If you liked this then you may also like:

Logo - Pikseli  Logo - Kontoret  Logo - Platform


  • Maegan Brown

    Beautiful work, and a great read – thanks Robert!

  • Kristian Bjørnard

    I want to like this, but I find the mark itself unbearable. It doesn’t feel intentional. It looks accidental, and not in a “a machine with only a limited set of rules made this arbitrarily” sort of way. The craft of the catalog, the booth, and other physical materials looks impeccable, and I really enjoy all the peripheral design solutions… but man… that H/ mess… I don’t know.

    • It does have an unclosed vector shape quality to it that niggles, but I think that’s perhaps something we bring to it as designers and not something that would be perceived by those looking to rent space. I like how it subverts what might be considered a design convention to close forms. The fact it bothers you is certainly better than a feeling of indifference 😉

  • Arthur Bonetti

    I really enjoy this project, the grid with dynamic H, I would like to see more of this. Maybe in this strong visual material the logo looks a little shine.