BPO


Bubu by Bob Design, Switzerland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

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Buchbinderei Burkhardt, now shortened to Bubu, is a family-owned binding specialist established in 1941. It is now run by third-generation family members and has locations in the Swiss cities of Zürich and Mönchaltorf.

Bubu provides consultancy and prototyping services, curates an extensive binding library of over 2000 books, and offers a wide variety of soft and hardcover binding techniques. These include the familiar and utilitarian such as comb, staple and glue, and extends to the more traditional crafted processes of thread, thread and knot, and lock stitch.

Bubu worked with London and Zürich based graphic design studio Bob Design to revise its visual identity and link digital and print based communications. Assets included logotype, business cards, envelopes, packaging, signage, vehicular graphics and web design. This post was updated 13/05/16 with a bunch of new project images.

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Bob Design’s approach is aesthetically simple in its form language; an neat translation of the physical, universal and often unseen fine binding detail of books into a prominent, proprietary and playful graphic asset. It retains some of the equity from Bubu’s previous identity through a “ub” ligature, references its Swiss roots with an impactful single red ink across white board, and draws out and emphasises the basic functionality of book binding services through geometric form, font choice and few inks.

Branded envelopes for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Branded envelope for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

The identity favours aesthetic impact over communicative nuance and, for the most part, leans more towards utility and reduction rather than heritage, tradition or craft, however, this plays out more appropriately through Bubu’s sample packs, back catalogue and extensive library (below). Identity makes its way into the library with some neat window decals.

Branding for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Box tape for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

 

Notepad for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Notepad for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Edge painted business cards for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

The combination of simple forms, typographical consistency and a limited colour palette derive memorable and relevant visual impact from Swiss origin and service. The use of the font Maax, which moves between a familiar sans-serif practicality and unusual character reduction (check out the t’s, r’s and s’s online), edge painted business cards, the way bind inspired patterns are used across box tape, the seal of envelopes (binds in their own right) and the lines of the notepad, layer the identity with moments of play and creativity with plenty of room for development.

Packaging for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Updated 13/05/16 – Bob Design have updated their site with a variety of new assets that see the identity broaden, from the simple ligature detail continuing in the bookfactory logotype, to the playful graphic expressions across packaging, print communication and notepads. The art and craft that felt less evident in early assets, appears more apparent in the new brochure covers and layouts.

Design: Bob Design. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts Used: Maax

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Print for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

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Logo and signage for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Icons for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Brand identity and website for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Brand identity and website for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Brand identity and branded tote bag for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

Flags for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

What do you think of Bob Design’s brand identity for Bubu? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter.

Logotype and signage for Swiss binding specialists Bubu by graphic design studio Bob Design

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  • Denis

    I kind of read “Burbu” because of that ligature. Is it just me? Anyways, love those patterns on envelopes!

    • Me too… now I cannot unsee the ‘r’. Aside from that, the center draws too much attention for me. The outer letters seems isolated. I desperately want to kern them in a bit tighter. And vertically, there is a number 5 that won’t leave me alone. I like the font and love the envelopes, I think the logo could have been tweaked a bit more. Opinions are infinite.

      • Denis

        I think the kerning’s fine, it might appear a bit off because of the ligature in the middle.

      • I think it would certainly hold up without the ligature. The binding reference isn’t particularly clear, and as you said, has the potential to undermine readability. However, it is distinctive and ultimately functions well as an identifiable and distinctive brand asset.

  • RyMig

    Personally I feel the ligature is there as a means of helping the identity feel more unique, rather than being straight text. Unfortunately it compromises on readability to achieve this. I don’t really see/buy the binding connection.

    Other than that the simple use of colour and stock along with fun uses of the brand across different touch points looks great.

    • I wouldn’t say the ligature or imagery is there to explicitly communicate binding, but to provide a relevant foundation for a compelling, memorable and playful visual expression. Bubu has a long history, and strong name recognition in Switzerland, and a very big library to really sell their experience, identity does not really to do this.

      I would agree, with regards to the logotype, that it does not really need the ligature. The name is strong and short, the letters bold and the colour impactful.

      Thanks for taking a look!