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Studio Showcase: Blok

Selected by Richard Baird.

Studio Showcase: Blok

A continually updated gallery of graphic design work created by Canadian design studio Blok reviewed and published on BP&O. Blok was founded in 1998, and in their own words, seek out the normal, the abnormal, the mundane, the exciting, the current, the obsolete, the inspiring and the disheartening, and then use and develop these discoveries into compelling ways to move people.

BP&O has been following and writing about Blok since 2012. There is a clarity and communicate immediacy to their work. Form, colour and type coalesce to form striking and provocative visual expressions grounded in the essential truths of the brands they work with.

Highlights include their work for architecture studio Superkul. This began as a book in which to clarify and bring to light, through words, image and materiality, the values and philosophies that unit their broad portfolio of private homes and commercial spaces. Unwrapping the shrink wrapping, giving air to this book, sees it come to life as the french folds aerate. This was book serves as a strategic, emotional and occasionally philosophical foundation that went on to inform graphic identity.

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Studio Showcase: Bond

Selected by Richard Baird.

A continually updated gallery of graphic design work created by Bond reviewed and published on BP&O. Bond was founded in 2009 by Jesper Bange, Aleksi Hautamäki and Arttu Salovaara. They began with an office in Helsinki, expanding later to include offices in Abu Dhabi (2003) and London (2015), and this year (2018) opened their fourth office in the Estonian city of Tallin.

BP&O has been following and writing about Bond since 2012, finding their work to confidently move between the reductive and iconic and the rich and illustrative. Occasionally it can be austere and geometric or playful and organic in its form language, and while often visually diverse, projects typically share a strong singular idea expressed in an immediate and compelling manner.

Highlights include their graphic identity for Paulig Kulma, a coffee shop, roastery and barista institute in Helsinki. This stood out for the modular continuity that the studio established between an adaptable multi-functional space of moveable furniture, and a flexible system of graphic cubes and squares, and the way these interact in print and throughout the space.

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BP&O Collections — Business Cards for Architects

Selected by Richard Baird.

A continually updated collection of business cards designed as part of a broader graphic identity programme for architects and architectural studios, reviewed and published on BP&O. Between them, these typically explore architectural enduring considerations and express these graphically and/or materially.

This post moves between a simple use of type and arrangement to those employing dyed boards and print finishes to call to mind architectural materials, processes and principles. Light and shade, the framing of space and a play with light and shade are recurring motifs, yet are weaved together, alongside other assets, to create a distinctive identity. Occasionally this breakaway with an unusual and unexpected use of colour, serving to differentiate and emote. Check out plenty more at BP&O – Collections or subscribe to the series here.

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