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The Broadview Hotel by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity designed by Blok for Toronto's The Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel is located within one of Toronto’s most recognisable architectural landmarks. This was built in 1891 by a wealthy businessman who recognised the strategic importance of the East End as the city was expanding. It has been home to a business centre, acted as a political and social hub, and used as a hotel, boarding room and more recently, a strip club.

The building, over the last two years, has undergone extensive restoration and renovation, and now features a distinctive glass structure and new floor on the roof. This was done with great consideration for the original architectural details. Interior design, created by DesignAgency is inspired by the local community and is infused with a contemporary yet old-world grace. The hotel is made up of public spaces and 58 private bedrooms. These are peppered with what is described as a witty eclecticism that pays homage to the building’s past, with certain rooms featuring the original brass poles from the strip club. These homages are set alongside modern finishes and amenities.

Canadian graphic design studio Blok worked with the hotel to develop a visual identity that would embrace and express the building’s contemporary new voice, possess a similar wit and attitude, and finally acknowledge and celebrate the hotel’s East End roots. This is achieved in the contrast and collision of image and type, emphasised by a simple colour palette, and in the variety of secondary typefaces. This run across and links a plethora of printed assets. These included business cards, menus and coasters as documents here, but also wayfinding and signage.

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Talor&Jørgen Coffee by Bielke & Yang, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging design by Olso-based Bielke & Yang for Norwegian coffee roastery and subscription service Talor & Jørgen

Talor&Jørgen is a Norwegian speciality coffee roastery and coffee subscription service that delivers small boxes of freshly roasted beans, sourced from across the globe, to subscribers based on their drinking habits rather than to a schedule. Product naming focuses on bringing to the forefront flavour notes rather than bean provenance, variety and preparation (although this is online and on pack) with the intention of making speciality coffee more accessible.

The range changes seasonally. This began with Apricot & Black Tea, Blackcurrant & Sugar Snap Pea and Elderflower & Butter, and continues this season with Lavender & Red Currant sourced from a cooperative in Kapsokisio, Kenya.

Talor&Jørgen’s packaging, created by Oslo-based graphic design studio Bielke & Yang, expresses the accessible positioning of brand and the freshness of its coffee in the distinctive pairing of small robust structural choice that holds 250g and the tone and content of illustration drawn by Janne Iivonen.

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NAU by Design by Toko, Australia

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logo and business cards by Design by Toko for Cult's new contemporary furniture range NAU

NAU is a new Australian furniture brand created by the premium designer furniture and lighting retailer Cult, and features work by futurist designer Gavin Harris and Adam Goodrum, a designer that believes an object justifies its existence through story and detail. Design by Toko worked with Cult to develop name, and create a logo and brand identity for NAU that would extend across business cards, stationery, brochure, exhibition stand and website. This is inspired by and makes a connection with Australia’s unique and diverse landscapes through compelling photography by Brooke Holm, and using a broad but complimentary colour palette.

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