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Artek Helsinki by Tsto, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and shopping bags by graphic design studio Tsto for furniture and homeware store Artek Helsinki.

Artek is a Finnish furniture and product design business and retailer with a flagship store in Helsinki. It was founded in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto and wife Aino Aalto, the arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl.

Artek grew alongside and shared many of the qualities of the  20th century modernist movement, blending art and technology, and making the most of improved technical expertise in mass manufacturing to produce well-crafted and functional products from good quality materials for everyday living. The company has remained true to these values, and its 2nd cycle initiative, a platform for reselling Artek furniture, is a testament to the aesthetic and material longevity of its products.

Artek worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Tsto to build out the visual identity system of their flagship store, Artek Helsinki. The studio’s approach layers this system with additional type, illustration created from the partial forms of Artek’s product range and establishes a new set of visual guidelines. This runs across and links tags, stationery, business cards, packaging, magazine covers and shopping bags.

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Well Coffee by Bond, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and coffee cups by Bond for Helsinki-based vegetarian café Well Coffee

Well Coffee is a new vegetarian café in the centre of of the Finnish capital of Helsinki. It has a distinctive interior of steel frames and wood surfaces, exposed concrete walls, drilled and CNC cut panels of circles, large menu board, marine lamps and potted plants. These blend the current and utilitarian with the more welcoming. Scandinavian graphic design studio Bond worked with the café on brand identity. This included illustration and custom typography, implemented as signage, across packaging and throughout website. These are linked by wave-like elements and recurring circular detail that make a connection with interior design.

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Electric Ink by Robot Food, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Branding and packaging for tattoo care range Electric Ink by Leeds-based design studio Robot Food.

With the rise in the popularity of tattoos and the lack of credible long-term care products, Leeds-based design studio Robot Food formulated, branded and packaged Electric Ink, a tattoo care range for the mainstream market. The range includes a serum that enhances colour, an oil that delivers a freshly-inked look, and a daily moisturiser. Each feature distinctive packaging that draws on and honours the counter-cultural tradition of tattooing and acknowledges its move into the mainstream. Electric Ink will launch mid-March and be available throughout the United Kingdom from Superdrug, selected tattoo and barber shops, as well as fashion retailers.

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Sant Francesc by Mucho, Spain

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity by graphic design studio Mucho for Spanish 5-star hotel Sant Francesc.

Sant Francesc is a 5-star hotel located in the Placa Sant Francesc, beside the Church of the Templarios, within the city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The hotel is set inside the walls of a restored historical landmark built in a neoclassical style during the 19th century and has 42 rooms and suites. Some of these rooms include wood-beamed ceilings, original frescos and moldings but also feature modern renovation, furnishings and interior design.

Drawing on the symbol of the Templarios, and taking inspiration from the colours and textures of the island, design studio Mucho developed a brand identity for the hotel that conveys something of its modern urban interior, its history and location. This comes through in type and marque, colour and pattern, and in the variety and combination of materials across brochures, stationery, business cards, menus and signage.

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