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Superkül by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and note card by Toronto-based graphic design studio Blok for Canadian architecture firm Superkül

Superkül is an Canadian architectural firm with a portfolio that is described as having an understated boldness, subtlety and spacial richness, and a process that intends to find the essence of each project and remain true to this throughout design and development. Superkül has won many awards and is considered one of Canada’s most progressive architecture firms.

To celebrate their first ten years Superkül worked with Toronto-based graphic design studio Blok on a book that would both serve as a collection of work but also as a reflection of the firm’s unique philosophy and design approach. This was an exercise in discovery and a clarity of positioning which was then expressed materially through subtle paper transitions, finishes and printing techniques. This can be seen here.

Blok follows this up with the launch of Superkül’s new brand identity next week. Where book, in its comprehensive yet singular form could be seen as the strategic component of branding, one that clarified approach and direction, visual identity is the distillation and expression of this across of variety of new assets. These included wordmark, business cards, notebooks, packaging, stationery and website.

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Heritage: A User’s Manual by Bond, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and print communication by Bond for Heritage: A User's Manual, an exhibition in London's Southbank Centre

Heritage: A User’s Manual was an exhibition at Southbank Centre’s Archive Studio—a temporary space located within the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall—that took place between the 24th November – 13th December 2016. The exhibition was curated by MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students from London art school Central Saint Martins and “was founded on the belief that the heritage of a building is characterised by the ever-changing contributions of its community.”

The London office of international graphic design studio Bond worked to develop a visual identity for the exhibition that would create a unifying visual story for the different eras it covered. Drawing on the archival material and architectural components that were the basis of the exhibition, Bond created an typographical visual identity, based around MuirMcNeil’s Cut, that is utilitarian, structural and of two different historical periods in its stencil cut qualities and lettershapes. This, alongside bright colour, warm greys and material quality, links programme, information packs and single sheets.

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Lorod by Pentagram’s Natasha Jen, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and blind embossed business card by Pentagram for fashion brand Lorod.

Lorod is an American fashion label that redefines timeless basics with modern, modular construction, distinctive fabrics and vintage-inspired chic. The designers at LOROD experiment with production methods to give each garment a quirky, personal and one-of-a-kind quality, and utilise new distribution tools to produce collections within the U.S.

This intersection of the classic and contemporary, refined craftsmanship, a utilitarian functionality and quirky personality informed Lorod’s brand identity, designed by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen and her team. This is expressed in the combination of wordmark, colour and form, in messaging and art direction, and the way that these are used across tags, business cards and website.

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On Rye by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and print by Pentagram for Washington DC sandwich shop On Rye

On Rye is a fast-casual sandwich shop, with a space in the US capital of Washington DC, inspired by the Jewish deli. It has a menu of unexpected recipes that dial down the salt and bumps up the veggies, uses natural and wholesome ingredients, and gives traditional dishes a modern twist. On Rye has an interior that brings a contemporary finesse to retrospective detailing and features a brand identity designed by Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and his team. Brand identity functions on a few different levels. It works as an expression of On Rye’s wholesome menu, honours the origins of the Jewish deli in the US and adds to interior using contrast, in the weight and shape of type, the brightness of colour and the playful qualities of photography within a space of material detail and traditional fixtures and fittings. The project included business cards, menus, wall-coverings, signage and website.

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