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Norwegian Structure by Bielke & Yang, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logo, branding and print by Oslo-based studio Bielke & Yang for contemporary crafts and design exhibition Norwegian Structure

Structure is an exhibition of Norwegian contemporary crafts and design that began its European journey at Milan Design Week in April 2017 and is currently being held at Norwegische Botschaft in Berlin until April 2017. The exhibition features the work of 26 designers and studios, and covers a variety of products and prototypes; from furniture to lighting, to ceramics, textiles and home accessories. Structure intends to bring to the light the designer and manufacturing partnerships, and the intersection of craft and design, artistry and innovation that characterises the Norwegian creative scene. This intersection is expressed by the exhibition’s brand identity, created by Oslo-based graphic design studio Bielke & Yang, through type and typesetting, illustrative texture and art direction, proportionality, layering and materiality.

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Natasha Alphonse Ceramics by Shore, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and product card by Seattle-based design studio Shore for Natasha Alphonse Ceramics

Natasha Alphonse is a ceramic artist raised in the Saskatchewan province of Canada who now works from a studio in the US city of Seattle. Her ceramics are characterised by a mix of simple forms, irregular surfaces and an earthiness in colour and texture. With a desire to scale her brand into a viable business Natasha worked with American graphic design studio Shore to develop a new visual identity and retail platform. This included business cards, headed paper, product cards, art direction and e-commerce website.

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WallpaperSTORE* by A Practice For Everyday Life, UK

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging for WallpaperSTORE* by A Practice For Everyday Life, United Kingdom

WallpaperSTORE* is the online store of UK architecture, interior, fashion, art and contemporary design magazine Wallpaper*. It features and ships worldwide a broad but tightly curated catalogue of tabletop, lighting, desktop, stationery, grooming, technology and travel objects. Many of these objects, while individually distinctive, share a sense of contrast; in form and finish, materiality and colour, but also in their contemporary crafted quality.

WallpaperSTORE* worked with London-based graphic design studio A Practice For Everyday Life on a broad range of packaging. This included gift and shipping boxes, tissue paper and box tape, gift bags and stickers, document sleeves and information cards. These needed to be suitable for holding everything from letter openers to large-scale pieces of furniture.

Drawing their inspiration from the Wallpaper* asterisk and brand colour palette, and leveraging the material language of standard packaging, the studio created a system of geometric patterns, kraft cardboard boxes and coloured sleeves that together are robust, visually appealing and add value. Although WallpaperSTORE* launched in summer of 2015 A Practice For Everyday Life documented their packaging work and recently added it to their website.

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Hidraulik by Hey, Spain

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Hidraulik x Hey, a new range of 100% PVC floor and table mats inspired by 20th century modernism

Hidraulik is a Barcelona-based business producing floor mats, table mats and runners for contemporary spaces. These are inspired by cement panels hydraulically pressed, rather than fired, with a layer of coloured pigment.

Hydraulic panels originated in the 1850’s and experienced a resurgence in the mid 20th century. At that time they would often feature brightly coloured and detailed patterns, and were popular during an era of personalisation and interior self-expression. Hidraulik brings these right up to date, applying a similar aesthetic quality to a thin, flexible and moveable PVC surface.

The first range was made up of Art Nouveau-inspired prints designed in house, and was followed up by modernist-inspired prints created by Huaman, the graphic design studio also responsible for Hidraulik’s brand identity and packaging.

This week sees the launch of Hidrualik’s latest range, created by Barcelona-based graphic design studio Hey. These build on the retrospective references of Huaman’s designs but with some of the idiosyncrasies of Hey’s own work, often convivial in colour, form and composition. Hydraulic describe this new range as diverging from but still honouring something of the modernist traditions that inspires the brand.

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