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Designers’ Friend by Paul Belford Ltd, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and business card by London-based graphic design studio Paul Belford Ltd. for web development business Designers' Friend.

Designers’ Friend is a UK web development company working with designers and design studios to deliver fast sites that look exactly as they were designed. The company commissioned London-based graphic design studio, past client and collaborator Paul Belford Ltd., to deliver a brand identity concept that would work in print and online.

The studio’s concept is described as a dramatisation of the line ‘we write code’ and visualised, rather literally, by a keyboard. This then forms the basis of a minimal graphic expression in print across business cards and headed paper, and as part of a search rather than menu-based functionality online.

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Otium by Sagmeister & Walsh, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity, logo and stationery design by New York based Sagmeister & Walsh for contemporary restaurant Otium

Otium is a contemporary restaurant developed by American chef and restaurateur Timothy Hollingsworth. It is located in downtown LA and has a menu of rustic dishes made from sustainable ingredients grown on its mezzanine level and cooked over a wood fire. The restaurant features an open kitchen that merges indoor and outdoor spaces, created with the communal areas of its neighbours, The Broad Museum of Contemporary Art and Grand Avenue, in mind. This is also expressed in the name, rooted in Latin, which describes a place of leisurely social activity, and throughout its brand identity, which intended to bring the outdoors in. This is achieved using a mix of materials across packaging, menus, stationery, coasters and business cards, subtly expressed by a simple logo, and more explicitly as a large and detailed mural, all created by New York based graphic design studio Sagmeister & Walsh.

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The Playlist Co. by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and cards for Toronto based custom event soundtrack business The Playlist Co. by graphic design studio Blok

The Playlist Co. is a Canadian business providing music management and consulting services, AV construction, live music and playlists for a wide range of spaces and events, nationally and internationally. They are renowned for their encyclopaedic knowledge of music, and have collaborated with a some of Canada’s top hospitality brands, as well as local bars such as Buca, Canoe and Bar Raval.

The Playlist Co. worked with Toronto based graphic design studio Blok to develop a new brand identity that would work across a variety of touch points. These included business cards, posters, stickers and a soon to launch website, linked by a concept described by Blok as having a musicality that mimics the company’s highly curated playlists.

This concept manifests itself subtly in the typesetting of the wordmark and in the blocks of colour, inspired by jazz and soul album covers of the past. These blocks are given subtle shifts in tonality and hue as a way to express the power of music, and its ability to transform space and influence emotion.

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Social Enterprise UK by Paul Belford Ltd. United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logo for Social Enterprise UK by London based graphic design studio Paul Belford Ltd.

Social Enterprise UK is an organisation that represents those that use the power of business to bring about social and environmental change. With the intention of dramatising the organisation’s investment in, and contribution to, developing a fairer society, London-based graphic design studio Paul Belford Ltd. created a logo that draws an equals symbol from an S, links a number of sub-brands and differentiates these through colour.

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