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MOAA Architects by Inhouse, New Zealand

Opinion by Richard Baird

Graphic identity and branded notepads by In-house for New Zealand's MOAA Architects

MOAA Architects was founded in 2010. It has an office in Hamilton, New Zealand, and a portfolio of new builds and renovations that span the residential, education, commercial and public sectors. Highlights include their work on St. Johns Church, a square plan rotated 9 degrees off the street grid, and Piako House, a renovation and extension of 1940s domestic planning to meet a 21st century lifestyle.

MOAA Architects have a passion for ideas and people. An ethos rooted in reduction and a responsiveness to client needs. And an approach that seeks out innovation yet remains friendly and accessible. This is expressed by a flexible new graphic identity of modular play and variety, and a bright yellow and cool grey colour palette designed by Inhouse. This post was updated November 2017 to include images of Inhouse’s work on MOAA Architect’s website.

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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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Two of Us

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Headed paper for British brand identity design studio Two of Us

Two of Us is a new British design studio run by Ash O’Brien and Ian Caulkett working from Brighton and Birmingham. Together they specialise in brand identity design, have a philosophy that is based around an honesty and openness in the sharing of feedback, and individual styles and skill sets that when working together complement each other. As an alternative to large studios, the duo choose to pick out the small-scale and personal two-man nature of their business with a simple naming strategy and visualised as a contrast of type detail, type size and of colour. this runs across business cards, letterhead, parcel stickers and website.

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