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APartMENT by UMA, Japan

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Wordmark, signage and facade by UMA for property development APartMENT in the new creative hub of Osaka's Kitakagaya area

APartMENT is a residential property development in Kitakagaya, a former industrial area of Osaka, Japan. It is part of the Kitakagaya Creative Village Project, an initiative to turn an area, left unused since 1988 following the withdrawal of Namura Shipbuilding Co., into a creative hub. With recent investment many of the warehouses and sprawling factory buildings have been turned into creative spaces and facilities to attract artists, architects and arts organizations.

Working in collaboration with 8 artists, APartMENT is an effort to renovate worker’s housing of Kitakagaya’s industrial past for these new creative inhabitants. This development goes beyond architecture, also encompassing contemporary art, product design and lighting, new technology, interior design and landscaping. APartMENT is made up of three floors, has 18 apartments and a “tool box project” / workshop that allows residents to “edit” their space. It also features a brand identity by local studio UMA. This included naming, wordmark, signage and facade design.

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The International by Studio South, New Zealand

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logo, brochures, stationery and invitations by Studio South for Auckland apartment complex The International

The International is a new apartment complex, located not far from Auckland’s Albert Park, with 88 luxury residencies. The building, a repurposed former office, is currently being transformed into an iconic structure with a contemporary exoskeleton of elongated beams. To promote the building and help sell apartments off-plan, the graphic designers at Studio South worked with the developer behind The International to create a holistic brand identity and marketing package.

Alongside a variety of printed assets, which included brochures, stationery, business cards, event invitations and floorplans, Studio South were also involved in the spatial design of an apartment showroom, informed by the earthy tones of Rufus Knight’s interior design and taking their cues from luxury brands. This post features some extensive specification insight so be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the article.

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Hicks designed by Face, Mexico

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and envelopes with block foil and blind deboss detail designed by Face for Mexican real estate group Hicks.

Hicks is described by Face, the graphic design studio behind its new visual identity, as a new-generation real estate group with big ambitions, and who are currently in the process of building a state-of the art mixed-use project with architect Fernando Romero in the Mexican city of Chihuahua.

Face were commissioned to develop a brand identity system that would differentiate three speciality businesses; Hicks Capital, Hicks Development and Hicks Solutions, but would also have a commonality that reflected their collaborative approach to projects. Within this system, these companies are differentiated by colour and form but united by materiality, typography and layout across stationery and business cards.

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Arco by Raw Color, the Netherlands

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and print for furniture manufacturer Arco by Raw Color, The Netherlands

Arco is a family run contemporary furniture design and manufacturing company that currently rests in the hands of fourth generation family members, and has a respectable 110 year history. Arco has tables and chairs at the heart of its collection and specialises in woodwork, a reflection of its location in Winterswijk, an area of dense natural woodland in East Netherlands.

Eindhoven-based graphic design studio Raw Color worked with Arco Creative Director Jorre van Ast to revise the company’s brand identity, with a focus on its unique location and local production. This is expressed through the documentation of the surrounding area, the factory and its craftsmen. While the logotype remains the same, Raw Color delivered a compelling visual identity that juxtaposes solid colour and seasonal image, and uses contemporary type to deliver a collective tone of voice. This extends across and links a variety of print communication that includes business cards, leaflets, brochures, catalogues and postcards.

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