Sentralen by Metric Design, Norway

Opinion by Josh Nychuk.

Brand identity for Oslo-based cultural centre and co-working space Sentralen by Metric Design, Norway

The former building of Norway’s first savings bank, which began as a social initiative to serve the working class people of Oslo, now houses Sentralen, a mixed-use cultural centre. Sentralen continues in the traditions of the bank, functioning as a hub for innovators concerned with and looking to address present day societal issues.

The centre houses over 350 tenants working in cultural production, while also accommodating business needs through small meeting spaces and venues for conferences. It also intends to bring the neighbourhood to life with activities throughout the week in one of its six performing arts venues, a classic cocktail bar and restaurant with a menu of contemporary Norwegian dishes.

Scandinavian studio Metric Design was responsible for the visual identity design of Sentralen (main entity), Sentralen UNG (youth) and Sentralen Restaurant (plus bar & cafeteria), as was well as way-finding program and website which connects guests with all there is to experience at the centre. While a comprehensive project, this article focuses on visual identity and way-finding components, and was kindly written by New York-based Canadian freelance designer, writer and educator Josh Nychuk.

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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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Giant by Also Design, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity for Chicago restaurant Giant by Also Design, United States

Giant is a restaurant on Chicago’s Armitage Avenue with a menu of what is described as unpretentious Midwestern food. It is a small and intimate space with a contemporary and utilitarian interior of solid wood tables, simple chairs, brick and wood panelled walls, and chipboard skirting. Giant’s brand identity, designed by Also and extending across business cards, website, signage and menus, is an articulation of the the restaurant’s tongue-in-cheek name and plays against its modest interior space through type, typesetting and image.

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