These are the five projects I reviewed during February that I felt really stood out and wanted to give them another opportunity to be seen and shared. I have ordered these from five to one with my favourite project presented last. Do you agree with my choices?
Massproductions is a Stockholm-based furniture company – established in 2009 by designers Chris Martin and Magnus Elebäck – that develops ”high quality, tactile furniture in a modernist spirit’. The firm’s visual identity, developed by creative branding and communication agency Britton Britton, neatly mixes a structural, typographical authority with craft textures and confidently appropriates an upholstered colour palette of the past.
K2LD is a small Melbourne-based architectural and interior design firm with a project history that includes individual private homes, community precincts, multi-unit developments and large-scale commercial projects. The firm’s identity, an abstract, structural and modular amalgamation of initials (check the ideation animation here), uncoated materials and a monochromatic colour palette - developed by brand and communication studio Hi Ho - unapologetically embraces the established and reductionist cues of the industry.
The Tokenhouse is a gastropub – run by hospitality brand Fuller’s - located on London’s Moorgate road. Designers Anonymous – the agency behind the branding of Fuller’s King’s Cross pub venture The Parcel Yard and fair-trade coffee range Brewer St. – developed a visual identity for the venue that appropriates 17th century history, gives it a contemporary vector treatment, a creative but cohesive diversity throughout the print work and a high quality finish across the exterior signage.
Melbourne-based design studio Cloudy Co. have recently developed the labels and visual identity for Yarra Valley boutique wine label Jamsheed, ‘named after a Persian king who according to ancient writings had a fondness for storing fresh grapes in jars, thus leading to the discovery of wine’. The packaging solution expands on the name and communicates a sense of bold flavour and craft through geometric, Islamic pattern work executed with a heavy, contemporary, single and consistent line weight, the high quality and tactile detail of a lovely thermographic ink treatment and a simple variation in crop and colour dividing each variety.
Design agency Essen have recently completed a packaging and rebranding project for TANGENTGC, a Stockholm-based company committed to the development of organic garment and shoe care products that aim to ensure longevity. Their design solution – a simple, utilitarian, monochromatic typographical approach – delivers a sense of information purity through the rejection of superfluous language or superficial graphic detail and choosing to divide content only by the uppercase and lowercase typesetting of a neutral sans-serif. A subtle combination that works quite well to convey a collective brand practicality and researched effectiveness, and the open and honest use of natural ingredients in each product – appropriately placed at the centre of each label.
O Architecture is a small, Lille-based multidisciplinary studio whose practices extend beyond traditional architectural services to include artistic installations, educational courses and editorial work. Their visual identity, ‘a solid circle with a disruption that creates a triangle reminiscent of an A’ – created by design agency Heydays - , unites the broad remit of the studio under a simple symbol with a revolving, holistic quality that can be easily executed across a variety of collaterals.
According to Studio Hi Ho, the branding and communications partnership responsible for this project, Milieu Property is a Melbourne-based ‘boutique developer with an emphasis on creating spaces of influence’. The moniker ‘Milieu’ immediately positions the brand at the cerebral end of the property development spectrum. Indeed, for those without a thesaurus brain, the highfalutin’ vocabulary is even explained on the minimal website.
Do the graphics live up to the name? For me, Studio Hi Ho appears to have risen to the challenge. Interpreting Milieu as a ‘mix of complementary opposites’ has allowed them to play with juxtapositions: in typography; in imagery; and in the choice of substrate.
Guest Opinion written by Shaughn McGurk
Marwood is London-based tie and neckwear brand founded in 2010. Its collections, handcrafted from British lace and cloth, are sold internationally to boutique stores such as Barneys New York, Tomorrowland Tokyo, Liberty London, and through online retailer Mr.Porter. Multi-disciplinary design studio Everything In Between (EIB) recently developed a new visual identity, label and packaging solution for Marwood that shares the tactile qualities of the product – through material choice and texture – but also delivers sharp professional contrast in their use of geometric form, type and a glossy black ink treatment.
Sweet Greek is a food store run by Kathy Tsaples, located in Melbourne’s Prahran Market, that sells classic sweets and authentic, freshly baked, ready-to-eat Greek cuisine. The store’s visual identity, created by Studio Brave and Elise Lampe, mixes the very loose, hand rendered and personal qualities of a logo-type and monogram with ancient, classically illustrated meats, olives and laurel wreathes. Executed across a tactile, uncoated board with craft treatments such as string, stickers and the texture of a hand stamped print finish with a single, economical, cobalt blue – reminiscent of china dining sets and the national flag – these elements convey a culinary honesty ideally representative of authentic, Greek products made from simple, local and good quality ingredients.