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H+J by Spy, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logo, branding and print by London-based studio Spy for catering business H+J

H+J is a UK independent catering business, established in 2004, that has provided food and catering solutions to venues such as The Cutty Sark, Moët & Chandon, Abbey Road, RIBA and Selfridges. Their services include working lunches and private dining rooms, large scale food courts, cafes and deli bars. London-based graphic design studio Spy worked with H+J to develop a new brand identity that would better express their growing ambitions and help them stand out within a highly competitive industry. This included logo design, still life photography, tone of voice, stationery, business cards, packaging and website design.

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Blå Bär by BVD, Sweden

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and bags by Swedish studio BVD for Blå Bär, an Osaka-based retailer of Scandinavian goods

Blå Bär (Swedish for blueberries) sells a variety miscellaneous goods from Scandinavia from its store in Osaka, Japan. These include, but are not limited to, glass and kitchenware, soft furnishings, ornaments and jewellery. Many of these could be described as having something of a shared Scandinavian simplicity of form, lightness of colour, natural material quality and cheerful character in pattern and imagery. These are displayed within a well-lit space that blends white walls and shelves, a light wood floor and storage, with the blue of its brand identity, created by Stockholm-based graphic design studio BVD. This appears as a solid matte colour wall, glossy counter, pattern detail and display case, and runs across the store’s packaging.

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Artek Helsinki by Tsto, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and shopping bags by graphic design studio Tsto for furniture and homeware store Artek Helsinki.

Artek is a Finnish furniture and product design business and retailer with a flagship store in Helsinki. It was founded in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto and wife Aino Aalto, the arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl.

Artek grew alongside and shared many of the qualities of the  20th century modernist movement, blending art and technology, and making the most of improved technical expertise in mass manufacturing to produce well-crafted and functional products from good quality materials for everyday living. The company has remained true to these values, and its 2nd cycle initiative, a platform for reselling Artek furniture, is a testament to the aesthetic and material longevity of its products.

Artek worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Tsto to build out the visual identity system of their flagship store, Artek Helsinki. The studio’s approach layers this system with additional type, illustration created from the partial forms of Artek’s product range and establishes a new set of visual guidelines. This runs across and links tags, stationery, business cards, packaging, magazine covers and shopping bags.

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