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Text: Collation & Curation

Written by Richard Baird

Collation & Curation by Richard Baird.

This is the first in a series of original articles that build on the (nearly!) eight years of writing reviews. Where other publishers do well to bring us the zeitgeist and explore the pragmatics of graphic design BP&O will seek the abstract and meta. This first article experiments with two interwoven narratives; the delineation between the practice of collation and curation in design publishing and how the new metrics of the net impose themselves on today’s design work.

The language of graphic design can quickly become a demarcated space of constrained thought. Is it brand identity, visual identity or graphic identity? Each of these contains nuances that positively shape or subvert understanding and can impose themselves on an outcome.

The word curation, for instance, becomes loaded as it moves from art to design to popularist term. We are now encouraged to curate our lives, our Pinterest feeds and the brands we engage with. The association, within the context of a pragmatic and goal-orientated notion of graphic design practice, an expression of purpose, becomes one of pretence, often denigrated and dismissed.

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Old Elephant House by Studio South

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logo, illustration and menu design by Studio South for brasserie and courtyard bar Old Elephant House at Auckland Zoo

Old Elephant House is a new brasserie and courtyard bar in the former elephant enclosure at Auckland Zoo. It offers an à la carte menu and set three-course meals made up of light and elegant dishes. It is a building that is distinct in its proportions and location, with tall doors and windows from which to hear the distant calling siamang gibbons. Taking cues from the animals of the zoo and their jungle habitats, and with a mind towards a relaxed environment for family and friends, Studio South developed an illustrative collage of exotic motifs, cropped across menus and costers, and transitioning into a space designed by Izzard by way of hand-painted murals.

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Varnom Ross by Bibliothèque

Opinion by Richard Baird

New logo and graphic identity designed by Bibliothèque for London-based specialist property recruitment service Varnom Ross

Varnom Ross is a London-based specialist recruitment agency carefully pairing property professionals with private and public sector clients operating throughout the UK. Their specialism emerges from a single-minded focus on searching for and discovering the perfect synergy between individual character and collective corporate culture, professional skill set and task. This is achieved through personal conversation rather than the impersonal algorithmic governance that characterises many of today’s recruitment firms. Varnom Ross worked with Bibliothèque to express this positioning through a distinct graphic identity of contrasts, graphic immediacy and personability across print (gifts, coffee cups, ink stamps, business cards and printed communications) and screen (website and social media posts).

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