Martino Group by Studio Hi Ho
Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 29 January 2013
Martino Group is an Australian property developer with a ‘holistic approach that encompasses art, design and architecture’. Their visual identity, developed by Melbourne-based brand and communication studio Hi Ho, extends a simple typographic observation and minor adjustment into a system that conveys a ‘beautiful but functional’ philosophy, and unites the group’s latest property developments and the limited edition prints and carefully selected hand washes that fill them.
The uppercase formality, contemporary single stroke weight and reoccurring geometric forms of the logo-type – set in what looks like Underground Basic, a typeface inspired by transport infrastructure – establishes a clear sense of practicality which is enhanced by the very grid-based nature of the website. The character spacing and extended leg of the R – neatly falling under the T and O – is particularly nice. An N and raised ‘o’ combination through the centre – a detail that has a subtle sense of heritage and perhaps borrows a little of the designer luxury associated with Chanel No.5 – introduces a more proprietary quality to the logo-type and works well as a unifying concept with a smart location/numbered exclusivity duality. A monochromatic colour palette – an abstract contrast of light and shade – suitably appropriates the modernistic restraint commonly associated with architectural practices and timeless design. This functionality is given a more luxurious dimensionality through an uncoated duplexed business card with a tactile, Gravure emboss across a classic cream tinted substrate and italic type detail.