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Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Logo and stationery designed by Sciencewerk for Cheap Labor

Cheap Labor is a self-initiated project, founded by the designers and artists of Indonesian independent design studio Sciencewerk, that began as a place to create experimental objects and packaging, then as a space to clear their warehouse of antiques, classic paintings, sculptures and objects collected during their travels and finally as a trading site to sell handcrafted items. Cheap Labor’s visual identity, developed in-house by Sciencewerk, utilises cut wood, unbleached paper and card, plenty of white space and classic sans-serif typography to convey the crafted, fashionable and timeless nature of the products.

“The name cheap labor is to symbolise the notion that we build the project with a few cents and all materials used in the collaterals are from second hand papers, wood, and everything handmade, recycled, secondhand, or defect materials. And to describe ourself Designer as a Cheap Labor. The logo is a monogram, based on ligature one of the designer’s name, ‘OCTA’ and transformed into the symbol of ‘Cents’ / ‘¢’.”

– Sciencework

To appropriate the cent symbol, a form that alongside the dollar has an undisputed universality, is a bold foundation to build an identity from but one that really benefits from a smart observation that has lead to a monogrammatic duality that ties in well with the tradition of craftsmanship and the monetary origin name.

Logo designed by Sciencewerk for craft retail and trading site Cheap Labor

The single line weight execution, space and concentric radial nature – Chanel comes to mind – of the monogram manages to extract value from something typically associated with inexpense. This is further reinforced by the white space, layout and black borders of the website and posters as well as a logo-type constructed from broadly spaced, uppercase, geometric characters with low X heights that borrow from the Art Deco period, a direction that adds a sense of retrospection and timelessness appropriate for some the more antiquarian items.

Logo designed by Sciencewerk for craft retail and trading site Cheap Labor

These high quality sensibilities offer an unusual but distinctive counterpoint to the economy of wood cut business cards and unbleached paper tags that while not as rich in quality as the products, convey the low-cost nature of the name, perhaps hint at the accessibility of the product and are clear in their workshop/craft proposition.

Logo and crafted wooden stationery designed by Sciencewerk for Cheap Labor

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Crafted leather and wooden catalogue designed by Sciencewerk for craft retail and trading site Cheap Labor

Crafted leather and wooden catalogue designed by Sciencewerk for craft retail and trading site Cheap Labor

Product sheets designed by Sciencewerk for craft retail and trading site Cheap Labor

Logo and e-commerce website for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk Logo and e-commerce website for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk Logo and e-commerce website for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk Logo and wooden business cards with heat treated detail for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Logo and wooden business cards with heat treated detail for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Wooden tokens for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Wooden tokens for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Logo on unbleached card box for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

Logo and unbleached product tag for craft retail site Cheap Labor designed by Sciencewerk

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Thank you to everyone who has visited BP&O since its beginning in 2011. As many of you know, BP&O has always been a free-to-access design blog that seeks to offer extended opinion on brand identity work. It has sought to be the antithesis of the social media platform that often disentangles form, context and content. Writing articles can take 2-4hrs and are carefully researched.

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