The Hugo by Studio Brave, Australia
Opinion by Richard Baird.
The Hugo is a new residential property development, made up of 23 apartments, located in the Melbourne suburb of Foostcray. It is a hi-tech building with a distinctive perforated façade, and a design that leverages natural light and air flow. Its apartments were designed to be flexible and secure, with a particular focus on livability, functionality and beauty, and feature interiors reflective of Australia. This is characterised by earthy colours, wools and timber.
The Hugo’s brand identity and campaign material, created by Studio Brave, convey the spirit behind the development and the emerging culture and increasing diversity of Footscray through illustrative panels by local artist Andy Murray and photography by Sayher Heffernan. These capture the area’s vibrant lifestyle in image but also through the collaborative nature of their creation.
Studio Brave’s approach is an effective blend of culture, community and the more familiar but necessary aspects of residential property development and sale. These are conveyed through type and image, material choice, print finish and layout.
The illustrative work of Andy Murray has plenty of character, is personable, compelling and full of life in its community theme, collaborative foundation, and in the motion carried through its organic forms and overall composition.
The illustrations work well as full and cropped panels across brochure, catalogue, vendor’s statement and business cards, and do a good job of communicating contemporary culture (through its creative expression) and community (in the depiction of gathering people and families), but also functions as an appealing visual texture. Although there are many other aspects to this project, it is the illustrations that really gives it its unique and distinctive quality.
Photography does a good job of expanding on the tone and content of the illustrations in a more direct rather than impressionistic manner. Food, locality, cultural diversity and bustling community activity are all touched upon in a bright, compelling and well-shot way online.
A palette of blues and pinks, much like the combination of sans-serif Larsseit and serif Tiempos, alongside the round stamp, appears current but not too trendy. Material weight and texture (fabric covers and uncoated boards) and a copper block foil, some simple brochure layouts, the technicality of floorpans, a generously spaced uppercase sans-serif and a monolinear slab serif logotype play with perception, suggesting robust and modern build quality and fine interior finish.
Although the environmental and technological foundations of the building feel overlooked, the result appears youthful, modern, vibrant and culture driven, suited to both individuals and families, that while unique in its imagery, also makes good use of more familiar and reassuring details. More from Studio Brave on BP&O.
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