Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 12 November 2018
Everlea is a new property development described as a private sanctuary of townhouses located in the Melbourne suburb of Keysborough, an expanding community marked by its space and natural surroundings of native trees, shrubs, parkland and a landscaped network of safe pedestrianised streets. Developed by SB&G, working in collaboration with Bruce Henderson Architects, landscape architects Tract and Kathy Demos, Everlea “offers a pairing of design expertise guided by a vision of individuality.” Naming and visual identity, designed by Studio Brave, is based around the notions of “establishing an authentic life”, “the everlasting landscape” and “space to grow”, and touches upon the themes of family, home, community and environment. This is expressed through a series of commissioned illustrations by UK artist Tom Abbiss Smith. These illustrations link every customer touchpoint, from bound booklets to binder to single house-style sheets and website.
Although “everlasting landscape”, “space to grow” and “establishing an authentic life” could be understood as three separate conceptual avenues to explore, the resulting visual expression feels like these are neatly resolved, either implicitly and explicitly.
An illustrative approach sits comfortably within the context of contemporary family living in the suburbs, moving between the individual, creative expression and authenticity of a spontaneous child-like play, natural environment and growth. These are vibrant and well-composed with a pleasant balance of solid colour and natural texture, the graphic and the suggestion of the material, the strokes of a brush and an almost geographical quality.
The promotional interior shots of the apartments, the choice of fixtures and fittings, show a strong favour for wood, an immediate connection to nature through window shape and landscaping, and exposed metal framework. These speak of modern functional living space meeting natural living, while the super-wide photography across double page spread really emphasises a sense of space. Illustration, and particularly colour, introduce an element of contemporary creative lifestyle, the vibrancy of modern family life. These are bold and confident gestures with an individuality and character in their breadth yet a clear continuity in terms of concept, style, texture and motion.
The wordmark is curious and slightly awkward in its ea ligature and in the terminals of the E adjusted to match the V. It is distinct, has character, an approachability to it and a cut quality that ties in with woodcraft and natural landscape. This is then emphasised in its large proportionality and in the leaf green of the folder. This is far away from the implications of the off-the-shelf or super-luxury and well-weighted for the family. More work by Studio Brave on BP&O.
Design: Studio Brave. Illustration: Tom Abbiss Smith. Opinion: Richard Baird.