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Arco by Raw Color, the Netherlands

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and print for furniture manufacturer Arco by Raw Color, The Netherlands

Arco is a family run contemporary furniture design and manufacturing company that currently rests in the hands of fourth generation family members, and has a respectable 110 year history. Arco has tables and chairs at the heart of its collection and specialises in woodwork, a reflection of its location in Winterswijk, an area of dense natural woodland in East Netherlands.

Eindhoven-based graphic design studio Raw Color worked with Arco Creative Director Jorre van Ast to revise the company’s brand identity, with a focus on its unique location and local production. This is expressed through the documentation of the surrounding area, the factory and its craftsmen. While the logotype remains the same, Raw Color delivered a compelling visual identity that juxtaposes solid colour and seasonal image, and uses contemporary type to deliver a collective tone of voice. This extends across and links a variety of print communication that includes business cards, leaflets, brochures, catalogues and postcards.

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Otium by Sagmeister & Walsh, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity, logo and stationery design by New York based Sagmeister & Walsh for contemporary restaurant Otium

Otium is a contemporary restaurant developed by American chef and restaurateur Timothy Hollingsworth. It is located in downtown LA and has a menu of rustic dishes made from sustainable ingredients grown on its mezzanine level and cooked over a wood fire. The restaurant features an open kitchen that merges indoor and outdoor spaces, created with the communal areas of its neighbours, The Broad Museum of Contemporary Art and Grand Avenue, in mind. This is also expressed in the name, rooted in Latin, which describes a place of leisurely social activity, and throughout its brand identity, which intended to bring the outdoors in. This is achieved using a mix of materials across packaging, menus, stationery, coasters and business cards, subtly expressed by a simple logo, and more explicitly as a large and detailed mural, all created by New York based graphic design studio Sagmeister & Walsh.

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Altaskifer by Neue, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and business cards for Alta Quartzite mining and sales business Altaskifer designed by Neue, Norway

Alta Quartzite is a natural building material quarried from the mountains of Norway’s Alta region with a unique green/grey colour, fine texture and hard wearing non-slip properties. These make it a good choice for both interior and exterior applications, from roofing, paving and staircases, to roads and walkways. Although it is material with a long history of use it is being utilised in increasingly more innovative ways, and on an international scale.

Working on the mountainside of Peska, Norwegian company Altaskifer mines Alta Quartzite using traditional methods, and is a joint sales and marketing company for the entire slate industry in the Alta region.

Altaskifer worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Neue to develop a brand identity that would run across a variety of touch points. These are now linked by the concept of “rough beauty” and the history of the material, from the hard manual labour and functional focus of the past, to today’s modern design and crafted contexts. This is visualised through a bright but simple colour palette, typographical contrast and the meeting of organic and geometric form across business cards, tote bags, brochure and soon to launch website.

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