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Tea & Glory by Socio Design

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity, logo, packaging and signage by Socio Design for loose-leaf tea experts Tea and Glory

Tea & Glory are loose-leaf tea experts and are described as the antithesis of fast-paced coffee culture. In the same spirit of ancient tea drinking rituals, the brand is interested in the continued promotion of slow-living, a lifestyle that seeks to place more focus on the small details and experiences of everyday life. With a desire to better express this position Tea & Glory worked with London-based design studio Socio Design to develop a visual identity, packaging system and interior signage that connects retail and hospitality experience, and that materially projects their ethos outside of the T&G space. Assets included loose tea pouches and boxes, takeaway cups and shopping bags. These are linked by a T&G logo, Klim Type Foundry’s Domaine Display, Sans and Condensed, a pastel colour palette, copper block foiling and a delicate pattern.

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246 Queen by Studio South

Opinion by Richard Baird

Graphic identity by Studio South for 246 Queen, a retail, hospitality and business development within a mid-century modernist building in Auckland

246 Queen has a long and storied history. Opened in 1964 on Auckland’s Queen Street, it heralded a new era of modern architectural vision, exclusive boutique-based experience and an urban post-war retail sophistication. The building played host to fashion shows, designer concessions, furniture showrooms and contemporary dining. However, the architectural ideas drawn up by the original architects Rigby Mullan (Alan Rigby and Antony Mallen), remained only partially realised. These are now being paid homage to in the building’s renovation by the Wilshire Group working in collaboration with architects Fearon Hay, once again becoming a mixed-use space of food and drink, retail and commercial opportunities across eight floors.

Architectural details include a distinctive fascia of curved windows and accents, floor to ceiling central glass light well, exposed ceiling and concrete floors. This sits within a district of 20th-century architecture and mid-century landmarks, a broad range of coffee shops and casual dining, the Auckland Art Gallery and the century-old Albert Park.

The marketing of the building and its spaces is aimed at what are described as design-savvy directors. Those with companies within the creative sectors, smart PR, marketing, bespoke legal and financial services, those who have developed award-winning digital experiences or are tech innovators. Essentially, those with clients who expect the structure and space to fit the nature of the companies they intend to work with. In this way, modernist architecture functions as a material symbol of the pioneering spirit that now exists within the less material worlds of the service led and digital sectors.

The marketing language and the graphic identity of the building, designed by Auckland-based Studio South, draws on the history and original vision of the building. This revolves around the modernist, and aimed at those that recognise or are drawn in by mid-century architectural heritage and an associated graphic history, and desire access to contemporary international food and high-quality services in building and locally. This manifests itself through type and text, colour, material and structure, and through a graphic motif that is inspired by the building’s curved accents and large rounded windows.

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XVIth All Sokol Slet 2018 by Studio Najbrt

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity, posters, billboards, t-shirts and merchandise by Studio Najbrt for the XVIth All Sokol Slet 2018

Slet is a mass gymnastics event and union of schools that has its roots in the latter half of 19th century Prague with the intention of providing physical, moral and intellectual training for the nation. Slet takes its name from the Czech word for flocking of birds. This can be understood in the sight of a stadium field filled with participants exercising in union. Slet became Skol clubs and spread across the country, establishing strong relationships with gymnastic bodies internationally, particularly with those in France, a relationship that endures today.

Slet, which took place every six years, were also characterised by their strong visual identities. This was a critical part of the unifying nature of the occasion. This was often put in the hands of prominent artists of the time.

From its beginnings in the second half of the 19th century to the present, Slet has found itself caught amongst political agendas; suppressed or repurposed for propaganda, only to reclaimed. The event was revived during the Prague Spring of 1968, only to fade out and remerge again for the fourth time in 1990 and then in 1994 when 23,000 Skols participated.

In 2018 Slet once again returned for its 16th event. In the same spirit of its earliest events, visual identity was an essential component. Inspired by the complex movements and the diagrams of dots, lines and arrows that guided the gymnasts, Prague-based Studio Najbrt draws a sense of fun, energy and character from complexity. This runs across and links a variety of printed materials, these included posters, billboards, badges, t-shirts, stamps, bags, badges and a variety of merchandise.

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