BPO


Hands On: Critical Mass by Foreign Policy

Opinion by Richard Baird

Design and publishing by Singapore-based Foreign Policy for brand, art and cultural magazine Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a biannual magazine that explores a brand’s ripple effect across the globe, from patterns in consumer spending to environmental implications. It intends to showcase, in its curation, commissioning and design, how a brand’s living legacies extend beyond mere aesthetics and profit margins in the face of fast-moving and ever-changing global consumerism. Issue 1 explores the lines blurred between artistic expression and commercial endeavour in a series of texts around Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama approached from a variety of angles by different authors.

The magazine is designed and published by Singapore-based design studio and think tank Foreign Policy and takes the form of a slim staple bound booklet of 32 pages. Although light, it is an insightful document that is materially and graphically distinct. Texts move comfortably between the micro and the meta, complete easy reads and those that are more challenging, propositions for continued thought. There is pleasing breadth drawn from a singular focus.

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85 Spring Street by Studio Ongarato

Opinion by Richard Baird

85 Spring St is a residential property development of 132 apartments by Golden Age Group, designed by Bates Smart and located in the Australian city of Melbourne. It will be marked by its total work of art philosophy, or Gesamtkunstwerk, which embraces a multitude of artworks to compose one singular piece, but also its distinctive, sculptural and high-rise modernity within an area of significant architectural heritage and many low-rise structures. Although disparate in its form and height, its stonework seeks a connection with the surrounding urban environment.

Studio Ongarato worked with the developer to create a visual identity and strategy for the marketing of the property. Mixing commissioned artworks, material craftsmanship and a modern graphic simplicity of type and colour the concept captures the essence and total design philosophy of the building and using archival materials and illustration recognises and brings to light the significance of the site. These ideas link a variety of communications modes that included stationery set and brochure packs, signage, direct mail and display suite.

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Skinsmiths by Akin

Opinion by Richard Baird

Packaging design by Aukland-based studio Akin for New Zealand sunscreen brand Skinsmiths

Ki Sunscreen was developed by national skincare clinic Caci to protect against the harsh New Zealand sun, and the skin damage and premature ageing that UVA and UVB rays can cause. This is been expanded into a larger and broader range of skin treatments and renamed Skinsmiths. The range is made from the latest generation of ingredients proven to protect and those that help to control oils and maintain a matt finish. This balance of clinical effectiveness and cosmetic mindfulness is expressed by its graphic identity, created by Auckland studio Akin, in the meeting of a bold black logotype and in the material interaction and contrast between uncoated paper and distinctive glossy print finish.

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