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StrangeLove Lo-Cal Soda by Marx Design

Opinion by Richard Baird & Seth Rowden

Graphic and structural design created by New Zealand studio Marx Design for soft drinks brand StrangeLove

StrangeLove is an Australian soft drinks brand that began with a four flavour range of energy drinks. Although mass-produced, each of these was created with the intention of evoking a taste of the homemade through carefully sourced and high-quality organic ingredients. The range was developed in response to energy drink brands who StrangeLove believed had failed to live up to their premium positioning.

Keen to avoid the tricks and tropes of the category and secure a witty, eye-catching and original look, New Zealand-based Marx Design worked with StrangeLove to improve on the illustrative character that had been used across the brand’s earlier bottles, developing simpler compositions surrounded by plenty of white space and paired with sharp and humourous copywriting. Check out the BP&O review of these here.

StrangeLove went on to create a range of mixers, organic soft drinks and source a mineral water, each with its own unique visual language. 2019 sees the brand continue to expand their range and explore and challenge the drinks market, further working with Marx Design, this time on a range of “Lo-Cal” sodas.

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The Architect’s Bookshop by Garbett

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logo, business cards, bookmarks, signage and tote bags by Australian studio Garbett for The Architect's Bookshop

The Architect’s Bookshop is a new design-focused retailer, located in Sydney’s Surrey Hills, devoted to the books of architecture and interior design, landscaping and urban development. The space was conceptualised as being more than a bookshop but a place to take time out to browse, a chance to engage with the material and form of the books, and as a place for those interested in all things related to the built environment to meet and engage in informal conversation and design discourse.

Australian design studio Garbett worked with The Architect’s Bookshop to develop a visual identity that would capture the spirit of the space, the positioning ‘a place for architecture lovers’ and comfortable with and distinct from a material and graphic sophistication of architectural publishing, channelling the universal, enduring and immediate form language associated with architectural structure and book reading. This project covered, alongside logotype, tote bag, bookmark/business card, bookstands, signage, price stickers, gift cards and art direction.

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Text: The Poetry of the Commonplace

Text: The Poetry of the Commonplace

Jack Self (JS) is a London-based architect and writer. He is the director of the REAL Foundation and Editor-in-Chief of the Real Review, a magazine that explores, through a variety of topics and lenses, what it means to live today. The text below is an excerpt taken from a 10,000-word transcript of an hour-long conversion between Richard Baird (RB) and Jack Self. This covered architecture, graphic design, publishing and the review.

RB—I spoke to Jack Self about my desire to create an unexpected material object from the work I do for BP&O. That I did not know what form it would take, although the LogoArchive zine is now folded into that project. I would use words like performance or sculpture when speaking to people about it, to move the conversation beyond, say, an annual; a common suggestion (although it was always going to be material) as a way to draw people into a worldview. This is what Jack had to say about that and how Real Review creates new relationships with space and develops a dialogue between text and image, outside of their literal reading, by way of a vertical fold.

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