As my recent profile on Hamburg-based TwoPoints explored, the graphic design studio has a progressive approach to branding. Its soft colors, diamond formations, and teetering-on-twee aesthetic isn’t what excites me about the studio’s output. Instead, I’m interested in its radical suggestion that logo design as we think of it should be entirely scrapped.
Founders Lupi Asensio and Martin Lorenz believe that static logos are a thing of the past, and that an identity should adapt to the fast-moving, continually changing needs of contemporary business that require designs for a multiplicity of communications and platforms.
TwoPoints don’t create static logos but “flexible identity systems” instead, something that’s adaptable, that obviously defines a brand, but that changes depending on the medium or tool it’s applied to.
The studio’s latest post-modern Rubik’s Cube of a logo for Barcelona’s ADI-FAD (Association of Industrial Design) awards asks, why have one icon when the typeface can function as the logo?
FAD is a non-profit that has promoted design and architecture in Spain since 1903. Its ADI has been one of Spain’s most prestigious design prizes since the Delta Awards was founded in the 1960s. When it began, the Delta medal was transparent and circular; then it became a hexagonal-shape at the turn of the century. The FAD also now run to two other award ceremonies, the ADI Medal and ADI Culture, both of which have their own distinct icons.
TwoPoints took all these past designs and overlapped them to create the umbrella design that links all three awards—it’s easy to distinguish the separate shapes within this transparent design, and with it, TwoPoints’ icon reiterates the order in which the three were created.
“But a flexible visual identity is more than just a static symbol,” say TwoPoints, driving home its raison d’etre once again. To create a flexible system, the studio decided to use these three shapes from the past to develop a modular typeface that also draws from Futura as its base. “If you pay close attention to the first printed items by the ADI, you recognize that the most used typeface is Futura,” the studio explains.
The highly geometric typeface will change and adapt, altering color and shape, depending on which award it references. Every year, the typeface’s geometric shape will subtly shift, providing the overall identity with a sense of distinction, but also ongoing flexibility. By opting for a system over the static, TwoPoints continue to promote logo-free design. And it succeeds in its endeavour: these new communications make it feel as if there’s really nothing missing.