Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week.
Established in 1958, the National University of Singapore’s school of architecture, consistently ranked one of the world’s top universities, is still the only architecture school in Singapore. And it’s recently turned to the fantastic design consultancy Do Not Design to reimagine a new graphic identity for the school. The Singapore-based designers based the identity on the floor plan of the building the school is housed in—a Brutalist-inspired structure made up of flexible, modular spaces.
As the studio puts it, “the identity system is characterized by a ‘frame’ typography derived from the structure of a scaffolding and revolves around it, which functions as a consistent element across items like its architecture lecture series… thesis, and graduation yearbook. The use of a bold condensed typeface demonstrates a strong foundation in architecture as well as its education.
“The identity makes use of the typeface Theinhardt, a Grotesque typeface designed by François Rappo, which reflects the rigid system of grids favored by the school’s founder, Mies van der Rohe.”
In New York, the LGBTQ health space Callen-Lorde just unveiled a striking new identity by Mother Design. Callen-Lorde has been providing judgement-free, comprehensive health services for more than 50 years, and with the opening of a brand new 25,000 square foot facility in Brooklyn coming up in 2019, it’s got a sparkling new brand makeover to match. The designers at Mother were inspired by the guerilla marketing of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The bold, sharp, and colorful design elements bring a modern touch.
Traveling now to Ibiza, one of the Balearic islands off of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, the night club Do Not Sleep has a new look, thanks to designer Daniel Britton. The club opened in 2014, but has expanded from running club nights solely in Ibiza to touring the globe and setting up a record label. The fuzzy identity implies a sense of movement and distortion—like it’s vibrating from a subwoofer—and nods to another experimental project of Britton’s that used type to demonstrated the experience of reading with dyslexia.
About his latest work for Do Not Sleep, Britton explains that “the identity is jaded yet clean and instantly recognizable. By aligning type to the left and having it set in upper case, the type naturally creates a 45° angle. Using this as inspiration, I have created a wayfinding system using an arrow cut at 45°, from this I have also created a system of patterns using this distorted arrow.”
In Lisbon, the designer Rita Matos is also testing the boundaries of typography with a series of posters for musicians, artists, culture magazines, labels, friends, and fellow designers. Twenty of her recent posters were on view at the Lisbon-based gallery FOCO, demonstrating how “poster as a visual communication medium has been the subject of research and typographical experimentation” in the young designer’s work.
“For Matos, the research for the construction of her own graphic style happens mostly through the internet, or [is influenced by] certain movements such as modernism, the Swiss school, or the Dutch graphic design,” says curator Joana Portela. “For the first time that she exhibits in a contemporary art gallery, Matos presents only the work she has been developing as a freelancer.”
The show closed in late December, but lucky for those who didn’t make it out to Portugal, we’ve got a selection of the work below.
And back in the States, Baltimore’s Maryland Film Festival (MdFF) has expanded into a year-round operation with a new three-screen movie theater in the SNF Parkway Theatre. Baltimore-based Post Typography created an extensive rebrand of the parent organization to distinguish it from the festival of the same name, and designed of environmental graphics and signage throughout the theater.
“MdFF wanted their brand to reflect the festival’s programming: sophisticated, warm, and inclusive,” says the design office. “We developed a pop color palette and paired a friendly yet refined typeface with three custom-lettered logos. The identity’s flexible design elements suggest cinematic devices such as framing, motion, and perspective.” Using three screen-like shapes to represent the Parkway’s three theaters, and MdFF’s three main arms, Post Typography created a flexible identity that thrives in its various applications.