Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week.
Perdiz is a Spanish publication that bills itself as a “mag about things that make people happy.” The art direction and design work, courtesy of studio Querida certainly keeps us happy; and the content sounds great to boot for this latest issue, Perdiz #9.
According to editor Marta Puigdemasa, the issue is “as full of great stories as ever—such as that of a retired computer programmer who found fame by becoming a professional corpse for TV and film. We also cover a dating service for ‘preppers’—people who are getting ready for the Apocalypse, the planet’s most prolific maze-designer, the benefits of silence, and an ultramarathon that’s extreme even for extreme sports junkies (that doesn’t make it any less fun, of course).”
Perdiz certainly has its wits about it in the commissioning stakes, with illustrations by Patrik Mollwing, Pepa Prieto and cover-artist Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, and a selection of “the best bad art in the world.”
Gordon House is the designers designer you didn’t know you knew, as we discussed at greater length on the site the other week. A key player in the famously “Swinging Sixties” design scene, House set the typography on The Beatles’ Sergeant Peppers and the White Album, and was also a contemporary of British pop artists like Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, and Eduardo Paolozzi, as well as his friend Richard Smith. Among his clients were ICI, the Arts Council, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Robert Fraser Gallery; and his work is now to be celebrated at a comprehensive exhibition of paintings and other works at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth.
The graphics for the exhibition have been created by Cambridge-based agency The District, which describes the process as “educational.” Creative director Matt Bagnall says: “Gordon’s work is familiar, but his name hadn’t crossed our paths before so looking at all these disparate works and pulling them together as a consistent body of work by one individual has been eye-opening.
“His commercial design work still feels very contemporary, it’s very clean and structured, Gordon had an eye for typography which very much mirrors our own ideology at The District. Looking at this through the lens of his self-initiated artistic explorations reveals a consistency of interest in structure, alignment, and pattern bordering on obsession.”
As such, The District’s identity work aims to mirror House’s typographic approach with a “pared back but consistent typographic hierarchy which minimizes variation in type and embraces negative space.” Simple outlined shapes taken from House’s own work are used to tie the graphic approach of the identity with the work on display, “teasing the viewer with a vision of the show as well as performing as subtle wayfinding devices.”
Nur Topcu is a recently graduated designer and art director, born in Istanbul, raised in Paris, and having studied advertising in England at the University of Arts London. His portfolio is already an impressive one, and one project that particularly stands out is his Kodak project, which aimed to relaunch the film company by “bringing back the spirit of film process in today’s world.”
International branding agency The Partners recently unveiled its new identity for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, based around a “wooden O” symbol.
The Partners worked alongside Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM), an agency which specializes in cultural strategy. Together, the two agencies were commissioned to review the Globe’s mission statement and explore fresh ways to communicate its work.
The original logo, designed by Pentagram, featured a roundel of the playhouse with its raised flag, and “had been in existence for many years,” says Globe commercial director Mark Sullivan. “The visual identity was refreshed in 2010. It has worked very well for us, but with the introduction of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the £30m forthcoming project to develop a new library, archive and exhibition space, we decided it was time to revise that.”
The Partners’ new identity has a new logo at its epicentre, “an image that at first looks like a simple circle,” the agency says. “But behind it lies an enchanting story that gives it a special link to the playhouse at the heart of the Globe’s work.”
The theater had in its possession a circular piece of oak wood which had been on display in the permanent exhibition devoted to the reconstruction of the theater. “It’s like a holy relic,” says The Partners’ creative director Nick Eagleton. “It appears to be the only remaining circular piece of oak from the timber used to rebuild the Globe.” Eagleton’s wife, the furniture maker Nathalie de Leval, sawed into the oak to make a 20-sided polygon. This became the surface from which the new logo would be printed at the St Bride Foundation in Fleet Street where printmaker Peter Smith covered the block with red ink and rubbed paper down on it to create the logo.
While the logo is the central element in the new identity, there are other key parts which also have strong links to Shakespeare and his time, such as the red, black and white palette which derives from the colors used in early printing processes. The Globe’s new typeface, Effra, which is an updated version of a typeface from 1816 called Caslon Junior, has also been chosen for its historic roots.
Liverpool, London and Cambridge-based Studio SB has just unveiled its colorful, playful rebrand for Liverpool’s OH, formerly known as Innovators Hub. The hub was set up three years ago by then-17-year-old college student Robyn Dooley, with the aim of helping young people find their way into the creative industries.
SB was brought in to “help tell their story and imagine their future with a rebrand and new digital home.” According to the agency, the platform “has been built to reflect OH’s thriving offline creative and digital community” and “connects talent with industry through alternative education, opportunities, networks, and inspiration, sharing new ways of working to equip the next generation with creative and digital leaders.”
Benji Holroyd, SB founder and creative director, adds, “The OH brand reflects the feeling you get when the penny drops. That ‘oh!’ moment when you realise you’ve hit upon something special, it also acts a prefix to pretty much anything. The identity is collaborative, energetic, expressive and incredibly resilient. It’s a brand identity with a voice, one that can imagine new futures while echoing the values and purpose of OH. A playground to explore, challenge, disrupt, provoke and do.”