Raissa Pardini always knew what she wanted to be when she was little – but perhaps more importantly, she always knew what she didn’t want to be. “I wanted to produce art but I didn’t want to be an artist, and that’s when I realised that design could give me all the art I needed in my life without [becoming] an artist.”
These projects have become her playground for bending conventions and pushing the envelope as much as she can within the confines of the brief. “I like playing with rules. I love having to deal with letters, spacing, colours, messages, briefs. It’s challenging to me,” she says. While “an artist creates their own rules”, she feels she’s better at breaking pre-existing ones.
For Pardini’s own line of work, she enjoys playing with this dynamic. “Pushing my creativity to the limit of legibility but at the same time don’t over kill it as the message needs to be delivered – that’s my favourite challenge,” she says. Pardini has applied this approach to a range of designs for music gigs, tours and other events, working across posters and music videos for bands such as Snapped Ankles, Pond, Houseplants, Awesome Tapes from Africa, and hit band Idles. “Those are all graphical compositions made out of only letters and colours,” she says. “I want to push the typography until letters becoming the real artwork feature.”
Working predominantly in tandem with the music industry can pose challenges. “The music industry can be tricky, and working with other artists (and their managers) can be really awkward at times. I feel lucky to be approached to work with someone because of my own style, and bands usually trust me to deliver the best piece of work I think would suit them. But it isn’t always like that and it can get frustrating,” she says.
According to Pentagram, the rebrand was a chance to avoid the “now-cliched iconography” that’s often associated with the writer.
A capital A, found in one of Austen’s handwritten letters, formed the basis for the museum’s new wordmark, while a secondary logo echoes the distinctive 12-sided desk the author sat at to write.
The colour palette is based on original wallpaper samples from the home, and Pentagram chose a pair of typefaces for the identity – Caslons Egyptian, which was released in 1816, and Caslon Doric, designed by Commercial Type.
In its newly unveiled brand identity, the company attempts to tread the fine line between heritage and modernity, retaining its signature purple hue but introducing a redrawn wordmark, new iconography and a fresh approach to typography.
dn&co delved into Pier 70’s industrial past to create the new identity, which references the 50-foot steel frame that’s been turned into a new gateway for the area. The architecture also informs a series of linear patterns that cut through posters and adverts. According to the studio, the tagline, Made of San Francisco, is an effort to root the area in the heart of the community, after dn&co interviewed locals and found that many feel the city is losing its soul.
Brand colours reference the story of the pier as well as its surroundings, using bright orange, blue and pink alongside greys and browns that nod to Pier 70’s history. It takes Druk as its display typeface, using its solid letterforms as another reference to the area’s industrial heritage.
Founded in 1934 in response to police attempts to stop peaceful protests during the Hunger Marches. While Liberty’s values have remained the same throughout its history, its branding had become dated over the years, and the organisation brought in design studio North to reimagine its visual identity for today’s landscape.
The double L and I character in the new logotype is intended to be a “rallying cry” to its membership base, says North, adding: “Our civil rights are dependent on the effort of individuals, and so challenge us to be responsible. The special L and I character expresses the dichotomy between the organisation and the individual.”
Bureau Grot was chosen as the main font family for its “bold” appearance and “approachable quality”, says North, while the core colour palette eschews politically charged colours such as red and blue for green, and was inspired by the coloured hankerchiefs of the Argentinian women’s rights and pro-choice movement Pañuelazo.
The studio also worked on a brand campagin to go with the visual identity, which uses the logotype to highlight some of the key cases Liberty has worked on over the years, which have ranged from fighting fascism to exposing the dark side of mass surveillance.
Jessica Walsh and her team created a colourful visual identity for the women’s community app, eschewing the singular ‘girl boss’ stereotype often associated with feminist brands.
&Walsh, Jessica Walsh’s recently formed agency, was commissioned to work on the branding, strategy and merch for SuperShe. It’s a fitting project for the designer given that &Walsh is one of the 0.1% of design agencies founded, owned and run solely by women.
“When looking at other women’s communities, we realised that many of them were overly prescribing the way women in that community ‘should be’. Be a girl boss, travel the world and wear your nightly face masks.
The agency developed a custom brush font which aims to be “loud and confident” but also “friendly and fun”, according to Walsh, and is paired with secondary fonts Panamera and Bureau Grot.
Local football clubs have also been working to raise the profile of women’s football and attract new players to the sport. This week, Club Brugge’s women’s team revealed a new name and a slick visual identity created by Studio Dumbar (part of design agency Dept) and independent art director Ludovic Beun.
The rebrand sees the club renamed as Club YLA in honour of Yvonne Lahousse, a Brugge local and diehard fan. “[Lahousse] died in 2006 at the age of 91. She was the ‘mother of the Spionkop’ – the part of the stadium with the most loyal supporters. Her fanaticism was legendary; mere days before giving birth she could still be found behind the goal to cheer on the team,” says Studio Dumbar.
The design aims to reflect Lahousse’s “dynamic, passionate and energetic” spirit, and will be applied to merchandise as well as outdoor ads and digital communications. With its bold black-and-white colour palette, angular typeface and striking photography by Stig de Block, it’s a fresh and contemporary look – one that feels closer to campaigns from the likes of Nike and Adidas than it does to traditional football branding.
The logotype is used alongside Klim Type Foundry’s typeface, Söhne Breit, in communications: “We specifically choose Söhne to contrast the hard-edged logotype and layouts and create more tension. It’s contemporary and functional with clear letter forms,” adds Enebeis.
Photography, meanwhile, aims to reflect the club’s “down to earth attitude” and urban location, while the colour palette reflects the team’s core colours of black, white and blue.
Created by Paula Scher and her team, the identity focuses on a ‘square peg in a round hole’ icon that signifies there is no normal when it comes to mental health.
“Cole’s hope was that everyone sometimes has emotional issues and that everyone needs to be able to feel like it’s OK to feel that way and to talk about it and get help if they need it,” Scher explains. “I equated that feeling of not being emotionally stable to feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I wanted to create a symbol and system that could be universally recognised and take away the sanitarium aspect of mental health.”
The icon illustrates that there is no ‘normal’ when it comes to mental health and that everyone fits despite how it might feel. Set in the typeface Druk by Commercial Type, the chunky black letterforms are set against a rainbow of colours, which has been applied to business cards, stationery, the website and a set of posters which feature powerful phrases.
The Druk typeface is used again here to signal its connection to the Coalition. Likewise a bright but slightly more varied colour palette has been applied to represent the broad spectrum of mental health conditions, while also capturing a sense of optimism and hope.
For Scher, she felt it was her and her team’s responsibility to create an engaging but safe space. “I think the graphics have to be powerful and accessible, not timid or sedate, and allow people to feel like it’s OK to come into the site and participate,” she says.
The Your Space Or Mine project gives artists and creatives a platform on the street, and Titchner’s colourful, typographic piece, titled Please Believe These Days Will Pass, is a “rallying cry for hope” and a bid to boost morale. With many of us still only leaving the house for essential food shops and daily exercise, the piece aims to be a welcome break from the “monotony of our current situation”.
“When the words ‘Please Believe These Days Will Pass’ first came to me in 2012 who could imagine the ‘days’ that we find ourselves in now? My thinking at the time was a message to help one endure through difficult times, but also a reminder to cherish what is good in the here and now,” explains Titchner. “It’s what is good, such as the bravery of those working so hard on our behalf in the NHS or the safety of our loved ones, that will get us through when the endurance runs low. I’m very thankful of the opportunity to share these words again in sites across the UK and hope as we all do these days will pass before too long.”
As part of a strategy overhaul, the museum enlisted design studio Blast to create a new identity that would help to improve brand awareness and ultimately expand the museum’s reach – in terms of both the size and diversity of its audience.
First and foremost was the logo redesign, which is now represented by a crisp, geometric serif A complete with an extended crossbar, “inspired by the concept of a timeline”. The new logo is designed to create a “bold, recognisable symbol for the Ashmolean, a distinctive shorthand mark, recognisable at small sizes and from distance,” Tunnicliffe says.
“The logo is designed to form the cornerstone for typographiclayouts, signposting information, dates, events, art or artefacts,” he adds. The new logo was formed with flexibility in mind, giving freedom to adopt a range of layouts and, crucially, hitting the right notes across digital touchpoints – whether the Ashmolean’s online platforms or the information screens within the museum. Blast also developed a new tagline for the institution: ‘Inspiring minds, since 1683’.Beyond the logo, the aspect of the overhaul that arguably jumps out most is the colour palette, which now welcomes flashes of colour akin to those seen in Pop Art. “We wanted a vibrant palette to keep communication fresh and engaging,” Tunnicliffe says. But it wasn’t a case of throwing away the history books altogether; hidden amongst the grabby colours are subtle allusions to the Ashmolean’s rich heritage. “The brand colour palette is inspired by the vibrant colours of the museum’s galleries, paired with the more subtle colours of the exterior stonework.”