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We were asked to design a 'double identity' — one for the new Barcelona Design Museum (Museu del Disseny de Barcelona) and another for the Design Hub (Design Hub Barcelona), the building which houses the museum and the city’s major design associations. Both identities had to complementary and work under one same graphic umbrella.
The system is based on a simple ‘connecting line’ which is the defining element of the identity. This line is based on the unique geographic location of the building (a square placed at the junction of three of the city's most important thoroughfares) and manifests itself both graphically and physically through both 2D and 3D applications. The Museum presents a programme that integrates the present, past and future of the design arts in Barcelona. A simple line perfectly symbolised a place of interaction, engagement and connection. It created a link between the city, the past and the future, connecting the multiple design networks in the single building. We paired the device with a simple and bold typographic approach to make the tricky task of uniting multiple design-led organisations under one system look coherent and flexible enough to accommodate work from various styles and periods. More importantly, it reflected the dynamic and changing nature of the building and the Museum. The visual simplicity of the connecting line is enhanced by the bold typographic use of Christian Schwartz's sleek but friendly sans typeface, Grafik. The personality is given by the system, not the logo, making it easily and instantly recognisable.
The new Elephant sees the contemporary art culture title metamorphose both editorially and in terms of design, with new features played out in new ways. We were commissioned to redesign the magazine making it more timely, more journalistic and lifestyle, more readable and enjoyable, getting skin-close in a way, to the lively culture that thrives in and around contemporary art. One of the overarching principles was to make Elephant look “less like a design magazine”.
We avoided the style-over-substance approach by letting the content speak for itself: the design is based on the content and not the other way around. It was about finding the right balance between words and images, creating well considered, aesthetically intriguing, thoughtful and playful layouts that respond to the content without feeling dry, formulaic or over-designed. This was achieved by ‘editorialising’ the visual openers of the sections, allowing the imagery of the content itself to lead the navigation of the magazine (instead of dividing the contents into rigid, formulaic sections). In summary: we tried to keep the visual language playful but transparent to let the content shine. For the critical design of the second issue, we decided to maintain a visually appealing surprise factor within the parameters of a branded design by changing the main headline typeface in every issue. This allows us to explore and experiment while maintaining a high level of consistency, spontaneity and originality in every issue.
Project developed for Imaginary Menagerie, an exhibition held as part of the London Design Festival 2011. The exhibition was based on typographic explorations of the tongue twister and the unpronounceable phrase.
We used the classic Spanish tongue twister: “Dime cuantos cuentos cuentas cuando cuentas cuentos” (Tell Me How Many Stories You Tell When You Tell Stories). The sum of the letters in both languages is exactly the same. We created a series of blank notebooks with the Spanish tongue twister foil-blocked on the front cover and the English translation foil-blocked on the back cover.
Graduating project: The Royal College of Art
The Art of the Grid notepads are based on the layout grids of famous publications. These grids played a historic role in the development of design systems and cover a wide spectrum of classic and contemporary editorial design. In graphic design, the grid is visible to those who look for it. If the grid structure is pointed out by making it overtly visible, the perceptual shift changes. By moving the grids from the background to the foreground, and divorcing them from their content, the invisible is made visible. Containing 60 sheets each, the notepads are individually shrink-wrapped and printed to scale.
Identity and communication campaign for a graphic design conference in Barcelona.
The theme for conferences was the globalised, cross-disciplinary, melting-pot nature of today’s graphic-design community: designers in London work for clients in New York, Berliners base themselves in Barcelona, illustrators write copy and photographers act as curators. We based the campaign around the images of birds (a ﬁtting visual metaphor for the theme of freely transcending traditional boundaries). The beauty of the birds is the focal point of the campaign, with type and colour pared down to let the illustrations shine. Each speaker in the conference is represented by a different bird on the posters and brochure, and the ornithological theme continues in every imaginable element of the conference, from programmes in the form of bird-watchers’ notebooks to recorded birdsongs introducing each of the speakers and even a giant bird’s nest in which the speakers sit on stage.
We were contacted by Parkinson’s UK to design a poster to create awareness for the different symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the fact that sufferers may have one or many different symptoms.
To represent this we designed a series of typographic posters which are purposefully shuffled, as in a puzzle, in order to visually recreate some of the listed symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, dizziness and sight problems.
Series of 3 posters commissioned by The Art Directors Club of Europe to advertise a one-day conference with speakers Peter Saville, Ami Hasan and Mauro Pastore: a mighty trio that inspired the title Syzygy (astronomy terminology for the alignment of three celestial objects).
The idea parallels with the three design and advertising stars who headline the event. After the ‘eclipse’ of star speakers, the winners of the ADC*E awards would shine the day after. Three different colours (red, green, blue) represent different types of stars. To emphasise the metaphor of the eclipse we glued a black shiny vinyl on top of each star, recreating an eclipse with paper.
We were asked to design a comprehensive survey of the last 50 years of photography, charting its path from method of documentation to art form.
The design is based on a typographic interpretation of the standard framing photography device. This typographic system is used as to anchor the book together by guiding the reader through the sections and chapter openers with ease.
These sumptuously produced collector’s editions reproduce and update the selection of works made by Phaidon co-founder Ludwig Goldscheider for the original 1942 edition.
Design for the cover of the 'London' issue.
The cover of issue 21, with the provocative tagline “Does London Still Exist?” is enhanced by the brilliant playful wit of the visual artist Christoph Niemann, setting a new direction in the way that Elephant present the contents to their readers.
We were invited to contribute a poster the exhibition "Timeless", organised by Husmee Studio Graphique in collaboration with Vignelli Associates.
Based on the Modernist design language, the poster uses two of the six favourite Massimo Vignelli typefaces: Futura and Our Bodoni (a special cut designed by Vignelli). The initials of Massimo Vignelli's name were used to create an iconic mark with a double meaning: Massimo Vignelli = Viva Massimo. Following the Vignelli tradition, the poster focuses on simplicity through the use of basic geometric shapes with an added typographic twist.
We were invited to design a poster to ‘celebrate graphic design’ for the Motiva design conferences in Northern Spain.
Our solution was to design a poster to help Japan after the March 11th earthquake with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Using graphic design for a good cause seemed like the most appropiate way to celebrate graphic design.
Creative direction and design for Consuelo Bautista's series of photographs portraying illegal immigration in Spain.
The tabloid format limited edition was distributed in the streets of Barcelona by illegal immigrants.
Alphabet built from satellite images for the Premios Nacionales de Cultura (Catalan National Culture Awards), used for the identity of the Awards and Annual