Our Place relaunches as All Purpose marking “the start of something bigger” for the studio
After six years in the industry, Alex Gross and Ted Heffernan felt it was time to hit reset, giving them a renewed sense of confidence and reflecting their output better.
- Ruby Boddington
- 19 November 2020
If ever there was a time to take stock and reconsider the direction you want your practice to go in, it’s been 2020. Which is exactly what London-based graphic design studio Our Place discovered when reflecting on its past six years in the industry. “We started the studio back in 2014 soon after studying – to us, Our Place resonates with that time and we’ve come a long way since then,” says Alex Gross who runs the studio alongside co-founder Ted Heffernan. “It felt like it could be an odd time to relaunch with the pandemic, but it took that to actually kick us into gear and get it done.” The result is a brand spanking new visual identity and name, All Purpose, marking a new chapter for the studio.
Luckily, when the pandemic first hit, the duo had a few longterm projects on the go which saw them through. It was this that gave them the time to “focus on the rebrand and everything surrounding that,” including totally revamping their studio space. The relaunch has been “something we’ve been figuring out for the past year or so, but client work always took priority and dismissed any time to concentrate on ourselves,” Alex further explains.
On why they actually wanted to relaunch in the first place though, Alex tells us it’s about intent and “hitting the reset button”. Our Place represented Alex and Ted finding their feet in the industry but the new name and identity has given them a renewed sense of confidence, is more refined and “the start of something bigger”.
The name itself was chosen for its ability to summarise the studio’s personality and the work it does/wants to create. Alex and Ted had already begun offering “more rounded services for clients” and want to “branch away from just graphic design” and so All Purpose hits the nail on the head. It also captured their flexible approach to projects and clients. “It’s got a real sense of familiarity to it too which really works, as well as a bit of humour in that it’s always DIY, glue, flour, cleaner etc,” Alex adds.
For example, this year has seen the studio continually working on two publication projects, Contra and Emulsion, in which they do much more than simply design, heading up the “art direction, consultancy and even editorial direction in part.” Both are projects which have very much shaped the aesthetic and process of All Purpose.
For the studio’s visual identity, the pair opted to create several logos, mirroring their name and ethos, as well as “naturally injecting more personality and character into the visual language which felt more honest to us, capturing our interests and most importantly having a bit of fun.” Their plan is to continue creating logos as well as asking friends and collaborators to contribute, there may even be “a couple of dodgy sketches from clients” thrown in there too. This logo has been developed alongside a typeface called, of course, All Purpose Grotesque which will eventually be released publicly with several styles built out. In the meantime, “keep your eyes peeled for the stickers and merch,” Alex hints.
Looking ahead, there are several projects on the horizon for the newly relaunched studio, including a new e-commerce platform for luxury jewellery brand Dinakamal who they’ve been working with for a while now. There’s also the visual identity, art direction and strategy for a new menswear brand on the cards and, “at the other end of the spectrum”, an updated identity for one of the studio’s favourite publishers, Topsafe. “We’ve loved their books since before we started so it’s been a real pleasure and will be exciting to see that all roll out,” Alex says.
As a studio, Alex and Ted are feeling inspired by the idea of a new beginning and the possibilities it brings. This will include the launch of their new publishing arm alongside friend and artist Lucas Dupuy, with their book released at the end of this month. It’s clearly an incredibly exciting time to be following All Purpose studio and we’ll be keeping an eye out to see what they do next (and hoping some of Alex
and Ted’s optimism for the future rubs off on us too).
All Purpose rebrand (Copyright © All Purpose, 2020)
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.