Rather than pitch themselves against each other as two brilliant design studios in Barcelona, Ara Estudio run by Leticia Ortin and Todojunto Graphics led by Tiago Pina and Ricardo Duque, recognised their similar interests and approaches to projects and decided to collaborate. The first of these collaborations began six months ago, creating the identity for an “international seminar on mobile artefacts” titled Allez! Meeting on peripatetic practices and mobile museums.
Produced by Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum and Carasso Foundation, the event was a four-day seminar “focused on mobile education resources designed to encourage arts in education,” the studios tell It’s Nice That. By mobile, the event means movement rather than telephone device, and in turn Allez! investigated artefacts, “mobile museums, libraries, cinemas, etc” as well as designed “boxes, cases or kits” purposefully made “to be moved and displayed in various places, generating experiential spaces and modifying their surroundings in an itinerary and temporary manner.”
Considering the seminar itself was constructed with movement in mind, and with several initiatives to think of, Ara Estudio and Todojunto Graphics “thought that a good approach would be to create a graphic identity based on typography that could be adaptable to various formats and applications,” the pair of studios explain. Consequently, the identity it co-designed never needed images or photos to support it, creating a graphic framework which displays that, when executed thoughtfully, a typeface has no need for any other visual accompaniment.
As a result, typography makes up the bulk of the identity, working on the project with Sharp Type’s Beatrice Display Extra Bold and Extrabrut’s Traulha Regulara, each chosen for their “strong character”. However, rather than just display the typeface in its recognisable form, the studios used a personal touch stretching and modifying Beatrice but “always keeping features and recognisability”. The Traulha typeface, however, is kept intact, chosen as, on the surface, it appears “like a classic reading font”. Yet with personality in mind, the studios were drawn to it “because of those beautiful clumsy serifs” and the character it evokes as the reader follows it while reading.
With the main visual component of the design decided upon, Ara Estudio and Todojunto Graphics then chose a colour palette derived from “the multiplicity of the guests’ projects,” creating an overall identity that can use “multiple colours and materials, and still be recognisable.”
Additionally incorporating an element of choice into its own design reflected the event itself with “strong concepts behind the project with the idea of movement and ductility,” the studios point out. “That is why the actual Allez! ‘stamp’ changes constantly in every application,” encouraging its own creation to want to move, shift and expand to new places and adaptations such as tote bags, wayfinding, and façade banners – an attribute welcomed by the visitors to the event itself too.
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