Brand Brothers creates new lettering for each visual identity to ensure an original look
Working with film production companies to urban vertical farms, the studio – based both in Paris and Toulouse – wants to achieve as diverse a portfolio as possible.
- Olivia Hingley
- 18 March 2022
The graphic design studio Brand Brothers – composed of graphic designer Johan Debit and web developer and head of strategy Jean-Rémi Massery – maintains a clear ethos behind its work. Believing that “graphic design has more than just a decorative or superficial function”, the studio understands that the medium has much more positive potential than people might think. “When practised honestly, it offers clarity, intelligence and value to worthwhile convictions,” says Johan. “This is what we are looking for: to give visual identity an economic and societal function through the work we do for our clients.”
This clear and well-formed perspective on the potential of graphic design also translates into the studio’s work, where it strictly adheres to several key fundamentals – one of which is a refusal to re-use existing fonts. This attention to building new lettering for every visual identity is rooted in the idea that “typography allows us to subtly convey all the narrative ideas we want,” says Jean-Rémi. As a means of persistently diversifying its portfolio, the studio also refuses to stick to one area of clientele, whether that be by industry or location. Alongside these fundamentals, as a way of helping originality prosper, the duo limit their visits to Behance and Instagram as much as possible: “We love the blank page and try as much as possible to listen to ourselves and let our little quirks express themselves.”
Neither of them started out looking to build a career in design. Instead, Johan tells us his first passion was actually aviation. However, after his eyesight was deemed too poor to pursue a career as a pilot, he set himself on airport management, studying geography and territorial planning. It was only when Johan was doing an internship at a public transport company that he first interacted with design softwares and became instantly “intrigued and completely absorbed”. Like Johan, Jean-Rémi is entirely self-taught and originally trained in private law. Having always been interested in digital design, in his spare time he began toying with web design and development before it quickly took precedence and he found himself producing websites for numerous clients. In 2010, the duo finally took the plunge and created their studio Brand Brothers.
An example of the pair’s design approach is Brand Brothers’ recent project for the French film and production company Rosamund. Demonstrating an ability to create bold and eye-catching type design, much like the rest of its work the project was created within strict parameters. Wanting to emulate the company’s concurrently “sensitive and rigorous” approach, the type focused on “accuracy and precious” visuals – culminating in an intense typographic logo that exudes filmic imagery. But creating such a structured typeface wasn’t a walk in the park, as Jean-Rémi explains: “Keeping strict geometrical rules while achieving perfect alignments between the characters required a lot of iterations; but this type of typographic design does not tolerate approximations!” The pair now view this intense attention to detail as the project’s main strength.
On the other hand, demonstrating Brand Brother’s ability to adhere to a brief is its work for Grow Deal, a vertical urban farm located in Toulouse. The studio wanted to express how the company works at the crossroads between “high technology and organic matter”. With the type innovatively shaped like simplistic graphic flowers, the designs – whilst being both structured and organised – are a clear nod to nature and the organic practice of the urban farm.
Brand Brothers: Rosamund (Copyright © Brand Brothers, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.