Graphic designer Ines Cox is no stranger to It’s Nice That, known for her sophisticated and multi-disciplinary approach to graphic design. In her latest project, she has designed the visual identity for the Building Friendship Fair, an identity consisting entirely of logos that plays on the fact that logos often get lost in plain site.
The fair is taking place on 15 December at Antwerp’s Friendship Building. An orange tower, the building is home to a number of offices and studios including Ines’ creative studio of two years aptly named, Building Friendship. “The name is a simple twist as being becomes _doing_”, Ines tells It’s Nice That. The fair, now in its second year, comes from a “silly desire to provide a small alternative to the commercial Antwerp Book Fair”, offering artisan items at democratic prices.
Ines’ idea for the identity came while working on another project. She says, “I was struggling (again) with fitting a huge amount of logos somewhere on a poster” — a frequent concern of graphic designers that are entrusted with a surplus of sponsorship logos to inconspicuously run along the bottom of a poster. Consequently, Ines came up with the idea to “make an identity that consists of just logos”, focusing on a design element that is “normally pushed towards the margins”. The visual identity centres on the logos that normally possess very “little value in terms of communication”, subverting the viewer’s focus onto overlooked design components in a quirky, visual spin.
Each logo is stylistically different. From bold, capitalised monotype logos to lower case, calligraphic styles, as well as logos that feature symbols of fire, flowers and love hearts, the logos are impressively diverse for their three letter motto. No two designs are the same, each logo connotes a different tone and function through its graphic narrative of typography, symbolism, texture and line quality. In comparison to last year’s identity (also designed by Ines), which saw a design based around ideas of deconstructed brand packaging, this year’s identity for the Building Friendship Fair highlights how visual elements are instinctively noticed and unnoticed in graphic design.
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