Despite sitting firmly within the long list of creative disciplines, it’s rare that the practice of architecture interacts with another sector of creativity. Although considered art to some, it’s not often you’ll see an architect and illustrator or animator collaborate, instead they often turn to the safe pair of hands graphic designer can offer to work on an identity design. Naranjo-Exteberria (N-E) was recently tasked with not working with an architecture practice on the wayfinding systems of a building as one would suspect, but designing its actual identity – designing its design work.
Working with Paloma Canizares, an international practice established in 2004 spanning architecture, interior design, product editing and trend consultancy, N-E was keen to keep graphic elements simple, as there was already enough in the mix. And while its identity is more of a graphic structure that gives Paloma Canizares’ own creative work room to breathe, the studio was keen that its main concept provided “a visual impact at first glance”.
As a result, N-E settled on a concept which represents “the first impact and the quest for beauty in what is different and rare, as well as experimentation,” the studio continues. “It is an attitude against the established, trying to be unconventional and work through an outsider’s approach.”
This overarching concept then spurred artistic reference and inspiration. While the project was still in development, Ed Ruscha’s work “and his ability to create an intriguing atmospheric feeling using typography and defocusing type,” enhanced N-E’s graphic design stance. In terms of other imagery it was the photographs of Diane Rosenblum which inspired the image-led areas of the identity as “her work combines a strong visual impact with a rigorous conceptual practice,” say the designers. “Her blurred photographs enhance that same experimental ambience.”
In turn, the studio feels the identity its created “generates an atmospheric feeling that takes visual perception to the limit, reflecting the power of the first visual impact and the search for beauty in different and unfamiliar.” By using typography as an overlaying structure to sit on top of photographic depictions of Paloma Canizares, it’s an identity that can be used in multiple ways, from business cards to digital activations too.
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