Based in the heart of Melbourne, Never Now is a design studio specialising in branding and communication, headed up by its founder Tristan Ceddia. Working with a host of collaborators from photographers to architects, Tristan produces visually compelling projects, often with an underlying wit that injects playfulness and fun into every brief.
Having headed up the creative direction of Oyster magazine since 2017 as well as producing a neon-sign and pharmaceutical branding-inspired identity for a chocolate company – for example – Tristan explains how, interestingly, he is most excited by the work that happens when he’s not as his desk. “The problem solving and ideas that come naturally through thought, conversation, collaboration, and books – over coffee, in op shops and on my couch,” he tells us. “I do a lot of scribbling in notebooks, though I generally reserve this for outside office hours. I designed a logo on my kids etch-a-sketch a little while ago, that was exciting.”
This loose approach to creating work is evident across Never Now’s portfolio which is full of colour and vibrant typographical solutions. Imbued with a certain youthful energy, it’s graphic design that simply looks fun to make. Take Tristan’s work for Hector’s Deli, for example. On the surface, it’s a project which could have resulted in a dry, commercially-led output, but Tristan’s combination of bold typography, a yellow and red colour palette and illustration is anything but. The wordmark is inspired by former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam’s 1972 political campaign “It’s Time” and this combined Gill Sans Ultra Bold Condensed as a secondary typeface adds depth to the identity, nodding to “Australia’s past whilst reaching for the future”.
“The brand has been really well received, and bares all the hallmarks of a good project for me; fun, simple colour, iconography and typography, with a mix of old and new,” he explains. “We have a few more tricks up our sleeve with this brand that I am excited to see roll out over the coming months.”
One of Never Now’s most recent projects was produced in collaboration with Rick Milovanovic, a designer with who Tristan shares a studio. Together, they produced the visual identity for Brunswick Music Festival. “BMF is quite loose, and the concept is rooted in the visual language of Brunswick itself, which is a really important suburb as far as multiculturalism and equality in Melbourne,” Tristan outlines.
The identity therefore directly references the “exuberant collection of existing signage and typography” that the pair were overwhelmed with when visiting the area. The result is a series of posters and printed matter which then embodies the area itself, not just adorns it. Bright yellows, pinks, reds and greens are brought together, clashing perfectly with each other in a way that mimics Tristan and Rick’s use of multiple typefaces.
Ultimately, Never Now’s work reminds you of how good branding can be when done right. Each project, while full of Tristan and his collaborators’ personalities, more importantly, embodies the client’s. They’re fun, they make sense, and they look great too!
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