Helsinki-based agency Prakt were brought on board to design the identity for the tenth anniversary of the Mikkeli Illustration Triennial in Finland – no mean feat for an agency whose instinct might be to turn to illustration to get their message across. “The triennial went back to its roots: all techniques and themes were welcome in the competition,” founder Matti Tuominen explains. “We didn’t want to create more illustrations for the exhibition already showcasing the best Finnish illustrations.”
Instead, they came up a smart solution, creating a fully functional custom typeface from the kinds of equipment the competing creatives might be using. “The solution was based on custom lettering formed with different picture-making tools and materials. With this typographic approach, we created hybrids of pictures and letters to carry the identity embedded into the text written with the ‘tools’."
The resulting identity is playful and lively without being in your face – rollers, rulers, marker pens and protractors make for recognisable and impactful lettering on both large format signage, and smaller elements like stationery and the exhibition catalogue, on which an emboss adds a tactile finish. Pat on the back to Prakt for navigating a tricky brief with aplomb, and for proving that using stationery to spell out letters can go way beyond writing “BOOBIES” upside down on a calculator.