As one of the most respected art schools in the world, London’s Royal College of Art combines a strong creative heritage with a responsibility to help drive and develop cutting-edge art and design practice. It’s this dual function which informs this brilliant identity for the RCA’s summer show, designed by recent graduates Giulia Garbin and Jack Llewellyn.
They have taken six historic woodblock typefaces – used by generations of the pair’s predecessors – and reappropriated them into a clean, colourful set of visuals which correspond to the different schools which make up the RCA – Architecture, Communication, Design, Fine Art, Humanities and Material. Built on a respect for RCA history and the students who went before them, Giulia and Jack have brought these woodblocks into contemporary use, framing the work of the generation of talent the RCA is about to unleash on the world.
Working closely with legendary technician Ian Gabb, aka The Letterpress Monster, the duo produced lots of printed variations on the six typefaces to reflect the imperfection and unpredictability of the process involved. These were then scanned and layered to create an identity which links past and present with skill, style and eloquence, and can be used across both online and offline collateral.
It can also be manipulated to evolve each time it’s used and adapted to different environments; a neat nod to the constant dynamism at play in the RCA.
Giulia and Jack said: “Our aim was to create something simple, bold and vibrant, but subtly constructed around an in-depth system inspired by the dynamic relationship between the students, the college and its history. The technical challenge was designing visual elements based in analogue processes, which we could keep consistent and appropriate across a variety of media without losing the quality of the physical originals.”
It’s Nice That is proud to be media partner for Show RCA 2014, which runs until 29 June at the Royal College of Art’s Battersea and Kensington campuses. For more information visit the dedicated website.
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.