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Work / Graphic Design

Regular Practice return to design the RCA’s show identity just a year after graduating

Just a year after graduating from the Royal College of Art (RCA), graphic design studio Regular Practice – made up of Tom Finn and Kristoffer Soelling – are back at their former academic haunt, having designed the identity for this year’s graduate show.

In a pitch against other recent graduates from the renowned arts university, Regular Practice developed a concept that mirrors its research-led practice. “We were really looking to test if our on-going research about how to work, and how to produce work, could meaningfully be combined with working on such an application-rich project such as an identity for the RCA show,” Tom and Kristoffer tell It’s Nice That.

With the aim to create “something that’s simple in its application but detailed in its form,” Regular Practice found the answer in combining this design approach with the studio’s fondness for tools, programming a tool that “essentially allows us to populate type from smaller individual elements”. In turn, the duo has created an identity which uses symbols to format letters then words, gradually growing and growing. In turn, this year’s identity reflects the university courses at hand in a “graphic that can be characteristic without being visually oppressive, making an attempt at encapsulating the nuances and complexities of the diverse RCA student body,” Tom and Kristoffer point out.

Regular Practice’s typographic tool sits at the heart of the RCA’s 2018 show identity. It allows the designers to break away from a traditional typeset grid, technically achieved as a website “housing precomposed letters that function as circuits,” the studio explains. A user is then able “to populate these circuits with glyphs, that act on their own as they move around the letter at different speeds.”

Not only is Regular Practice’s identity a reflection of both the RCA and the studio’s design approach, but also the growing popularity of kinetic type. Despite its use of growing technological advances, the identity additionally pays tribute to giant graphic design influences from “Dom Sylvester Houédards concrete typewriter compositions to Jonathan Puckey’s Text Pencil and its undoing/improvement of the Adobe Illustrator application and, of course, RCA alumnus Jonathan Barnbrook’s Machine-Generated Stone Carving in 1990,” Regular Practice explains.

The RCA’s graduate exhibition, this year titled Show 2018, will open in late June, with over 800 art and design postgraduate students presenting work, more information can be found here.