Design studio TwoPoints.Net, based in both Barcelona and Hamburg, specialises in creating systems for visual identities. As a result, some of the highest calibre of clients a design studio could wish for come knocking on its door, from Uniqlo to ESPN’s magazine. More recently, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain asked the studio to visualise a debate centred around books and reading.
Up until 2020, the Spanish Ministry is placing emphasis on a “reading promotion plan” and so asked Two Points.Net to design a logo visualising this. Understandably “sceptical about the efficiency of the rigid and static logo in the context of the current communication,” the design studio instead returned to the client with an alternate proposal: “a system that generated different logos and its own visual language,” ready to be used as a campaign in the four languages spoken in Spain: Catalan, Basque, Galician and Spanish. The Spanish Ministry reacted to the intuitive nature of the studio’s design thinking and “decided to launch a nationwide campaign.”
With the pressure now fully on the studio to deliver, it began expanding the ways in which it could communicate the programme centred around reading. Asking themselves questions such as: “How do books look today? Who reads and who does not?” and “With which devices do they read?” TwoPoints.Net began casting the campaign’s net of reach far and wide, looking to communicate with a diverse age range and literary understanding.
From here TwoPoints.Net created a strategy of two key points. The first was to “relate reading to something fun” in a graphic design sense, and “connect with a broad range of very different target groups”. Building on the popular Spanish saying, “Leer te da vidas extra” which translates as “reading gives you extra lives”, its visual concept became centred around games, particularly the aesthetics of video gaming in the 80s and 90s.
This decision was borne from the fact that games are visually associated with being “fun and easy,” as well as building a bridge between the electronic association of gaming and how the physical act of reading is now performed much more on electronic devices. The gaming aesthetic then formalised itself in a typographic flexible system made of pixels, allowing the studio to create many versions of the logo, “monogram, horizontal and vertical – and thus allowed the creation of custom typography,” says the studio. This custom typeface was then paired with Times LT Std as a secondary typeface, used to display the tag line of the campaign from the aforementioned saying, "Leer te da Vidas Extra”.
From here, the visual language was used to set the campaign miles away from the usual “institutional tone” associated with reading, one that is often “sometimes too explanatory, too direct and too patronising,” says TwoPoints.Net. Instead, the studio presents a campaign that frames reading as much more “carefree, playful”; represented on a wide range of visual devices, from tote bags to social media, and printed campaigns too.
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