Printworks, a major new arts venue in London’s Canada Water, has revealed its graphic identity designed by Leeds studio Only. Taking inspiration from the venue’s former purpose as the largest printing facility in Europe, the design uses icons of this history to form a bold and adaptable visual framework.
The wordmark was created by wrapping the Printworks name around a cylinder, to mimic the huge rollers of the printing press. This allowed the designers “to generate infinite iterations of the logotype,” explains Only creative director Matthew Tweddle. The 11 chosen states were then redrawn and used in various ways on different applications. Similarly, the marque uses a silhouette of the printing rollers in profile.
The identity is set in Commercial Type’s Druk typeface. “A study of extremes,” says Matthew. “Druk’s wide range of weights and styles affords broad communicative qualities, ideal for a venue hosting such an eclectic series of events.” The venue plans to host events across art, film, fashion and music.
“We looked to historic newspaper design and the attention-grabbing headlines deployed prominently and confidently across front pages,” says Matthew. “In its day, the press was rarely switched off and we wanted to capture that speed and constant movement by placing it at the heart of the identity.
Motion also plays an important part, Matthew comments. “We’ve tried to capture that sense of movement in the printing process and this is reflected statically in print application as well as more dynamically in animations for online and social media.”