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SEA project: Caruso St John

March 5, 2010

For the current project led by Bryan Edmondson of SEA, I’ve chosen to create a logomark and type scheme for Caruso St John, a London-based architectural firm with an internationally established reputation for its ambitious projects across the UK and Europe. The company defines its practice as one which focuses upon the emotional potential, physical qualities of construction, and combines research and theory-based design with a fascination with materials. Examples above include the cast lace pattern of the exterior of Nottingham Contemporary, a new public gallery on the site of the city’s former lace market, andthe moving sound reflectors of the Barbican Concert Hall, which are made from acid-etched steel, a material which changes colour when viewed from different angles. The project going well so far, with some encouraging feedback yesterday, including (after 3 days of trying dozens of different fonts in every conceivable weight) agreement from Bryan that Gotham Rounded is the right for the project. Phew.

My thinking is that to define a practice which constantly redefines itself with every new project, through the use of materials unique to the project (the lace pattern from Nottingham Contemporary was taken from a sample of a design based upon cherry blossom, which  came from the city’s archives), you need to refer back to the projects. I’ve shortened the name to CStJ, which can then be positioned to the top right of the name of the project, which is stacked (or built) as a series of single words, and ranged-right. The idea being that the name of each project, presented in this relationship with the firm’s initials, becomes a logomark unique to each project. This flatters the client, and, without sacrificing consistency, demonstrates the range of the practice (as well as creating more work for the designer, heh-heh).

I’m fairly happy with the results so far, so the next stage is to try a few more variations, including using the mark with the drawn miniature “t”, and experiment with physical application. I’d like to refer to the materials used in the projects, with type laid-over or reversed-out of close-up images, and to try some processes to create embossed and foil stamped print textures, both techniques commonly used to fine effect in Bryan’s own work.

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