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The Design Associates

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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

The Design Associates | Tokyo

Exploring the idea of brand, storytelling, personality in the casement of simple typographic messaging

Sometime back, we drew a font that we used for a series of soccer posters. We called it Girvenza — for Diadora. It looked like this:

Simple.

Italian.

When it comes to creating type for identity, more often than not, we build customized type faces, specifically created fonts for our client project applications. And while it might seem that doing customized fonts might be relatively simplistic, building hand drawn typefaces, and then converting them into workable, key-stroke applications, it isn’t. If you don’t believe me, reach to Chie Masuyama, the Creative Director of GIRVIN | Seattle, and she can tell you more. She’s the resident expert on that front.

How we gather the idea of typography, in design, in application, is by looking, listening, learning, exploring more — never ceasing. And finding the nuance of the simple idea, the ideal of typographic “lustration” That’s the origin of illustration — to make something shine — to bring the light out. Sometimes that idea is inspired by seeing something that lends itself to a typographic understanding — a statement that, in its very simplicity, speaks to getting the point across in a uniquely dynamic way.

And sometimes it’s about the character of the message itself — design, and meaning, integrated. The message is about one thing:

The inner meaning, and how to reach to the heart of the matter, is yet another.

And there can be profound nuance in even the simplest of messages — like, where someone is — that can be refreshingly detailed: simple type, arranged carefully, delicately configured to add more to the sense of intention.

That idea of nuance, coupled with meaning is the path to layer content in a manner that creates resonance in relationships. That is, like any good relationship, things look good on the outside, they need to look good on the interior for their to be a lasting connectivity.

To that, I ponder the work of the GIRVIN | NYC team, along with the Seattle group in building out the renovation of the Sebastian brand. Key partners there, Alex Williams and Cristina Espinosa, among others on the east coast based project. But this is about two things — one, to the conceptions of simplicity in design and the representation of visual content; and two, the concept of layering meaning beneath meaning.

For GIRVIN, that process is progressive; it’s about finding the soul of the brand, that just might be finalized in a simplistic, disciplined treatment. Or, it might not. The context of simple solutions presumes that simplicity resonates to the brand’s heart and the heart of those that will relate to it.

That sequencing goes like this:

For Sebastian, who’s our competition?

In our assessment, how do we personify them?

Selecting our primary target — merely for example here: what do they look like, what’s their code?

How do we define them? And how do they define themselves?

To the notions of metaphors, mind storming, what do we get?

That brings to a sense of flavor, messaging and conceptual brandcoding:

Building the code, for what we are, what we know, and what w shall be.

Translations:

The discipline of the brand, story told, framed visualizations. And, simple packaging typography.

And how it lines up.

In reality then, it’s not that the typography alone is the heart of the simple in brand messaging, but instead, that the heart of the brand, the relationship to consumers, suggests that simplicity is the best solution. First off, there has to be depth in the brand framing to assure that simple, merely as design and brand positioning strategy is relevant. It’s not about being hip. It’s that it is what is best.

To explore more, there’s a site that you might find compelling, along the lines of this modeling — that is here.

Two ideas popped. Au, the elemental sign for gold, aurum.

And red: iconic form, and graphic identity, simplistically realized.

Both resonant and relevant.

What’s your take?

tsg
….
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