Contributed by Nicholas Cary of Richmond, Victoria-based Studio Verse.
— Pattern concept — a derivative of the Addition marque.
Representing a catalogue of Australia’s best freelance digital designers, Addition is a new agency offering an improved and simplified link between potential clients and the best-suited talent in digital design. Building an exemplary platform for project management in which a business can confidently seek, be paired and then converse with the best and most appropriate designer for any particular project brief, Addition offers an ideal service for not only digital designers and external companies but also the creative integrity of the field of digital design. The agency literally offers the possibility to add to a planned project by cultivating the best possible team for the job — thus the company’s namesake becomes obvious.
Studio Verse were asked to create an identity for Addition that reflected the aforementioned principles, utilized solid and confident typography and which offered a direct connection to the service they provide. While it was stipulated at the beginning of the project that a plus (+) symbol was not to be used, we determined the strongest and best fitting representation of the Addition identity would be drawn from the literal theme of ‘addition’. We were thus left with the question of how best to explore this idea and of how far we could push the concept behind it.
— A selection of typographical concepts developed in the beginning stages of the project.
Looking at common web-friendly typefaces, an obvious solution was to employ Helvetica, Arial or Verdana, but this seemed stale. Instead, we made the slightly twisted decision to work with Akzidenz Grotesk. While holding many similarities to Helvetica, Akzidenz Grotesk exhibited an additional upbeat quirkiness, which we felt would offer a far better fit with Addition’s persona. We also determined the type to be an aesthetic that better suited the intended audience — creative minds, which would perhaps deal mostly in print work rather than digitalized media.
— An early logotype concept — this adaptation highlights the possible use of repetition and extension of the marque.
In exploring the ways in which the typographic mark could be directly tied with the literal meaning of ‘addition’, we experimented with movement, repetition, shifts in the typeface and then, the subtraction of particular elements. We discovered that any act of breaking or splitting in the actual form of the typeface created a problem with legibility and interfered with the direct linkage to the theme of ‘addition’.
Moreover, we seemed to drift further from any valid concept each time we pushed harder to create a symbol that embodied the literal theme. Determined in our efforts, we decided to retrace our steps and as so often happens in the development of creative projects, realized our original and most straightforward concept to be the strongest.
Adding a second layer of the word ‘addition’ atop the first created the final typographic marque. This simplistic concept retains legibility and obviously illustrates the principles on which Addition is built. The final icon is the ‘o’ from the logotype; chosen as it not only acts as an abbreviation of the logotype, the symbol may also be interpreted as a stylized image of a person (a simplistic head and neck in a t-shirt) — and seeing as Addition represents freelancers, this happy coincidence felt quite natural and appropriate. We also felt it was necessary to soften the logotype and also, to craft another link to the icon and thus, we customised the dots of the lowercase i’s giving them a more circular contour and crafting them into a mirrored image of the insignia.
— The final typographic marque — here, the link between the symbol and the logotype is demonstrated. A similar parallel may be drawn between the marque and the superscript dot of the lowercase i’s, which were rounded and refined to mimic the physical form of the logo.
Addition also requested that we coin a catch phrase to accompany the marque — something, which would give a snappy and concise insight into their service. In the end the line Representing Digital Talent was chosen. It was determined that the phrase should be set out as a stacked figure. By layering the expression and also breaking the word ‘Representing’ over two lines, the idea of layering is presented. Moreover, the phrase may be read as two complimentary expressions, the original line: Representing Digital Talent, and also: Presenting Digital Talent, a secondary line, which equally relates to the ideals of Addition.
— Vector artwork for the letterhead — front and back.
The stationery was created under the same ideals, emphasizing straightforwardness and confidence. The varied creative backgrounds and aesthetic preferences of Addition’s target market demanded that the designs within the identity retained a level of neutrality while avoided clichés but also, maintaining mass audience appeal. Of course, this notion influenced the elected colour palette and the highly functional coupling of 90% black tint with yellow seemed an impassable choice.
— Vector artwork for the business card — front and back, including highlighted detail.
The final element of this project was the development of an A5 mailer. Created as a means of distributing CDs and DVDs to prospective clients, we chose to design these mailers with an additional purpose in mind and consequently, were pleased to present them as aesthetically pleasing promotional pieces. Aware of our responsibility to keep down costs, this 2-colour job is to be printed single-side on a heavy stock with a disc-mounting sticker hand applied.
— Vector artwork for the A5 mailer — both with and without disc in-place.
Addition is set to go live mid-2011.