Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio, Visual identity for Daniel Boddam

Published: 28 Mar 2019
Category: Branding
Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio, Visual identity for Daniel Boddam
Natasha Mead (NM) is a creative director of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. They have been developing strong brand identities across physical and digital platforms. We have asked Natasha about their work for Sydney based architect Daniel Boddam.
NE:
Can you tell us about the project?
NM:

A brand identity and website for Sydney based architect Daniel Boddam. He works holistically across furniture and interiors too, so his practice encompasses a range of projects.

NE:
How did you get involved with the project?
NM:

I’d worked with Dan’s partner Kelly Geddes, a very talented photographer, who introduced us. When he approached us for the project I was delighted at the opportunity to work with him — his work is extremely considered and it’s always a pleasure to translate that to different mediums.

Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
Middle ground between modernism and tradition.
NE:
What is the concept and brand strategy behind the visual identity?
NM:

Our concept was to interpret Dan’s own design philosophy, the "middle ground between modernism and tradition". This took the form of a Swiss principles system — ideal for that balance of legibility, simplicity and beauty.

In many ways Swiss style is the influence of all modern graphic design, so you can argue it’s not a ‘direction’ per se, however its historic relationship with architecture did make it a natural fit to emphasize here. This is implemented in the ways you’d expect (strong grid focus, sans based etc) and also carries through to the simple numbering system, to neatly organise the different mediums Dan works in — 1. Architecture, 2. Furniture and 3. The Studio.

The execution then set out to elegantly house Dan’s work without making itself the focus, which we wanted to stay on his own designs. So it’s not the logo centric approach of a lot of contemporary branding, and there's also a uniformity in the typography to achieve this. The goal was to emphasise only when needed — for example the website’s very image centric, until you interact with them and get an XXL title on hover. This brings in some personality too, still pared back, but just a little more dynamic.

Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
NE:
What typeface used for the visual identity? Also why did you choose it?
NM:

We used Gerstner Programm, the eponymous typeface designed by Karl Gerstner in the mid 1960s. It didn’t really succeed at the time it came out, but was recently digital restored and published by Forgotten Shapes. We knew we wanted a grotesque with warmth to align with the visual system, and had initially considered Akzidenz, which it’s based on. Gerstner set out to subtly refine Akzidenz, it’s a bit more harmonious, smoother and better balanced — which was the perfect fit for the sophisticated yet functional forms found in Dan’s work.

Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
NE:
How did you build the website?
NM:

The website was built by our inhouse development team (led by studio co founder Joe Swann). Building with our team allows us to get the finish up to our ideal standard, as well as explore new ideas and techniques on every project.

We chose Craft Commerce for this because it allows for great flexibility in the design and the way content can be set up. One of the key features of the product page is a selection system that integrates with material thumbnails — so you can visualise each furniture piece in all the material options.

Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
Natasha Mead of 1/1 Studio based in New Zealand. Visual identity for Daniel Boddam.
All photography by Kelly Geddes.

Interview