There’s been a lot of discussion about value in architecture this last year or so. Particularly when it comes to interns, architectural trainees and staff pay but also with clients perceived value of architects work. Architects have long had an issue with how they value their services which has created all sorts of issues in recent years. I’ve already discussed a little on this subject in a post earlier this year titled Branding of Architecture.
The value of a designer
Our old brand was created back in 2017 when asdesign was first set up with the idea to create a freelance business dedicated to the construction sector. However back when I started asdesign I admit I certainly didn’t know much about the business side of things. Over the next few years of learning, listening and certainly making mistakes, the business changed. The working processes, ethos and what asdesign was about developed from a naive vision to a company I feel very passionate about, but the visual identity stayed the same. With the identity not telling the right story and the pandemic slowing everything down providing space to think, it was time to reassess and change.
The story about Stoke Slab typeface. The typeface is still a work in progress.
Stoke slab – A typeface from the potteries
Within most sectors there are subtle differences when it comes to forming a visual identity. Most revolve around how the company’s messaging interacts with its audience. This can be anything from the tone in which the audience are greeted, to the textures of a packaged item. All aspects need to be thought about through the audience’s perspective so that on each interaction the company are leaving a lasting impression. This more subtle aspect of a visual identity isn’t always given the thought it deserves.
I’m sure like lots of people over this last year of the pandemic, I’ve been pounding the streets to get some needed escape from the 4 walls that have been my daily visual rhythm. This has allowed for me to observe my local area in North London.
Climate Designers UK asked me to produce a short presentation on the topic of environmentally conscious brands. The event was held online on Friday 19 February 2021. You can see the event in the video on youtube and a full transcript of my section below.
UK Climate Designers Presentations
An interesting article was written by Max Ottignon, Ragged Edge, back in September 2020. It discussed the idea that the industry of branding failed in it’s main role to communicate it’s own meaning. This is certainly true to an extent. It is also true for many professions that fall under the term “creative”. One that suffers, probably a little more than most, is architecture.
Branding of architecture
Whilst drinking my morning coffee and waking up to the day I was scrolling through my usual news outlets and came across Sirin Kale’s long read article in the Guardian –“The battle over dyslexia”. The article got me thinking and whilst doing my typical work morning routine of checking emails, catching up on my networking forums and searching for potential clients I decided to try and explore my experience as a “dyslexic” to add to the discourse.
Another dyslexic designer
In this current situation of businesses on hold, lockdown and social distancing, for most people work is understandably quiet. The upside is that I now have the time to reflect and finally get through some of the books that have been on my reading list for a while. This has allowed me to question my business as a freelance designer and screen printer. My thinking always came back to “why do I want to design” and “why do I want to run my own business”. I thought I’d share some insights into this process as it might help my clients and other small businesses in this quiet period.
What’s the “why”?
In this talk we’ll cover common terminologies and aspects of visual identity explaining some of the jargon which is used in the industry of marketing and branding. This will help you develop your business’s visual output enabling you to strengthen your messaging which will allow you to retain existing clients and gain some new ones.
Brand and visual identity
In Peter Zumthor’s book ‘Atmospheres’, he describes the way in which our cultural and emotional responses are affected by space. Our minds absorb our surroundings. Our senses — touch, taste, smell, sight — generate and reveal memories which ground us in a space. It moves us and causes a response. Be it strong or weak, happy or sad, we have an emotional relationship with space. This is what I refer to as spatial mood.