Christopher Doyle & Co. is an independent design company based in Sydney, Australia led by Creative Director (you guessed it) Christopher Doyle. We caught up with him recently to discuss new work and studio life.
Congratulations on the launch of your new website! What was the experience like of putting it together and getting it live?
Thank you! To be honest it was tough. I think it is for all designers and studios. It gets neglected. We were in desperate need of an update though. The site we had prior to that was almost 3 years old. We had changed as a studio, and the work had evolved too so it was definitely time to get a new one up. The design came relatively easily actually. Not that there’s much to it design-wise. I didn’t feel the need to update the copy or messaging too much so it was really just about showing bigger images, a cleaner design and simpler experience. The site is very text focussed. It’s aimed at partners and clients first, designers second, so I wanted the copy and navigation to be simple and clear.
“It was unusual to shoot twins. Quite eery.”
It was great. I have shot many times with Pierre, on different jobs. This is the second Jezabels record he has shot for us. Our process is quite collaborative. I come to him with ideas and reference points and he just brings it all to life. He is an amazing portrait photographer. Very calm and very good at capturing those unexpected moments. It was unusual to shoot twins. Quite eery. I think we got some amazing images though. It turned out exactly how I imagined it would, which rarely happens.
How did you approach the typographic treatment to make sure it complimented the imagery?
To be honest the type was quite quick. I wanted something simple and plain and for it to be out of the way. Giving the words huge spaces was just something we tried and liked so it stuck. All of our Jezabels work is quite stark and image led and this was no different. The typeface had to be something neutral but interesting. And it also had to function as body copy for the notes and lyrics. Maison Neue is a favourite of mine, especially at small sizes, so that’s where we ended up.
What are your essentials in the studio?
Pencil, notebook and Mac. We have loads of books, paper samples and other material but I literally switch between pencil, notebook and Mac all day.
If you could only use one typeface ever again, what would it be and why?
Post Grotesk. It’s our studio font. We use it for everything. It’s clear, friendly, neutral. It does the job.
“We played a lot with different logos that were more ‘burger-ish’ but that felt more fun.”
What’s the concept behind your logo for Eat Burger?
It’s based on a face eating a burger. We played a lot with different logos that were more ‘burger-ish’ but that felt more fun. And different.
Why did you decide to use a black and white colour palette?
We had settled on some blues and reds that we really liked but it felt a little too on trend so we tried black and white. And paired with the interior concepts Amber Road were developing the black and white just worked. Black and white logos are so strong visually. You can’t go wrong.
What was it like working with interior design studio Amber Road on the project?
It was great. We worked really closely together to ensure the brand and the interiors felt connected. Those girls are incredible. They designed such an amazing space. So much of what gets produced these days feels familiar, especially with interiors and I think they really pushed the client, and themselves, to create something new. I love what they did.
When you’re creating an identity that has to be applied to a lot of things, what are the key factors that make sure it stays cohesive?
It depends on where it’s going to live. I always say that a brand is how a company or product looks, feels and sounds. So there needs to be a glue that connects all of those things. Logos, colours, imagery, tone of voice. It all needs to intertwine. It’s old fashioned but I believe in consistency in application. Consistency can mean elements of reinvention of course, but there needs to be a platform to start from. Some element or aspect that tells the user what brand they are interacting with.
“With jobs like that you have to pull the word apart, flip it, shuffle the letters, turn it upside down.”
Your logo for Elbow is effortless in how it succeeds in representing what it reads. What was the process like in getting to that level of simplicity?
Honestly it was simply about me writing and drawing the word Elbow about 50 times. That was essentially a logo job. They are small company so the brand had to be simple, impactful and easy to use. It actually took quite a while to crack though. With jobs like that you have to pull the word apart, flip it, shuffle the letters, turn it upside down. You have to look at it from every angle.
What inspires you outside of the studio?
Not a lot to be honest. We have kids so life is hectic. Any free time I get I tend to lie down. Once I’m in the studio I have to soak up as much stimulus as I can, then once I am out and about I think a lot. I have my best ideas on a spin bike at the gym.