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In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, Berlin-based music manufacturer Native Instruments have teamed up with Swiss type design agency Dinamo to produce a special edition of their MASCHINE MK3 music production instrument. The limited run of 750 pieces sees it clad with a black and silver screenprint, as well as Dinamo’s inktrap-heavy sans serif Whyte as an homage to “throw-up graffiti and marquee news tickers.” With inktraps originating from early printing techniques to prevent ink bleeding, the duo saw a connection between the typeface and the instrument that goes beyond style too. “Whyte is a typeface that embodies ideas and production methods of the past and adds the variability and digital type design methods from today,” Dinamo’s Johannes Breyer tells us; just like how the MK3 is at the cutting edge of music production but originated from the sample-based music-making of the 80s and 90s. The Native Instruments MASCHINE MK3 DINAMO is available here.
NJBO, or the National Youth Windband of Switzerland, is a group of seventy young musicians that come together every year to perform three concerts all over Switzerland. Since their establishment, they have been helping to overcome musical borders for young people, unite linguistic difficulties between Switzerland’s four languages and push the country’s musical reputation on the international stage. Their reworked identity courtesy of Zurich-based designer Mauro Simeon embraces their mission, utilising dynamic stretching letterforms in reference to overcoming borders and making connections. The typeface of choice, Studio Feixen Sans, is the perfect match for the concept due to its geometric forms – allowing for seamless stretching across the entire alphabet. The concept is further emphasised in the organisation’s oversized ‘N’ logomark, which stands for ‘national’ in all four of the country’s languages and unapologetically fills whichever space it finds itself placed within.
Once: Once is a sustainable brand from Guadalajara offering a range of products made from palo santo – a tree native to South American countries that can be used for medicinal purposes such as relieving pain and stress as well as clearing negative energy. Working with the brand’s founders on its visual identity and packaging, nearby design studio Menta chose to reflect palo santo’s spiritual qualities through a combination of subtle typographic and numeric marks and a healthy application of negative space. Alongside an ‘11’ symbol set in Caslon Graphique, the studio crafted a red flare symbol as a subtle hint towards the soul as well as the common practice of burning palo santo in its wood form – although it can also be used as a resin or oil. The packaging is intended to survive beyond its initial unboxing, with muted colours and heavyweight G.F Smith papers used to entice owners to find a place for it on one of their shelves at home.
Based between Perth and Basel, Grotto Studio is an architecture practice with aspirations to “make our environment a little more beautiful, inspirational and meaningful.” Gesture Systems, a design studio found in Fremantle close to Perth, found inspiration in the practice’s name when developing its visual identity. They chose to employ Dinamo’s Whyte for the company’s wordmark, likening its deep inktraps to the characteristics of a ‘grotto’ or ‘cavernous space.’ The wordmark then forms the basis for the rest of the visual language, filling the width of the canvas it finds itself deployed within in reference to Grotto Studio’s belief of working within the parameters you’ve been given rather than completely reshaping it.
After more than 30 years in business, KGA has become one of Colorado’s oldest and most respected residential architecture practices; in most part down to their belief that successful design serves the client above all else and doesn’t cater to their own egos. Ahead of their 35th anniversary, KGA turned to Denver-based branding studio Mast in search of a revitalised identity that would better reflect their honest values. Alongside clean sans serif typography, the resulting system centres around a geometric mark that provides a subtle graphic reference to classic and modern building forms. The idea stemmed from KGA’s desire to have more than just their initials in their new symbol – a concept that is successfully realised in Mast’s solution; leaving the exact interpretation open to the viewer. Mast also chose to move away from KGA’s previously zany palette of orange and green; instead opting for a more minimal approach that allows their work to do the talking while reflecting their pure, collaborative and client-focused approach.