Varvet is a digital agency crafting products and services to help their clients change the way they work and communicate. With clients ranging from global brands, such as Starbucks and EA Games, to start-ups and local businesses, the agency has also made a name for itself by hosting the annual Nordic Ruby conference.
A strong point of reference in the project was Varvet’s working process, which unites innovation and technology with traditional craftsmanship. This was further reinforced by the fact that the agency has taken up residence in the Hasselblad House, previously the headquarters of the Hasselblad Company, home to technology and craftsmanship for many generations. Another point of reference guiding the design process was movement, an intrinsic ingredient in many of Varvet’s projects.
In Swedish, a ‘varv’ (the indefinite form of Varvet) both means shipyard and lap or iteration; the latter placing further emphasis on movement. As part of the design process, a matrix of symbols, all in different ways related to Varvet, was compiled. This both included more direct references, such as the brackets used when writing code and a ruby (for Ruby, the programming language favoured by Varvet) and more abstract ones, like the infinity symbol and the victory sign, with the hand also alluding to the agency’s crafted approach. As it happens, many of these symbols include a ‘V’ shape in different forms.
To complement the symbol, a wordmark, based on Wim Crouwel’s Gridnik typeface developed by the Foundry, was designed. The typeface was originally designed by Crouwel for an Olivetti typewriter. While never released at the time of its design, the typeface represents a marriage of craft and technology. Gridnik is also used for headlines and technical information throughout the identity and is complemented by the softer Lettera Txt3 (Lineto). Like Gridnik, Lettera was originally designed by another legendary designer, the Swiss modernist Joseph Müller-Brockmann, and was also designed for use in Olivetti’s typewriters.