The Colour Club craft a dynamic typographic system for Sydney’s Academy of Global Competency
Working alongside interior architecture practice Tom Mark Henry, Sydney-based creative studio The Colour Club have crafted a dynamic and evolving wayfinding and identity system for the Academy of Global Competency – part of Sydney’s Knox Grammar School. With the school’s priority being to progressively tackle education through physical and spatial learning, the Academy looks to nurture its students as global citizens with a set of founding principles. “The coordinates of the academy were laid in brass in the entryway to the building,” Creative Director at The Colour Club Nick Mitchell explains, “and were a part of our looking to orient the students, in as many ways as possible, to their position in a broader global context.” Subsequently, this became an integral part of The Colour Club’s visual design, using the coordinates as the logomark as yet “another nod to these interconnected ideas,” Mitchell explains, adding, “and it was just too appropriate to pass up.”
Working directly into the space, The Colour Club created five bespoke typographic murals, found across the campus. “The main goal was to be engaging,” Mitchell explains, “as well as to help communicate the ideas present in the values they embodied,” those being “Compassion, Integrity, Wisdom, Courage, and Faith.” Wanting to convey these principles in an engaging and candid manner, The Colour Club have succeeded in displaying that the murals themselves are more than just words, but are distilled with meaning. “In doing so the school went through the internal process of officially defining each of the values,” Mitchell adds, “and each definition was included on a plaque in each of the murals;” a graphic flourish on top of an attentive and thoughtful visual system.
“The system itself was about tying the intentions and philosophy of the school to this idea of global competency and global context,” Mitchell explains, culminating in a striking flag that hangs proudly across the school. “By using a flag we were able to take the common element of graphic geometric shapes and reimagine them in a slightly more contemporary fashion,” he notes, with a system that allows for the individual shapes to be flexibly used in isolation. “Having each of the shapes tied to the murals was a manner of constructing a system of visual metaphor that the students could unpack,” imbuing each principle with its own shape and value.
With a complex system in play, The Colour Club appropriately chose supporting typography that doesn’t distract but also doesn’t diminish. Opting for Displaay Type Foundry’s Matter to achieve as such, the result is a sophisticated and reserved typographic treatment that emblazons the identity with a contemporary edge, and a future-focused feel.