Contrasting at its core: Love + Money’s brand for Karst is based on the dynamic of flow vs friction
“Simply put,” Love + Money’s Creative Director Danny Pemberton tells us, “we’ve evolved the central meme (idea) that drives the brand, which affects… everything.” Having originally relaunched Karst’s brand and website under the motif ‘Take Note Today. Shape Tomorrow’ in 2020, the international agency were tasked with furthering the stone paper stationery maker’s output, shifting the conceptual emphasis to paint a bigger picture of what they offer. “When we sat down and helped articulate the next version of the meme with the Karst team,” Pemberton explains, “it felt like what they were actually aiming to do was create an entire environment that lets ideas flow naturally,” without obstacles or inconveniences, he adds, “and so, we evolved Karst’s meme to ‘Create Today. Shape Tomorrow.’”
Discussing the aesthetic impact of the new positioning, Designer Jessie Liu details, “we recognised that in order to ‘Create Today, Shape Tomorrow,’ we first needed to take a step back,” eliminating existing hindrances. “This inspired us to establish an overarching, guiding design principle,” Liu tells us, “remove friction to create flow,” in doing so, forming an interplay between the two contrasting states and creating an ownable creative expression for the brand.
“The apostrophe mark was already an element of the logo when we started working with Karst,” she adds, “however, we realised this mark was still relevant,” going on to further refine its distinctive form through a new conceptual lens. “Where at one point, it may have represented an omission,” Liu suggests, “it could now be interpreted beyond this, and at a deeper level,” with the notion of removal core to the brand’s design principles, allowing typography to take centre stage – with the agency opting for Klim’s Tiempos Headline and Dinamo’s Monument Grotesk as the pairing.
“Tiempos Headline was selected for its elegant, striking and editorial aesthetic,” Design Lead Dan Bisley explains, imbuing the identity with a warmth and elegance that goes far in elevating the brand’s messaging and positioning through its acute detailing and robust construction. “To expose both the raw and the resolved within each composition,” Bisley adds, “we paired our headline typeface with Monument Grotesk, a favoured candidate for its unpolished and idiosyncratic forms,” connecting with the concept’s dedication to friction and raw process.
“This pairing made a lot of sense with both form and function working together,” he notes, “and legibility at any scale and media,” sitting comfortably alongside the identity’s introduction of illustration, adding to the brand’s emphasis on contrast. Embodying the notion of ‘flow’ through “clean-lined, high-contrast silhouettes,” Bisley explains how they “are expressive and playful,” highlighting the forms found in Karst’s offering.
“With Karst’s ‘Friction’ palette, we wanted to tell the story of process,” Liu notes, “keeping the colours natural” in reference to the materiality and rawness of the concept. “The complementary Flow palette introduces a playful vibrancy that breaks through the friction,” Liu concludes, “speaking to the creative flow Karst’s suite of tools helps to achieve.”