Crimson tide: U.I.WD. delivers a high-octane brand for Apostrophe Reps, soaked in a rich tone of red
Home to a global cohort of image-makers, Apostrophe Reps is a women and minority-owned agency that represents a tasteful band of photographers, directors and stylists. To build a visual world that reflects the richness of both the talent they work with and the very spirit of the agency, they collaborated with São Paolo-based design studio U.I.WD., led by Creative Directors Bruno Tatsumi and Mariana Torres. Apostrophe needed a refresh, and U.I.WD. tackled the brief by delivering an impactful identity and a dynamic overarching visual system, which ‘celebrates the possibilities that emerge when unexpected combinations of ideas, colours, typography, art and photography intersect – much like the eclectic and diverse group of representatives at Apostrophe.’
Using images and photographs as a unit or building block, so to speak, the studio leaned heavily on an editorial-esque visual direction. “Within the project, one of the tasks was also to design promotional cards and capabilities decks for each artist. We needed to highlight their images and make them the primary focus,” notes Tatsumi. “The design had to complement this and also lend some structure, so it was natural to create an editorial feel.” This treatment is echoed through the layout and the website, where a smattering of striking images slowly floats around the screen, creating a busy yet structured feel.
The wordmark was also reimagined, in search of a ‘bolder, more impactful feel.’ “The previous identity used a standard sans serif font; the agency wanted a new look, but also didn’t want to completely abandon the story they had built,” explains Tatsumi. The task was to maintain that sense of structure, but also infuse it with a dash of personality. After several tests and experiments, the studio arrived at Lay Grotesk, which “felt just right.” Shapeshifting according to need and context, the wordmark can appear simply as ‘A’’ or ‘A’REPS.’ At times, the space between ‘A’’ and ‘REPS’ is dramatically stretched to create a container of sorts that can hold additional text, such as information about the agency. The deft use of text – whether held between the wordmark or packed between images to create almost overwhelming layouts – was a “deliberate choice to introduce contrast in the compositions as well,” Tatsumi explains.
The identity is visually held together by a rich tone of red, unanimously chosen by the studio and the agency, which appears across the brand – sometimes used sparingly, and at other times, splashed across images – and is cleverly echoed in the photographs used in the layouts – from the image of a red lipstick, to the glossy, red strawberry sauce drenched on a plate holding a cheesecake.