FCKLCK rebrand design and innovation agency Equals Three with a strikingly simple modular system
“The popular saying ‘one plus one equals three’ suggests that when certain energies, resources, talents and efforts are combined, they can produce greater results than if they were used individually,” James Krüger tells us, explaining FCKLCK’s decision to change Belgian-based design and innovation agency Absintt’s name to Equals Three.
This idea of collaboration perfectly represents the company’s approach, with the addition of a ‘Mergers & Acquisition’ division the trigger behind the rebrand and name change. Instead of a project-based method, “they now focus on developing long-term partnership tracks with their clients, enabling both teams to work closely together,” Krüger continues. “Equals Three was then the perfect name to reflect their dedication to collaboration and the belief that working together can achieve more than working alone.”
Following direction from the client that it should be “modern, clean and bold” but remain accessible and professional, the new identity features a striking black and white pairing as the primary colour palette. Drawing upon the symbolism of the new name, FCKLCK devised an emblematic logomark that links the equals sign into three stripes. Informing a modular pattern system and paired with the high-contrast palette, the logo is the basis of a visual language that is effortlessly scalable, striking and instantly recognisable.
Likewise, to keep things simple, the studio chose to have a single typeface across all brand outputs. “After considering various options, we selected TWK Lausanne 250 from WELTKERN® due to its versatility and ultra-organic appearance, which perfectly aligns with our focus on innovation and collaboration,” Krüger notes. “This font is suitable for both print and digital formats, and it can be used for headlines, body copy, and smaller text like tags, links and footnotes without compromising legibility,” he continues. Given the significance of our website in the project, this was an easy decision for the studio, adding that they “made minor adjustments to the font’s thickness for the logo to add differentiation.”
Whilst potentially intimidating, designing for a fellow creative team brings plenty of perks. In the case of FCKLCK and Equals Three, Krüger explains that the brand guidelines are kept open with a modular design system, so the in-house team could expand the identity moving forward. “We gave them guidance on how to use the dynamic logo pattern, but we also encouraged them to create their own interpretations that fit the context, client or communication they wish to promote,” he notes. “The logo doubles as a full-frame pattern, regardless of the medium or size of the communication. The pattern includes a grid system for layouts, with five rows. As more information is needed, the logo icon can be compressed down organically to four, three, two, or one row, or even removed entirely, leaving only the wordmark at the top,” Krüger concludes.