Grafik's earthy identity for Michael McManus challenges the traditional architecture aesthetic
Michael McManus Architects undertake projects across the Australian state of Victoria from their studio in North Melbourne. Their portfolio is rife with beautifully-crafted homes and public spaces, each utilising simple materials and the natural environment in pursuit of spatial and cost-efficiency. At the beginning of 2020, they pledged to make their business carbon neutral, reinforcing their belief in a sustainable future for our living and working environments.
Grafik, the one-person studio of Wellington-based designer-developer Nick de Jardine, worked closely with the team at Michael McManus to rebrand the practice. His solution highlights their forward-thinking approach through an unexpected, earthy colour palette, which he explains was chosen “to provide contrast with the high-end nature of the work”. The hues capture a snapshot of many of their projects: “deep green for the landscape, yellow for sunlight, grey as breathing space and burnt orange for brick”.
Sharp Type’s eccentric sans serif Garnett is used throughout the identity, which de Jardine reveals he selected for its “open, quirky and personable characteristics, as a nod towards MMA’s people-centric approach”. He modified the ‘a’ and ‘t’ in the logotype to feature square tails, in reference to “the material contrast and careful detail that the practice’s body of work exhibits”.
Delicate linework provides the visual system with further depth, abstractly representing the ‘MM’ of Michael McManus and ‘A’ of Architects. Their structured nature adds an instantly familiar architectural element to the identity, while the unconventional typography and palette challenge the status quo.