Greenspace’s fluid identity for fashion designer Sinéad O’Dwyer is inspired by ‘imperfect’ bodies
London-based design consultancy Greenspace have developed a fluid visual identity system for Sinéad O'Dwyer, an eminent fashion designer whose work emotively explores body and form. Collaborative at its core, Greenspace worked alongside Swiss Typefaces and writer, curator and poet Anastasiia Federova throughout the project; culminating in a thoughtful, sensitive and forward-thinking identity that is thematically and aesthetically in-tune with their client.
“With the identity being driven by typography, the words and language were obviously key,” Design Director Luke Mcilveen explains about the collaboration with Federova. “We wrote a story about the artist, her ethos and journey in a poetic manner which isn’t just informative,” Mcilveen recalls, “almost treating the text like an art project in itself,” distilling the identity and the wider material it inhabits with a greater depth, reasoning and personality. “Whether it’s packaging or a website,” he adds, “we were able to use extracts of the poetry that joined together and told a bigger story.”
Further exploring the brand’s story, while proving a graphic poetry in its own right, is the development of Sinéad O'Dwyer’s bespoke typeface – a custom cut of Swiss Typefaces' Suisse Int’l Condensed. “The Greenspace designers initially drew 12 alternate characters to be integrated into just a wordmark of multiple versions,” Mcilveen notes, eventually developing ‘Every Body Suisse’ as an entire typeface.
Attracted to the contrasting forms of Suisse Int’l’s authoritative, stark construction and the fluid movement of the alternative characters, Mcilveen explains that the basis of their typographic approach was influenced by the notion of ‘imperfect' bodies, “how skin ‘pinches’ and folds,” as well as O’Dwyer’s use of silicone materials. “We sketched a first round of custom characters, and had many creative discussions together with Swiss Typefaces,” he recalls, “they helped to work through a lot of refinement from our initial styling and suggested alternative designs for particular letterforms till we were both happy.”
The final product is a refreshingly organic and surprising typeface that conveys the contrast and character of O’Dwyer and her work. “It can be dialled up and down depending on the application,” Mcilveen explains, “Swiss Typefaces also created a cut which auto-selects alternates at random,” he concludes, “so there is a freshness to typographic statements whether in print or when used online together with motion.”