How Smörgåsbord created a contemporary, multi-platform identity to unify the Ace creative family
As its acronym would imply – Authentic, Cultural and Energising – Ace is dedicated to exciting and inspiring positive change. Consisting of several creative agencies, the advertising collective blends seasoned professionals and younger practitioners to help craft a better world for people, brands and society. In order to help Ace ‘make waves,’ creative studio Smörgåsbord, based in both the Netherlands and Wales, crafted a multi-layered strategy and identity. This central theme sits at the heart of the brand’s visual language across all outputs.
First and foremost, the bespoke logo – made up of stacked, curvilinear stripes – communicates the fluidity and flexibility of the Ace moniker. The three stories that make up Ace’s new waterside HQ, and their exterior staircases, also informed the flowing ribbon-like treatment of the logotype and subsequent modular graphics. Putting the waves in motion, Smörgåsbord then developed motion graphics to demonstrate morphing between the three letters.
During the seven-month project, the design team realised that this Ace ribbon marque was a perfect starting point for an all-over repeat pattern, introducing a heightened wave feeling whilst also serving as an effective backdrop. Contrasting the undulating forms of geometry, Smörgåsbord opted for CoType Foundry’s Aeonik as Ace’s structural workhorse typeface, designed to be timeless and versatile for future evolution.
Likewise, the colour choices are both functional and future-proof. “The ‘Energising Red’ relates to the third pillar of Ace’s core values, and was selected to powder coat the 16,000kg central steel staircase that rises up through the heart of Ace’s HQ, unifying its three cavernous floors,” Creative Director Dylan Griffith explains. “The complimenting colours that make up the Ace colour palette are directly informed in part by the material palette used in the interior design and build and in part by the colours that are prevalent in and around the Houthavens – Amsterdam’s rejuvenated Western Docklands,” he adds. This unmissable hue, invaluable for wayfinding in the space, simultaneously cements Ace as ‘the building with the huge red staircase.’