The Edit: five new projects including ExpressVPN by DesignStudio
Each and every day, we're lucky to discover dozens of interesting and inspiring projects from around the world. From global identities and campaigns to side projects and independently published books, The Edit is home to five of them; every two weeks.
Founded in 2009, ExpressVPN is an award-winning provider of VPN services with active users in over 180 countries. Aiming to become more accessible and personable with their brand in a sector primarily filled with negative, fear-inducing language, ExpressVPN turned to the Sydney team of branding and digital agency DesignStudio. The resulting visual language is energetic, friendly and innately positive; with an overarching vision centred around ‘Shift Control’ – a strategic mantra developed by DesignStudio to capture Express VPN’s belief in empowering users to take back control of their online experience. Taking inspiration from the way we interact with our digital devices in translating their strategy into visuals, DesignStudio built a system of six key gestures – swipe, drag, pinch, push, rotate and shake – each of which is expressed through a series of vibrant geometric gradients. They pair seamlessly with illustrations from the hand of Ping Zhu, adding an additional human layer to DesignStudio’s already characterful work. “We fell in love with Ping’s work as soon as we saw it,” DesignStudio’s James Gilmore tells us, explaining that it helped to “bring to life tricky abstract subjects in a way which has personality and friendliness.”
A joint venture between Barnet Council and Argent Related, Brent Cross Town is a new park town located on the outskirts of north-west London with 50 acres of parks and playing fields, state-of-the-art sports and leisure facilities, 6,700 homes and a major office development. Hoping to shift the existing perceptions of the area in which the development is located, Barnet Council and Argent Related commissioned London-based brand consultancy DNCO to create Brent Cross Town’s positioning, strategy, name, brand narrative, editorial strategy and visual language. Previously known as Brent Cross South, DNCO swapped in ‘Town’ to capture the area’s scale and forward-thinking plans to be a hub for sport, play, health and wellbeing; as well as establish a stronger sense of place.
San Francisco-based design studio Landscape worked with EQ Office, a leading property management company in the nearby area, to reposition, rename and rebrand one of its flagship Bay Area office developments. Previously know as Embarcadero Square, it was decided a new approach was required to signal a more contemporary direction. The new name ‘North Park’ aims to represent a relaxed and desirable work atmosphere surrounded by an abundance of green space despite being located in the thriving heart of downtown San Francisco. Aiming to visually reflect North Park’s distinct location, which Landscape describe as ‘an unexpected urban oasis,’ they created an identity system that balances hand-drawn character with refined sophistication.
One of the oldest and most loved Slovakian street food delicacies, a langoš is an unapologetically greasy flatbread topped with sour cream, ketchup and cheese and copious amounts of garlic. LANGOS BAR, an eatery located in the heart of Bratislava founded by local gastro legends Lukáš Hesko and Robo Nag, serves its own spin on the popular snack; topping it with everything from pecorino to prawns. Commissioned to design its visual identity, locally-based studio Nice Guy strived to recreate the pleasure that comes with consuming a langoš. They worked closely with illustrator Tomáš Rybár on a rather charming brand mascot – a ‘fat and happy face’ with a multitude of joyous expressions. The studio’s appliance of the character takes advantage of its circular form, using it playfully within typography as an ‘O’ replacement alongside an energetic red-and-white-only colour palette.
Warsaw-based Unifikat Design Studio developed the identity and packaging for beauty cream brand Love First, working closely with its founder Isabelle Niggli. The centrepiece of the resulting work is, without doubt, the bespoke logotype, which balances traditional serifs with a delicately crafted arrangement of sweeping ligatures. Intending to mirror the high-end nature of Love First’s products, Unifikat Design Studio’s primarily typographic work is applied with the utmost consideration for negative space and attention to detail; a prime example being the beautifully elegant all-white outer packaging which sees the logotype blind debossed into uncoated paper.