Marlon Tate create space with their dynamic identity for the Hellenic Institute of Architecture
Since 1992, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture (EIA) have been discussing and acting on issues related to design and the built environment through a multi-faceted programme of exhibitions, events and conferences. Looking to stay relevant within the architectural scene on the back of their multi-decade stint as a cultural landmark, the Greek non-profit organisation turned to London and Athens-based ad agency Marlon Tate for a reimagining of their brand.
The resulting identity system repositions EIA as a dynamic generator of space for architectural discourse, utilising the sheer scope of the discussions and ideas they make possible as its core concept. “We couldn’t really create a static symbol because, by nature, space is fluid, variable and dynamic,” explains Marlon Tate’s Founder and Creative Director Nikos Georgópoulos; discussing the bespoke EIA letterforms that pack the available space across the identity’s applications. Drawn from scratch, the variable logo prospers both on its own, or when used dynamically as a frame for imagery – both static and in motion. Speaking on the process behind them, Georgópoulos tells us that he “did a lot of sketches and the whole team had a go with it,” leading to the letterforms and animations being crafted in tandem.
Accompanying the attention-grabbing application of the logomark is the supporting typographic choice of Colophon Foundry’s Value Sans – providing the ideal fit due to its Latin and Greek alphabets. “We wanted a well designed and sort of neutral typeface to balance the playful nature of the visual language,” Georgópoulos reveals, adding that he discovered Value Sans not only due to his love for Colophon Foundry but also after “looking for a font that exists in the intersection of Johnston Sans and Futura.”
Opting for black, blue and white, the colour palette takes a characterful yet considered backseat to the expressive nature of the logomark – much like the supporting typeface. Primarily using the blue as an accent, Marlon Tate needed to tread the line between fairly representing a historic architectural organisation and avoiding “cheesy architectural stereotypes.” As a result, they turned to the colours of the Greek flag for inspiration – “I suppose it seems appropriate to employ them!” Georgópoulos concludes.
The identity and website of EIA are part of the engagement comms programme undertaken by the Berlin-based shop Design Ambassador.