MOUTHWASH Studio channel the spirit of modernist architecture in their classic identity for Neutra VDL
The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences are a national historic landmark committed to cultivating education, architecture, art and culture – providing an inclusive platform for the exploration and exchange of ideas across disciplines. Built and designed in 1932 by Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra with the help of Dutch industrialist Cees H. Van Der Leuw, the facility can be found on Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles.
In collaboration with photographer Elizabeth Carababas, and developer Jason Bradley, the team at MOUTHWASH Studio set out to redesign the VDL brand identity and website. Through an in-depth exploration of both the residence and Neutra’s personal archive, they have translated the soul of the home into a new digital experience. Featuring newly captured photography and archival scans, the project blends the past, present and future and signals the necessity for preservation and adaptation within architecture.
The identity is respective of Neutra’s ethos of creating elegant, functional and flexible spaces -– with a visual language that embodies these modernist characteristics. The predominant typeface used is Akzidenz Grotesk, which was one of the first sans serif typefaces published in England. Explaining the thinking behind the choice, the studio tell us that “it embodies and embraces the spirit of modernist architecture, with simple but relatable features.” As Neutra’s own design philosophy shared similar themes, relating to the accessibility and simplicity of his homes, MOUTHWASH Studio found it important to have this speak through the branding system.
At the foundation of the system is a neutral colour palette, devised as a nod to European modernism, “which relates to a clean, modern and industrial atmosphere,” the studio add. Pairing nicely with the modernist typeface choice, the palette sees black and white tones combine with occasional brown hues that provide an organic warmth. “This is both a subtle hint to the materiality of Neutra’s builds, as well as nature’s influence on the architect’s design philosophy,” they conclude.