Navarra.is seek expression through restriction in their identity for Tokyo fashion brand SUMPRY
Tokyo-based architecture practice Atsuki have sought to combine their love of the utilitarian and their inclination for simplicity with their own essential clothing line, SUMPRY. Designed for the everyday, the line is tailored for form and function and, as a result, was in need of an identity to match.
Turning to Navarra.is, the Berlin-based design studio tackled the task both typographically and, fundamentally, systematically. Following the brand’s colour range and six categories – Weekday, Formal, Home, Mood, Sport and Holiday – Navarra.is developed a slick packaging structure that serves a pragmatic, informational role as well as an aesthetic one.
As not to distract from the identity’s striking grid system, the studio began with their limited monochromatic choice of colour palette. “The deceivingly simple layouts of the packaging are ripe with complex details that require a bit of attention to be seen,” Navarra.is’s Kirill Borisov tells us, noting a methodology that’s also carried over to their choice of typeface.
With the client looking to elevate fashion staples through reduction rather than embellishment, Borisov explains, “Atsuki wanted to strip an already austere item of anything unnecessary while making sure all that remains is of unparalleled quality,” from creating their own yarn to the inclusion of super absorbent rice paper within the textiles. “It became clear that we needed to create the ultimate design system for the ultimate t-shirt programme,” Borisov continues, “so it is only logical that we ought to use the ultimate font… Neue Haas Grotesk.”
SUMPRY’s identity showcases the typeface’s extensive capability; providing character through the implementation of the information rather than the individual letterforms themselves. A capability put to the test through SUMPRY’s use of dual languages across the brand and packaging. “Engaging with a writing system you can't read let alone understand can make designing quite tricky,” Borisov recalls of working with the Japanese language, “you are basically missing the whole cognitive level and are forced to go off geometry, grid and general balance of volumes,” he adds, using Atsuki as a consultant on the matter. “We worked closely,” Borisov concludes, “to make sure it all, well, made sense.”
Neue Haas Grotesk by Christian Schwartz and Max Miedinger