Office Of Overview’s identity for Manner distils their commitment to thoughtful housing developments
It’s clear that the UK needs more homes. However, history has taught us that the motives of inner-city developers aren’t always in the interest of people, with long-term impact often cast aside in favour of short-term profits. Justifiably, this makes it more difficult to develop the housing that cities need. So, what happens when a developer with a more positive approach wants to build homes? How do they communicate in a space where their audience doesn't want to hear them?
As a developer with such a vision, Manner required a clear and purposeful brand that would help planners, councils and local communities understand the benefits for them. They turned to Office Of Overview for their expertise, going far beyond bricks and mortar with the London-based agency to strategically understand how value can be increased through engaging communication and thoughtful, empathic planning. They challenged Manner to rethink what longevity can mean – both for them, their tenants and the cities they inhabit.
This strategic groundwork laid the foundation for the visuals, driven by the humanistic illustrations of Doug John Miller. “For us,” Founder James Sedgwick-Taylor explains, “the most important idea to illuminate was the purpose we helped the brand develop.” Manner takes a radically longer-term approach to developing houses, which both spans back into the city’s past (to celebrate heritage) and looks into creating a sustainable impact for the city’s future. “Simply put,” he adds, “illustration was the only versatile way we could display this.” Miller’s own background as an architect proved incredibly helpful and insightful to the project, where he brought key ideas about how to best showcase Manner’s vision through his fascinatingly detailed drawings.
Choosing Neue Haas Grotesk for the wordmark and accompanying typography, Office Of Overview sought to contrast Miller’s vibrant, characterful illustrations with crystal-clear clarity. As a result, there is a striking tension between the two, reflecting both the structure and humanistic nature of Manner’s business. “Often, designing identities means choosing where to place the weight,” Sedgwick-Taylor notes. “If every part of the brand is overtly expressive, identities can feel confusing. Likewise, stripping everything back means the communications can feel austere. We always strive to strike the correct balance. And for that balance to reflect a key element of the business,” he concludes.
Neue Haas Grotesk by Linotype