One foot in the future: Landscape’s identity for RATIO echoes its innovative, ambitious spirit
Sitting in the heart of Emeryville’s fast-growing life sciences cluster, RATIO is an innovation campus on Hollis Street, creating a space for the next big ideas and discoveries in biosciences. What used to be the Hollis Business Centre, owned by Beacon Capital Partners – a tenant-focused real estate investment firm with a 75-year legacy – was transformed into a campus that encourages exploration, by San Francisco-based boutique brand strategy and design studio Landscape. Equipped with state-of-the-art lab facilities, RATIO needed an identity that spoke of its focus on science, innovation, and the myriad possibilities of the future.
Landscape rose to the challenge in many ways. The team worked closely with Jenny Sharaf, a local artist, whose large-scale murals smattered across the campus inject the space with a certain energy. They created a robust signage system that now effortlessly guides visitors through the sprawling modern workspace. And finally, crafted an identity with a bespoke typeface that captures the ambitious spirit of RATIO. The name of the campus itself is inspired by the perfect mix of people, purpose, and place that define its environment. The same metaphor extends to the identity, designed to strike a balance between ‘scientific rigour and warm humanity.’
To arrive at the custom typeface, Landscape began with making modifications to Dinamo’s Monument Grotesk. “The idea was to create a typographic system that balances utility and expressive storytelling, and conceptually matches the essence of the place,” Creative Director Mackenzie Brookshire tells us. “With Monument Grotesk as the basis for the typographic identity, we started sketching potential customisations to develop what would later simply be named Monument RATIO.” Pulling visual cues from organic forms – now felt in the workmark’s fluidity – the team redrew the letters for RATIO, and handed the sketches over to Dinamo, who skillfully turned it into a typeface.
To root the system, Landscape chose a monochromatic palette, letting the expressive, aesthetic edge of the typeface really shine, ultimately grounding the identity in the very spirit of RATIO – a space cut out for groundbreaking innovations, poised for the future.