Pràctica’s bookish identity for P&T Knitwear welcomes you to its colourful, multi-purpose space
Having launched as a knitwear store more than 70 years ago, the independent family-owned shop front P&T Knitwear – based in New York City’s Lower East Side – now operates as a bookshop, café, event space and podcast studio just a short walk from its original location. Turning to the Barcelona and New York-based studio, P&T Knitwear tasked Pràctica with rebranding the multi-functional space, with only one caveat – using the shop’s old sign as the identity’s starting point. “It was challenging, but also constraints can be good to define the brief,” Co-founder Javier Arizu tells us, “as long as these make sense and are solid!”
As a result, P&T Knitwear’s visual output is a colourful extravaganza of type, form and legacy, referencing both the shop’s frontage and the spine of books through its rectangular-based structural system, appearing both striking and familiar. “While it is a new brand,” Arizu notes, “there was a strong emotional component to the history and legacy of the family business,” which demanded sensitive forethought. “The reality, however, was that all we had as a reference was one image,” he recalls, which was inevitably too low-resolution for Pràctica to revive entirely. “Nor that’s what we would intend,” he adds, “instead, we tried to capture the essence of that vernacular universe,” found not only within the shop but the original business’s era and neighbourhood. Subsequently, the studio opted for a combination of Publish Gothic Condensed by Playtype and Klim Type Foundry’s Pitch as the brand’s typographic duo.
“The old sign and its context gave us strong cues on the typographic approach we’d go for,” Arizu details, calling upon the ‘Americana vernacular’ of Playtype and Klim Type Foundry’s gothic-inspired condensed typefaces. “The colour palette – with its vibrant red, yellow and black – and ultimately the visual system,” he concludes, “are made out of blocks that sit on top or next to each other, like their old sign or the signs surrounding the store,” culminating in a sturdy, reliable graphic system that is sure to give P&T Knitwear the variability and charm it needs to continue long into the next 70 years.