Regular Practice’s tactile identity system for ARC fuses modern expression with geographic legacy
London-based design studio Regular Practice have crafted the comprehensive, tactile identity for London-operating, Painswick and Padstow-based hotelier ARC – a new initiative from the design studio’s long-time collaborators and architects, Parti Studio. Elegant and effortless, the identity reflects the countryside retreats that ARC offer, including two up-to-30-people homes. Beyond the in-person spaces, ARC also sought to reimagine how one books getaways through their customisable ‘ARC Lobby’ booking system – a wholly original digital build that illustrates the company’s forward-thinking approach.
With each of the sites completely decked out with the latest luxuries, technologies and amenities, Regular Practice sought to curate subtly, engaging typographic moments throughout the spaces, developing printed packaging, clothing and physical ephemera – each element of which focuses uniquely around the specific location, alongside the bespoke serif wordmark. “Typographically we were looking for an expression which would reflect the classic and historical nature of original architecture,” Director & Co-founder Tom Finn tells us, opting for King Caslon as the hero typeface supporting the wordmark, “but also the sense of it being a contemporary and future-facing expression.”
Encapsulating as much in ARC’s three letterforms, the type’s design effortlessly expresses elegance and charm through plunging, historically-referential elements, such as the curved leg of the ‘R,’ the soft point of the ‘A,’ or the ‘C’s narrow opening. “Accentuated by the physical usages,” Finn explains, “the logotype is designed to be broken into separate units,” he adds, “working across any material, colour or process in the physical palette in the houses,” alluding to the binary structure of ARC’s identity.
“The ARC identity has two layers,” Finn recalls, noting the monochromatic core of the brand, such as the wordmark and type, as the base later. “To complement this, each individual house has a micro identity driven by colour and forms,” he continues, citing the secondary layer, “which are informed by their surroundings both directly and abstractly,” using Painswick’s topiary-renowned Cotswold context, and the subsequent rounded green forms, as an example. “ARC’s intention is to grow,” Finn concludes, “so the location identity system needs to be able to grow with the brand and locations,” physically marrying ARC’s identity with the very tactility of the spaces themselves, carved into location-appropriate stone tiles and hand-rendered signs to masterfully exemplify a merge between contemporary design and geographic legacy.