Rogue Studio’s identity for Lens takes nostalgic cues from early internet and magazine graphics
Lens is a publication, platform and community showcasing creator stories that aim to inform, inspire and entertain. In search of an identity that could synthesise their values and express them in a visual way, they reached out to Brooklyn-based digital design agency Rogue Studio. With a unique perspective, and a target audience of writers, artists, YouTubers, TikTokers, and entrepreneurs, it was essential that the overall brand image would connect with people who work in the digital creative economy. To convey the collaborative mission of the company, “great work is made in groups,” the studio developed a design system centred around the Lens’ creative process: ‘Collab. Publish. Repeat.’
The visual language takes inspiration from both classic publications and the aesthetics of the early web and desktop publishing interfaces. It features Redaction, a bookish yet pixelated serif family originally created for Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts’ MoMA PS1 exhibition of the same name. For the body copy, Rogue selected the versatile, highly legible and distinctly corporate IBM Plex Sans.
For visual cues, the Rogue team also looked to the world of newspaper editorial design; creating an inviting series of illustrated avatars as a result. “Our inspiration came from the nostalgic comic cartoons we used to read in the Sunday paper after our parents were done with it,” Founder & Creative Director Britton Stipetic explains. “Additionally, we created a pixel-based icon suite that reinforces the theme of digital nostalgia and old computer interfaces, paying homage to where we started and where we are going in the future.” By blending these two eras, Stipetic adds that they “aimed to create a contemporary look reflecting the creative economy’s emergence and growth, as well as new technologies.”
In order to signpost each content pillar within Lens, the team introduced a bright and contemporary colour palette. As Stipetic explains, “the three core content pillars are culture (blue), commerce (red and black), and creativity (green and purple).” The thinking behind these choices is based on colour psychology and the designers’ own intuition. “The red and black colours for commerce felt natural as they relate to the stock market and profitability,” he tells us. “For culture, we chose blue to represent its fluidity and constant evolution. Lastly, we opted for a vibrant greenish-yellow and purple combination for creativity as they perfectly embody freshness, free-spiritedness and imagination.”