Seven’s people-prioritising brand for Samson welcomes the childlike simplification of letterforms
“Looking at the wider competition set within the property sector,” Seven’s Design Director James Powell tells us, “we could have quite easily fallen into the tropes of blues and greens,” unpacking the Auckland-based studio’s award-winning identity for property developers Samson. “They have a strong focus on sustainability and people,” Powell continues, in both their own practice and the properties they develop, “and we wanted to communicate the sense of warmth and care they have.”
Having opted for Indian Type Foundry’s Switzer and Ekstra from Good Type Foundry as their dynamic typographic duo, Powell explains, “the neo-grotesque characteristics of Ekstra perfectly reinforce the humanist feel we wanted to portray,” leading the identity with the concept of people-prioritising, generational thinking over quick architectural fixes. “Switzer felt like a natural pairing for its clean legibility and varied weights,” he adds, “a more functional workhorse font whilst still belonging to a neo-grotesque style too,” and, importantly, not competing with the distinct forms of Seven’s bespoke wordmark.
“We wanted to ensure Samson’s wordmark was uniquely theirs,” Powell recalls, looking to connect the characterful, chunky letters to their ‘built for generations’ strategic approach to the brand. “The building forms can be playfully mixed, matched and stacked,” he suggests, “building upon themselves to create a highly flexible and fun system,” built with longevity in mind.
“Each letterform was created using a modular grid,” Powell details, allowing Seven to experiment endlessly with the varying combinations of blocks, which Seven also physically produced out of a recycled 3D substrate. “I think the childlike simplification of these forms is what really makes the identity so compelling,” Powell concludes, “it brings a sense of humanity to what could have otherwise been quite a cold and functional property brand.”