ShiftWalk amplify Jason Bailey Studio’s photographic works with a grid-based identity and website
Located in Hackney, Jason Bailey Studio is a photography and motion studio. Following a succession of high-profile client wins, Bailey reached out to Nottingham-based studio ShiftWalk to give his brand and website an exciting new makeover. The key goal of the project was to elevate the work via framing and compositional flexibility. With this in mind, the team built a modular design system for both the site and identity which can be broken down into three pillars; motifs, gradients and typography.
At its core, the grid-based typographic system informs the composition and layout of the identity as a whole. Opting for an analogue and bold aesthetic, Shiftwalk selected System85 Mono Bold and Founders Grotesk Mono Regular as the primary pairing. “To us,” Creative Director Isaac Powell recalls, speaking of the decision, “System85 is a beautiful typeface for larger headers and shorter words (so we used it for titles and links as an operating system perhaps would), but we felt it came across a little too dissonant when used in longer paragraphs at smaller sizes.” Founders Grotesk Mono, therefore, introduces a higher degree of legibility and approachability in those contexts. “As long as every typeface you’re using has a rational justification and confined context in its usage, you can be quite liberal with your pairings,” he adds.
All elements in the identity were designed to be moved easily around the grid framework, allowing Bailey to create case studies that flex to his variable content. For instance, a series of motifs represent the ‘J,’ ‘B,’ and ’S’ from the studio’s shorthand form. Alongside the logotype, the ‘J’ is the brand’s defining mark. Smaller details, like the crosshatches, line work and indentation are all employed to amplify the grid framework.
“The cross-hatches were originally inspired by the centre-point indicators on a camera, and initially were used to mark positions on our grid for our type to sit (specifically the ‘J,’ ‘B,’ and ’S’),” Powell reveals. “As the identity developed, these became graphical elements in their own right, as we found it accentuated our system. In its final form, we intruded brackets, slashes and several other small typographical elements, each sitting on their own gridline for use in very select contexts.” The final touch is a selection of custom gradients, unifying the look as a shimmering nod to the lighting and use of mixology that JBS employ.