ShiftWalk’s playful-meets-structural identity for STUDY epitomises their architectural practice
In a transatlantic collaboration, multidisciplinary creative studio ShiftWalk, based in Nottingham, have developed the powerful identity for San Francisco-based architecture studio STUDY. Inspired by the architect’s process and research-led approach to projects, including a significant interest in material texture, ShiftWalk have celebrated the fundamentals of brand structure and sought to define each bedrock factor as unpretentiously and confidently as possible. As a result, STUDY’s use of colour, format, texture and type is as aesthetically and conceptually sturdy as the last, inhabiting digital and physical spaces effortlessly and without waver.
The practice’s often off-beat architecture work and inclination for storytelling is expressively reflected through the brand’s trio of charming typefaces – with the studio opting for Peregrin Studio’s Denton, FT System Blank from Frostype and Swiss Typefaces’ Swiss Int’l. Reflecting the materials, craft and technicality of STUDY’s architectural world through their own distinct styles, the typographic trinity exemplifies and explores STUDY’s adaptable abilities and resolute professionalism. The trio’s type styles and supporting roles culminate in ShiftWalk’s self-defined ‘Textural Bold’ philosophy, a concept of playful-meets-structural graphic application that leads the visual output of the brand.
“The colour work was initially inspired by the idea of a shared love of the printed medium between ourselves and STUDY,” Creative Director Isaac Powell tells us, looking to use electric colours to represent the brand’s physical volumes of work. “Then the idea of the initial landing experience of the website being almost like the front cover came to be,” Powell continues, “so our logo is always employed in black or white, and is only altered by the textures it interacts with,” resulting in an authentic, “weathered” tactility. “We really wanted that simplicity and to only use colour in the absence of substantial text,” he details, ultimately resulting in a self-assured logotype that requires no supplementary decoration or frills – only context and physical texture.
STUDY’s subtle stoicism is most overtly epitomised through the inclusion of a full-stop in the brand’s logotype – a feature ShiftWalk introduced following time spent with the practice. “The full-stop was always something that STUDY employed, even before our collaboration,” Powell recalls. “The initial name came to be as a sort of portmanteau between ‘studio’ and the founders’ names,” he describes, whereby ‘Studio DiNapoli Yoder’ became its shorthand. “By taking the names out of the actual studio name, it becomes much more about their team,” Powell continues, noting the studios’ internationally-operating internal structure whilst also introducing a brutalist tone of voice. “It’s quite powerful as a device when you see it out there,” Powell concludes, “it adds a little something to the visual balance that we really liked.”