Studio Albin Holmqvist’s identity for PINE recontextualises its cinematic and artistic influences
Founded by Adam Holmström and Philippe Tempelman, Stockholm-based production company PINE has quite the roster of talent, both behind the scenes and in terms of their clientele. In need of a new visual identity as bold and visually courageous as PINE itself, they turned to Studio Albin Holmqvist to achieve as much. Calling on cinematic references, artistic influences and rigorous typography, the studio have crafted a succinct, refreshing and graphically arresting brand built upon energetic bespoke lettering and a powerful visual balance of type, colour and image.
With designer Carl Wetzenstein brought on board to help realise the identity’s potential, the brand began with work ‘unapologetic,’ diving straight into the title sequence of the 1996 classic La Haine for inspiration for PINE’s wordmark. “I really wanted the wordmark to feel clunky and not overly designed,” Albin Holmqvist tells us, “like the workers who paint street signage on asphalt,” he adds, achieving the same level of craft and candour with PINE’s wordmark, managing to be both the centre of attention and supportive.
In reference to the French Renaissance, Holmqvist opted for Commercial Type’s Portrait Display alongside Swiss Typefaces’ Suisse Int’l as the secondary typefaces, relying on the comprehension and tenacity of the latter to ground the identity. In doing so this allows the vibrant Scandinavian-inspired colour palette and expressive type treatment to translate the character of PINE without getting muddled along the way – giving the identity room to breathe.
“We wanted to give the client the possibility to speak with a variety of different voices,” Holmqvist explains, “creating contrast between the brand elements is something I always strive for,” he adds, a wonderful juxtaposition felt between the bold wordmark and its supporting text. “We drew inspiration from screenplay typography,” Holmqvist recalls, initially sketching with monospaced typefaces originally, before finding the aesthetic too literal. “Suisse Int’l felt like a more contemporary version that could still work in that setting,” he concludes, having the means to both make reference to their historic influences, whilst remaining firmly contemporary.