Studio Kiln’s vertical identity for Off The Wall champions the dance studio’s bravery and elegance
Vertical dance company Off The Wall Aerial, known for their expertise in aerial dancing, sought the design artistry of UK-based creative practice Studio Kiln for the creation of their identity. Founded on a simple and striking graphic system that references the dancers’ verticality, the resulting brand is slick, punchy and, akin to Off The Wall’s practice, inherently contemporary.
Led by unconventionally-set typography, Off The Wall’s wordmark is stacked upon itself, providing a lively scale for applications to traverse, react and dance upon. The type in question comes in the form of Grilli Type’s variable sans-to-serif release GT Ultra – the meticulous construction of which dutifully befits the expert tone of Off The Wall. “We loved how GT Ultra had two sides to its personality,” Creative Director Charlie Hocking tells us. “On the one hand, it can be incredibly commanding and loud,” he adds, “and on the other, it’s soft, delicate and intricate,” providing the capability to flex between stoic and sophisticated within the same type family.
“The weighty logo is set in GT Standard Ultra,” Hocking reveals, “just like the wall, it acts as the anchor to the performance,” vertically running along the page. With this in mind, Hocking recalls Studio Kiln’s decision to remove ‘Aerial’ from the logomark, explaining it “is as much a logo as it is the route of the graphic system,” noting the subsequent use of cropped and abbreviated forms. “It's used more like a graphic pattern than a traditional logo,” Hocking adds, concerned over complicating the brand. “The spirit of the company is ‘off the wall,’ so it felt right to hang on to this part of the name,” he adds.
Studio Kiln also opted to include Klim Type Foundry’s Pitch as the identity’s utilitarian supporting monospaced typeface, alongside a powerful use of colour. “We wanted something that could swing between delicate and heavy,” Hocking suggests, discussing the collection of warm, vibrant and organic tones. “It was important this identity didn’t feel too passive,” he explains, “as it takes a huge amount of courage to dance 30ft in the air, so we wanted to find colours that could represent that fearlessness,” Hocking concludes, “and then also be dialled down for lighter moments.”