Studio Oker’s slick and systematic identity for Norsk Etikett reflects their production process
Stavanger-based design agency Studio Oker have collaborated with Norway’s premier printer Norsk Etikett, capitalising on their speciality in label printing to develop a brand identity and website representative of their expertise. Crafting a slick, utilitarian and systematic visual language flavoured with moments of punch and character.
Studio Oker’s graphic solution conceptually and aesthetically embodies the appearance of labels – as well the process of printing, cutting and pasting. At the heart of this direction is the distinctive carved logomark; the contrasting forms of which visually signify the soft and solid materials within a printing studio. Brought alive digitally, the resulting icon captures the powerful balance of pragmatism and artistry present in the printing process. Where design and technical know-how work in harmony.
Supporting the logomark is Studio Oker’s implementation of type, beginning with Neue Haas Grotesk for Norsk Etikett’s wordmark. “We felt that it added a timeless quality,” Partner & Designer Baard Kolstad tells us, “that paired nicely together with Bw Gradual for the rest of the communication,” he adds, referring to their introduction of Branding with Type’s sans serif as the identity’s leading typeface. “Bw Gradual was chosen because we felt that the letterforms related nicely to the shapes in the logo symbol,” Kolstad explains, with both sharing a corresponding contrast in forms, as well as, a graphic allusion to movement.
Once again reflecting print production, the rigid gridded structure of the identity considers the elegance within the act of making’s minutiae. “There’s something inheritably beautiful in the curves of labels,” Kolstad remarks, “which was very inspirational for us in the creative process,” a sentiment also reflected in Studio Oker’s choice and combination of type, letterform and logomark. “With our grid-based approach we realised during our research for the project how modular the printing process is,” he continues, “and building the symbol from a grid system echoed this notion;” keeping Norsk Etikett’s visual language clean, considered, concise and, fundamentally, expert. A consideration also reflected in their strict use of colour. “They wanted to be positioned as a specialist within their field,” Kolstad concludes, “and we felt that having a limited colour palette reflected this choice.”