The Edit: five projects including An Open Understanding’s cinematic identity for gaming studio FWS
Each and every day, we're lucky to discover dozens of interesting and inspiring projects from around the world. From global identities and campaigns to side projects and independently published books, The Edit is home to five of them; every two weeks.
Based in London, Fire Without Smoke are a leading creative and marketing studio for the gaming industry; counting the likes of Riot Games, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and 2K Games as their clients. Approached to redefine the studio’s identity to better represent their standards and character, fellow Londoners An Open Understanding found inspiration in the cinematic feel that’s threaded throughout their portfolio; placing their breathtaking visuals at the front and centre alongside a flowing, geometric FWS monogram. Embracing the boldness of the mark alongside a striking palette of red, black and white, An Open Understanding worked closely with the FWS team to showcase the identity across the company’s credentials, website, marketing and printed materials.
New York-based design practice Workbyworks, operated by designer Han Gao, have devised the identity for Perfect Print – a professional photography and film development studio in Shanghai. His eclectic yet systematic solution utilises a modular combination of colour and geometric form to represent the various services the business provides. To contrast this intentionally busy aesthetic, Gao chose A2-TYPE’s New Rail Alphabet as the identity’s typographic protagonist – with its sans serif simplicity cutting through the noise created by the surrounding shapes, colour and patterns.
Throughout the pandemic, Toronto-based academic and educator Ana Rita Morais witnessed how BIPOC students are disproportionately impacted by social, economic and health disparities. In an effort to lessen the financial hardships brought upon them, she created and sold a limited-run, large-scale calendar at the end of 2021 to help fund emergency aid for BIPOC students at George Brown College’s School of Design in Toronto. The design of the calendar is a landmark in contemporary typography, with each month utilising a different typeface and showcasing it in an expressive manner. From sans serif classics like Neue Haas Grotesk and Dinamo’s Favorit to expressive typefaces from Colophon Foundry, VJ Type and Pangram Pangram. As a result of the initiative, which saw 350 calendar sets sold, Morais and her team were able to generate nearly $12,000 in funding.
Originally a conceptual university project, OVNA OVICH is a socially responsible clothing brand from New Zealand whose designs pay homage to the Russian heritage and performance-based background of its director Marina Davis. Each collection from the brand is a ‘chapter,’ with each garment considered to be part of its own short story. Auckland-based designer Harrison Gyde helped Davis with the development of the brand at the tail end of 2021. The result of which is a cohesive identity system and reimagined digital experience that matches the nostalgic ethos of the brand itself. Together with a palette of “parchment and aged brown,” Gyde introduced Pangram Pangram’s elegant serif Editorial New as the centrepiece of the identity; allowing product imagery to speak for itself while providing a future-proof framework for the brand to establish itself within.
Leon Michels’ musical career as a multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and songwriter has seen him collaborate with The Black Keys, Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Adele, Freddie Gibbs, the Wu-Tang Clan and Lana Del Ray – to name a few. His own solo offering Adult Themes, which was released in the summer of 2020, was largely inspired by the moody works of 60s film score composers such as Francois de Roubaix and dense instrumental orchestrations from artists including David Axelrod and Moondog. Taking on the task of art directing and designing the album’s packaging, New York-based creative studio High Tide developed a sophisticated and seductive approach that embraces the cinematic sensibilities behind Michels’ inspirations.
An Open Understanding