Form Magazine (form.de) recently featured us in article in which, as they describe as on their website ‘Angharad Lewis analyses the not always easy relationship between typography and luxury labels, taking the works of Gareth Hague of Alias as an example’.
For that article I completed a Q&A for Angharad, revised text below. In this article I talk about the role of type in branding and advertising, not collateral design such as websites.
Could you explain the commissioning process for your work and outline the expertise you bring to fashion branding projects?
I’m not sure this process is any different in fashion than it is for anything else – the role of type is to capture something of the essence of the brand, what makes it special and unique.
Are there any unique considerations for type design in a fashion context as opposed to other sectors?
The fashion image is best left to do its thing unexplained. So, whether subtle or obvious, it connects with the viewer long enough to make its point.
Fashion brands represent themselves through image rather than type, and tend to work best with the fewer words the better. Fashion advertising is most successful when the right combination of art director, photographer and stylist combine to present a fashion designer’s vision in a striking, magical way.
If you see a fashion campaign with supporting typography, catchy tag line or slogan, it will have been done – usually – by a misguided advertising agency or un-art directed in-house marketing department.
Fashion should let you fill on the gaps yourself, become what you want it to be. So if you want to make a fashion campaign with type that has to be its start point. See Peter Saville’s work for Yohji Yamamoto with cityscapes constructed from type, or some of Comme des Garçons’ super-oblique campaigns. Note that these are two cerebral, conceptual designers.
The technical, detailed work of type design can seem far-removed from the fashion world – what is your view on the role of good typography in fashion branding?
Type design shares the same spirit of (for example) craft, innovation, modernity and heritage as fashion. So when you talk about (good) branding in (good) fashion you’re talking about design that expresses the appropriate combination of these ideas through a name or word.
Type most powerfully represents a brand through its logotype. With a tradition of some of the greatest, most famous logos from any industry – YSL, Prada, Chanel – there is a challenge to live up to that.
What for you has been the most successful or rewarding application of an Alias font in the fashion world?
Making logotype part of a wider, more complete identity. So expanding the Prada logo to a typeface, and developing the Hunter Gather logotype and typefaces.
Also, Another Man and Another magazines I think are successful examples of combining fashion photography and striking typography in a progressive, innovative way, bringing image and type into a cohesive whole.
Can you pin-point any seminal graphics/ fashion intersections that have inspired your practice?
Logos for YSL, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons…
In terms of strategies and approaches, what can graphic designers and their fashion clients learn from each other’s way of working?
Fashion designers and art directors share a connection more than type designers, type being outside and separate to the photographic fashion image. There is a shared sense of creative spirit, but in terms of branding typography needs to separate itself from the essence of a particular image, fashion moment or campaign. Instead it s role is to create a solution that captures a designer or brand’s ethos or spirit. So something that remains relevant through different fashion collections over a period of time.
There could be 30,000 or 300,000 fonts available to purchase and use, covering every use and circumstance. So why design more?
No one knows how many typefaces there are. Affordable, easy to use software such as Fontographer, and later Fontlab and others have revolutionised type design and production beyond belief. From cumbersome and expensive woodblock or hot metal to cumbersome and expensive photosetting the design and dissemination of type had previously been hugely limited. Computer design made it democratic – doable and easy to distribute.
Why new typefaces? Why new anything? So if too many typefaces, then surely we have enough songs, or films, or books. No? Are songs, films and books different somehow? Perhaps the argument is that they’re somehow more creative. Or are they creative in their own right, whereas presumably type design needs the conduit of graphic design to exist.
As well as ignoring the layers of processes, skills and crafts needed in any creative enterprise, this suggests that there is somehow a sliding scale of creativity, where some skills are more important than others, and that they are not part of a connected cultural whole. In this thing that is all around us that we call Culture everything that is made, designed or recorded and disseminated shifts, develops and changes, reacting to each other and according to myriad social, political, technical (etc) reference points. We may not be aware of or like a lot of it, may cherry pick as ‘cultural’ the things we like, but it all interconnects, even as opposites pushing each other to extremes of separation or difference.
So as all these factors change, so culture changes also. Just as we change as we grow up, our bodies, opinions and tastes. This is Time. This is Life. They are defined by Change. So Change is inevitable, it’s outside of need or necessity. It just Is.
If what is said and written exists of this world of change, on page or screen, then how can the shape of the individual letters through which this is expressed not be? Whether better than before, or different, of course there is always opportunity for New. To suggest otherwise is a redundant argument, supported by what? What is too many? Is there a specific number? Who decides?
Type has a uniquely special and important place in culture as the medium through which language is recorded and disseminated. To suggest there are ‘enough’ or ‘too many’ ways of doing this I find odd and wrong.
New messages in new media can be best described through new design. Specialists in screen based type design are amending existing fonts to meet its particular requirements, in part of a continuing process of making new according to context – in manufacture and use.
Graphic designers can choose to use new typefaces, old, or like Massimo Vignelli just three. They can choose to use none, writing everything by hand – that would look amazing. There is room for every approach, just as there are type designers specialising in every kind of niche market of design.
Type designers will disagree with what I consider to be new and relevant, graphic designers will respond to the needs of function and fashion in what they use, and new work good and bad will be made and argued about.
There are commercial imperatives to consider also, too many new fonts are effectively tweaks of existing designs, aiming to cash in on profitable niche markets. Notions of difference in these cases become subtle, with myriad new designs openly marketing themselves as a ‘new’ or ‘better’ Helvetica, Caslon or whatever. In such circumstances clashes over perceived similarity become complex to argue. How to define closeness of appearance between two functional, 1950s derived sans serif fonts? What amount of similarity is acceptable? It is generally an easier claim to make of someone else’s work than your own.
If there is one basic shape per letter (it isn’t quite that straightforward, but you know what I mean), then there are only a set number of musical notes, or basic story structures. There is always room for difference within systems. If a start point is Difference rather than Similarity, then you will make work that defines your position in the world and asserts your value within it.
Above are four Alias responses to Helvetica – Grist, Noah, Glue and Progress.
This is a geometric design that is more about Idea than it is about Craft. Design, like art, is Craft and / or Idea. Any amount of craft, or technical skill, cannot replace the need for an idea, an idea with purpose, relevance, and, in a world of image overload – difference. If not different, why bother?
These are unrealised identity proposals for RSA – Royse Sanders Amfitheatrof – a company specialising in arts related projects. That rather opaque phrase means that they initiated and organised collaborations with artists.
The Chess project was artist designed chess sets, where artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Maurizio Cattelan and Damian Hirst made a super-limited edition chess set, which were exhibited and (at least initially) available to buy. They were all high-end artists, and large objects, so the prices were in the tens of thousands of pounds.
The idea of the hexagon was the silhouette shape of the isometric cube and its internal keyline construction. It came from the square shape of the chess board and its individual squares. Its a flat and impossible, artificial rendition of something three dimensional, and a good skeleton to hang different variations and ideas from. Logos or marks for individual exhibitions could inhabit the same hexagon shape.
The logo is a monogram of R,S and A, they’re in there somewhere. More than that it’s a striking looking object, an interconnecting, dynamic, mazey pattern. Something you could imagine made in three dimensions, or stamped into metal or leather as an identifying hallmark.
As a company involved in creativity it was important that they have an identity that was striking, bold and statement-making. It was an opportunity to attempt something adventurous and interesting.
The Chess word was inspired by Sol Le Witt’s ‘Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes’ drawings, where he took a keyline drawing of an isometric cube and systematically drew versions missing its component parts in various configurations. It connected with the hexagon logo by having the same weight of line, and looked like it was made from elements pulled apart from it, so letters made from a very non-letter grid. It is readable but very much a ‘thing’, a graphic device, as much as it is a word.
The RSA logotype uses the hexagon silhouette as a grid to construct letters from. A hexagon- rather than dot-matrix. Its shape defines at least to a certain extent the shape of the letters, maintaining their clarity, and makes interesting and spikey interior shapes. The hexagon gives them a faceted shape that suggests jewellery and the precious nature of the objects the company was to be associated with.
See the finished project in the Archive section at alias.dj. It’s a bit different.
RSA’s disappointingly so far unrealised next project is Flush Art, artist designed toilets. See the logo in the Archive section at alias.dj. It has a typographic poo.
As their names suggest Grist and Glue share an idea. Broadly that is making stencil letters using simple shapes.
Grist, as discussed in a previous blog post, was designed originally as a logo proposal for art-pop band Fischerspooner. It was one of a series of ideas exploring ways of taking an upper case serif font and making it ‘graphic’, so like a logo rather than a typeface. I tried this in various ways – by making the serifs thicker, or making the serif oversized and angular. These generally weren’t very successful.
The most successful version stripped out the thin stress of the typeface and added a circle as an occasional serif. This made a dotting effect when set as multiple words. This was presented, to be rejected and a more neutral serif typeface used in what became a very untypographic series of record sleeves (also discussed elsewhere and on alias.dj).
Having written the blog post and reminding myself about the project, I wanted to develop this serif stencil circle typeface further. As it happened during the Fischerspooner project and in a fit of enthusiasm I had drawn a complete A-Z.
What I liked about the idea originally was that the typeface was made up of these big, dramatic shapes, either the circle or bits of circle or these swashy triangles or rectangles. There were no small fussy shapes, so it could be cut out and used as a stencil. The serif was a useful connecting device and the letters were, generally, readable.
As I developed the character set rows of circles became diagonal lines or dashes, so accented characters, or currency, hash or @ signs (etc) became these codified, braille-like shapes. I enjoyed designing them. As a headline typeface they were free of at least some of the rigours of clarity, and able to rely on impact.
It is more clearly a typeface from a limited set of graphic shapes. It is modular, but its grid forces the shapes to work fit together in non obvious ways making non obvious shapes. Its limited modular structure means that shape arrangements are recycled, with an A flipped to make a 7, or X flipped to make a Z – I’m rather proud of these typographic firsts, I suspect they’re my only ones.
So it is semi abstract, but readable. It expects the reader to try quite hard, expecting them to decide for themselves whether its design makes it worth the effort.
Issue 14 of Emigré magazine was the Heritage issue. This word was set large on the cover in bitmapped blackletter type. This was a clash of opposites – calligraphy versus computer – and as opposites often do, it looked incredibly effective. Blackletter and bitmap share a black, angular, modular and abrasive aesthetic, but separated by a thousand years. More in fact. It’s pretty amazing.
The Pages window in InDesign gives thumbnail size renderings of its content that allows you to navigate a multi-page document. These will be blocks of grey usually for text, or crunchy bitmapped pictures. Text large enough will be an approximated jumble of bitmaps.
These usually look pretty abstract, but for some reason our typeface Caustic was semi-readable. Screen-grabbed and scaled-up, these page icons look quite striking. The differences in type size producing different results, odd but characterful and recognisable letter shapes.
Maybe the idea of basic-ness and simplicity of bitmaps is old enough to become interesting again, it’s years of over-use safely 25 years ago. Maybe the new norm of super-sharp retina screens and high-definition TVs mean that something new or different comes from a different direction.
With this idea it’s also an appealing as its ‘found’ or ‘ready-made’. It’s an idea that involved no design, just noticing and using something already there, that would otherwise be discarded or ignored.
So screen grabbing is not a new idea, bitmap type obviously isn’t, sometimes it’s the change in combinations or use that makes something new. New-ish. Or not new, but still good.
Do Creatives from other industries see in graphic design the same opportunities for progressive spirit, for newness or individuality that they see in their own work? You’d assume they would, though it’s reasonable to assume they don’t have the same awareness of current trends, or of context or design history.
When you think of logos for fashion companies you think of fantastic but surprisingly old designs such as Cassandre’s semi-calligraphic lettering for (pre-Hedi Slimane) YSL, Prada’s quirky Engravers-ish type (no one’s tracked down the source typeface, if there was one), Chanel’s much-copied Sackers type… These are all-time classics of logo design from any industry. Yohji Yamamoto’s angular signature and Comme des Garcons’ asterisk-cedilla are newer examples of striking, appropriate designs – for great designers, note.
There are of course lots of less successful, lazy, designs that subscribe to familiar fashion-cliché tropes. There always will be, not everything’s great, but fashion designers surely should want to present themselves in – for want of a better word – a creative way?
Also, when you think of fashion magazine design you think of the groundbreaking work of Alexey Brodovitch for Harper Bazaar magazine. This seems to have defined some kind of archetype for Fashion magazine typography and design. It set the tone for a myriad of magazine mastheads and layouts with spindly serif typography, lovingly researched from archives and historical sources, expertly redrawn, but familiar and lacking in progressive spirit – or new idea.
Type design for fashion is separate from the fashion industry. It’s outside the creation of fashion imagery, which is photographic and ephemeral. Ephemeral to season and to the fashion moment. It is the job of type, in terms of branding, to create a solution that captures a designer or brand’s ethos or spirit, something that remains relevant through different fashion collections.
So to not be ‘fashionable’. Kind of. Fashion isn’t soap powder or petrol, Fashion can be conceptual, driven by idea, is Creative. So there is the possibility of typography – in terms of logo and its applications – with extra, different levels of design ethos perhaps not available to other branding projects. It is still branding in and for the world of commerce though, with the same needs and limits as branding for other industries. A balancing that with the particular needs of fashion can be difficult to achieve.
Fashion houses tend to be named after their founder, so particularly with newer companies there is an issue of how the designer represents themselves as people as well as a company. There is an extra sense of the personal, which can be difficult to overcome.
In the case of Phillip Lim, he chose to represent himself with the codified 3.1 and his name as a signature. This connects him in a very direct, intimate way with his ’brand’. Perhaps, as companies expands, this personal connection becomes less important, and a brand’s iconography is defined by other factors, broader ideas about what it represents, more obliquely or graphically applied.
This mark for 3.1 Phillip Lim was designed to work with their redrawn (not by me) logotype. They needed something they could put on spectacle frames, buttons, inside shoes, that sort of thing. It’s their favicon too – that mini logo next to the URL in your web browser’s address bar.
As the logo is Phillip’s signature, it made sense for the mark to be a shortened version of that, like the initial mark he might make when signing off a proof. It had to look ‘designed’ though, not a doodle but a clearly defined letter that connects to and make sense with the logo – in the same world, as we designers like to say. So a P in the same style is almost enclosed in a circle, like an @. Positioned next to the logo it looks like an oversized full stop.
A cover for the proposed book A Protest Against Forgetting – Interviews with Eric Hobsbawm by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Hobsbawm was a Marxist historian and thinker, he is celebrated as one of the most important historians of the twentieth century. He was a committed and outspoken adherent to the principles of Marxism, in the face of frequent, overwhelming opposition.
The constructivist typography associated with Soviet Russia and therefore Communism is awesome – bold, inventive, striking. When designing a cover for content associated with Communism there is therefore a lot of fantastic reference points. Some of the themes of constructivism – geometry, asymmetry and its sense of energy can be used differently, these ideas presented in a changed, new(er) way.
There are pitfalls too in having such strong starting points. Book covers in particular seem to use pastiche of historic designs as a handy shortcut to making an obvious, literal connection between cover and content. I don’t like pastiche, don’t understand it or see why it’s relevant as an idea. Also, for someone like Hobsbawm, presenting his spirited and unpopular viewpoint there was a need for an added sense of subversive vibrancy, a sense of clash.
I’ve named the ideas, from top to bottom as Overlap, Graffiti, Stencil and Writing, and brief descriptions follow.
Clashing and overlapping type represents the ideas of PROTEST and AGAINST in the book title, and the way layers of graffiti overlap. Graffiti, because of it is a way of expressing the angry, subversive, anti-establishment. The type is an amended version of our Ano typeface. Like Constructivist typography, it is based on geometry, but is a very different and modern expression of this idea.
The red, gold and black colourway throughout takes reference from – of course – Communist flags, and Soviet typography. Gold also suggests the gilding of traditional bookbinding and that sense of craft and care. The gold separates Eric Hobsbawm text. This represents his status as a special and precious talent.
The angled, graphic, stencil type is a pure and typographic version of the randomness of graffiti and subversive spirit of stencil and spray-paint, or police DO NOT CROSS tape. The serif / circle / stencil typeface (I’m currently developing) is expressive and has something of the decorative nature of Cyrillic types.
Stencil type made from basic, geometric shapes adapted from our Ano typeface, filling the page to make a kind of pattern. Again, the type is abrasive, the word breaks are arbitrary, depending on where the line ends rather than any sense of grammar.
Typography uses Caustic – a graphic, stylised version of handwriting or calligraphy, so suggests something intimate, like a diary or record of a conversation. However, it is angular and pointy, so suggests an opinion that is discordant, that might not be widely popular. The classic, centred layout looks serious. This is a serious book.
The full interview for Computer Arts Collection, part of a feature on Typographic Trends. Available February 2013.
1. What’s the appeal of blackletter-style type, for you – why do you think it’s enjoying a revival?
The popularity of Blackletter type is odd in many ways. Medieval typography’s associations, particularly religious text and Nazi Propaganda, should make it deeply unappealing in a secular wannabe-tolerant society. It is also difficult to read, and the values the style represents seemingly old, or out of fashion, or out of context, where the other creative arts express modernity through minimalism, technology and ease of use.
However, it has been consistently used, certainly throughout the twentieth century, whether by iconic figures such as William Morris, Jan Tschichold or Herb Lubalin, or any current example. Medieval lettering has beauty and mystery, the evocative imagery of having been written by hand, so long ago, with so much skill. But also it’s dynamic, graphic, bold and striking, so usable, statement-making. In contemporary popular culture, the Gothic heritage of the form makes it appropriate for the doom laden imagery Heavy Metal band logos, and street-style lettering and tag graffiti often references or takes influence from the decorative strength of the form.
2. How do you go about adapting the Medieval / Gothic type style to make it current and fresh?
I explored ways of combining latin lettershapes with the exotic blackness the lettering has, making these expressively angular letterforms familiar and more functional. This has always seemed more relevant, more interesting, than a more direct redrawing. Text and Klute do this in different ways. Text constructs letters from a series of graphic shapes, swashy curves suggest writing with a brush, letter elements connected at a sharp point. Its letterforms have the modular similarity of Blackletter styles. Klute mixes references from blackletter and the freer shapes derived from tagging, so it looks as if it was written with a thick marker pen as much as having been carved with a chisel.
3. Traditionally, Gothic typefaces are dense and can be difficult to read, how do you tackle this challenge?
I don’t think Klute or Text are hugely readable, they’re designed for impact. Text’s name highlights this issue of legibility, and the fact that 500 years ago this exotic graphic typeface might have been a design for text. As type designer Zuzana Licko said – “you read best what you read most”.
4. Do you consciously draw on the look and feel of traditional calligraphic tools and techniques in your type design work? Do you experiment with pen / brush work as part of the development process?
No, my work has nothing to do with calligraphy, pens, brushes, chisels etc. My type designs are drawn entirely on computer. That separates them from the inherent logic of writing, the shapes made by the movement of hand and arm, and the thickness of line determined from the angle of brush or pen. This makes new, different shapes possible.
5. How do you feel this re-emergence of ‘old-fashioned’ styles of type ties into the wider trend for a handcrafted, authentic approach to design?
I don’t like old fashioned as an idea, new media and new messages require new ideas. That doesn’t mean you can’t take references from old ideas, just mix them and make something new. I don’t accept that handcrafted is more authentic than computer drawn, and don’t accept that authentic is relevant as a premise. Being good is what’s important. Certainly there is a resurgence in hand drawn lettering, as there is presumably a need to make a connection with the human-ness of the craft process. Personally I’d like to see this expressed in more progressive ways than traditional forms of calligraphy or handwriting.
In 1990 the process of graphic design – getting your idea to the printed page – was very different. Smooth powdered-china coated CS10 board was masking taped onto drawing board, artwork formats drawn with rotring pen and the various graphic elements glued into position. Typography was specced from a typesetting house and supplied as bromide. A mathematical system based on the standard character width of your typeface of choice, word count and the width of line required provided with your point size and leading choice a hopefully accurate estimate of the space needed. Photography was supplied as photocopies at the size to be used and dropped in at repro. This artwork marked up for colour.
It was all very laborious. And expensive. We regularly spent at least a third of our total design fee on typesetting, as it went back and forth with amendments and corrections. As we were generally designing on the hoof we would receive typesetting as galleys, cut it up and try different ideas. If the size changed a little we would PMT the typesetting up and down. The poor (300dpi) outputting quality of photosetting didn’t allow too much change in scale.
The typeface for these Sindecut sleeves is AG Buch Inline Medium Shaded. It was sourced from a 1980’s Berthold catalogue, listing often exotic, dramatic typefaces like the rarities in a museum catalogue, with opaque codes designating which photosetting system was required for their output. Typically and frustratingly the more exotic ones were inevitably unavailable.
There was a fantastically Lubalin-ish gloopy script called Arvelin which I was desperate to get (notice, not ‘use’ – ‘get’) but never tracked down, maybe the photosetting system it used was never actually built. It seems to have completely disappeared, I’ve googled it and nothing comes up. This is probably why I decided ultimately to draw my own, I couldn’t take the disappointment.
The problem continues mind you, AG Buch Inline Medium Shaded not having made it on to any Akzidenz Grotesk roster of weights in any digital library. Have all those crazy swash versions of Helvetica you used to see been digitised I wonder? There did seem to be a quaint kind of free for all when it came to redrawing versions of existing designs. I say quaint of course because it didn’t involve any work of mine being plagiarised.
Surprisingly, happily, AG Buch Inline Medium Shaded – the most extreme version of this workhorse typeface – was available. And supplied in long strips of 3 inch high stiffish glossy bromide. These were enlarged by photocopy (cheaper and quicker than PMT camera), cut out, arranged and stuck down with tape and glue. Colour was marked up with felt tip pen on a tracing paper overlay (this could take a while to do and felt a bit like doing a children’s colouring-in book).
Hopefully the record company would pay for the number of colour separations the design required. There was a recession going on and they were short of money. If they didn’t, they would just leave some off. Without telling you. See those lines between the letters on the SINDECUT lettering of the back cover of the Live The Life Remix sleeve? They were put there by the printer, making a bad job of the colour separations.
The Sindecut sleeves were a kind of formalised, typographic, graffiti letter pattern. The inline and shadow of the typeface being the kind of ideas used by graffiti artists. The minimal, consistent colour scheme and basic secondary typography gave a structure so it all didn’t look like a pastiche or too ‘pop’.
It’s a bit like a 1990 version of the 2012 Olympics identity.
Hunter Gather is an e-commerce website and stand alone shop in Marylebone, London. It sells modern, cool versions of menswear staples, peacoat, leather bomber jacket, denim etc.
Art direction and graphic design was by DJA, logotype and typeface design by Alias. Website layout was by Spring Studios.
The direction for the graphics was to be tribal, like the tribal fashion of youth culture and specially that of London, so urban, hard and graphic. And modern, different. Of course.
A linear logotype, that looked like mark making, graphic like a logo or symbol as much as being a word. Being a logo for a fashion label, it needed to work in cloth at small sizes,and as an architectural device at the front of the shop.
There were various reference points from our own work, as well as an awareness of the zeitgeisty brutalist linear typography as shown on graphic design blogs such as manystuff.org, or European independent arts publishing. By awareness, I man an understanding that we had to do something different to this, in type design, typography and layout.
The two key reference points we had were our Vacant typeface and custom lettering designed for a show invitation for Prada. Both angular, one arbitrary and thick lines, one modular and thin lines. Vacant looked tribal, abrasive, but its arbitrary design was too much. Good for a magazine, but maybe too wearing for a logo, too specific. The Prada invite lettering, with kits Asteroids video game tech-linear design suggested a structure for a cleaner, more pure design direction. The logo is strongly modular, with it’s diagonal device rotating and flipping.
A three tier graphic system, with the logotype and a text typeface at either end, and an impact headline typeface in between, its design as if interpolated half way between the two. A typeface dramatic enough to stand out online, in a layout constricted by the speedily functional needs of e-commerce, of displaying product and information in an immediately understood way. It is interesting that with all the possibilities digital media makes possible, in terms of layout there are design ideas that are surprisingly recurring and consistent.
Ano typeface was used for text, its geometric nature balancing the angular logo, at one end of the tier straight lines, the other, circles. It therefore made sense for the interpolated headline type to mix angles and circles, but be readable, not abstracted or conceptual. Partly a more functional version of the Prada invitation type, but clearly connected to Ano, so that the idea of that typeface morphing into the angular design of the logo is made clear. While maintaining enough difference in terms of style and weight so that the logo stands out, is clearly separate and important.
It seems to me that online typography has a particular, extra impact to make, bearing in mind the different way the user connects with a website, particularly a selling website, to a book, magazine or poster. By that I mean there is an extra imperative to make a connection and transference of message quickly. There is a different way of reading a magazine layout, through the rhythm of its use, of turning pages, of connecting developing ideas from front to back and issue to issue.
An e-commerce idea can include editorial, text and still and moving image, as huntergather.com plans to do, but its purpose is to sell, to direct you to what can be long lists of modular-presented product – and the process of buying as smoothly and as quickly as possible. A volume of product that in a shop looks enticing, on a website looks bewildering, obfuscating, without any sense of luxury. They will hope that users stop and browse, will research hits and page views, but will aim to sell, quickly.
The carrier bags have a bolder graphic approach. These use the HG of the logotype to make a monogram, the bag scaled to fit its proportions. Its bold colours with thick black borders suggest maybe Memphis, maybe abstract art or new-wave record sleeve. It is dramatic, has impact, it represents a brand that is doing something interesting, that a customer will want to buy into.