We are excited to report that Arper has won the IF Communication Award 2012 in the Print Media– Corporate Communication category. For almost six decades, the IF Design Awards have recognized outstanding achievements in design. The materials will be on display at the IF Design exhibition in Hannover and Hamburg, in the city of Haikou in China and, in February 2012, online on the IF Design website. The Awards Ceremony will be held on February 12th at the BMW World Headquarters in Munich.
The renewal of Arper’s brand identity involved the updating of all communication materials, creating an integrated communication system where every product represented a key component in an organic whole to transmit a unified, coherent and inspired message to a target audience.
Evolution not revolution
The project involved an “evolution not revolution” of the company’s brand language and corresponding graphic identity, the complete reconstruction of both the company’s photographic archive (over 1200 images), the technical drawing and illustrations archive (over 300 drawings) and the rewriting and reformatting of over 500 information sheets with technical data.
The design process was the result of a unique system of teamwork across various design disciplines and national borders. The team included the innovative New York design firm 2×4 (Susan Sellers, Creative Director and Partner, and David Yun, Art Director) known for working collaboratively with architectural and cultural clients as diverse as the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Nike; the widely regarded Lievore Altherr Molina in Barcelona which worked to define Arper’s identity designing a number of Arper’s most visible collections including Catifa and Leaf; and Arper’s in-house design team.
Make the implicit, explicit
Says Jeannette Altherr of Lievore Altherr Molina about the process:
“We chose to work with 2×4 because we felt there was a tremendous opportunity to do more than pick a typeface or create a stylistic approach to Arper’s print or website. There was an important story to tell embodied in the products themselves, a story about design choices: about choosing synthesis over illustration; about choosing dialogue over self-conscious design for design’s sake, for a thoughtful, honest, incremental approach to sustainability and responsibility to the environment; about the value of simplicity and quality. The idea was to ‘make the implicit, explicit’. We have worked continually to find direct and engaging ways to explain Arper’s approach, its relevance to architects, the design community, as well as to end users.”
The aesthetic of Arper’s communications is both aesthetically pure and refined, and also playful and pragmatic. The new graphic language uses the building blocks of historical modernism, in this case Helvetica and Futura, in a bold, contemporary way, creating a clear and stable frame to feature a lyrical and informative narrative about Arper products and culture.
A visual synthesis of Arper’s values
Photography helps to elaborate the message. Photographs created with Scheltens & Abbenes operate as expressive, dynamic diagrams of Arper collections and products. They describe the design systems, the modularity, the diversity of options, and express the ethos inherent in their form. Others evoke the creative potential of products through repetition, multiples and subtle shifts in color. The result is a series of remarkable images that accentuate the essential forms and graceful lines that distinguish the Arper aesthetic.
The Arper website is designed to be an elegant and efficient tool, to provide clear, accessible and inspiring information to specify Arper products – but also to inspire a conversation which reaches beyond the products themselves and out into the world in which they operate, the world of creative production, at work and at home. The website positions itself as a forum for thinking about design generally.
All these tools combined create a unified expression of the brand: simple, informative, and inspiring, a seamless yet varied platform for exploring and expressing Arper and the time.
At Arper, Marco Benvegnù, Brand Manager, led the process: “The new corporate communication is the visual synthesis of Arper’s values. It’s a conceptual platform designed to develop Arper’s messages consistently and connect them to the world. This synthesis is the result of a strategic process of questioning, analysis and awareness of Arper’s unique assets as well as target-audience needs. Scheltens’ expressive style in photography emphasizes the conceptual work done by the design team, and communicates in an intuitive way the aesthetic and functional attributes of Arper collections.”
Photo credits: Varianti