In previous years, IDE had produced a small A6 booklet to promote the work at the annual interim show. Even with the quick turnaround of digital printing, much of the work would change and evolve up until the day of the show, causing photographs, text, and renderings in the booklet to be mismatched to the final product. The limited space and brief descriptions also prevented these complex projects from being easily understood.
For this job, Santi and I decided that this booklet should function as a primer for understanding the projects within the show space. We increased the size to a sixteen page tabloid newspaper, gave room for diagrams and sequential art, and used clever spot illustrations in place of photographs or renderings. Most importantly, we worked with the students to provide clear, concise explanations of their projects. This newspaper, four color and offset printed, was comparable in price to previous booklets but had much more information and provided an enjoyable, tactile experience.
Additionally, we implemented our newly designed IDE branding which features the typeface Frank.
Sequential illustration: design method.
Spot illustration: materials with a planned, limited lifespan.
Spot illustration: a design process using the random but cyclical forces of nature.
Santi and I designed the IDE identity, first implemented in this newspaper.
The change of the department name from Industrial Design Engineering to Innovation Design Engineering has brought about a few changes. This name change started in 2008, where it went through many hands and iterations. One goal was to keep the acronym the same while another goal was to change focus from training industrial designers towards training “new type” designers. With a new name, there is an opportunity to create a new visual image for the department.
This replacement is a wordmark, not just a logo. The wordmark and the associated typeface Frank are the binding threads that will give consistency to the department and its students and staff, which is by nature diverse, disruptive, and forward thinking—something a logo on its own might not capture. This new branding will define IDE as a part of Royal College of Art and Imperial College London rather than try to create a unique and separate identity that could end up competing with the identities of the institutions.
So, why design it like this, and why the typeface? Since we often call the department simply IDE, spelling out the full name in the wordmark helps define the course in the areas of innovation, design, and engineering. The typeface has a connection to the German industrial typeface DIN. DIN was selected in 1936 as the standard typeface for use in the areas of engineering, technology, traffic, administration and business—which we feel IDE appropriately fits, but as a modern update in the form of Frank. The Frank typeface has its own character. For example, the italic set is not just a slanted version of the regular type but has been redrafted. It stood out among our choices when exploring.
Wordmark concepts and explorations.