After our class completed the project consisting of copper inspired Physical Digital products, we began to set up an exhibition within DJCAD showcasing all of our work. The exhibition would allow every group to invite the staff and student body of the University and present and discuss our work. In preparation for the exhibition, I worked on the brand identity and logo design.
With my branding for the exhibition, I found it important to capture the essence of the class work of all groups from across the semester, focusing on the copper related products, as well as the strong teamwork that set the foundations of not only how the individual groups progressed, but the class as a whole. I therefore decided to keep the brand name as Atelier Copper – the name the lecturer first provided for the module. The title itself reflects the close knit community of the class as a whole, operating as a collective that explores copper’s role in society – big or small.
After researching brand identity, one case study that inspired my branding was that of Cobbler Caballero. I found similarities with their work and the project that I was working on – the recurring theme of their trademark black laces used on their shoes had evolved into their packaging and even logo. I found it important therefore, to use the copper orange colour associated with the element throughout the logo, also using the oxidised blue of the element to harmonise alongside it. Once I had decided upon a colour scheme for the exhibition, I then began to work on the form of the logo.
Featured on both the catalogue and poster design, the logo had to stand out on the page and strongly separate the exhibition amongst the influx of advertisements displayed around the University. However, it had to be refined, clean and thoughtful, illustrating the work that the class had worked so hard to create. I was inspired by shapes that evoked feelings of community and togetherness – a key theme of the class exhibition. I initially looked at how copper wiring and circuitry could be abstracted to reflect that, with each individual wire forming a key part of a larger system, yet also having an individual task to play in its own right. This idea would have been easily developed, with a handmade logo possibly playing a centrepiece within the exhibition. However I found the idea of wiring uninspired and too cluttered to form a clear, coherent design. Instead I focused on the periodic table – an atelier of elements, with copper lying at its centre. I found the shape of the table to be distinguishable, and even in an abstract form people still understood its relevance and meaning.
Using Illustrator, I outlined an image of the periodic table in a simple line format, and then applied a gradient to show the oxidising effect of copper. Fitting the title inside of it, it kept the overall shape contained and ready to fit in the corner – or even be the centrepiece – of a page. Details of the exhibition were then displayed inside the table for a further description of the aim of the event and when and where it would take place. Finally, a copper coloured block highlighted the central element’s place on the table to suggest the overriding theme of the event.
On reflection I feel the branding was a qualified success. The logo I created became the face of the catalogue and poster design, and was well received by those who attended the exhibition. Encapsulating the spirit of the class as a whole into one piece of work gave me an alternative experience to what I am used to, yet it was one that I greatly enjoyed and flourished under.