Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Andreas Friberg Lundgren: Yoshida Design is an architectural practice based in Oslo, Norway. With a founder originally from Osaka, Japan, the firm focuses on blending Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics and takes on projects ranging from interiors to exteriors. Lacking a visual presence, the firm contacted us to design their visual identity including the design of the firm’s stationery, two different gridded blueprint sketch pads and a website. To tie the printed matter together with the firm’s approach to its architectural projects, high-end materials and printing techniques were employed.
Much of Yoshida Design's work is based on a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian design values. Proportions and clean lines is a reoccurring theme in the firm's projects, along with values of high functionality. We took the same approach to the design of the Yoshida Design's identity and made some of the printed pieces multi-functional. Using Franklin Gothic (complemented with for kanji characters) as the sole typeface throughout the identity, we selected a four-tint colour palette with the main purpose of colour coding the different document types. Five different templates (Letter, Offer, Contract, Timeplan and Invoice), tailored to their specific areas of usage, were designed. The final four were colour-coded and each template type was paired with a traditional Japanese proverb, conveying Yoshida Design’s way of viewing the specific phase of the project connected to the template type.
Two different gridded sketch pads were designed, each with a specific use in mind. The pads were bound with coloured glue and are just as suited for every day sketching as for give-aways to clients and friends. The business cards were printed in four different colours and edge-printing, following the colour-coding of the different document types, on sturdy Nordic Munken Lynx paper. With two different gridded backs for personal notes, the cards also allow for use as correspondence cards. The format of the card is rather wide, so that the business cards can be used as tabs in the many heavy project folders in which the firm archive project related documents.
CA: How did you put each piece together?
AFL: We always start out by thoroughly discussing the project, both with the client and internally. We ask a lot of questions and listen. After that we move on to a phase of analysis, during which we look at the competitors of our client, the demographic of our client's product or services and at the current identity. Together with our client, we clearly establish what it is that we want to achieve with the project, which sometimes lead to rewriting the initial brief.
For the Yoshida Design project, we roughly spent a week on this phase. When we have built the foundation for the project, which is often treated as a deliverable in itself, we move on to the design phase. Starting out by building moodboards and putting together rough sketches of potential directions, we gradually close in on the one direction that we will develop further and eventually present to our client. The design phase can take anywhere from one to six weeks, depending on the scope of the project. For the Yoshida Design project, we spent approximately a week designing the full identity and stationery.
CA: Tell us about the background of Lundgren+Lindqvist, How the studio came together?
AFL: Lundgren+Lindqvist was founded in 2007 by Carl-Johan Lindqvist and me. Having previously freelanced, mainly for smaller clients in the music and entertainment industry, Carl-Johan and I, much by chance, found ourselves sharing a table at a couple of mutuals friends' music studio. Upon realising that we shared common ground in terms of design ideals and that Carl-Johan's development skills, paired with my design sensibility, would better equip them both and allow them to take on bigger, more interesting projects, the company was founded.
Today, Lundgren+Lindqvist, a team of four plus one to two interns at any given time, operates out of the top floor of an old sugar factory in Gothenburg's harbor. We have a wide base of national and international clients that include a variety of corporations, media and cultural institutions. We work across many disciplines including identity design, web design and creative development, art direction and print design. We try to avoid having a recognisable style, although some common denominators can usually be spotted in our work.
We have a reductive approach, which is not to be confused with minimalism. We thrive on limitations and restraints. What others might view as a problem we try to treat as an asset, allowing us to not only face but embrace the harsh reality of budgets and time plans. That said, it does hurt when a solution we have come up with is drowned in a sea of bureaucracy and administration. We try to avoid being influenced by other designers and developers, although it is impossible not to subconsciously take impression from what is going on around us. Music, art and traveling serves as primary sources of inspiration. We also read a lot, both physical books and online resources.
Check out more from Lundgren+Lindqvist at lundgrenlindqvist.se