during may 2014 we have been called by widiba to restyle their new brand which was just selected from a contest on social network. widiba, born as an online bank project by mps group, should have had its debut on the market some months later.

we redesigned a new version of the logo providing particular attention to the curves harmony and the whole softness of the sign which is restyled keeping the same stroke.

during our first meetings we analyzed on a wider view the existent visual identity and we get to the conclusion that a new institutional typeface, designed ad hoc, could have been a great support for them.
we think that a person’s voice is strictly linked to his identity and that typography contribute to define brand’s identity as well.

we start the research on the widiba font development looking for inspiration from the geometries of the typography designed by herbert bayer during bauhaus and from the shapes of different devices screens with which this online bank should have reached its audience.

walter gropius, staatliches bauhaus in weimar 1919-1923, bauhaus, 1923
ellen lupton, j. abbott miller, abc’s of the bauhaus, princeton architectural press, 1991

in some letters we designed some details taken from the shape of monitor’s angle which present external curves in contraposition with squared internal ones.

the first typography designed, together with type designer fabrizio schiavi, is a round, soft and friendly font, enriched by some small details with the same strong innovative spirit of the company.

later, to let the system be more flexible, we add to the font family four different strokes of the rounded font, then a condensed version with three strokes and, at the end, one stroke of a serif version.

for all the designed typography we’ve spent a particular attention to the hinting which allowed great legibility on monitors, even on the smallest sizes.

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> watch the wholeinstitutional font project

the result of true type programming by fabrizio schiavi

widiba wanted to re-think of its brand position, it is an evolution in terms of service and target too. in 2015 they decided to let us be the consultant to develop the new graphic format project.

the system we design has to be able to represent the identity of the company and to give support in a coordinated way, along all the communication materials, so to increase the brand awareness.

we always think of a brand identity as a human being, with his own values and his way of communicating which is distinctive for each of us.
through an anthropomorphic representation of the brand we help the client become aware of the changing from who they was to whom they’ll become.

it is an analysis process which help us to let widiba essence and its personality emerge, to define the style it will have and its tone of voice.

that is something allowing the bank to built up an authentic bond with its audience and us to design a more distinctive graphic format.

we design a complex system with different elements: brand, institutional typography, icon set, art direction photography, color palette and modular grid.

three graphic modules communicate between each other moving into the space and creating ever new compositions always recognizable so to adapt easily to different formats and medias. it is a simulation of a responsive system linked to the ideal of this bank as an online and customizable platform.

everything is coded into a large brand guideline.

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> go to the graphic format presentation project

in 2016 widiba was designing their new bank headquarters and we’ve been nominated to develop the wayfinding system.

working at home means to work in a comfortable, informal, cozy, relaxed way. that is exactly the spirit of the bank introduced in its new spaces through all the architectonical project by zanon architetti associati.

our work starts from a question that is: how is a home wayfinding?
in our houses there is no a proper wayfinding and it is usually developed informally, sometimes casually.
information are often written by hand and calligraphy became the way to connect who is writing the message and who will read it.

our project is based on that answer and we developed an informative wayfinding and a more decorative one.

we analyzed the offices and people fluxes to understand the complexity of the space, the main junctions and the spot needing indication in terms of quantity and typology.

we work on the project using wayfinding principles linked to the creation fo a landmark to guide, then we create structured paths and floor maps to give a wider vision of the space.

the initial concept lead us to design a serie of panels casually leaning against the wall close to the main junctions, they became the core of the wayfinding system bringing all the main information to move into the offices.

illustrations by simona bonafini

we invited 10 calligraphers, italians and internationals, to write on the wall the names of the floors and of the meeting rooms creating different landmarks into widiba space, each with its personality give by the calligrapher style.

the wayfinding system is completed by some panels with concise maps and an icon set.

dutch calligrapher daan wille of blazin team at work

he informal spirit of the bank and its no ordinary style is translated even on floor’s names and meeting room’s one. floor has been called by short phrases suggesting the main activities of the space and the more common names of widiba people has been chosen to describe the meeting rooms.

creating experiences becomes the name of marketing and digital innovation offices floor, why not! is the ceo floor, let’s meet up is the floor dedicated to meeting rooms and auditorium.

if you want to schedule a metting you can just announce: “let’s meet to marco’s” or “see you to anna’s”.

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> watch the complete wayfinding project

this is the most complete and complex branding project we ever done, it allow us to use our method and our passion to designing all the elements of the identity: from the “micro” ones like typography, to the “macro” as wayfinding.

during these years of consultancies at widiba we had the chance to meet a lot of energy people with whom we share innovative vision and who often inspired us.

we feel ourselves as real partners of this group we still give support to: from the recent project of the visual identity of a new private section, to an interactive installation to celebrate the first years of their history.

services

art direction
branding
consultancy
editorial
environmental
graphic design
installation
naming
type design
visual identity
wayfinding

 

credits

type design with
fabrizio schiavi

calligraphers

luca barcellona (italy)
team blazin (holland)
barbara calzolari (italy)
francesco guerrera (italy)
mr kams (spain)
deep masito (italy)
piger (italy)
andrea rafiki (italy)
mr zé (spain)
alessandro zonta (italy)

in 2002 we’ve been called by the city of milano to design the visual identity for the exhibition americas remixed.

the art show is an idea of roberto pinto together with euridice arratia, jen budney and franklin sirmans and ti is composed by 22 artworks by young north-american artists.

the artists of the exhibition are from different cultural origins, from ethnics and religious majorities and minorities. they use their photographs to reflect on the condition of north-america society trying to find an artistic and cultural identity. they are young people questioning on the redefinition of the relationship between themselves and others.

the works selected by curators create a complex portrait, emotional and passional, even ironic, provocative and desecrating.

how can we represent this kind of lost, this look for sense? how can we condense all these different works into a unique visual identity? these are the questions we asked ourselves to define a space for creativity with precise limits too.

we decided not to choose one of the works as the representative of the whole exhibition to the detriment of the others artists.

we oriented our research on a typographic elaboration of the art show title, working on legibility and dynamics of visual perception linked to it.

following a light and ironic philosophy of some works of the exhibition we’ve chosen the pointedly mad font as the main typography of the identity system. a font derived from western typography designed and engraved into the wood during the nineteenth century, an immediate reference to north america and its history.

rob roy kelly, american wood type 1828-1900, van nostrand reinhold company, 1969

one of the current theme of the show is the tendency of american culture to flatten all the individuals’ cultural identities, pigeonholing and transforming them into stereotypes, making them “unreadable” and smoothening the differences.

this is the vision we decided to work on so we reorganized title’s letters in the alphabetic order. so the title looses its sense and communicates to the reader an estrangement feeling close to the one the artists told us about.

we decided to extrude each letter using a wireframe style that turns the retrò look of the typo into a more experimental one becoming more art contemporary linked.

we’ve chosen a tone of magenta as the main color adding some silver details so to communicate the energy and give to the identity a pop yet sophisticated look.

we completed the project with a stylization of the north america map and the three places of milano where the exhibition took place: la fabbrica del vapore, care of spaces and openspace.

the client refused this proposal as too experimental and asked us for new solutions.

we get back to our studio and we back to work. abandoning typography we tried to represent through shapes and colors the research of these artists. we worked on the transformation theme then the roots one but new proposals were not too incisive.

we get back to the first proposal making some changes. we add to the previous project the readable title too so to find a right balance between our idea and client’s needs. a compromise which do not weaken the project but, instead, let it become less inscrutable.

that is approved.

we applied to title’s letters an extrusion in the opposite way of the letters alphabetically ordered. that is to underline the changing point of view between the before and after, between what makes sense and what looses it, between who i was and who i am now.

we chose to use the designed font and the writing methods to present artists names into the catalogue too. the impact of the project increased, re-asserting the sense of what we wanted to communicate, making it semantically correct, and then it allowed a better coordination between visual elements, making it more syntactically coherent.

today we still look at this project with extreme satisfaction because of the conceptual approach which guided us and because of the aesthetic decisions we realized.

we are satisfied of it even for all the process. client and curators’ critiques and suggestions has really helped let us to realize a project that is actually better then what we imagined. they taught us to recall ourselves into question to search for the balance between what is beautiful and what is fair.

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> see the whole project here

bruno munari, artista e designer, Laterza, 1971

services

editorial
environmental
event design
graphic design
type design
visual identity

 

credits

curators
roberto pinto
euridice arratia
jen budney
franklin sirmans