Paramount to sign posting the many changes to designEX in 2012, last week we saw the unveiling of the new identity created by Marita Leuver, director of Leuver Design, who shares with us some recent projects she has completed with a host of world class creative Australian entities.
1.Please introduce us to Leuver Design:
Following 10 successful years with my sisters running the award-winning Leuver Leuver Leuver & Leuver, I established my own design practice, Leuver Design, in 1997.
The Leuver Design name has become synonymous with Australian culture. Our portfolio includes logo and identity for the Sydney Opera House as well as branding and campaign design for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Melbourne Art Fair, Sydney Film Festival, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Kaliman Gallery, BKH, Dinosaur Designs, Christine Manfield’s Universal restaurant, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Symphony, Powerhouse Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Numerous projects have been recognised locally and internationally, with awards from the pre-eminent industry associations including AWARD and D&AD (UK).
The studio currently boasts a team of talented designers who continue to innovate solutions for identity and branding, publishing and web-design for a range of prominent clients in the Arts, Architecture, Fashion and Lifestyle sectors.
Leuver is founded on a philosophy for intelligent design based on a researched understanding the client’s personality, culture, audience, industry and communications objectives. We are passionate about creating design that is distinctive, meaningful, evocative and above all, functional; always managing the delicate balance of aesthetic, marketing and stakeholder requirements with rigorous brand consistency.
2. Project focus - please share some insight into some recent projects:
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - An iconic piece of design for an iconic piece of design. Sydney Opera House engaged me to create a timeless logo and identity that was sympathetic to the building’s historical, cultural, and contemporary significance.
DINOSAUR DESIGNS - Another Australian design mainstay, Dinosaur Designs came to us to revitalise their existing brand. The solution needed to be versatile, playful, intelligent and engaging. It needed to reflect not only their product offerings and expanding retail presence, but also their design philosophy and many social and cultural initiatives.
MELBOURNE ART FAIR - The biennial Melbourne Art Fair sees global galleries convene to showcase the best of contemporary art. The branding needed to be
highly visible and recognisable, while also accommodating the diversity of exhibitors and gallery artists. The MAF identity employs a studio favourite, Helvetica, and exploits the beauty of its negative space by playing with scale, repetition, and language. The brand’s structure is sustained year-by-year, with an evolving palette defining each new fair.
LA CROIX - (meaning ‘The Cross’) - Leuver Design was invited to name and brand this French-inspired cafe and concept store located on the cusp of Kings Cross & Potts Point. The warm yet austere space, designed by BKH, was offset by our concept — which explored the decadence of French antiques and their great tradition of embellishment. After weeks of research and experimentation, La Croix’s identity became an ongoing collage of historical and decorative type specimens, applied to their branded items and windows like an old etched wine glass. New website almost live: www.lacroix.com.au
3. designEX Branding - Please share your thoughts on the brief and the design development - how did your branding response convey the essence of the event?
We presented a scope of very different design solutions, all echoing architectural and spatial forms common to the practice of designEX’s broad audience. Many used bespoke typography created by our studio to give designEX a unique brand that would stand proudly with similar exhibitions around the world.
Our aim was to create a look that was sexy, bold, timeless and easily rolled out from year to year, using colour and other devices to differentiate subsequent exhibitions. It was also very important to create a look that would attract new audiences and refresh the public’s perception of designEX, while not alienating existing key audience and exhibitors.
4. What are you currently working on?
Never a dull moment…. The studio is currently working on branding for a new production for Opera Australia 2013; the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra 2013 campaign; a new Canberra-based architecture firm, a much-anticipated new concept restaurant, Melbourne Art Fair 2012, Artbank’s quarterly magazine redesign; identity development for Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre… as well as the grand roll-out of designEX, of course!
5. What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
Working together with the wonderful team here at the studio on the exciting projects and clients ahead … a bit of travel … AND the moment I finish my presentation at the agIDEAS conference in Melbourne (I’m petrified – hope the beta blockers work!)
6. If you could go anywhere right now - without restriction - where would it be & why?
Zoning out on the train journey from Venice to Paris through Switzerland … the beauty of the scenery is the closest I get to true relaxation - it’s like a meditation.