Original photo by Kapil Dubey on Unsplash. Photoshopped for dramatic effect.

Times are changing at studium.

We’re revamping our communication to make it on social media. We’ve always neglected it, concerning ourselves more with doing than showing, but we realized we were missing out by not being more active on social media. So we decided to change that and do it right. Despite being a creative (and communication) studio, we didn’t communicate that much. In fact, we had never used our typeface (Titillium) for anything other than the logo itself. For our presentations and case studies, we relied on Helvetica, which was our primary typeface before the 3rd iteration of our logo took place, in 2016. Our website uses Roboto, adding yet another font to the mix.

This fall, we set ourselves the task of designing the 4th iteration of our identity, with the iron hand as the motto. You see, ever since studium became studium we defined that our logo wouldn’t be static. The only settle was the choice of the theme of the hand, the machine of the machines, the ultimate creator’s tool, as our representation. We are the hand and the hand is studium. We quickly recognized that a single hand, trapped in a single moment and action, wouldn’t be able to capture and represent all that we wanted it to be. We defined that, from times to times, as we grew, our logo should accompany that evolution — we call them iterations. It’s a constant process, as a child that grows older and becomes more aware of what’s around it. Always a new chapter in the book of the studio entity.

When we started this project, studium as an entity, was taking its first steps, introducing itself to the world. We were saying hello. A year later, after getting acquainted with our neighbours, it was time to show them how we work, betting on our tools, and how we make a project real. Then came the creative epitome, our way of thinking even before moving to our new tools. We wanted to highlight our thinking process and method. Now, we feel it’s time to make waves, to establish ourselves among peers and clients as a matured, unique, multidisciplinary studio.

We started tinkering with the iron hand and its representations, but as we progressed in our analysis and sketches, it became obvious that we were not looking for a logo as the end result of this 4th iteration. We defined that this iteration would be the motto for our revamped online communication. It would set the tone and all the guides. It would still result in a standards manual, just not one for a logo.

This iteration, the iron hand, is not about imposing ourselves in an authoritarian way, it’s about showing ourselves to the world and stir the creative pot.

For us to be able to do it, we needed a font that was open, communicative and flexible. Enter Work Sans. I fell in love with Wei Huang’s Work Sans a while ago, while browsing through Google Fonts, and it stuck in my mind. This was the perfect opportunity to let it shine. It’s a fun, open and positive typeface that speaks more directly to people than Titillium or Helvetica. This might count as design sacrilege and the feelings over here are still mixed, but I, for one, I’m glad to make the switch and bid farewell to Helvetica. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it and — as every designer out there — I’ve used it in tons of stuff, but I feel that if every designer and their friend use it as the one true typeface in design, we only get this default and generic look on everything. Neutrality is useful or even needed sometimes, but we shouldn’t be afraid to use type as a visual device as well. Type has meaning and emotions too and we should use it to our advantage, to communicate more effectively and meaningfully.

A new exciting chapter is starting here at studium®. And to you, Helvetica, we bid you farewell.