Last year my firm celebrated 10 years of being in business. In fact, at this point I am nearing the 11th anniversary come February 2014. As anyone would do, I reevaluated myself after a decade of independence. One of the many things I reconsidered was my graphics, letterhead, logo and other related materials that I use to visually represent my firm. Besides wanting a fresh look, I felt it necessary to consider how the graphics could communicate the intent of the firm — both in mission and manifesto (No, I don’t really have a manifesto).
So like any architect I went through an excessive amount of iterations, scores of sketches, revisions, thinking and redoing concluding frequently that I had arrived at an acceptable solution. Yet it wasn’t until I came up with a simple minimal graphic I kept changing my mind the following day or two.
My taste and my vision revolve around a minimalist aesthetic that endeavors to arrive at a solution that is unadorned, yet hopefully beautiful all the same. I prefer to get rid of anything that isn’t necessary. It’s either genius or neurotic, but definitely obsessive.
When I had my current website redesigned (first in 2006 and redone in WordPress in 2013) the charge to the web designer was eliminating everything unnecessary with no adorning graphics. That’s not easy and I’m sure I was a frustrating client. Below is a screen shot of one of the scrolling images.
In 2013, I moved away from 10 years of yellowish-ochre colored letterhead (below) and made the decision to go to pure white to match my website. It’s serene.
The only elements to use for graphics are the text of the business name and the address and such. I don’t have any independent graphic logo so the composition has to be spot on both in arrangement, proportion and balance.
This is the final solution; it’s a minimalist graphic that I could finally settle with comfortably. It’s simple but profound. The letterhead and envelope have the same graphic as the first business card shown below. The big move was taking the emphasis off of my last name and bringing the emphasis on the intersection of architecture and design. It focuses on more of what I do and not on who I am. As you can see it is a two-sided card and I went with two cards that are opposite one another…just because. Yes, the green stripe wraps and aligns with the other side.
For those of you trying to understand architects, we create not decorate. Our work is intended to be functional and beautiful simultaneously and inseparably. I like the quote attributed to Buckminster Fuller that reads “when I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
I welcome your comments, but everything was printed several months ago so go easy on me.