What was the brief?
The brief was to rework the existing brand identity in print and digital media, extending it to its new schemes: The Wapping Project: Commissions and The Wapping Project: Berlin. We were asked to reflect and connect the identity with the Hydraulic Power Station building and its spirit.
What informed your choice of typeface for the project, and the bespoke adaptations you made?
The purpose of The Wapping Project is to generate new energy, exactly the purpose of the power station. There are so many parallels between the building and the subject. We started from here.
Thinking about the machinery at the station…we loved the idea of an element that is machine-made, mechanical, progressive and rhythmical. François Rappo’s Theinhardt typeface echoes industrial feel perfectly. We took it as a base and built around it.
The logo mark W is comprised of a slanted element found in the iron roof truss. Everything you looked at in the building was a modular system, repetition, made of units: bricks, tiles, chains, pipes. So, the idea of taking elements and repeating them to construct a logotype felt appropriate. Another idea was animating the logo, so that it is in constant transition, evolving, re-constructing, changing. You can see this at the home page of the website for example.
We also liked the idea that the typeface, which is a based on quite a traditional Grotesque, has strange unruly details that don’t fit in. We created a series of special glyphs which were ‘rebels’, they work well within headlines.
A slight creative anxiety to re-design something that your first boss designed is mentally tricky to overcome. Necessity is a mother of invention—just moving forward helped.
We explored so many routes and typographic options, it was challenging not to lose momentum during this process. Scale was another key characteristic we kept in mind—the scale of the building and its construction was magical—and the contrast of the large W echoes that.