The dilemma/ how to respond to a marketing brief that dictates the use of a strong, successful identity system, while simultaneously coming up with a relevant solution that brings something new to the mix?

Luckily, the subject matter was rich with inspiration, an exhibition on the work of Le Corbusier at London’s Barbican Art Gallery. Using his vast body of work and the Barbican’s thorough guidelines as our starting point, we looked for a relevant visual hook.

Research revealed that Le Corbusier and his studio used the stencil typeface Charette for the cover of several books, as well as for titles and captioning of agency documents. To this day, the metallic stencil frames sold to architects in the US are known as Corbu Stencils.

The material synonymous with his architectural works is concrete, and with the exhibition’s location at the Barbican this became even more relevant. Something that interested us was how Le Corbusier used this in different ways, creating different textures and effects through process. The casting of concrete to create relief illustrations, such as that of Modular Man at Unité d’Habitation de Marseille, was of particular interest.

Taking these reference points, we set the title – ‘Le Corbusier’ – in a modified stencil version of the Barbican typeface, Futura. This was then cast in concrete, creating a strong and relevant graphic for use across all marketing materials.

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