holes in park design and identity

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SPACE IDENTITY

At this point you have decided on the space you want to bring back to life. You would’ve also started doing some research on the area and will be starting to understand what’s making it not work and what might be done. Now the team, or at least part of it, should be starting to think about giving it an identity.

Why give a space an identity? Firstly it’s a good way to start fostering some worth in the space. It will bring an inherent value to the spot and stimulate some pride in it. It is attractive for investors you may want to interest in the future and it gives a solid base from which you will build the new idea.

For this brief we are going to construct a Letter-mark logo for our space.
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LETTER-MARK (Monogram)

A design of one or more letters, usually the initials of a name, used to identify a company, publication, person, object, or idea. Also known as a monogram. A monogram usually refers to the use of two or more letters from a name. A monogram may have signed the artistic products (sculptures, pieces of furniture, artwork etc) of craftsmen, especially when the guilds were involved. Kings and Queens used monograms as a way of showing the depth of their ownership, just as companies could be said to be doing that now.

Advantages
The letter-mark solves both mnemonic and legibility issues. It also remains easier to fit to a design than using the whole name or word-mark.

Disadvantages
Letter-marks are often masquerading as logos. Generic initials, treated in clever ways may look better on towels and glasses than on a corporate business card. Initials woven together have very little meaning. Most letter-marks depend on large-scale audience contact, high advertising spend and repeated viewing for recognition.

Designers using letter-marks often try to make the letters form a pictorial association with the product or service, thus suggesting more about the company and giving it a secondary meaning.

BUILDING LETTER-MARKS

Like when we start designing anything, especially logos, we don’t want to start on the computer, a nice big empty page is perfect, and remember – thumbnails are as big as we need at this point.

Try using a black art-liner of 0.2 or 0.4 nib, it will mean that what ever you do will be set in stone and not able to be rubbed out. I like to use a 0.2 nib as it has more flex, unfortunately it also means that it breaks easy so have some spares ready.

Start with exploring the letters of your abbreviated name. The name in this case will most likely come from the original name of the space. What different ways can you draw the letters? Get all your ideas down; draw them in capital form, heavily styled, heavily simplified, script, block etc. What we are looking for is an understanding of the letters and their uniqueness.

Secondly we should start to play with the letters and how they interact with each other. How do they relate, can they fit together, overlap in some interesting and aesthetic way? At this point we are still playing with the letters and should not necessarily think the logo will just appear.

Lastly we should try to incorporate the visual ideas that resemble something the space represents. Could the letters correlate to form a visual representation in some way? Could we get the letters to mimic a belief or mission we hope for the space, or is it something more literal, for instance an old fishing dock in the shape of a fish?

Lets look at an example:
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CASE STUDY – HANDSPRING (1998-2003)
Handspring was a company that produced software and hardware for personal digital assistants. It was founded by the makers of the original Palm Pilot who had become unhappy with the direction in which 3Com was taking the Palm industry.

To them 3Com was becoming too business minded and ignoring the social aspects that the Palm could offer. They wanted something for a younger market that exude youth, vitality and a breaking free of constraints.

In 1998 they turned to Mortensen Design to design something that would express those beliefs. P,J, Nidecker chose letter-marks as the basis for his design.

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