We are starting the week with a bit of a discrepancy in that I rarely do reviews of design firm’s identities but you know I only deviate from my own rules when the subject matter calls for it. So: Established in 2002, Creature is a creative agency focusing on both design and advertising with offices in Seattle, WA, and London and they do rather nice work — we’ve previously covered their work for District, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and their Sofa Kings project was included in the 2011 Brand New Awards. Earlier this month, Creature introduced a new identity for themselves.
[While] the rest of the world wants to get rid of problems, Creature wants to collect them and shape them into beautiful creative solutions. When it came time for a refreshed brand identity, the agency wanted to bring this concept to life. The new design presents Creature as a premier destination where business problems are transformed into Beautiful Problems.
Provided press release
“We pulled visual inspiration from the idyllic hospitality world, then smashed and warped those elements to reflect our experimental, non-linear process.” Says Creature Design Director Clara Mulligan.
The refresh includes smeared typography, ethereal horizon lines, glitched-out logos, warm, bright colors and a signature with the words “Courtesy, Quality and Questions.” A custom paradiseesque sunrise and sunset was in order, so the agency made their own by creating an average of sunrises and sunsets from over 100 of the world’s most incredible destinations. A bright reminder to continually seek creative possibility and newness.
Provided press release
At first glance you might easily be going “WTF?” What design firm in their right mind would purposely have an identity that literally looks like a mistake, files gone corrupt on their way to press or haywire when uploaded online? Without the glitch and distort effect, this would be a perfectly nice identity with a handsome serif typeface, some hip supporting fonts, a soft color palette, and a nice range of applications. But then it would be just like any other design firm with a handsome serif typeface, some hip supporting fonts, a soft color palette, and a nice range of applications. Something a lot of us can do. I’m not saying we are doing it wrong or that this is the right way to brand a design firm but it IS an attention-grabbing way of doing it and there is something interesting about willingly coming across as imperfect.
Once you get past the first impression, the identity is quite solid with a very serious consistency to it. The average of 100 sunsets makes for a great graphic and it looks specially appealing on the back of the letterhead and pairs really well with the main dark, muted blue color. It’s not an easy identity to accept as good (perhaps it even isn’t) but I do think there is a good amount of merit for attempting a new way of branding a design firm — a task that consistently yields remarkably conservative results.