There is a significant beauty to relish when branding is treated as art. As many will tell you, a strong brand identity makes a world of difference to the success of a project. To treat a brand as something precious is the mark of a truly intelligent and talented designer. This week, these two featured New Talent 2023 entries come from designers who have these important qualities, with works that go above and beyond to create authentic brand identities for their respective purposes.
University of Utah student Grey Larson was tasked with designing packaging for four different containers of varying sizes and shapes. From that prompt, “Arête” (above), which is defined as a sharp mountain ridge, was born. A limited color palette of yellow and black typographic elements and abstracted monochrome rock photographs are the main features of this brand identity, though there are plenty of little details as well. For example, a lined grid system resembles stitching, and a tall, towering logo gives the viewer the feeling they could climb up it. These design elements are perfect for a brand that is celebrating the functional form of climbing equipment and striving to create a brand identity that is as strong and sturdy as a mountain. Not only did Larson create a design reminiscent of rocks, but they also made the packaging from handmade cardboard and repurposable ropes and cords, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and further driving home the ecological impact of design.
“Expansion of Soul Charity Album” (above) is an exercise in expanding consciousness through both music and visual art. This limited edition album partners with A Window Between Worlds, which is a non-profit that hosts healing art programs centered around healing trauma. Student designer Emma Pearl Smith created the physical vinyl record and sleeve, as well as other physical elements, such as a pouch and a notebook that boast swirling, atmospheric, original artwork. A hypnotizing blend of darker blues, greens, and reds is placed in a landscape behind a golden gate, with hand-lettered typography spelling out “EXPANSION OF SOUL” in all capital letters. Opening the packaging to get to the record is a symbolic opening of the gate; this metaphoric expansion into higher consciousness is further emphasized by an illustrated lock on the gate disappearing once the cover is opened. Smith curated a selection of songs that make up the album, which also aided in ‘unlocking’ the hidden artistic potential within viewers, making this design an overall hit for viewers and listeners alike.
For more information on the New Talent 2023 Competition, and to submit your own work, click here.