Design studio A Practice for Everyday Life has created a new visual identity, website and interface for Curator, a moodboard app aimed at designers.
Curator was founded in November last year by architect and developer Daniel Nordh, who designed its original identity and logo (shown below). The app has since been downloaded over 90,000 times and APFEL was asked to help create “a more sophisticated and considered user experience”.
The new system features a modular marque which reflects the app’s grid-based layout, and APFEL says logotype GT Walsheim was chosen for its “clean and characterful appearance”:
The modular marque has also been used to create graphic patterns for posters, business cards and the app’s welcome screen:
“It was important for this project to develop a ‘marque’ as well as a logotype, because of the various context in which it would appear,” says Kirsty Carter, director at APFEL. “It needed to be recognisable in a very reduced form within the square format of the in-app and app store icons, as well across social media,” she adds.
The brand’s colour palette is inspired by vintage stationery, and Carter says it is designed to evoke a sense of familiarity “without resorting to skeumorphism, drop shadows or pronounced textures.”
“Curator’s purpose falls within a similar remit to notebooks and other stationery, and we wanted to use some of that graphic language to evoke something everyday that people were familiar with, without resorting to pastiche,” she adds.
Curator is the first app APFEL has designed, but the second project the studio has worked on with Nordh – they also collaborated on a visual identity for publications outlining plans to regenerate London’s Royal Docks.
It’s a simple, minimal system but an effective one, presenting an identity that’s distinctive without overshadowing or distracting from the content that users download it to display:
“The app market is enormous, and growing daily – it’s a big challenge for a single app to stand out in that sphere,” says Carter. “Ultimately, [Curator] puts its content centre stage. Any other visual elements around the content have to serve that purpose rather than fight it, while still being distinctive and intelligently thought out as an identity scheme.”
Download the app or find out more at curator.co