RSA by David Pearson

To coincide with its fortieth anniversary, RSA Films commissioned David Pearson to design a new identity for the production company. Pearson is more typically seen between these pages for his book design work, especially for Penguin, and it was this that brought him to RSA’s attention

“Funnily enough, Rhea Scott saw some of my work in Creative Review and got in touch to see whether my skills might extend to branding,” explains Pearson. “Rhea stressed to me that an integral part of the project was to ensure that the company’s showreels not only get into people’s hands but stay in them. She drew parallels early on with the book work I had been involved in and we talked a lot about moving away from the standard formats that exist in her industry.”

The result is a series of elegant, subtle DVD covers with varying geometric patterning that encourage users to store the films in a library, as you would with books. Each one comes with a belly-band, in different colours depending upon which arm of the company – RSA Films, Black Dog Films or Joy@RSA – it represents.

“Much like books, I thought the cases would need a presence or sense of authority if they were to be cherished by the recipient,” continues Pearson. “If RSA send out a showreel, they absolutely do not want it to get lost amongst a sea of plastic cases. Therefore, a significant chunk of the budget was used to make these more tactile cases. To further emphasise this approach, a customised belly band is used as a closing device, with the individual director’s name being hand-stamped onto the front and spine prior to use. This way, the blank cases and bands don’t need to be replaced once a director leaves the company (or reprinted if one joins); a new stamp is simply ordered up and applied. When the cases run out, a new range will be issued, incorporating a different range of patterns. This should go some way toward maintaining  interest in the brand as well as promoting collectability.”

All the stationery also features Pearson’s new logo for the company, which is similarly pared-back. As inspiration for it, he looked into printing history. “As per usual, I have the St Bride Library to thank for their support here,” he says. “Present in the logo is a big nod to traditional printing devices and a decorative element referencing Monotype’s printing ornaments.”

Pearson’s design also appears on RSA’s forthcoming new website, which is being designed and built by Stylo Design. The site will reflect Pearson’s bookish aesthetic while also showcasing reels by over 90 directors, meaning that on launch there will be an impressive 700 plus films available to view.


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