Ventura Foreman, a design and manufacturing studio that specialises in quality workwear pieces for clients including Paul Smith and Matches, wanted to refresh its visual identity.
Yet it had an unusual request: to create a new identity without turning the company into a ‘brand’. It runs counter to what most companies are vying for, but it reflects the founders’ desire to hold onto their modest DIY ethos.
The team at Studio Blackburn interpreted the brief by creating branding and packaging that they describe as “not quite right”.
The primary typeface, Dinamo’s ABC Marfa Medium, is functional but comes with “subtle quirks that felt wrong – but so right – for Ventura Foreman”, according to Studio Blackburn. At first glance the letters appear uniform, yet subtly exaggerated angles and proportions are revealed on closer inspection.
The concept and execution both boiled down to simplicity, according to Will Cooper, midweight designer at Studio Blackburn. “All we did, to put it bluntly, was add labour to materials and in this case, a single type style. By stripping the brand back to a single font we unlocked its full potential within a unique typographic system.”
Similarly stripped back is the colour palette, which uses neutrals as a base. This communicates Ventura Foreman’s functional spirit while ensuring it will mesh with the clothing. It means that when bright pops of colour are introduced in small doses, like on packaging labels, they truly sing.
“Our business has always been about authenticity, the products we make and that we make everything in our own studio,” say founders Robert Ventura and Sophie Foreman.
“As we’re not trying to portray any other idea of what we are, apart from what it actually is, branding had always come second to us.” With Studio Blackburn’s help, it seems Ventura Foreman has got branding that can actually speak to exactly what the studio is all about.