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The Architect’s Bookshop by Garbett
The Architect’s Bookshop is a new design-focused retailer, located in Sydney’s Surrey Hills, devoted to the books of architecture and interior design, landscaping and urban development. The space was conceptualised as being more than a bookshop but a place to take time out to browse, a chance to engage with the material and form of the books, and as a place for those interested in all things related to the built environment to meet and engage in informal conversation and design discourse. Australian design studio Garbett worked with The Architect’s Bookshop to develop a visual identity that would capture the spirit of the space, the positioning ‘a place for architecture lovers’ and comfortable with and distinct from a material and graphic sophistication of architectural publishing, channelling the universal, enduring and immediate form language associated with architectural structure and book reading. This project covered, alongside logotype, tote bag, bookmark/business card, bookstands, signage, price stickers, gift cards and art direction. The abundance of online content, as well as the speed and frequency of its creation, has imposed itself on the material world. Form and content, which had, increasingly become isolated from one another, has, due to these new pressures (and in acknowledgement of emerging trends such as minimalist, mindful, sustainable and slow-lifestyles), found a way back to one another in order to justify a time, spatial, material and environmental expense as much as the financial. New independent niche publishers, conceptualising and working with designers, have responded with books that have a graphic immediacy and material sophistication in tune with content; ideas emerge in the relationship between content and form and not just in the literal reading of the texts. As the built environment is intrinsically sensitive to these considerations, and with the expanding interest of the non-practising curious outsider, the creation of a bookshop exclusively catering to this field is no surprise. The set up here is that the space of the architectural bookstore is one of material and graphic surprise and delight. An audience aware of form and material language, and by extension type and colour. Their expectations and insight demand a thoughtfulness whilst being simple and refined enough to be distinct from, yet unite a space of diverse publications. Garbett’s visual identity for The Architect’s Bookstore manages to find a balance between being invitational by way of colour, form and typographical quirks, and smart in the intersection of an architectural language of the visual and the useful that extends out both graphically and materially.