Posted in Typeface, Visual Language
Signage system and interior design adidas Laces 2011
Thanks to büro uebele visuelle kommunikation for submitting their recent project for adidas
büro uebele press release info :
The name “laces” has a metaphorical value, capturing what the building says about the networked communications of a globally active corporation – a market leader in the development of sports goods and apparel. Movement is the essence of sport – and movement also defines the design language: turbocharged typography runs through the new adidas design centre. It is also reflected in the typeface of the signage system: fast and light, it leaps and bounds across walls and balustrades, its form vibrating and altering in the process.
Words identify places, become coloured surfaces, reliefs and sculptures. Laces is dedicated to development and design. It is a functional place, in black and white, offering employees a neutral space for the company’s colourful products. In the meeting areas on the upper floors the white lettering appears to have been frozen in mid-movement, forming a mural relief. On the glass balustrades of the high walkways that criss-cross the interior of the building, the letters look as if they have been stamped into super-fine, transparent gauze. The outlines are made of highly reflective film, creating a shimmering effect. In certain locations the letter forms solidify into abstract surfaces or create a screen, a reception desk, a staff entrance. On the lower levels the relief-style mural images of the meeting areas – named after various company products, giving each space its own distinctive identity – take two-dimensional form, in contrasting colour tones. Also, walls with a wayfinding function are signalled with the colours blue, red, yellow, green and black.
The building forms a loop. Suspended walkways cross the atrium space, “lacing” the building’s structure together like the laces of a sports shoe. The walkways connect individual departments within the building complex, making for greater proximity and preventing the disruptive effect of people walking through offices. The signage system supports this concept, providing directions at hubs and intersections. The names of the meeting areas are displayed on the glass balustrades, creating a subtly mobile effect as visitors look across the atrium, helping them find their way. The corporate typeface, a variation on FF DIN, is dynamically varied here. The outlines of letters and arrows are shifted vertically and repeated rhythmically, creating a dynamic, sporty effect. The shimmering characters – for all the world as if frozen in time-lapse photography – are combined in varying patterns, offering the viewer a varied and distinctive echo on the “laces” theme. To ensure good legibility, one letter and one arrow in each sequence is highlighted with a thick outline. To identify destinations an alphabetical code is displayed at the entrances of the departments. At ground level and in the atrium these destination identifiers are outsized, and incorporated within a screen-style facade made of thin steel tubes. They can be seen from all points in the atrium, providing a self-explanatory wayfinding aid. the motif of living letters creates interesting, intricate patterns – “lace-like”, in the other sense of the word. Though abstract at first glance, these patterns clearly identify the various different spaces, such as conference room, restaurant, Athlete Services and Brand Archive.
The lounges which serve as meeting rooms, with adjoining kitchenettes, are important informal zones for the product design process their significance is underlined with bold, economical wall designs. The reliefs with the names of iconic products give these open spaces not only their name but also a distinctive identity and wayfinding aid. All the kitchenette surfaces are brightly coloured, for example: the colour shines through the serving hatch into the white space of the meeting area, assisting orientation on a subconscious level. The curtains in the meeting rooms are also coloured on the inside and white on the outside; if the colour is felt to be intrusive it can be pushed aside. The bold colours express an intrinsic principle of sport. The extremely sparing use of colour adds a touch of freshness to the black-grey-white variations. The vibrant energy of the colours communicates the company’s core purpose: sport.