Truly inspiring Branding / Visual Identity process of service provider MTRL. Great example of a very well went through design process and how the philosophy of a concept is established. It’s a long read, but well worth it!


 

“Designed to serve as a creative infrastructure enabling collaborations with over 40,000 users on its loftwork.com and OpenCU platforms, Loftwork Inc. is a new-style creative agency dedicated to providing a wide array of creative services and opportunities for creative collaboration, as well as a myriad of creative solutions including website production, digital content development, and visual and print advertising services. Loftwork Inc. also founded FabCafe, one of the key drivers in Japan’s maker movement.

cova

 

 

MTRL

“Loftwork Inc. has also established a service provider brand called ‘MATERIAL’ (also referred to as MTRL). This initiative is being run out of a historical 120-year-old structure in Kyoto’s Gojo; an area of rich history in the country’s former capital. Over the years, the old building has taken on an interesting string of identities, including an old printing factory, a newspaper office, a hub for inter-cultural exchange between Japan and Taiwan, and also as a furniture store among many others.
From this year, it is taking on yet another new identity. Thanks to a contemporary facelift by Loftwork, the old building has been transformed into the home of MTRL KYOTO, carving out the MTRL name in the building’s long history. Like FabCafe, another Loftwork initiative, MTRL will function as a coworking space and café, an event space, and a personal fabrication workshop. It will also serve as a gallery showcasing Kyoto-made materials, offer Airbnb lodging and function as Loftwork’s Kyoto office.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The name called MATERIAL
 
As the word suggests, the name ‘MATERIAL’ means ingredients or parts, but the material in ‘MTRL’ refers to the parts and ingredients in the sense that innovation stems from creative works. In this case, physical materials include traditional materials such as Japanese washi paper, textiles, sailcloth, and lacquer; new materials include things like synthetic resins used in 3D printing; and digital materials include things like IC chips, circuit boards, sensors, and iBeacon.
After our briefing, we soon realized that MTRL KYOTO is comprised of other materials in addition to the physical ones. So, we systematically went through and arranged them into categories.”

“Fab (personal fabrication) is an appropriate word to describe this age of open organizations. The community model that results from Chris Andersen’s Makers’ Movement refers to an open coworking style conducted in the digital online space and adopted by hi-tech manufacturing industries, creatives and academics. However, these small communities that have arisen thanks to the Makers’ Movement are no match for the development speed and cost performance achieved by large manufacturers, despite the outstanding creativity that may come out of them.

As Chris Andersen writes in his book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, new manufacturing models require a new type of manufacturer. Firstly, these are companies that can compete in both quality and price because they possess the traditional manufacturing capabilities and experience (strict quality control, efficient inventory and supply chain management) at the core of their business. At the same time, they have acquired a great deal of online business expertise and are capable of producing new products faster, cheaper and with improved designs by creating and fostering communities around their products.This is why Loftwork’s industry leading clients are the ‘corporate materials’ for MTRL KYOTO. It is also why Loftwork, which is a skilled and successful web-based business with an existing community, acts as the ‘general material’ for this initiative.

This is why Loftwork’s industry leading clients are the ‘corporate materials’ for MTRL KYOTO. It is also why Loftwork, which is a skilled and successful web-based business with an existing community, acts as the ‘general material’ for this initiative.

Generally speaking, a universal challenge for large-scale enterprises that boasted only highly skilled personnel at the time of their establishment is that as the company grows the personnel structure changes. As aggressive companies grow they become more conservative. And innovation is never achieved by companies with many conservative and self-preserving staff. These issues can be resolved by being involved in MTRL KYOTO, which is a hub for talented creators and academics.Loftwork―founder of FabCafe and driver of the makers’ movement. Large-scale leading enterprises―providers of the latest technology and traditional manufacturers offering outstanding ‘Materials’. Creators and academics–improving the form of ‘Materials’ with their out-of-the-box thinking.

Loftwork―founder of FabCafe and driver of the makers’ movement. Large-scale leading enterprises―providers of the latest technology and traditional manufacturers offering outstanding ‘Materials’. Creators and academics–improving the form of ‘Materials’ with their out-of-the-box thinking.

Physical Materials, Human Materials, Corporate Materials, and General Materials―These four materials are represented using simple [Material Symbols].”

 

“Material symbols

We have created the logo by combining 4 fundamental Material symbols. For the Material symbols, we have used simplified visuals for the various Physical materials, and the other three materials (Human materials / Corporate materials / General materials) are represented using diverse characteristics from each category.Material symbols are based on a 10 x 10 grid. The grid came about partly to achieve pixel perfection, but mostly to symbolize the fundamental “bits to atoms” essence of the Maker Movement. Each square of the Material symbols is a bit (the smallest unit of digital information). The bits combined together, they become a Material. The individual bits themselves are as well, Material.

Material symbols are based on a 10 x 10 grid. The grid came about partly to achieve pixel perfection, but mostly to symbolize the fundamental “bits to atoms” essence of the Maker Movement. Each square of the Material symbols is a bit (the smallest unit of digital information). The bits combined together, they become a Material. The individual bits themselves are as well, Material.Various motifs of Material symbols

Various motifs of Material symbols

Traditional motif: Ichimatsu-mon, Ishidatami-mon, Ohgi-mon, Seikaiha, Senmen-mon, Kanoko-shibori, Santome-zima, Iriko-bishi, Hishi-mon, Hanahishi-mon, Kikubishi-mon, Kaku-tohshi, Mame-shibori, Hoso-uzu, Canvas fabric of Kyoto, Salt crystal structure of Tango, Garden of Shogo-in, Ceiling structure of the temple square, Round window of Genko-an, Shoji, and more

New technology motif: Printed circuit board, Sensor board components, Shape of LSI, IC, CPU, Square LED, iBeacon, Shape of synthetic resin chip, and more.”

 

 

 

Material symbol sign

1st proposal items

There’s even more eyecandy to look at here (this is just a grab out of the project) ;

Designed by: hiromi maeo enhanced Inc.

Country: Japan

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