Our new graphic designers discuss why understanding a concept in its entirety is essential for distilling visual language

Evolving your communication language involves an amiable interplay; fusing new ideas with existing ones. From the outset we, HUND HUND grew our label through our online store, so, adapting our communication style to reflect our progress was somewhat daunting. However, when you meet people who share a common understanding and a virtue that aligns with your own, it makes these shifts easier and naturally exciting. Max Pietro Hoffman and Eva Hermann are graphic designers who wanted a wardrobe upgrade but through a sense of reciprocal values felt drawn to do more. Our new website is a result of their highly involved work ethic and creative insights.

WOULD YOU MIND TELLING THE STORY OF HOW YOU FIRST CONNECTED WITH US?

Another cold Berlin winter was approaching, and our wardrobe urgently needed an upgrade, so we started searching for labels that produce fairly and sustainably. That’s when we came across HUNDHUND; we were immediately hooked – not only by the unique designs but even more by the concept of Radical Transparency. This really triggered our interest, and we really wanted to get to know the brand better, so we reached out. A month later we met for a coffee where you shared your plans to find a more artistic style in your communication. It quickly became apparent that we share a common sense for design, aesthetics and matters concerning sustainability and transparency in the fashion industry. You also mentioned that you were in the process of extending your virtual online shop into a tangible Studio Store at Lobe Block and this was the propeller our collaboration together.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR SHARED BACKGROUND? IS THERE SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR PROCESS/APPROACH TO DESIGN?

Our collaboration goes back to 2011 when we both started studying Integrated Design in Cologne. Since then we have frequently been working together on different projects. Previous to our HUND HUND collaboration we gained experience in the fair fashion industry during our involvement in "Yala Maha" a project based on a creative collective that produced garments that aline with social responsibility and honest cooperation. Eva also extensively researched and wrote about ethical fashion as part of her bachelor thesis. We both believe a successful project requires a strong concept. To achieve this, we feel that it is essential to understand a topic in its entirety to shape a creative language that is visually interesting and provides access to the project and the brand.

I REMEMBER, SOMEHOW YOU CONVINCED US TO SIT DOWN FOR A DAY-LONG WORKSHOP WHEN WE FAMOUSLY ARE AVERSE TO SITTING STILL FOR LONG PERIODS. WE WERE PRETTY SCEPTICAL BUT FOUND IT UNEXPECTEDLY ILLUMINATING AND APPARENTLY, IT PROVIDED A PLATFORM FOR OUR WHOLE COLLABORATION. CAN YOU SHARE WHAT WE COVERED IN THE WORKSHOP, AND HOW IT INFORMED YOUR NEXT STEPS?
All our projects start with extensive research on the given topic. In a second step, we initiate a workshop together with the client. With you we felt the need to sit down together to understand the thoughts and ideas behind the brand HUNDHUND and get to know each other on a deeper level, to frame future ideas, particularly because our collaboration did not start with a specific brief. We both come from a background of working with service design methods. These methods allow everyone involved to collect every possible aspect freely and in a second step to organise those aspects to define a clear hierarchy, which then can be applied to the formulation of a visual language. 

In our case, together we reflected on you and Isabel approached the brand in the past, to identify what aspects had to be pushed and what could be kept in the new design. It turned out that the brand is more than just a fashion brand. You see yourself as part of the maker's community and as creatives with a focus on sustainability. We all agreed that the Radical Transparency concept had to be more visible, especially in the physical space of your new studio store.

SO THEN WE UNEXPECTEDLY HAD A NEW LOGO AND HOUSE FONT. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU ARRIVED AT THESE DESIGNS?

After completing the workshop, we had the chance to start a new chapter of the brand, to rethink what has been done in the past and how to carefully reshape it, without losing too much of the brand’s DNA. The motivation behind reworking the logo and house font was your transition into the amazing studio store.

We wanted to share a bolder feel of communication. So, we introduced a new font called »Favorit« by Basel/Berlin-based type foundry »Dinamo«. The font is very straight and minimalistic, but with very unusual details, that we believe reflect a more artistic view. The second big step was to simplify the logo to a single word mark to emphasise the brand’s confidence to stand with its name. By being less playful and more straight forward, these small adjustments in the visual language of the brand will persist. 

HOW DID THESE NEW ELEMENTS GET INTEGRATED INTO HUND HUND OVER THE FOLLOWING MONTHS?

Like we said before we did not want to go into an entirely new direction communication-wise because many elements were already there and done in the right way. It was more a process of making it more compelling. We started implementing the new logo and typeface over the next months, using up the existing material before producing new ones. One of the most prominent aspects of the redesign was the relaunch of the online shop, which has been realised together with the great help of web developer Artur Turkuli. We restructured the online shop and added functionalities to improve user experience on both the desktop and the mobile version and also to have more flexibility in the future. We tried to use as few font sizes as possible to create a very determined and elegant look that leaves enough white space.

WHAT OTHER INTERESTING PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

Eva started studying again, after working in a contemporary art gallery in Berlin. She is currently doing her masters in Future Studies at FU Berlin where she can deepen her understanding of how sustainable social processes can be supported through the application of design and other scientific methods.

Max has opened his Studio Max Pietro Hoffmann where he offers graphic design and art direction services. Since then I have been working for new clients and on my own personal projects. With two friends I founded a publishing house in Cologne called Serie945756 our idea is to publish debut novels in German. The first novel will be published in early 2019.

For more information, you can check www.serie945756.de. Additionally, Max is managing Estate Angelo Novi, a set-photographer who worked with the film directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and also happens to be Max’s Grandfather. The next exhibition is planned for early 2020. For more information, you can check www.angelonovi.com

 Text edits by Michelle Torres