Guts aren’t precisely glamorous. And the connotations of the phrase ‘intestine’ are multifarious: there’s the gory (‘blood and guts’); the Germanic ‘good’; the straightforwardly corporeal; or for these with an curiosity in newer psychological findings, it’s a wondrous ‘second mind’.
Advert company folks, nevertheless, have lengthy taken the phrase ‘guts’ far outdoors of the bodily. For a lot of of them, ‘guts’ is an aspirational phrase: ‘gutsy’ work, ‘trusting their intestine’, a staunchly ‘no guts no glory’ strategy. Therefore the title of advert company GUT, which was based in Buenos Aires and Miami in 2018 by Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio, former execs at WPP’s DAVID.
GUT, which was named company and impartial community of the yr on the 2023 Cannes awards, now has places of work in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and The Netherlands; and has racked up a shopper checklist together with Google, Headspace, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Lyft.
GUT’s distinctive, motion-heavy brand was created by Jessica Walsh’s New York-based company &Walsh in 2019, and nonetheless very a lot packs a punch. Walsh made her title by means of a mix of extremely skilful, progressive approaches to typography; incessantly bombastic makes use of of patterning and color; and a deal with movement design and 3D throughout branding initiatives. Her company’s work for GUT showcases these skills brilliantly.
The GUT brand doesn’t shrink back from the intestinal connotations of the company’s moniker: in actual fact, it completely leans into them. It makes use of placing, undulating, black and white 3D tube-like typography – oddly all in lowercase, when seemingly GUT is styled in higher – that endlessly twists and turns in and round itself in a conflation that’s each inconceivable, have been it to be rendered bodily, and completely beguiling.
The emblem, then, wasn’t the issue when it got here to why GUT as soon as once more turned to &Walsh. The transient for this new challenge was to create a extra holistic model: not only a brand, however a complete system of property and tips. ‘For the reason that preliminary work, GUT has expanded to over 500 folks in over seven international locations the world over,’ Walsh explains. ‘We wanted to unravel inconsistencies in how the model was being applied in every of their completely different areas with reference to typography, social media, pictures, awards, firm occasions, bulletins, inside shows and printed supplies.’
For the brand new work, &Walsh developed a customized intestine gut typographic and numerical system, in addition to subtle model tips that imply the id can simply be scaled and applied throughout GUT’s completely different company areas and artistic departments around the globe. To underscore the now actually international attain of GUT, &Walsh created a collection of metropolis icons that signify its varied websites, which use an illustration type that chimes with the general model id: black, white, linework, simplicity, and playfulness. Total, they’re very charming.
The designs for the numerical and typographic system naturally prolong from the incumbent GUT brand. The GUT alphabet is used when extra expressive, playful branding purposes are required, resembling countdowns, stationery, and inside or environmental areas.
These and the numbers use a modified model of the font New Spirit, from sort foundry Newlyn. It’s an fascinating selection: New Spirit is a modernised model of Windsor, a font that’s a near-cousin to the ever present Cooper Black when utilized in its Daring or Heavy weights. Its use (modified to make the types 3D by encircling them with the ‘GUT signature spiral’) offers the branding system a timeless sensibility that coalesces with its modernity.
The brand new suite of property contains sub-brand logos, illustrations, patterns and the customized alphabet to permit for extra model consistency throughout GUT’s now-numerous touchpoints, together with merchandise like mugs, t-shirts and tote luggage; posters and banners; the web site, cell web site, and different digital purposes; trophies for the company’s awards; and inside signage and wall decorations.
The system works superbly for the latter: in a bigger scale, the letterforms, numerals, and sample components actually present their finest selves. The black and white palette mixed with the combination of dynamic and delicate linework come to life superbly when proven on partitions, stairwells and the like – it’s absolutely an incredible search for any company to have its model, its ‘self’ – so distinctively embedded in a workspace.
The place the branding falters barely is when it’s very small: on the GUT web site, as an illustration, the wordmark within the prime left hand nook fades into the background barely, and isn’t as legible because it may very well be – the identical goes for extra refined stationery purposes, like on the GUT-branded envelopes.
However that’s a really small criticism. Total, the brand new system is excellent: it feels actually authentic, and amongst a sea of many both overly corporate-looking advert company identities, or those who really feel like an afterthought, or those who appear approach too determined to point out us simply how hip they’re, it’s a really refreshing strategy.