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Graffiti As Logo

Jett Butler writes for MarkOdomStudio.com about how FÖDA developed portions of Mark Odom Studio’s brand identity.

“Rarely do clients who deal in form and order ask us to study what most interpret as culturally defiant art forms or outright crime.

We love it when they do.

While Mark Odom is a very thoughtful and ordered designer, he is also particularly interested in exploiting forms and breaking with conventions. He appears to be very comfortable with challenging expectations of how a space can work, what material might be used, and how an object is defined.” – Jett Butler

FODA Studio built two identities for Mark Odom Studio: one, the m(ødm) concept, which remains conceptual, analytical, reductive and perhaps whimsical. The other is the aberration, the act of defiance, the graffiti system that only shows up in unexpected places and unexpected ways.

“We weren’t content with simply aping the graffiti form. We went around town photographing our own samples, and reviewing Mark’s images. Then we constructed a simple 3-d urban condition of our own. The point of departure is the inversion: rather than disrupting the surface of the urban condition (as graffiti does) we used the urban condition as a motif for the disruption itself. When viewed in plan, the “strip city,” is composed of letterforms that spell mark odom studio. This form was then extracted in a key view from the 3d model, used as a 2-d graphic, and supplemented with a motion move: a directional pull through the city that references the motion so common in graffiti tags and arrows. This flat illustration then became a metal plate, used to blind emboss Mark’s business cards. In sets of 4, they are disrupted at random, so any given person he meets only receives a portion of the ‘tag’.”

So, to recap: a 2 dimensional art motif (often considered vandalism) found in our cities becomes the plan of a stylized urban structure depicted in the third dimension, rendered as a two dimensional graphic which then becomes a three dimensional aberration by means of pressure in what is a traditional two dimensional context, a business card.

OR: The ‘flat’ logo is vandalized by the three dimensional secondary logo.

“Hopefully most people will simply see and feel the card and say “that’s cool” and enjoy it, all the fuss about how we got there doesn’t matter once it’s in their hands.”