Custom Lane is a new centre for design and making in Edinburgh, founded by award-winning architectural practice, GRAS. Custom Lane was devised as a collaborative experiment in creating the most engaging, enriching and enjoyable work environment for designers and design-led makers in Scotland. Housed in a building once a customs house for ships arriving into Leith dock, Custom Lane has been renovated inside and out by GRAS and onsite fabrication teams to create a space dedicated to design and creative development. Along with the studio and hot-desk floor, the building now houses a café, shop, fabrication workshop, gallery and event space offering a varied programme of events focusing on the practice of design.
Stance were brought on to create an identity that could adapt to the change and growth of the centre. It had to work across a multitude of executions produced by Custom Lane and its partners. The design style had to look and feel comfortable amongst the many communities of design and making that work with the centre. The vision of Custom Lane is to serve as a platform for, and beacon of, world class design in Scotland. The identity had to support and amplify this.
Custom Lane is a platform to promote design, so the brand identity couldn’t get in the way of what it’s trying to achieve by overshadowing the subject matter. We wanted the identity to be simple and able to adapt to the needs of Custom Lane as it evolves. In our initial research we found that some similar organisation’s identities tried too hard to be the attraction instead of the designers within. An exercise in simplicity and economic restriction, the identity relies on a single font style, pushing its limits across screen and print. Multiple glyph variations take reference from the craft and maker roots of the Custom Lane concept, nodding to the idea of collaboration to design.
Rather than relying on a specific marque or logotype set in a rigid position, we opted for a dynamic, flexible container to hold the custom font. This can adapt to almost any format across print and screen, forming the foundation for the identity. The simple and flexible foundation allows us to evolve the brand identity by playing with colour, texture and physical space. But regardless of how the identity evolves, it will always place the subject matter in focus and be visually routed by the custom font.
"Stance have demonstrated an incredible attention to detail and a commitment to design excellence throughout the Custom Lane project, repeatedly exceeding our expectations. Over the course of several months we have developed absolute confidence in their abilities and judgement to deliver the project to their own exacting standards. They have taken the time to understood our vision and ethos and their input and experience has added real value to the Custom Lane brand, identity and culture. It’s been a pleasure to work with such passionate individuals and to feel real excitement about the work being produced, whether print or digital. Their contribution has gone far beyond simply developing a brand identity, having influenced and helped realise multiple aspects of the vision for Custom Lane."
~Gunnar Groves-Raines, Director, GRAS