The Delta symbol played an important role in the visual communication of the award and the institution itself. Until today the symbol has changed little. Rather than redesigning it, an additional, temporary visual identity has been developed for each new edition of the Delta Awards. The old symbol co-existed with the new interpretation. In 1976 a second award, the ADI Medal, was created to reward student work. Initially the symbol used for ADI Medal was a transparent disc. Later the disc received a metallic case, holding the disc. In 2007 the disc was converted into a circle and in 2012 to a hexagon. In 2015 a third award was created, the ADI Culture. The new award focuses on cultural projects, not limited to the industrial production of objects. ADI Culture had no symbol at that point.
TwoPoints was not just commissioned by the former ADI president Viviana Narotzky to create a new symbol for the new award and a formally coherent visual identity for all three awards, but also a flexible visual system which would make the constant redesign of the symbol for each new edition of the awards unnecessary.
If the symbol for the Delta was based on a 3-fold symmetry and the Medal on a 6-fold symmetry, the new award had to be based on a 12-fold symmetry. Besides the logic of it, it made visually and conceptually a lot of sense to use a Dodecagon. It is easy to distinguish from a Triangle and Hexagon and it reiterates the order in which the awards were created.
But a flexible visual identity is more than just a static symbol. TwoPoints came up with the idea to use the symbols to create a modular typeface based on the shapes of the early Futura. If one pays close attention to the first printed items by the ADI, one recognizes that the most used typeface is Futura. Futura, created by the german Paul Renner, but produced and distributed by the Hartmann family and their foundries Bauersche Giesserei (Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1837–1972) and Fundición Tipográfica Neufville (Barcelona, Spain, 1885-1995) was highly successful all over the world but especially in Spain. Even today the successor of both foundries, Bauer Types, is based in Barcelona and led by Wolfgang and his daughter Vivian Hartmann.
A typeface is a flexible visual identity per se, but to clearly distinct one year from another the color of the rectangular stroke will be changed.
When we decided to work on a new identity for ADI’s awards, we knew we had a complex structure that needed to be unravelled and made visible at the same time. It was quite a challenge: different awards, each with a distinctive history and profile, nestling inside an institution that was, itself, part of a larger whole. And we wanted something that would endure without becoming static.
It was necessary to find a visual way of giving ADI and its awards both flexibility and a very distinctive character. Very early on, it was clear to us that TP had the right approach to tackle this, with their focus on creating dynamic identity systems that have a strong visual footprint.
TP created a set of symbols for the awards that updated existing icons, some of them going back to the 1960s, and created new ones. They brought everything together with a striking typographical treatment and a colour palette that will allow for controlled transformation of a beautiful and strong identity for years to come. We couldn’t be happier with the results.
Viviana Narotzky, former president of the ADI-FAD