Luxury design solutions for Squares architectural bureau: eco-tones, minimalism, and linear graphics

maryco
7 min readOct 25, 2023

We love working with luxury segment clients because they appreciate high-quality visual design. Over the past year, we have formed a pool of designers who are dedicated to such projects. In particular, we recently created visual identities for Bite of Time watch boutique and Dubai startup Tipper. Squares architectural bureau engaged us to develop a design system for them. We created a concise, well-thought-out visual identity for the project that correlates with the philosophy of the bureau and caters to the needs of premium customers.

Lead designer Seryozha Podkovyrkin and creative designer Arisha Podgayskaya talked more about working with Squares.

“Squares means cozy, concise spaces without unnecessary visual noise for those who value their time”

Squares architectural bureau creates premium design turnkey projects for commercial and non-commercial spaces and provides customer support at all stages, including design and helpline. Roman Shashin, co-founder and project manager, told about the philosophy of the bureau, its approaches to work, and plans for the launch.

Who are Squares?

We are a team of architects well in with the values and needs of our clients. By and large, they are entrepreneurs, busy people who value their time and want to receive a comprehensive service. When entering a new apartment, they will prefer to neglect trivialities (e.g. which decoration to buy or which cleaning service to hire) and use its full functionality immediately. That is why one of our main tasks was to assemble a strong team of professionals with experience in the fields of design and construction, as well as project management and support. Such specialists are capable of managing a project from its commencement to implementation in an expedient and quality manner.

There is a preconceived notion in society that the apartment renovation process entails stress and arguments within the family. We demonstrate that the process of creating and decorating a residential space can take a minimum of time and effort and be comfortable when those in the know take up the task.

Roman Shashin, co-founder and project manager Squares

What design tasks did the project have?

Our bureau developed a style in interior design, where minimalistic solutions and the most environmentally friendly materials are in priority. The latter is related to the safety of our customers in the houses that we create.

The style of the bureau implies order. Round the clock, our clients are inundated with ideas about their businesses. So, the atmosphere where everything is in order and nothing draws their attention away is attractive to them.

Roman Shashin, co-founder and project manager Squares

In developing the visual identity we wanted to adhere to the same style, to use natural materials and natural colors (e.g., deep green, as a reminder of plants, or a natural shade of wood).

It was also important for us to create a fashionable, “photogenic” design that can be easily captured on camera and posted on social media. Nowadays, a lot of niches moved to the Internet. People shoot content for business without leaving their homes. We took this into account.

Design system from scratch: from meta ideas to numbers in headers and footers

The bureau gave us full creative freedom with reservation of one important condition: we had to support the premium quality of their service with our design. Based on the Squares philosophy, we chose such visual techniques that maximally reflected the level of quality of interaction with the client.

Logo and font

We developed two versions of the logo for different media: standard and iconic. In creating the typeface, we were inspired by non-serif fonts with elegant details and an unusual approach to character design. They are good for illustrating the rigor, clarity, and balanced nature of the logo.

We used Manrope as an artificial script. It complements the elegance of the logo and, due to the lightness of the anatomy of the characters, is perfectly readable in large quantities.

We also designed a jobbing font for numeric characters to use as a reference to the logo design.

Color scheme

The project color scheme was based on the comprehensive interaction of all elements of the visual identity: photographs, interior renders, materials of the media, and the eco-values of the bureau. The monochrome color scheme with muted accents perfectly adapts to the architectural and environmental stylistics of the bureau’s projects and conveys its in-depth approach to interactions with the customer.

Linearity

Guiding lines and an asymmetric grid of layouts constitute the end-to-end technique in the visual identity that we developed. Linear graphics and modularity form a single system and echo the themes of design and architecture. From the point of functionality, they make layout setting much faster and more convenient.

Digital media

Our designers developed three layout options for the digital materials for social media and web environment that feature the variability of the designed visual identity: Locally, Vertical, and Horizontal. They feature “tangibility” with visualization of the effects of embossing, hot stamping, and light and shade accents.

We also focused on photos. They are strong means of expression of the visual identity that need to be competently integrated into the layouts. Our team created a photo filter that regulates the shades, light, and contrast of the photos. It helps to achieve uniformity of the renders. We picked up cool shades, brought the green color closer to the corporate one, and increased the contrast and clarity of the lines to highlight small textural solutions. We also prepared a detailed user manual for the filter.

Print media

The bureau communicates with its audience mainly in a live, off-line format. That is why we focused on print media of the visual identity. Together with Squares, our team thought out a system for non-verbal interaction with the customers. Every medium in the system, from a business card to a project book, plays its role in communication at the level of perception. We used the techniques of hot stamping, embossing, and varnishing while alternating them harmoniously in different layouts to bring this about.

We also immersed into the process of preparation of the technical documents. As a rule, architects have a GOST (All-Union State Standard) title-block, which they use in their drawings. We made its complete redesign and removed all the unnecessary, adapting the headers, footers, and captions with callouts to our visual identity. We suggested font sizes, colors and halftones to be used for highlighting elements of the schemes and drawings.

The launch and partnership with furniture designers — immediate plans of the project

All the preparatory stages have been completed to commence operations of Squares. The only remaining thing is to launch advertising. Therewith, the team already has several strategic solutions for the future:

Nowadays, business tourism is actively developing. People go on business trips, work remotely and stay in apartments in other cities for a long time. It is important that these living spaces allow a person to continue his/her usual life as at home. This is what our projects are aimed at. Such a smart service, unfortunately, is not developed in every country. In particular, it is unavailable in the countries nearby Russia. Accordingly, we work with Moscow and the Moscow region as a priority, though plan to also cover the European part of Russia and foreign countries.

Roman Shashin, co-founder and project manager Squares

Squares also wants to collaborate with furniture designers in order to use the final versions of interior items in its renders in the process of designing. This will help to avoid the problem of potential differences between the actual results of the renovations and the client’s expectations. We developed a branded metal plate with an engraved logo in order to make the furniture conformant to the visual identity and demonstrate the premium level of the bureau.

Together with Squares, we also thought out alternative concepts for visual communication with customers. E.g., the design of uniforms for employees and project personnel.

Working with the bureau became another step for us in the development of communication with architects. We learned to communicate in the same language and got in with their project communications.

Project team:

Nika Octyabr — art director

Sergey Podkovyrkin — lead designer

Arina Podgayskaya — creative designer

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maryco

Design team. We create visual communication for brands in the digital environment and offline. Visit us http://maryco.ru/