OLAVER is an architectural studio founded in 2015 by Melbourne architect and long-time collaborator Emlyn Olaver. The studio’s approach is founded in the people that inhabit, visit, construct, consult and supply the spaces they design, for without them the spaces would have no function, and form follows function after all. OLAVER’s intention is to create spaces which better the environment: actively, ecologically, practically and aesthetically.

In 2020, TRiC were tasked to define the essence and identity of OLAVER’s practice through an extensive rebrand. We took time to understand the studio’s approach to architecture, marked by a balance of austerity and playfulness, the imperfect and the highly refined, rough and smooth, history and new.

We wanted to channel this constant push-pull of contradictions visually, tacking the project with structure, rigour and play, whilst maintaining a tonally architectural approach to the design. 

Featuring local typography from Melbourne-based typographic practice Matter of Sorts, we developed a robust typographic system and visual identity to reflect the balance of austerity and playfulness seen within OLAVER’s practice. 

The OLAVER wordmark features high contrast, graphic letterforms that define the overall brand system, extending beautifully into heavy typeset copy, without compromising on character and nuance within the brand. Counter-balanced by secondary type set in a slab serif, a dynamic hierarchy is created, resolving in a restrained graphic language. 
The refined, type-led system provides a clear framework for contemporary photography and communication across architectural drawings, formal documents, digital applications, stationery and signage. 

Colour has a purely functional role within the brand, which is primarily monochromatic – red is used in the archive and blue on the on-site signage for its vibrancy. We defined these colours in the initial set up of the brand system, with a view to introducing a more reactive, open-ended approach to colour where opportunity arises.

The resulting identity exudes a characterful restraint, and is a representation of the aesthetic, charm and credibility of OLAVER. 

“We asked to TRiC to help us reignite our brand and provide an identity which better captured our aesthetic and approach. The design discussion was vigorous and we are incredibly happy with the result. Their approach has not only made our brand cohesive but provided a pause for reflection and consideration of how we see ourselves and where we want to be.”

— Emlyn Olaver

Creative Direction

Photography: Josh Robenstone
Typography: Field Grotesk & Quadrant Mono (Matter of Sorts) 
The Brand Identity