Recreating shapes and materials using 3d printing technology is an undoubtedly exciting opportunity for anyone in the creative industry. The technology of 3d printing, or additive manufacturing, where layers are built up to create a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model, is not something which is particularly new, but new uses for the technology are constantly being discovered and one key area is in the design development of new identities and logo design.
Rapid prototyping of new brand identities
Often, logos are designed on screen and primary consideration given to how they will look on screen or in printed form. But when developing physical brand assets that have a 3D form (signage for example) quite often the artwork has not been created with this in mind. A lot of our work when working with design teams is in helping them visualise how the 3D form of a logo might look, and take shape. Before the advent of 3D printing, this process was lengthy – first discussions during design development workshops used clay and plasticine to agree shape and form- then hand carved moulds would have to be made of wood (to tool up in the early design stages to create moulds is exorbitantly expensive) and shapes and forms blown around these moulds.
Now, 3D printing allows designers to send a number of artwork files for us to 3D print and compare as part of the early design development process. These 3D printed forms can be ready within 24 hours and always provoke discussion with client and design agency when they see their logo in full 3D form, allowing them to tweak depths and angles that are hard to visualise on screen.
These elements can be tweaked digitally and the results of any alterations seen rapidly, giving the agency and the client reassurance that the end result will be right first time, and saving time by minimising artwork revisions.
Texture and effect
3D printing can also be used to create textures and effects that help to support the brand identity or architectural design. Printers can now create layers of ink that create the same effects as spot varnishing and engraving, or simulate surface materials such as leather, marble or wood – all with their own surface texture. This gives huge advantages as materials that previously could not be used for reasons of durability or weather resistance can now be replicated with precision. This also brings cost effectiveness and agility when responding to the time and budget restraints of many projects- material availability and cost are no longer concerns as it can all be 3D printed.
The investment in tooling is also eliminated when 3d printing is utilised, enabling designers to create limited pieces for a more customised design. This could be highly personalised signage for a boutique hotel wayfinding scheme or even the quick replacement of unexpectedly damaged signs allowing the client to be more responsive to any alterations or requests.
Brand-On, as part of the Modulex Group, has technological resources as its disposal to support designers and agencies, constantly assessing and investing in technological advances, taking any potential production complexities in hand.
Contact Philippa Brown, Director, Brand-On to discuss how we can help with your branding project. Philippa has over 20 years experience working with both International brand agenices and brand owners on the delivery and implementation of their branding projects.