Many designers have interpreted SHOWstudio's logo before; all stamping it with their own artistic ideas. Firstly, there was Dirk Koy's animation which stretched the boundaries of moving image by producing a series of uniquely-animated fonts that played on SHOWstudio's Helvetica Neue typeface. Then, last year, graphic and motion artist Cecilia Erlich stepped up to the mark, submitting her colourful interpretations of the SHOWstudio logo, which danced as colourful ribbons filled the screen, replacing a motionless logo, which peaked behind.
'Type is the most profoundly significant aspect of communications design', esteemed graphic designer Peter Saville told art and culture editor Christina Donoghue when she interviewed him on his thoughts on the relationship between typography and fashion in 2021. And although SHOWstudio's tagline may not read as 'the home of graphic design', as a platform promoting the importance behind moving image, it's integral our logo matches this intention which leads us to introduce you to artist Peter Sunna (aka 2D.Pete), who was tasked with designing the most recent moving logo for us. The brief? To be as visually captivating as possible. With that, Sunna got set to work, producing an extraordinarily elegant design that inverts the plain white background into a moving 3D landscape. We spoke to Sunna to find out more about his artistic principles and the man behind SHOWstudio's latest moving logo.
SHOWstudio: How would you describe what you do and your aesthetic?
2D Pete: I'm an artist, designer, and animator specialising in the field of 3D. I’ve worked for more than two decades as a graphic designer and creative director, more recently developing into this medium and calling myself a 3D artist. My work encompasses a diverse range of activities - starting from bespoke typographic loops all the way to comprehensive, dynamic brand expressions - working both with agencies and brands.
In terms of aesthetics, I'm fascinated by the intersection of abstract and tactile visual expressions. I strive to maintain a broad and varied output, exploring different styles and techniques. My creative process often involves experimentation and a learning-by-doing approach. Given my background, I often find myself incorporating typography into my work and I have a soft spot for modernist aesthetics.
SHOWstudio: How would you describe the work you have created for SHOWstudio in three words?
2DPete: Playful, positive, elegant.
SHOWstudio: What was your creative process like, from concept to creation, in response to Nick Knight’s brief to redesign and reinterpret the SHOWstudio logo?
2DPete: The goal was to create an animated version of the SHOWstudio logo that was both innovative and visually captivating, while still maintaining clear legibility. Nick pulled some of my previous work that he was drawn to as reference and then it was an open brief. And like most projects, we explored various concepts and after a few rounds, we reached the final outcome.
SHOWstudio: What do you think of text as image?
2D Pete: It’s essentially what most of my work is all about. Typography as a visual communication tool has always been a big part of my design aesthetic and evolving into motion design is really exciting for me.
Expressive typography, or 'text as image', has a long-standing history in design. What feels new today, in relative terms, is the amount of typographic visuals we're seeing (often on screens) and how brands employ them as a tool, similar to how they use photography in their visual communications. Adding motion further enhances its power, with the ability to layer in personality to even the simplest of type compositions.
Working in 3D, what interests me is looking at words as objects, exploring how they animate and interact within an environment, yet without a concern for so-called reality. Using simple code and procedural tools, I’m able to find new ways to generate both unexpected and complex results that would have been nearly impossible to create in a 'traditional' environment. This exploratory way of working is something I find endlessly fascinating.