grey flannel – thi investments, visual identity, stuttgart 2015

a well-designed brand should always have a message or be a visual experience. sometimes, however, it’s appropriate to minimise the fuss around a particular word mark, practising sober and professional restraint. when a company expressly asks for plain “grey flannel”, for example, the designer – like a bespoke tailor – must channel his or her craftsmanship into creating a suit that sits immaculately, judiciously mitigating – as in real life – any problem zones. which in this case are the two i’s sitting awkwardly side by side: they look odd and detract from readability (thinvestments?!). so a gap is set into the design at this point, much like a pleat; at the same time the word elements are optically stitched together with a third dot. the gap is more than just a blank space, though – it’s a telling detail, like a genuine, properly sewn buttonhole on a jacket sleeve. quite apart from evidencing the designer’s professional thoroughness, it also tells us something about the company’s role – identifying vacant spaces, the opportunity zones of the future. the three dots also represent the founder’s three successors. and so an apparently trivial detail has a story to tell. Like in a cutaway – a morning coat – the word mark makes a statement by emphasising the gap.

thi investments
visual identity
stuttgart 2015


thi investments

project team:
tobias textor (project management)
gabriel richter (project management)
raoul gottschling (project management)
carolin himmel
petr pščolka
andreas uebele

berit schneidereit

principal typeface: