As a design agency, we look for design inspiration in unusual locations. With an eye for design consistency, we look at how other designers have achieved this too, whether that’s graphic design, illustration, photography or architecture.

I’m a big fan of the London Underground, and its iconic branding of the map, typeface and roundel. However its unique station architecture is often overlooked.

Charles Holden, Modernist period between 1925-1935

One of my design inspirations and favourite era of tube architecture was the Charles Holden, Modernist period between 1925-1935. Holden used a clear design language in his tube architecture, using interchangeable concepts. His approach was highly successful, giving the stations he designed a consistent/recognisable look, with room for individuality. I’m particularly fond of the Art Deco styling of the interiors.

Holden used different facade shapes. The Portland stone brickwork, and window frames help to maintain a consistent look across the stations.

Art Deco
Some lovely Art Deco touches at Clapham Common and Hounslow West.

Modern day examples

A common example of this flexible practice is the design of Apple’s stores. A simple set of architectural glass and wood assets and finishes are used across their stores. Whatever the shape or size of the store they look consistent and reflect the ethos of the brand – simple, sleek and well designed.

Applying the practice

The principles Holden used can translate into all forms of designs to give a brand an edge against the competition.

Building flexibility into a brand
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