Looks and Feels

South Wharf Promenade looks very different to the majority of buildings alongside the Yarra. It deserved a graphic design language that was equally distinct, elegant and old-fashioned, so we worked with one of Australia’s most exciting graphic designers and illustrators, Karl Maier, to develop a logo and patterns. Here he quickly runs us through how he developed the look and feel for South Wharf Promenade.

Who are Craig & Karl?
Craig & Karl are Craig Redman and Karl Maier. We live on opposite sides of the world but collaborate daily to create bold work that is filled with simple messages executed in a thoughtful and often humorous way. We specialize in branding, illustration, installation, typography, as well as character, editorial and pattern design.We have exhibited across the world, most notably at the Musée de la Publicité, Louvre. And have worked on projects for clients like LVMH, Nike, Apple, Vogue, Microsoft, Converse, MTV and The New York Times.

What was the process for developing the look and feel for South Wharf Promenade?
At the outset I first met with Plenary Group and Right Angle Studio to have a deep discussion about the project. This was probably the most important step towards understanding the origins of South Wharf Promenade and, critically, how it would evolve in the future. We then took an extended walk through the site to basically get a feel for the place. It also provided an opportunity to talk through each venue in more detail, and to identify any visual cues that could abstractly inform the identity.

What struck you when you were down on site?
Definitely the scale and heritage of the site set it apart from its immediate surrounds. Much of the general South Wharf area is populated by quite monolithic, concrete structures that can be somewhat overwhelming. By contrast the carefully restored cargo sheds, that make up the boardwalk, are far more human in both their scale and feel. They seem to reveal more of themselves somehow. The acquired patina of the wood also lends a certain warmth to the site.

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