Richard and Julie Wright, Chicago's premier modern art + design visionaries, wanted to reposition their auction house with distinction and historical relevance amongst the collection community. We designed an award-winning identity and typographic system, as well as a holistic automated workflow for Wright's publications that allows a design staff of one to ship over 5,000 pages of catalog work annually to the world's most discerning audience. Wright's catalogs have become renown (and coveted) for their authority, typographic sensibility and elegant art direction.
Since Wright was already known for having unique catalogs, we believed Wright needed to position themselves as the collector community's fashion house: treating each auction as a new "line." The catalog became a unique opportunity to make a visual splash, while Wright established a market for artists and designers like Nakashima and Bertoia.
Richard and Julie wanted to signal that they were making a change, after 7 years, using design to signal an evolution of who they were and where they were going. The new typemark began by considering the original Bodoni cut by Vignelli and Carnesse, and shifting the typographic aspects: lowercase became capitals, roman become italic, regular weight became extra bold.
From there, the proportions were rendered by a modern hand, infused with today's vitality and a forward momentum.
History Matters. Richard Wright
A diverse typographic voice was key to expressing the eclectic nature of the collections Wright was offering. Three typeface families were chosen because of both their historic relevance and modern sensibilities: Bau, by Christian Schwartz, was a modern cut of the historic Swiss typeface Grotesk. Freight, by Joshua Darden is an elegant serif with a ton of flexibility and expression.
These typographic voices are mixed from catalog to catalog to provide depth and variety. Thirst worked very closely with the Wright team to establish a typographic sensibility vs a design standard manual. This has allowed the Wright team to evolve the brand into the future and not simply follow a set of strict rules that keeps the look of Wright frozen in time.