Responses by Johan Debit, cofounder and creative director, Brand Brothers
Background: Located near the canal Saint-Martin in Paris, La Montgolfière is a majestic social sports club that will be opening in September 2018. Formerly an old hot-air balloon canvas factory built in the 1850s without a building permit, we worked with the founders to imagine the hybrid brand identity of an avant-garde place mixing sports and culture, arts and well-being, for an upscale but creative clientele.
Reasoning: La Montgolfière is a place where one comes to play sports, but in an atmosphere similar to a high-end hotel. The facilities, the comfort and the unique character of the building make this place a haven of peace. La Montgolfière also represents the state of mind of the two founders; they love eccentricity as much as subtlety, and harmony as the mixture of styles. With this brief, we oriented our reflection around two main axes: rigor of design and freedom of tone.
Challenges: Working on a place that does not yet exist. We had to build a complete visual identity on the basis of a building that is undergoing a complete renovation, and imagine the future spirit of an emblematic place in Paris, as well as a hybrid brand that nobody knows. This required a great capacity for projection, anticipation and synthesis.
Favorite details: The logo La Montgolfière is a typogram created for this project. Behind its simplicity, the fact of conceiving it ex-nihilo allowed us to integrate it in multiple applications. We also liked the audacity and confidence of our clients. When we presented the “patterns” posters, made of strange associations of images, colors and words, they let us develop a vast collection of posters and postcards.
Anything new: This project was our opportunity to develop our capacity—in a constrained time and premature framework—to put our ideas in order and to project our visual solutions on multiple applications while dialoguing with many interlocutors, from architects to web developers.
Alternative approach: If we had had more time, we would have developed the typographic design created for the logo into a complete headlines font, including a series of ligatures and unconventional graphic features that would link all visual applications. We would have also liked to work on a strange series of photographs mixing sports and art.