Studio Profile: The Decoder Ring
This is the first in a series of studio profiles featuring those who were published in Print magazine’s Regional Design Annual.The Decoder Ring Design Concern is an Austin, Texas based design partnership founded in 2004 with roots in music and retail identity, design and promotion. They received multiple honors in Print’s annual, twice for their poster work. Our favorite is a promotional poster for the indie pop band The Hold Steady uses the luscious Milk Script from Sudtipos.
The other band poster, appropriately supporting The Decemberists’ album “The Crane Wife”, doubles as a giant origami crane. Arthur Baker’s Visigoth font lends just the right kind of Asian calligraphic tone.
The Decoder Ring does more than poster work. Their logo for this year’s SXSW conference is instantly recognizable. The bold, stencilesque letters look like a simple, but effective reworking of Braggadocio. The bulky slab, Dynamo, supports the logotype well.
One piece that didn’t make it in the Annual is probably the designers’ largest project to date (physically, that is). While employed at McGarrah-Jessee Advertising, members of The Decoder Ring were asked to create the logo for Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas. “During the development process, it became apparent that the smart approach was to first create a sign for the field, and then build the logo around it.” The logo is anchored by a sturdy sans serif with a foot in the pre-War past: Cyrus Highsmith’s Stainless.
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