Fred Swart created our Look.
Starting with the name, Frame45; a bucket of key words, including empathy, agile, reframe, unsettle, insight, self-reflection, evolution, repositioning; and a mission to forge a fresh way of seeing contemporary issues of migration and urbanisation through storytelling, Fred Swart and Caroline set about forging our visual language.
Inspired by the periscope, two forty-five degree mirrors used to look around corners and obstacles, the number 45 turned out to be a harder visual nut to crack than anticipated. There were countless angles to be explored in the expression of this ideal. They called for experimentation and almost unlimited creativity on the part of the designer. A challenging form, 45 eluded easy interpretation —perfect, really, for an organisation dedicated to seeing things differently. For Fred, it brought to mind movement, dynamism, ambiguity, percentages, and slashes.
Fred’s early renderings of Frame45 visual
Going back to basics, he took pen to paper and played with the figures, with their shapes and angles, until the visual language of Frame45 revealed itself.
Colours inspired by African landscapes
The themes of ambiguity and play suffuse our entire image. From the suggestion of human form in the crooks and contours of the icons, to the colour palette, which borrows heavily from recognisable African national colours, rendered in pastels to offset the bold typography. The imagery defies easy interpretation and instead demands more of the viewer, as we demand more of ourselves in the work that we do.
Both excited and restrained by the affordances of digital platforms, Fred designed a logo that catches the eye in an environment oversaturated with images, a logo that begs the viewer to double take, to look again. At first glance, the 4 and 5 are not visible, yet when attended to with care, their forms emerge. And once seen, cannot be unseen. Together, the logo and the name invite questions: why 45? What does it frame? What could it mean? And so on.
As an organisation with an entirely digital presence (for now), our logo is a concrete and visual expression of who we aspire to be—grounded and transformational, anchored and agile, dependable and disruptive. Fred’s thoughtful visual story brings these aspects of who we are to life. He sets a high bar for us—a visual reminder to hold us accountable to our highest ideals—serving with empathy and integrity, without taking ourselves too seriously.