Since 2014, Germany-based studio Panorama has been exploring a dialogue between functional-yet-experimental typography and the need to create an emotional response through design. Founded by three friends, Armin Roth, Simon Bork and Lukas Betzler, Panorama was born from a shared idea post-graduation. “We met while studying at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. After our diplomas we were employed by different graphic design studios and weren’t able to spend a lot of time on side projects. So we had to decide: stay employed or start our own business,” says Armin, co-founder and designer of the studio.
Before Panorama took off, Armin had been employed by the Stuttgart design studio L2M3, where he created visual identities, commissioned photography projects and specialised in typography. From this creative and design-led background, he has since transferred his skills to co-develop a platform that aims to deliver original and unconventional ideas. “Panorama mainly works for institutions in the cultural sector. Intensive talks with our clients provide a solid foundation for the creative process, and because of our close collaboration we are able to develop precise and unique concepts,” he says.
With a unique blend of illustration, characteristic print design, three-dimensional signage and artful identities, Panorama continue to reign an unbiased and explorative approach to design. “We don’t want to establish a panorama style — maybe this style will be developed someday, or it’s already there and we don’t recognise it,” Armin explains. “Generally we think that it’s more important to find the right style for our client, instead of developing our own visual characteristics. But we can’t deny that we have our preferences.”
“We try to approach each project with a good amount of naiveté, to stay open minded and avoid assigning a certain style to a certain type of project, client or industry. A lot of thinking goes into each project to establish a conceptual foundation before we start working on visuals,” Armin says.
Their most recent work with Theater Konstanz and Industrial Design Department presents a medley of deconstructed typefaces, bible design and modern grotesk fonts that allow the team to fully immerse themselves with a brief and experiment with new ways of image-making. However, Armin explains how one of their most prominent commissions was their first: “One of our favourite projects is our collaboration with Theater Rampe, a small off-theatre in Stuttgart,” he says. “The redesign of their corporate identity was our first job and the starting point of Panorama. The intensive cooperation, the mutual trust and the great creative freedom made the project a special one.”