Welcome to ZHA World
Hadid commissioned creative agency Greenspace to develop a new website and branding for ZHA in 2011. Greenspace developed a visual identity for the company and an “ultimate archive” that catalogued its output and challenged the prevalent misconception at the time that its work was rarely realised.
“We came to realise that there was no consistent way of writing about or describing ZHA,” says Greenspace founder Adrian Caddy. “Nor was there a consistent form the practice used to show itself to the world.” The designers were given permission to conduct interviews with 40 of the most senior partners at ZHA to build up a word cloud of the adjectives used most often to describe the method and spirit of ZHA.
“Charismatic, disorganised, contradictory and brilliant were the values that emerged,” Caddy says. The designers were surprised at the strength and coherence of the responses. “In a sense, the project is about corporate identity rather than a piece of product branding,” says Caddy. “It can also be seen as the visible language ZHA uses to communicate with.”
In her 1998 monograph, Hadid called for “a new image of architectural presence with dynamic qualities such as speed, intensity, power and direction”. Greenspace distilled this onto paper to create a corporate presence for the neo-avant-garde.
Along with the website, Greenspace worked with typographer Miles Newlyn to create the Zaha Hadid Sans typeface and printed materials in the ZHA brand colours of silver, black, white and magenta.
"In a sense, the project is about corporate identity rather than a piece of product branding, it can also be seen as the visible language ZHA uses to communicate with."