Designer Spotlight: Ferroconcrete

Client work by Los Angeles design firm Ferroconcrete. Pinkberry, Fruute, TBS

Firm: Ferroconcrete,
We think good design and communication should be able to translate into any medium.
Los Angeles
Design Mantra: We believe in brands, personified: Finding the essence of a brand — whatever it is that makes us love a brand — and then bringing that personality and spirit to life.

The Los Angeles-based design firm Ferroconcrete got its start in 2006 when frozen yogurt purveyor Pinkberry — then, with only a single store — asked motion designer Yo Santosa to help them with their branding. Knowing a good thing when she encounters it, Santosa promptly quit her job and started Ferroconcrete with Pinkberry as her sole client.

It was a leap of faith that paid off: With Santosa’s branding help, Pinkberry now has stores in more than 100 locations worldwide. Ferroconcrete, too, has flourished, expanding into print, motion, architectural design and more. They’ve also added clients, including TBS and Hustler. The re-branding they created for TBS was named by Fast Co. Design as one of their favorite branding projects of 2011.

“We think branding is first and foremost about instinct; we have to feel it in our gut,” Santosa explains about their approach to design. “As our company name implies, we believe in building a strong foundation for our design — a foundation that will allow a brand to grow and adapt to an ever-changing market.”

Hustler Toys Rebrand by FerroconcreteIn building that foundation, Ferroconcrete relies on smart solutions for their projects, such as getting inspiration from the cosmetic counter when designing the packaging for Hustler’s sex toy line.

“For us, less is almost always more,” Santosa says about the aesthetic of much of Ferroconcrete’s work. “Design should speak for itself, and therefore should be clean, concise and easy for the viewer to understand and follow through eventual expansion and evolution.”

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Fruute Los Angeles Bakery, design by Ferroconcrete

Most recently, Santosa found herself taking another chance on her sweet tooth when she launched a pastry shop with her mother and sister called früute, where they sell fruit-filled tarts. “We wanted to take something ordinary — the humble fruit tart — and transform it into something extraordinary,” she says.

The project provided her the opportunity to see branding and retail from a new perspective, as, for the first time, she was both client and designer.

Santosa explains of Ferroconcrete’s growth from starting with just a single client to the launch of a brand new business, “We continue to see the infinite possibilities of design and are always open to new adventures.”

 Having come so far in just a handful of years, there’s no doubt that there are plenty of adventures awaiting Ferroconcrete in the future.