A leader on the New York book scene, Mast Books have cultivated a reputation as a purveyor of rare art editions. We worked with Mast Books to refine their position as a gallery of books, rather than simply another bookstore.
With this project, the focus was on evolving Mast’s existing reputation, so we re-interpreted elements that were already part of their visual identity. Through a series of graphic exercises, we reviewed their typeface, and customized the font Neuzeit S to convey a timeless, intellectual feel. With a nod to the refreshing simplicity of a contemporary art gallery, we used the same typeface across all parts of the identity. Inspired by the store’s location in the East Village, we echoed the area’s grid topography with a our own grid-like design that pays homage to this rich neighborhood.
For the space, we wanted to create a clean backdrop for the books, much like the way a gallery allows the art to take center stage, but also to create a comforting, welcome place where people could browse. In order to achieve this, we balanced the stark palette of white walls with the warm tones of maple plywood. Architectural elements such as a large entryway and front facade allow plenty of natural light to enter. We also created window displays with wooden frames, and floating shelves, to showcase some of the store’s most precious books. The site was over 100 years old, so we had to replace one floor due to damage, but where possible we tried to maintain a sense of its original characteristics.
All photos by Adrianna Glaviano