Studio Makgill

Ideological platform for celebrated approach

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It’s an urban myth that the word JEEP is an acronym for Just Enough Essential Parts. But it’s also easy to see why the story took hold. Commissioned by a government preparing for war, the jeep was the product of the most stringent of briefs: the delivery of a working four-wheel drive reconnaissance vehicle, fit for the rigors of war, in 49 days.

It’s a long story, involving several companies and an impossible deadline, but the result was a design marvel: a quarter-tonne all-terrain reconnaissance vehicle, consisting only of exactly what was required, and of parts that could be replaced with the minimum of fuss by anyone. It was simple. It went to war. It was loved.

Studio Makgill does not design jeeps. We design identities. We design for brands. However, when we think about what really matters in our work, we think of the jeep. The design of the jeep was a response to a need for a new type, something that answered questions generated by the most exacting of circumstances. It was stripped of the unnecessary. It drew out exactly that which was deemed essential to purpose. It was just right – it was beautiful.

Today, businesses operate in highly competitive markets. The result is that everyone ends up trying to outshout each other, but no-one can be heard. Taking a leaf out of the making of the jeep, we recognise that creating identities whose purpose is clear, meaningful and composed of only the absolutely essential represents the best way to cut through this visual noise.

To make a jeep is to make a beautifully simple work. Neither religion nor manifesto, the jeep is the result of a process of making, a way of working. It’s the voice that sounds just right. It’s respectful. It’s expectant. Bereft of the superfluous, there’s an essential timelessness to it. It’s beautifully simple.