Introducing Huckle The Barber
London studio Proud Creative show and tell their work on the brand identity of Chris Ward's new Shoreditch barbers, Huckle The Barber – and reveal how typographic inspiration came from an unlikely source...
"When Chris came to us and we started discussing ideas, lots of what had resonance with us related to the kind of atmosphere he was trying to create," explains Proud Creative's Dan Witchell of the project. "Little things revealed deeper truths about the type of place Huckle might become," he continues. "For example, if there are beers for customers, they'll be in a vintage ice box on the floor, rather than a slick fridge. In the summer there will be a communal bench out front and inside, Spotify playlists will be shared back and forth between staff and customers."
The shop frontage complete with 'opening soon' messages which were installed while the interior was being completed
The visual language and tone of voice needed to reflect this informal approach," Witchell continues. "We wanted an identity that felt thoroughly modern, whilst still somehow acknowledging the heritage and tradition that is inherent in a skill-based trade such as barbering.
Above: the design for the shop door window text, photos below (note the bespoke welcome mat)
"The result is a bold mixed-up typographical approach that resists looking too formal, however hard you try and kern it," says Witchell. "It's intended to have a bit of a DIY aesthetic about it, whilst being well crafted enough to still feel considered."
Huckle business cards
The use of the red and blue diagonal stripes in the company's idenity are a nod, of course, to the classic barbers pole. "Historically," Witchell explains, "the red and blue stood for arterial and venous blood, respectively." Hopefully not too much blood, blue or red, will be spilled at Huckle!
Besides sending us images of the identity work, Witchell also showed us an old photograph he tells us was key in the development of the project:
"It started out as a reference to traditional barbers, but we all fell in love with the typography that adorned the restaurant next door," he says.
See more of Proud Creative's work at proudcreative.com.
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The March issue of CR magazine celebrates 150 years of the London Underground. In it we introduce a new book by Mark Ovenden, which is the first study of all aspects of the tube's design evolution; we ask Harry Beck authority, Ken Garland, what he makes of a new tube map concept by Mark Noad; we investigate the enduring appeal of Edward Johnston's eponymous typeface; Michael Evamy reports on the design story of world-famous roundel; we look at the London Transport Museum's new exhibition of 150 key posters from its archive; we explore the rich history of platform art, and also the Underground's communications and advertising, past and present. Plus, we talk to London Transport Museum's head of trading about TfL's approach to brand licensing and merchandising. In Crit, Rick Poynor reviews Branding Terror, a book about terrorist logos, while Paul Belford looks at how a 1980 ad managed to do away with everything bar a product demo. Finally, Daniel Benneworth-Grey reflects on the merits on working home alone. Buy your copy here.
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Love the consistency across the board in style. If their service is good I have no doubt they'll be a success.
Would have been good to see more of the actual shop rather than mockups... Looks smart, very Shoreditch!
It does remind me of Honest Burger in Brixton, rather.
Like it. The website is nice and simple, whilst on-brand, too.
Nice brand design although the prices for a hair cut are a little eye watering for a barbers... probably so they can pay off the design agency fees faster ;-)
Ah, my new barber gets a feature. Great work guys, you've got the essence of the place spot on. If you didn't know, the shop was formerly Murdock London (another barber) and they turned the place around in only a few months. It feels more friendly and less corporate than Murdock ever did, I hope it stays that way. Most small companies are hell-bent on growth - especially in Shoreditch - and that's sometimes a shame. Keep it small, unique and special - that's what we treasure!
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