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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