Image shows a large, wide outdoor advertisement for Paulin, featuring the brand's wordmark rotated on its side, and a close-up photo of a watch with a yellow watchface and a red strap

Scottish watchmaker Paulin receives playful rebrand

Moving away from its minimalist past, Paulin begins a new chapter with a fresh look that is both youthful and retro

Glasgow-based watch company Paulin has undergone a rebrand that was led in-house, after recently being acquired by fellow Scottish watchmaker anOrdain. Originally operating exclusively in-store, the pressure on retail as a result of the pandemic coupled with changes to the team meant that it was the right moment for Paulin to embark on a new journey.

“In the last two years there have been some big changes behind the scenes at Paulin, and it felt like time for a fresh identity to mark this new chapter,” says Imogen Ayres, type specialist, creative director at Paulin, and founding member of the anOrdain studio.

Animated graphic showing Paulin's wordmark, comprising uppercase letters except the 'i', against changing watchface backgrounds
All photography by Susan Castillo/Paulin

“This meant a restructuring of the team and, with the additional skills and resources lent by anOrdain, transitioning the production of our watches towards a much leaner, more local model.”

Ayres, who spearheaded the rebrand, explains that the new identity needed “to match our values, and mark our move away from minimalism”. As such, the team worked to create a new look for the brand that was “bold, playful and honest”, but also embraced a retro feel to reference its “love of vintage watch design”.

The result is an identity that prioritises expressive shapes and bright colours. The custom typeface for Paulin is composed of large, rounded letterforms reminiscent of the kind used for fridge magnets and, in keeping with this, Ayres uses simple motion design to create playful arrangements of the letters.

In the short animations by motion designer Oliver Hilliker, the type bounces and bumps across the screen, highlighting Paulin’s youthful approach to watchmaking, and the creativity that lies at the heart of the process.

Graphic showing Paulin's wordmark comprising upper case letters except for the 'i', as well as its narrow and medium typofaces

Along with the main wordmark, Ayres also designed a “skeletal” secondary logo to reference the brand’s commitment to transparency. Recent changes to its production methods in order to reduce waste have seen modular constructions used for its latest watches, and Ayres wanted this aspect of the brand to be reflected in its identity.

The aim is for the new identity to allow space for future partnerships with creatives, according to Ayres. “We also needed a clean slate that could support a variety of visual styles, as we want to expand on our collaborations with artists, designers and photographers.”

Image shows Paulin advertisements on vertical displays in a station, showing the brand's uppercase wordmark against lifestyle photography of its watches
Image shows Paulin's branding on the website, featured on a smartphone against a blue background
Image shows the cork packaging designed for Paulin, shown against a orange-red background