Hawkins\Brown

Client:
Hawkins\Brown
Year:
2016
Deliverables:
Brand, Digital, Print

Hawkins\Brown’s brand identity was created in 2006, at a time when Tony Blair was PM, a whale was found in the Thames, and Daniel Craig was making his debut as James Bond in Casino Royale.

By 2016 the world had moved on and so had Hawkins\Brown. Their brand identity, however, hadn’t. In fact – with no real templates to follow, an unusually broad range of brand assets (from colours to typefaces) to choose from, and everyone producing their own documents (the practice has no dedicated design department) – the identity had become diluted, messy and unclear.

 
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"Our key focus was on finding an agency that were able to reflect who we are, as what we had just wasn’t doing this.”

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Hawkins\Brown needed to refresh, reinvigorate and reorganise their identity to reflect their new reality. This included being AJ Employer of the Year (twice), having more than 300 staff working across a much wider span of disciplines, and operating from a Manchester office as well as a London one. As Joe from Hawkins\Brown explains, “Our key focus was on finding an agency that were able to reflect who we are, as what we had just wasn’t doing this.”

 
 
 
 

Once Huddle was selected to work on the identity programme, their priority was to create order out of chaos. They started by stripping back the identity, cutting the brand typefaces from ten to three and reducing the main brand colours to two, while at the same time making the logo’s backslash into a distinctive brand asset; a hero feature in headings, navigation and punctuation.

 
 

They started by stripping back the identity, cutting the brand typefaces from ten to three and reducing the main brand colours to two, while at the same time making the logo’s backslash into a distinctive brand asset; a hero feature in headings, navigation and punctuation.

The covers of the new practice brochures break with convention by featuring ‘abstract’ close-ups of structural elements of Hawkins\Brown projects, reflecting how the practice does things differently. And because each brochure’s colour picks up on a colour from its image, the secondary colour palette is in effect infinite, yet is a flexible, coherent and distinctive asset for the practice.

 

"Once Huddle was selected to work on the identity programme, their priority was to create order out of chaos."

 

“Hawkins\Brown is a colourful practice, with lots of characters and a generous, collaborative, entrepreneurial and collaborative culture, and the brand now reflects this,” says Rachel Noti, Marketing Manger.

 
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To help the practice embrace the brand identity and learn how to use it, Huddle did a lot of training. “You have to help people to step out of their old ways and try something new,” says Tom Ward, lead designer on the project. “It’s a huge challenge to hand over a brand and train people to stay true to it, but they’ve really run with it and are now communicating consistently, powerfully and creatively.”

 
 
 

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