Who wants to be a milliner? Great branding here from Counter Studio for the British Hat Guild

Last time we featured the lovely duo Counter Studio on the site was thanks to their new identity for designer-maker platform Look Like Love.

And it seems they’ve been looking a lot to the sartorial side of things lately, having just completed the branding for the The British Hat Guild.

The guild is a newly reformed collection of the UK’s leading milliners and hatters, founded to promote the heritage, craft and future of British hat making. The reformation of the group was “born out of a shared vision to preserve, educate and inspire,” according to Counter Studio. The guild is spearheaded by some very lofty hat-folk indeed, including Philip Treacy, Noel Stewart, Rachel Trevor-Morgan, Edwina Ibbotson and Jane Smith, and is chaired by the renowned Stephen Jones OBE.

According to Counter Studio founder David Marshall, the idea behind the branding was to demonstrate the heritage of the guild while giving it a modern boost. “While the guild is an entirely new entity, the craft and trade of hat making have a long established and important heritage—the identity needed to reflect this balance,” he says. “The aim was to create something bold, smart and contemporary, while also being classic enough to acknowledge its past.”

Initially, the studio explored the idea of traditional motifs such as crests, “but these felt disingenuous and too backwards looking for what is, in reality, a modern organisation, no matter how old the industry it represents is,” says Marshall.

As such, the new identity is instead built around a simple 'H' symbol that nods, of course, to hats; and works alongside a pared-back, refined supporting visual language. “The idea was to represent the guild in a most simple yet engaging and inclusive way,” says Marshall.


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