• Top

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

Graphic Design

Graphic Design: Hardhat design a colourful identity for an interior stylist

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

A boutique creative agency based in New York, New Zealand and London, Hardhat Design have a side range of projects under their belt. We were particularly taken by this identity for interior stylist and store owner Alex Fulton, whose work is characterised by her use of colour and forms. In accordance with these elements of her practice, Hardhat designed a fun and playful identity which utilises shapes that can be viewed in a number of different ways. We spoke to the design director Jenny Miles about their key references.

“Alex is known for mixing and matching things in unexpected ways, using bold shape and colour, and there is always humour in her work. So with this in mind we were looking at both current and historical design, including, children’s book illustration by the likes of Blex Bolex, Eric Carle and Paul Rand, wooden games and puzzles like tangrams and building blocks, strong pattern work on wallpaper and wrapping paper and old album covers and film posters.

“The result was a fun, bold and dynamic identity system that was based around a series of simple graphic shapes that, when combined, created not only the flying A in her logo but also a series of weird and wonderful – and funny – objects and shapes that have been used throughout her print collateral.” This ambiguity had some very amusing results. “People can see completely different things in these combinations – sometimes a cupcake, sometimes a boob! Even an ice-cream cone, a radio, a table lamp, a space ship…”

On the process, Jenny explains: “It was a project that just felt right from the beginning. We were captivated and inspired by Alex’s character and style and the resulting work seemed obvious somehow. She was really responsive to our first concepts which was a thrill, so really the whole process was fun and straightforward. Hopefully that playfulness, ease and spontaneity comes through in the work.”

  • Business

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

  • Afd-shapes

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

  • Afdstore-stickers

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

  • 3

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

  • Afd-logo

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

  • Afd-collateral

    Hardhat Design: Alex Fulton Design

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast. She also oversees our London listings guide This At There.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    We featured the work of Verena Michelitsch back in June but on that occasion we focussed on the artier side of her practice. The Austrian graphic designer and illustrator was a founding member of the En Garde studio in Graz before moving to New York to work with Sagmeister & Walsh, Pentagram and RoandCo. Now working freelance, Verena has an eye for stylish graphic solutions often characterised by illustrative touches and impressive restraint.

  2. List

    There are plenty of ways we hear about new creative talent, and we came across Ronan Kelly after his mate Tweeted us saying we’d be mad not to feature him. Turns out said friend was bang on the money, and we explored his portfolio with an increasing sense of excitement.

  3. List

    I’d say that when one of the few companies lauded by children the world over commissions you to design artwork for the interior walls of their HQ, you know you’ve made it. This actually happened to Patrick Savile, the graphic designer and illustrator responsible for splashing his irrevocably diverting artwork throughout the building that houses kids TV channel Nickelodeon, resulting in playful digital illustration, typographic experiments and cartoon eyes a plenty.

  4. Main

    Just as you were thinking you hadn’t seen some truly joyous graphic design infused with sunshine for such a long time BAM! Here’s a bunch of magazines that are designed with one thing in mind: happiness. Javas Lehn Studio are based in New York and spend their days commissioning fantastic illustrators and not worrying about overusing exclamation marks for big brands that want a slice of the nice. Although a lot of this studio’s work is digital or signage-based, for me where they really come into their own is in the world of print. Saturdays Magazine looks delicious, and you could argue that Ace of Faith – the book they created for artist Brian Paumier – is even more lust-worthy than the art itself. I urge you to go and spend some time on their site, if it doesn’t make you want to start up your own design practice then at the very least you’re going to want to go and leave small offerings on the doorstep of Javas Lehn HQ.

  5. List

    It’s not immediately easy to get a handle on Casper Heijkenskjöld’s portfolio, but right from the off you realise you’re in the presence of an impressive creative mind. The Copenhagen-based designer and art director worked for a time for Sagmeister in New York, and seems to have brought the Austrian’s taste for pushing boundaries to his own studio which he set up in 2011.

  6. Main

    With the many branches of Stoptober currently encompassing the social media feeds of our nearest and dearest, the notion of resistance is in full swing. For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a lunar-based 30-day fast in which food and drink are consumed pre-daybreak and after sunset and other behaviour such as smoking, swearing, sex and many other sinful activities are forbidden.

  7. List

    We’re suckers for a bit of nostalgia here at It’s Nice That and this blog by renowned designer Emilio Gil provides it in gratifyingly regular doses. But to suggest that Emilio’s archive is just a way of getting a fix of retro imagery is to do it a disservice as Graphic Pioneers; Spanish Graphic Design 1939 – 1975 does much more than that.

  8. Main1

    Many of you will have seen Emma Watson’s spine-tinglingly good speech at the United Nations this week, calling on men to stand up and be counted in the fight for gender equality (and for the feminist movement to work with men rather than against them).

  9. List

    When I first joined It’s Nice That more than three years ago I had never heard of Elephant magazine, but it was one of those titles talked about in hushed and revered tones. As such it’s always a publication I’ve approached with high expectations, so it was interesting to hear that for the next issue, number 20, Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin of Atlas Studio have overseen a fairly comprehensive redesign.

  10. List

    If you’re ever looking for a great reason why good graphic design is important, Pentagram partner Michael Bierut sums it up in this Kickstarter video. “New York City is a chaotic place and in the 1960s nowhere was more chaotic than the subway system,” he says. There was a “profusion of inconsistent signs” but “a lot of people were convinced that was the way it had to be; New York’s a complicated place, figure it out…”

  11. List

    It’s been eight years since the London Design Museum last redesigned its website, but last week one of the design-world’s most enduring riddles – why does one of the world’s leading design bodies have such an anachronistic web presence? – was resolved. Dutch consultancy Fabrique worked with q42 developers to create a new site with pared-back navigation, new type treatments and a much-needed elevation of big, beautiful imagery to the level it deserves.

  12. Stop_depart_13list

    To celebrate the launch of their new Paris-based art direction studio Avant Post, Quentin Berthelot, Johan Mossé and Adrien Weibel created Stop Départ. They worked with photographer Samuel Guigues to make a whole series around the neat motif of the start of an athletics race and so open their studio with a bang. Simple, stylish and well-executed, the theme hints at the studio’s ambition, gunning for gold, and suggests that it’s more than capable of achieving greatness with repeated gilt tones throughout the posters and cards. If they keep producing work of this calibre, we expect to see them on plenty more podiums in the future.

  13. List

    The mass Scandinavian cultural crush which saw us all become obsessed with the food, TV shows and chunky knitwear of our northern cousins seems to have abated somewhat but that won’t stop Lundgren + Lindqvist.