In an age defined by digital, us print proponents are fond of harking on about the beauty, tactility and ultimately irreplaceable wonders of paper. But for a hugely-respected paper company like G . F Smith that argument is one they have to try and win on a very real, daily basis.
Today sees the latest salvo in this all-important battle with the launch of two new marks and a range of printed and digital collateral overseen by London-based studio Made Thought. The overarching idea was to "better reflect the legacy, stature and future ambitions of the company.” and the challenge for Made Thought was to combine the values first put in place by founder George Frederick Smith when he formed the company way back in 1885 with its restlessly innovative contemporary role in the creative industries.
So the new Humanist Sans typeface is designed to reflect both machine printing and calligraphy while the newly-introduced curators symbol points to the current generation’s responsibilities in the context of nearly 130 years of G . F Smith.
Ben Parker, creative partner of Made Thought, says: “The brand had a huge visual cache but we felt this was not enough and we could better accentuate the unique and highly covetable brand story that existed beneath the surface. We had the feeling that customers and clients knew of the company but did not know ‘who’ they were.
“To some extent, the design process has been simply about ‘joining up the dots’ and exploiting what already exists, in bucketloads, within the company. Most importantly, we have wanted to reflect a personal, human dimension to a remarkable brand that still proudly carries its founder’s name nearly 130 years later. The new brandmark firmly links the company back to the start — George Frederick Smith — and imparts a genuine sense of honesty, trust and integrity. It adds a human ’touch’ to a business that is all about paper and an already intrinsically beautiful and covetable product that is all about sensation and tactility.”
Along with the stunning new stationery and the impressive brand identity update, Made Thought has also revamped the company’s websites, bringing together the digital and physical sides of the business.