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.”