Country garden Borde Hill unveils understated identity driven by plants

Design agency Here looked at leaves and stems for the shape of a carefully crafted wordmark, even hiding a seed in the dot of an ‘i’.

7 August 2023

Based just north of Haywards Heath, England, the 400-year-old country garden Borde Hill has just launched its refreshed identity courtesy of the design agency Here. The garden is pushing beyond what it has traditionally offered to include a broader outdoor education programme to highlight the “restorative power” of nature for visitors. It needed a look that would appeal to all the guests that might interact with the parkland, from school children to local community growers.

Here’s answer came in a subtle identity that feels both in tune with the careful design and unexpected spontaneity of Borde Hill’s grounds. “Like a garden, Here wanted to reward people leaning in and noticing little moments of natural beauty throughout the brand toolkit,” a press release explains.

For example, the wordmark, like other elements in the identity, takes its cue from nature. Here uses contrasting widths in the characters to suggest growth, much like plant stems shooting up at different widths and lengths. Then there’s the slightly oval shape in the ‘i’ of Borde Hill, which represents a seed. Meanwhile, the monogram shows an illustration of a the flowering plant emmenopterys henryi – Borde Hill was among one of the first sites the plant species was introduced in the UK.

Thomas Lacey, design associate at Here, says: “The design language we chose speaks to the continued growth and change that lies at the heart of Borde Hill – the garden is in constant flux, as is the ambition and scope of the family, so we wanted to create a brand world that speaks to that constant, elegant movement.”

The final work manages to strike a balance between timelessness and modernity, earthiness and clean-cut forms. Creative partner Mark Paton says: “At a time when design needs to be able to think in the interests of the long term, it’s fascinating to learn from a creative process and practice that spans centuries.”

GalleryHere: Borde Hill, photography by Emli Bendixen (Copyright © Here, 2023)

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Here: Borde Hill, photography by Emli Bendixen (Copyright © Here, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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