Rebranding a creative business is never easy. Just ask our friends at Carter Wong Design, who held our hands, soothed our brows, and guided us through our first rebrand in a decade. Here’s how it all started…
Founded as a specialist publisher in 1972 as Hurtwood Press, we’re named after The Hurtwood, a beautiful woodland in the Surrey Hills, close to where we began. Since then we’ve developed and evolved into one of the world’s leading producers of beautiful special edition and one-off books.
Giving the best advice, choosing the best materials, selecting the best collaborators and creating the best books takes vision, objectivity and a degree of separation. We don’t publish – we know the best publishers. We don’t print – we choose the best printers. We’re not booksellers – we’re book experts. It was time to drop the press and for Hurtwood to go solo.
If you’re going it alone it pays to look the part. We chose Pegasus as the basis for our new wordmark: partly because its creator Berthold Wolpe was a great friend of our founding father, and partly because it’s classic, calm, reassuring, honest and handsome too. The barn owl symbolises wisdom, foresight and beauty. Chris Wormell carved our new mascot as a woodblock illustration. We chose a barn owl as the latest in a long line of Hurtwood birds because we think she reflects our own personality – quietly confident, visionary, sage. She’s perching on our company start date – we like to think with a firm grip on the numbers but a strong eye on the horizon.
Books would be impossible without letters, fonts and typefaces. Influential typographer Paul Barnes at Commercial Type guided us towards Lyon and Graphic – hardworking fonts of beauty and a strong reminder of our rich print heritage. Show me don’t tell me – committing our new branding to paper was always going to be a tall order. We looked to marbled endpapers – a traditional bookmakers material – and commissioned our own modern, innovative, screen-printed gallery with swirling iridescent metallic inks to line our envelopes, back our business cards and bookend our own beautiful, promotional books.
And there’s a new website too – showcasing some of our most beautiful, innovative bespoke books for artists, businesses and individuals across the globe. You’ll find it at hurtwood.co.uk
Our thanks go to Carter Wong Design, Chris Wormell, Paul Barnes and the late, great, Berthold Wolpe. We hope you enjoy our new identity as much as we do – let us know if you’d like to take a look in person.
Best wishes from Hurtwood.
(PS – The Fête des Lumières – or Festival of Light – takes place each December in Lyon, France’s Capital of lights.)