Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 28 February 2017
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is a UK-based premium selvedge and organic raw denim jeans brand. It was founded in 2016 by Han Ates, who has over 25 years experience in the textiles industry, and is located in a renovated 1920s factory building with a distinctive profile in Walthamstow, North London. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is committed to implementing a sustainable and ethical production model. This began with with the growing of Japanese Indigo in their factory allotment, the use of organic materials, using denim woven in Europe and a lifetime repair policy. StudioSmall worked with Han on developing brand identity, this included logo design, packaging, tags and e-commerce website.
Drawing on the distinctive structural profile of the factory, StudioSmall’s logo design finds a neat balance between premise and its history, garment patterns and an industrial / utilitarian quality. It is a smart use of form, effectively leveraging some universal associations, makes for a neat heat stamped leather label and works equally well as solid or outline versions.
Visual identity is largely logo-centric, with symbol paired with a similarly weighted monolinear sans-serif Calibre, and reproduced consistently and effectively, large and small, across a variety of contexts, which include jean labels, tags, buttons, box tape and website.
Stationery and tags reflect the brand’s sustainable positioning in the choice of recycled, uncoated and unbleached boards, contribute to and balance a sense of both craft and utility, while metal signage compliments the industrial heritage of the site and its iconic shape.
All this continues through to the website, in its build, use of type, cool grey background and photography of interior factory setting and team members. Although visual identity is simple, it is loaded with association, and given further value by an online presence that provides plenty of brand insight.