Here has designed the brand identity for Victorian Mayfair pub The Audley and adjoining Mount Street restaurant, using graphic symbols from the Audley family crest.
The building has always been a pub since it was built in 1888, taking its name from the English politician and barrister Lord Thomas Audley’s family, whose crest dates back to the 16th century. When it fell into hospitality company Artfarm’s ownership in 2021, it was part of a generic pub chain.
Artfarm is owned by Somerset-based gallerists and art collectors Iwan and Manuela Wirth, who have used The Audley as a place to showcase artwork from the likes of Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud. The company has previously worked with Here on a rebrand of The Fife Arms in the Scottish Highlands.
As the use of the whole building was being re-examined, Here was tasked with “defining a unifying narrative” that would connect the ground floor pub to the first-floor dining space and private rooms, according to Here design associate Thomas Lacey. The branding also had to tie in with Paris-based studio Laplace’s interior vision for the space, which involved restoring historical elements and evoking the look and feel of a traditional pub.
Here worked closely with Laplace to work out how the brand could be best applied throughout the building. Lacey describes this as one of the most challenging aspects of the project as the studio had to create “a bold umbrella brand that sat harmoniously with the equally bold interiors”. The collaboration involved executing the signage, a mosaic entrance, and wayfinding “that felt true to the artworks within”, he says.
In a bid to return it to its former status as “a beautiful Mayfair institution”, Lacey says Here took inspiration from “surrounding Mayfair signage” and The Audley’s archive. The result is a font that seeks to reflect “the strong, bold nature of the original pub” that has been refined in weight to work “beautifully as a master typographic style for the whole building”, he adds.
Looking through the building’s archives also unearthed The Audley family crest. Lacey says that it felt right to use it as “the pub still takes its name from Lord Audley”. Here extracted a graphic symbol from the crest for The Audley brand: an X-shaped cross laid over a diamond.
Just as the building itself has been reimagined, Lacey says the emblem has been recreated in “a contemporary style as a stamp for The Audley’s current purpose”.
He explains that there is “a rich history of symbology linked to Mayfair”, including “little archaic illustrations and nods to clandestine activity behind closed doors”. Paying homage to this, Lacey says the studio implemented the symbol in “more mysterious ways as you travel up the building”.
On the ground-level of the pub it appears “printed boldly in rich ink”, becoming “a blind emboss on the menus” as you move up to the restaurant, says Lacey. In the private rooms, it adorns the metal cloakroom tags.
The Audley’s colour palette is derived from the deep plum signage that the original pub used and the warm, pink stonework of the building. Lacey says: “It’s a reflection of the exterior brought into the interior spaces”.
He hopes that the “refined but intriguing brand that connects with Mayfair, both past and present” will help to bring “a beautiful old pub back to life”.