Someone sculpts new visual identity for the World of Wedgwood

A tactile suite of photography reveals the “highly evocative and visceral pull” of pottery making throughout an identity reflective of the whole Wedgwood offering.

Someone has devised a new visual and verbal identity for the World of Wedgwood experience, spotlighting “the signature Wedgwood blue” in its new colour palette and line illustrations inspired by clay patterns.

Initially, the studio met with the team at World of Wedgwood to discuss a signage project but the brief expanded into something more, according to Someone founder and executive strategic creative director Simon Manchipp. While the brand already had “an enormous international pull”, Manchipp says that the challenge was communicating the wider offering – “from Michelin-starred chefs and gin distilleries to events and shopping” – alongside “the core brand values”.

The World of Wedgwood also gives visitors a chance to meet the craftspeople making the pottery that is sold worldwide. Manchipp says that everything happening at the site “adds up to represent what the Wedgwood brand stands for” which he describes as “respect for the past, excitement about the present and inventing for the future”.

In light of this diverse offering, Someone was tasked with developing a strategy that “included and reflected everyone involved”, says Manchipp. “Everything Wedgwood” aims to present a “uniting strategic position” that encompasses the whole World of Wedgwood offering, he adds.

The company’s founder Josiah Wedgwood unveiled his most notable invention, Jasper, in 1774. It was an unglazed vitreous fine stoneware, made in blue, green, lilac, yellow, black or white. Sometimes one piece combined three or more of these colours.

The popularity of the light blue version of Jasper gave rise to the expression “Wedgwood Blue”, which Manchipp says is recognised worldwide. Someone opted to use this shade of blue alongside other supporting hues, which change depending on the season.

The studio also implemented a new typographic system centred around Contax Sans by Alex Kaczun, which comes in 16 cuts. Likening the typeface to Wedgwood products, Manchipp says it features “subtle thick and thin stem variations” and has “stunning attention to detail”.

Created in-house by Someone creative director Mark Smith, the illustrations take inspiration from the lines formed in clay on the potter’s wheel and aim to depict what the experience has to offer. Designed to be flexible brand assets, they can be used individually or as part of a groups and “as both small details or as hero graphics”, says Manchipp. Going forward, the illustrations should be able to depict any of Wedgwood’s products.

After realising that most people “only experience Wedgwood as the finished article in a shop or on their table or mantlepiece”, Manchipp says Someone looked at how the visuals could represent the “the hero ingredients”. He adds that the design team saw the raw materials used in the making process, deciding that they had “a highly evocative and visceral pull”.

A new suite of photography showcases “a library of textures associated with the Wedgwood factory”, says Manchipp, from clay, powder, and paint to bone china and slip. He explains how the imagery seeks to “help with storytelling and add visual interest to designs” and can be adapted to appear as the hero image or become “a recessive background”. They can also be cropped and rotated to suite various compositions.

Someone sought to reinvigorate the World of Wedgewood through a new tone of voice. While the brand has over 250 years of heritage and it would be easier to “play with preconceptions”, Manchipp says that Josiah Wedgwood was “a radical and progressive figure”, so the studio opted against “languishing in the past”. Instead, Someone drew on the “beautiful and elegant visual world now available”, crafting a more “invitational” tone of voice to attract new audiences, says Manchipp.

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