Barristers try artistic appeal

Barristers are the latest legal professionals to feel the impact of marketing. They are following solicitors in their adoption of marketing techniques such as modern corporate identities and design-led brochures.

One of the first sets of barristers to explore such branding issues is Hardwicke Building. One of London’s largest sets, Hardwicke Building is also young and offers a comprehensive range of services. It has the personality to differentiate itself in a traditionally bland market.

Impressed by Spencer Landor’s work for solicitor Mishcon de Reya, Hardwicke Building asked the consultancy to explore various options for a new corporate brochure.

The main theme emerging, says Spencer Landor’s creative partner John Spencer, was that the barristers’ business is ‘about argument, discussion, debate, and even banter’.

One option considered was to communicate the breadth of the set’s offer by a typographic treatment of the phrase ‘all aspects of the law’.

Three visual ideas were considered: a nineteenth century engraving based around wearing different hats; brush strokes of colour referring to the spectrum of services; and selecting a work by Picasso.

The Picasso route arose, and in the end won out, says Spencer, because his work mirrors that of the barrister ‘as he took things apart and put them together in a different way’.

He adds: ‘It was also right because it is ballsy and upfront, and there’s an aggression there which is appropriate.’

Hardwicke Building’s chief executive Tony Wells is delighted with the result. The brochure will be unveiled to some of the UK’s leading legal figures this week at the firm’s new RHWL-designed offices.

‘The building doesn’t look like a barristers’ chambers and the brochure doesn’t look like a barristers’ brochure. It will be interesting to see how our rivals react,’ says Wells.

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