Hat-Trick creates House of Illustration identity

Hat-Trick has created the identity for the House of Illustration in London– the world’s first dedicated space to showcase illustration, according to its founders.

House of Illustration business cards
House of Illustration business cards

The house of Illustration project was initiated by Quentin Blake, who has donated his life’s work to the organisation’s archives.

Since the project was first conceived around six years ago, the House of Illustration has been working as a virtual space, with involvement in projects such as The Big Draw. It also organised touring illustration shows at other venues.

House of Illustration carrier bag
House of Illustration carrier bag

This summer the physical House, designed by architect Witherford Watson Mann, will open in King’s Cross, next to University of the Arts’ Central Saint Martins school.

The site will show Blake’s work and that of a large selection of illustrators, and there will also be a decicated education space and a shop.

Hat-Trick was appointed to the project in 2008 following a four-way credentials pitch. the consultancy initially started work on the identity with Jane Wentworth Associates, which created the strategy. Their first designs were used on early fundraising materials.

Hat-Trick recommenced work on the identity late last year, using the designs it initially created and developing them into a more detailed set of guidelines.

House of Illustration internal signage design
House of Illustration internal signage design

The identity is based around a black sketchbook page with a serrated top, forming a flexible device that can be applied across all different temporary shows.

‘It needed to be something of a blank canvas to show all the illustration,’ says Jim Sutherland, Hat-Trick creative director.

Business cards are designed as miniature notebooks, with the cards as ‘pages’ that can be pulled out kept (see image at the top of the story).

House of Illustration business cards
House of Illustration business cards

As seen on the website, the branding allows for a backdrop showing the work of a selected illustrator behind text and information, and when the mouse is hovered on the image, visitors are given details on the illustrator’s background and the story behind the commissioning of the work.

It hoped that a similar approach will be used on the hoardings.

House of Illustration materials
House of Illustration materials

There is also talk of a trustees and donation wall, where illustrators would create portraits of those who’ve made a significant donation to the project, though this is still under discussion.

Rachel Lillie has been announced as the House of Illustration’s first illustrator in residence, and will start the six-month residencey later this month as part of the Housewarming season of events leading up to the opening in the summer.

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