Thompson Brand Partners refreshes Harrogate Spring Water

Thompson Brand Partners has created a new identity for Harrogate Spring Water, taking inspiration from Harrogate’s history of drawing water, which can be traced back to 1571.

Harrogate Spring Water

The consultancy was approached six months ago according to Thompson Brand Partners founder and creative director Ian Thompson who says, ‘Harrogate was the first place in the world to bottle water’.

Thompson says the consultancy conducted research which showed how ‘people thought it was a premium brand but they didn’t know what it stood for’.

Harrogate Spring Water

A positioning was created which recognises the quality, provenance, and history of drinking water in the town, according to Thompson.

Harrogate Spring Water

The cap of the bottle, when viewed from above, reveals an image of The Royal Pump Room of Harrogate, a Victorian ‘sulphur well’, which was known for its high quality water.

On the white labeled sparkling water a Japanese tile design has been referenced, and on the black labeled still water a Turkish tile design is shown. These patterns can be found in the Royal Baths in Harrogate.

Harrogate Spring Water

The wordmark has been devised so that consumers know that despite the historical positioning ‘the water is relevant now,’ says Thompson.

He says, ‘We started with a Futura font and re-worked it. First we went down a classic modernist route and referenced the 20’s and 30’s but it looked too antiquarian so we took out all the flourishes. We didn’t want it to be a historical pastiche.’  

Harrogate Spring Water

Harrogate Spring Water has worked with a manufacturer to develop the new ‘diamond bottles’ to reflect the brand proposition.

‘They wanted a bottle that matched the brand idea, and the diamond shape also references minerals and makes the water look fresh and pure,’ says Thompson.

Harrogate Spring Water

In a new marketing tie up with the England Wales Cricket Board, Harrogate Spring Water is to become The Official Water of England Cricket.

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  • Kelly Vallance November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hard to imagine a more muddled and misplaced set of influences here.

    Starting with FUTURA as a base font for a wordmark for BRITISH brand that pioneered bottled water?

    Futura is GERMAN through and through!

    The geometric sans-serif typeface was designed in 1927 by Paul Renner. It was designed as a contribution on the New Frankfurt-project.

    It is based on geometric shapes that became representative of visual elements of the Bauhaus.

    Commissioned by the Bauer Type Foundry.

    It doesn’t get more German than that! (well perhaps Black Letter — but come on!)

    Thompson Brand Partners needs to seriously sort its influences (and Designers) out when citing inspiration.

    If you are going to start a word mark for a great british brand, why not start with a great british typeface?

    I’m all for diversity — and this demonstrates that through patterned applications — but the typography is a joke.

    The overall output? It is laughable — and deeply forgettable. It will have done the brand nothing but increased its forgettability.

    Look at Perrier or San Pellegrino — charming, characters with heaps of idiosyncratic touches.

    Branding wise. THIS IS AWFUL.

    Packaging wise. Timid baby steps.

    A giant missed opportunity.

  • Grace Jones November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    By judging a design element by a completely irrelevant history, I think you completely miss the point and value of opting for a clean, strong typeface. Typography being German as a valid point of huff and puff? The designers could have focused on typography (like Perrier and San Pellegrino) to recall the brand roots, but chose to convey that message instead through background patterns. Branding is not just limited to a brand mark.

  • Jonathan Smith November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Kelly if you were commissioned to create a brand book, say for a French bank, are you saying you would only use a French designed font?

    That to me seems rather more muddled and misplaced…

    Overall, though not ground breaking in terms of packaging design, I think this bottle conveys a sense of heritage while also looking modern and is eye catching.

    I’d be happy to have this in my book.

  • Kelly Vallance November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Jonathan — I think that if I was working on a French heritage brand — I’d look into French heritage.

    Not a German, Italian or British one.

    Particularly if it had to play the starring role in the visual brand identity. As it does here on this woefully misjudged mess.

    Background patterns are just that. In the background. So they play a light and supporting role. They do very little to represent the brand story.

    This work — it’s a bland as — water.

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