Ali Hanson designs an identity for Hyht that references British design heritage without falling back on nostalgia

Ali Hanson designs an identity for Hyht that references British design heritage without falling back on nostalgia

One example of design “revival” can be seen in the logotype, which was directly inspired by a trip Ali took to St Bride, a library primarily devoted to printing, book arts, typography and graphic design. “[It] allowed me to look through over 30 books of past British type foundries, some dating back 100s of years,” he explains. “I documented so many interesting letterforms from my visit and this became the inspiration for the style of lettering I drew for the logotype.” The result is dynamic and unusual, its geometric aesthetic feeling like the perfect blend of gothic and contemporary type styles. A merging of the old and new; much like Hyht’s ethos.

The primary typeface Ali opted for is Helveesti by Dinamo. It presented as the best option as it’s a “clean, contemporary typeface that connected to the brand in some way,” in essence because of its “sharp, pointed edges, which I liked as it connected to the ‘prickly’ feel of wearing a new woollen jumper.” And there are yet other ways Hyht’s identity expresses its personality. For the emblem, Ali combined the style of the lettering used for the lowercase “h” in the logotype with “the idea of a yarn connecting together to form an uppercase ‘H’.” Then when working with Helveesti, he searched for ways to connect any words with double letters to draw similarities between the primary typeface and the logotype, again, inspired by the typographic styles he discovered at St Bride. “This is evident in some of the regularly used brand words including ‘wool’, ‘woollen’ and ‘locally’,” Ali outlines.

Finally, the photography and casting proved to be a space to visualise the stories behind the brand. Ali worked with photographer Jack Johnstone and set designer Imogen Frost to create a series of images highlighting the six properties of wool. Jack also took on shooting the collection in a more traditional product sense to ensure everything had a “unified look and feel”. Even this turned into an opportunity to create meaningful work though. Collaborating with Laura Vartiainen, who lead the casting and styling, they wanted to shoot the collection worn by people who align with the brand in some way. You’ll therefore spot illustrator Joey Yu, chef Lori de Mori, artist Connie Harrison and nutritionist Lola Ross sporting the debut collection.

On the mission of Hyht, Caroline adds that the brand is “built on the principles of slow fashion and challenging always-on consumerism when it comes to our clothes. That’s why the British Isles are our boundary – it isn’t about national pride or patriotism – it’s about overcoming the frustration that, when we now need to be more thoughtful about our impact on the planet, it’s almost impossible to buy clothes locally. Public understanding about local food has started to shift in the last 20 years – we see it with local markets and 25-mile restaurant menus. We’re far from this way of thinking when it comes to the clothes we wear.” Hyht, hopefully, is going to change that.

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