Inside the Hatch brand

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Hatch Brand

An insight into how our brand has evolved over the last 15 years.

Which came first, the concept or the egg?

The story of the Hatch brand is interesting to me in as much as I have watched it evolve from birth over the last 15 years, and like all good stories we need to go back to the conception to fully understand the brand and its essence.

Over the years I get asked questions such as: Where did the name originate? Why the egg theme? What’s the relevance to graphic design?

Hatch Brand James Dexter

What’s in a name…

Sitting in a loft conversation in darkest Kent back in the mid 90’s, two ambitious friends, disgruntled at working hard for a big local publishing house were discussing, or should I say exhausting what our new design business could be called. At the time the coolest design agencies gracing the pages of Design Week or Creative Review were either a combination of pretentious sounding surnames such as Smithers, Chivers & Randolf or were one-word random objects like Tomato or Frog, I believe Attic had already gone. As combinations of Dexter & Wellard weren’t really raising the roof, we were swaying toward the later single word format.

Contrary to common belief, the name was put forward not by some moment of divine clarity or inspired genius but if truth be known it was more down to our eyes wondering around the

room looking for inspiration. If memory serves, it was Danny that suggested Hatch as in the entrance to the room we were residing in. It was only afterwards did we start to draw parallels of how the name could relate to the conception of an idea or a creation, i.e. an egg hatching.

We felt the name could be reinforced with a strapline that would encapsulate and relay our core business, tie in with the ‘egg theme’ and also have a cheeky reference to us breaking away from our current circumstance, the fact that we were no longer little design whores, spewing out work that rarely gained recognition especially from a financial aspect.

So it was agreed, our new venture was to be Hatch Creations Ltd, and our strap line was to be ‘free range design consultants’

Hatch Brand Bussines Card

An early Hatch business card circa 1998, sported a pilot version of the Hatch logo picked out in a copper foil block, contrasting against a
tactile matt laminated Royal Blue background. Judging by the dual-name, one card approach, budgets must have been tight back in the day.

Eggsperimental photoshoot

With the old adage ‘a picture explains a thousand words’ in the forefront of our minds we were keen to backup our newly named venture with some cool conceptual imagery. We hit upon the idea that it would be cool to have a series of useable images of an egg hatching in the various different stages. At the time, the internet was pretty much in it’s infancy and resources and inhouse budgets were limited, we decided to art direct our first photoshoot. After smashing up around 2 dozen eggs with little success a technique was devised which involved making a small

pencil sized hole and draining the contents, the egg was positioned hole side down on a specially pre drilled surface. As one of us held the egg in place the other was underneath tapping through with the pencil. Each stage was photographed and placed in sequence. Hey presto an egg hatching from the inside out. The way this challenge was overcome, by thinking outside of the box, epitomises our determination to find solutions whatever the design challenge, this really set the tone for the Hatch approach to every job that comes into the studio.
Hatch Brand evolution

Making our mark

When it came to producing the hatch logo we wanted to do more than capture attention and make the audience linger. Our goal was to prolong the encounter, compelling the reader not only to notice, but to remember.

In order to achieve this we took a light hearted approach using a humorous concept, coupled with a strong typographical foundation. We love the double-take aspect sometimes used in design where elements may be seen after the initial viewing thus causing a ‘that’s clever’ type of response.

Hatch Brand

The pilot hatch logo complete with egg
puzzle icon. Can you see the hidden elements?

Hatch Brand

More than meets the eye, company name appears
within the egg icon when viewed at different angles.

A smile in the minD

This can be seen in the ‘egg’ shape forming the negative space in the letter ‘a’ which itself was formed from mirroring the letter ‘c’ giving a greater aspect of symmetry and equilibrium. Also when the ‘geometric egg icon’ is viewed on it’s side, forming the company name regardless of it’s rotation.

Evolution rather than devolution

A good trademark does not last for ever: it must be adjusted when circumstances dictate. As is often the case with evolving brands our ident has been purified over the years, with fine tuning and simplifications made. The geometric ‘egg icon’ was deemed to be overcomplicated and unessasary and was dropped around 1999, along with a series of accomanying straplines which spelt out the company’s core purpose, were also abandoned in favour of the abbrieviated type based logo (right) used today. This first appeared at the turn of the century when we launched a comprehensive set of rebranded Hatch Stationery along with other marketing materials such as the Direct Mail Campaign.

Hatch Brand

Hatch Creations Studio

Our new fully branded Studio, complete with etched frosted Glass, screen savers & puzzle egg wall decale.

Egg all over our face

With a strong and historic identity in place and a set of in-house corporate guidelines established, the brand is applied across the board. All correspondence leaving the studio carries the company look and feel, be it traditionally printed letterheads, continuation sheets and compliment slips or an animated electronic HTML email header & footer, they all fly the Hatch banner in style.

Our custom built studio is an incubator for the brand, as designers and clients sip from Nigela’s Duck Egg Coffee Cups with matching saucers the strong Hatch credo is all around.

Hatch Brand Suz Morrod
Hatch Brand
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