There’s nothing better than a cold pint of beer, cider or Guinness after a busy week. Don’t worry, we only ever have a couple at a time, and never before a meeting. But we’re a sociable bunch, so when we heard Design Bridge had created a new harp icon for Guinness we had to write about it.
A quick pint of background
The harp, which serves as the Guinness emblem, is based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru” harp which is now preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. The harp device has been synonymous with the Guinness brand since 1862 when it was used as a symbol on the first bottle label for Guiness®. The icon was registered as the famous Guinness company trademark in 1876. It is because of this trademark that Guinness named its first lager ‘Harp’ in 1960.
Stout of the ordinary?
We know that London-based studio ‘Design Bridge’ undertook the brief by redrawing the iconic brand mark with help from traditional harp makers Niebisch & Tree, experienced letterpress studio New North Press, and creative illustrator Gerry Barney.
According to the Design Bridge, the new design “conveys the true craftsmanship and history behind Guinness’s distinctive beers that set it apart from the recent wave of new, craft beers, while also resonating with the next generation of drinkers.”
The classic harp image that we see on the majority of Guinness branding was created by the agency through making multiple 3D models, based on its initial sketches with Niebisch & Tree. Design Bridge says: “This collaborative process allowed the team to fully immerse themselves in the harp’s shape and form, from the characteristic curve of the harmonic neck to the way shadows are cast on the instrument, ensuring their design looked and felt as authentic as possible.”
Illustrator Gerry Barney, who had drawn a previous version of the Guinness harp in 1968, was then brought in to draw the new harp icon based on Design Bridge’s sketches; and New North Press worked with the agency to create a physical impression of the mark by overlaying different colours, textures and techniques, including embossing, foil block and metallic inks.
I’m sure over the next few months the new harp icon will be rolled out across the internationally recognised and much loved brand. At ‘It Starts’ we certainly can’t wait to see the new harp in action and it’s a great excuse for a pint. Or two. Not before a meeting. Honest.
If you’re interested in logo design or icon creation, head over to our ‘what we do’ page and see what we could do for you and your business, from a simple icon, to a total rebrand. We love a challenge.
About it starts
It Starts provides business strategy, design, marketing and technology services to some of the world’s largest businesses and best-known brands. The company is known for successfully harmonizing user needs and business goals to create industry-changing digital experiences for its clients.