Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Year, New Look

Since 2016 marks Winter-Hébert's 5th anniversary, the time is right for us to update our visual identity. After much brainstorming and sketching and fussing and such, we decided to go with simple forms and basic hues, inspired by the birds that helped to spark our studio's very existence.

Many people are unaware of the fact that our studio came into being thanks to a couple of house sparrows. Back in 2011, we were both working with various studios in the Toronto area when we found a tiny, newly hatched baby bird squirming on the hot sidewalk outside a store. Being the animal lovers that we are, we promptly scooped him up and took him home, hoping that we could somehow keep this little weirdo alive. His need for around-the-clock feedings prompted us to start working remotely with commissioners from around the world, and that leap was reaffirmed by our finding a female hatchling not long afterwards. 

We named them Robin and Puck*, and they turned out to be a couple of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Robin had been tossed from his nest because of physical deformities, while Puck was the only survivor of a nest destruction by a nasty neighbour. Since neither of them would have survived out in the wild, they've become our constant companions and travelled with us from Toronto to our current place in rural Quebec.
These two little birds weren’t just the catalysts for us establishing our own design studiothey reflect the duality of how we approach our work as a whole. Just like our sparrows live (and play) together, with their unique personalities contrasting and complementing one another’s, so do we tread the magical middle zone between rationally driven design and intuitive solutions. 

For the revamp, we chose a simple white and blue palette, with an elegant sans serif typeface and simplified lines. The white represents Winter (as well as my Scandinavian ancestry), and the classic French blue pays homage to Nathaniel's French-Canadian lineage (the Héberts have been living in Quebec for over 400 years).

We think that this new look encompasses our fondness for sleek, modernist design, as well as our passion for authenticity and handmade craft. Our work is heavily influenced by Dutch and Swiss work, but we will hand-draw unique typefaces if the occasion calls for it, and we’ve incorporated elements such as watercolour painting, embroidery, and even wood burning into projects. 

We think that our new look says a great deal about who we are, and we hope you like it as much as we do.

Puck and Robin in all their adorable glory.

*Sparrows' plumage becomes identifiably male or female after their first moult, so we chose gender neutral names for our feathered kids so they'd fit well regardless of whether they turned out to be male or female.
Also, just for the record, their names were chosen from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, not hockey. 

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