South African jewellery

Born out of a passion for South Africa

Creating the visual identity and packaging for a new ethical jewellery brand was a departure from our more recent work with breweries. Different industries, but with equally passionate clients – something that always makes the design process a pleasure.

ZuluZulu jewellery and accessories are handmade in South Africa and are born out of the South African founder’s love for her country’s landscape and people. Our brief was to create an identity that reflected this passion, drawing on the handcrafted, artisan nature of the products – ‘understated, yet gloriously unique’.

The typeface captures the raw, irregular beauty of the natural environment. The yellow in the colour palette picks up the glorious South African sunshine. And the ZuluZulu icon is influenced by African textiles – creating a memorable repeat pattern that will be printed on their packaging.

Watch out for a full case study on the website soon.

You can buy ZuluZulu products here.

Jude Allen stoneware blackbird

Happy New Year!

The design studio was joined by a new friend this Christmas to mark our name change to Blackbird Brands. Not only does this little fella celebrate a year of new beginnings, but he also symbolises the surroundings that have kept us going during lockdown. Our designs get lots of inspiration from nature – our work with Thundry Hills Gin being just one example – and we’ve never been more grateful to live ‘almost in the sticks’ than in 2020.

As a friend recently wrote during Storm Bella:

“What I noticed being up at 4.15am on a stormy morning is that the morning birds still sing through the storm. Quite a good outlook to have.”

Hear, hear. Wishing clients old, current and future a very healthy and happy 2021!

PS. Our lovely stoneware blackbird was created by the talented Jude Allen:

Just LoveLeigh!

You wait ages to design a new lager and then two come along at once! Here's our new work for Leigh on Sea Brewery, a deliciously refreshing Helles-style lager called ... wait for it ... 'LoveLeigh Lager'!

By taking Leigh on Sea Brewery's logo and reproducing it in a Warholesque repeat pattern, we've produced a can design with great stand out and appeal – just like all the work we've done with the brewery, one of our favourite clients. With everything that's going on in the world of brewing at the moment, it will hopefully help lift the brewery's online sales and be an interesting tipple for those wanting to indulge in something new during the festive season and new year.

Lift off for a new lager

Due to COVID-19, it's been a tough year for lots of our clients. Many of them have had to think quickly about how to adapt to different ways of selling and reaching their market. In August 2020, Wales' leading family brewer, Evan Evans, launched their very first lager. With their 250-year history of brewing beer, this marked quite a departure, but they knew that if they wanted to counter the dramatic drop in footfall in pubs, they needed to think innovatively and include a lager in their online sales offering.

And so Liberty was born. We were delighted to create the identity for the label, plus keg badges and box packaging. The word 'liberty' prompted some great ideas for designs, but to convey the idea of 'freedom' we decided to use the image of a bird in flight, set against a beautiful sky blue. The ideas of liberty and freedom strike a chord with many of us as we slowly make our way out of the pandemic. Here's to getting our hospitality industry back in full flow as soon as we can!

Watch out for a full case study in the new year. But if you're thirsty already and would like to try Liberty, head over to the Evan Evans online shop.

Working together for the love of trees

It is always exciting to work on a brand design project with a new client, especially one with as much passion for what they do as The Tree Council.

For this project, we went from the roots up (all puns intended!) to create a refreshed and consistent brand for the charity, founded in 1973. We worked closely with The Tree Council’s communications team to develop new values and objectives that captured the vision at the heart of the charity. These then fed into our brand and logo design and new straplines that could be used across all communications.

It was important that the brand spoke to their long-standing, loyal supporters, as well as encouraging new supporters and young people to get involved. We turned what had become a dated brand into something fresh and exciting with universal appeal. The logo combines people and trees – perfect for The Tree Council’s overall vision of ‘working together for the love of trees’.

Every moment of working with the Tree Council was a pleasure – plus, we learnt an awful lot about trees! We’ll be adding a full case study to the website soon.

In the meantime, please do visit The Tree Council’s website – it’s full of information and they’re a wonderful charity to support if, like us, you love the Great Outdoors.

As seen in Hertfordshire!

At the risk of being accused of geekery, we're pretty chuffed to see that some of our new work for Batemans Brewery has made it all the way from Lincolnshire to Hertfordshire. To our local Spar to be precise.

If you're a designer, there's nothing quite like spotting your work where you least expect it (just don't tell the client that we were there to buy wine!).

We love working with Batemans and designing labels for beers always sets our creative juices flowing. In such a crowded market, a bottle needs to stand out out shelf and make the potential purchaser buy in to it - hopefully making them feel thirsty in the process! Sales with Batemans new bottle range have proved very promising, despite difficult trading conditions over the past year:

"The new label designs have had very positive feedback. They fulfilled the brief perfectly which was to refresh the range, keep a brand consistency and improve visibility, as well as creating shelf appeal for new customers, whilst ensuring they were still recognisable to existing customers. In short we are really pleased with the results."

Sue Jacobs, Operations Manager, Batemans Brewery

To read more about our work with Batemans, have a look at the case study.


Say hello to Blackbird Brands!

Having successfully traded as Nick Pettit Design for a decade, I took the decision to give the business a bit of a refresh, starting with a new name – Blackbird Brands.

So, what has changed? Along with our chirpy new logo, only good things! We’ve expanded our nest of talent to ensure we have the most creative people on hand to help bring your ideas to life. We’ve been joined by a talented copywriter and web designer and we’re working closely with exciting new junior designers. Hopefully 'design that sings' is becoming just that little bit louder!

Blackbird Brands will still provide the same top-notch service that our clients have come to expect from our St Albans-based, award-winning boutique design studio:

  • Personal touch – as a small, friendly team we’re deeply connected to what we do, working collaboratively so that together we can achieve the results you want.
  • Passion for niche market design solutions – fresh perspectives and ideas along with an inside-out knowledge of your business. We’ll make sure you stand out from the crowd and help you grow sales.
  • Flexibility and competitive costs – the creativity, enthusiasm and experience of a large design agency but with the personal approach and costs of a small one. The team who pitches is the team who does the work – and we’re very proud of that.

Have a look around our new website and if our work inspires you to get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.