Crafting an independent creative practice
Anchor is an interdisciplinary creative practice working across surface, structure and form. Founded and led by directors Bruce Rowe and Claire Hatch, Anchor’s range includes handmade lighting, hardware and furniture pieces that explore the tacticity of ceramic elements, most notably the unique clay forms and glaze finishes that are developed within the studio.
While Anchor’s foundations lie in ceramics, the practice has since expanded to push the boundaries of conventional thinking. With an extensive R&D component that’s integral to its approach, Anchor combines conventional ceramic techniques, digital technologies and unconventional contemporary tools and approaches throughout its practice.
In 2019 Anchor approached Round, looking to better communicate their interdisciplinary approach and represent their wide-ranging focus. Working closely with the team at Anchor, we developed a new strategy, brand identity, website and product sample kits that fully capture the breadth of their creative output and realise their purpose to explore the possibilities of light, form, materiality and space.
From a craft to a business
Our first step was to put a framework around Anchor’s interdisciplinary approach and establish it as a studio with a variety of creative outputs.
Anchor needed a strategy that centred their unique approach. After years as a highly regarded ceramics business, differentiating themselves from the limited focus that is often associated with ceramics practices was key to communicating their position as an innovative and multifaceted creative practice working at the intersection of art, design, architecture and craft.
We developed a strategy that positioned Anchor as a practice that is fascinated by light, form and space – using materiality, medium and subject to create objects and art forms that are purposeful, functional and beautiful.
By positioning Anchor as an independent explorer of creative ideas, we highlighted the many ways the practice is fuelled by a true desire to abstract and experiment in order to reveal all possibilities.
The language of form
Light and the effect it has on perception is a recurring theme throughout Anchor’s creative output – an influence that we weaved into a new identity for the brand.
We created an identity that is defined by the tension between form and light – playing off the symmetry of an object and its shadow. Spotlighting silhouettes of Anchor’s many forms, we imbued the brand with a sense of discovery fitting of its boundless pursuit for innovation.
After exploring the application of the silhouetted forms, we saw them as an opportunity to be utilised as a bespoke typeface for Anchor. We played with the forms as another language, integrating them with another new typeface that we developed for Anchor’s logo.
A key focus for both teams was establishing how the brand identity could be expressed in physical elements like packaging and product information kits. To do this, we once again looked to the language of forms. When it came to designing sample kits and product information packs, we connected with the materiality of Anchor’s product range by keeping packaging simple, tactile and materially-driven – allowing Anchor’s work to speak for itself.
A digital representation of the physical object
Allowing space for Anchor’s work to breathe was also important when it came to developing their new website. The look and feel of the website take cues from the art world, framing Anchor’s forms as the core of its practice.
In addition to this, not only does the website communicate the many outcomes of Anchor’s product-based practice, but it also acts as a platform for presenting ideas and outcomes developed from Anchor’s R&D program.
Most importantly, the website supports the evolution of the business. It provides a new platform to reflect the current channels of the studio – with the ability to grow alongside their future needs.