Brownrigg’s signature style: our work in branding and web design for antiques dealers
I first met Jorge and David, the powerhouse duo behind antiques dealers Brownrigg, back in 2019. We had connected on Instagram after finding we had a great many mutual friends but in the way of these things, the friendship had been virtual. Our first in person meeting, bizarrely enough, was when we discovered we were both on holiday on Majorca at the same time and ended up having a fantastic and rather boozy lunch. I didn’t know we’d end up working together, but either way things were off to an auspicious start.
In the time since, we started talking about Brownrigg, which seemed to go from strength to strength in popularity, but their website had begun to look tired. While the strength of their stock shone through, courtesy of Jorge’s beautiful photography, the images were small which was a bit of a shame. With the shop having closed during last winter’s endless lockdown, there seemed a golden opportunity to work on the project. And so, after many years working with interiors specialists, began a deeply enjoyable journey into branding and web design for antiques dealers.
Reverting to type
The thing with designing anything for creative and discerning people is that both satisfying them and us, ensuring the work we’ve done is worthy, is a nightmare. There’s the temptation to make moodboards, take soundings, be inspired by historical signage or evolve brand heritage.
That is, unless you ignore all that and press on with doing something brand new that just feels right. That’s what happened with Brownrigg – using Swiss Typeface’s Sangbleu Kingdom as a starting point, we customised the capital B and double-g at the end to develop a signature logo design with bags of panache. At the time it felt like a gutsy move, but once completed, even in a sketch version, just felt like a fantastic fit.
This gorgeous brand captured everything we wanted to do for Brownrigg. It was a fantastic start to the project, was swiftly included in a summer advertising campaign which appeared in House & Garden magazine. More than anything, it would set the stage for the online side of things by being something completely unlike what antiques dealers would usually do with a branding and web design project.
Our new branding for Brownrigg
Brownrigg's advertising in House & Garden magazine featuring the new branding
Putting antiques in new surroundings
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this project is that, at least from a creative perspective, the brief was self-initiated. I had come to know and deeply admire Brownrigg’s innate sense of style and individualism and anything we did had to not merely emulate, but be a vehicle for that.
In particular I wanted the site to feel like a catalogue or sales brochure, perhaps from a sale of contemporary or modern art. With Jorge’s photography in a loose, almost abstract layout with cutting edge typography, I felt we couldn’t go wrong. The key is to provide the option for visitors to see Brownrigg’s stock in a traditional as well as more unusual layout.
More than anything, I think putting the incredible custom imagery at the heart of the project brought it to life. By being a frame for the product and its style, the website has really become everything that Brownrigg embodies. As I reflect on the months of work putting it together, capturing their true character is at the heart of any branding or web design project for interiors specialists and antiques dealers.
Everything old is new again
The vital centre of the Brownrigg site is its vast array of stock. This is of course often decades old – sometimes far more – but the technology we’ve deployed to bring the site to completion is anything but antique.
For instance, over 12,000 product lines were brought across from Brownrigg’s previous website using a database mechanism and custom import script we built for the project. The typefaces we used on the project are web open font format (WOFF2) and licensed from Pangram Pangram Type Foundry in Quebec and Grillitype in Lucerne. The site also has a really smart wishlist feature, where a collection of chosen stock can be collated and saved for future reference, all associated with your device’s IP address.
In particular one of the aspects of the old website that Jorge and David were keen to retain was the ability to drop in a cutout of each piece of stock in its new surroundings. We’ve reimagined and built from scratch this feature with a new clean layout, giving the user the ability to scale up and down and also change the aspect ratio.
So, a mix of convenience for our client, cutting-edge aesthetics and standout features for Brownrigg’s customers.
Our new design product page
Placing Brownrigg's pieces in your space
Feels like home
There are many other features of this enormous project I could dwell on. I love the page covering Brownrigg’s story as the business has grown over the past twenty years from pipe dream into renown on both sides of the Atlantic. Then there’s the welcoming page telling visitors how to get to the shop – taking them on a flight of fancy through the joy of tables and how they might be used at different times of day. The site also covers news, their past events (which they hope to bring back to life before too long), and a page covering a staggering array of press coverage which we’ve peppered with flattery from renowned names in the interiors world.
The end result is a branding and web design project uniquely curated for an antiques dealer with a strong, elegant new identity and joyously easy-to-use new website. But more than anything, it has achieved that most satisfying feeling of all: being a part of the furniture.
Where to begin with branding and web design for antiques dealers?
We love working with antiques dealers and interior designers and believe now’s the moment to spend the time on using great branding and high quality web design as a more potent marketing tool.
So why not get in touch to discuss a wide range of different approaches? We can work on designs from the simple to the sensational, depending on your brief and budget.
Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.