Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity

Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity WPDS

" Design  Bridge  and  Guinness  are  very  excited  to  reveal  details  of  their  work  redesigning  the   world  famous  Guinness  harp  icon.  The  new  harp  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. "

"Mark  Sandys,  Diageo  Global  Head  of  Beer  and  Baileys,  said  “We’re  so  proud  of  the  craftsmanship  of  Guinness  and  all   the  brand  has  stood  for  over  250  years  of  its  history.  The  harp  is  the  original  symbol  of  Guinness,  dating  back  to  1862  and   it  has  continuously  been  featured  on  all  our  branding  for  over  150  years.  The  Guinness  harp  was  originally  based  on  the   legendary  ‘Brian  Boru  harp’,  a  powerful  symbol  of  Ireland’s  national  identity  and  heritage.  In  keeping  with  the  Guinness   ‘Made  of  More’  ethos,  we  have  reintroduced  a  special  handmade  quality  to  the  harp  to  reflect  the  experience,   craftsmanship  and  passion  that  we  put  into  brewing  our  Guinness  beers.”  

To  bring  their  vision  to  life,  Design  Bridge  made  models  and  mock-­ups  of  their  initial  harp  sketches  with  expert  guidance   from  London-­based  harp-­makers  Niebisch  &  Tree.  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.  Design  Bridge  then  sought  the  expertise   of  renowned  illustrator  Gerry  Barney,  who  had  drawn  a  previous  version  of  the  Guinness  harp  in  1968,  who  hand  drew  the   new  icon  from  their  collection  of  sketches  and  harp  models."

"Tim  Vary,  Creative  Director  at  Design  Bridge  commented,  “Gerry’s  illustration  marks  a  return  to  a  carefully  sculpted   harp  and  incorporates  the  classic  curved  shapes  and  false  perspective  of  the  soundboard  that  are  so  memorable.  We’ve   also  incorporated  ‘Est.1759’  onto  the  side  of  the  harp,  inspired  by  metal  stamped  lettering  imprinted  in  the  ironwork  at  the   Guinness  Storehouse,  and  the  set  of  wavy  lines  that  symbolised  the  nearby  River  Liffey  on  original  Guinness  labels.   Gerry’s  hand-­drawn  typography  for  the  wordmark  is  also  inspired  by  historic  labels,  combining  details  of  letter  press  type   with  elements  from  John  Gilroy’s  famous  Guinness  posters  in  the  20th  century.”    

 Design  Bridge  also  collaborated  with  artisan  letterpress  print  studio,  New  North  Press,  to  help  dramatise  the  harp's  form   even  further  and  create  the  striking  physical  impression  of  the  final  design.  Separating  the  harp  illustration  out  into  a  series   of  layers,  Design  Bridge  experimented  with  letterpress  techniques  to  build  up  the  design  by  overlaying  different  colours,   textures  and  techniques,  such  as  embossing,  foil  block  and  metallic  inks.  The  final  design  captures  the  tactility,  depth,  light   and  shadow  the  team  got  to  know  so  well  through  their  sketch  work,  illustrations  and  3D  harp  models."

"Graham  Shearsby,  Chief  Creative  Officer  at  Design  Bridge  commented,  “Our  final  design  for  the  new  Guinness  harp   is  a  result  of  a  long  and  thorough  process  of  getting  to  know  the  Guinness  brand,  and  the  harp  itself,  as  intimately  as   possible.  Collaborating  with  a  carefully  selected  group  of  fine  craftspeople  and  experts  has  allowed  us  to  turn  everything   that  we’ve  learnt  into  a  new  harp  icon  rich  with  depth  and  history  that  also  feels  right  for  a  modern,  global  beer  brand.""

Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity WPDS
Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity WPDS
Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity WPDS
Design Bridge - Guinness Harp Identity WPDS

Designed by Design Bridge