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Counter Studio Creates A Quietly Beautiful New Identity For Atelier Ellis

by Chloe Gordon on 07/28/2021 | 4 Minute Read

Atelier Ellis Paint is a brand that focuses on making quiet, beautiful, and handmade paint that helps make your home and space feel alive, welcoming, and calming. Atelier Ellis is an independent maker of color, formulating and making high-quality paints. Being independent means that they can be transparent and open – as they have nothing to hide and everything to celebrate.

The paint brand recently worked with Counter Studio to refresh its brand identity and packaging. The classic typography paired with a sophisticated color palette allows the brand to shine through a new refined and calming design direction. While the design is exceptionally different than your typical can of paint, it's still understated and quiet, making for a design with direct, lasting impact.


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Counter Studio have refreshed the brand identity and packaging for Atelier Ellis, an independent paint maker, focussed on creating beautifully crafted, hand-mixed paints.

Founded in 2011 by Cassandra Ellis, Atelier Ellis has steadily been gaining a reputation for beautiful, quiet colours made with real care under the name ‘Ellis Paints’. But the growing success of the business had caused a rethink and a change in production and operations.

To develop the company in a more sustainable way, a decision was made to bring the paint mixing in-house, setting up a workshop in Battersea. As well as gaining more control over the meticulous production process, Atelier Ellis felt it was perfect moment to reassess the name, the brand identity and packaging to reflect the changes happening in the business.

The first change Counter Studio made was to align the two different brands into one simple story – with the paint business dropping under the main Atelier Ellis name. This allowed them all to focus on building a stronger, more unified brand and a simpler customer experience.

A new chapter At the heart of everything Atelier Ellis does is the idea of people living in joyous, safe and beautiful homes that tell their own story, and creating the perfect backdrop to how they wish to live.

This core thought of ‘telling their own story’ became the starting point for the refreshed look of the brand.

“Taking story-telling as our inspiration, we developed a refined and calm design direction that draws on the visual language of books – the design of the labels subtly echoes a title page, while a classic style of typography allows words and space to become the low-key heroes. We introduced a modern interpretation of traditional book typeface, which was used alongside a sophisticated colour palette of Bitter Chocolate, Warm White and Smoked Green-Blue from the Atelier Ellis Paint collection.” says Counter Studio founder Elizabeth Ellis (No relation!)

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“We redrew the word mark from scratch based on the same characteristics as Didot in the original logo, but refined the shapes and added a subtle sense of warmth and joy to the letters, all while making it more robust and legible at any size – a contemporary take on a traditional classic.”

“The whole identity is deliberately understated and quiet, allowing the individual paints and the stories to take centre stage."

A tale of home For a brand with stories at its core, language is an incredibly important part of the identity and the writing throughout the brand is pitch perfect. Written by Ed Pritchard, it brings a richness and vibrancy while capturing the subtle delicacy and honesty of the colours in words.

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The start of something beautiful… Moving the paint production in house was an opportunity to rethink the design of the tins from the ground up. The new fully recyclable metal tins needed a design solution that would work across three different sizes, three different paint finishes and more than 50 different colours – 450 combinations in all, and growing.

“The system we created allowed for an elegantly simple tin design that works effortlessly across the various sizes, with a single-size label applied by hand to the front of each tin to distinguish the different paint finishes and colours.” Elizabeth continues.

“The identity has been design to allow the colours and the stories around them to shine – sophisticated, refined and beautifully quiet, just like the paint itself.”

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