(Est. 1890, closed 1987, revived 2019) “Chater-Lea was a British bicycle, car and motor cycle maker with a nine-storey factory in Banner Street in the City of London and, from 1928, premises at Letchworth, Hertfordshire. It was founded by William Chater-Lea in 1890 to make bicycle components. It made cars between 1907 and 1922 and motorcycles from 1903 to 1935. William died in 1927 and the business was taken over by his sons John and Bernard. After vehicle production finished, the company remained trading as a component maker until 1987.” (Wikipedia) Its current description: “Manufacturers of legendary components for modern and vintage bicycles, handcrafted since 1890”.
Nous House (UK; no link available)
Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, Chater-Lea represented the high tide of British design and engineering in the manufacture of cycle components. Today, the revitalised brand has returned as a DNVB (digitally native vertical brand) with a mission unique to its soul, combining tradition with advanced manufacturing technologies to create exceptional modern components worthy of the marque.
Nous House was commissioned to create a thoroughly modern corporate identity as a clear evolution of the Company’s past, including a full suite of collateral from print to packaging. Using a combination of full logo and monogram with a specific colour palette and a trio of organic patterns, a juxtaposition of tradition and modernity, engineering and ensoulment was melded without reverting to nostalgia or retrospection.
Chater-Lea provided text
Images (opinion after)
The old logo provides a good starting point as it was a pretty nice piece of lettering, save for the “E”s which were adamant in not staying in their lane. Getting rid of the outline and finessing the existing forms would have probably been enough, which is not to say I don’t like the higher degree of evolution of the new logo but that there were some really interesting letterforms before, like that “R”. The new logo reminds me a lot of The New York Times and their use of Cheltenham, which is not a bad thing; I love me some Cheltenham. I think the font-y part could have been a tad bolder to work better with the large initials, which are a pretty nice rendition of what was before. The new monogram is quite nice — not much else to add. Would foil stamp that 10/10. I’m not sure about the organic textures… there is no wooded element to the product itself, so I find it somewhat confusing. Some brushed steel textures? Sure. Applications are good but maybe a little odd in that they are stuck between trying to be contemporary and vintage and not quite committing either way. Color palette is nice and product photography is killer, so there are some good elements in there to continue to re-evolve the brand around some good logo work.