As Studio Makgill is responsible for all of the branding and art direction for HAYCHE, we were already very familiar with the WW Chair. Launched last year, it has been one of their best selling pieces to date and it’s easy to see why there has been such a positive response to it. When I was invited to work on a limited edition version it was hard to deny my excitement, but instantly there was a sense of responsibility to the existing chair that I was so fond of. And so in no time at all we came to the decision that we didn’t want to alter the form in anyway – that felt like an unnecessary gesture. However, we were immediately interested to see how colour could transform the chair.
We wanted to develop a palette of colours that had scope – that could create interesting combinations but that worked well together as a whole (we were imagining all six chairs placed around a dining table). Throughout the process, we kept coming back to the conversation around origins and geography. The Windsor chair (the original inspiration) was originally a British design, Alejandro (HAYCHE Co-Founder) is a Mexican living in London and my British and Danish roots and our mutual love of Danish furniture has always been a point of discussion. At the heart of the palette are the four colours from the flags of these three nations.
RAL colour palette for WW Chair Colour Series
Growing up in a artist’s house gave me an instinct towards mixing colour. This project wasn’t about trends, it was about creating something unique and bold. We started with the rough palette and then altered them so they became less primary and more surprising. Pairs of colours started to come from the selection and then combinations of three and four. All the while we were making slight alterations. I think at one point we had about nine or ten colours, but this gradually got whittled down to the final six.
WW Chair Colour Series
We then worked these colours in such a way that each chair felt very different from the next. One chair might have matching legs and seat whilst on another the legs, seat back and rest are all different. Doing this really helped highlight the form and showed how much colour can change it.
Whilst we were developing the palette we used an illustration of the chair – it became hard to ignore how effective it was as a piece in its own right. So when the decision was made to hold back from using photos of finished chair until the launch at designjunction 2016, it felt right for the illustration to take centre stage in the promotion campaign. It worked across posters, postcards and even an animated gif – each time celebrating the broad range of colours.
Graphics by Studio Makgill
As designers, I think we feel naturally comfortable with unknown outcomes and for us this project is an experiment. We have no master plan to ditch graphic design and move into furniture. We are genuinely happy working across disciplines – we often work on exhibition spaces and interiors. So this is an adventure and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
See the WW Chair Colour Series
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