It’s hard to believe, it seems like only yesterday, BUT, the Ryman logo design is coming up for it’s 20th Anniversary!

Ryman are a high street retailer, trading in the highly competitive ‘Office’ and ‘Home’, stationery markets. They have a tradition in stationery going back to 1893. In our identity we featured an old manual typewriter font, slightly rough edged, as if it had been stamped by a metal block onto heavy cartridge paper. We introduced ‘the stationer’, to the existing trading name to clarify the offer and strengthen the brand.

Here’s the original design sketch done, way back in 1991/92, when I was head of graphic design at Isherwood & Company, a retail design agency based in Putney, London. The sketch is starting to yellow and it’s a bit dog eared now, but the basic idea has stood the test of time.

The design positioned them as leaders in their retail sector, by projecting a clear, mainstream product offer in an uncluttered ‘basic value’ environment. We carried this ‘basic value’ principle through from the identity to the shop front and onto departmental signage, ticketing and over 1200 pieces of product packaging.

For the envelopes range we used a simple, colour coded banding system, to clearly communicate the information and make product identification easier for the customer.

In order to sell everyday items such as labels and pens, we introduced a ‘Ryman Basics’ range using a ‘brown paper’ background. On the Ryman pad covers, we used exact representations of the paper content inside, with relevant illustrative examples demonstrating their usage. Simple, basic value ran effortlessly as a theme throughout.

Since we created the logo design, all those years ago, things have moved on and evolved at Ryman. It’s now owned by ‘Dragon’s Den’s’ Theo Paphitis, one of the UK’s highest profile businessmen, they now sponsor the ‘Football League’ and have moved on to the next phase of their retail development programme…

…however, we believe that a good corporate identity should be memorable, relevant to your core business and send a message to your customers about the quality of the service you provide. It gives us a very pleasant, warm, Christmassy glow inside to see that after almost 20 years they are STILL using our original logo concept!

Remember… a Logo isn’t just for Christmas… it’s for Life!