How to celebrate a brand's heritage – 6 expert tips

Brand heritage has been in the news lately, with the controversial Lyle's Golden Syrup rebrand causing many to lament the loss of a heritage brand (in this case, a dead lion with flies around it) and WHSmith choosing not to use some golden design from its archives, consisting of a beautiful brand icon (below), and instead going for a rather boring white on blue typeface, a choice which baffled many.

But how can brands get it right when using archival material? Can you ever go back too far? And what happens when brands overlook their heritage? I spoke to Karl Wills, creative director at Taxi Studio to get his top tips for using brand archives.

white many with a beard in front of a plant
Karl Wills

With over 100 industry accolades, including a First Place Mobius Award, Karl Wills is a seasoned Creative Director with a passion for creating unforgettable brand design for the World’s most iconic brands. In his 21 years with Taxi Studio, Karl has rejuvenated classic British brands like Polo and Clarks, redefined international luxury for LVMH and Glengoyne, and created innovative solutions for global icons such as Kit Kat.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.