Behind the scenes of Camden Market's brand identity

London's Camden Market has long been celebrated for its anarchic spirit and commitment to creativity, and this was the message that specialist branding studio Ragged Edge (opens in new tab) worked to capture when it was tasked with putting together a new identity. 

"Instead of a corporate brand system, we set out to create a toolkit for self-expression; a kind of 'unbrand'," smiles the studio's co-founder Max Ottignon. 

The solution the team came up with was a flexible set of tools, comprising two custom fonts, a brand frame, a geometric pattern based on the negative spaces within the typeface, and a black and white colour palette. It was presented to the Camden Market team with strict instructions: "If you’re not experimenting with our brand, pushing its boundaries, you're not doing it right."

"We wanted to be true to the past, present and future of the Market. That meant an identity that would communicate its irrepressible creative spirit," says Ottignon.

"We wanted to be true to the past, present and future of the Market. That meant an identity that would communicate its irrepressible creative spirit," says Ottignon.

The brief was to create a brand that would appeal to the Millennial generation.

The brief was to create a brand that would appeal to the Millennial generation.

"The visual identity was created to work across all touchpoints, from signage to social media," adds Ottignon.

"The visual identity was created to work across all touchpoints, from signage to social media," adds Ottignon.

The team shunned strict guidelines in favour of a flexible branding toolkit, in-keeping with Camden Market's anarchic spirit.

The team shunned strict guidelines in favour of a flexible branding toolkit, in-keeping with Camden Market's anarchic spirit.

Taking inspiration from the sign, the studio created two bespoke typefaces: Camden Slab and Camden Sans.

Taking inspiration from the sign, the studio created two bespoke typefaces: Camden Slab and Camden Sans.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts (opens in new tab) issue 261; buy it here. (opens in new tab)

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Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards (opens in new tab) in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.