This approach, which Anyways’ Charlie coins as an “‘advice archive’ concept” then filtered through to forming “a visual language that referenced libraries and archives,” he tells us. Influencing decisions such as what typeface to use, “a modern take on a monospaced typewriter font”, it also led the team to aim for an identity that hints at “handmade elements and irregularity through annotation, a ‘folder’ based system of layering elements on top of each other, and physical stamps,” explains Charlie. All this is wrapped up in Paul’s signature colour palette from the Paul Smith brand “and his famous stripe,” notes Callum, “he is the master of colour after all!”
To add further visual flavour, Anyways worked with photographer and videographer Jamie A Waters. Making a series of images and a film introducing the foundation featuring Paul’s own eclectic archive full of “obscure handmade objects, to his priceless art pieces, to his piles of cycling jerseys,” each displaying how “Paul surrounds himself with objects that inspire him.” In turn, Anyways’ identity is one that is warmly welcoming, offering a new perspective on an industry which can often be difficult to break into. As Paul himself puts it: “Of course, aspects of having a creative job can be very serious but I wanted the foundation to be fun and hopefully that’s something we’ve achieved.”
These features act as accompaniments to the sound advice Paul offers, with the team constantly keeping in mind that “it was key to let Paul’s advice be the hero, giving his words the space to land,” points out Callum. However, by placing Paul himself so centrally in the visual identity, and also in specifically naming the foundation Paul Smith’s Foundation, this approach speaks of Anyways’ want to make sure “the foundation aligned with Paul Smith the man, not Paul Smith the brand”.
Now available to view in a myriad of ways dependent of what you might be in need of, you can view Paul’s treasure trove of advice via the website here, or keep up to date with social updates on the foundation’s Instagram channel. For now, however, Paul explains the foundation has launched, “very much like the Paul Smith business,” in that “there are no fixed plans,” he tells us. “I’m looking forward to seeing how people respond, what they ask for and learning from that when deciding what to do next,” concluding that most of all he hopes to create “a moment of enlightenment or inspiration, that it sets off a spark.”