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Aaron Kitney is a print and web designer who has recently worked on an exciting new project with traditional London pub, Maddigan’s Freehouse. Based in the multi-cultural hub of Hackney, Maddigan’s have a loyal local fanbase but wanted to modernize their establishment, thus attracting additional clientele. In order to achieve this Kitney used dramatic, gothic elements whilst still maintaining key original features such as the chalkboard famously associated with most British pubs.

Image-1-maddigans-branding.jpgMaddigan’s brand identity
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

Having worked for a number of creative agencies in London, Kitney was able to contribute his experience both within the design industry and of the UK capital itself, maximizing the effectiveness of this process.

Image-2maddigans-menu.jpgMaddigan’s menu. Tri-fold menu, a blend of modern and gothic typography
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

We spoke to Kitney to find out more…

1. Tell us about your recent project; how did the collaboration with Maddigan’s Freehouse
come about?

The Maddigan’s Freehouse project presented itself whilst freelancing at London based Design & Consultation Studio; Nico Media. I was approached with the offer to Art Direct and design website banners for Maddigan’s; the project quickly escalated into various other branded materials. Nico Media thought my style of design would coincide nicely with the project.

Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

2. Where did you gather the inspiration for these designs?

I find hand lettering an absolute turn on, especially chalkboards in British pubs. I can’t think of anything more desirable than sipping on a pint surrounded by chalk typography, I’m salivating thinking about it. There is a fundamental craft to chalkboard typography and when executed well it can be quite inviting; therefore, one of my key inspirations. I began sketching ideas aspiring to pay homage to the traditional British pubs, also trying to create flow across all aspects of the project.

I tend to use often, it’s a great way to categorize inspirational work in a functional manner. Also, I’m a keen follower of various typography blogs.

Image-4-maddigans-waiter-pad.jpgWaiter pad
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

3. How do you think the combination of modern and gothic style reflects the multi-cultural
identity of Hackney, London?

London is one of the most fascinating places in the world, I don’t know of a city that caters to so many different cultures. We are renowned for our vast amount of pubs and restaurants, however many have seen closure in recent times due to cost of living in England. I really wanted to capture the traditional culture of pubs but with a modern twist. The identity was developed to draw in additional clientele, while maintaining loyal patrons. I felt I succeeded with the use of sophisticated type in a conventional setting.

4. Why do you feel that this is “one of the most engaging and rewarding projects” you’ve
worked on so far?

The brief started as just website banners, and it just took off featuring menus, drink coasters, signage for the interior, business cards, flyers, posters and waiter pads. If I had initially known I would be designing the full package, it would have been daunting. However, Nico Media have always provided me with exciting briefs and are very enthusiastic about my work, so working in a friendly environment really helped my design process. Furthermore I can not thank Dovran (Maddigan’s Landlord) enough, as he was very open to my opinions and creativity, which can be rare in the design industry.

By the time I was photographing the pieces in the studio, I began to realize and appreciate the amount of development and time it had taken to design the pub identity. These are the kinds of briefs I am inclined to and I was chuffed with the outcome and with satisfaction of the client.

Image-5-maddigans-business-card.jpgBusiness card
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

The culmination of Kitney’s modern creative vision and Maddigan’s traditional values has resulted in a design overhaul that fits together perfectly. The new identity of the pub is carefully constructed, reflecting Hackney’s increasingly diverse community. By restoring the classic components of Maddigan’s, Kitney has complemented this further with what can only be referred to as a spectacularly striking re-vamp.

We found this fantastic design project on Underconsideration. View Aaron Kitney’s portfolio HERE.

Image-6maddigans-branding2.jpgMaddigan’s selected brand materials
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney

Image-7-maddigans-menu2.jpgTri-fold menu
Image courtesy of Aaron Kitney