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Project Trade Mark – the graphic language of British industry‏

October 9, 2012

Welcome to Project Trade Mark, a new label exploring the graphic language of British industry. The brand was started two years ago with the discovery of a dusty register in the back room of a vintage shop, which infect turned out to be a complete record of the Trade Marks used by the Company of Cutlers of Hallamshire in 1953.

Further investigation showed this rare book to be a treasure trove of graphic styles, full of hundreds of arcane symbols used to market steel products. Victorian appropriations of orientalism, hieroglyphics, exotic animals and visual puns, all catalogued by type and company are to be found within its pages.

With Project Trade Mark wanting to bring this period of industrial design back to life the brand has launched its first range of T-shirts, with three designs, each produced in a limited run of 33 pieces. All t-shirts and hang tags are hand screen printed by Crow & Dunnage, whose workshop is, appropriately, inside an old Sheffield electro-plating works.

Each design is an expired trade mark used by old Sheffield companies and the T-shirts themselves are printed on Earth Positive Continental cotton using water based inks. This is an ongoing project, which will see more trade marks studied and the guys are currently developing an exhibition of the graphic design history of Sheffield industry to be shown in 2013.

For more information on the project, or to purchase one of their T-shirts, go to the website here: Project Trade Mark.

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