Pearlfisher creates dynamic visual language for House of St Barnabas
Since taking up residence at 1 Greek Street in 1862, The House of St Barnabas has been addressing a common social issue in a less common manner for almost 200 years. Using the fees from its members’ club to fund an in-house Employment Academy that reintroduces people who’ve been affected by homelessness and social exclusion into society, the club and charity exist in a symbiotic relationship: without one, the other cannot thrive.
Tasked with elevating the identity of the House of St Barnabas charity to a level equivalent to that of the members club, we were inspired by the paradoxical relationship between the two entities: the disparity between building’s historic exterior and the modern art hanging on the walls within; the idea that people previously excluded from society are being re-socialised by serving in what could be considered a highly exclusive environment. The strategic vision we defined – “Cherish and Challenge” – intends to make people look twice.
The visual language we created challenges traditional perceptions of members’ clubs by positioning House of St Barnabas as a figurative rather than a literal space that unites people by similarity of social conscience as opposed to social background, as is generally the case with members clubs.
Led by contrast and bold incongruity, we brought the paradoxes and parallels of House of St Barnabas to life by mixing neon brights with muted colours taken directly from the building’s interior walls. We paired bold typography with handwritten script to give a human touch, and embedded images within unexpected shapes to highlight the necessity of deeper observation, and reading between the lines.