Established in 1979, Hobin Architecture (formerly Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects Inc.) set out to craft a brand identity based upon unsurpassed client satisfaction and design excellence. Today, the Ottawa, Canada-based practice has evolved from the two-person office headed by architect Barry J. Hobin into a team of over 40 talented and dedicated designers, technologists and administrators working together toward this common goal.

 
 
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After nearly 40 years, Hobin Architecture was going through a metamorphosis. Older partners were planning to step back and hand over the reigns of the company to a younger generation of partners and associates. The original name, Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects Incorporated was both unwieldy and overly focussed in the single founder of the company. It was time to find a new name, a new brand statement and a new symbol that reflected the core values of the company and the new era.

Aerographics was hired to craft this new brand, one that reflected a new energy, a wider scope of skills that embraced urbanism and city-building, and spoke to the company’s core values—design, service, community, collaboration and office culture.

 
 
 
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Brand development

The final design of the Hobin brand was the result of a continuously iterative process that involved feedback from all Hobin employees. The senior management of Hobin Architecture insisted that their entire team understood and participated in the process of refining the brand that would represent them going forward. As designers themselves, they held great interest in how other kinds of designers create and develop concepts, and Aero made presentations to an audience of the entire office.

The chop

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Traditional among many architectural firms around the world is the notion of the “chop,” a traditional Chinese symbolic form that carries the same authority as a signature or personal identity. Architects have long respected this simple form and have adopted and adapted it to make their own symbols.

The previous logo of Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects was also a chop and had become connected with their identity. We found inspiration in the company’s previous logo iterations and palette, in the cadence and structure of traditional design elements and in the form of communities and neighbourhoods. Intersecting and angled lines representing streets and transit lines speak to the organic nature of cities and the unique qualities of the neighbourhoods these intersections create.