Product branding

Ar Gof, Welsh for ‘In Memory’ is a product brand and an original series of books created to capture traditional, much-loved Welsh poetry at risk of being lost to generations past.

Line up of beautiful small poetry books with contemporary design

The challenge

Curated by renowned Welsh poet and author Mererid Hopwood, the first woman to ever win the bardic chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Ar Gof is, in her words “a collection of objects whose aim is to help us remember how to remember”. Our brief from Welsh language publisher Atebol was to create a beautiful, tactile product brand that would celebrate and inspire the gift of shared memories and encourage a renaissance in traditional poems – from one generation to another.

Beautiful contemporary poetry books in slipcase box against dark background
Close-up of foiled lettering on the back of the poetry book box
Close-up of book publisher logo

Our approach

For the first collection in the series we designed an interactive and playful set of books around the theme of Y lloer a’r sêr – ‘The moon and the stars’. We designed the books to encourage the reader to recall each line of poetry through a series of die-cut windows, where words are revealed one page at a time. The tactile nature of the books is further enhanced through the use of beautiful black uncoated papers and shimmering illustrations that are foiled to the front covers. Inside, printed in silver ink, the lines of poetry sit amongst bespoke illustrations by Australian based artist Jessica Benhar. Each illustrated landscape grows as the words build, page by page.

Small poetry book held in hand
Poetry book spread held in hands
Poetry book spread held in hands
Poetry book spread held in hands
Poetry book spread held in hands
Poetry book spread showing words and illustration
Close-up of page showing poetry words through die-cut windows
Close-up of a page inside one of the poetry books showing contemporary illustration of a mountain valley
Contemporary illustration of a mountain valley and silvery moon with poem in Welsh language
Hand holding up a small book of poetry
Poetry book spread showing die-cut windows that reveal words underneath
Close-up of poetry book page showing illustration of sheep on a cold, barren mountain
Close-up of poetry book cover showing illustration printed in turquoise foil

The outcome

This first collection is currently on sale in specialist book and gift retailers throughout Wales. Plans for a second series of books and other beautiful objects for the range are currently in the pipeline.

What we did

Strategy and consultancy
Product brand creation
Book design
Art direction

Our collaborators

Jessica Benhar, illustration
Gavin Martin Colournet, print

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