J. HILL’S STANDARD

Introducing a contemporary creative attitude to generations of cut-crystal craftsmen.

Glassmaker John Hill was an outsider and a genius. In just three years he set an incredible new standard of quality within the glass industry. His creative brilliance in the development of the ‘standard’ formula for compounding glass, and his natural design sensibilities set the course for the superior product of Waterford crystal.

In developing the J Hill’s Standard brand, we wanted to tell Hill’s story and celebrate his contribution. Yet although it was important to acknowledge a powerful heritage, we had to create a modern brand that would stand apart from the staid and predictable cut-glass products present in the market. In doing so, we also hoped to reignite the Irish Crystal Glass Industry.

We went against conventions of the category from naming onwards. In its name, we referenced John’s devotion to quality and ‘against the grain’ attitude, and ‘standard’ has an industrial tension against the exuberant end product of cut glass crystal. It is also a guideline or a benchmark.

John’s standards and devotion, philosophy and approach to quality had to be the template for this ‘outsider’ brand. It needed to challenge people’s preconceptions about cut glass crystal and introduce thoughtful and beautifully designed products to a new generation of consumers.

‘Standard’ has an instant quality that
the other options do not possess.
It gives a snap shot of the story with
a minimum of further investigation.
‘Standard’ feels highly appropriate due to
the many meanings of the word:
• a Standard as a flag to follow and be lead by.
• a benchmark or principle – something to measure up to.
• Something usual and expected – in our case,
the highest quality being the norm – our ‘standard’.
In literature, the asterisk and the obelisk, when placed beside a date, are used to indicate year of birth and year of death respectively.

In our case, the beginning and end of John Hill’s highly creative and impactful three year tenure at Waterford Glassworks. A focused period that will act as a constant inspiration for our design led approach to creatively reviving the Irish Crystal Glass industry.

They were used by early scholars to denote differences between the Old and New Testament. One of these scholars – St.Jerome – described the use of these marks as... “The asterisk makes a light SHINE, the obelisk CUTS and PIERCES”.A perfect analogy for the act of making Cut Glass Crystal; from the mixing room to the cutter’s wheel.
Brand hallmark. A timeless quality – a mark that could have been around for centuries,
but creates a strong tension when juxtaposed
against modern elements.
A brandmark that could be hand etched into the product.