The “discreetly beautiful” identity of Counter Studio for independent paint manufacturer Atelier Ellis


Atelier Ellis was founded in 2011 by Cassandra Ellis and operated under the name Ellis Paints. By focusing on creating beautifully crafted, hand-blended paints, the independent paint maker had “consistently earned a reputation for beautiful, calm colors made with real care,” according to Counter Studio.

The growing success of the business meant that it had changed its production and operating processes to ensure that the business grew in a more sustainable manner. By setting up a workshop in Battersea, south London, to better control the paint production process, the brand decided that a new name was needed, along with a renewed identity and packaging designs.






The new fully recyclable canisters needed a design solution that would work on three different sizes, three different paint finishes, and over 50 different colors. There are currently 450 different combinations, a number that will continue to grow in the future.

Counter Studio has streamlined the brand to operate under the main name of Atelier Ellis in a big way to create a stronger, more unified identity and a simpler customer experience.

A nod to the company’s primary focus of helping people create “beautiful homes that tell their own story,” the brand’s new look was inspired by the idea of ​​storytelling.

The new boxes aim to be sleek and simple, using a design that works seamlessly in all sizes – with a uniform, hand-placed size label used throughout the range to distinguish between different finishes and paint colors.







Visual language from books was also used to inform designs, taking inspiration from the idea of ​​title pages to inspire paint labels; and a “classic” typographic style was chosen to allow “words and space to become understated heroes,” says Elizabeth Ellis, founder of Counter Studio, unrelated to the brand.

“The whole identity is deliberately low-key and silent, allowing individual paintings and stories to take center stage.”







Counter Studio redesigned the Atelier Ellis wordmark from scratch, basing the letters on the characteristics of the Didot font that was used in the old logo. The shapes of the letters were refined to add a “subtle sense of warmth and joy” while ensuring that the mark was sturdy enough to be used and readable in all sizes.

The storytelling premise meant that the branding copy was very important, and Counter Studio asked Ed Pritchard to create a rich and vibrant copy that reflected the “subtle delicacy and honesty” of the paint colors.

“The identity was designed to allow the colors and stories around them to shine – sophisticated, refined and beautifully silent, just like the painting itself,” says Ellis.





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