A virtuoso and a true gentleman, artist and writer David Downton is the latest, currently the most celebrated, in a long line of masters of fashion illustration. Artist in Residence at Claridge’s hotel London since 2011 where he sketches of the hotel’s most illustrious guests from the world of style and fashion, his work has been perfectly described as ‘one long, luxurious swoon.’
David first approached Oro&Co back in 2013 to create an identity and a website. In a world where contact details are scribbled on bejewelled wrists in cocktail bars and Monday morning meetings are ever so slightly delayed by a goddess in tiara and satin ballgown, this was never going to be about a conventional business card. The conundrum was that the concept needed to be commercial, but ever so discreetly so.
David’s strength lies in his ability to commit to paper essential elements, stripped bare of all extraneous detail. His work appears dynamic, ethereal and effortless and yet is the result of many sketches, drawings and meticulous draughtsmanship. The result embodies minimalist sensitivity and extraordinary grace, neither masculine nor feminine, just pure class.
We eschewed print altogether and took everything online.
We balanced David’s luxurious flowing imagery with masculine typography. We devised a brand mark with his name in a crisp geometric sans serif and his signature interlaced within it. We carried the brand identity with language to reflect his milieu and selected a classy Parisian palette of nearly black, warm grey and soft smoke, to work with the drawings on white paper.
We came up with “The Drawing Room" as the overall concept for his online salon designed to be the focus for all strands of his oeuvre, now and in future. Decorated in his distinguished salon colours, we created a series of curated spaces including a “room” for the Claridge’s drawings, representing David's pew in the Fumoir Bar. A VIP gallery presents David at work, distinguishing him from those who might try to bite at his heels. Typography plays a central role, adding style and texture.
In 2020 we added a bespoke online shop with elegant custom typography and signature tone of voice from landing to checkout. Unsurprisingly, his beautiful original artworks sell out the moment they go live. We are delighted to have played our part in the process.