Blacks is a private members club hidden behind the famous 'black door’ on Soho’s Dean Street, London. It’s roots go back to 1764 when Samuel Johnson, David Garrick and Joshua Reynolds formed a supper club where they would meet and discuss the issues of the day over fine food and wine.
The name ‘Blacks' was created as the antithesis to the 'White’s Club', London’s oldest gentlemen’s club. Many original Blacks members were black-balled from White’s and well, the rest is history.
Interstate explored the true spirit of Soho and created a brand and fluid identity dedicated to a different breed of members club, one where the black sheep are welcome and can play by their own rules and one which embodies the true spirit of the wild and wonderful Soho.
As the oldest members club and the original Soho institution, our challenge was how best to define and celebrate Blacks for a new, younger audience being fed a gentrified Soho by developers and the Soho House Group. Our task was to sift through Soho’s true rich character and isolate those elements that made its identity Wild and Wonderful in past, present and future and unique to Blacks as an attitude, not just as a geography…
Wild and Wonderful. Since 1764 is the 'behind the black door’ creative concept to evoke and excite the basic human instinct of curiosity, fluidity and versatility. Private and inclusive, the new creative direction returns Soho to its rightful owners as the modern essence of Hogarth. With a hint at what lies behind seen only through the brief glimpses of vibrancy around the fringes. ‘Behind the black door' guides all creative application from website to members welcome pack, cocktails list and club art curation, events collaborators and supper club theming. The new upside down club symbol teases throughout as a playful code device that’s both a quirk of Blacks personality and a naughty voyeuristic key hole peek, constantly changing to surprise and intrigue.
An evolving identity that celebrates the alluring past of the club and the exciting rejuvenated future ahead. "The club has always been an anti-brand, a place to be invisible - so to create a direction for the Blacks Club (non) brand was something that needed true craft, experience & radical thinking. What we have now is a proud celebration of the old and the new, created in the collaborative spirit of Soho as a melting pot of brilliant minds, led by the team at Interstate.” Luke Thomas, Blacks co-owner and chef.