The so-called New Artisan Economy has become hotter than hot in our cities. This trend is especially visible in the form of new, small-scale companies focusing on local craftsmanship. Consumers are more and more demanding for local products that are produced in a sustainable way, with care for the environment. Keywords in the New Artisan Economy are local, authentic and sustainable, whether we’re talking chocolate, jeans or bicycles.
The craftsmanship-focused approach to economy was first described in a report from the Institute for the Future in 2008. New Artisans believe that due to a globalizing and computerizing society it will become increasingly important to be able to exercise a certain craft. According to New Artisans, pre-recession manufacturing and construction jobs won’t come back, nevertheless the demand for high-quality, artisanal products will only increase. By producing small quantities of artisanal products in an environmentally friendly way, the overall economy becomes more sustainable which is a benefit for everyone.
This development, that possibly has a major part of its roots in Brooklyn, has expanded to hipster neighborhoods all over the world. We all know those chocolate bars produced by bearded hipsters, ‘honest’ sausages made from local piglets, cool coffee bars that roast their own self-imported, fair-trade beans, and the numerous independent bike brands that open repair shops that meet the needs of the local fixie enthusiasts. The New Artisan enterprises have become the new face of gentrification in our cities.
One thing the companies of the New Artisan Economy have in common are the strong stories that come with their products. The general emphasis on ‘local’ and ‘authentic’ is particularly interesting when you take a look at visual styles. If you compare logos and websites, the bakery in Brooklyn looks a lot like that recently opened deli in North Amsterdam, or the bike shop in East London. Despite their best efforts to act local, most New Craftsmen share a common global understanding of style, expressed in their strategy, marketing or more apparent: their entrepreneurial identity.
In case you’re interested in a more funny take on the visual identities of the New Artisan Class, be sure to check out the hilarious Hipster Branding blog.