British Toy & Hobby Association

Revitalising Tradition: BTHA Case Study — A Playful and Professional Brand Refresh
British Toy & Hobby Association
July 2022
Brand Identity
Brand Voice
Brand Guidelines
Creative Director: Joshua Darby, Head of Copy: Jake Shoolheifer, Illustration: Merit Myers

The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) is a long-standing organisation dedicated to promoting the toy and hobby industry in the United Kingdom. With a history dating back to 1944, the BTHA has played a pivotal role in advocating for the interests of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers within the toy and hobby sector. However, in recent years, the association has recognised the need to modernise its brand to stay relevant in an evolving industry and appeal to a new generation of stakeholders.

The opportunity

The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) recognised a pivotal opportunity to rejuvenate its brand, aligning itself with the rapid transformations occurring within the dynamic toy industry. With technology driving innovation, evolving marketing strategies, and shifting manufacturing processes, BTHA understood the pressing need to modernise its image and messaging.

For over two decades, BTHA had maintained the same visual identity, which had grown outdated and no longer accurately represented its current position within the industry. This branding incongruity posed a challenge for the association as it sought to remain relevant and engaging to its diverse stakeholders.

The BTHA's extensive membership base was one of its most significant assets. Comprising some of the world's most renowned and beloved toy manufacturers, including Ban Dai, Disney, Hornby, Zapf Creation, and Lego, these members demonstrated their commitment to adhering to the BTHA Code. This code encompassed essential regulations regarding ethical and safe toy manufacturing, stringent safety standards, a resolute stance against counterfeit goods, a pledge to market responsibly, a dedication to improving sustainability. In essence, BTHA's members embodied responsible and quality-driven toy manufacturing.

However, it was crucial to convey this commitment and alignment with industry standards effectively through a reinvigorated brand identity. The opportunity lay in repositioning BTHA as a contemporary and forward-thinking organisation, fostering trust and resonance with both its longstanding and potential members

What we did

Our journey to rebrand BTHA began with a detailed brand audit, assessing the existing visual identity and communications. We then conducted discovery workshops with BTHA committee members, aiming to align the brand with inclusivity, ensuring representation for people of all backgrounds and ages.

Understanding BTHA's core values and mission, we focused on developing a compelling core messaging framework and brand voice. Two taglines emerged as the cornerstone of BTHA's identity:

  • Serious About the Business of Fun: This tagline conveys BTHA's commitment to the industry's integrity and professionalism while emphasising the joy of toys and hobbies.
  • For Kids of All Ages, 0-100: This tagline highlights inclusivity, emphasising that toys and hobbies are not age-restricted.

Our approach aimed to modernise BTHA's brand identity and effectively communicate its values to all stakeholders, ushering in a new era of relevance and growth for the association.

The outcome

The rebranding effort for BTHA yielded a dynamic visual identity that paid homage to its history while embracing a forward-looking approach. We chose to maintain the distinctive red and yellow colour scheme, ultimately opting to retain the original logo. This choice acted as a symbolic bridge connecting BTHA's rich heritage with its vision for the future.

A significant emphasis was placed on messaging and typography, with careful selection of fonts to resonate with the target audience. This typography not only conveyed BTHA's professionalism but also its commitment to inclusivity.

The introduction of a suite of illustrations by the renowned New York-based artist, Merit Myers, injected personality and uniqueness into the brand. Merit's distinct style set BTHA apart from the typical, trend-focused illustrations commonly found in stock image libraries. These illustrations breathed life into BTHA's identity, making it more relatable and inviting.

To complement the illustrative style, we commissioned Merit Myers to create an iconography suite. This suite seamlessly integrated with the brand's visual language, ensuring consistency and offering an engaging means of communication.

In conclusion, the rebranding of BTHA successfully balanced tradition and modernity. The refreshed visual identity, including retained elements and the infusion of personality through illustrations and iconography, positioned BTHA as a contemporary and approachable authority within the toy and hobby industry, poised to navigate future challenges and opportunities.

"The artwork was super dope"

Jacob Banks


"Question Marque were great to work with"

Jordan Stein

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