John Lobb

How do you modernise the world’s most storied footwear brand?

At a glance

John Lobb has shod the world’s brightest and bravest across three centuries. The brand was founded in 1849 by John Lobb, a poor Cornish Farmer who travelled the world, and has created shoes and boots for the likes of King Edward VII, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Onassis to name just a few. Today the business, now run by the 5th generation of the Lobb family, remains true to the founder’s vision: bespoke shoes, masterfully handcrafted.

In recent years however, the market has shifted increasingly towards ready to wear, and an appreciation of the innate benefits of truly bespoke footwear seems lost on the new generation of consumers.

We partnered with John Lobb to help express what makes them special to a new luxury consumer.

The full story - 9 St James's Street

Getting under the skin of the business, we discovered that bespoke shoe-making is a romantic craft, steeped in tradition. Each stage of the process requires a mastery of ancient and largely unchanged skills and processes, the secrets of which are passed down from generation to generation.

We also discovered a spirit of individuality, not just in the unique products they create, but in the The Lobb Family themselves – who, like their ancestors, aren’t afraid to do things differently.

With this knowledge, we saw an opportunity to amplify the established position of John Lobb as the brand of authentic originality.

We developed this into a full brand strategy including narrative, experience pillars and spirit to fully express who & what the business is to a new audience.

As the global home of bespoke shoemaking, 9 St James’s Street was our starting point for the refreshed John Lobb identity. Every original creation is conceived and crafted here, and we wanted the iconic façade to have prominence in the refreshed identity.

The burgundy – chosen as a nod to Eric Lobb, a key player in the brands history – creates a sense of warmth and richness, whilst a suite of bespoke illustrations denote the handcrafted nature of the offering.

In addition, we distilled the unique John Lobb tone of voice by examining correspondence spanning 170 years penned by the Lobb family.

New website

The refreshed brand was launched with a new website, built from the ground up to showcase John Lobb’s heritage, the iconic styles that they have created and honed, the endless possibilities of bespoke shoe making, and their unique and original creations.

The new website also made it easier for them to connect with the new generation of luxury consumers. We built in new e-commerce capabilities and features that allows the new site to act as a virtual shop front for the brand.

This was further supported by the launch of the John Lobb Instagram page, which allows the brand to tell its story, reach new audiences and allow the world to once again fall in love with gentle art of shoemaking.

Visit the new website here.

Bespoke shoemaking. A technical artform and intimate craft.

Rooted in an unwavering commitment to quality.

Mastered through experience, dedication and devotion.

Modern british typography
Bespoke shoe style illustrations
Rejuvenating colours john lobb
Modern British design

Yonder created a design system that defining the modern British design language in typography, bespoke illustrations and digital design. John Lobb’s visual and design assets play a big role to tell the story and experience of original British shoemaking craftsmanship since 19 century, that the great craftsmen and craftswomen still creating and crafting their best at 9 St. James’s Street, London.

Yet, a new illustration collection in classic style for John Lobb represents the beauty of bespoke shoemaking and its unique styles and adds a layer of bespoke and depth on top of the modern design language of the brand.


Retail & luxury



What we did

Brand & business strategy