BISHOPS: Evolving Irreverence


In a forward move, Bishops’ partnered with Amprsnd to rebrand with a long play in mind: Speak to millennial demographics and expand nationally into immature markets all while keeping the irreverence and culture of an owner run business. What resulted was a forward thinking brand built to adapt to any market and succeed.

Bishops Barbershop, the Pacific Northwest pioneer of counterculture haircare, made a name for itself by embracing and celebrating an irreverent and aberrant culture. While this internal culture hasn’t changed, counterculture has evolved.


What resulted was a forward thinking brand built to adapt to any market and succeed.


The haircare industry has proven to be among the most recession resistant industries, with less than 1% of salon and barber related businesses closing during the great recession. It is both dominated and saturated by fast-casual chains like SuperCuts (2400+ Locations Nationwide) and Great Clips (4100+ Locations) with smaller, boutique brands capturing a distinctly different audience which focuses on experience, quality, and customization. Bishops exists at the intersection of these two categories with a higher focus on experience and individualism while still retaining the efficiency and ease of a walk-in based business.

It cannot be emphasized enough that Bishops is a place for all, no matter their stripes or colours. And with hair at the epicenter of individual expression, we needed to own that. Positioning the brand to reflect that deep rooted irreverence and culture that says ‘be who you damn well please’, we partnered with the Los Angeles based design studio, Public-Library,  to develop a typographic identity system that would sustain for the next 16 years.



As the brand developed, the argument was raised that the immature markets we were entering, specifically non-coastal markets, would have an adverse reaction to the positioning and brand. ‘Different’ is distinctly personal – personal to an individual, a neighborhood, a city. Our rebranding efforts focused on embracing difference in all of its manifestations in all people and their individualism. Out of this, the Bishops brand became a promise and  a call to action:

‘Whoever you want to be, judgement free’

Project Info
Role: Agency of Record, Brand Positioning, Strategy, Brand Identity, Creative Direction, Nomenclature, Interactive, Digital Advertising, Production Design, Systems Design, Art Direction, Photography, Color Design.
Project: We partnered with the Portland, Oregon haircare business, as both their agency and internal director, to refresh their heritage brand into a national player in the fast haircare business.
Partners: Corporate, Public-Library
Brand: Bishops
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