Robert Mackie

A new brand repositions heritage knitwear manufacturer MACKIE for the premium contemporary market.


A new brand repositions heritage knitwear manufacturer MACKIE for the premium contemporary market.

MACKIE has played a formative part in the Ayrshire textile industry since 1845. Today the factory makes its own wholesale knitwear accessories, undertakes collaborations with retail brands, and designs for prestigious customers.

This business model meant the MACKIE brand felt disparate. We helped consolidate, modernise and articulate its different parts. 


Targeting a fashion-aware end consumer, we simplified ‘Robert Mackie of Scotland’ to a confident MACKIE on the brand’s contemporary flagship label.

The product’s Scottish origins are a valuable selling point in MACKIE’s core international markets. A redrawn ‘Robert Mackie of Scotland’ label lends prestige to collaborations and traditional headwear. 


MACKIE has an archive of charming provenance labels from the past century. Avoiding cliché, we re-interpreted their thistle motif as an elegant new craft mark: instantly recognisable, and still distinctly Scottish.

The factory is known for technically difficult, colourfully patterned knits and we wanted to let the garments speak for themselves. 

Plain lettering and a monochrome palette did this in a way that felt modern, impactful, but also a natural evolution of MACKIE’s identity.


For MACKIE's retail customers, we wanted to demonstrate the product's re-sale potential, market appeal and value for spend to the end consumer.


Through languid imagery, under a coherent brand, we communicated the experience of wearing MACKIE’s beautiful lambswools.

A set of practical tools lets the re-seller make informed choices about product ordering. Catalogues use a clean and ordered layout to simplify selection from multiple product lines.


A new website is intuitive to use for MACKIE’s primarily trade audiences. Providing manufacturing and ordering information in a clean and simple way, it balances practicality with a more emotive sell.


"We approached Freytag Anderson to modernise and refine the Robert Mackie brand, to reflect the direction of the company while remaining true to the established heritage and provenance. They have been instrumental in the rebrand of our business. We are very enthusiastic to be launching the new ambitious MACKIE brand. It’s a big change to our historic business... we are confident that we can drive this forward and watch the brand and company go from strength to strength." 

Graeme Haddow, Managing Director, MACKIE


Good photography can really showcase a product and we used this to suggest both the making process and the end consumer.

Evocative images hinted at the product’s desirability - and by extension, its profitability to MACKIE retailers.




Established in 1845 to create traditional Highland headwear, MACKIE is still making knitted accessories in Stewarton, Scotland’s famous ‘Bonnet Toun’. The factory's time-honoured techniques are borne out in its products - famous for their fine wools and use of colour. 

It was important that the photoshoot convey the quality of the product in a Scottish landscape that felt real. We chose the New Lanark World Heritage Site, where an 18th century mill village overlooks the Falls of Clyde.


Client: Robert Mackie
Role: Strategy / Design / Art-direction
Discipline: Corporate identity / Website / Product catalogue / Promotional materials
Photography: Reuben Paris

For more information about this, or other projects, drop us a line.

New Lanark World Heritage Site