A sense of identity
Branding and identity forms an important part of the design process and the functioning of a business or product. It shouldn’t be thought of as an afterthought, and should be considered as a central part of a companies proposition. A strong, intentional logo is a start, and indeed a very useful asset for a company, but branding and identity goes deeper than that. Branding and identity, through logo marque, colour, structure and photographic style should be considered integral and integrated to your offering.
Metropolitan Workshop
The identity for architecture practice Metropolitan Workshop uses a reduced colour scheme to maximise the impact of the striking imagery. The logotype is based on the distinctive ‘saw-tooth’ roof patterns that are symbolic of the practice. Print and website materials are generated using a simple grid structure based on units, rather than strict measurements. This allows the architects when preparing presentation materials to concentrate on narrative rather than obsessing over measurements. A simple ‘grid-board’ was created to show the staff how they can approach design and story-telling. The logotype was generated through a series of workshops with the architecture practice generating stakeholder buy-in and quicker integration of change.
Design Research Society
The approach to the branding and production of the Design Research Society’s 50th Anniversary Conference was one that emulated the conference’s thesis, not to be prescriptive but to allow things to evolve. Wherever possible we used recycled items, the stage lecterns for instance.  The conference had an intentionally open remit, it was in part a conference formed by the participants and demonstrated that there can be alternative approaches to design and planning of events. Attended by nearly 700 delegates the progression of the conference, both in form and organisation was one that transformed and developed. This was the largest conference held at the University of Brighton and we were involved in all aspects of delivery and print. This novel approach to branding presented a distinct point of difference and resulted in a hugely profitable conference, both financially and in terms of ideas exchange.
The Three Chimneys
We have worked with the Three Chimneys, an independent inn with award winning restaurant for over 8 years. Through this time, the evolution of the identity has supported their expansion into other markets and accommodation. The identity mark, by typographer Chris Bigg expresses the sense of tradition and vitality of the restaurant. We employed sign writer, Gary Wells to hand paint all the internal and external signage to reflect the tradition of the historic inn. Our approach to the identity isn’t to simply create a logo, it is to have a suite of materials including print, online and marketing that present a point of difference – in this case traditional values with a modern twist.
Managing change
Branding and identity can form a powerful tool when dealing with change within an organisation. This change can be structural or aspirational. Having a clear sense of identity can help to manage and facilitate this. Engaging with stakeholders and staff can also help to add a sense of inclusion and felling of being valued. For John Robertson Architects, shown below, we created a new identity that has subsequently evolved over several iterations to reflect the structural and aspiration changes in the organisation. The identity includes print material, website, exhibition, book and brochure work. Print processes including foiling, embossing and spot varnishes are used to reflect the practices care and attention to detail and materials.
A point of difference
Branding and identity provides a powerful way for a business or service to make a distinct proposition.