If you're reading this you can see we’ve got a whole new look. We’ve been working on it for the past few months, but why did we need to change?
Our previous branding was functional. The visual identity looked clean, tidy, neat. No great shakes but it didn't let us down either. Our strapline, Built with Knowledge, was a reflection on our position as Drupal specialists, but did it reflect us an agency?
Since our last branding was put together our team had doubled in size with design now handled in-house to complement our expanded frontend and backend teams.
A few times we'd sat down and looked at how our visual identity could be expanded in the same way. Taking the concept of our venn diagram logomark we came up with visuals for branded documents and revisions to stationary. The work was good and feedback was great, but we'd look and think, is this us?
A collective voice
It came to a bit of a head when the team sat down to throw around ideas for a website refresh. We wanted our website to really reflect us as a company and it quickly became apparent aspects of our branding were outdated in the values they reflected. This pointed at an across the board change with our visual identity at the forefront of that.
We came out of the meeting with something of a ‘brief brief’, a short list of values we felt reflected us as a team:
“Developed with the aim of showing we’re human, we have personality, a sense of humour, we’re fun, but it’s not forced, we’re a bit different, we’re friendly, and above all we’re professional. We want to give a best in class impression, that we break the mould, we’ve evolved, something clear, crisp and stripped back.”
We want to give a best in class impression, that we break the mould, we’ve evolved, something clear, crisp and stripped back.
We also looked at our competitors, regionally and nationally, to see how they were positioning themselves and what their branding told us about them. It was clear there were more dynamic and exciting examples out there, with almost everyone we looked at having redeveloped at least their website in the time since we last had.
Working on a visual identity
With input from the team in the form of our brief brief and a heads up on what our competitors were doing I set about roughly sketching out some potential logomarks, getting an idea of shape and balance, seeing what could work. Once I had enough to move forward with I scanned and outlining those sketches in Adobe Illustrator. It’s easy to work fast at this stage, the main aim being replicating those original ideas behind the sketches, but also being able to see what comes of quickly iterating new ideas and discarding anything that’s not going to work.
Gradually these were combined with colour, typography and imagery, building up five concepts - each centered around a specific set of terms from our initial aims - which were then put to the team for a feedback session. It didn’t take long to realise one direction was the clear favourite, an abstraction on our original venn diagram logomark that sees a much more organic shape twisting from a C to a D.
Iterating again we were able to agree on a bespoke typeface that looked less off-the-shelf and lighten the colour and feel of the logomark in a way everyone was happy with.
With direction behind our thinking and a strong visual mark to use we were able to apply the same principles for use case concepts in stationery, banners, Google Docs and Slides, t-shirts and even mugs and coasters. This helped in testing how adaptable our visuals would be, with tweaks such as adding an outline and shadow to make the logo more versatile, added here and there. This meant that at the end of our process we were left with a set of rules and resources to put together documentation advising on its use in the form of our brand manual.
In parallel with the visual identity process our marketing intern Lizzie worked with Nathan and Adam to review copy we use in our marketing materials, looking at our language and tone of voice and making sure they fit with the values we’d taken from our initial team meeting. Our new strapline - Connecting people with technology to create positive change - came from this process.
The new brand will be rolled out from today across our website and social media platforms, gradually making its way into our proposals and documentation. We’ve had fun working on it and it’s something we’re all proud of, if you get the chance to let us know what you think, please do.