Looking back, 2019 was a very good year for me. I’ve been introduced to some great new clients to create work that I’m really proud of, including three new brand identities as well as two brand refresh projects.
And I’ve enjoyed implementing the design for my longer established clients’ brands too, across an interesting mix of shop signage, vehicle liveries, websites and print design.
Brand creation for Ally Waters. Ally wanted a bright colour palette to reflect her brand’s personality. The eureka moment was when, eventually, I saw an ‘A’ and a ‘W’ in the tessellating pattern.
Brand refresh for Greenpoint. The brand strategy phase of the project led to repositioning the company from ‘computer services’ to ‘business solutions’ before creating the brand identity and guidelines.
Brand refresh for The Bed Post and brand creation for Lorraine Elizabeth. This project was tricky because the strategy we developed was to create two independent brand identities that also had a strong visual relationship to show they were ‘partner’ brands, with the same owners and business premises.
Brand creation for Corfe Wealth Management . Chartered Financial Planner,Chris Webb, wanted a new brand to reflect a more modern, vibrant personality than the traditional image that many other financial companies portray.
Literature design for Hft. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this national charity for a few years now, This year, among other projects, I designed a twelve page brochure supporting fundraising to build specialist homes for adults with complex needs and autism.
E-commerce website design for Roth Audio. Roth’s previous website was underperforming so we reviewed the product categories, navigation, made purchasing easier and created a clean, functional design. The site was built in WordPress by Taybridge.View the Roth Audio site here.
If you would like to arrange a chat to discuss how to bring clarity to your brand through a strategic design approach, or to develop your existing brand across your marketing materials, give me a call on 07876 293885 or email me
Dr Nadya Temple qualified in medicine and Neurology in her native Kazakhstan before specializing in Acupuncture for over twenty years. Having recently settled in the UK she continued to practice acupuncture from two clinics in Surrey.
Her new business was developing steadily through word of mouth but Nadya wanted to create greater awareness and a professional image to attract more clients.
Nadya approached me to create a brand for her business that would acknowledge the Chinese heritage of the ancient medical technique whilst appearing fresh and modern. We decided to call the new brand ‘Tadworth Acupuncture’ to focus on the locality of the practice.
I presented a range of logo concepts, exploring varying degrees of Chinese personality from overtly authentic symbolism to the more subtle influence. These were discussed with Nadya and we settled on a concept that was a western, modern symbol retaining a hint of its Chinese ‘dna’.
The chosen concept progressed to the design development stage where we went though a number of iterations – each time fine-tuning the weight and balance of the symbol and supporting typography – until it is perfectly balanced.
The first step to creating a new website should not be design, but thorough planning. We spent time looking at competitors’ sites, discussed the amount of content, tone of voice and functionality before drawing up a site map to show number of pages and basic content.
Next came the design, (bespoke, rather than relying on pre-existing template) draft copy and photography. Because we had planned the project well we knew exactly what content to write and what images of Nadya working in her clinics were needed.
While images and copy were being prepared the website build was underway by one of my web developer partners, ensuring the site would be responsive for mobile devices as well as computers.
As soon as the build was complete we populated the site with final copy and images, carried out final testing and the site became live.
This is what Nadya’s business partner has to say about the Design process:
Nick provided us with the creation of a new brand design, which offered us benefits in several respects. It enabled us to provide a more customised and focussed image towards customers, it enabled us to take the detail and use for image improvement, such as placing the logo onto uniforms, and it provided the foundation for our website. This has raised awareness of our business, and our customers have generally commented positively on the result. So, I thank you Nick for your expertise and support.
Jeffrey Temple, Director Tadworth Acupuncture
Do you have a small or start-up business?
If you have a small or start-up business, consider getting help from a brand expert to make your brand stand out and give you an advantage over your competitors.
If you would like an informal chat would help, give me, Nick Ovenden, a call on 07876 293885 or 01737 819687 or email me.
When Martin Browne became President of the Bourne Club in Farnham, Surrey, he was on a mission to increase the membership of the Club. To do this he knew they needed to reposition and rebrand the club to bring it up to date. The brand’s image needed to change in order to appeal to a younger and wider audience.
Time for a refreshed more relevant brand image
Martin assembled a committee of members to manage the rebrand work. I was invited to meet and guide them through the process. We started with an appraisal of the Club’s values and personality and went on to define exactly what the Club offers its members. From this in-depth review, I was able to create a logo and branding style and implement the new branding across signage and other marketing materials.
Personality and values
Together we took a long hard look at the current personality of the club and described the more positive qualities they wished to be associated with. This thinking was mapped out in a diagram which represents a ‘re-positioning’ of the brand from where they are today to where they wish to be tomorrow.
When looking at the values and personality of any organisation, it can be useful to note the negative values i.e. those that you definitely don’t wish to be associated with as well as the positive traits.
You can see how this was developed for the Bourne Club in the diagram below.
Defining the offer
With any brand, a verbal description of what the brand offers is crucial to its successful communication.
The Bourne Club is not just a tennis club. It has much to offer its members. However, passers-by could assume that it was just a badminton, tennis and squash club, which you can see in the original signboard below.
The activities that members can enjoy are much more than merely racquet sports. The club has a gym. Members can drop in to relax in the lounge and enjoy a coffee and a chat. Bridge nights are very popular and there are regular social activities such as dances, comedy nights and gin tastings.
I recommended the strap line, ‘Rackets, Fitness, Bridge, Social’ which sums up concisely what the club offers today. This was agreed upon before the logo design work started. However, to demonstrate how the strap line could be incorporated, I created a simple logo represented by a triangle with the words underneath.
Adding these four words was a significant change to the club’s original profile and broadens the offer from ‘just a tennis club’.
A modern image
To appeal to a younger audience, a contemporary look and feel was necessary.
The old multi-coloured logo is replaced with bold, legible lettering and vibrant green brand colour. The chosen logo acknowledges the origins as a tennis club, with a clever use of the letter B.
While looking carefully at the curved line on a tennis ball, at a certain angle I saw the curve form a hint of the letter ‘B’. And that was the inspiration for the logo!
After much refinement, experimentation, crafting and testing, the final developed logo was signed off by the committee and the Bourne Club now has a suite of logo versions; centred, horizontal and stacked, suitable for a wide variety of applications across digital, print and signage.
The Bourne Club is delighted with its new branding, which was launched in 2017 and continues to be implemented.
This is what Martin has to say about his results of the rebrand: “Nick came up with a design that reflects the Club’s character as lively, inclusive and contemporary. The branding is very flexible and works brilliantly on signage, merchandise and digital marketing. The reaction from members has been enthusiastic and it has helped to promote the Club to the wider community”
Cast your mind back to when you first created your logo. Can you remember the process you went through that led you to choose the final design?
If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you will know that your brand is more than just your logo, but this is very often where it all begins.
Research and understanding
Well, that’s not quite true! Whilst the logo might be the first visual to your brand identity, there should be a considerable amount of research beforehand. Any designer worth their salt should be curious about your business. They should be nosey! Asking lots and lots of questions to get a deep understanding about the essence of your business and what’s important to you; your values, the types of customers you wish to attract and the value you provide through your products and services.
The research and understanding phase for brand design is crucial to give your designer a good understanding of the personality of your business as well as a clear design brief before the designer gets to sharpen their pencils.
Let me give you an example. Having visited the site of Tadworth Tyres and spoken at length to Duncan, the Managing Director, I was able to really get under the skin of the business.
This allowed me to go away, reflect on the research, and use my creativity to translate what I had discovered into a selection of graphic ideas to represent the brand’s personality.
So the next time Duncan and I met, I was able to show him these four very different concepts and discuss which idea would most closely match the brand.
• The first design with the shield and EST: 1974 reflects the heritage of Tadworth Tyres: they’ve been around since 1974 and we discussed how important this aspect of the brand is to the business and for their customers.
• The second idea is a play on the initials of the business and the tread of the tyre. I didn’t want to deliver a clichéd design showing a literal representation of a tyre but I thought this was subtle.
• The third concept is in a more modern style, loosely representing a racing track, and this stimulated discussion about how we could position the brand away from the traditional tyre service image.
• The fourth, again a play on the initials, is exploring the opposite end of the spectrum to the first, ‘established’ concept with a modern feel.
After considering the range of ideas, the second concept was felt to fit the brand perfectly.
My next task was to spend time carefully crafting the idea into a finished design: making sure the colours were exactly right, the typography elegantly balanced and that we had enough versions of the logo to allow for use on signs, website, clothing and other applications.
It’s really important to spend time at this stage to ensure the logo will work as well on a website at thumbnail size as it will at supersize on the side of a building.
Here’s the final, fully developed logo design:
As you reflect on the process you went through when your logo was designed, I sincerely hope you had meaningful choices that weren’t just variations on a theme and that your final logo was beautifully crafted.
Once the design of the logo design has been finalised and signed off (some testing may be necessary at this stage), the next job is the implementation across all touch points that a prospect or customer has with the business.
Successful branding design is not about simply applying your logo to all communications material, signage, uniforms etc. It’s about carefully crafting everything with a consistent design style that repeatedly communicates your brand personality and engages with your customers.
Everything sings the same tune, in tune.
This is what Duncan has to say about his experience of the branding process:
“Getting proper branding after being in business for forty years without, was a big deal for us. We couldn’t afford to get it wrong. Nick took time to understand what we are about and delivered a range of design options which all hit the spot in one way or another. With his help we chose the right one and it’s made a real difference to how staff and customers perceive the business now. Much more professional, and now we get noticed and remembered when people drive past!”
Duncan Hamilton, MD Tadworth Tyres.
With every brand I help create for a client, we are aiming to achieve a world where every aspect of their branding is something they are proud of.
Next time you see your logo, think to yourself, are you proud of your logo?
If not, maybe we should talk. Please do get in touch. You can call me on 07876 293885 or email me.
If this review of 2017 has prompted you to ask whether your brand reflects your business as you head for 2018, please give me a call on 07876 293885 or email me. I’d be glad to help you review your branding.
I wish you a very happy New Year everyone and all the very best for 2018.