new media brand design

Northbank Talent launches – a new media brand design

At the end of 2017 we were approached to work on the total re-brand of literary agency Diane Banks Associates. After over two years of planning, the management team had decided to fundamentally re-consider their business offering. Today if you’re an author you don’t just write a book and then retreat back to your desk to start on the next one. There’s a world of talks, tours, social and traditional media where the lifespan of your work is extended. With this, the traditional notion of a literary agent has fundamentally shifted… to one of thought leaders across multiple disciplines and exposure. The notion then is to take on clients with a far wider set of disciplines. This was no ordinary creative project – we were creating a new media brand design.

The end result of all this preparation is now revealed – and it’s called Northbank Talent Management.



At the outset of this project, nothing was off limits. We talked about several different naming options as well as a series of creative ideas for the brand identity.

This kind of iterative, open-minded approach to a branding project can take a little time, but as I am fond of saying, brand design is the hardest work we do. Every other aspect of our work comes with certain conventions that at least guide a project. For a brand there may be a brief and that may impose some degree of structure, but even then I have known many projects take an unexpected left turn.

That’s exactly what happened here.

The new Northbank Talent identity – part of this new media brand design project


With a name decided, we embarked on an iterative – and ultimately circular – design process. Over three sets of creative ideas, we proposed a series of brand ideas which moved forward one overall look. Everyone was happy with this concept… until we took a moment to review all the ideas set out over the project. At that point we began to consider anew an early idea inspired by the curve of the Thames.

This minimal typographic design which crops the letter ‘o’ was then completed with the colour palette we had been developing in tandem with the brand identity process. With the deep navy blue and rich yellow applied, suddenly the whole brand design came into sharp focus.


The new Northbank Talent website – part of this new media brand design project



Central to our taking on this project has been the kind of website that this new business is going to have. Amid a project where every aspect was thought through in extraordinary detail, it’s not an exaggeration to say that this part of the project was the most considered.

The whole feel of this new business comes to the fore here. Firstly the homepage features a huge range of the work that the company has been doing which by definition blends all the different clients, projects and media they are working in. It sets the tone for everything the business stands for from the moment you arrive.

Thereafter this huge site continues this concept by drilling down into specific categories where both Northbank’s clients and their work remains a blended, integral part of every subsequent page.

Where a user reaches an individual client page they find a minimal design which neatly sets out all aspects of their work. A biography leads to video, media coverage, online writing, reviews and social media.

With many clients being published authors, there are in-depth features on each book Northbank has worked on alongside the writer. Cover designs, international rights availability (which the business handles) and reviews complete the layout.

The new Northbank Talent website – part of this new media brand design project



One aspect of the Northbank site I particularly want to highlight is the ‘Insights’ section.

A calm page filled with mood-led imagery features freshly-commissioned writing by many of Northbank’s key clients. They tell of personal experiences and how these shaped their work, professional challenges and advice for the new writer.

These posts are carefully categorised but are not ‘news’. Rather, these cosy, fascinating pieces of writing tell the stories of artists deeply passionate about their craft. I’ve never worked on a site with this kind of collection of specially written articles aimed at the readers and writers alike.

It combines with the collected client pages and news to create a compelling, great site I hope that people return to again and again.

The new Northbank Talent website – part of this new media brand design project



Beyond the website, which has formed such a significant part of our work over the past few months, the Northbank brand is one which will gradually appear across different media in exciting ways in the next year.

The first, most visible application of this is the stationery where the brand patterns we have worked on are applied. These graphic shapes take their cue from the cropped ‘o’ of Northbank and are applied in a bold, clean way across the backs of the letterhead and compliment slip.

Additionally, the business cards emboss the identity but are then ‘duplexed’ to conceal it from the side of the card with the nuts-and-bolts detail. For the uninitiated, duplexing is less construction-based than it sounds, and actually involves paper and an awful lot of glue. After printing, two pieces of paper are attached together to create the effect we are after and then neatly trimmed, concealing the back, negative impression of the emboss.



Is your business looking for a total rebrand (or even something more… incremental, perhaps)? We’d love to be a part of realising your vision.

Find out more about this project

Visit the Northbank Talent website

Contact us to discuss your project