Facing the future: branding and web design for the energy industry

In the past year, by total coincidence we’ve worked on a set of different projects which are considering the future of energy. In particular, this has involved working with businesses which consider how energy is stored and new ways of creating it. We’ve worked with research projects, where tangible results are sometimes years in the making. They tend to involve (I’ve noticed as a lay observer who has technology to them explained in fairly simple language) a blend of entirely new thinking with accepted theory. My other observation is that none of these projects get off the ground without… investment. It’s the key to it all. And people working on new energy, renewables, often apply knowledge learned working on the old variety – oil and gas. When we become involved in branding and web design for the energy industry, it’s often either because a startup needs to up their game visually – or in our most recent project, because an established energy investment firm has changed focus.

Brand an energy startup

Planting a new seed: As startups shift from a research to commercial footing, so the public-facing narrative needs to evolve. Much depends on the stage the project is at as well as the background to the design refresh. One classic reason is because seed funding is sought to move things to the next stage. Here, a good approach would be pivoting to a professional brand look, while maintaining a quirky, inventive feel, which adds authenticity to a startup. For us, a brief to work on branding and web design for the energy industry where every aspect of the organisation needs attention is one we relish.

Quirky works: We’ve often had great success with energy startups by proposing an eye-catching, quirky design, particularly on the web. Using techniques like bold brand patterns, custom shot photography or unconventional coding of the website has worked really well. Doing things a bit differently from a design perspective tends to sit well with a business that is being creative scientifically.

The tools of the trade: To talk to investors, you need to present your startup in the best possible light. We work with organisations of all sizes, so if required can apply ‘big business’ creative approaches to a growing entity. I’m thinking particularly here of using information graphics well, or really good quality slide decks. We’re all-too familiar with PowerPoint fatigue: long slide decks of dense undigestible copy. So, we take a different approach, keeping the visuals strong and the text light, ensuring your message gets across and people actually listen to you, whether you’re presenting in person or over Zoom. Another piece of software we’ve had great success with is the all-online Google Slides. The key message is: you have plenty of options, technologically and visually!

Case study: LiNa Energy

This is a fantastic project that could impact all our lives for the better. Based in Lancaster University, LiNa Energy is working on the future of battery technology, looking at moving from Lithium (Li) to far more everyday Sodium (Na) as a resource for energy storage. Prior to the pandemic, we travelled to Lancaster to shoot a set of imagery in the lab, ensuring the project had a visual angle that really captured their work. We also took the opportunity to photograph the team for the site too, giving personality to the innovation.

Back in the studio, we devised a new brand design for LiNa, inspired by the plus and minus graphics of traditional batteries – combined with a double-L. It’s a smart, modern design which positions them as a future-facing, innovative startup. During lockdown, the new branding was then applied to a newsy, informative website which sets out the tech and personalities behind the invention. It won’t be standing still either: the site is designed to evolve with the project.

Our creative work for energy storage project LiNa Energy

Reimagining an established energy business

Helping you move your sustainability agenda forward: Long before the pandemic drastically reduced the price of crude oil, conventional energy companies of all sizes and disciplines had broadened the base of their services. This is no ‘greenwashing’: rather evidence of the gradual diversification which the public agenda is pushing forward. While a design agency like us can’t shift an entire business model, it’s surprising just how much we can help move a sustainability agenda forward. Whether it be making meetings more efficient by facilitating online presentation decks that can be used during Zoom calls, or recommending quality paper stocks for in house publications. With a relatively simple shift in mindset, we can improve the way you do business.

Modern business is modern tech: As we’ve all discovered during 2020, it’s astonishing just how resourceful a business and its people can be. Further, it’s downright revealing just how much can be achieved with a website. The sourcing of information or the tehnology we need to get things done, in ways none of us could have imagined, has opened up abundant new possibilities for corporates. In our work for financial services businesses, we’ve moved entire financial reporting functions totally online. Same-day data on the state of investments can be drawn down – and, it looks fantastic.

Case study: AtlasInvest

After fifteen years in business, Belgian family office AtlasInvest had pivoted to a new focus on green energy and renewables. As this change in approach crystallised, the management team briefed us to consider a rebrand. Rather than the previous focus on Atlas holding up the world, we worked on a new design involving mapping the world itself. We proposed a loose, sketched aesthetic, derived directly from our initial hand-drawn ideas which the Atlas team felt embodied their new approach.

The first evidence of the new design is on the custom-design website we created for the office. The site sets out not merely their full investment list, but also offers case studies of key projects which give background to each. Our idea is that as the site evolves, so this section grows, giving clear evidence of not merely the investment strategy, but its real-world manifestation.

Our creative work for Belgian energy investment business AtlasInvest

Need branding and web design for the energy industry? Hire a bright spark!

If you work in the energy industry and require assistance with your branding and web design, we’re experienced, industry-savvy and ready to take on your challenge. Get in touch to discuss your project and we can match your brief and budget.

Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.