Love thy neighbour: rebranding interior design practice Tomèf
After the last three years of remote working and endless video calls, there’s something fantastic about working closely and in person with a client. Even better when that client happens to work five minutes’ walk down the same street. That’s what we’ve been up to for the past few months rebranding interior design practice Tomèf: founded by designer and architect Tommaso Franchi, the practice is based at Worlds End Studios on Lots Road, just 200m from our studio.
Having known Tommaso for many years, I was flattered to be asked to pitch for the project, and even more thrilled to actually win the work. The end result is a complete revamp of the way the firm looks and presents itself, in person and online.
Our primary aim has been to bring Tomèf’s branding up to speed with the high quality of work they complete for clients around the world. Yet, they’ve kept it local, and not had to go too far to work with us and help collaborate on the creative process.
Tommaso first visited us back in September 2022, planning an ‘online reboot’ of the company to mark ten years since he started the business. His idea was that, once launched, the whole branding would feel more in keeping with Tomèf as it is today. With nothing off the table, we pitched the idea of a rethink of his logo design as well as the website. Until that point, the company had used a handwritten logo that was completed with a flourish, ideal for a signature brand. But with a growing team, somehow that didn’t quite fit any more.
Curiosity won out and Tommaso asked us to have a look at the logo and to explore all angles. In the end, ‘all angles’ was right: sharp lines and crisp curves were the end results of our endeavours. Essentially new brand involves both a tf symbol – as well as a new approach to type and colour – and after a series of explorations, we settled on a finished design, below.
What I find interesting (and I think Tommaso perhaps found surprising) is that the logo feels like it was always there. It just sits right: an elegant piece of type that starts with the symbol and e–grave accent, that expands once to read to read Tomèf – and then once more to reveal a brand pattern we’ve used as wallpaper and animation online.
Open door policy
With the identity project complete, we began to look at ways in which we could apply this to the new website.
In truth, the way we work these days really blurs the lines between these supposedly standalone projects. We tend not to look at each as individual undertakings, but pieces of work where one is the logical parent of the next. In this case, during the logo project the pattern had already spurred us to think how the website was going to work. The next steps – a blend of type, colour and imagery from Tommaso’s portfolio which would complement the logo – felt incredibly natural as part of the brand work.
This approach to an interior design branding and website project means that the story builds organically, with the website taking shape as a combination of project photography familiar to the team and new ideas that have already been agreed.
Get a handle on it
Ultimately projects of this kind that are photo-led need to frame the work rather than overpower it – yet still own it. To do this effectively, we’d already decided to add in a subtle application of the brand pattern of repeating tf icons we’d created. The idea was to act as a subtle wallpaper rather than the sort of branding you’d see on a luxury handbag.
The end result has an interesting blend of visual appeal – part Nordic runes, part Arabic calligraphy. Yet drawn for a design studio comprised of Italians.
And the Italian connection doesn’t end there. As we’ve done for a few other projects lately, working with our longtime creative partner Carlo Teofilo in Turin, we decided to add in low-key brand animation to the project, delivering a sense of movement and fluency to the pages. As a final flourish, the temptation to add in a single animation on the homepage of the tf icon expanding to the full Tomèf was irresistible. A lovely way of introducing the new brand.
With a zest for creativity and singular style that appeals so much to me as well as our status as near-neighbours, this has been a fantastic way to start 2023. The Tomèf launch has been a fantastic fit of a client with a new tailor-made brand design.
Our work rebranding interior design practice Tomèf
Consider rebranding your interior design practice to embrace new clients
If you’re interested in an approach to a website which considers the best way of presenting your portfolio, we’d be interested in your brief. Whatever industry you work in, we can help you achieve that, working within or beyond your current brand imaginatively.
Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email direct to tell us all about it.