Defining a visual language for MovePlan

Defining a visual language

When I describe the creative design work we’ve done, I’m usually discussing the culmination of a project during which many of the elements that make up a rebrand have dovetailed. These usually start with a logo design project, considering colour, type, then how the brand appears in print and online.

It’s often months of work and reaching the ‘finish line’ is always a very satisfying moment. We’ve recently completed one such project, for global business change consultancy MovePlan. I found one aspect of the project particularly satisfying – defining a visual language for the business, in this case by building them a library of brand imagery. Over a period of three months, all the photographs in this project were shot by renowned architectural photographer Alistair Nicholls – with my art direction.

Since it will be a while before we’re out doing photo shoots again, I thought it might be interesting to reflect on that project and the creative process behind the work.

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Inspiring creativity, encouraging tomorrow’s talent

Inspiring creativity

One of my earliest memories is taking the cover off my grandmother’s old manual typewriter, complete with ribbon and rollers, and typing out (on sheets of reused letterhead from a long-defunct amateur dramatic society) official notices which I would post on my bedroom door.

Later on, this interest in type and signage found a further outlet in an after-school printing club which used two ancient, single-colour hand-cranked litho presses. I remember preparing customised luggage tags, elaborate letterheads and neat labels for drawers and storage racks. In my teenage years I got involved in a scrappy, irreverent school magazine which was produced by taping together cartoons, print-outs and rushed to a photocopier to a meet a deadline.

I am reminded of these projects when we work on our long-time charitable outlet, the Shine School Media Awards, and then more recently on a new endeavour to raise money for the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, the Bourlet Young Masters  Art Prize competition. Their common thread: inspiring creativity in young people.

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How do I plan a rebrand? The MovePlan story

How do I plan a rebrand?

Over the past six months we’ve been working on a series of great brand and web projects. This is one of the biggest and covers nearly all the disciplines in which we work. Our client is the global business logistics consultancy MovePlan.

Their brief to us was to retain their longstanding brand identity and update it by working on a fresh approach to all the ‘moving parts’. This has covered in particular creating a library of custom photography which we’ve applied to the digital assets they use for sales.

With so much uncertainty around today, the kind of project where a strong, familiar brand is updated with better marketing may suit many businesses. In particular those with one eye on ‘what comes next’ and how best to use a squeezed marketing budget. Strategic thinking is the order of the day and this project is a great answer to the question ‘how do I plan a rebrand?’.

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Making your website work harder: how to use this time effectively

making the web work harder

Like most of you, I am having the strange experience of working sitting at a repurposed kitchen table. My team are scattered in various living rooms and hallways around London, and we’re making the best of working from home by Zooming and Slacking.

While it’s not quite the same sort of team working as we’re familiar with, everyone is gradually getting used to it.

As for our clients, it seems that colleagues spread far and wide like ours are doing their often impressive level best to keep workflow going. Days are spent online, leading many of us to wonder how to go about making the web work harder. Our personal and working worlds have shrunk, but how can we avoid our businesses doing the same?

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Harrier Partners: new corporate finance logo and web design

corporate finance logo and web design

As somebody who grew up with an accountant for a father, I’ve always been taught the value of money and the reassuring precision of sums that add up. You know where you stand, for good or ill. This exactitude has an echo in the satisfaction of geometry and symmetry.

Not every piece of brand design we work on has to follow rules or be symmetrical – life would be rather dreary if so. However, when working on a corporate finance logo and web design brief, there’s an argument for finding a rather specific balance.

It’s a perspective that has been realised for business consultants Harrier Partners and the branding work we’ve just completed for them.

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Adapting business strategies to challenging times

adapting business strategies

The last few days I’ve had an eerie sense of déja-vu and at first I couldn’t think why. Then, I had a look back and was reminded that exactly a year ago we were amidst the grim days of Theresa May’s home-made Brexit crisis. I remember writing about it at the time and my response to the frustrating, sometimes pointless cancellation of project work.

Perhaps overwhelming wall-to-wall coverage of what was an important matter was worthwhile, but equally it was an issue that was rather out of our hands as citizens. A year later we find ourselves in another media maelstrom, albeit one which is, quite literally in our hands (keep washing them, folks!). I’ve heard from clients this week and, unlike last year, many feel addressing the risks of the coronavirus situation is a business logistics issue rather than a business crisis one. When it comes to very serious situations, my opinion is that as a first recourse, calmer heads should prevail.

But ultimately, if circumstances change and a pivot is necessary, it’s as well be brave, act wisely and adapt your business strategies to the times.

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