Designing a sister brand: Northbank Speakers

A year ago, we were hard at work completing the launch website for talent and literary agency Northbank Talent Management. The result of months of work, that site launched on the 31st May 2018. The project was a rebranding of what had been up til that point Diane Banks’ eponymous literary agency. With a single move, the business had a completely fresh start.

The new name and branding expanded into a wide range of print and social media as well as, most visibly, an expansive website which we custom-designed from the ground up. From a standing start and completely new URL, Northbank’s website now has sometimes several hundred visitors a day. Exciting stuff.

There’s more to come too. Today we’re unveiling a surprise – over the last few weeks we’ve been designing a sister brand as a standalone entity: Northbank Speakers.

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Happy ending or moral tale? Once upon a branding design project

branding design project

It’s been quite a week – wrapping up one logo project, just beginning the identity for something else.

It’s enjoyable work but by far the most labour-intensive that we do. When either a marketing lead or entrepreneur hire a designer, they usually expect creativity. We’re happy to oblige – it’s just that the end result tends not to be what they expected. Because how could it ever be?

We just aim high and hope the result is a pleasing one.

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ARC Crawley – building a healthcare brand from scratch

Quality of life: that’s what is at the core of our latest project. Our long-standing client Cavendish Care spent the best part of 2018 establishing an Activity Centre for their clientele of Learning Disabled people just outside the centre of Crawley in West Sussex.

Our challenge was to brand it.

The centre is based in a refurbished Tudor cottage (with a large rear extension) that has been totally customised, creating large, gorgeous spaces for every imaginable activity.

Devising an identity for ARC Crawley and rolling it out has been a real pleasure over the last six months – essentially building a healthcare brand from scratch.

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Why choose between being a furniture maker or interior designer?

furniture maker or interior designer

Some people prefer not to be pigeonholed. That’s certainly the case with cabinet-maker Gary Worth. His work has a tendency to bend around his clients: getting to know them, then making a piece of furniture that is the right fit. Personally and literally.

This understanding of lifestyles and a great use of space is essential in a craftsman of his calibre but makes categorisation tricky. As a result, he’s hard to define and is no fan of a label. Furniture maker or interior designer? He reckons there’s no need to choose. The best way of thinking about his work, he says, is that it bridges the gap between the two.

As a result, our new brand and website for him does just that as well.

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New design for financial services – Oxford Investment Consultants

New design for financial services

For a few of our clients, the journey from the briefing of a project to the full, finished product can take some time. This is particularly true when collaborating in the financial services industry where there are stringent regulatory constraints around promotions and marketing.

One such client is Oxford Investment Consultants. We designed their branding over a year ago and launched a small website at the time. The bulk of the work we had done however remained under wraps. However – the wait is over. Following their full FCA authorisation, this past week has seen the launch of the complete site we had planned from the outset.

It’s a project that I’m really proud of and a great piece of new design for financial services. It’s a strong case study of the work we’ve been doing in that industry over the last couple of years.

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Which comes first for a brand – tone of voice or visuals?

brand tone of voice

Working with a new client this week, we’ve been talking extensively about the personality of their brand and its essence. What has been so interesting is that this conversation has been happening in the wake of our initial set of creative work for them. It’s been the trigger for that series of questions.

One would usually imagine that to create successful new design work for a brand you would think all the ‘values stuff’ through beforehand. This is particularly the case with what we call their ‘brand tone of voice’. While it’s true that thinking and writing first is the best method in theory, sometimes to draft a new set of ideas based on a rough brief can help define the truth of that brand.

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