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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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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Why every design project ends up redefining your brand

redefining your brand

Just recently in the studio, we’ve been throwing around a new theory:  that every piece of creative we work on is actually ‘a brand project’.

Our theory is that every time we complete a piece of design it advances a brand in some way. That’s a punchy claim, but the more we started thinking about it, the more it just happens to be true.

Rare is the piece of design that we do that is without any sort of innovation. Equally unusual is collaborating with a brand that has guidelines so exhaustive that every eventuality has been considered. In fact these gradual ways of redefining your brand aren’t a problem but actually, we believe, positive incremental changes that should be embraced.

With a creative brand guardian overviewing the work, these could be seen as investments in the future of the brand.

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Talking my language! Creating a multi-lingual website

In December we completed six months of work on a new website for ORIS, a classic German manufacturing brand based just outside Stuttgart.

An iconic business trading in bicycle carrier and towbars for more than half a century, the brand had begun to dilute after a series of mergers and buy-outs. Our project was to create a standalone site, bringing this fantastic brand back to the prominence it deserves.

With a Europe-wide audience, the site will eventually appear in many languages, but first up was German and English. So began a fascinating project creating a multi-lingual website.

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