Insights and Strategy
Whether it’s an established brand, new brand, sub brand or merger we have a well-developed process by which we work with business owners to create a unique position within the market that forms a solid brand platform for all ensuing design stages.
The process involves analyzing the world within which the brand must operate. That involves visiting the market, interviewing managers and reviewing or commissioning market research that gives accurate quantitative and qualitative data. Armed with these insights and based upon our experience and judgment we conduct brand workshops with our clients that create "The Big Idea" that underpins the graphic and architectural manifestations of the brand that will be created.
We will present our findings to a dedicated client steering committee. In the case of existing brands such a presentation will typically include a SWOT analysis where we examine in detail with visual evidence to support the arguments, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We will make a well thought through strategic recommendation which will inevitably include eliminating the current perceived brand weaknesses and enhancing the strengths.
We create brand symbols, logotype and colours which are engaging, unique and appropriate for the market within which they exist. We may use standard bought in fonts or create unique typestyles.
The core visual brand elements plus supporting graphic communications are carefully formatted to work across a multitude of media from on line, signage, print, vehicle liveries and advertising.
We consider how the graphics will reproduce, illuminate and adapt to various formats and media so that it is fully flexible.
For any wayfinding or information graphics we specify type sizes and styles so they are legible and clear.
For brochures posters and websites we create page layouts, text, images and patterns that are eye catching and meaningful. Brand guideline documents are painstakingly created to specify all details concisely and clearly.
Creating a new name involves a brainstorming process where a long list is generated within many categories including many descriptor type names, associate, acronyms and invented names. A short list is then created where together with our clients we will focus more attention on only the 5 or 6 most suitable names.
We aware that clients have difficulty visualizing and engaging with a new name that has no history and therefore we create indicative visuals of how the brand may work across a number of mediums in order that the attributes of the name are clearer and can be assessed against the desired brand positioning.
We evaluate the names against a set of appropriate criteria that enables a clear winner to emerge.
From the outset we undertake a desktop internet search of names we may conceive in order that there are no known competing brands with the same name. The client will then undertake a proper legal search and name registration.
We create stunning interiors that enhance the shopping, coffee, snacking and Food-to-Go experience in order to maximize unit spend and ensure the possibility customers will return.
We optimize layout design to ensure the maximum use of available area, to enable good site lines for security, to maximize the possibility of impulse purchase and to avoid dead spaces. We consider logical agencies and the need to change according to season or site type.
We consider finishes for walls, floors, ceilings and furniture that are durable, cost effective and attractive. We create lighting that is functional, safe, enhances the ambience without glare and low energy consuming.
Food to go and snacking offers are an opportunity to differentiate, relax, spend. Toilets are a key touchpoint and opportunity to enhance the customer experience.
The architecture we create for roadside retail applications is a unique blend of architecture, product design, sculpture and advertising billboard.
We are expert in translating 2 dimensional identities into 3 dimensional shapes and spaces. Our goal is to create an inviting environment that is supremely functional and yet visually interesting and even unexpected in order the experience is memorable and positive.
Our experience includes creating layout guidelines applicable to new to industry networks, existing networks, large multi-use highway sites down to compact city sites. We always consider the optimum arrangement that maximizes the use of real estate that allows good circulation, visibility and possibility to maximize cross selling and possibility to expand.
Last but not least is the understanding of materials and processes that enable cost effective and practical implementation.
We undertake a variety of projects ranging from just delivering a concept that a client's own in house team may develop up to a complete turnkey design and build offer where our project managers will oversee all design aspects of the project to ensure the build quality is suitable and has correctly interpreted the design intent.
We will work with clients to create a realistic time frame for the build stage of the project. We always insist on a mock up and prototype stage prior to rolling out a design in order that any faults can be eradicated and any improvements can be incorporated.
When requested we may assist in issuing tenders and assessing bids.
We work on the premise that the designs we create and that are documented within brand guidelines document are applicable to 90% of a client’s network. The remaining 10% of cases may need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
Where possible we design retail environments and interiors to be largely self-explanatory. However larger retail spaces and transport networks will inevitably require a more systematic approach to allow users to easily navigate.
Our approach is to always put ourselves in the shoes of new user who may be tired after a lengthy journey, distracted by friends or children and unfamiliar with the location. We test our designs with the above in mind so that users may easily orient themselves, decide upon the most appropriate route to their destination, constantly know they are on the right track and know when they will arrive.
Nevertheless good wayfinding can enhance the user and brand experience, is not overpowering, does not distract from noticing other offers and is above all consistent in the manner in which it communicates and functional to build, maintain and adapt to change of use.
Our approach is always to incorporate energy efficiency within the original design philosophy of a building or product rather than be a bolt-on add-on after the event. In this way passive cooling, heating, ventilation and lighting systems can be used which are far less energy consuming than active systems. In the real world the retrofit solution to minimize energy consumption on existing buildings is the only practical solution.
The process we adopt is first to undertake an energy audit where we find out what systems are used and how much energy is consumed within a particular building for cooling, heating, ventilation and lighting. With this knowledge we are then able to recommend the most suitable technology for the application.
The "Helios" experimental eco house currently under construction enables us to test bed new technologies as well as utilize more establish means including, solar thermal, PV, underfloor heating, earth pipes, heat recovery ventilation, highly insulated walls, ceilings and windows, living roofs, rainwater harvesting and composting WCs.