Most companies outsource the creation of their brand identity to a design agency, from Aspall Cider’s rebranding to the city of Porto (because cities need flashy branding now!), and there’s the difficulty, who do the design agencies trust to handle their identity?
It isn’t uncommon for an agency to handle it in-house but the concern is that they are too close to the brand, can’t distance themselves in order to see the real issues and real objectives. The other option is to hire a design agency to create your new identity, but are they too removed and do you trust them to do a better job than you could?
This is where we come to Zeal, and my recent employment. I started working here on the 10th of February 2014, by the 17th of February I was waist deep in a project to rebrand the agency from top to bottom. I knew about the business and had researched the brand but, as yet, hadn’t lived with it on a day-to-day basis. The situation was a hybrid between in-house and outsourcing.
I approached it as I would a client, discussing the goals, the direction, the ideas and what the new branding had to say about us as a company. I’d be lying if it wasn’t daunting, while at the same time I could not have hoped for a better way to hit the ground running and gain a deep understanding of Zeal.
During the research and design process it became clear that the current branding no longer represented the agency and was lacking in creativity and excitement, two things Zeal prides itself on. The part of the current branding that did fit the Pillars of Zeal (honesty, challenge, respect, fun, commitment and Zeal) was the simple typographic approach and the selected typeface, the strong and assured appearance of Avant Garde displaying our honest approach digital.
As a new-hire, eager to prove myself, it was difficult to avoid getting sucked into the latest trends and find a solution that looked great but didn’t do its job. This can be a common pitfall in any design process, but as long as one eye is kept on the project goals, trend following can be identified and avoided if it isn’t the right solution.
Dropping the Media
A decision was made early on that we would drop Media from our name. This allowed greater flexibility and interaction between our main brand and the service offering brands of Create, Digital and Buzz while creating a brand that was straight to the point and punchy, just like us.
Honesty. The first Pillar of Zeal alongside fun, commitment, challenge, respect and Zeal. With this in mind removing any bells and whistles and keeping the brand identity as a typographic solution keeps true to our core value of honesty. The Intro typeface was perfect because of its solid and determined appearance, when you see the logo, there is no doubt that We Have Zeal.
Create, Digital and Buzz
These service branches are our bread and butter, they have their own sub-brand identities but to keep them out of our main brand altogether felt like a disservice to how we work. Not wanting to impact the simplicity of the ZEAL letterforms we toyed with many options and quickly realised that the individual colours of the sub-brands would wave their respective flags all on their own. The colour highlights hint at how we combine all the different facets of what we do into one package to deliver the best results to our clients.
To go with the new brand identity, we redesigned our website and developed an icon set for our service offerings. This gives us a visual way of communicating what we do, and provides an accompaniment to the typographic approach to the logos.
Was it a Successful Approach?
Absolutely. While this approach isn’t without its problems and it was a daunting task to be given so early on, the benefits of reworking a brand from an outside perspective but then being able to live with it everyday has provided a sense of ownership and pride that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I’m not suggesting you hire a new member of staff just in time for a rebrand; however, it worked out pretty well for us!
We create brands that work across all mediums. Through our research-led approach, we develop a thorough understanding of your company’s beliefs and values which is reflected in all the work we undertake. Find out more about our design services and how we can work with you to build a stronger brand here.