12th June 2014 | Ben

Branding, Recenseo News

Step by Step Guide to branding – Part 2: Thinking visually

Following our weeks of navel gazing, discussing and a bit of bickering, we needed to understand how our branding decisions translated into something visual.  The tricky thing is, design can be so subjective!

Some of you may have heard about the branding workshops some of the big creative agencies do; often they raise a wry smile, but there is a reason for them – really! The question: if you were a car, what car would you be? What newspaper title are you? What colours represent your brand? These questions and other well-known quizzes do have purpose and the aim is to understand what employees and directors see or think of, when describing their own company.

A more modern take on this is proffering some of the following options:

  • Fight or flight?
  • Marmite or marmalade?
  • Cats or Dogs?
  • Black and white or shades of grey?
  • Black wellies or country wellies?
  • Sports car or country car?

Answers to these sorts of questions give you an idea of a personality – and that’s the aim with the ‘80s-style workshops. We do still run branding workshops for clients, so of course we had to do one for ourselves!

Some of the things we considered included: we work in a barn, we all live rurally – and by the sea, we’re very down to earth, we love food and being outside, we’re ‘home-bodies’ to an extent,  we’re comfortable with what we do and how we do it…  So, it became important to us that we don’t try to be something we’re not.

Visual cues prompted by our values and personality resulted in a rather different and funky mood board…

A visual representation of our 'homeliness'!

A visual representation of our ‘homeliness’!

A bit of rationale

Of course, if we went entirely down this route, our office would look like a junk shop and we’d be writing on chalk boards…

So a little common sense and rationale needed to kick in and this is where we started to visualise how a sense of tradition, trust, reassurance and establishment could be combined with contemporary, expert, professional, engaging… and of course, the fact that we widely and openly encourage the use of social media among ourselves and our clients! Nothing traditional or establishment about that!


So we started to think about brands that we feel cross the traditional/ contemporary divide well and came up with some fairly well-established iconic images:

Traditional country wellies

Country wellies 

Classic landrover - still in use!

Reliable  Landrover

Iconic Eames chair

Iconic Eames chair

The classic Aga - still in use

Classic Aga – still in use






Design classic: Anglepoise

Design classic: Anglepoise

Tiptree stands tests of time

Stands the tests of time

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

Brown paper packages …

Cupcake revival!

Cupcake revival

What was becoming clear, was that we somehow wanted to combine quirky/ funky with a cosy, homely, vintage feel, but bring it up to date, so it doesn’t go out of fashion. Not an easy ask!

And so the visual development began…

A colour palette started to evolve from these iconic items and looks … and then the identity started edging its way out…

Sneaky peek...

Sneaky peek…

Ideas started to form...

Ideas started to form…







But you have to wait for the next instalment for the unveiling…!

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