Our Work: Northamptonshire County Cricket Club Rebrand

 

Project

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club Rebrand

Client

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

 

Having been involved in Sports Sponsorship and brand activation for many years, we were delighted to be asked to work on the redesign of the Northamptonshire County Cricket Club brand.

The club, dating back to 1878, has had many iterations of its iconic Northamptonshire rose throughout the years, but it’s most recent incarnation had become cluttered with too many elements. We wanted to strip the logo back to its core component, and make the rose the hero of the logo again.

 

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The rebrand also encompassed the badge for the T20 team, The Northamptonshire Steelbacks. The T20 tournament is the new kid on the block compared to traditional county cricket, and this spirit needed to be reflected in the logo, whilst still maintaining a link to the CCC logo and essential “Englishness” of the brand as a whole.

 

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The team figurehead is a Northamptonshire ‘Steelback’ soldier, from the era of the clubs formation, so nicknamed for their stoicism. Despite being the team namesake, the Soldier felt lost in the background. Our intention was to modify the logo so that the Soldier became the prime focus; we also introduced a wider colour palette and incorporated the white T20 cricket ball into the shield.

For the wider brand, we chose to use photographs of the players in action, making them a central feature of all the materials. We know fans love to see images of their team players in all their glory and we wanted to reflect the excitement of watching live T20 cricket. So far we’ve applied the new brand to membership and hospitality materials, programmes, video idents, scorecards, advertising, signage and much more.

 

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Our Work: Barclays HQ Wayfinding Signage Pilot

 

Project

Barclays HQ Wayfinding Signage Pilot

Client

Barclays

 

Navigating a 32-floor skyscraper can be tricky at the best of times. Factor into this, thousands of staff members plus countless visitors per day, clear and easy-to-follow directional signage becomes something of a critical factor.

Having been approached by Barclays to make the task of navigating their Canary Wharf Headquarters a little easier, we began work on a pilot scheme for wayfinding, office and lift signage on Level 17, which if successful would run throughout the building.

The key to a good wayfinding system is to remain concise, removing any unnecessary details so that information can be established at-a-glance, without the need for the user to pause and contemplate.

The design also needed to simultaneously work in harmony with its surroundings, while still catching the attention of those in need of it.

The final design is clean and uncluttered, drawing the user’s eye to the required information. Initial feedback to the signage has been very positive, so we look forward to the potential roll-out across the building.

 

Lift & Office signage

Lift signage – Brushed stainless steel lettering, mounted onto 10mm clear acrylic and wet spray-painted matt cyan.
Office signage – White matt powder coated aluminium, mounted onto 10mm clear acrylic and wet spray-painted matt cyan. The lettering was applied using matt vinyl so that it can be easily updated.

 

Free standing totem sign

Free standing totem sign – White matt powder coated aluminium front, with a 50mm aluminium wet spray-painted matt cyan sides. The lettering and floor plan were applied using matt vinyl so that they can be easily updated.

 

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Our Work: BARX Fantasy Football league winners medals

 

Project

BARX Fantasy Football league monthly winners medals

Client

Barclays Premier League

 

The BARX Fantasy Football league has been running for several years, but for the 2015/16 season the BARX team decided to award their monthly winners with their very own medals, based on the style of those presented to the Barclays Premier League Champions every year.

The BARX medals were produced using brass and plated in polished nickel, with the centre of the medal printed with the Barclays Premier League logo, and the winner’s text laser engraved onto the outer edge of the medal. In order to keep the Barclays Premier League branding consistent, we used the official ribbons which we design and produce for the Barclays Premier League Champions medal presentation each year.

 

 

 

Our Work: Louis de Soissons Architects new identity

 

Project

Louis de Soissons Architects new identity

Client

Louis de Soissons Architects

 

Established in 1920, ‘Louis de Soissons’ first made their name working on such major commissions as the original ‘Master Plan’ for Welwyn Garden City, a town they continually helped shape for the next 60 years. They were also the architects behind the original Home Office building, various Duchy of Cornwall private estates in London, and Lords cricket ground.

Today the practice has offices in Hertsfordshire and London, and operates in both the commercial and private sectors specialising in, among other things, town centre conservation and inner city developments.

When exploring how to refine their brand identity, we knew it was important to stay true to their origins while still giving them the more contemporary look-and-feel they were after. Seeking inspiration, we looked at vintage posters of Welwyn Garden City, where the most striking features were the bold use of colour and dominant typography. These were details we were keen to introduce into our design.

Seeking a typeface from the 1920’s, we decided upon ‘Kabel’, as we felt it evoked the era in a clear yet subtle way. We were also keen to introduce a brighter colour palette, and after experimenting with a few options we finally selected a vivid ‘apple green’ which brings to mind the garden cities for which Louis de Soissons first earned their reputation. The use of such a bold colour is a mark of confidence, and makes the brand seem fresh and modern.

Having produced their new logo and stationery, we are now beginning work on their new website, so watch this space.

 

 

 

Colour Me Crazy: a Study in Spotify

Spotify old v new

 

After the rather extreme reaction to Spotify’s colour change last month, it really drew attention to the significance brand colours can have on an audience.

In case you missed the furore, it came about when Spotify updated its signature colour from a so-called “broccoli” to a fresher, almost “mint” green. This colour change was all part of a larger on-going brand refresh, and was apparently a unanimous decision within the company, considered so uncontroversial in the Spotify camp that they didn’t even feel the need to mention the update formally.

But unfortunately for them, certain Spotify customers did not consider it a welcome change and reacted vocally online, causing something of a Twitter-storm, and I imagine some internal panic at Spotify.

Was it simply change itself that people reacted against, or was there a genuine antipathy towards the new Spotify green? For some it will be both. For what it’s worth, my feeling is that the gradient had to go. I can take or leave the new colour, but the gradient was tired and dated.

It is clear that people can feel a sense of ownership towards brands, particularly ones they have used regularly for many years. Sudden and unannounced change can be disorientating, especially on digital devices where colour can sometimes fluctuate (note that “is there something wrong with my screen?” was a fairly typical response). There is also something weirdly intrusive about brands making updates to our desktops and mobiles without our consent. When an app icon updates we lose some control over the aesthetic of our digital world, and it can be quite jarring in a way that updating printed materials just isn’t.

The cliché when talking about green and brand personality is to link it to ‘earthiness’, ‘nature’ and ‘health’, and while this is true to a certain extent, it doesn’t seem to apply in Spotify’s case. Colour preference is not universal, but is in fact dictated by a variety of factors, including but not limited to, gender, cultural differences and personal associations. So why then was there such a surprisingly strong attachment to the more ‘earthy’ tone of green? It could all be down to a case of familiarity rather than the colour itself. If Spotify had launched with this colour I doubt people would hold the same level of distaste they claim to feel for it now. Which leads us to our first lesson: Recognition is key. Researchers have found that our brains prefer recognizable brands, and that there is a “real connection between the use of colours and customers’ perceptions of a brand’s personality”, all of which makes changing your brand colour incredibly risky, especially when you’re already a well-established company.

Whatever the reason for the distaste, it clearly came as a surprise to many just how much people cared. In the age before social media (if you can remember such a time), brands would never have received this level of immediate feedback directly from their customers. Other than a few reviews in design journals (barring true catastrophes), the critique of a rebrand would’ve remained under the purview of graphic designers and marketers. Now people have the opportunity to give instant (somewhat hyperbolic) feedback directly to the brand. It is also worth noting that people who liked the change, or were at least ambivalent to it, felt less of a need to post anything at all, and so the online reaction was unfairly skewed towards the negative.

Whilst I myself was initially reticent to the new shade, I have since found that I’ve become used to it and I’m sure it will soon replace any previous colour associations in my mind, although troublingly it has only automatically updated on my desktop and not my (Android) mobile. As a mainly digital application, Spotify have the luxury of being able to make piece-meal updates with relatively little expense, but just because they can, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Part of people’s horror at the change was down to the lack of consistency. Lesson number two: if you’re going to enact a brand refresh, make it universal.

Spotify icon Victoria Addo-Ashong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, despite all of the above, it must be said that ‘Brand’ is so much more than colour and aesthetic appearance. As long as people genuinely like the service they receive from Spotify, I doubt they will lose much custom if other areas of their brand are on-point. If someone is willing to delete the service over this it’s worth betting that they weren’t a satisfied customer to begin with. Still, brand recognition is a difficult thing to build, and examples such as these just go to show how quickly it can be lost. Spotify have been having a tough time in the media lately, and could really do without the additional controversy. It will be interesting to see how the rest of their brand-refresh plays out, and whether users will be quite so vocal in their reaction to it.

 

(1) http://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/07/20/wow-thats-green/

(2) http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233843

(3) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061128083022.htm

(4) http://www.jstor.org/stable/3151897?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

Our Work: Barclays Digital Eagles HQ neon sign

 

Project

Barclays Digital Eagles HQ neon sign

Client

Barclays

 

In 2013, Barclays launched the Barclays Digital Eagles initiative, with the aim to encourage their colleagues within Barclays to become more comfortable with the continuously adapting digital world.  The Barclays Digital Eagles now offer their digital solutions, support and practical advice to a wide variety of groups, ranging from their Barclays colleagues, to customers and community groups, some of whom have never been online before.

With initiatives ranging from ‘Barclays Code Playground’, an online workshop encouraging children to learn to code, to ‘Tea and Teach, aimed at those who are unconfident online, The Barclays Digital Eagles are at the forefront of the technology and digital world.

With this in mind, Barclays felt that the Digital Eagles needed a fittingly modern sign for their headquarters based in Canary Wharf, the final decision being a neon sign.

Whilst the majority of neon signs are produced using one tube per letter, we decided to use two, which enabled us to replicate the Digital Eagles typeface.  In addition to this, the neon sign was mounted to Perspex which was cut to the shape of these characters.  The client was extremely impressed with the end result and we look forward to producing more neon signs in the future.

 

 

 

Our Work: Barclays Premier League Manager of the Season and Player of the Season Awards 2014/15

 

Project

Barclays Premier League End of Season Awards 2014/15

Client

Barclays

 

We were thrilled when we were once again asked by Barclays to design and produce the Barclays Premier League Golden Boot and Golden Glove for the 2014/15 Season.

This year, these acclaimed awards were presented to Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero on the final game of the season at the Etihad Stadium to rapturous applause from the Manchester City fans. Agüero was awarded the Golden Boot for scoring 26 goals in the 2014/15 season, beating out his closest competitor, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, by an impressive 5 goals.

Whilst the Golden Boot was comfortably won by Agüero, the race for the Golden Glove was incredibly close, and was eventually decided on the final day of the season when Manchester City’s Joe Hart kept his 14th clean sheet and was awarded the Barclays Premier League Golden Glove for the fourth time.

These bronze awards are produced using the lost wax chasing technique, after which, they are gold plated and personalised for each recipient.

Throughout the football season, WildWest also produce the Barclays Premier League Man of the Match, Player of the Month, and Manager of the Month trophies, but perhaps none are more sought after as the awards we design and produce for the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Season and Player of the Season Awards. These awards are set apart from the Man of the Match and Manager of the Month awards by being plated in gold.

The 2014/15 season saw an award double for Champions Chelsea FC, with José Mourinho winning the Manager of the Season for the third time, and Eden Hazard being awarded the Player of the Season award. Hazard was also awarded the PFA Player of the Season and FWA Player of the Season awards.

On behalf of everyone at WildWest, we wanted to congratulate each winner on an exciting 2014/15 Barclays Premier League Season.

 

 

 

Our Work: Babson Capital Management signage

Babson

 

Project

Babson Capital Management signage

Client

Babson Capital Management

 

Earlier this year, we were approached by Babson Capital Management, a global investment management organisation. Babson Capital Management was in the process of rebranding, and as such, required the signage throughout their London office to be replaced.

It soon became apparent that this was no ordinary signage update. After our initial site visit, we realised that the existing signage had been fixed to the wall in such a way that removing it would likely cause lasting and visible damage. As well as this, the material used on the wall was uncommon, and there was a risk that the replacement plaster would not match the existing.

After some research, we came across Armourcoat, a leading supplier of polished plasters, and innovative surface finishes. Armourcoat were able to match the existing material, and over two days, the wall rendering took place. The overall result was excellent, and matched the existing walls perfectly, ready for the new signage installation.

The signage itself was produced by using built up satin metal letters with 20mm returns and flat cut 3mm satin metal letters. We decided to use satin metal letters, rather than anodized aluminium due to the fact that, over time anodized aluminium ages differently to the cut edges (which are not anodized) therefore creating a much more noticeable contrast. We recommended satin stainless steel as it is a much higher quality material with a superior finish.

Both ourselves and the client were extremely happy with the overall result, and we look forward to working with Babson Capital Management in the future.

 

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Our Work: #SheBelongs Match Day Programme Advert

WiF shebelongs

 

Project

#SheBelongs Match Day Programme Advert and social media

Client

Women in Football

 

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, our client ‘Women in Football’ (WiF) wished to highlight all of the brilliant work carried out by women working within the football industry. We worked with them to create an inspiring match-day programme advert which champions female talent and highlights the often overlooked contributions women regularly make to the sport.

Our advert was designed for each club to personalise with their own image and a message to highlight the skill and dedication of their female employees. Fans were encouraged to engage with the campaign by tweeting examples of the women in football in their lives using the hashtag #SheBelongs.

Aiming to build on the momentum of this campaign, our follow-up advert ran over the Easter Weekend and featured three of the most high-profile women working in professional football today. Gabby Logan (sports journalist), Eniola Aluko (Chelsea FC and England footballer) and Sian Massey (football referee) represent the broad range of careers that can be pursued within football, and each of these women have broken down barriers in the sport in order to achieve their goals.

By teaming up with ‘Everyday Sexism’, the campaign also aims to promote the various ways in which women can report incidents of sexist abuse. These incidents, which so often go unreported, draw attention to the abuse many women face in the world of football and beyond. We hope this campaign, along with the tireless work done by members of the WiF team, can help contribute to creating a lasting change within the game.

For more information on ‘Women in Football’ please visit their website www.womeninfootball.co.uk or follow them on Twitter (@WomeninFootball). You can also get involved in the campaign by tweeting using the hashtag #SheBelongs to champion the women you know in football.

 

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Ten reasons why you should have a blog on your website

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Adding a Blog (a weblog) to your website is easy, and can help you to build presence, market position and profile for your company. Here are just ten reasons why you should have at least one Blog on your site.

 

1. Blogs are easy to update.

You can allow a number of people to have access (specialists in particular fields maybe?) and they can all contribute to your website shop window. Make sure you put some rules in place though!

2. Blogs contain the most up to date things about your organisation.

The pieces can be long (not too long) or short, or contain photos, or just be a photo caption, or a video. A good blog is the sum of what makes you what you are.

3. Blogs make it easier for your site to be found.

Search engines like sites that are updated regularly, and blogs provide a regular in-depth focus on your core skills and experience.

4. Never think you don’t have something to write about – you do.

You can comment on best practice in your industry, use it to lobby for change, alert people to your specialists and how they add value, focus on your market expertise and much more.

5. With a blog on your site, you have the opportunity to react to news, but you can also make it.

Announce new products and services, key client wins, special assignments, things of particular interest.

6. Blogs are a complement to social media.

Make your brief announcements on social and use them to point to the full story on your blog. Reply to those with an interest in a topic and use the link to your blog to make your full proposition.

7. Blogs attract comment.

Starting a dialogue with potential buyers or opinion leaders helps you position your company and what it does. It is the starting point for sales.

8. Use your blog to be a little bit controversial if you feel you can.

You may need to hire a writer or a PR if you feel uncertain about this, but if you can be interesting and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll start to build traffic as a respected commentator.

9. Maybe you’ll need more than one.

If you have several areas of expertise, set up a blog for each and make your case as a specialist in each area.

10. Use your blog to get feedback from the market.

Use it to research attitudes and play back how you plan to respond. The market loves those who listen to what it thinks.

And of course, if you would like to get some help from us – on content, appearance or how the blog links in with your current site, then please do get in touch with us at info@designwildwest.com

 

Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content

Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content