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When we merged Corporate Wear Ltd with Red Oak Roller Promotions, who offer clothing for universities, colleges, charities, and Red Oak Roller School Wear who provide clothing for schools and nurseries, we were presented with a number of challenges. One of them was how to represent the three brands under one umbrella.
Now that we're all under one roof, we can offer a huge range of clothing which can be printed, embroidered and branded. But how do we convey that to our existing and future customers? And how do we update the existing logos for each company, without losing the recognition those individual brands have already built up?
The brief was to create an identity / brand that united the three companies that were merging but at the same time kept an individuality for each. Corporate Wear, Red Oak Roller and Red Oak School Wear all operate in the same industry but appeal to very different audiences. Corporate Wear (as the name suggests) provides, print and embroidery on uniforms and more formal clothing to businesses. Red Oak Roller provides a similar service predominantly for university teams, student clubs and charities and Red Oak School Wear supplies school uniforms.
And here's how he did it...
What do you see as the biggest challenge when creating a new logo for an existing business? – The biggest challenge was to create an identity that worked for /appealed to all three (very different) customer types. There are pretty obvious visual cues that you might use in creating an identity for ’school wear’ say, i.e. a child’s handwriting or coloured pencils but this obviously wouldn’t appeal to to more serious Corporate Wear customers.
What did you have to take into consideration? – I had to take into account research that had done prior to briefing me. The team had identified identities and brands that they liked and respected. Also, the existing colour palette of the three companies had to be retained as they were deemed to be recognisable to their clients.
Where did you start? - The first thing I did was to sit down with the sketch book and do some brain storming and sketches to try and find a common theme that ran through the three businesses. I had a few ideas based around the fact they all deal with clothing, they all print clothing and they all do embroidery for clothing. I presented three options at the first stage to Victoria. We went through each of the ideas/thoughts and identified elements that were liked and things that should be dismissed. This was a useful meeting for both of us as I think it helped us focus on what was actually required. I took the feedback on board and set about creating a mark that was consistent in the way it looked but was formed of three individual elements. it was in the second stage that the new logo started to take shape. I presented around 8 different options at this stage with variations on the same theme. Three or so of the marks presented were selected by Victoria and Rowan to develop. By stage three, the logo as we know it now was pretty much in existence bar some fine tuning and this was identified from the three developed logos as the one that Rowan and Victoria wanted to take forward as their new identity.
How did you whittle down the logo ideas? – On the whole, the process for this job was quite straightforward. Victoria and Rowan were a pleasure to work with. As is often the case, the first stage is required to simply act as a talking point from which you can get some answers and some focus on what is actually required. Once I’d identified what it was that they actually required then the process ran smoothly with progress made at each stage.
Were there many changes as you went along? – As is always the case, there is quite a bit of tweaking along the way. As the designer, i try to push them with ideas that they probably hadn’t necessarily thought of. You often get pulled back and meet in the middle somewhere.
What do you think of the final logo? – I’m very happy with the end result as I think more importantly, the company is happy with it. I think it’s quite a simple device that answers the brief very well: the three ‘droplets’ do the job of representing the individual companies whilst at the same time show them as a whole by forming into the circle. I think that visually it’s engaging, modern and recognisable.
We are really happy with our new logo and branding; a huge thank you to Matthew for helping us achieve this. Hopefully the tips above will help you on your journey to change or update your company loogo. Contact us for a chat about your company’s corporate clothing needs and see how we can help you stand out.