As the launch of the Foundation Coffee House nears, the team at NoChintz are showing their working out. If you haven’t already read our first post about naming a company it’s on the blog here. This post forms part two of a six stage study into the branding of The Foundation Coffee House. It covers the design and contextualisation of the logo as it begins to develop into a brand.
Over recent years, the logo has become a source of great debate. When launching new brands or refreshing existing brands, it is entirely possible that the brand can be exposed to a torrent of criticism, even if the rationale is solid. People have always been entitled to an opinion but with the growth in social media, everyone has the ability to broadcast it. And yet the logo is such a small part of an overall brand. I’m not saying a logo is not important, it is. If a logo isn’t well considered, it reflects badly on the company. Yes, it features on every piece of collateral a company will produce. But what does it really say about a brand unless it is underpinned by strong conceptual thinking and good content?
Our naming process had given us three solid names to work with. Initially, we developed identities for Bolthole, Outpost and Foundation, positioning each name with suggestive imagery and a strong typographic style. Whilst we knew where the names had come from, it was important to put them into context. It helps to build an emotional connection and we began to experience the brand as a whole, as a consumer will.
We began to imagine the brand 5 years down the line and tried to think like our target consumer. Yes, we asked for the occasional opinion but we weren’t looking to crowd source ideas; more to get an honest reflection from people who’s judgment we value.
After an initial presentation, the visual and typographic style of one identity was combined with the name of another. Our first sketch of the Outpost logo eventually became the basis for the current Foundation mark.
The chosen venue for the first shop was built between the Georgian and Victorian eras. As we researched, we discovered that the philosophy of these eras seemed to sit well with the company focus on quality, service and high standards.
The logo uses a modern approach to Victorian style typography and each letter was crafted individually to ensure a smooth curve from left to right. This will be supported by imagery that conveys an architectural theme; think architectural drawings, gold foil blocking and hand crafted tile patterns.
We had access to the directors of the company who have a strong compulsion to trust their gut feelings and make decisions. Making decisions allows for good filtration of ideas and gives the designers scope to make progress.
One of the difficulties when designing identities for a company or group is that there are multiple ‘visions’ of how a brand will look. The vision of one member of the group may differ wildly to that of their business partner, which may be different again to the vision of the designer. It’s the designers job to provide logical explanations and reasons for design choices in order to form a brand that everyone can love.
Next time we’ll have an exciting adventure into the strategy we’ve used in applying the Foundation Coffee House identity.