How do you create a dynamic and engaging brand identity for an organisation that represents over 67,000 people, working in diverse sectors such as food & drink, tourism, science & technology, renewables, healthcare, textiles, education, and industry, whilst also capturing a sense of place, and everything that is unique about the region and its history?
Read on to find out how we did just that for Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce.
We began by conducting a brand workshop with members of the Chamber team. This was carried out on Zoom during the first lockdown of 2020. The workshop considers topics such as vision, values, proposition, positioning, benefits, personality, etc and provided a comprehensive picture of what the chamber delivers for its members along with a look at its future ambitions. We also looked at some of the challenges the Chamber faces and how the new brand might help overcome these.
The team were given homework to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing logo and brand elements, and analyse the Chamber’s different audiences. They were also asked to provide examples of two logos they liked, and two they didn’t like (from any sector) and say why. This gave us an opportunity to discuss why some logos work better than others, and also begin to get a feeling for the kind of logo they might like to represent the Chamber going forward.
Finally, we collectively brainstormed visual icons, elements, images and colours that we felt might be appropriate for the new brand, with particular emphasis on anything that was unique to the region. The Chamber team were keen to keep the bright colours that had been used in previous brand materials.
All this information was collated to form the brief for the new brand and the Chamber asked us to explore a logo design that incorporated elements that represented the members, the local area and its industries.
Our initial designs explored three concepts; the first a dynamic wheel representing different industries coming together to form the Chamber; the second, a letter C formed with radiating circles to represent the reach and influence of the Chamber across the region; and the third, a montage of different icons representing the region’s industry and history. We also considered interesting typefaces to compliment each design.
The montage was the preferred choice and we were asked to develop this into a map pin shape to “pinpoint” the region. We then went into a period of further refinement where we redrew the icons choosing those we felt best represented the region and simplifying the artwork so that it would work in both small and large scale. Then began the challenge, and hours of work, to fit them all together like a jigsaw to form the overall shape.
We also explored different colour combinations, initially using the green from the original Chamber logo along with some options using the brighter colour palette. We opted for a brighter, fresher green with black and grey for the primary logo, with a secondary version in the brighter colour palette, and a reversed version in white. We then created vertical, horizontal and landscape versions that could be used in different applications.
After some initial user testing, and approval by the Chamber team and stakeholders, we created a simple brand guideline that documents the different logos and best practice for using them, along with details of the chosen typefaces and wider colour palette. We also provided a digital pack which included all the logo variations, in different file formats for print and digital use, along with the individual icons.
Applying the new brand
The brand was unveiled in July 2021 on the new Chamber website, almost a year after the initial brand workshop. We provided social media graphics to announce the launch of the new design, and created new signage and vinyls for the premises at City Quay, along with templates for stationery and member certificates. We also adapted the design of the Quarterly Economic Indicator brochure to reflect the new brand guidelines.
The new brand has been received favourably by the Chamber team as well as by members. They now have a unique and engaging brand which highlights the many aspects that make our region such a fabulous place to live and work.