April was understandably unusual for us and a bit of a rollercoaster ride. At the beginning of the month we found ourselves tying up older projects and looking at a shrinking pipeline of future work. Exploring support options and weighing up an office move (more on that next month) all crept into our pile of admin work that also included 'desperately find work'.

As the month went on and everyone had a bit more clarity, the tide turned and we were back doing what we love - helping businesses achieve their goals. Goals have changed somewhat but we were still able to help new start ups with branding as well as websites for companies moving online and also providing social distancing graphics to help businesses reopen their sites and stores. We're happy to share the fruits of our labour in our latest monthly review.

We endeavour to write up case studies on our favourite projects and success stories but rarely share the little stuff that is impactful in its own right. We take a look back at five of our favourite projects from the month of April.

In the Spotlight: Randalls Furniture & Interiors

Top Left: New 'R' mark inspired by office chair and desk. Bottom Left: Furniture range product icons for the website. Right: New website homepage we designed for Randalls Furniture & Interiors.

Randalls are sustainably minded furniture suppliers & office fit-out specialists. After ~30 years in the industry, they were looking for a new brand identity that better reflected their experience, quality and expertise as well as setting them up for the next chapter of the business – supplying the modern workplace.

When dealing with a brand that specialises in ergonomic furniture we couldn't overlook the simple form of the chair. We created a custom 'R' mark to resemble a chair sat at a desk which was a simple nod to the brands core product offering while keeping the overall logotype smart and unfussy. The new brand identity is a paired back corporate aesthetic using a slick typeface and cool, neutral colour palette.

As part of the rebrand exercise we overhauled the company’s online presence which had served them well for many years. We designed and developed a streamlined new website that showcases their portfolio of client success stories. Randalls supply a wide range of furniture products that are hand picked in line with their clients branding and office challenges. We felt that the branding gave their case studies a perfect backdrop to shine on their new website and marketing collateral.

Check out the full Randalls case study

RW Projects Rebrand

RW Projects new brand identity rolled out across vehicle livery and corporate stationery

A Bristol based company that pride themselves on doing things the right way. RW Projects are building services specialists operating within social housing, retail and industrial sectors. They approached Arobase for some refurbishment work on their own brand identity which we helped transform into an exciting and dynamic visual style that would help them stand out from the rest.

The new logo design retains the essence of the old branding with a modern reconstruction that now works seamlessly across printed, digital and physical touch-points such as their branded workwear or vehicle livery. We will have a full RW Projects case study on the website shortly. You can check out the new website here

Our rebrand and website development work for RW follows a long line of construction and trades projects that we've completed in the last few years including Cosgrove & Drew, Broadwater, 4Interior and Foredowel.

Kinherit Illustration

Series of branded illustrations we created for Kinherit

For the last 12 months we’ve had an ongoing relationship with End-of-life planning innovator Kinherit. Working alongside their internal design team we’ve delivered visual strategy workshops and refreshed client documentation and print artwork to elevate their customer experience.

However, one of the most exciting projects has been developing their unique illustrative style. There are many benefits to implementing illustration into your brand toolkit, and for Kinherit this was an opportunity to inject more emotion and storytelling into the identity where stock photography simply fell short.

After proposing a few concepts, we found the right fit - a charming style with the perfect blend of realism and quirky characteristics. The illustrations are set in the brand colour palette for Kinherit to take ownership of the this style.

Once the style was set we created a series of flexible, intergenerational scenes that are now applied to client facing documentation, social media and website.

“I was amazed at how quick they understood the brief and managed to create something far better than I can could have imagined. Arobase have done great things for us and created some brand visuals and brand concepts that we could not be happier with. We have been able to use this brand across all of our customer and client facing touch points to ensure continuity and clarity. If anyone is looking for any design work, from a full rebrand through to a small piece of one-off work, I’d recommend Arobase in a second, they are great and their work is first class.”

Formulate Associates Branding

New Formulate Associates branding with logo design, brand messaging, pattern design and workwear

Towards the end of 2019 we’d started talks with Formulate Associates, a start-up recruitment agency specialising in the finance and business support sectors.

Having already delivered rebrands for other recruitment agencies like Dovetail & Slate, Quinton Davies and Capability Consulting – as well as our experience within the finance sector through projects like Currency Index and FCF – we felt right at home undertaking this brief.

The recruitment industry is extremely saturated so focusing your brand around a niche is a great way to give you an advantage over your competition. That was exactly our tactic with Formulate.

As finance specialists we decided to focus our energy around visual and messaging clues from mathematics. We started with a play on the ‘function’ symbol for the logo’s F which, once isolated, became both the signature mark for the business as well a graphic device applied to patterns across the brand.

Carrying the theme through to copy, we established a series of messages twisting popular idioms to be used for headline text and CTAs.

With the myriad of projects listed above, and ongoing work with a financial advisor, branding and web design projects for these sectors comes naturally to us. Understanding the industry is one thing, but getting to know what makes the business special is key. If you are in the finance or recruitment sector and interested in starting a new branding project please get in touch.

Getting Smiths COVID Ready

Two of the many posters we created for Smiths to prepare for post lockdown reopening.

Smiths Garden Centre, based in Uxbridge, are a long term client of Arobase. We help them year round with event marketing, site signage and various other design projects such as creating a 3D map for the centre.

Like many other businesses in March and April, Smiths were forced to shut their doors in response to the government imposed lockdown, missing out on the opportunity to host their fantastic easter events and many other on site activities.

Fast forward a month and we are delighted to hear that Smiths have been given the green light to reopen the centre and have installed social distancing measures across the site to ensure they do as safely as possible. To help Smiths get back on their feet, we designed dozens of signs, posters and banners to notify returning customers of the new processes in place.

From original brief, we turned around close to thirty pieces of artwork within 24 hours before handing on to our print supplier. They in turn had the finished product delivered promptly allowing Smiths to reopen as soon as possible.

If you are thinking about a return to business and need assistance with safety posters, notices, banners, stickers etc. Then please get in touch.