Contributed by Dave Burdon of Gateshead-based Glad Creative.
Brighton Road Studios is a grade II listed building that provides workspaces for creative practitioners.
The Brighton Road Studios brand is about celebrating and encouraging creative collaboration. It is founded in the belief that when practitioners from various creative disciplines collaborate, the results can be even more original, creative and impressive than when they work in isolation. This spirit of creative collaboration is expressed through the logo (or more accurately, logos).
Hundreds of logos, one brand
We created an identity system in which an uppercase ‘B’ is formed from combinations of a set of geometric shapes, patterns and colours. With every execution, the logo appears in a different combination, meaning that there are hundreds of versions of the logo. Although the logo appears different every time, the core look and feel of the branding remains distinctive.
This approach was important to us, as we feel it captures the idea at the centre of the brand: different kinds of creative people coming together to create something new. The colour palette is deliberately bright and varied. This felt right given the variety of prospective creative practitioners and the diversity of their work.
The branding is probably best expressed on the website, where the logo constantly animates, forming new combinations. The business cards feature a different logo combination on each card.
In order to arrive at this point, we worked with BRS director, Nick James to establish a brand framework; a single-page document that clearly articulates the values, vision & proposition of the new brand. This could then be used as a guide and a measuring device for the creative work that was to follow.
One early idea that we quite liked was to really bring ‘Brighton Road’ into the branding and give it a real sense of place by shooting the street signs on Brighton Road itself (of which there are many) and having the street signs essentially become the logo.
Although this thought was liked by all and we could imagine having fun with the application, it was felt that the central idea of collaboration wasn’t communicated clearly enough through this concept.
Following these discussions, the final design was chosen, developed and applied to a fully content-managed website, brand guidelines and toolkit, stationery, signage and launch invitations.
The brand guidelines were particularly challenging, as instead of churning out the familiar sections on logo application, minimum size, exclusion zone, we were forced to design a practical and clear system of applying the ever-changing logo. It became clear that not all of the shapes and colours would work well together, so rules and guides were put in place to ensure that successful combinations were created. There was also the question of how the logo would appear in black and white, so we created three black and white options that could be used. A ‘logo-builder’ file was given to the client as part of the brand toolkit, which contained all of the shapes and colours and facilitates the simple creation of a new logo when needed.
I suppose we could have done ourselves a favour and designed a simple, single logo execution, stuck it top-left and called it a day, but we were driven by the belief that identities, which include logos, can work harder than that. They can communicate, engage and excite, not only through shapes, semiotics and typography within the marque itself, but also through the very process by which they are applied.
“I chose to appoint Glad because I was familiar with their work and creative reputation. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and considered approach, the quality of their ideas and the flair with which they are executed. They are also a friendly bunch and have been a pleasure to work with.”
— NICK JAMES, DIRECTOR, BRIGHTON ROAD STUDIOS