Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) creates ‘first of a kind’ product innovation to fuel its clients’ success in consumer, healthcare, energy and industrial markets. Passionate, human and open, CDP has a powerful offer and well-aligned culture.
However, as it targeted larger, more global clients, and opened its first US office in Palo Alto, it became clear that the existing ten-year-old brand no longer reflected its ambition or ability.
We partnered with CDP to distil its internal culture, articulate its unique story, and communicate its offer through a visual identity and touchpoints that would cultivate trust from global players and support growth in new markets.
We identified immediately that Moving Brands and CDP are kindred spirits: both companies operate simultaneously in the worlds of design and technology. It was from this empathy that a particularly creative partnership emerged. We recognised that CDP’s ability to stretch across design and science spectrums was unique, powerful, and would differentiate it as it grew.
Workshops with people across the whole business proved they knew their own strengths, and client interviews supported these findings: CDP was valued as an innovation partner that could combine technology with design, ensuring products and services were created with real human needs at their core.
However, the existing business story ‘Think differently’ – although genuine – was almost a replica of Apple’s ‘Think Different,’ an irony that worked directly against communicating its truly innovative approach. We redefined the brand story as ‘Potential realised,’ precisely encapsulating the company’s purpose and its ability, through innovation, to realise potential for its clients.
The name and visual identity should capitalise on links to Cambridge as a world-leading technology centre, while ensuring it was not perceived as provincial. We retained the name Cambridge Design Partnership as it anchored the business to positive perceptions, but we knew its length would present challenges across applications. We created a symbol to work alongside the wordmark, which in time could be used exclusively to represent the business in all markets.
This symbol and accompanying visual identity system flowed from tensions inherent in the business: between design + science, curiosity + focus, technical + human. A combination of straight and curved components form an ownable mark that feels both engineered yet human.
Graphic textures are created by rotating and cropping this symbol, to create a range of expressions, from measured and precise to vibrant and expressive. Pressura Mono is used to deliver prominent information, supported by Kefa II pro, a more human typeface, when delivering long passages of text or quotes. The photography style focuses on the team, highlighting their expertise, showcases innovation in an ownable environment and demonstrates the human benefit of the product.
The rebrand coincided with the opening of state of the art facilities, where the identity has been boldly employed: from feature walls in conference rooms to charming way-finding iconography. The new brand has been embraced enthusiastically by all levels of the business. It successfully crystallises CDP’s powerful offer and vision to support its on-going growth.
“Our customers were small businesses looking for local companies. Now our clients are international companies, and first impressions are very important. When they meet us, how they perceive the services and quality is crucial. The new brand conveys this, and, as the first element that explains what we do and the quality we can provide, it’s going to be vital to our development in the US.”
— Mike Cane, founder, CDP
Moving Brands elsewhere on Identity Designed: CX, Blackjet.
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Wow, such a well thought-out branding. I take a bow.
The logo is lovely, appropriate, and I think it works beautifully with the choice of font. I also think the colours are terrific and the website looks wonderful: very clean and simple. I have no problem with the design at all – it’s great. Hats off to Moving Brands.
The website says a lot, but doesn’t say that much (to me, at least) until you go digging. As somebody who is actually planning to develop and launch a product, and looking for people to help, I don’t know if CDP could be those people. Until I found the links at the bottom of the page, I wasn’t sure what they actually did. The copy is a bit ego-centric and the phrase “We believe an idea has no value until it’s realised” leaves me a bit uncomfortable. There’s a little too much tell and not enough show for my liking, hence my initial confusion about what services they offer.
That said, I am rather smitten with the design.
The mark is very effective at capturing both the technology and design points of the company. The vivid colors and overall concept are clever and well thought out and do a great job touching on the design side of the company. While the shape and mark construction touches on the technology side of the company. Also, their decision for a condensed font and to widely track the letters makes sense with such a long name. Instead of feeling clunky, it feels airy and inviting.
Even though the developed results are amazing, the basic c+d+p flat logo is not original at all. Actually, almost all of those sketched options are very “beaten” ones.
But I have to admit that final results with that “beaten” shape were amazing. Compliments for that!