One Rise East’s design ethos is to have a simple idea, that is executed beautifully and is above all functional to the user. We immerse ourselves in our clients’ brands, we get to know them intimately, the ins and outs, the tone of voice, the things they want to communicate and the things they don’t.
So with that in mind, we set about taking a closer look at our own brand. It had been a while since we had studied all our touch points and we thought there were some improvements to be made.
A real collaboration
Our intention was to create a rebranded identity that not only reflected our design philosophies but utilised them by bringing together creatives from across our company – from animators to interior designers, graphic designers to producers, and convening in our favourite coffee shop, Central Parade, to discuss the One Rise East brand.
Our existing brand had served us extremely well but considering the rate and level of our expansion, along with the direction we were heading creatively, we decided it was high time to make some changes. We wanted to develop an identity that reflected those factors in a way that stayed true to the brand identity we had built up organically over the years; through client relationships, creative output and work ethics.
We take pride in our collaborative nature so it was essential that we produced the rebrand internally, with the same amount of care and enthusiasm that we would apply to any project. With that in mind, the first step was asking every member of our team what One Rise East meant to them.
Each member of the creative team got together to discuss initial concepts, before being split up into two groups with the intention of presenting a selection of collaborative ideas back to the whole team by the end of the day. During this process we switched around group members to mix up the development of each idea, making sure each design direction was given a fair range of critical feedback.
The two groups were tasked with taking the top characteristics of our design philosophy and applying them to both a standalone marque and logotype that would work together seamlessly with a minimal design feel. Not an easy task! Interestingly both groups came out with a similar methodology- focusing on our creative diversity, light heartedness and our ability to excel as a studio that elevates other companies’ creative identity.
Our outcomes focused on the concept of One Rise East being the ‘center’ or ‘starting point’ of creative ideas. Visually our team responded to this in different ways; like using our name as a play on direction or exploring flexible branding and character development.
The next step was to utilise all that hard work and develop a single cohesive outcome.
‘The Three Dots’ or ‘: .’ are a visual representation of the name One Rise East. The first step was to focus on our three words.
Dice, singularities, a penny, first place, medal.
Common thread. A circle.
Up, rockets, skyscrapers, steam, heat, sun, sunrise.
Using the circle from ‘One’ the simplest way to represent this was to raise the circle upwards.
East London, The Far East, future, prospects, forward thinking, aspirational.
We then moved the circle to the the right or ‘East.’
We had now created a conceptually sound logo marque but it needed a little refining. After hundreds of variations looking at scale, stroke, layout and colour we settled on the mark you’re seeing below.
The logotype was designed both to complement the marque and to subtly embody some of our values.
We felt like one of our most important characteristics was our personality so we set out to create a bespoke typeface that would visualise this part of our philosophy, without contrasting with the marque.
We initially explored a typeface with ‘human’ features- applying a bit of personality to certain characters- but the first issue with this approach was that it couldn’t be applied subtly without looking like a mistake in the typography. We developed the idea further until we ended up with a logotype that rounded off the harsher elements of the typeface, giving it a lighter feel and a touch of individuality.
So this is usually the bit where we hand over to the client- but being our own client we had to be hyper critical. To aid this process we shared early ideas for the brand identity with family and friends of the studio. The feedback was good. But there was one thing… Micky Mouse.
Unfortunately, three black dots are always doomed to look like a cartoon rat. Fortunately, we knew the solution.
The key issue was that the three dots together looked quite bulky, whereas the logotype was quite subtle. By increasing the spacing we gave our identity the minimal edge we were hoping to achieve whilst creating a unique brand identity that felt like it belonged to us.
Whatever the medium, seeing an an idea come to life is always satisfying- but when it’s the brand you work for, it’s the cherry on the cake. Starting to apply our logotype, whether in the header of our website or printed on our Cannes Lions 2017 t-shirts, makes it makes it all feel very real.
Written by Rich & Laurie