Case Study: A brand new identity for Studio Gallant

Posted on March 19th, 2014 by Mr Carter

Over the past few months we’ve made some big decisions about the identity and direction of our company. Our business has grown slowly but steadily since our humble beginnings in 2004, where we started out in the spare bedroom, before quickly renting desk space, then progressing on to our new home. Throughout that growth, while so much about what we do has changed and improved, we’ve held on to the same identity that we made in the very beginning, and while it served its purpose, it no longer represented the calibre of our work or the clients we do it for.

What’s in a name?

We built a reputation for high quality and reliability with the Subcircle Creative brand, but it wasn’t something we valued as much as we should have. Clearly, we had moved on from the company we’d set up all those years ago in the spare bedroom and it was time to redefine ourselves, and position the brand where we needed it to be in the industry. We needed a brand that was bold and brave.

The choice of name can make or break a business. The name needed to be memorable, and it needed reflect our personality and values. We knew we had to be brave with our choice so deciding on the right name was an incredibly important at an early stage as this would serve as a benchmark for every creative decision we made. After much consideration, we finally decided on StudioGallant. Perfect!

What's in a name?

The Process

Our brand is about who we are and what we believe. We need our brand to clearly communicate our values and tell our story effectively, in one clear voice. We knew however that this was going to be no mean feat.

We started initially with a workshops lead by business development consultant, Paul Hopwood, who helped us focus on our primary objectives and identify a sustainable advantage over our competitors. We spent a great deal of time defining our values and how we wanted to be perceived by those who we work with. Once we had it all down on paper we could then put together a plan around our core values : Integrity, Ingenuity and Reliability. These three words would support the development and creation of the name, visual identity and communications, and would need to come through loud and clear in everything we do.

Inspirational artwork from Reineke Fuchs by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1867)

Research and Inspiration

The meaning of our chosen name and its synonyms conjure images of Victorian England, a particularly important period in history for the decorative arts and design revolution. Research and development led us to discover beautifully illustrated antique children’s story books, titles such as Reineke Fuchs, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (published in 1867). The combination of storytelling and the values of victorian design was a perfect fit for our visual message.

 

Gallant Sketch

Initial sketches for the new logo mark

Developing the symbol

Aware of a need for a bold, recognisable symbol, it was agreed that this plucky and smartly adorned cat with appealing floral embellishments would make an ideal logo mark.

By taking a modern approach to the visual language and typographic applications of the Victorian era, our identity reflects an important place in history and our place within the industry today.

 

Masthead image for the new Gallant brand identity

Gallant Stationery Gallant branded stationery

The Outcome

The rebrand was a long and drawn-out process and was one of the biggest projects we have ever undertaken.

From a business development point of view the rebranding process has been of great value. This really helped us understand what our brand means to us and to our customers. It has helped us identify the kind of clients we want to work with and has given us a sense of purpose. It’s not just a logo anymore. We have a brand to feel immensely proud of and one to shout about which is helping us win new clients that are integral to our growth plan.

The process has been a great educational exercise in experiencing the emotional side of the branding process from a client perspective. For any rebrand it’s going to be about the long term value versus the short term pain. I’m glad that the process is now over and in November I officially launched the Studio Gallant website, feeling confident that the branding would carry through my vision. The end of the rebrand marks the start of exciting times, and as for the vision for the company, driven by integrity, ingenuity and reliability, We’re only just getting started.

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