Logo and brand styling for a firm of building contractors, with a view to re-focusing the business into a particular field.
The client is a specialist in high-efficiency domestic heating installations and wanted to promote this aspect as the ongoing focus of the business. This was to achieved initially via a new logo and accompanying identity, including the standard array of business stationery. It was also requested that the logo be robust enough to be emboidered on overalls etc, as this might be a branding tool for use further down the line.
With fuel prices escalating, the timing seemed good, but that wasn’t going to be enough on its own. The stereotype of a heating engineer tends to be the same as that of a plumber, ie. laddish. We wanted something cleaner and a little softer than that… but we still wanted the logo to have a solidity to it, even whilst it played the eco-warrior card.
The client had a sketchy idea for a logo, involving recycling arrows placed around the company name. (The name UNIC was a contraction of the firm’s original name, Union Construction Limited, and was another move to shift the focus of the business away from regular building work). This seemed like a perfectly okay place to start.
The first move was to remove one of the recycling arrows and to combine the remaining one with the capital C of UNIC, turning the letterform itself into a circular arrow. The other letters were typeset in the font NewPump, which gave a nice echo of pipes, whilst to get the perfect geometric C that we wanted (the NewPump C wasn’t quite right) that letterform was simply created from circles and a right-angled triangle.
The C was filled with a yellow/green gradient, thereby using the familiar visual shorthand that this is a service that is good for the environment and, by association, good for you. The other letters were left as a solid black for maximum contrast.
The result was a solid, high-impact logo, recognisable from a distance, and flexible enough to be placed anywhere from a business card or lapel to a vehicle wrap.
We wanted the brand implementation to be as clean as the logo, and pared the design of letterhead and other items down to a minimum. A couple of concessions did creep in; a green band along the top to help draw the eye and hold the other elements, and a printed ‘text area’ block in a pale hessian colour — this last being another way to emphasise the environmental connection via the choice of colour.
We had been using all sorts of visual techniques to gently evoke the eco flavour of the brand, but now it was time to print the design and printing is not, by its nature, a very eco-friendly process (the printing industry is one of the most polluting industries that there is). You can, however, minimise its impact.
Firstly we chose a high-quality recycled paper stock (Conservation DOC-IT from recycled paper suppliers Paperback). Then, with the client’s consent, we took the print job to Seacourt Limited, a family-run printing business in Oxfordshire, and one of the few printing firms running waterless printing presses. Waterless printing is a far less polluting way to put ink onto paper, but to be honest currently it does cost a little more, and I was proud of the client for putting his money where his mouth was. The results were gorgeous though.
This client has kindly submitted a testimonial. See what Nish Malwena has to say about Shark Attack on the testimonials page
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Care was taken to ensure that the implementation of the logo followed the same thinking as the design of the logo itself. This meant clean lines, simplicity and clarity, combined with a sensitive use of colour designed to accent and draw the eye gently to important information — rather than shouting off the page.
The beige tones for the central ‘text area’ block were nicely neutral whilst complementing the green of the other accents.
A cautionary tale: we got as far as having the printing plates made when a change was requested to the telephone number on the stationery. Of course this meant having to change that printing plate, incurring extra expense that could have been avoided.
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