Well sometimes it’s the most prosaic of things that can set big changes in motion. In this case it came to our attention that the domain pottingshed.com (far more succinct than the pre-existing thepottingsheddesign.com) had become available. This co-incidentally aligned with conversations that we had been having internally that most people (including ourselves) referred to the company as Potting Shed not THE Potting Shed. However if we were to take this step it would mean at the very least amending the existing logo and at the most a total overhaul. As is usually our way we decided to go the whole hog.
So where to start? We were adamant that this rebrand had to have substance and purpose and, as we advise ALL our clients going into a brand, "start from your truth". Step 1: Spend time working out the What, How, Why messaging and drive the content from there. If you’re not familiar with this “Golden Circle Process” it was developed by the incredible Simon Sinek. According to Sinek, most people communicate the message of WHAT they do and even HOW they do it fairly competently to their customer base. However, the real power lies in being able to communicate WHY you do it in a truthful and meaningful way.
Armed with these fundamental building blocks we set about inventing a brand language that we could carry through all media and platforms. And we took the idea of building blocks very literally, creating a visual language of primary shapes to express the sentiments in our messaging. This created a rhythm that was carried through all the material at varying levels of complexity but what was always at the heart of everything was a vibrant sense of play that has a sense of freedom. Our brand manual was more of a brand “suggestion” document, a guideline to how the typefaces, colours and imagery could be used, not a rule book of how they must be used. We want this brand to live and grow as the collective voice of individuals that can flex to any personality and any context rather than be the corporate voice handed down from on high. It needed to allow freedom of expression and creativity.
Then as we applied it we set about playing with media. From digital printing to risography, creating our own pens and pencils by dipping them in fluro paint, to personalised sketchbooks with hand stamping and fluro tape. Ultimately we wanted every touch point to feel considered and crafted. No colours were out of bounds, no format unacceptable. Brand backgrounds are used to create vibrancy and interest, and the building blocks were even taken in to the digital realm using 3D animations that have been used throughout the re-imagined website.
The re-brand was also programmed to coincide with the total re-design and re-development of our studios. We worked closely with local builders and craftsmen as well as Grain, a London based furniture maker who create sustainable furniture that we could tailor to our working environment. For finishing touches, Cacti in pots were dipped in fluro paint and dotted around the studio, surrounded by branded prints, gigantic foam lettering spelling out “We grow ideas”, bespoke branded coffee tables and the usual designer ephemera.
The result is a vibrant and engaging space that truly resonates with who we are and what we do. The message: craft and creativity matters and it is everything we do. It’s been a long road but we now have a system that we are not only proud of but that every employee can engage with and take ownership of. Something that lives and breathes and truly reflects the culture of Potting Shed.