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Cutting Room Floor: Brand as an object

DesignStudio 2/16/2021

There are many reasons why an idea doesn’t get chosen, or in some instances, why a client might decide to change direction. However tough to take, these difficult decisions are a natural part of a rebranding process and as result, there are many interesting ideas that will inevitably fall by the wayside.

At DesignStudio, we’re keen to shed light on some of those forgotten ideas, so we’ve decided to start a new series highlighting some of our favourite projects and concepts that, for one reason or another, didn’t get to see the light of day.

Whilst it's a shame that not all work gets to reach the audience we intended, we feel as though there was still tremendous value in telling the story of our process and the thinking behind some of our favourite unused ideas.

Context

The project in question was to create a brand for an independent Hollywood production company. Set up as one part new media, one part traditional studio, they position themselves at the intersection of entertainment and digital, working with established actors, influencers and musicians.

For legal reasons, we can’t name the studio or be specific about the strategic solution we provided for them.

The W lens
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The Challenge

With a talented team in place, they eschewed traditional development processes and instead, worked tightly with their artists, connecting them with the right audiences across multiple formats to tell the best story possible.

Their current brand didn’t capture this unique energy and ambition, and due to the broad nature of their projects, they had difficulty articulating clearly what they offered to the world.

Solution

We worked between our London and North American studios, running remote stakeholder interviews and Miro workshops to understand the full extent of the challenge. Throughout our immersion, we unearthed the value placed on their unique collaborative process and the intention to create work with real emotional depth and integrity. From this, we created a strategic framework that let them emphasise the importance of their artists, ideas and intentions, both externally and internally.

The Concept

We wanted to build a visual identity that directly spoke to this unique production process. To do this, we began by exploring broad ideas based around collaboration, energy and multiple perspectives.

Our visual exploration led us towards the concept of a multi-faceted lens – a unique device with a ‘W’ at its core, that energises fragments of ideas and transforms them into extraordinary creations. Just as a traditional lens would be used to focus and amplify light, this new lens allows the studio to focus and amplify the energy of their artists, collaborators and filmmakers.

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Graphic System

As a production company, their content was key to their communication. Using the lens as a holding device gave them the ability to put their content and the people who make it, at the very heart of their brand.

Taking cues from how screenplays are traditionally typeset, we used Pitch Sans to underpin our brand and quietly but confidently frame our content.

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Title Card

As a key deliverable, we created a title card to appear before the studio’s theatrical releases. Building on the brand story, it shows an idea grow in confidence as it becomes energised through the multiple facets of the lens. Finally, the fully formed creation is set free into the world to inspire others.

Making the lens real

The concept of the lens appealed for many reasons. It tied neatly in with the world of cinema and gave us a lot of potential to express the brand’s strategic proposition. However, on top of this, we also saw the potential for something really special.

As the lens began to evolve, we started thinking about its use as an actual physical object. We loved the idea that it could be manufactured and used with camera equipment to seamlessly integrate their unique visual aesthetic across everything they touch.

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From the very beginning of this project we knew we needed this brand to have an authentic presence on Instagram, TikTok and Snap. Many of the studio’s artists create directly for these platforms, so we designed a filter that let them energise their creations through the lens in real time and post directly to an audience of millions.

Making the AR lens filter

Our Ambition

One of the many reasons we were keen to talk about this project was because we felt like it truly embodied the way we like to think about branding. We challenge how a brand needs to function from the inside out. Rather than starting with a logo and working backwards, we prefer to question the very need for a logo in the first place. Instead asking, can a brand just be a feeling, a colour, a smell or, in this instance, an object?

Taking a brand off the screen and manifesting it into something that people can truly experience everyday, is something that really excites us. We love to work with brands that share that excitement and ambition to go beyond conventional application, and into something that can potentially exceed all of our imaginations.

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By DesignStudio 2/16/2021
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