Daneswood

Role
Research, branding design

Team
Paul Brophy - UX Designer
Matt Sanders - Technical Director
Pete Weeks - Managing Director

Timeframe
(2019) 2 weeks

Designing branding for a well-established digital agency going in a new direction.

Daneswood was a digital agency offering digital design, development, branding and marketing in Exeter. They served small to medium sized businesses around the south west of England.

After moving offices in 2016 the company had seen massive changes in the team, taking on more staff with wider skillsets. They were now positioning themselves as ecommerce specialists, offering services across multiple platforms.

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Brief

I designed the original rounded logotype in 2015 as a replacement for a rather clunky looking joined up logotype. Managing Director Pete was rather attached to the old logotype, especially the green which at that point had a tinge of yellow. I worked together with Pete and Matt the Technical Director to come up with branding that wasn’t too much of a departure from the original logotype, retained the overall brand feel but looked like the company was more current.

In 2019 Daneswood had a new management team that was looking to further develop the brand and build on the existing customer base. Having a new team meant we were free to take the brand in a direction free of past ties.

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Daneswood Logo Pre-2015

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Daneswood Logo 2015 Redesign

We reviewed the existing client base, and established that Daneswood’s most regular clientelle were moving on from or extending pre-built solutions such as Wordpress, WIX and Squarespace. They were also very local.

I invited everyone in the office to a brainstorming session, to get their take on what they felt Daneswood was and what it should be. During the process the word “build” was getting thrown around an awful lot. We also talked a lot about assembling and components. It made sense for us have this as a theme to work with. I’ve always felt that Daneswood had an industrious approach as a team, so it would be good if we could somehow work this in to the new look.

I started by quickly generating words and ideas on paper, jotting down any visuals I had along the way. In the future I’d be responsible for designing the site. At this stage, anything was acceptable.

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Another meeting, and we pared down the most fitting ideas in the sketches to further work on in Illustrator. I wanted to make sure that ideas we selected to still be quite different to each other, so that the overall brand could still go in any direction. The colours we'd already largely settled on. Pete was adamant that the green would stay, but I changed the shade to make it less murky.

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Initial ideas

The mark we selected to be finalised reflects the build and industry theme perfectly. The bevelled appearance reminded me of masonry or angle iron. Perhaps formed by hand. There’s also a subtle arrow signifying progression and movement. I paired the mark with Rufina Stencil that again reflects an industriousness, but retains professionalism and elegance through its form and works nicely with the bold nature of the ‘d’ mark.

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Unfortunately Daneswood went into liquidation in late 2019, and we never got to work on the new site or start to use the new branding. The company name and clients were bought up by another company, and the team were let go. I still consider the exercise and the output a success though. This branding stands out amongst who would've been Daneswood's most serious competitors without losing sight of their client base and values.

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