It’s this shift in perception away from just being makers that we needed to address. Our existing identity and messaging just didn’t cut it when viewed through this lens. We’d outgrown it.
A challenge of consistency
We’ve always been a bit ad-hoc with our own materials. As a small team with lots of empowered, smart individuals, people just get on and create things they need, often producing bespoke bits of design and communication as and when needed. While that autonomy isn’t something we ever want to stifle —in fact, it’s one of our values— this inevitably leads to fragmentation and over time that accumulates to the point where people don’t know what’s correct.
A quick Google image search for ‘clearleft’ results in at least 6 variations of our logo on the first page alone. I lose count of the amount of requests I field on a near daily basis for the the right logo, font, Keynote or proposal template.
This isn’t just an internal problem, working with larger organisations and building relationships with stakeholders much further away from design ‘doing’, we needed to adjust the way we present ourselves. They needed signals and language that they could recognise and relate to and an overall more professional, consistent appearance.
That sounds obvious, right? After all this is something we help our clients with all the time, we advise them on brand, strategy, content and help them build complex design systems. So doing a half-arsed job for ourselves was no longer going to cut it - a classic case of the cobbler’s children’s shoes, you might say.
So, these were the challenges we set ourselves. How do we create an identity that reframed us as both makers /and/ strategic design thinkers. Something that’s flexible and adaptable, yet was easy for the team to implement and that added some much-needed consistency to all our communications.
In the next post I’ll explain the process we went through, the challenges we came up against and how we ended up at the solution we did.
Read the next blog post about the new site and rebrand: Small steps - by Jeremy Keith.