The i2C Architects Branded Environments (BE) team create dynamic and versatile brand identities for many projects. From retailers and professional services to community based activations and social good initiatives. The BE team are well versed in what it takes to create engaging and transformative focused brands with solid strategic backing.
Why is this important? Branding gives your project an identity, it makes it memorable, creates clarity and assists in marketing and developing buy-in from your customers or end users. A key factor in our success as brand creators is our ability to collaborate closely with i2C’s Architecture and Interior Design teams. This close working collaboration allows for design agility that ensures a brand identity develops along with the project – a shift in direction can quickly flow through to influence the brand’s presentation and continue being integrated with the wider project, instead of developing as a separate entity. This brand can evolve and take into consideration activities like signage and wayfinding, marketing, environmental graphics and how you engage with your customer.
We pride ourselves on developing and creating strategic, unique and dynamic brands, here’s how we do it.
Briefing Process, Collaboration and Research
For most branding projects, the Branded Environments team starts with the basics; what are you trying to achieve, who is your target market or end user, who is already in this space and what makes your offering unique. This often occurs at the same time as the briefing process for the architecture or interior design teams. Where applicable, these questions are paired with an exploration of the retail space, precinct, centre or neighbourhood and desktop research to collate a package of relevant data. This is then used to determine the brand approach, key brand design idea and overall identity form and application. We stay in communication with the Architecture and Interior Design teams, and we like to involve you, the client, as much as possible in this process as no one knows your business or project like you do. The more collaborative we can be at this initial stage of the project, the more in alignment the resulting brand will be with the overall vision.
The cornerstone of any brand, the logo forms part of the overall brand identity, but is not a brand alone. Big statement, but yes, the logo is a tool within the brand, not the brand itself. This doesn’t make it any less important, and at i2C this is a critical part of our approach to brand design. The logo is the manifestation of the overall key design idea for the identity and as such becomes the cornerstone of the identity.
The logo needs to connect the brand to the consumer or end user. It needs to feel like it belongs and it needs to radiate the brand vision.
Perhaps one of the most divisive brand identity characteristics is the colour palette. Your brand colours can be derived from any number of places and as such, the branded environments team spend considerable time and effort crafting the ideal palette for your intentions. Whether the palette is being developed in harmony with the Interior or Architectural designs, or developed independently, we craft palettes based on research and consideration of the brands impact on the end user or customer.
From bright and happy, to corporate strength, soft and subtle to any other number of feelings and considerations, we’ll develop your unique colour palette to work seamlessly with the brand, the interior design (if required) and to be appealing to your end user or customer.
Typography, Language and Tone of Voice
The written side of a brand identity plays a crucial role in how your customers or end users engage with and understand the brand. This is generally conveyed by language and tone of voice. However, the structure of the written form is captured through the typography and fonts chosen to support the brand. As a key point for developing and building the personality of your identity, the branded environments team use key brand characteristics to help inform the style of typography that will support your brand’s messages.
Critical to the conversation with your customer or end users, language and tone form fixed elements of the brands expression and allow engagement that goes beyond the visual brand cues. This interaction between brand and customer/end user can occur at multiple touch points from the digital to the built environment. Having consistent messaging, typographic and linguistic treatment allows recognition and trust to form, reassuring customers of your brand’s purpose and intent.
Having a hands on, definitive understanding of your brand’s identity and characteristics ensures that when our Branded Environments team collaborates with the Interior or Architecture teams, the composition of your brand’s identity will be maintained. Whether working on integrated signage, wayfinding or general ambient graphics and language, the i2C branded environments team will ensure your brand messaging is fully realised.
Once your brand’s logo, colour palette, typographic treatment and language have been established, final touches such as imagery and graphic elements are developed to bring the whole story together. These graphics could form connections to the brand’s purpose, could be literal or figurative interpretations of the key design idea, or could be a way of connecting directly with your end user or customer. They are used as another way of triggering recognition and adding dimension and dynamism to your brand identity. Ultimately, the graphic elements form the cherry on top of your brilliant new brand.
Depending on the intention of your project, the Branded Environments team may be working with you to develop a wider graphics or signage strategy along with creating your brand. This is where the services offered by i2C really come into their own. As a single function within the wider i2C project, we are able to develop the brand integration strategy and execution to adapt to the changing environment. Should a development change as the project matures, the Branded Environments team is able to collaborate seamlessly with the Interior and Architecture team to ensure the brand integrity and creative execution are maintained. Meaning we respond to changing conditions with agility and precision ensuring time, information integrity and overall costs are saved.
Associate, Branded Environments Lead