When commissioned to produce a business logo for the likes of Christchurch manufacturer of street lighting and urban furniture WindsorUrban I begin by questioning the the client, researching the market niche, drawing rough thumbnails in my sketchbook and playing with type on the computer. The purpose is to visually and strategically explore a diverse set of logo options. I understand that making a formally successful logo is good, but making a logo design that is formally successful and communicates as a base for all the client’s endeavours, marketing communication, intra-company culture, business-to-business is critical.
A strong logo and following visual system is one of a businesses key assets. In a competitive world the need for distinct corporate identity is central. As a designer, I take commonplace letterforms, shapes and images, and develop them into distinctive and meaningful brands. The breadth of opportunity and the possibilities for designer involvement in multiple media, combined with contributing to the marketing strategies of WindsorUrban’s business, make a business logo more than decoration; it is a component that contributes to a company’s success.
Strong repositioning strategy centred on the firm’s distinguishing feature
The strong repositioning strategy that evolved from collaborating with the Marketing manager and CEO, centred on the distinguishing feature of being the longest standing New Zealand manufacturer of street lighting and urban furniture. The makeover included the design and build of a new large scale e-commerce catalogue website. Increased sales and growth was the outcome. When searching via Google, as a result of the makeover project, WindsorUrban went from the irrelevance of being buried 12 pages deep in the marketplace to among the top five results.
The desire to rename evolved as the web design project ran its course
The company was originally ‘Windsor Heritage’, however it became clear as the research and development of the redesigned website progressed that the company had grown, product lines had expanded, market conditions had changed, such that the heritage ‘Victorian / Edwardian’ style of the name and logo was a company brand image that no longer reflected who they were or what they did. I raised this concern with the CEO and the marketing manager and found that they and the sales team had similar reservations. They all swiftly agreed a company name and rebrand for growth was essential and best timed to launch with the redesigned website.
The change of company name was a natural course correction for the firm that required careful consideration and planning to be sure of achieving a successful outcome. Thorough research lead to a good working understanding of what position the company occupies in their industry and what design elements such as;
- high quality, uncluttered photography of their products in signature New Zealand settings, and
- identifying that there are times when illustration proves a far better choice than photography for displaying certain products with consistent high quality—such as lighting columns / poles, signage systems, tree protection—that are by their nature, extremely tall and thin, therefore not good candidates for photographic display on the web, or of which high-quality photos are simply unobtainable,
- the opportunity to introduce the human element into the display of products that are purposefully designed to be unobtrusive, adding the human figures to the presentation of street lighting and urban furniture products gives context and scale and draws attention to products that are designed to blend into the built urban and suburban environment.
- the development of a unique, easy to use ‘Streetlight Creator’ web application to improve the quality and speed of specifying quotation and orders for both customers and the sales team
What the custom “Streetlight Creator” web application does is help to create a strong point of differentiation and distinguish WindsorUrban from its competitors, some of which are not New Zealand manufacturers but importers only.
The success of the branding makeover was helped by the image of WindsorUrban that the new name, corporate identity, positioning statement and website projects—an image that is clear, energetic, and powerful, and a website that is visually appealing, highly organised and very easy to use.
Web Design firm: MagentaDot Brands
Web coding, CMS customisation, Web-app coding: Limelight Online – Christchurch
Web app design: Steve Campbell (WindsorUrban), Shaun Waugh