Rebrand or refresh?
We always approach rebranding a mature business with caution as there is often a lot of value built up within the brand identity, especially when it’s a successful business. The brand forms part of a recognisable identity which stands for something, something good, and dispensing with it can be risky. Evaluating that risk needs to relate to the business's overall strategy and sometimes there are valid reasons to completely change the brand.
The classic reference here is BP, a huge and successful oil business, which decided to dump its longstanding colonial shield logo and replace it with the current flower. This was part of a strategy to reposition the company as an clean and green energy business rather than a dirty oil producer. All this was rather undermined of course by the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, which just highlights that you need to practice what you preach - you can have the most beautiful logo and award winning brand identity, but if you don't deliver on your brand promise, the perception of the brand quickly becomes tarnished.
Gray Healthcare definitely falls into the category of a successful mature business, so when they asked us to look at their brand and website we took time to research and evaluate their existing assets. Whilst the business owner wanted to modernise the brand, and use this strategically to signify some changes within the business and essentially relaunch it, we quickly ascertained that the logo, a lower case letter g in a circle, was a recognisable symbol of the business and that it should be retained.
The initial part of the design process then was about updating this marque without losing any recognition. The typographic solution is essentially a tidy up where the 'g' has been changed to remove the previous horn like ascender with a more traditional and friendly circle. This sits outside the circular logo to add a subtle twist as the dot finishes the character, the negative shapes of which kiss the outer circumference of the circle meaning the 'g' itself is cut out.
New logo structure:
Previously the company name sat beneath the circle and so was often left in a very small type size. We repositioned it along side the logo and selected the classic Gill Sans font because of its pure circular letter forms. This circular cap 'G' in GRAY relates to the logo as it mirrors the round logo opposite to bookend the name and the marque.
New logo with type:
Underneath the name and logo we’ve added the strapline we’ve devised which both informs on the nature of the business and its function. Gray Healthcare is the leading specialist provider of community based psychiatric rehabilitation. The business provides services to support mental health and learning disability patients which are provided in the clients' own home within highly tailored care packages. The strapline ‘Bringing healthcare home’ adds the ‘healthcare’ description to inform the reader, but the line also has a neat double meaning, as it summarises what the business does, but also that it delivers.
New logo with strapline:
The choice of colours was a considered one and the existing grey was retained again for recognition, but complimented by a peach secondary colour which brings a softer, human element.
With the logo and strapline now defined, we're going through a detailed exercise to roll out the brand across all stationery, digital marcomms, signage for their new offices, recruitment materials and other marketing collateral. All the assets have been captured and defined within a new brand guidelines manual which protects the use of the brand.
The client needed to use the brand as part of a big recruitment drive, so the logo has been launched within their online recruitment portal and digital platforms such as Linkedin and Facebook. In order to provide a sense of consistency, we’ve developed a holding page for their website, which links to the old site for information whilst we develop a completely new site which is underway. Alongside this we’re working on all the other branded items as quickly as possible in support of the client.
The overall approach is very clean, elegant and classic using colour to soften and humanise the brand. The roll out compliments this with an uncluttered corporate design approach which is confident but still recognisably Gray Healthcare.