Styling Roger Lewis' Brand
I am so thrilled and excited to be able to share the story of the Roger Lewis rebrand with you. Thanks to a whole host of talented creatives (Braizen and Bronwyn I'm looking at you...) Roger Lewis now have a fabulous and very fitting brand identity that reflects their strengths and their ambitions for their business. Shall we dive in? Roger Lewis have been designing and manufacturing iconic, private label sofas now for more than 30 years. They can count British stalwarts such as Heals, John Lewis and Conran amongst their client base and are responsible for design classics such as the Heal's Mistral sofa as well as the new Loki sofa at JL.
The business has now been handed down to the second generation who are both keen to build on the success of the founders and have very strong ambitions to grow the business significantly. They had already created an interim website (below), and what I think you'll find fascinating about this, is that there is nothing embarrassing, dated or 'wrong' about it - but it didn't reflect the company's strengths, expertise or ambition.
It was a really brave and confident thing to redesign this brand and website because so many other entrepreneurs wouldn't have. After all, they'd only just had it done (less than a year ago), it wasn't exactly losing them business - but it certainly wasn't helping. Whilst many business owners might have been unhappy but waited to rebrand, Managing Director Marc knew that if he wanted to grow the business exponentially, he needed everything to work in his favour - and that started with the branding.
Business partners Marc and Nick approached me back in January to help them get their rebrand right. We started by going back to basics. Understanding what the company's strengths are, where they sit in the market and how they wanted to communicate.
And this is where colour psychology comes into its' own. Can you see how the website above is perfectly smart, professional and nice. But it's a summer personality. And Roger Lewis (RL) are a winter business. They wanted to communicate their expertise, commitment to quality, flair for design and dynamic approach to business. Their current website just doesn't do that - and colour psychology gives you a framework that helps you understand why that is. If you're new to colour psychology, discover more here and here.
Setting a new vision for the brand
With a thirty year heritage, a whole heap of ambitions and a vast array of experiences and qualities we could draw on to communicate the RL story it was time to turn to expert brand strategist Bronwyn Durand for some clarity. Bronwyn was an absolute genius, listening, analysing and pulling out the gems of what Marc and Nick told her to create a strong and compelling position for the brand.
Here's what she came up with:
Roger Lewis are creators of iconic, private label sofas. They collaborate with quality brands in their quest for iconic, own label products.
This was like a lightbulb going off! I can't tell you how complex this brief was. And to have clarity like this is gold dust - both from a marketing and a branding angle. This brand positioning from Bronwyn meant that we could just run and run - and we did!
My job as a Creative Director for my clients is to help them find creative clarity, show them the sort of direction I feel would be right for their brand and help them find a designer that can deliver that with bells on. And goodness did Braizen deliver with bells on. I knew they would. They were a pleasure to work with, from start to finish. And what they've come up with is nothing short of spectacular.
The strong, clean, iconic logo feels dynamic, confident and well established. It was important to us that we created a strong and contemporary logo that would withstand the test of time. Roger Lewis are a sizeable business with a strong history - we simply couldn't afford to create anything to whimsical or flaky. This is a business that combines design with British manufacturing, and so we needed to combine the practicality of manufacturing with the flair of the design team.
I know that's A LOT to communicate in one logo - but what Braizen have created does that. The strong, winter black; the clean, elegant font, the masculinity in the slightly compressed typeface. It's exactly what we set out to achieve. Here's the brand board in all it's glory. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous!
I'd created a winter colour palette that would use lots of white with pops of colour and I love that Braizen stripped it back even further to just two key colours, yellow and a teal. As painted edges on the business cards, they add subtle bursts of colour without feeling silly.
I love the website. Clean, iconic and stripped back, it tells the story whilst putting RL's beautiful design centre stage. This is an early draft - take a look at the finished article here!
And their design for the lookbook is equally strong. This will be used both as a PDF that can be emailed out instantly as well as a beautifully printed version that creates a real impact. People just don't use enough print these days and when it's done well, you make such a splash. Here are a few screenshots - you'll find the complete lookbook on issu.
In Marc's own words:
Having recognised that the only way to move our business forwards was to rebrand and have a clear marketing strategy we realised that we knew very little about the intricacies and subtleties that go with creating a beautiful brand to reflect our values and demonstrate the solutions we give our clients.
Working with Fiona gave us clarity and direction that we wouldn't have otherwise had and now we have a stunning brand that we are excited to launch and proud to call our own.
Roger Lewis are going to be exhibiting at 100 per cent design next week and I can't wait to see the impact their new brand has on their business. It really does look the nuts. I'm also going to be at 100 per cent design on Friday where I'll be on a panel talking about the impact colour has on branding and sharing the Roger Lewis story - hopefully I'll see some of you there?