We recently worked Sandi Marshall from Bournemouth based SJM Staff Solutions to overhaul the branding and reestablish the identity for her micro-HR consultancy. When we first discussed the project, it became clear that Sandi wasn’t sure that her business name or ‘visual voice’ really painted the right picture. She wanted to get across that SJM was more than just handbooks and contract writing. It had more substance than a typical HR business that ticked off documentation or advised on tribunals. Sandi’s real area of interest and expertise is in the employee engagement and mental health. She also felt that her personal service and one to one approach to her work was lost in the name SJM Staff Solutions.
Gareth from Design Pit explained, “My first thought when Sandi explained where she was at, was that her business branding felt quite ‘stuffy’ and ‘suity’. And this could not be further away from where she is as a HR consultant.”
“There was nothing necessarily wrong with the branding from a visual point of view. It used nice typo, good colours and sat together in a nice stacked composition very neatly. But the picture it painted just wasn’t right.”
Sandi does a lot of work around mental health in HR processes and the ‘soft skills’ in the area require a lot of trust to be built between her and her clients. It quickly became obvious that we needed more of her in the branding. We needed to change the trading name…
Gareth went on to explain, “With consultants like Sandi who work very closely with their clients, I’ve always liked the idea of having a signature as a logo. The way a signature is totally unique to a person – almost like a written fingerprint – lends itself so well to a business like this that is driven by personal service. You really need to get to know Sandi before you work with her; and you get to learn more from her during the process as well. So this was where I started to work up some new logo ideas from. A nicely stacked logo that renamed the business as well as giving it a new look…”
“We introduced a new strapline that Sandi came up with – Support, Life, Engage – and then applied the new branding to some business cards. Her new look website complete with new domain and email address is due to go live soon as well.”
Sandi now has the identity she feels so much more comfortable with as she embarks on her second year in business, “After deciding to change direction with the business, Gareth guided me through redesigning my logo, how to use the new strapline and redesigned my business cards. He produced the perfect package tailored specifically for what I needed. It was nice to be guided through this process and I felt that Gareth worked with me rather than took instruction or just told me what to do. The process was a joint effort when we made decisions” she said.
Graphic design is very much a process and a journey that designer and client embark on together. No matter how big or small the business may be, no matter how complex the project, the end result always needs to look right, work well in the real world and build the brand properly.
What is your next design challenge? Get in touch to see how we can support you just like Sandi.