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Oxford Innovation Creating the perfect launchpad for business in Essex

We’re often talking about how a brand is so much more than just a logo, and there is no better example of this than when you’re branding a commercial property. You have to consider how the brand influences signage and peoples’ movement around a space. How does it guide and inform them, as well as capturing their imagination and engaging them with the brand’s values? So when we were approached by Southend City Council and business growth experts Oxford Innovation to create the brand identity for the new £8m Launchpad business centre in Southend’s Airport Business Park, we knew we had a sizeable project on our hands.

What we did
  • Brand identity
  • Brand guidelines
  • Signage design
  • Print collateral
launchpadsouthend.co.uk ↬

Creating flexibility and versatility

The brand needed to have the flexibility to work across a range of media types and scenarios. Key to this versatility was the creation of effective assets and house style within the brand. We developed a series of geometric shapes and graphics that could compliment content and create some depth to marketing materials. They were designed with multi-purpose and function in mind. The arrow icon in the logo itself was always intended to be used in other areas, be it functional or decorative.

Thinking at scale

It was important to consider the scale and scenarios that the Launchpad brand would need to work in. Over complicated designs may have suffered when scaled up and legibility had to be kept in mind at all times. The logo and accompanying graphics needed to work just as well when blown up the size of a wall, as they will when put on a lanyard. Vector-based designs helped us to retain sufficient quality in large format. The Launchpad logo mark was intentionally simple but the library of assets that we built around it gave the identity layers of meaning and created options when bringing it in to a three-dimensional environment. The colour palette and typography selections were all made with printed production in mind, as well as screen-based aesthetics. We wanted the brand to communicate effectively to the human eye, be it on a computer screen or at a distance on signage.

Considering the needs of people

Accessibility and legibility were paramount when developing the signage graphics for the building. The way people navigate their way around the space will be guided by the availability and prominence of the information. Making signage clear and easy to understand gives employees and visitors a positive experience when using the space and the facilities within the building. Careful consideration had to be given to the placement and sizing of information and the use of brand fonts and colours to enhance, not inhibit, the communication of it. People visiting Launchpad could well be looking for information in crowded or time-poor situations, so making sure that all graphics stood out clearly was vital. The Launchpad brand features fonts that work in multiple weights, and a colour palette that creates contrast, all of which help to develop hierarchy of information and clarity.

Giving the brand ownership

It was important that the brand had a good relationship with the building and work in harmony with it. Our aim with Launchpad was to create a brand identity that is part of the fabric of the state-of-the-art building and celebrates the values behind its creation. The new site is a place for businesses to grow and thrive and the brief for the brand was to create something that had a sense of purpose and positivity, dialling in to a culture of success between the Launchpad and the companies calling it home. Consistent application of the brand throughout gave it a sense of belonging and permanence, engaging visitors to the building, educating them on its ethos and creating a polished, professional experience for everyone who comes through the doors.

Creating a culture

An effective brand should resonate with potential tenants and the Launchpad identity includes clear messaging that reflects the building’s unique attributes and value proposition. This represented an opportunity to put the first building blocks in place for a new culture that everyone can buy into. In today’s business climate, commercial real estate needs to provide a stimulating and healthy environment for the occupants to thrive in. The Launchpad project was all about creating a sustainable and healthy environment for business and these values needed to shine through in every touch point, celebrating the culture of an innovative and healthy approach to business.

The team did an amazing job on the branding and interior signage. It has really given the building life and speaks to our values and what Launchpad is all about.” — Georgina Roffey, Centre Manager, Launchpad

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