Polleni was founded in October 2017 in Bristol. Less than a few weeks later, we had a basic portfolio website. By January 2018 we had a new website with project pages, a blog, a showreel... The works.
But by July 2018 we already felt we needed something more. The brand we had created to start with was already falling behind on the personality and depth that the company had started to grow into. Alongside logo design, branding and brand identity design, we had begun to focus more on brand consultancy and brand strategy which played to the different strengths of each of our three directors. We had hired a bubbly new Studio Manager. We expanded into website design and headless CMS website development. We had decided to open up a new branch of the agency in Lisbon.
We felt the branding needed a refresh that reflected our new position, and the new work we were doing. It had only been a year, but a lot had changed. So we applied the same methodology we use with clients, to ourselves. Who are we? What do we believe in? How are we different? It’s something we ask the people we work with all the time, but proved difficult to answer when we shone the light on ourselves. The strength of our agency lies in the fact that we are all very different. We all have strengths in different areas, and this is key to why it all works. So what was the thing that brought us together?
We went back to the comfort of our strategy grid. Putting everything down in words always makes sense, and it did for us once more. We looked at what functional, emotional and value-based needs we had as a company and condensed down all our thoughts into one unifying brand message. It was about… having ideas. These are what we trade in. To get there took a while, though. We felt our ideas came from wisdom, due to our diverse experience, but we didn’t want this wisdom to come across as wanky.
So we tinkered with the wording and looked at what we provide: a bespoke service which uses an equal measure of word-based strategy to image-based design. We then came up with words which sat in both those spaces. Ideas. Shapes. We thought about our playfulness with design as well as copy - "new brand ideas".
Once we had signed off our strategy, we looked at our visuals. We dropped the trio of coppery “pollen” spots around our mark, and went for one unifying circle - which drifted breezily off of the logotype. This signified us as a studio - a grain of pollen - something that has a growth effect on something else. We wanted it to feel free, too. Free from the constraints of the logo - and able to think outside the box. It was important that this spot shaped to fit the page that it was on, and directly referenced our strategy.
We pumped up the saturation and made this spot a bright, zingy orange. An orange we could own that would leap off of a page, or dazzle on a website. We pulled back our dark colour palette and lightened it with some soft grey. We kept our characterful font Dala Moa, but replaced our secondary typeface - Europa - with Euclid Square, a clean san serif that still felt “same, same… but different.”
We applied this new brand system to print collateral, proposal documents and of course, a shiny new website - built this time in Headless CMS by our lovely Danish developer, Mads. So we’re happy. But things change, don’t they? We also love to give ourselves lots of extra, particularly difficult and brain-frying work. So perhaps we’ll start tinkering away on another rebrand sooner than you think… I wouldn’t put it past us.
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