Co.Lab Brand Strategy

Co.Lab is Bristol's largest independent art and clothing shop. It supports over 50 local artists, selling unique and colourful gifts both in-store and online. Established in 2011, Co.Lab work with new and exciting talent from across all areas of creativity - including the written word, local art, fashion and jewellery.  

Co.Lab wanted a new brand identity that reflected the taste of its new owner; but in a way which still reinforced the brand values of collaboration, confidence and inclusion. This identity also needed to be flexible enough to genuinely represent the style and tone of the work of the other artists.

Working closely in interviews with Co.Lab, we developed a brand strategy inspired by the owner's personal mantra, "better together." This informed the brand system and brand identity, which consisted of a modular logo constructed from basic geometric shapes. In each letter, shapes were over-laid to reinforce the beauty of things interacting and coming together as one.

Co.Lab Moodboard we created as part of their brand development process. We were inspired by African Kente cloth, French muralist Camille Walala, primary colours, Bristolian street art and 1990s pop culture.

The wordmark consists of letters made up of two or more shapes. These shapes interact and come together to form a whole which is more than the sum of its parts. We re-worked the letter 'A', to create an arrow pointing upwards from two shapes overlapping and connecting at the top. This suggests that by working together - be this in anything from art to activism and politics - anything is possible. The sky is the limit.

The characterful wordmark was combined with the Korolov san serif typeface in two weights - bold and light. The condensed typeface helped centre the expressive mark, and bring it back to earth.

We developed a bright, bolshy colour palette of primary colours that reflected the creative optimism of the company. These were used in a collection of patterns inspired by the interests and cultural affinities of the new owner - Kente cloth, African fabrics, primary colours, 1990s pop music and the bold, brazen shapes of East London and Bristolian street art.

We combined these shapes and colours into a 'brand pattern' used to decorate the shop both inside and out. The brand pattern also formed the basis for a series of stickers used to wrap up purchases in a dizzyingly diverse combination of ways. This helped reinforce the company's core brand values of originality and individuality.

Our work for Bristol Co.Lab has led to greater visibility, customer engagement and brand awareness for the company, increasing footfall to the shop by three times what it was originally. Awesome.

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