In this blog post our aim is to tell a story. A story of the dwa refresh. How we went about it, the process and at times the pressure we were under. And of course the outcome and what we achieved.
In May this year, we were told by dwa, one of our oldest clients, that they were going to refresh their brand and look at a new website. We have a great and very long relationship with dwa and were very happy to be included on the 3 agency tender list.
Right from the start, we understood the importance of this project. We were not going to be just given the job, due to our history and on-going relationship, we had to impress the business and win the work.
That is what we set out to do.
Initial brain storming session. Thanks to the Bakehouse in St Albans for lending us their downstairs basement. Peace and quiet to think.
Some great ideas came of out this, not only about the design, but additional marketing ideas and what could possible stand dwa out from the competition.
We thought that looking at the project as an overall marketing and branding job would give us a few more ideas, and perhaps come up with something a bit more exciting then just a new logo. As you can see, the cake, coffee and the notes were in full flow.Research
Like most projects of this kind we spent a lot of time on the research side of things. We looked at dwa and the previous work we completed for them.
This variety of work included everything from business cards and powerpoint presentations, to the dwa charity darts nights posters that we were more than happy to design. For at least one of the routes we would take, this insight and prior knowledge about the company helped us to narrow down our ideas and come up with something that both encapsulated everything dwa does, and stand for, as well as look into the future and what they may become.
We also looked at their competitors and also other current and interesting brands / sites. The mood wall soon become very full
From this research we found that we could maybe push the boundaries a little with this pitch and hopefully show something that stands out from the rest of the material out there, and helps position dwa at the forefront of modern design and web builds.
We thought that seeing as dwa have the portfolio of clients, the history and knowledge of their markets, why not look at a route where the design makes the initial 'WOW' factor as we know it is more than backed up with business knowledge.Decisions
After the first few days and with us looking at the cities in which dwa are represented, we decided to change course. Cities to zones. We felt that cities was too restricted. And by using zones. e.g europe, apac etc, then we would had more freedom in the future. Currently dwa have offices in 8 cities. I am sure this will be 9 and even 10 within the next 12 months. By using zones, the brand will not be affected by this, as it currently does.
Another decision made, was to get everyone to read the brief again and then once more for luck. You think you know everything, but something is always missed.Work
The work begins. Initially we came up with 6 ideas, which we discussed down to 4 strong routes. We split the work between 3 designers, each taking one concept each. The final concept was then given to whoever finished first. Just seemed a fair way of splitting the work and also meant there was 3 times the creative input into a project which we believed we had some very strong ideas for.
To start with we sat down and discussed some colour options. As we each worked on our respective routes, we wanted to make sure that we covered the major colour options, and of course to make sure that we didn't all come back with the same green for example.
The current dwa brand colours are strong and do the job well and so we wanted to keep the impact through colour in the new options we came up with. We think we believed correctly that certain pastel and flowery colours were not going to hold up to some of the design ideas we had, and agreed to be bold with the colour decisions on a couple of the routes we went down.
We reviewed the designs on a daily basis. We took it in turns to stand around each others macs, offering suggestions and improvements to both the website designs and the stationary assets. We went through this process 4 or 5 times until we all agreed that each design and execution of that design was how we wanted and the best it could be.
Once we were all happy we were ready to print out the pages of designs, trim the work down and mount onto the foam boards ready for the presentation. It was nice for the team to all work on the same project, all providing insights and ideas.
I would guess that all in all, we spent approx 8 days on this pitch, with the odd late night, producing some of the best branding and design work to date. This is certainly 'portfolio work'. Lets just hope that the client likes it.
Below is a small taster of the 4 ideas. At some point, we will put together a pdf of all the work etc and post on here.