When appointed to review the Cabe brand in the mid-noughties, we felt strongly that they needed to make more of their name, and become more recognisable. After a lot of consultation, several false starts and and lot of design, it became obvious that searching for relevant symbolism to sum up ‘Architecture and the Built Environment’ was a fairly fruitless task.
The more work we did on the actual name, the more we began to think that we could construct a solid and workable mark that alluded to the three-dimensional nature of their work. By carefully drawing the four letters in opposing angles, we could ‘plant' subtle links to architectural isometric and axonometric drawings.
In the earliest applications of the identity, we also began to explore other essential aspects of the re-brand: a strong, ‘graphic' photography style, powerful layouts and where possible, clipped corners to brochures that linked to the angles in the logo.
We also produced hundreds of pages of manual documentation that allowed Cabe to implement the design style with a large roster of suppliers. As ever, the challenge was to produce attractive templates that weren't too technically challenging.
On some occasions we could design key items ourselves: here are spreads from an annual review that intentionally looked at powerful cropping and powerful typography.
Other brochures used subtle repeat patterns of the logo to establish a clear design style across multiple spreads.
Here's an overview of more of the work done in the general house style.
As a commissioner of design, Cabe were always interested in the unusual, and out of the ordinary. Here's one of a series of braille compatible business cards that we developed in 2010.
As we write this, it’s unclear whether the recent merger of Cabe’s activities into the Design Council will lead to the phasing out of the Cabe brand. We’ll keep you posted.