Choosing, photographing or drawing images is fine, but things get a lot more complicated when you try to make them part of an identifiable branding scheme. Every client wants a set of images that stand out and are ‘theirs’, and that’s fair enough. But the challenge is how to do that without resorting to big logos all the time.
It helps if an identity scheme has a big idea in it that can be brought over into images. When Ravensbourne suggested a photo-shoot of their students for their prospectus and report, we immediately began to look for ways to avoid the obligatory ‘pics of students in the library’ that pepper the brochures of the world’s universities and colleges. Thankfully, we had persuaded them to adopt a scheme based on their new building’s outer skin, a tessellating tile pattern. So we cast and photographed a dozen students, then meticulously tessellated part of the images to match the overall style.
Other schemes have had similar linking ideas – for our work with Swanswell (a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service) we had developed an identity based on the ‘uncrumpling’ of their name, so we simply applied that thought to images.
Their relationships with families and loved ones often suffer as a result of their dependency. We were initially nervous about this visual approach – ‘crumpling’ sufferers to show the strain on their relationships with families and loved ones – but in testing, Swanswell’s clients were most drawn to this idea and it caused the most (positive) debate.