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Charlie Smith Design

Charlie Smith Design

New River — Brand Flex

Identity — Digital

We worked with leading property investor NewRiver to expand and update their brand identity so it better reflected the dynamic way they operate.

The Client
NewRiver is a leading property investor, asset manager and developer specialising in the UK retail and leisure sector. Their £1.2 billion portfolio covers 9 million sq ft and comprises of 33 community shopping centres, 25 retail parks and over 700 community pubs.

The Brief
NewRiver’s brand identity and the logo was liked, however, it felt restrictive and limiting in some places. The business is known for doing things a little differently; they are very engaged and active in their local communities and are innovative in how they approach their investments, the current identity did not reflect this. We were tasked with exploring ways the identity could be developed so that it had more flexibility and a greater pool of assets to draw upon. We needed to strike a balance between a FTSE 250 company and enabling them to look more dynamic, cheery and relevant.

Our Approach
We began by auditing NewRiver’s existing brand assets and identifying ways these could be pushed. We introduced a secondary colour palette of brights which could also be used as 50% tints. These complimented the existing ‘corporate’ palette whilst increasing the sense of fun and personality.

One of the areas we were asked to focus on was the website banners where key messages are displayed. Here we introduced more typographic play so that key phrases could be bought to life in an engaging and interesting way.

Photography
NewRiver wanted to continue using their existing photography but asked us to explore ways that it could be updated or transformed when needed. We developed a set of graphic shapes and wave devices which could be added to photography. The shapes could hide less desirable features of an image or highlight important elements and could be dialled up or down depending on the audience.

Implementation
We worked with NewRiver to update internal documents such as PowerPoint presentations so that they reflected the expanded brand identity and felt more engaging. We have also created new website banners using the dynamic type and imagery treatments. The model of the UK will be displayed in the NewRiver offices and the the photography used for a number of important documents going forward.

Guidelines
Once all elements of the brand flex were finalised we created and in-depth guideline document for NewRiver and their partners to use. The guidelines included examples of the different elements and how they could be used along with clear do’s and don’ts.

Bespoke Map
As part of this project we also commissioned paper artist Hattie Newman to create a 3D model of the UK which showcases NewRiver’s portfolio of shopping centres, retail parks and community pubs. The model was shot in multiple set ups to allow for different format uses and future portfolio growth.