Let’s start by defining what ‘brand’ means to companies like ours. Our brand is the promise we make to our customers. That means that our brand includes our customer service, our company culture, and our services. All these components work together to establish our brand promise, setting the expectation for the experience we deliver to customers.
When people talk about a re-brand they’re usually referring to two superficial (though critical) elements of a brand: the messaging and the visual identity. These external elements of a brand are the personification of a company, so they need to feel authentic. Sometimes a company’s brand has never accurately portrayed the company. Other times a company will evolve to a point where their external persona no longer reflects their true identity.
Since its founding in 2004, Fifteen Four has continuously evolved in an effort to offer a wider variety of services. Begun as a production company that was one of the first to participate in the online video revolution, Fifteen Four is now a full service agency that creates work for some of the largest organizations in the world. Just as we’ve added services to better partner with our clients, we believe that now is the time to create a brand that reflects the agency we’ve become.
We began our branding exercise by examining our messaging – both internally and externally. We started by asking key questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be? How do we talk about ourselves? Is the way we talk accurate? How should others think about us? Collaboratively answering those questions led us to create a mission and vision statement that both defines our identity and acts as our guiding star for the future. These written pieces subsequently guided our creation of the visual identity and messaging.
The first piece of the visual identity redesign was the logo. We created a design that references our previous logo while elevating it; creating a number mark that is balanced, sophisticated, and energetic. The style of the numbers are both vintage and modern: an italicized san serif with an art deco flair. Along with a new number mark we identified the need to shift the way we write our name: from 15Four to Fifteen Four. This meant that we needed to create a word mark that could be used with or without the number mark.
We’ve designed the rest of our brand to embody the new spirit of Fifteen Four: sophistication infused with the creativity and humor we’re known for. From the new color palette and typeface to the brand pattern and imagery, we’ve created a system that can be both bold and restrained when needed.
We’re brimming with ideas and creativity. But in everything that we do – including building our own brand – our creativity has to serve the needs of our clients.
We are creatives and artists, but we practice our discipline as architects and engineers. We create beautiful things. But more importantly, we create beautiful things that are useful. We think it’s important our customers understand that brand promise.
That’s why we did a re-brand.