• Transform magazine
  • June 26, 2019

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#TransformTuesday: 9 April

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Every week, Transform examines recent rebrands and updated visual identities. This week's picks are below. For more from #TransformTuesday, follow @Transformsays

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Bristol City FC

The 125-year old Championship League team Bristol City FC has unveiled a modern brand with historical elements. In crafting the new brand, Bristol-based agency Mr. B & Friends turned to an icon from the team’s heritage: the robin. “The robin was first used on our kit as far back as 1949 and has been used on the white away shirt which has been incredibly popular with supporters. From now on it will appear on all our kit and be a fundamental part of our identity,” says the team’s vice-chairman Jon Lansdown. Mr B & Friends used the robin as the primary icon on the team’s new crest, replacing a busier, more heraldic approach. The simple rendering of the robin in a single, connected line, alongside ‘Bristol City’ in white on bright red gives the team more flexibility with its brand. The applications are already exciting as the robin can be used across digital and physical touchpoints with ease. Bristol Sport also worked with Mr B & Friends to update its Bristol Bears rugby brand last year.

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Fuego Spice Co.

The roof is on fuego at the California offices of Fuego Spice Co. and the Leeds home of brand agency Robot Food. The two worked together to bring spiciness into the hot sauce category. For Fuego, a subscription service providing spicy condiments, its own brand products didn’t have enough zest. Robot Food found American hot sauce to be a crowded category, with few opportunities to explore the differentiating points between products. It developed a packaging system for Fuego that would promote a more premium, craft product. The gimmicky approach common in the category was eschewed in favour of an abstract system built on lines and metallic foil. The simplified packs allowed for clearer architecture and offered Fuego the space on the pack to discuss their flavour profiles, rather than just the heat factor. The result is a premium solution that takes an unexpected approach to a clichéd category.

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Legent

The whisky industry has expanded beyond its Gaelic roots with increasing fervour in recent years. Not only is offshoot spirit American bourbon experiencing a period of popularity, with an 8.1% growth in the 2017. Japanese whisky, once an upstart novelty act, is proving its worth as quality beverages are produced and exported around the world. Beam Suntory – a company with roots in the American south and the port city of Osaka – has introduced a brand that unites those two traditions. Legent, its new bourbon offer is built on the Jim Beam brand, using recipe and ageing tactics employed by the bourbon-makers throughout their heritage. But it is blended by Shinji Fukuyo, fifth-ever chief blender of Suntory, the iconic Japanese distillery brand. The packaging, developed by Pearlfisher, uses softened edges to reflect the rounded mouthfeel of bourbon. The bottle is distinctly Japanese-inspired in shape, with a signature cap stamped ‘Kentucky Japan.’ The use of white and gold printed onto the glass lends a premium feel to the bottle. Kristoffer Fink Parup, head of strategy at Beam Suntory, says, “Our opportunity was to tell the story of two legends of the whisky world working together to create something special. We needed to honour the specific whisky traditions, expertise and the enrichment of their cultures through this inspiring and progressive collaboration of a truly special bourbon.”

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Partners Coffee

A Brooklyn favourite, the formerly named Toby’s Estate has built an estate of its wholesale programme, with coffee purchased across Whole Foods, Dean & DeLuca and other specialist stores. To support its growth from a neighbourhood chain to a national favourite, it turned to creative agency Love & War to update its brand and develop a new name. “After months of preparation, we are delighted to introduce our new name and brand identity, Partners Coffee,” say co-owners Amber Jacobsen and Adam Boyd. “We are only as great as the sum of our partners, and we are excited to continue evolving and growing with a new look, feel and name that fully embodies who we are and what we stand for.” The new identity takes a retro approach, while focusing on communicating the brand’s expertise in sustainability, craft and education. The brand worked with Savor, a coffee bag producer that offers waste-free packaging. The result is a range of semi-muted colours, a wordmark that evokes the feel of a five-and-dime store sign and a clear, colour-coded architecture system.

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Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Charity

Though the NHS has a rather uniform, staid brand across its portfolio, some individual hospitals have distinctive brands of their own that operate outside the consistent blue, white and black system of the master brand. The famed, specialist Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has released a rebrand of its charity organisation. The charity manages fundraising and donation administration, meaning clarity of communications is of the utmost importance. But, with a somewhat indistinctive, whimsical logo, the charity wasn’t achieving its full potential. It enlisted London-based Here Design to focus the brand around the human body, the theme of connectivity and a graphic representation of the spine. The key was to focus on visual elements that could be used across multiple applications. The result is colourful, using teal and light blue in an interesting way. The graphic rendering of the spine lends an air of health to the visual identity without overwhelming it.

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VRBO

VRBO – derived from ‘vacation rentals by owner’ – is a popular vacation rentals website founded a full 12 years before Airbnb. Owned by the Expedia Group, the site accounts for over 2m rentals worldwide. But it had little in the way of branding, relying on a signature forest green, sans serif wordmark to get the job done. It turned to Austin, Texas-based Föda for an update. The agency sought to position the VRBO brand as the rightful leader in a competitive marketplace. Reflecting the idea that no two vacations are alike, the agency developed a series of parallel lines. When deployed, the lines evoke a feeling of beach towels and raked sand, ski trails and boat wakes. It also gives the logo a distinctive look for the first time. A mainly dark blue colour palette is accentuated by a seemingly odd mix of rusty oranges, khakis and olive greens, that, when used alongside the vibrant blues, really work; it’s a newly distinctive approach for the company.