Branding design refresh helps property finance company project the right image
Project: Brand design Client: Signature Property Finance
We recently carried out a branding design project for Signature Property Finance - a nationwide alternative short-term property finance provider. Following a management buyout, Signature changed its name from Signature Private Finance to Signature Property Finance, leading to them reaching out to Work PR for our graphic and web design expertise.
As part of the pitch for the management buyout, Signature wanted to rebrand as Signature Property Finance with a new tone reflecting where the company was headed. The project was to include a complete brand redesign, including the logo, website, marketing materials and stationery.
Since the company was established in 2012, they have built up a reputation and have become well known in their industry. Therefore, we couldn't change the branding too much so as to be unrecognisable.
Working closely with the Sales Director, we outlined what the new brand design needed to reflect. It needed to be simplified, giving the company a more modern look. It also needed to be more versatile, with graphical elements that could be used across the various materials that Signature Property Finance sends out to prospective customers.
The Rebrand: logo, website & print collateral
The first step was the logo. Signature's thumbprint originally came from the idea that, historically, people would give their thumbprint rather than a signature as it was more unique and harder to fake.
This practice is not that common these days, but people do use their thumbprint as part of biometrics, so we decided to simplify the brand logo to look more akin to the touch ID icons found on smartphones.
We experimented with different patterns, thicknesses and complexities until we had a thumbprint that was minimal but still recognisable. The final thumbprint design was based around the letter S, a subtle nod to the initial of the company.
We then looked for a suitable font for the wordmark to match the style of the symbol. After narrowing down a few fonts, we settled on Rubik, as it had slightly rounded edges to match the thumbprint symbol and enough weights to make it versatile.
Open Sans was chosen as the font for body copy, as it is easy to read and commonly used online.
The simplified thumbprint symbol inspired us to expand the style and try other shapes in a similar style. We created a series of icons to reflect each of the services that they offer. We tried to keep them simple, while adding enough detail to make it obvious what they were.
The new style of icons had a natural flowing feel, so we created animated versions with the strokes being drawn on to gradually form the shape of the icon.
To show how the logo would be used throughout Signature Property Finance's marketing materials, we mocked up branding designs for the business cards, letterhead and a new product guide.
The philosophy behind the rebrand was to 'keep things simple'. Signature Property Finance were making their offerings clearer and their processes easier, so this was reflected in the branding design.
The new brand designs were kept clean, with minimal colour palettes, bold use of space and a grid structure. The previous product guide had been landscape, which looked interesting, but became cumbersome once opened up.
We reverted to a portrait layout and chose to echo this with the new business cards. The portrait layout of the cards felt consistent with the brand design, but also stood out amongst the traditional landscape cards.
The new tagline - unlocking the potential in property - was devised to subtly explain the meaning behind the new thumbprint symbol and its ties to unlocking a mobile phone.
The content of the website remained pretty much unchanged, with a refresh to integrate the new branding design and style. The main changed on the homepage, which we felt needed updating to improve the user’s experience and showcase Signature Property Finance's content.
We added three of the animated icons to the header to accentuate the three key messages that Signature Property Finance wanted to promote. The combination of the bold black background, sleek animations and bold headings made for a striking first impression when coming to the website.
The rest of the homepage consisted of a boxed grid with blog posts, deal highlights and testimonials. This new layout meant that the homepage would constantly updated as new content was added to the website.
The results: New Brand Design is a hit
The new brand design was incredibly well received from the team Signature Property Finance themselves, with several members commenting that it looked much more "current" and "cleaner". Signature Property Finance's customers have also responded positively to the change.
The rebrand was a key factor in the management buyout with Foresight Group, allowing Signature Property Finance to show that they are constantly evolving and shaping the business to improve their offerings to their customers.
As we continue to create marketing materials and social media content for Signature Property Finance, we are able to keep the brand design consistent and incorporate the graphic elements that were developed during the rebrand.
The line drawing style of the icons has been especially prominent, with more icons being created for new products and the style being used across the brand as a recognisable element.