Kieran Harrod brand designer with an office at Friar Gate Studios and tent folder extraordinaire discusses an issue facing many businesses looking to re-brand.
This article was written for CQ Business Life, published by Derby Cathedral Quarter.
As I packed away our tent in heavy drizzle after camping at a family festival in Manchester. Others around collapsed tents too, and I noticed a good few folks piling their tents in the rubbish bins. It struck me that there are tents, cheap enough, or, perhaps too much effort to pack up correctly, that they are just thrown away.
Alone, the rest of our party headed to enjoy the final day’s festivities, I extracted the first peg, mulling over an upcoming project. I was the second designer the client had instructed, and we’d chatted about their previous experience with an online service who’d provided a capable design, but one that they had no confidence in putting their name to. The brand, like so many tents around me, was disposable, cheap and unremarkable, likely to be scrapped, as the customer suggested, within 18 months.
With some consideration, it was decided that they needed to invest in a memorable solution from the start and asked me to work with them to achieve this.
Carefully wrapping the guide ropes I thought of the work I’d recently completed for Ashbourne-based Henmore Health who were looking to bring a modern, professional look to the services they provided at their GP Practice. Seeking a brand that would survive in the ever uncertain healthcare sector, and something all of their stakeholders could get behind.
Together with the Henmore team, through discussion, experimentation and hard work I developed a brand inspired by the geography of Ashbourne, anchored by the Shrovetide goals, which also looks out from the town with confidence.
Folding the damp fabric tent into its bag, I began to plan some ideas about how to achieve an equally successful design for my latest client.
Creating memorable brands is hard work, I don’t want to my designs to be thrown out like a cheap tent after brief use, but to be cherished and looked after so they can be used year after year.
Final, tent-free words to Danny Smart at Henmore Health:
“Kieran did a terrific job with the Henmore Health branding and the solution expertly met the brief we provided. Kieran understood the importance of embedding local culture in a brand that enjoys its heritage but is strong enough to venture anywhere… Few I think can capture this the way Kieran has.”