There are some design projects that stay with you. And when you get the opportunity to design for a brand which is new and completely fresh, you are presented with a completely blank canvas, and you can really immerse yourself in its conception, from the very beginning.
Working with Glouglou was very much like that, and it was helped along by the pure passion of the team and what they were trying to achieve. As a designer, you tend to get swept up in that, and when you do, it’s exciting.
The creators of Glouglou had hired us before – they had established the Iron and Rose brand for which we had designed the branding, including their website, artwork and a series of impactful posters which were placed within Shrewsbury’s historic Market Hall. So when they came up with the concept of opening a new wine bar, we were the first people they spoke to about how to go about designing their shop-front, and their branding.
As well as being a market town, Shrewsbury has a vibrant and creative culture, which we really wanted to embrace. Being based here, we understand the clientele well, and thought that it was important to bear them in mind when we started coming up with our initial ideas.
“We love working with Severn because they treat each project as a fresh challenge, not a variation on a theme. They create fantastic, original design that responds to and represents the values and feel of each brand.”
Something we always consider when beginning a new project, but especially in this case, is not to let past projects influence our work. When we start our design process, we treat it as if it’s the first – and because we knew the Iron and Rose brand so well, we had to make sure that the new brand held the same principals and standard, while having a totally fresh and new design so that it would simply focus on the wine bar and shop, and not relate back to the other brand too much.
We were aware of the sheer importance to them that their produce was sourced directly from growers and producers in order to have as little intervention as possible, and so we came to the conclusion that the branding should very much reflect that. No manufacturing or modern machines, just honest, simple and uncomplicated. So our starting point was to work on creating their logo, and for this we felt that the name Glouglou just sounded like it needed to be hand drawn. But we went further than that – we commissioned a traditional sign writer for shop-front, and had a hand painted mural created on the interior walls along with hand-made furniture to further enhance their image.
Everything about the design had to feel as authentic as their produce, and I think we’ve achieved that. As well as the physical design of the bar and shop, and the promotional literature we produced, we worked hard to ensure that their online presence seamlessly blended in with their new image, and that included the colours used, the images and logo, and the tone of voice across their website and social media.
When we talk about branding, we consider everything – because if it doesn’t all work together, the concept is lost, and your customers will notice that. It has to be instantly recognisable, whether you’re being noticed on the high street, on a printed brochure, or online. And it’s my job as a designer, along with my team, to work with our clients to make sure that happens, and this is where having a good relationship with both the client, and commissioned artists is vital.
While we work on a brand such as this, we live, breath, and eat (or drink, in this case!) everything about them. We take the time to know them intimately, and what is born out of that is the best design, because it becomes our passion, until it is done. And then it begins again with the next brand.