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25 Glorious Years

Before Christmas I was busy with a few internal projects. As well as designing a tongue in cheek Christmas card for our friends at The Team I was also given the challenge of creating an identity for Precedent's upcoming 25th anniversary in 2014. Here’s a short background to the project and how I came up with the solution.

The unusual part about this brief was that the identity was required to run across a whole year's worth of celebrations. Normally, anniversaries are celebrated on the day or at an event held over a weekend, so a pretty short shelf life. It had to be discreet yet still have a presence on all Precedent's communications. It had to convey our global reach, giving a subtle clue as to where our offices are based. It also had to look stunning. Well, we are a creative agency after all.

Thank goodness we weren’t celebrating 21 years
Sometimes, when a brief lands on your desk, you ask “What I have got to work with?”. Thankfully, on this occasion, we had some fantastic numbers to work with. Wonderfully curvaceous figures with flowing lines. The 2 and 5 are a godsend. Almost a mirror reflection of each other, tons of character, they can be manipulated, pushed and pulled apart, thrown against the wall, heck, even beaten up and still remain as recognisable numbers. I'm glad I was around for this particular anniversary. A 21st would have made it a very different challenge.

What was the approach
No surprises here. First off, see how other organisations have celebrated anniversaries (there are some atrocious examples out there and a tiny smattering of good ones). Look at how the numbers 2 and 5 have been linked together and how we could do it differently. Does it even have to be numbers, could it be roman numerals, made of words, abstract, you get the idea.... The need to have a campaignable mark (25 years of…) was realised early on in the process. It meant it could be customised depending on what we were talking about and who we were talking to. It also meant it could last the course of the year without showing the same messaging over and over.

And the result?
An identity that encompasses everything. It shows the classical heritage of British design, has reflective qualities for the Australian market and cues from Chinese calligraphy in its vertical configuration for Hong Kong. All encompassed within a modern campaignable mark.

As some of my colleagues were leaving a meeting recently, one of the client directors who was there said ‘Who designed your 25 year logo?’ to which my colleague replied, ‘Well, that would be Paul Green, our branding designer’, ‘Well, it’s bloody lovely!’ and started to replicate the flow of the logo by contorting his body. It’s nice to receive comments like that, especially out of a potential client. It’s also a bonus when they get their groove on.