Just add water

May 5, 2021

Introducing our new visual identity for Tweakit, a sustainable and refillable body care brand that believes performance and planet can go hand in hand. Tweakit is embracing the power of small and encouraging all of us to make simple, tiny, positive tweaks to our everyday. All of these small steps can have a massive impact on our bodies, minds, pockets and our precious planet. We’ve created the visual identity, packaging and tone of voice for Tweakit, and we’ve put WE at the core of the identity, as it is our collective action that will have the biggest impact.

Tweakit is seeking to shake things up, reduce the millions of tons of single use plastic waste every year, reduce the carbon cost of transporting water and generally declutter bathrooms across the UK. Our packaging design for Tweakit refill powders are fun and simple. Just add water, shake and voila, high-performance shampoo, conditioner and body wash that leaves you with a clean conscience.

Today Epicor’s brand refresh launches to its 27,000 customers, 3,800 employees, 1000s of partners and the world at large. This new chapter for the US based software company, signaled by a refined brand positioning, clarity of message and refreshed visual identity, is a statement of Epicor’s ambition and will help to deliver their vision to build a world of better business.

Together are delighted to have been working with Epicor on this full-scale programme, a real ‘moving mountains’ brief that saw us reposition the business and fundamentally alter their go to market strategy. The bold new approach simplifies the journey for customers and strengthens Epicor’s offering by focusing on their core differentiators of deep industry expertise, experience across the supply chain and curated ERP solutions delivered through genuine partnership with their customers. ‘Made with you, for you’ is Epicor’s mantra.

In a short time, and working entirely remotely, we’ve got our heads around an incredibly complex industry and a business that has grown, over almost 50 years, through merger and acquisition to a turnover of nearly $1billion. We’ve been working with teams across the organisation to ensure a strategy and visual design that is representative of their collective ambition, is differentiated in the market, resonates with customers, internally galvanising and fit for the future.

For a company rightly proud of its affinity with its customers, a sense of partnership and empathy was missing in communications materials. Not any more. We have put the customer at the heart of the new branding and Epicor’s warmth and expertise shines through. There’s a friendly softness to the shapes of our brand illustrations and confidence in the strong logo and clear typography. Customer photography looks you straight in the eye. Colours are bold enough to have clout and bright enough to have energy.

Our designs are fluid and uncluttered because that’s what Epicor delivers – brilliant, seamless solutions.

Following the delivery of the core brand framework and visual identity guidance, we developed the brand architecture, streamlining 70+ products into 5 core industry areas with clear naming principles and protocols. For us the best rebrands are internally focussed and externally felt – Epicor’s exciting transformation is a great example of this. The result is smart, fresh and optimistic. Straightforward, yet effortlessly stylish.

Hope reigns

November 20, 2019

The new Prix Pictet book, Hope, has arrived hot off the press. It showcases work from the 8th global award in photography and sustainability, which began in 2008 with Water. Together has designed all eight publications for the Prix Pictet, produced and distributed by teNeues. The theme of Hope reflects the power of optimism; hope in the face of adversity, increased recycling, reforestation, rewilding, advances in medicine and emerging technological solutions for the planet’s environmental problems. The book shows images from the 12 shortlisted portfolios as well as powerful images produced by a selection of other nominated photographers.

The exhibition of shortlisted artists is on until December 8th at the V&A. Huge congratulations to Hope winner Joana Choumali for her series ‘Ça va aller’.

BBC Earth is the production powerhouse behind ground-breaking productions such as Planet Earth II, Dynasties and Blue Planet II. They have a wealth of incredible programming but very few visual assets to use in print or on products. Our brief was to create a new consumer product style guide along with the assets and applications that will be so valuable for extending the BBC Earth brand.

We first worked with the team to scope out the licensing and collaborative opportunities that lay ahead and then dove into an extensive creative exploration phase to work out how natural history live action programming could translate into unique and ownable graphic assets.

By developing a ‘habitat’ driven library of designs through themes such as jungle, desert and ocean, we have brought to life the unique locations that BBC Earth visits – the landscapes, geology, animals and vegetation all feature in icons, painted textures, photography, colour palettes, patterns and typographic lock-ups.

We can’t wait to see the products on shelves so we can stock up on reusable cups, bottles and children’s wear to show our love for planet earth.

In search of the evergreen

October 4, 2018

Evergreen brands inhabit a special place in our hearts and minds. They are often wrapped in nostalgia and memories. They are loved; and expectations of those brands are high. Evergreen brands have permission to grow and sometimes even to change, but for owners and managers of these brands, understanding the parameters customers are willing to accept, and ensuring they keep a foothold in tradition, is crucial.

Sometimes old, sometimes new
There’s a perception that evergreen brands are older, wiser and long-established. A brand you knew as a child, perhaps a brand that even your parents or grandparents knew. Some evergreen brands certainly develop over a longer period – take Peter Rabbit or Penguin books. The fact that they are still around is testament to their strength and ongoing emotional pull. Both brands have adopted modern interpretations of key characters and attributes, have been translated to digital media, introduced to new audiences and have extended into a breadth of product areas, but they remain true to the essence of their original concept.

Other brands just seem to have the formula down and are evergreen almost from the minute they are launched. Think of The Gruffalo with it’s authenticity, honesty, a sense of longevity and purpose.

Unfortunately, the fact that a brand, new or old, has the qualities required for resilience and longevity doesn’t guarantee that they will maintain relevance and capture the long-term interest of consumers.

A changing landscape
As we’ve all experienced, brands are increasingly multidisciplinary and nimble. Brand strength used to mean a cookie cutter approach and a belief that repetition built brand awareness. Now we judge the success of a brand, not by its ability to hammer home its brand mark or name, but in its ability to be recognised without its logo. Developing a design world around a brand enables engagement with audiences on a number of levels.

So there’s the quandary, never have brands been more judged, never has the need for careful control been greater, but conversely, insatiable markets and customers have never wanted more.

It’s all about balance
So how do you infuse the personality of your brand, or the story of your business into everything you do? How do you distil, then articulate that personality in the most important tool in your kit bag of brand management – your brand style guide?

At Together, we’ve produced many guides in many formats and believe the best style guides are a balancing act of rules vs inspiration, personality vs mechanics; balancing the communication of the brand story with the technical delivery of hundreds of assets. Here are our hard won top ten tips for success:

1. Identify ‘the’ thing… take time to understand what part of the brand story galvanizes your customers and then amplify that in the design and the copy. Wherever you can – all the way through.
2. Get under the skin of brand’s audience… understand their changing needs and aspirations, track macro trends that affect their behaviour over time and have an eye on the motivations of next generation consumers. Use insights and research; both qual and quant and question throughout.
3. Know your user… who will implement the style guide? How much do they know already? What’s their role, their level of interest, their technical know-how and design knowledge? You never want to talk down but you also don’t want to leave people guessing.
4. Unify your team… licensed brands are usually managed by a very broad stakeholder group. From brand owners to agents, production companies and broadcasters to manufacturers and retailers – everyone will have different priorities, and often slightly varied interpretations of the brand. Get everyone to sign up to a common vision before you start.
5. Ensure it’s not all talk… draw up a long-list of likely end uses for the document itself. How big does the guide need to be? How many assets is just enough? A load of lovely positioning mood boards is useless for a team who need access to usable design files.
6. Reinvent the format… we personally love exploring how the structure of a guide can communicate the brand as much as its content. What are the fun ways to show the colour palette and even the page numbers?
7. .eps, .png, .psd, .tif, .jpg, cmyk, rgb… there’s nothing more disappointing than a guide which looks fabulous but doesn’t supply the right assets in the right formats for a user’s needs.
8. Respect your elders… by which we mean historical imagery, brand marks or other graphics. Treat them with reverence. By all means give things a modern twist, but only for a good reason.
9. Design systems vs asset overviews… give people kits of assets then show them in use. Create design systems with principles and rules you can articulate, rather than giving a huge array of assets without instruction of how they fit together.
10. Aftercare… don’t forget to explain the approvals and queries process!