My most recent logo design was the rebranding of not one but two business logos.
The original company Hortech was established in 1987 so they are coming up to being in business for 30 years . . . .
. . . . during that period they had bought out Boultons Wholesale Nurseries . . . .
. . . but as is often the case . . .with business ownership, it makes sense to continue to run your purchased business under its established brand (name and logo)
So despite having the same ownership the two businesses have been running as separate brands, but under the same registered number.
. . . . and more and more recently this was becoming an issue and confusing within the business . . . .
It was time for a change. . . .
Rebranding – the name choice
Wild Ideas original involvement with Hortech came via my business associates at DBN web design . .
. . . . as they were already hosting the Boultons wholesale nursery website.
. . . . the manager of Boultons had said requested a website revamp . . . . . however there was a delay in me getting a briefing conversation with him.
. . . . . this turned out to be due to the manager at Hortech deciding that their website too
needed to be updated and in fact the logical way would be to merge the two sites together.
The rebranding briefing meeting was arranged up at Boultons Wholesale Nurseries based in Stone Staffordshire . . . . .
. . . . . and myself and Dennis and Bina at DBN went over on a glorious sunny morning in September to meet with Lee and Duncan.
We had a brilliant meeting and discussed what they wanted for their website . . . . and the ultimate aim to lose the Boultons name and start rebranding everything under Hortech.
SO rebranding the name . . . but what about the visual impact of losing the Boultons logo?
Rebranding – the visual choice
It struck me that if they were Rebranding Boultons as Hortech – (particularly soon losing the Boultons website domain) then there was potentially a lot of Boultons clients who could get lost in the ether . . . .
. . . . or in that great world of Chinese Whispers . . . . where when the Boultons brand name AND logo disappears . . . . and people draw their own conclusions and the inevitable 2+2=5 happens! . . . .
. . . . and some might think that Boultons was no -more. . . . . when in fact behind the scenes everything is exactly the same.
There were no requests from the client for any visual Rebranding of the logo, so I offered my thoughts on this . . . . .
. . . . my initial impressions with the Boultons logo was that it was really really quite nice . . . and I did prefer it to the Hortech one . . . . .
. . . . however any logo that has been established for a long time has significant recognition and with that recognition comes all the positive things that people associate with that brand . . . .
so whether it’s a great logo or whether it is a less attractive logo it’s still what that Logo represents that is almost more important.
my gut instinct was to go for rebranding and retain something of both brands . . . .
. . . . if the Boultons brand had lots of valuable customers and the Hortech brand also had lots of valuable customers . . . .
the question was how the rebranding could keep both.
As the Hortech name was safe . . . . .and the Boultons logo was nicer than I suggested that we keep the style the Hortech name withing the imagery and the icon and the emblem of Boultons
. . . . my suggestions were met with much positivity and enthusiasm from Duncan and Lee . . . .
. . . . particularly as it turns out that during discussions within the company most people much prefer the Boultons logo to the Hortech one . . . .
. . . . . so this was an easy decision.
I started off with initial mock ups just using the Boultons original colours . . . . . I wanted to retain as much as possible of that familiar brand . . .
Rebranding is about perception – when people see it something needs to make them think of Boultons even though the word they are reading will be Hortech
. . . . . so if they weren’t familiar with what Hortech what was they would at least ask why is that the Boultons logo? . . . . . what’s Hortech got to do with Boultons?
Rebranding – the font choice
For a typeface, sympathetic to the original, I started off as ever with Google Fonts they are free and easily accessible for website use and for downloading for print
.. . . I was trying to find something that was new and a little bit different but also retained the look of the futura font that had been used on boultons. . .
(to purchase futura for use on the web has a high fee)
I wanted a font that particularly had the very distinctive (and not very common) lowercase t of futura in order to retain the styling and feel of the Boultons font in the rebranding
I also bastardized (proper term!) the spacing to retain the layout as Boultons.
I then played about with a few different weights and some other fonts.
. . . . . when choosing font it is also important to consider what that font is going to be used for . . . .
. . . . if it is your brand font then you want it to be as flexible as possible so that you can use it but across all of your marketing . . . .
so if you can choose a font that has a selection of weights and styles then that is preferable.
. . . . unfortunately, to do that has a rather large restriction on your choice . . . . . as very many fonts only come in one weight.
. . . . so the best thing to do is select two fonts and if your main choice of rebranding font for your company name does not offer those different weights . . . .
then find a font that is complementary to go with it that will do that for you.
so you have a bold, regular, thin and italic/s . . . . . at least two or three different variations to give you that flexibility and versatility.
The main font preferred by the client did indeed only have one weight but it was my preferred Choice to so the secondary font that I chose I then used for the wholesale Nurseries Wording
. . . . and will be used on other marketing . . . .
( indeed I’ve already created a flyer for an event for the client tomorrow).
Rebranding – the colour choice
The original Boulton’s logo file that I was supplied contained three different greens . . .
. . . . I played about with some blending effects, and switched the use of colour to dark on the leaf and pale on the text
. . . . The feedback was very positive . . . . they requested that I experiment with the leaf colouring and try some autumnal shades
and they selected their two favourite fonts.
I chose various autumnal shades . . . . yellow reds oranges Browns beiges dusky greens and did a few different variations across the leaf and experimented with a bit more diversification of the format.
The final logo rebranding colours that have been chosen are could almost represent every season of the year . . . .
other than when placed on the leaf they are particularly autumnal . . . .
but the blend from yellow through to Orange to a deep red could also be applied to a sunset or sunrise or a glorious blooming flower in the height of summer . . .
and offers a bright uplifting contrast to the dark green of the wording that has been retained from the Boultons logo.
Anyone who is familiar with the Boultons logo will not fail to recognise this imagery.
Maybe they will question who Hortech is . . . . and jump up and down in accusation of a complete design rip off . . .
. . . . or maybe put 2 and 2 together and realise that there has been some rebranding.
. . . . indeed Boultons have a very prominent Twitter presence and have already tweeted about their rebranding launch for October.
. . . .The main Hortech Ltd logo . . . . follows the same rebranding style . . . .
and those familiar with the Hortech Ltd name will still find the website where it was . . . .
. . . . but to celebrate 30 years in business, in 2017 they will be presented with some refreshing rebranding to carry the business forward into its next 30 years.
This blog is created and written entirely by Linda Wild
– Thanks for reading.