Launching Oxford Innovation's Access to Finance.
When Oxford Innovation approached me to pitch to do the branding for their latest venture - Access to Finance, a scheme to help emerging start ups get vital funding, I was excited. As a Brand mentor and advisor to SME's, I understand just how crucial funding can be.
There are other financial support programmes in the market, so creating a look that would stand out and match the dynamic personality of the people involved was paramount. The Branding had to balance being an independent entity but also pair with its parent organisation - Oxford Innovation.
The combination of the Oxford Innovation Coach - their ability to offer support and help gain access to vital funding is what sets them apart. This unique relationship was the USP, and so it was paramount to reference this in the final solution.
For me, one of the most crucial elements to any branding concept has to fulfill the following criteria:
- It has to be unique to the client and their business
- Hint at what they do for their customers / the service they provide
- Be visually distinctive and appealing
Below is the pitch winning solution I submitted to Oxford Innovation.
Logo mood board
I wanted to create a solution that hinted at the service they provide - business coaching, guidance and access to finance. The Triangular structure brings together all the key components of a successful project:
The Client + The OI Coach = Success
The combined effort of the Client and The Coach working together leads to exponential business growth, represented by the ever expanding isosceles triangle shaped design.
As much of their target market are business professionals, they will be familiar with business charts and infographics. In this case, the triangular components of the logo represent of OI influenced growth of the company projected over several years.
As the business needs change, so can the Coach, with each one contributing to the growth of the company. Each section represents the success of the enterprise, but also the influence of each particular Coach.
I wanted to make the logo unique to its parent business - Oxford Innovation. After much research, I settled on a shape inspired by the iconic spires of the Oxford skyline, the home of Oxford Innovation.
The spire-like data triangle is crafted with accuracy and precision. It’s measurements and proportions are designed to be harmonious, as well as visually appealing as possible and are perfectly aligned around the famous logarithmic spiral found in the Golden Ratio.
Different styles for Different industries
Soft Cream provides a perfect balance to the Dark Graphite, while a Rich Gold adds gravitas and luxury. Regal Green and Navy give grounding, heritage and formality and Deep Turquoise, used as the primary colour lifts the entire palette and acts as the signature colour.
For the photography, it was important to capture the character of the people who work at Oxford Innovation. To give an insight into the company culture and atmosphere through observational shots that focus on individual details.
I also felt it was crucial to be authentic. Shots of life inside and outside of the office of them working with clients. Genuine stories captured in an observational style, not overly posed photoshoots and terrible stock photography.
We needed to show the impact of their services on their clients and their businesses and tell stories in a way that feels real and is relatable.
Aspire - For VIP clients
For the most successful clients I decided an exclusive network called Aspire. This was reserved for the top 10% of clients and is planned to come into fruition in 2018.