We recently had the pride and joy of rebranding Aktons Estate Agents in Caerphilly. With the property sector being one of our specialties, we approached our long standing client Aktons about moving their branding forward with a new, bold brand design.
Being a small but personal estate agent in Caerphilly, Aktons had not thought about rebranding the agents until we had approached and proposed a fresh outlook. At Martin Hopkins we pride ourselves on keeping our eye on your brand and how it is performing – and honesty is the best policy. We put together our branding proposal, covering everything from the estate agents logo through to the illustration style, photography style and language approach. A rebrand is about so much more than just your logo mark. Although their new logo the more forward facing element of this rebrand, it is also the language and tone of voice that has been carefully assessed, along with a playful illustration style to accompany the bold logo design.
Impactful colour, impactful brand
Before any design work began, we looked at the most identifiable element of the previous Aktons brand – their red. Red is a very powerful colour, and when used right and alongside complementary colours, it can become a very impactful branding message. We wanted to modernise the Aktons brand, but also keep recognition with their already loyal client base. To ensure we did not alienate their current business, we decided to stay true to their red. However, we felt the brand would benefit from a lighter, punchier red that they could really own. This, coupled with a new secondary colour – a plum purple – planted the seed for a new estate agent logo design.
Simple logo design
Next came the logo design itself. In our design studio our graphic designers are keen to make their own mark on branded typography, which often involves bespoke cutting the logo mark to make it their own. This ensures their logo is not ‘off the shelf’, but a carefully crafted piece of typography. In the estate agency business, recognition and visibility from a distance is so key – especially on the sales and letting boards. That’s why we knew this logo had to have a weight to it, as well as a striking appearance to get it noticed. Our designers carefully chose the right typeface, and got to work on making it personalised for Aktons. Referencing the previous logo, we wanted to keep the element of the angle the A created. Instead of keeping this on the A, we opted for a lowercase brand, to soften the look of the logo and then implemented the crafted type on the letter k. Keeping the brand in the lowercase not only kept it friendly, but it also unified the letters of the brand name and gave it more visual balance. Placed against the cherry red our designers had carefully designed and specified, it really sang. Placing this onto branded material like the sale board design was what made us really fall in love with this brand and appreciate it in it’s simplest form. People often get caught up feeling as if they need a logo or symbol in their branding. In this case, it was not necessary – Aktons is such a unique brand name. Think Google or Coca-Cola. There is no need to complicate brands that are unique in their very nature. Aktons is already a recognisable name and will be remembered for its service in sales & lettings.
New brand design, same lovely team
Revised tone of voice was another large consideration for this rebrand design. Brands must not only design their logos and marketing material, but they must carefully design their written word. Aktons needed to get across their personal and experienced nature. They needed a trustworthy brand that also sings personality. Crafting their tone of voice came with playful phrases and illustrations. Phrases that played on the nature of their business fitted well.
This personality needed to remain to stay true to the very nature of the estate agents. Made up of only a few staff members, Aktons is a reliable and experienced estate agent in Caerphilly. Not only that but they offer what a lot of estate agents lack – a personal experience. So many estate agent brands are now online, so cold shouldered and indirect. At Aktons they deal with real people and offer a personal service to rival their competitors. It is this that must come through on their marketing material, adverts and boards.
Brand illustration design
With a solid and well formed logo mark, we knew that part of the illustration style must be quite rigid, but we wanted to inject some personality. Our graphic designers achieved this through detailed research of the market and illustration styles. It was only once this process was done that they decided to combine the solid rigidity of line illustration with textured and rough elements such as the clouds and trees. Adding this more playful style breaks up the illustration designs and gives more personality to the marketing messages.
Soft & relatable photography
Each photograph used in Aktons marketing has been carefully chosen to work alongside its new brand design. Each message and each photography must work in harmony to create an effective marketing message. We take great inspiration from the Lloyds branding in this. We admire the use of photography and messaging to create powerful messages.
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