Business Durham

Helping business prosper

Client

Durham County Council

Project

Business Durham Rebrand & Website Development

Services

Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Design

Sector

Public Sector, Property

Helping business prosper

The Brief

With Business Durham’s logo firmly established, across a multitude of physical applications, a key part of the brief was to build on what already existed. Any modification to the existing elements had to be subtle enough to blend seamlessly with pre-existing executions. Alongside this, any new supporting elements had to amplify the brand's aims, be flexible enough to work both on and off screen, and connect sympathetically with the existing elements.

Background

Durham County Council engaged Better to evolve the brand of Business Durham; their economic development arm. Business Durham feeds the economic growth of County Durham by offering guidance and support with funding, as well as sourcing property for new businesses in the region. Because Durham has one of the lowest rates of business start-ups in the country, they are a crucial service offering deep-rooted knowledge and unrivalled, all-encompassing and – most importantly – proven support.

The Solution

With a ‘blank page’ approach being ruled out, our challenge was to createe elements that referenced and complemented the logo: updating and refreshing the supporting brand world, graphic devices, palette and typography to better reflect who Business Durham have become. The result was a versatile D-Frame device, distinctive accompanying typography and a system of dynamic Prosperity Patterns rendered in vibrant green.

Helping business prosper

The Brief

With Business Durham’s logo firmly established, across a multitude of physical applications, a key part of the brief was to build on what already existed. Any modification to the existing elements had to be subtle enough to blend seamlessly with pre-existing executions. Alongside this, any new supporting elements had to amplify the brand's aims, be flexible enough to work both on and off screen, and connect sympathetically with the existing elements.

Durham County Council engaged Better to evolve the brand of Business Durham; their economic development arm. Business Durham feeds the economic growth of County Durham by offering guidance and support with funding, as well as sourcing property for new businesses in the region. Because Durham has one of the lowest rates of business start-ups in the country, they are a crucial service offering deep-rooted knowledge and unrivalled, all-encompassing and – most importantly – proven support.

With Business Durham’s logo firmly established, across a multitude of physical applications, a key part of the brief was to build on what already existed. Any modification to the existing elements had to be subtle enough to blend seamlessly with pre-existing executions. Alongside this, any new supporting elements had to amplify the brand's aims, be flexible enough to work both on and off screen, and connect sympathetically with the existing elements.

With a ‘blank page’ approach being ruled out, our challenge was to createe elements that referenced and complemented the logo: updating and refreshing the supporting brand world, graphic devices, palette and typography to better reflect who Business Durham have become. The result was a versatile D-Frame device, distinctive accompanying typography and a system of dynamic Prosperity Patterns rendered in vibrant green.

video

Frame and success

With the logo remaining unchanged, the surrounding graphics had to work extra hard to establish iconicity. To highlight business success stories, we created a framing device from the D of the existing logo, allowing us to literally put the business in Durham.

Business Durham Brochures

Helping
Business
Prosper

Onwards and upwards

To complement the D-Frame, we needed an equally recognisable but more variable graphic element, something that could be used when no photography was available. For this, we created a series of shimmering ‘patterns of prosperity’. Positive plus signs and upwards arrows that instinctively conveyed momentum and growth.

Bringing dynamic support into the digital realm

The Business Durham website is a core part of their marketing toolkit. It provides an essential communication channel to both new and existing businesses as well as stakeholders. At its core, the site aims to promote the County, sharing success stories and news, offering support and advice, as well as showcasing available commercial property units in the area. More specifically, there were also aims to reduce the overall bounce rate across the website and increase engagement. To help with this, we started with defining the critical user journeys and wireframes, creating a more focused navigation structure. We worked in detail on key pages to ensure the right information balances with crucial calls to action. Alongside a wealth of information on available support, news and case studies helped promote the success stories and activity within the County. Finally, a custom-built filterable property search and tenant directory add further functionality to help users find what they're looking for and further promote the diversity of businesses in the area.

Photography Bar/Restaurant
Photography Office
Photography Science

Setting the scene

To ensure consistency and reliable visual results, we devised a detailed photographic brief that Durham County Council could provide to any photographer in the field. This guidance helps to ensure that portraits and environmental shots are always taken in multiple orientations and with consideration given to how they will work with other assets like the D-Frame.

Brochure Spread Science
“The process of engaging colleagues, impressing upon them the need for change and thinking about the personal and organisational impact for the businesses we support. The introspection was not expected when we set out on this journey but was a welcome benefit. The team from Better were excellent in teasing out any views, ideas, concerns and issues and exploring each one. The talented team were able to deal with some challenges expertly with tact and diplomacy bringing the whole team along to a conclusion which everyone agreed to.”

Peter Kiernan

Marketing Manager, Business Durham

Brochure Spread Support
Brochure Spread Development
Newspaper Advert
Business Durham Banner Light
Business Durham Banner Dark
Business Durham Letter
Business Durham ID Card

Proper guidance

With all future design work being done in-house, a significant part of the project was to deliver a comprehensive set of guidelines that would keep the brand on track. This meant not only demonstrating how to use the D-Frame and Prosperity Patterns but also detailing page structures, grids and layout templates that would guarantee the brand consistent and cohesive roll-out long after our work is done.

Business Durham Guidelines
As we emerge and recover from lockdown, now more than ever, we need to provide our clients with the type of guidance, reassurance and confidence we feel we can offer and that now our brand and website reflects.

Peter Kiernan

Marketing Manager, Business Durham