Behind-the-Brand | Fraser Decor
Updated: May 15, 2020
One of the things we love most about designing a new or rebranded identity is the power it has to help our clients reach their full potential. Branding is transformative and empowering when built on strategy.
Introducing Fraser Decor, an interior decorating firm, that looks at dynamically transforming spaces with functional layouts, mood-generating colour palettes, key lighting, textures and purposeful finishes to provide their client’s with a fresh perspective.
We thrive on collaboration, so it helps when we work with inspiring people who are passionate about what they do, just like us!
We were delighted with the results of the Fraser Decor rebrand. To give you the full story, here’s a behind-the-brand look at the complete process of how the branding was developed.
ONE (1) | DISCOVERY
Since clients know their business best, they have a valuable role to play in the design process. The initial step includes the completion of a discovery consultation questionnaire, so we can get to know the business inside and out, before beginning the strategy and design development.
HOUSE OF FRASER DECOR, owner Jill Fraser, reached out to us, recognizing the need to revamp her brand’s identity, which included changing the name, by dropping the ‘House Of’ to just simply be known as FRASER DECOR. She wanted a refresh that would bring a tailored strategy to her business.
TWO (2) | STRATEGY
Our branding approach is built by combining strategy + creativity. We listen first and then learn what makes our clients idiomatic, diving deeply into their industry, studying the challenges and nuances of how companies in their sector grow. We learn about their competition, research what makes them ambitious and how we can build a strategy that stands out. In the end, we use all this information to curate and carefully blend together our client's strengths and what makes their business unique.
Next, we create a written brand strategy to define how we communicate the proposed vision. This forms the creative brief and guidelines to refer to when the concept design begins.
Within Jill’s discovery questionnaire, we asked for a selection of adjectives that she felt best described her brand. She answered with the following:
Together with our industry and competition research, these words informed the strategy for the rebranded Fraser Decor brand.
Next, the mood board and colour palette (shown below) was curated to visually convey the feeling described in the brand strategy. The mood board sets the tone of the proposed brand identity and very importantly, ensures our thoughts run parallel with our client. We must be in agreement on visual direction before proceeding to the concept stage.
The ‘Affordable Style’ strategy was centred around Fraser Decor’s ideal client -- the time-strapped 40-something professionals with families, who are quality conscious, have a reasonable amount of disposable income and appreciate the value that hiring a design professional brings to their lives.
Fraser Decor aims to tell a client’s story through the design of their interior spaces. The objective is to create a fun and enjoyable process that results in a collection of the client’s greatest loves. Fraser Decor, wants you to love your home again by surrounding you with quality, not clutter. Reinforcing the mandate of, ‘Buy It Once, Buy it Right.’ Fraser Decor’s practicality and resourcefulness, achieve creative solutions and an elevated style for unique living spaces.
Function, form + emotion equals good design.
The overall style direction placed an emphasis on cool tones and clean lines to convey a sharp and bold aesthetic. We looked to incorporate, the universal principle that often guides both home decor and identity design: less is more. By focusing on a thoughtful reduction of elements to reach simplicity and a contemporary design style that offers a great amount of versatility, a lasting appeal is achieved. Because nothing you like ever really goes out of style.
Colour is a powerful tool. It can transform a brand into an emotional experience by instantly stimulating desire, instilling trust and connecting a brand to the client’s soul.
Creating a balanced colour scheme was based on a five (5) colour palette; the bold hue, main neutral, accent shade, dark neutral and light neutral. The brand palette was modern and refreshingly unexpected, in comparison to what we traditionally see from the interior design industry. This proposed palette is a harmonious complementary blend of orange, greige, blue, blue-grey and light grey.
Orange | Bold Hue:
The bold colour will be the most interesting. Orange grabs attention and leaves a lasting impression, especially when accented with cool blues. Its combines the energy of red and the joyful positivity of yellow. Associated with innovation, freedom, success and new ideas, orange is your friendly ‘action’ colour, delivering enthusiasm and promise. It is a positive colour inspiring warm and comforting feelings, directly linking back to the interior spaces of a home. Orange will inspire Fraser Decor (and their clients) to be bolder in their choices depicting them as a fierce, optimistic and confident brand.
Greige (Beige+Grey) | Main Neutral
This neutral shade pairs with bold and complementary colours as well as grounds the colour scheme. It's used throughout the branding as an accent colour. Greige is an incredibly versatile colour that can be used in nearly every aspect of art and design because it has both cool and warm properties. It works exceptionally well when paired with its complementary colour, blue. Greige is honest, dependable, organized, balanced and classic - all the characteristics of the Fraser Decor brand ethos.
Blue | Accent Colour
The accent colour compliments the bold hue - orange, as they are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Blue is calming and credible with an air of dependability and stability. It represents loyalty, tranquillity, and reliability. The shade of the sea and the sky, blue is thought to induce and convey serenity and peace. Blue instils confidence and inspires feelings of integrity and responsibility; both integral attributes of the brand.
Blue-Grey | Dark Neutral
The darkest neutral will be primarily used for backgrounds and replaces the harshness of black for paragraph text. A blend of blue and grey in both actuality and colour psychology, blue-grey represents a fresh and calming brand, one that is timeliness with an air of sophistication. It is efficient, credible, professional and elegant.
Grey | Light Neutral
The lightest colour used primarily for backgrounds and supporting elements like patterns or textures that need to stand in the limelight. Grey is your modern neutral and popular as it pairs well and compliments bolder colours, balancing your brand palette. It invites helpfulness and represents a harmonious union of black and white. Light grey, almost white - feels pristine and modern - just like the spaces, they aim to create.
Rounding out, the colour story was white generally considered as a neutral backdrop that lets colours have a larger voice. However, onto itself, it is synonymous with cleanliness, simplicity and virtue. White also evokes feelings of renewal. The hue has the properties of bringing about calmness, comfort, and hope. White gives life a sense of order and meaning while helping the mind to declutter.
The strong presence of negative space in this brand strategy looks to provide clarity and simplicity to the Fraser Decor brand.
Shapes play an important role in the development of an identity. It's often the most innovative approaches that happen in the background that gives a brand, its layered and deeper meaning. The squares and rectangles are synonymous with practicality, balance and trustworthiness. Since reliability is central to your brand’s adjective, this makes the square the perfect fit. Triangles suggest excitement and growth, inspiring improvement, focus and representing action. The use of this shape speaks to Fraser Decor’s fun and dynamic process to home decorating.
Similarly to how colour and shape theory impact the development of an identity, so does the use of typography. The mix of sans serif and slab serif fonts presented, connect with the modern/contemporary aesthetic, imparting notions of professionalism with the light lines and straight edges. The subtle square/slab serifs inject life, approachability and friendliness to the identity.
We were confident this proposed direction would grant Fraser Decor more opportunities to transform interior spaces to beautifully reflect the life, inspirations and personal style of their clients.
The strategy would propel the brand to differentiate from the competition, connecting Fraser Decor with their ideal clients -- busy professionals with families, who are ready to delegate home decorating to achieve an elevated and unique style. Concurrently, providing Fraser Decor with a broader appeal to secure larger whole home renovation contracts and expand the business into the retail decor market.
While Jill was elated with the direction, noting that we really hit the mark by understanding the messages she was trying to convey. She loved the colour palette, however, felt that blues weren’t impactful enough. After a short follow up discussion, we decided to update the ‘Blue-Grey’ to a true ‘Navy’ which resulted in more of a tonal difference between the two blues, while keeping the strategy steadfast.
THREE (3) | CONCEPTS
After defining the visual brand direction, it was time to begin developing the logo concepts – our favourite part of the process! Our strengths lie in creating brand identities that translate our clients' vision and bring their message to life in a visual way.
The greatest challenge of creating a brand identity is incorporating several aspects into the design while still keeping it simple.
We had two (2) main considerations in mind during this stage:
Keeping the design versatile and functional
Encapsulating the business philosophies
As always we start by using pencil and paper to brainstorm visual ideas. From there the ideas with the most potential are refined.
Since design is subjective, we provide clients with a choice, by presenting two (2) different concepts that we confidently believe answer the directive.
However, a brand identity is more than just a logo; it’s a complete visual system, that should add depth and personality to the brand. This structure gives our clients the confidence to implement and grow.
As part of the concept presentation, we also deliver a brand storyboard that includes the other design elements needed to complete the visual identity— secondary logo, submark, colour palette, typography, patterns and social signatures. In addition, digital in use renderings are developed to showcase how each concept could appear in real-life applications.
For both concepts, the subjective elements have been extracted to showcase the systematic approach used to create the monogram and abstract emblem icons, with the aim to connect with the audience on a deeper level.
CONCEPT 1 - The Picket Style Logomark
This concept focuses on the direction that contemporary style offers a great amount of versatility and lasting appeal. The monogram within the logomark was created by combining the letters, ‘J’ and ‘F’ to represent FRASER DECOR’s owner’s first and last initials. Together the stylized letters form a letter ‘H’, a gesture to the interiors of a ‘house and home’ respectively. Inspired by the classic hexagon silhouette, the picket shape was formed by blending a triangle and square, to form a house icon and a downward-pointing arrow, synonymous with affordability. Similar to FRASER DECOR’s mission, these simple icons are given a fresh perspective. The monogram creates a mark that radiates style and does wonders for connecting the bold, distinctive and modern aesthetic of the wordmark. The largely cool palette complements the warmth of orange, that grabs attention and leaves a lasting impression. The design inspires bolder choices and depicts FRASER DECOR as a fierce, optimistic and confident brand.
CONCEPT 2 - The Collected Monogram
This design focuses on layering, practicality and resourcefulness to achieve creative solutions and an elevated style. The ‘collected’ monogram was developed by stacking squares and rectangles to depict beauty and function resulting in abstract letterforms of ‘F’ and ‘d’ to represent FRASER DECOR’s brand initials. The ‘d’ doubles as the letter ‘J’, a personal nod to the owner’s first name, Jill. The sans (serif) typography contrasts with its dynamic modulation of thick and thin strokes keeping the wordmark purposefully tailored. The slanted lowercase letter ‘o’ was styled to inject a bit of approachability and friendliness. The harmonious blend of complementary colours; blue, greys and orange, emanates a fresh and modern feel. The hints blue-grey represent a calming brand, one that is timeliness with an air of sophistication. The FRASER DECOR brand is efficient, credible and elegant, aiming to transform spaces with the aesthetic and philosophy of less -- resulting in so much more.
Both concepts were meaningful branding options. Jill took a couple of days to take everything in. She lamented on how she would be more than happy to move ahead with either concept. However, in the end, the Collected Monogram (Concept 2) edged out the Picket Styled Logomark.
FOUR (4) | REFINE AND BUILD
No updates were required. Due to our considered design approach, we usually have minimal design refinements, if any at all.
Next, we built out any print, digital and social collateral required. To put it simply, this is the process of designing all the other items that will be needed to communicate and launch the brand identity.
For this rebrand we created the following collateral:
FIVE (5) | LAUNCH
Altogether, this process took 6 weeks. The client launch package always includes a plethora of logo files for both print and web use; including all the brand elements, colour palette, patterns and typography (font files).
Thanks to the brand storyboard, Jill understands how to use her new brand identity going forward.
We also provide a step-by-step web tutorial to enable clients to make simple updates whenever needed.
For all our brand identity clients, we offer ongoing design services to ensure that future projects align with the new branding.
THE TAKEAWAY When you invest in your brand, you're building a level of confidence within yourself, your business and your clients.
Fraser Decor’s re-brand fully communicates the level of professionalism, confidence and sophistication that Jill delivers. Her clients will trust her design eye on a whole new level.
Don’t just take our word for it. See what Jill had to say:
"I am excited by everything, I've read and see... You really understood the messages, I was trying to convey... and I loved your vision and strategy. This collaboration has been effortless and fulfilling!" -- JILL FRASER, FRASER DECOR
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