A brand represents the purpose and function an organisation plays in the lives of its users or customers. Portable will work with your team to articulate or create a brand identity that genuinely meets at the point of who the organisation is and what it wants to be to it audiences. By looking at the key characteristics and points of difference of a brand, as well as gaining insights into the behaviours and preferences of and customers, we help client organisations assess whether a brand needs to be refined, reviewed or recreated. Portable excels at reenergising brands and making sure they are current, relevant and optimised for digital platforms, and our specialist knowledge of branding in the legal sector has become a core part of our business.
Our branding services
Brand positioning and research
To make sure we understand and define the characteristics and role of the organisation in its marketplace or industry, we assess related, competing and connected organisations to gain an understanding of the ecosystem that surrounds users. We synthesise and document our learnings, for example as a mission statement or brand quadrant, to summarise the guiding brand values and principles. We often hold co-design workshops with stakeholders and users, as well as one-on-one interviews with users and internal stakeholders to help us understand the brand and its users. This leads to the creation of artefacts, such as user personas, which help us design for the right audience and their needs when developing visual directions and tone of voice.
Establishing tone of voice
Words are just as important as the visuals in any brand. We can prepare guidelines for writing and language as part of our branding process, working with stakeholders and users to define the most effective style. This may include examples of copywriting, sentence structure and style with rules and guidelines for ongoing content maintenance and writing. This may be supplemented by a brand quadrant which summarises the guiding brand principles for future reference.
We often begin the branding process by presenting mood boards of references, and deciding on the most appropriate direction with stakeholders and/or users. We refine that direction further until we present back some brand concepts to show a high level vision of how the final brand might look and feel. This can often include example applications such as web pages and marketing material. The final brand concepts are delivered as polished and high-quality artwork, but we make the design process transparent, showing stakeholders our thinking and rough sketches along the way. Style tiles are presented to show how the brand identity might look online, with examples of elements such as fonts, images buttons, links and navigation elements.
Visual design and documentation
After a visual direction has been chosen, we define how the brand elements apply to products and user experiences. A digital design system is usually the output at this point, acting as a guide and toolkit for how the brand is applied across the web, covering accessibility, layout grids, typography and responsive design on various device types. A suite of web components may also be a part of this digital design system, and we can also deliver example document templates as part of a more traditional brand guidelines document.