Clients & Partners

The Yarrow Hotel

Timeframe: Present

The Yarrow is a ?10 million Hotel in Broadstairs that is run by East Kent College. The college has an excellent reputation for the high quality of their hospitality courses and the capabilities of the students they produce. The Yarrow was set up to offer the high-end service that these students can give to the general public through the hotel, bar, restaurant and salon as well as through their corporate and wedding packages. Conveying East Kent College's excellent reputation within the hospitality industry was key to the branding. It was very important that the hotel be seen to offer a high-end level service but still be viewed as accessible to everyone; Four Star service at Three Star prices. To support this message of accessibility, the brand had to be family friendly. In addition to this tone, we were asked to convey elements of the Kent area, the heritage of the building, a sense of discovery and exploration, and having the time and space to relax. After carrying out a branding workshop with all of the major stakeholders at East Kent College we decided to explore several visual options that each focused on different elements of the hotel brand. It was important to the college that potential customers be consulted on these options and to see which elements best resonated with them. This required us to run several focus groups to delve deep into how the brand was viewed. This feedback was analysed and used to develop the brand into what it is today. The Yarrow building was at one time a convalescence home for children so was designed to be spacious inside with wide corridors and staircases; features that remain today. To evoke this, the brand was designed to give a sense of space and taking the time to relax, an evocation that perfectly fits the surroundings of the hotel. It was also important to convey The Yarrow's Kentish heritage and the idea that you can go there to discover something about the area that you might not have experienced before. To this end we created a set of icons that evoked the Kent area and could be used playfully, being found in sometimes unexpected places and recreating that feeling of discovery. A key element of the brand is the language and copy style that is used both inside and outside the hotel. We crafted the language around adverbs that demonstrate the intricate processes that go into the service at The Yarrow. These adverbs are stylised to stand out to potential customers and create a sense of the service they can expect. We created a main mark that reflects the architecture of the Yarrow building itself. Coming off of this main mark was a timeline that conveys the process that goes into giving such luxurious service and reminding customers to take time to indulge and enjoy themselves at The Yarrow. As each area of the hotel has the potential to be marketed separately, we developed a colour for each that was unique to it, while still working within the palette of the overall brand. We created a set of icons that could appeal to both adults and children and conveyed elements that would be easily associated with the area of the hotel that they had to work in. We developed a set of guidelines that allow the new Yarrow brand to work effectively across online and offline channels and give future visitors to the hotel a real sense of the experience they will receive.

Global Payments

Timeframe: Present

Leading card payments provider Global Payments, a fortune 1000 company, with specialist products designed for the hospitality market. Having worked with Global Payments since they were HSBC Merchant Services, we have continued to develop their brand communications and product brands including their industry specific product campaigns. A campaign concept was needed to communicate the benefits of a range of products that Global Payments are offering to the hospitality sector. The campaign needed to stand out in a sector dominated by lifestyle and food pictures as well as educating potential customers of the benefits of the technology offered. To communicate the huge benefits to customer experience, we made the customer the centre of the campaign; not Global Payments' customers but their customer's customers. We created a whole crowd of little people that plead with the hospitality sector to improve their payments process, that complain about long waits and confusing bills. The illustrative style keeps the concepts simple and allows the flexibility to show different scenarios and real world situations. The campaign concept has been so well received that the little people now appear across brochures, infographics, emails, show stands, direct mail and even their own mini animation. Crowd sourcing by creating our own crowd.

The Ambrette

Timeframe: Present

The 2013 Kent Restaurant of the year, multiple Michelin Guide listed and Sunday Times Top 20 restaurant, The Ambrette is a rapidly rising star in the culinary scene. Their unique take on locally sourced, western fine dining fused with the flavours of Mumbai has resulted in their three restaurants gaining plaudits from both the national press and their happy, loyal customers. While the Ambrette was making unique moves in the kitchen, their visual identity still suggested 'local Tandoori' rather than the world food innovators they had become. Dev Biswal head chef at The Ambrette had ambitions for the restaurants that simply weren't being reflected in the way they presented themselves. The challenge was to shift public perception of an Indian influenced restaurant from curry house to something far more unexpected. We recommended that the brand should be positioned towards European fine dining rather than relying on its spiced background. We developed a flexible identity, which not only visually represented the artistic and elegant style of cooking, but also the characteristics and flair of Head Chef and Owner Dev Biswal. A central mark based on a hand drawn 'A' by Dev Biswal is used as an anchor for the brand, with graphic ingredients placed on it to reflect the importance of locally sourced, high quality produce. The brand was designed to be location specific, allowing each restaurant to have their own flavour with its own set of ingredients and colours placed onto the core brand. Open Water then applied this new brand style across all online and offline channels, ensuring the brand enhanced and reflected the experience that customers will receive at The Ambrette. We even added a silver award at the Kent Digital Awards to their already long list of accolades!

Global Payments

Timeframe: Present

With over 4,500 employees worldwide, Global Payments, wanted to create a share scheme that engaged with their employees and communicated the real world benefits of investing in Global Payments. The SAYE scheme is designed to work over several years. Each year offers the opportunity for new investment as well as for maturing previous investments. This cyclical nature was central to the brief, each year the design needed to develop and change whilst keeping its core concept and styling. As a metaphor for the SAYE scheme we created a magic garden which grows and flourishes each year. Each year we create new plants and trees to plant in the garden, with people and animals enjoying them. The illustrations wind through spreads and layouts in an endless summer as the scheme develops and matures. Beautifully trimmed topiary is used to show the things that your investment could lead to, from cameras and iPads to cars and houses. Like the scheme itself the format has developed over time, now using interactive pdfs and screen graphics rather than printed brochures. The scheme has been a great success winning the ifs ProShare Awards Best Share Save Plan when it was launched and we have since produced Cantonese versions of the documents for Hong Kong.

Uniware

Timeframe: Present

Uniware are a leading ePos and payment solution provider with hundreds of thousands of users. The business was established over 20 years ago, primarily servicing the education sector but it has grown to cover many of the country's top corporates and retail establishments as well as strengthening their education credentials with many of the country's top universities. The ePos market has changed enormously over the last decade with a huge growth in FinTech start-ups creating a highly competitive and fast moving sector. Having already worked with Uniware for several years they approached us to help them design and launch their new UPAY product brands into the cashless payment market and redesign their app interfaces. The goal was to create new product brands that were digital first and appealed to a broad end user base from students to bankers. Distinctiveness, cohesion and ease of use were key to the development of the new branding. To create a set of product brands we established the concept of creating UPAY flavours. A flavourant is defined as a substance that gives another substance flavour, altering the characteristics of the solute. This fitted perfectly with the way in which the UPAY technology was changing and enhancing the payments process, disrupting traditional ePos models with an innovative, mobile focused suite of products. We developed the concept for each product brand; the first named UPAYMint, a fresh and open mobile application for enabling cashless payments. The second, UPAYChilli, a strong and robust complete cashless solution. We established a droplet design, which suggested the flavourant, as well as payments made by the user, spreading out and flavouring the industry and experience. These act as a repeat pattern, shapes within icons and animations or a simple way to bring a distinctive brand style to a design. As part of the digital first approach, a minimal, flat style was adopted for the background to the droplets, placing intuitive, logical usability above decoration and styling. The brand has been implemented across offline and online media channels, including a responsive website, exhibition stands and print collateral. The customer experience is completed with a full new UX design of the payment apps and system, ensuring the brand delivers on its promise to change the flavour of making cashless payments.

Moet Hennessy UK Ltd

Timeframe: Present

With over 60 of the world's most prestigious brands, Moet Hennessy are global leaders in luxury. Their champagnes, wines and spirits are benchmarks of quality within their categories, so to give their commercial customers the chance to experience their full portfolio of brands and to try their latest products; they run an annual tasting event. A visual identity was needed for the annual autumn tasting event that reflected the brand and values of Moet Hennessy, without focusing on one product category. A design which could present and champion world famous brands such as Moet & Chandon, Krug and Glenmorangie as well as being distinctive in its own right. Tastes and experience were the key themes that were common to all of the brands and also reflected the nature of the event. We developed a taste ribbon which wraps and winds its way around a bottle shape, exploding out of the top. The ribbon is made up of elements and flavours from the tasting notes; peaches, pears, cherries, grapes and oak all blend together to meander and explode through the designs. Colours, including rich reds, warm honey, burnt oranges and deep plums, were taken from the whiskeys and cognacs, connecting the drinks themselves with the autumn theme. Save the dates, invites and the tasting notes brochure all feature the illustrations giving the whole event a cohesive and engaging style.

Emmanuel Medway

Timeframe: Present

Emmanuel had just been through a process of re-envisioning what the church and charity was all about and it's place in modern community. The process had given them a clear understanding of where they wanted to be and some practical ways to help them get there. What they lacked was a clear way of articulating that new vision. How do you reposition a church, with all the perceptions that come with that, into a welcoming and relevant organisation in today's society? After carrying out initial research and workshops it was clear that the new brand style should reset perceptions within the community and enhance the physical space. We developed the concept of 'welcoming all shapes and sizes' around the 3 core elements of the church's vision of 'family, refuge and beacon'. A set of shapes and colours were created to represent different groups within Emmanuel, allowing communications to be focused on a particular group and then mixed together when talking about the whole church; a visual representation of how Emmanuel works as a community. The imagery was designed to be full of people, full of fun, full of life. The mark was created to act as an anchor to the brand, encapsulating all of this energy whilst taking a back seat to the rest of the content. People now know what the church feels like before they visit, they understand the ethos of Emmanuel before experiencing it. A brand that is truly authentic to the people and experience that it represents.

East Kent College Football Team

Timeframe: Present

East Kent College Football Club play in Broadstairs, Kent. They have many different age groups under their banner in order to allow as many people as possible to enjoy football at all levels. At the end of their first season, East Kent College FC had won an impressive treble and wanted to demonstrate their on-pitch ambitions through their off-pitch presence. Open Water was asked to design and build a dedicated website for the college's football academy which would be used to convey latest news, results, team and player statistics, and much more to engage with their fans and get more people involved with the teams. Open Water created a mobile responsive website to act as a focal point for all team members, management and supporters of the East Kent College football academy. Incorporating the College's colour palette alongside football imagery brought a fresh and vibrant feel to the content, whilst subtle football tactic graphics were added to bring structure to the users experience.

Cornerstone City Church

Timeframe: Past

Medway Family Church, after 20 years of going from strength to strength, decided that they needed a brand identity that reflected their current values. They began with a name change to Cornerstone City Church and approached Open Water to design a visual language in line with their exciting new ambitions. After discussions around the new direction and implications of the name change, Open Water were asked to look at the wider branding elements, including a new logo, brand look and feel and website design. Although the new name was quite evocative of certain parts of the church's vision, it needed some support from the rest of the brand in promoting their vision, both internally and externally. A brighter, fresher and more vibrant brand style was established to reflect the values of the people who worshipped at the church. This began with the logo mark where we brought together multiple coloured shapes that represented the church as a whole, and the many different people within its community. The mark was made up of interconnecting shapes, which could be used to point inwards or outwards. When used inwards they could be used to highlight life within the church; a window into their community. When used outwards they represent the church work in the larger community. Once this identity was established, we designed and built a responsive website to represent their community online. The website was designed to be full of colour and life. The mark was used in its inward form to highlight icons and images. This vibrancy was designed to give an authentic feel for the church and capture the life of its members. Shortly after its launch, the website gained glowing recognition by being nominated for several awards. It was a finalist at the prestigious Premier Digital Awards in the category for 'Best New or Redesigned Website' as well as that of 'Most Engaging Small Church Website' where it was runner-up.

Chandler Mechanical Services

Timeframe: Past

Chandler Mechanical Services (CMS) specialise in the installation and fabrication of industrial and commercial pipe work. They are an industry leader, serving hospitals, schools, television studios and international airports, including Gatwick. After discussions with CMS it was decided that they needed, not only a website that showcased the services they offer, but also one which highlighted the vast experience and expertise that has made them an industry leader. Open Water created a fully responsive website which used large imagery to play a pivotal role alongside structured content panels, enhancing the seamless user journey through the content. In an industry where confidence in a service provider is so important, it was imperative that the content convey CMS' expertise quickly without distracting with superfluous information and imagery. To aid this, we kept the structure of the content simple to read and employed easily understood icons.

Rooms Kitchens

Timeframe: Present

Rooms Kitchens has been helping customers create homes they love for nearly 40 years. In keeping with their expertise in taking spaces and bringing a sense of style and modernity to them, they decided that they should take a look at their own digital space and approached Open Water to help with the design. The launch of a new website was to be followed up with a series of magazine advertisements. During our workshops with Rooms it became very clear that they are incredibly passionate about making the most of the space that people have available and seeing their customer's ideas blossom into reality. We were asked to convey this through the website and to find a way to highlight the real world work that Rooms carries out without relying on stock images that can typically be found on most websites of this type. The first thing we looked at was the way in which Rooms spoke about what they do. We introduced a 'love' theme to be used in the copy throughout the site. This was employed to convey the real passion of the company for not only what they do but how they do it, particularly when dealing with customers and their ideas. We took that relationship with their customers and used it to verify that Rooms' claims were genuine and not just 'marketing speak'. We did this through creating a 'Real Rooms' section on the site that highlights previous projects and contains testimonials and reviews from happy customers. To tie in with the concept of taking ideas from their early stages and seeing them through to becoming real, we created illustrations that showed the different stages of Rooms' process. These were an analogy for that early stage where nothing is real yet but you maybe have a sketch on paper or in your head. Shortly after a successful launch of the website we took the concepts that had worked so well and employed them in magazine advertisements. The 'love' theme in particular proved very effective with potential customers when used in the main messaging, supported by the image style we created for the website.