Spinach Branding in 2021: A year building and refining brands

The Wilds Barking Riverside. Images © Jimmy Lee Photography for BRL

It’s been another extraordinary year for most companies as the pandemic continues to disrupt businesses all over the world. Added to this, we’re now at the tipping point of seeing fundamental shifts in how we navigate the physical and digital worlds. One thing is certain though, the pandemic and climate concerns have accelerated life into the future, with many businesses seeing this moment in history as an opportunity for change, perhaps even for a new renaissance. Our Spinach Branding team has years of experience working with businesses of all sizes globally to provide a professional and objective view. And, we have been helping companies build, evolve and adapt their brands to chime with the times.

So, what have been our highlights of the year? ‘It has to be being shortlisted in two categories for the Transform Awards,’ says Spinach Branding’s creative director, Adam Thomas. The categories are for ‘best brand architecture solution’ and ‘best visual identity from the property, construction and facilities management sector’ for client, Barking Riverside Ltd (BRL). Thomas adds, ‘two and a half years of hard work is being recognised on such a big stage.’

The project has been an extremely interesting experience for us. Barking Riverside is one of Europe’s most ambitious and exciting recent urban developments, anchored on the principle of ‘placemaking’ to mean designing spaces for people, places and nature. Its mission is to provide a platform where existing and new residents can develop an authentic and inclusive place to live and work, and one that ultimately encourages opportunities for all. Spinach Branding has been working closely with the team at BRL to help realise this ambition.

Campari ‘Art Without Walls’ June 2021 © Spinach Branding

‘Central to the brand development was the need to collectively create a new placemaking brand model that made sense of the complicated relationship between place and the corporate entity,’ says Spinach branding director Leigh Banks. ‘Resolving this unique challenge ensured the team’s success in delivering a brand fit for the scale and ambition of Barking Riverside.’

Another project which created a huge buzz within our studio was ‘Art Without Walls’. We have been working alongside Campari UK for the last few years, creating a strong brand platform, a brand and cocktail book and a series of nationwide advertising campaigns. In June, in an initiative steered by Affordable Art Fair, Campari handed over all its East London billboards to stage a free open-air exhibition of 500 original artworks from independent galleries across the UK. We helped create and facilitate the campaign with proceeds from artwork sales going directly to the artists and institutions involved – many of whom have been hit hard by the pandemic.

There were plenty of other highlights for what has been a very busy year for us. At Chotto Matte, for instance, we worked with the team to help evolve this successful brand. The restaurant group comes with a single mission, to create extraordinary experiences. Chotto brings the unique flavours of Peruvian Nikkei cuisine to London, Toronto, Miami, Doha and Riyadh, each space reflecting the location with building designs that are culturally grounded, favour local materials but are equally edgy and underground with commissioned artwork, live music and entertainment. Our work involved refining the brand proposition and developed a new brand identity to include messaging and tone-of-voice platform, a refreshed visual identity and new logo system, as well as a digital brand hub that will guide the business as it expands further globally.

Mirror Margarita © Hacha Bar

Elsewhere, we were tasked to create a new brand and name for Woldon, the London and Cotswolds architecture practice formally known as Gluckman Smith Architects, to help reflect its evolution. Meanwhile, we helped launch the Propress Mini fabric steamer to great success. We also loved working with dynamic duo behind Mirror Margarita to help realise the brand identity for this unique spirit that distils the subtle flavours and sensations of the Margarita cocktail in a single bottle. Mirror Margarita is as crystal-clear as water but offers the perfect balance of sweet and sour notes, and our design reflects the surrealist twist.

There are other projects, which we sadly cannot discuss at this stage, but are excited to share details with you in the coming months. Leigh Banks admits that times like these are challenging but also present great opportunities to imagine new possibilities ‘I’m excited by the spirit and ingenuity we are seeing around us,’ he says, ‘of how so many brands have taken the lead and adjusted their business models to be relevant for our times. And I want to say a big Thank You to our clients. We look forward to helping you make a positive change in 2022 and beyond.’

Images: The Wilds ecological centre and community space at Barking Riverside © Jimmy Lee for BRL; Mirror Margarita © Hacha Bar; ‘Art Without Walls’ for Campari UK; and brand identity for Barking Riverside © Spinach Branding.

Spinach Branding is a specialist branding agency based in London. We work with established businesses and start-ups around the world to build and refine their brands. See how we work and get in touch to discuss your brand.

Barking Riverside branding by © Spinach Branding
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