Northforge, the Leeds based award-winning animation and motion design studio have launched a new website and updated identity.
In the last two years, the studio has doubled its turnover. They have witnessed an impressive increase in clients and have seen many existing collaborators return. Such confidence in their abilities for creating successful campaigns prompted them to consider their own image and marketing.
As the studio has received more recognition and indeed business, the time seemed right to showcase their skill set and success in a more considered and accomplished website and branding.
Matt Simpson, Managing Director of Northforge commented:
“We’ve had a fantastic period of growth, both in terms of sales and as a company. We felt a re-brand and update to our website and social channels would be the best way to reflect our new positioning. Bringing B&W Studio into the mix was a no brainer. Having worked with Lee for a number of years we knew bringing him and his team into partner us would yield fantastic results. They took our logo and made us a brand. They showed us how to keep it simple and sophisticated, but also dial it up, so it has real stand out on noisy social channels.”
Northforge had previously created their logo and identity in-house. However, it was felt that if they wanted to move onto the next level they would benefit from collaborating with a specialist company with an external perspective. The team is always looking to partner with like-minded and talented designers, so they contacted the much-admired B&W Studio.
The brand and communications practice are renowned for combining ideas and craft. Having worked together on previous projects the two studios were aware of each other’s strengths. Northforge knew that B&W Studio’s expertise would enable them to reach a wider audience with a more grown up and considered identity.
Northforge’s branding features a lot of black and they wanted this impactful colour to remain at the heart of any design. Another key objective was to introduce brand imagery, which would be instantly recognisable and synonymous with the animation studio.
Key to the design is that it now plays on the full stop that sits beside the capitalised type of the new typeface. This gives the logo more personality and provides more possibilities for using it as a distinct branding tool.
Despite the strength of the black base colour, it seemed somewhat stark. So B&W Studio suggested Northforge use their own talents to develop a suite of dynamic images to bring the brand to life. These could be presented as still or moving forms that would feature behind the new typeface. Each device presents a different texture, colour and can appear in both hard and soft forms providing variety and variation. They also reflect a different style of animation and create a unified and strong design.
Of the new animated devices Matt Simpson adds:
“We’re really excited about the new roundel devices that sit behind the brand mark. Not only does it allow us to showcase our skills in various mediums, but it also keeps the brand up to date.”
The brand work encompasses all aspects of Northforge’s stationery, social media, website development and client proposals. B&W Studio even created a campaign that could be used as a tool to help launch the new branding or could be used continuously in the future.
For the website design and programming Northforge again turned to a familiar and trusted partner, by calling on the services of Workbench Studio.
Matt Simpson remarks:
“When it came to the website we just wanted something simple and solid that would work on every platform, so we turned to a long-term friend of the business Workbench studio, who we think delivered a fantastic project.”
Northforge is known for their ability to forge relationships with their clients and fellow designers. Their whole branding, design and web building project is a testament to this. Working alongside other design studios is a process they both enjoy and promote. The new branding perfectly showcases their skills as animators and collaborators, while reflecting B&W Studio’s strength for art direction and WorkBench Studio’s design and web-building expertise.