The Opportunity

Colony came to us with a very exciting concept, they wanted to create a co-working space that felt like home to creatives—somewhere exciting to be—somewhere with soul. They wanted to build a space that was full of colour and grew with every new member, allowing them to leave their own imprint on the space and even the brand.

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"The co-working sector has become infested with soulless, clinical spaces aimed to please everyone from management consultants to artists. Northern Group knew it needed to do something different and gave us the freedom to develop a brand to speak to a specific audience of creatives. That meant we could create a brand with personality, focus and, most importantly, attitude
Martin James Power, Co—Founder, Ensemble

The Concept

Through initial conversations we could see that the client had big ambitions and we wanted to create a brand that would give them the confidence to shout about it. 

Research into the target audience showed us that the triggers for members centred around 2 key areas—collaboration and growth, pairing that with the clients goal to create further sites, we created the concept of ‘Cellular Growth’ and began to develop the visual language of germination and chemical reactions. These took the form of marbling. Inks mixing, colonising the backgrounds and morphing into something new.

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We wanted to make sure that the brand could stretch across further sites without becoming diluted and acting as wallpaper so we involved the client in producing a suite of textures through marbling and pouring. This suite of bespoke imagery would then form the toolkit and colour ways for the further sites, and along with the introduction of halftone petri dishes and threshold illustrations, it would give the brand aesthetic limitless possibilities.

 

 We tested various names, but the working title – Colony – felt right in every aspect. It had all the right connotations to hang the concept from – a breeding ground to join, nurture and cultivate talent in the heart of an industrious city. From the start, we were conscious to create an identity that didn’t overtly reference an ubiquitous symbol within the City (particularly within this sector) – the worker bee. Instead, a visual language was developed which looked at germination through the chemical reactions – always unique and bespoke to a location as the brand grows. "

Steve Waring, Co—Founder, Ensemble

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The Future

From the initial brief of creating the brand identity, we worked with the client to help inform their digital platforms as well as their physical spaces, working with them on colour palettes, bespoke wall art and fixtures.

It was great to see the client latch onto the Petri Dish shape and rather than applying the logo to every wall, like the ‘one size fits all’ co-working spaces, they took our guidance to embed subtle hints of the brand scattered around the space through form, texture and colour.

We’re excited to see how the brand begins to morph and grow into the space as well as progressing through the new sites planned for the not so distant future.

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