Why we’ve given our brand a makeover

Our brand has evolved alongside us over the 33 years we’ve been in business, and after a lot of thought, we decided it was high time for a fresh, contemporary look that reflects who we are as an agency in 2021.

  1. Why Branding Matters

In today’s oversaturated market, strong and consistent branding is a must. It drives businesses forward and helps them stand out from the crowd. On top of existing industry competition, remote working has opened up the possibility of partnering with companies anywhere in the world. We’re no longer competing with local products or services for attention, we’re competing on a much larger, often global, scale thanks to search algorithms, social media platforms, online reviews and forums. 

Here at Morton Ward, we’ve been creating and developing brands since our earliest beginnings, offering strategic brand development, audits, overhauls and refreshes. We’ve created hundreds of effective brands for a whole range of industries, making sure each new or refreshed identity is carefully aligned with the goals of the business. 

We’ve got some impressive experience when it comes to designing campaigns and brands that offer something a little different. But our own brand? It needed some TLC. 

  1. So, why exactly have we decided to rebrand?

Since our last brand evolution in 2002 a lot has changed, both for us and across the disciplines of graphic and digital design, branding and marketing. Over the past year, things have changed drastically for just about every industry there is. As it has for others, the pandemic has factored into our decision to rebrand and our plans going forward. 

We’ve worked in many different sectors but have become steadily more involved in higher education, the public sector, scientific research and early stage start-ups. Learning from these industries has shaped our own practices and we’ve met some wonderful people who get as excited about intelligent design as we do. Our new brand reflects both what we’ve learned along the way and the innovative work we do with leaders in their field. 

We wanted a brand identity which represented us, the creative humans behind Morton Ward. While this might sound like we’re stating the obvious, it’s easy to get lost behind the work you produce for clients on a day-to-day basis when it’s front and centre all the time. Campaigns, brand identities, animations, brochures; we design and develop them every day, but we want to create more opportunities to talk about the how and why, about the people behind the process and our collaboration with partners. 

With the launch of our new and improved identity, our online presence will feature more of our creative work and the expert knowledge we already share with our clients. 

  1. Why now?

We’re client focused, first and foremost, so our own brand refresh has often taken a backseat. While we’ve been busy throughout lockdown and taken on a number of new projects and clients (keep your eyes peeled for exciting announcements!), the past few months have allowed us to catch our breath and focus more on ourselves. 

Switching to home-working and video conferencing for client meetings means we’ve had a bit of extra time on our hands without any commutes. For us, and probably for many others, it’s been a strange period where we’ve had the chance to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come and plan a little for the future. 

Finally, we’re heading into 2021 and it seemed like a good time for a rebrand. Launching our new look this autumn paves the way for the New Year, whatever it brings. We want to be honest about who we are as a company going forward and live by a brand that matches our innovative, straightforward nature.

  1. How we went about rebranding

Before we started scribbling down all of our thoughts, we thought it’d be a good idea to see if our own perception of the Morton Ward brand matched how our clients saw us. By taking this step, we were able to plan how our new brand would change for the better or retain existing qualities. Brands that understand how they’re perceived, while managing to communicate who they are with integrity and consistency, always come out stronger.

So, rather than creating a mismatched identity we set about finding the exact words that came to mind when people heard the name ‘Morton Ward’. We went looking for brutally honest feedback. 

We have some pretty nice clients, so, thankfully, this stage was more of a trip down memory lane. Combing through testimonials, feedback, proposal responses to jobs we’ve won (and lost) helped us get a clearer picture of how we fit into the industry and how we could push our bona fide strengths further into the limelight.

Next, we sent an internal survey to the whole team to find out how they felt about Morton Ward’s current brand identity and what they imagined our new identity might feel like. Plenty of agencies leave branding in the hands of their capable designers and miss out on the wealth of expertise and perspectives the rest of the team has to offer. We wanted everyone to have a say in our rebrand and be invested in the process from the beginning. 

With our joint insights on the metaphorical table (Miro’s super handy online whiteboard platform), we did some detailed market research and started to mock-up ideas. 

One of our main goals was to develop a strong branding device that could show off our creative work, so we experimented with flexible frames and the mirroring of our initials. We wanted a look that was timeless, consistent across all of our platforms and would work well as both static and motion graphics. It had to function with our initials as well as our full name, capable of being both a leading visual element and taking a backseat when our client’s work needed to shine. 

While we have no plans to change our name, we wanted to make sure our clients and partners could still recognise us after a rebrand. That’s why you’ll still see a splash of our trademark orange included in a refreshed colour palette.

We also decided to focus on certain platforms and outputs over others, so we’ll be posting on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to begin with. Concentrating our resources means we can create targeted, high-quality content for our chosen channels and engage on a more meaningful level. 

So, after months of fine-tuning, our sprawling Miro board is littered with thoughts, anecdotes, lines, illustrations and an unhealthy amount of digital post its. All that’s left now is to unveil our brand to the world. 

  1. What’s next for Morton Ward?

Building a brand takes time, as does rolling it out across both online platforms and physical assets. Our next project is giving the Morton Ward website a much-needed makeover in line with our new branding. But in the meanwhile, keep an eye on our Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn channels as we’ll be posting about some of our upcoming projects in the works. 

Looking ahead, we can’t wait to start a new chapter at Morton Ward.

Liked what we did?

Our collaborative branding process creates authentic and intelligent brands that will help you get measurable results. Whether you’re looking for a brand audit or a strategy with renewed impact, we’ll make sure you stand out in a crowded market with dazzling copy and memorable design. Sound good? Let’s talk.

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