Planning a
brighter brand

  • CLIENT Lichfields
  • SECTOR Property

Skills at play

  • Qualitative research
  • Strategic workshops
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand naming
  • Brand design
  • Digital design
  • Communication design
  • Print production
  • Project management

Over the years, pre-eminent planning and development specialists, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, found themselves surrounded by market competitors staking the ‘leadership’ claim within their sector. They were also tiring of the generic blue-grey roundel logo and were continually disheartened by the limited brand toolkit available for their modern communication needs.

JWDK were asked to diagnose the overall brand and commissioned to deliver an entirely new brand by early 2017. Together with GW+Co, we defined a strategic positioning apt for the modern market and engineered a unique ‘tone of voice’ for the brand.

We went on to design a new visual identity toolkit including logo, typography, graphical shapes, imagery style complimented by a broad spectrum of bright colours. For launch we implemented a new literature system, an extensive website and a selection of marketing collateral.

What is in a name?

When we started working with Lichfields they were trading as Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP). Our team felt the commonly used acronym was devoid of any meaning whilst the full title proved cumbersome to use. In fact, Nathaniel Lichfield who started the business in 1962 was a pioneering economist and high respected town planner. By distilling the company name to a single word ‘Lichfields’, we were able to retain the valuable link to the founder and create a simple and memorable name for the firm. ‘Lichfields’ has since been happily adopted across the firm and the industry.

NLP before the re-brand was swimming in a sea of blue

Bright minds

Immersive research gave us essential insights into the market however, it was only after conducting a comprehensive brand workshop before were we could capture Lichfields’ unique DNA in a single word — bright. Lichfields are known for publishing valuable research and weekly thought-pieces, and work on the biggest and most complex infrastructure projects in the UK. The ‘bright minds’ of Lichfields combined with the creative approach and positive attitudes of the staff, gave us the brand essence from which to create the visual identity.

The brightness of the brand identity gives Lichfields a distinctive look against standard ‘sea of blue’ so commonly seen in the property industry.

Defining Lichfield's authentic personality and tone of voice

The Lichfields perspective

When planning the cities and spaces, Lichfields consider the social impacts as well as the business impacts of the proposed plans. This overarching perspective inspired the treatment of graphical shapes as an urban map filled with brand imagery.

Multiple images are chosen to tell a more complete story of each theme and it is important to show people in the mix. The use of ‘roads’ between the images are used as a flexible grid system.

Hands on brand implementation workshop demonstrates the new brand in action

Colourful results

A final workshop was prepared taking key staff through the new brand toolkit in detail. Lichfields has taken control of the brand since its launch in 2017… and the feedback we’ve had has been great.

Your team and style of work has fitted well with ours and you have been able to guide us and be firm, whilst respecting our desire to bring our people with us, the results of which are evident now. I like the fonts, the logo, the colours and the website looks great and it’s altogether a great expression of who we are.

James Fennel

Chief Executive, Lichfields