It's always a pleasure to work with the teams we champion, and Made Thought were no exception, finding new and invigorating ways to verbally and visually articulate the unique position we inhabit in the client/agency landscape. We sat down with the founder of Made Thought for a conversation that unpacks the work they delivered for us as part of a year long brand evolution, covering how to strike the right balance between elevated and approachable, and the role of ‘brand’ for businesses in general.
- Nick BellHaving worked with you for a while now, we know you pick your clients very carefully. What made you recognise AUFI as an interesting creative opportunity?
Ben ParkerAUFI's power is connecting businesses with creativity. After all, creativity is the engine of business—and design is the interface that connects businesses, their products and services with people. AUFI are the ultimate match-maker, acting as brokers, linking the like-minded together. This is where their value lies: they understand that when this connection is right, the outcome can be so much more than the sum of its parts. This has certainly been our experience working with AUFI—developing exciting, unexpected and lasting relationships with clients that wouldn’t have come about without their expertise. That was the exciting challenge for us, communicating a brand that speaks to both creatives and business leaders, and the unique interface between the two that AUFI provides.
- NBIts fair to call this an evolution of our existing visual world, as opposed to a full re-imagining. Our word mark, for instance, has simply been lifted / elevated. How do you determine when to work with something, vs when to completely re-cast it?
BPThe role of brand is to make business more visible to more people. Often branding is approached as a purely visual experience — and it certainly can be — but for Made Thought it is about getting to the core of what needs to be communicated. The challenge is never to create a new logo or identity — any visual expression must be the result of a behavioural shift. So the question is what do you want to impart in people. That’s always our start point.
- NBA key insight was highlighting we have a ’split personality’ of sorts - the more elevated 'ASK US FOR IDEAS' and the more personal/human 'AUFI' - how did that realisation come about and how how did you unpack it visually?
BPPeople don’t want corporations (they never have!). They want a human personality and persona at the heart of things. Businesses seem to have lost the sense that people like dealing with and trusting people — and that it is human relationships that drive success. So for the AUFI brand we needed to capture both their expertise as a curator, and a distinctly human point of view. This played out in a consciously editorially-driven aesthetic — using powerful language to inspire and beautiful typography to engage. Critically, the brand's visual world needed to be carefully articulated — otherwise it wouldn’t instil trust and belief with the creatives that join their network, nor confidence and excitement for the businesses wanting to find something new and different.
“One eye sees, the other feels.”Paul Klee
- NBWe work with brands of all scales and in a world of different sectors. How did you create an identity that speaks to that breadth / would be attractive to clients as varied as Brewdog and Frederic Malle?
BPDesign and branding is all about story-telling. And every good story should impart a feeling in you. There is a great quote by the artist Paul Klee: “One eye sees, the other feels.” Our job as a design company is to identify and unlock that feeling, so people can connect more deeply with a brand or business. When you can engage a viewer with a tangible, clear, and compelling feeling, you can hold their attention. So any project for us starts with that feeling—that idea. From there we simplify, sharpen, energise and express that idea in the most creative, disruptive ways possible.