What a year.
For many people, 2016 saw a lot of change, and with that came equal parts uncertainty and excitement. Regardless of whether people saw these changes as something to relish or something to be threatened by, I think one constant consideration of 2016 for all is that it is not a year people will forget quickly. It is certainly a year for reflection.
This bumpy ride of a year saw a lot of change and reflection for Branch too. Change that we are excited about, that we are positive about. Change that we hope benefits not just our studio but the creative industry as a whole. Reflection on what we have achieved, how we have grown and what we have learned.
This year saw the completion of long standing projects we have been itching to broadcast. This is work that we are proud of, and work that has had an incredibly positive reception. Work such as the brand identity for Forever Hope, which earned a great write up in Design Week (article here). Work such as Cambridge Core, a much asked about project that has led to further new business for Branch as well as making a splash in the world of academia. At Branch, we believe that every project we take on should be a portfolio piece. We can’t work on something that we know we won’t be proud of. That thought keeps us at the top of our creative game.
At the core of our working practice is our five step approach. Whenever we meet new and prospective clients, we take them through this, step by step. We cover why each phase is vital, and how it ultimately leads to a brand identity that matches the needs of them and their business. This year, we’ve also spent time talking to students and young talent, bolstering their knowledge. Our aim is to arm those that either need creative services or are working within the industry with the awareness of what good design actually involves. Too often, we see creative done on the fly for the sake of a deadline. Creative done with most of the insights removed for the sake of an unrealistically low budget. Creative done for free with a minimal brief for the sake of winning a job. We feel that this devalues our industry, with design seen as a throwaway commodity.
Finally, we’ve taken a long, hard look at ourselves too. We have reviewed everything from our internal creative reviews through to the choice of tea we have. From our rate cards to our filing. From our new business strategy to where we get our cakes and brownies from. Brands never stand still, and neither should we. In order to deliver the best we can, we need to adapt, we need to review, we need to be our own best critics. We aim to hit 2017 with a confidence unshaken by the uncertainty of 2016.
But, we still have 10 days left of 2016, so we will end that by raising a glass, and wishing all our current and potential clients, along with all the talent we have worked with along the way, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.