Here are our full audits of the top five, along with the best of each category. Find out why we placed them where we did.
Messaging: 18, Visual Brand: 14, Consistency: 15, Quality: 15, Saliency: 15, Overall: 77%
The Investment Association has clearly recently rebranded and it’s a job well done. The messaging is simple but compelling: the writing snappy, active and engaging. The overall impression is of an organisation that is straightforward, coherent, simple to understand and accessible.
Although the visual brand is perhaps expected, it’s very well executed. The five bar logo device is sophisticated and stylish without being showy and reinforces the sense of a no-nonsense approach. All of the details have been implemented faithfully. Typography is in the service of readability, with text treatments that invite the eye. And the colour palette of bright and cheerful spring colours adds pace and energy to the whole.
Despite looking almost effortlessly simple, design like this is hard to maintain. Is this all down to a good agency, or embedded well internally. Let’s see how it rolls out over time and whether they can keep it up.
Messaging: 13, Visual Brand: 17, Consistency: 16, Quality: 15, Saliency: 16, Overall: 77%
CIMA is distinctive for many reasons, but not least because despite representing management accountants it isn’t blue! The brave use of magenta really stands out in the sector. This means its strength is less because of its obvious saliency and more because it is unexpected.
From messaging to logo, from visual language to implementation it is well conceived. The bright colour palette has been handled tastefully, being offset against the cool grey means the accent colours sing rather than fight with one another.
The use of graphic illustration and iconography feels fresh and modern, and importantly, is consistently applied across all of its collateral without feeling repetitive. The clever use of cross hatchings in the graphic language is another distinctive aid to help bring uniformity to the design applications.
Overall the visual brand feels modern without feeling inappropriate, and the messaging is clear and succinct. A worthy joint winner.
Messaging: 16, Visual Brand: 14, Consistency: 14, Quality: 14, Saliency: 14, Overall: 72%
Rich messaging that also plays out well at a headline level, this brand is full of surprises. Interesting visual language, underpinned by strong colour and powerful use of typography and imagery. The overall system is let down by a mediocre logo.
Messaging: 12, Visual Brand: 15, Consistency: 14, Quality: 15, Saliency: 16, Overall: 72%
Owning the url architecture.com is a great way of owning the sector. The website in particular is a designers dream with an unconventional user experience appropriate to the world RIBA represents. A good balance between contemporary and classic, though perhaps on the verge of delivering style over substance.
Messaging: 13, Visual Brand: 14, Consistency: 15, Quality: 15, Saliency: 15, Overall: 72%
Strong, confident, simple and with a slightly eclectic but coherent visual language. Though elements of the logo are pleasing, the typography lets it down. More importantly the acronym is challenging and confusing, and this is particularly apparent on the homepage of the website. A strapline would do much to resolve this.
Messaging: 14, Visual Brand: 13, Consistency: 13, Quality: 14, Saliency: 16, Overall: 70%
Nice use of moving image, good quality black and white imagery, a traditional but contemporary look and feel; the overall impression is one of gravitas. Though perhaps lacking a little distinctiveness, it is certainly a brand in tune with its target audience.
Messaging: 15, Visual Brand: 14, Consistency: 13, Quality: 14, Saliency: 14, Overall: 70%
Strong, emotive, crystal clear messaging that is consistently and powerfully applied from the lock-up with the logo, as well as throughout all collateral. In its shorthand, it also forms call to action. The rest of the scheme works pretty well too!
Messaging: 12, Visual Brand: 15, Consistency: 15, Quality: 14, Saliency: 14, Overall: 70%
Communications and brand have clearly been invested in, with a result that is surprising and yet appropriate. An even greater investment has been placed in managing consistency, which is very strong indeed. However, the consistency is applied with a heavy hand and is a little relentless. Pace would provide relief and greater sophistication.
Messaging: 11, Visual Brand: 13, Consistency: 16, Quality: 14, Saliency: 15, Overall: 69%
The visual brand manages a careful balance. It reflects its audience well but is just a little unexpected. It is professional but modern. It’s consistent and has well considered elements in the illustration style, as well as the typographic mark. But there is an opportunity to up the ante further.
Messaging: 11, Visual Brand: 11, Consistency: 15, Quality: 15, Saliency: 14, Overall: 66%
Though perhaps not a designer’s dream, the overall quality of communications is hard to criticise. Consistent and reasonably crafted visual elements, a fair degree of humanity with good quality photography of people from their world. Perhaps what’s missing is a more powerful message about their wider purpose beyond delivery of qualifications.