STEWART + CO – Branding

I know David Stewart and his wife Carmel for a long time although I hadn’t seen them in a while. Dave and I played in different bands at one time in our younger lives and I considered him one  of the best heavy metal bass players I had ever seen. Roll on 20 years and we’re all grown up now and responsible etc etc.

So it was with great delight on my part when Carmel, Dave’s wife, rang me to set up a meeting to discuss designing an identity for a new accountancy firm both of them were starting. Dave is a Certified Public Accountant and Carmel is a HR Development professional.

STEWART+CO. as the company would be known, required an identity that communicated the modern, professional ethos behind the company with a clean technological style that captured the services they would offer their clients.

Also, the identity should stand out from other traditional firms who work in the same sector and offer similar services.

My first step as always is to research how the clients industry in general is presenting itself from a branding point of view. In this case, looking at identities and logos of company’s operating in the same or closely associated sectors, focusing on the trends, colours, name styles and word marks used both globally and nationally.

Initial roughs brought me through using the name in various styles, and layouts before pulling together a few directions I liked. I worked  bit more on these and finally presented 3 iterations to the client


1. The ‘Accountants Ledger’ was something I remember from school and the early days of my own business where you entered  your figures in the Debit and Credit columns. I always liked the vertical ‘Ruled’ pages and so presented discreetly alongside the company name the lines would serve as a simple minimalist ‘nod’ to the accountancy profession.

2/3 Having roughed up many different iterations of the name I kept coming back to one element that consistently made sense in terms of a ‘hook’ for the identity, and that was the ‘+’ sign. It has many connotations – added value, more, extra, favorable conditions and positivity to name but a few. But its mathematical translation for the word ‘and’ is what struck a chord with me. V.3 pushes the envelope a bit, the idea being the name is presented as a mathematical ‘addition’ problem but v.2, highlighting the ‘+’ symbol as part of the name is what became the clients choice.

I tweaked the letter spacing and created 2 weights for the identity to be used both on print and display. The colours chosen, having tried various versions, were a dark navy blue and silver. The blue being representative of – a professional  financial services company, and the silver – the future and positivity. Once work was completed on the design I  applied the identity to the company stationery.

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