We Are Empire by Stuart Bloodworth
Creative Director at We Are Empire
Manchester - UK
When and Where?
We Are Empire was thought up in Shropshire in the West Midlands of England during 2010. At the time Pete (now Managing Director), Matt (Front-End Dev), Drew (operations Director) and I were dining in a restaurant and talking about how we wanted to create a start-up that was hardworking and passionate about creating beautiful work. We'd been pondering what to call the agency for a while and some absolute shockers were mentioned (ask me on twitter). The name is nothing to do with building an empire, the magazine, the TV show or the band.
We didn't have any plans to build a large agency with lots of staff and big brands at that time. We just wanted to create great work and be in control of what we worked on. We Are Empire was different. Not expected. We liked it. "We Are" companies were kinda unheard of at this time.
It was only after we had named the company that we found out that the restaurant we were in used to be an "Empire" Cinema, which opened in November 1922 and closed in 1998. Fricking weird right?
Simple Font Logo to a Rebrand.
Our original logo from 2010-2013 was a fun font in an uneven circle (Not Comic Sans!) It was simple and a little lazy, but we were just starting out and were hitting the ground running. We were still finding out who we were as an agency. However, we rebranded in 2013 after a few years of getting things both wrong and right.
Challenging...YES! Designing for yourself is uber hard. You're super critical with everything you do or present to the other founders. The new brief was simple: create a digital brand that's recognisable, different and identity lead. I wanted to put the focus on a mark/identity not a name or logotype and show a maturity and professionalism that was missing in our original logo.
Below is the approved concept we went with. After some further refining we executed the brand launch.
Below is the concept we decided to bin... Shame.
I played around with angles... lots of them. Initially I wasn't even trying to create anything as such, just experimenting with lines, stroke, and grids. The journey from play to presentation was fun, it became a technique to produce little idents this way.
The Importance of a Unique Name.
I really feel that your name needs to mean more to you than anyone else. You need to be comfortable, see a future and be able to express it visually - unless you're a web company who provides your business model within your name, for example... E-commerce Promise! If that's the case then you must forget everything I just said and your main point of importance is the speed in which people know what you do!
We Are Empire is a digital studio based in Manchester that creates and grow brands, engineers creative content and makes the complex measurable. We Are Empire exist to help brands and businesses cut through the noise, connect and then captivate their audience in a world of 140 characters and always-on consumers.